Combat Diary Chapter 6
Zangan hurried down the street. Getting out of the Shinra building had been harder than getting in, and he didn't feel like pushing his luck by staying around. But why did that guard help him? And something about a woman in cell 5. Was she the Cetra that the guy in the computer room babbled on about? Well, Zangan accomplished his primary mission: He found out that the research with the Cetra was tying up Shinra's resources. All he had to do now was...
..report to Godo...
...The woman who's rights were clearly being violated. The last Cetra...?
No, it's none of my business Zangan tried telling himself. He stopped in the middle of the deserted street. Night was falling now... a strange time for the streets to be clear of people. The streets were lined with fine cobblestone. Fancy lights illuminated the streets. This particular part of town had an old quaint town feel to it. However, all one would have to do is look back to see the Shinra building towering over everything. Should Zangan interfere? After all, if he did free this woman, there would be no more research and the Shinra would be able to put more money into the war, ensuring Wutai's defeat. Zangan shook his head and walked a little further until he came upon a pub.
Walking in, the air was full of smoke, and the dozen or so patrons were making a hefty amount of noise. Most of them were rather burly men. Zangan took a seat in the corner, and decided he may need a drink. Then a conversation caught his ear...
"Uhyeah, the shin-ra says they're givin' 10 grand to the chump who finds the guy!" Said a large man at the corner of the bar. He wore a torn leather jacket and a red bandana.
"Ahh ferget that. Anyone who can bust up Shinra and live t' tell about it is too tough fer me!" replied the man next to him. This one wore a jean jacket, but also sported a red bandana.
"Uhbut it's 10 grand! I say it's worth th' risk!"
A third man who was well over six feet tall, very muscular, bald and missing an eye, and also wearing a red bandana, butted in, "Well obviously one must logically factor in the risks of such an endeavor. There would be considerably less risk if more people went up against this man, but then each individual would be rewarded a smaller sum, the total being equally divided..."
"Aww, shaddap you taffer. Yer speakin' weird, you have too much drinks?" The second man spat.
"Uhso what does this guy look-a-like?" The first man asked.
"The information broadcast described a medium-height man, older, with a beard, kind of think from muscle..." The third man started to say, but was interrupted...
"Yoo's guys means that gip sittin in th' corner?" A fourth man said, pointing at Zangan.
Zangan's eyebrows went up, and half the bar got up and slowly approached him...
"So where do we start looking?"
"Beats me, Dio. He may have made it to the train station before the bulletin went up. Otherwise, he's up on one of these plate sections someplace," Byran said, twirling his Hyper-Lance. "And if that's the case, we got a large area to search. Keep your eyes open and check out the alleys."
Dio gave a nod and started looking around. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his sleeveless jacket and kept walking.
Finally, after almost an hour, the duo came to a small tavern... which sounded suspiciously loud...
"Sounds like a party..." Dio commented.
"But I thought Shinra told everyone to stay home..." Byran said as he gripped his Hyper-Lance.
Sure enough, a large man wearing a torn leather jacket and a red headband flew out the window and several yards before hitting the street.
"Holy hell..." Byran said, cocking his head to the side.
Someone inside cast a Bolt spell -as indicated by a sudden flickering flash and the roar of thunder-, and two more men flew right through the door, or what was left of it. A man wearing a leather skull cap, black clothing and a cloak emerged from the bar, wiping his hands. He turned and faced the two men...
Zangan emerged from the bar, triumphant. Not that drunken punks were too much of a challenge. He walked out of the bar and turned to his left for a second, and he saw them. Two men. One large, with long curly brown hair, wearing a black sleeveless jacket, a green muscle shirt, and some dark colored cargo pants, and had a couple materia orbs on an arm guard much like Zangan's own.. The other man was much shorter, wore some leather padding and wielded a mean-looking weapon which resembled a Mast-axe, and this man had some materia on him, as well. The punks in the bar were not a problem. However, these two seemed like they were well adept at fighting and eager to find one.
"Okay you, come with us peacefully and no one... else gets hurt, ha ha," The larger man said.
"...Uhm, Dio... Do me a favor and don't goad him, okay?" The smaller man said to the larger. He turned to Zangan, "Look, in the name of justice, we're making a citizen's arrest!"
"Psst, Byran..." Dio whispered, "We're not citizens of Midgar..."
"Oh, shut up!" Byran whispered back. He took some steps towards Zangan, but did not raise his weapon. Zangan stood his own ground, and raised an eyebrow.
"Justice?" Zangan asked, "You mean Shinra-brand justice? The kind that brutally and without reason attacks smaller towns? The kind that allows them to hold people against their will, despite that they've done nothing wrong?" Zangan stopped his ranting and got a hold of himself.
"..." Byran slowly started to raise his weapon, unsure of himself. Dio was more confident, however...
"A Wutai sympathizer! Well, that's a good enough reason... HAHA!" Dio jumped at Zangan and went to drop-kick the old ninja, but Zangan quickly side-stepped, and Dio landed on his behind with a grunt and a slight bounce. Zangan made a swift kick to Dio's head. Dio didn't have enough time to block or dodge, so he just rolled with it and wound up face down a few feet away.
Byran, still unsure of himself, twirled his weapon and ran at the Ninja. But instead of striking with it, Byran simply spun-kicked Zangan in the gut, or tried to, anyway. Zangan arched and caught Byran's foot, which he used to toss Byran away. Dio had gotten up and started to charge at Zangan.
Zangan was too quick for Dio, and managed to toss him away with minimal contact... right on top of Byran.
"UGH! Get off of me ya big oaf!" Byran complained, then muttered something Zangan couldn't distinguish.
"Ain't MY fault I'm genetically gifted!" Dio retorted, getting up.
"Oh, shut up, you're not an X-Guy..." Byran lamented.
"SHUT UP!" Dio spat back, "That's my favorite comic book!"
"YOU'RE TOO OLD FOR COMIC BOOKS! GET OVER IT!" Byran yelled back. Zangan was about to slip away, but for some reason he felt like he should be keeping his guard up...
"I AM NOT!"
"AAAGH! SHAAAAAADDDAAAP!" and with that, Dio picked up Byran and tossed him...
...Right at Zangan. Byran spun his Hyper-Lance with ferocity and caught the Ninja by surprise right in the jaw. Zangan stumbled back, but Byran was swift, smacking the Older Ninja with the butt of his staff. Dio leapt over the two and got in behind Zangan, and pinned his arms. Zangan struggled, but stopped when he saw the large serrated blade of the Hyper-Lance at his neck.
"Ok... let's try this again..." Byran said, spitting some blood from his lip. "How about coming peacefully? Hmm?"
Zangan looked the slightly younger man in the eye, "Tell me, are you truly interested in justice?"
"Of course, that's why we sought you down, murderer," Dio interjected.
"Listen to me..." Zangan said, and now stopped struggling against Dio's superior strength. "Yes, I'm a sympathizer of Wutai. I came here to discover why the Shinra have not put their full effort into the war."
"I take it you found out?" Byran asked.
"Yes," Dio said with a nod. "The Shinra are conducting inhumane experiments on the last remaining Cetra: A woman and her child. They've needed more and more money devoted to this project, and along with the expense of making that... Airship and the fort at Junon, the actual money for wartime spending has been diminished."
"You broke into the Shinra building over 2 hours ago..." Byran asked skeptically, "Why'd you stick around?"
"The woman... the Cetra. I've been contemplating going back for her."
"Uhm... I'm lost. What's a 'Cetra'?" Dio asked.
"The Cetra were our ancestors. They had special powers that let them be one with the planet. But many rejected their powers and way of life. We are the end result. They all supposedly died out almost 2000 years ago... but apparently a few remained, and now the woman and her child in the Shinra building are the last two left."
"Sounds kinda far-fetched..." Dio remarked.
Byran backed off a step.
"Byran...?" Dio began to question his friend. Byran put up a hand.
"If he's telling the truth..." Byran started, emphasizing the word "if". He looked at Zangan for a second, then looked at Dio again. "...then I think this bears investigating"
"And what makes you think he is?" Dio asked.
"Because even I could have gotten out of that wimpy hold you've got this guy in. He could have escaped and kept kicking out butts at any moment, but he choose not to and tell us all this."
"Oh Bullshi.." but before Dio could finish, Zangan had escaped his grasp, and was standing a few feet away. "HEY! I didn't even feel him slipping out..." Dio said in shock. He looked at Byran, then turned to Zangan, who made no move to attack or defend himself whatsoever. Dio quickly put on a smile. "HA, ha, haaaa! Okay, we'll check this out. But anyone got any idea on how to do what this guy is proposing?"
"You may call me Zangan..." The Ninja corrected.
"Byran..." Byran said, shaking the older man's hand. "That's Dio..."
"I've gathered that," Zangan said plainly.
"We should get back to the room," Dio stated.
"Your first good idea all night..." Byran replied, rolling his eyes.
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