The Cry of the Planet Chapter 17

Lab Rat

By Edyn Cross

After breakfast, the scientists spent the rest of the day in the Shinra Mansion basement preparing for the trip to Mt. Nibel the next day. The Turk spent most of his day filling out a routine report form to submit to Heidegger at Shinra Inc. HQ. The few times Lucrecia came up from the basement for something they needed, she seemed to be trying her hardest to avoid any confrontation with Vincent. He couldn't help but wonder what he may have done to make her avoid him so much and also couldn't help but think about how good it would feel to put his foot in a certain scientist's mouth.

The sun was beginning to set behind the mountains to the west when the unthinkable happened. The three scientists finally came up from the basement for the day, finished with their work. Professor Gast leading with Hojo and Lucrecia following side by side talking and laughing with each other. Vincent's eyes narrowed when something Hojo said to Lucrecia made her laugh and touch his arm. Even though Vincent didn't picture himself as an underwear model (although he could most certainly pull it off) he couldn't even begin to think of what would make her want to be with Hojo more than him. Lucrecia looked happy with Hojo, but Vincent thought that Hojo had a wicked Jekyll and Hide personality that would most likely end up hurting Lucrecia more than she knew.

"Mr. Valentine!" Gast said smiling. "All prepared for the trip to Mt. Nibel tomorrow?"

Vincent looked up from his nearly finished report, "Yes. How about you and your scientists?"

"We are prepared, but I'm afraid we'll all be too excited to sleep tonight," Gast chuckled. "This is something all three of us have been wanting to study for a long time."

Vincent nodded and looked over to the kitchen where Lucrecia and Hojo were preparing dinner. A flare ignited in his stomach when Hojo whispered something into Lucrecia's ear that seemed to make her blush and smile. Vincent couldn't even begin to understand. Twelve hours ago, she was in tears because of him and now they were a little more than friendly. The Turk could only sit and watch... and wait.


Lucrecia was utterly surprised on Hojo's drastic mood change from that morning: They spent the day with Professor Gast talking of the upcoming tests, and experiments on the Ancient and Lucrecia enjoyed every minute of it. Lucrecia loved Science and to have someone else to talk to about it made it that much better... and that was something she felt she couldn't get from Vincent.

What Vincent made her feel was so different from the way she felt about Hojo. Vincent was the romance novel, the pure passion, lust, and impulse. And through Lucrecia's observations and opinion, those little flings never lasted. But Hojo on the other hand was someone she could picture herself spending time with, someone she can relate to, both sharing a common interest. THE common interest in Lucrecia's book: Science. How could she talk to the Turk about a new cell development or a mutation in a specimen? She felt as if they came from two totally different worlds and only a few people live on hers, Hojo being one of them.

Even though she felt as if she was gaining some ground back with Hojo, she kept thinking of earlier that morning and was still scared inside fearing another one of Hojo's outbursts. She figured if she would do as he asked and stay away from Vincent, they can continue the Experiment without having Hojo be furious with her again. It will work well, as soon as they retrieve the specimen tomorrow and the Experiment begins, she will be spending all her time with Hojo and Gast... Vincent will be out of the picture.

Never mind the fact that she still thought of him every ten minutes.


The four Shinra employees ate together at the dinner table, Hojo and Vincent exchanging glances of hostility, but more looks of gloating from the scientist's end. Lucrecia kept her eye on Hojo and her food trying desperately not to allow Vincent to catch it. And more importantly so that Hojo wouldn't see him catch it. The conversation went from the upcoming specimen to the weather and to how Shinra Inc. drastically underpays their employees.

After dinner while Vincent was helping Gast with the dishes, Lucrecia returned to her room while Hojo went back down to the basement to prepare for the trip the next day.

"Do you love her?" Gast asked abruptly catching Vincent off guard.

"What...? Who are you talking about?" Vincent asked.

"You know who I'm talking about," Gast smiled. "Lucrecia."

"I... Don't know," Vincent said truthfully. "I've never been in love."

"Could have fooled me," Gast said washing a pot. "You know, she seems to be a bit taken with you as well."

"Hmph," Vincent scoffed.

"Oh, you don't think so?" Gast handed the pot to Vincent. "She's been day dreaming and starry eyed since you two met at Costa del Sol."

Vincent only dried the pot.

Gast turned to the Turk. "I want you to listen to me, Mr. Valentine, because this may be very important. Lucrecia is trapped and she either doesn't know how to get out or doesn't want to. Science has her caged up like a lab rat and I believe right now that is the only thing she lives for."

Vincent put down the pot and listened.

"I've tried talking to her," Gast continued. "But she's blind. Either by Science or Professor Hojo is covering her eyes. He doesn't care about her, you know. He needs her for something, but honestly I have no idea what it is. He is using her and her love for Science for his own purposes. Lucrecia has been waiting for you."

Vincent blinked.

Gast picked up another pot and began to wash it, "But, she doesn't know it, not yet anyway. She's been waiting for you to set her free from her cage, because maybe not now, but eventually it will be too late for her. Look at me, Mr. Valentine. I am exactly what I don't want Lucrecia to become. Ever since I was young enough to read, all I wanted to be a part of was Science. Infinite hours in the laboratory, all for what? A new specimen? A new experiment? Then what?"

Gast handed the pot to Vincent, "I've learned the hard way, Mr. Valentine. And only lately have I become to realize it. How much... life I have wasted. I won't be staying with the Shinra Inc. Science Division much longer, in fact, this will be my last Project before I retire. I want to get out of the laboratory and into life. I'm getting old you see, and all of my life I've been looking at the world through a microscope and I hate it. I've missed out on life itself, and most importantly, love, but that will soon be remedied."

Gast stood thoughtfully for a minute looking into the dishwater.

"Lucrecia is going down the same road I did, trapped by Science and knowledge, and she's the last person I want to see end up just like me." Gast continued. "She needs something to pull her away from Science, but I haven't seen her take interest in anything but until you came along. Mr. Valentine, I believe that you're the one who can free her from her cage, the one who can show her that there is so much to this world, this life other than Science. Recently, she has grown an attachment to Professor Hojo. I don't believe it's a plutonic attachment, but more along the same lines as her attachment to Science. Maybe she feels he's the only one who shares her interests, who understands her, but if that's the case, she's dead wrong. After many years of working with him, I have learned that Hojo lives and works for Hojo, anything and everything he does is for his own personal gain and everything else is in his way. You see Lucrecia USED to be in his way, but it now appears that he's trying to get close to her, which means he needs her for something HE wants, regardless of her feelings. I want her to be free, Vincent. Someone has to pull her away from Hojo and from Science. She will most defiantly go kicking and screaming, but it needs to be done. She needs to live life for Lucrecia, not for Science. Do you understand, Mr. Valentine?"

"Yes," Vincent nodded. "But, why me? There's so many other..."

Gast cut him off, "Call it good judge of character. It's obvious how you feel about her and you can thank my good observation skills as a scientist for that. You're a good man, Mr. Valentine, Turk or not and I think Lucrecia deserves someone just like you."

Vincent dried the last dish as Gast let the water out and began to clean up.

"Please, Mr. Valentine. Do this for the sake of Lucrecia, she deserves so much better than what she has. It would be a sin to have her live her life as I did." Gast lifted his glasses and rubbed his eyes. "Please show her everything she will miss... life and especially love."

Gast took his lab coat from the counter and walked to the door way, "I'm tired, I'll think I'll retire for the evening. Tomorrow's a big day for us, you know."

Vincent nodded.

"Please consider what I have asked of you, I know it's a lot, but I feel as though you're the right one to be requesting this. I love Lucrecia as if she was my own daughter and I want only the best for her. Good night, Mr. Valentine."

Gast left the kitchen leaving Vincent to his thoughts. After a few minutes, Vincent grabbed his jacket from the counter and went up to his bedroom. Lucrecia's door was shut and the light was turned off. After a minute of staring at Lucrecia's door, Vincent entered his room, took off his clothes and crawled into bed. He lay naked in bed thoughtfully staring at the ceiling.

How could he help her? She had asked him to keep his distance and was showing it, too. Hojo would defiantly cause a situation, but he wondered if helping her is what she wanted. Earlier that morning she seemed to need him, but it felt the exact opposite for the rest of the day. With all that aside, there was one definite in Vincent's mind and that was Lucrecia's happiness. No matter what, he would make sure that she was happy, even if it weren't with him. As his thoughts hazed in a doze, and his doze became sleep, he heard himself say...

If she is happy, then I don't mind.

Chapter 18

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic