Cloud the Schizo
God, what a nasty place... It stank like poop!
I got off of the train to sector 7 Midgar about noonish. It was a very pleasant ride I have to say... aside the horrible shaking of the train, the noisy-ass security scans, and the snoring of that bum.
Okay... so what you're trying to say is, "It was noisy, the ride sucked, and you weren't able to get any sleep.".. and somehow, THAT counstitutes a 'pleasant ride'?
I didn't very much like the 'vibes' I was getting as I walked off of the terminal balcony onto the 'road' that led into the slums of 'Sector 7'.
I looked to my left to see, stretching into the distance, a series of railroad cars piled up on top of one-another. Then I looked to my right, to see a pillar, stretching into the base of the habitation-plate above it...
Man.. These people are stupid! I'd rather live outside in a box than here! What with all the dirty air, and dirty water... and.. hey! There's a rat!
I was about to go chasing after that rat when a few small children ran by. They then stopped right in front of me. Turning, and looking for quite a bit. I raised an eyebrow to them when their stares went past ten seconds or so. One of them opened his mouth, as if to speak.
...But instead of saying something like a normal person, he took off running with his friends towards that railroad graveyard, he pointed at me and started saying something to his friends as he was running away. But he was too far away for me to hear what he said.
After which, I rummaged through my person for a watch. Removing one, I saw it was just about three o'clock, I had overshot my destination time by a bit.
What "destination-time"? I don't even recall you getting on that trai- Waitaminit... where are we again?
Looking around down the roads again, I saw absolutely nobody...
Funny... Usually, train stations aren't so dead silent as this. Is there church today?
I stood around thinking... thinking... and thinking some more.
Maybe I'll go get a hot-dog...
I ended up mulling about for quite a bit in a tired daze. I guess I needed some more sleep.
I felt a tap on my shoulder after a few minutes.
"Buddy, this train's leavin' in 3 minutes if you wanna get on, I suggest you do so-right now 'fore I start the ticket-count." It was the conductor-guy.
"Ehh." I waved him off.
I again looked toward the slums, seeing nobody around, I decided I might want to head into the residential area now before I perhaps, died of old-age.
Yeah, I can see the headlines now, "20 Year Old Man Dies of OLD AGE!"
I took a few steps, and then walked over to a lamp-post. I looked at the light it was giving off... The same sickly shade of Mako-green that everything in this cursed town was.
Personally, I'm partial to fluorescents.
But I continued staring at it for some reason... (Probably boredom) And then that light began irking my brain. My head just began to hurt after I had looked at it for a bit. So I looked at it some more.
The actions of a true genius.
At first it was just an ache, but after a few seconds, the pain began to well-up inside my skull to an almost unbearable level. I closed my eyes tight, hoping to relieve myself of the sensation... only to still feel the same spinning-nauseous feeling.
Here's the problem: These lights aren't fluorescent. What you need are some healthy, natural fluoresc-
"Shut up." I hissed.
My head was reeling now...
No, really! Fluorescent light is clinically proven to reduce eyestrain by fifteen whole perce-
"shut-UP!" I snapped.
I felt a tapping on my shoulder again, I didnt know, or care who it was, but this person started firing-off a highly-annoying repetition of 'question'...
"Buddy, are you okay?.. Buddy are you okay? Hey! Buddy! Are you okay!?"
"I SAID SHUT-UP!" Without thinking and without looking, I angrily swung my arm behind me, and I ended up bashing the poor guy in the face with my elbow. He fell down on the ground and started cussing...
"SHIT you psycho! Agh! Now my nose is bleeding! You intemperate fuck!"
But he was completely drowned out now by a loudening ring, that now pushed its way deep into my ears... The pain in my head welled up to an even greater level, it dropped me to my knees, and I wrapped my hands around my head squeezing my fingers tightly around my skull trying to stop the pain.
I fell onto my back, and the world psychotically spun around me in off-hue technicolor... I tried to sit up, but I got dizzy and fell back again.
I waited a moment, then tried to get up again. Only to then feel the sensation once again, about ten times worse.
I take it you don't want a hot dog then?
I shut my eyes and felt the world spin around me. I felt tired... and maybe I passed out then. I wasn't too sure.
All's I know is I REALLY wanted to barf.
So do I man, so do I.
But all of a sudden, the sensation went away. I looked above me into the air I was facing to see the conductor-guy, standing with a tissue held over his bleeding nose. He was howling for some help.
I shook my head, and shoved myself up into a sitting position.
"Hey! Are you okay?" the conductor-guy again asked.
Do you think he'd know where to get something to eat around here?
I would have answered him.. but my head filled with a horrible high-pitched whine. And I retardedly began to butt my palm at the side of my head in hopes to get it out.
"Mister... Are you actually okay?" The conductor guy asked me, reaffirming his 'good citizen' bit.
"I'll be FINE. Now why don't you go harass people on the train about their tickets or something." My head twinged momentarily afterwords. I shook it briskly and then started to stand up.
I felt a hand rest on my shoulder pushing me back to the ground. I assumed it was the conductor guy again, and I was about to exercise my right to punch him in the face for not leaving me alone when I wanted him to.
I looked up angrily to set this person straight... only to see some chick.
"Cloud?" She asked.
"Uhh..." I began...
"Tifa...? Who's that?" I asked nobody silently...
Her name is Tifa. You know her well.
Yea-... yeah I knew that! Thats Tifa!
"Tifa!" I cheered drunkenly, not exactly looking up at her.
She offered her hand to help me up.
"Cloud? What are you doing here?" She asked me.
Letter? What letter?
"Letter.." I mumbled to myself
I don't know what he's talking about man.
"Yeah..." I filled a few seconds by saying 'yeah' really slowly.
"Letter?..." She looked down in thought.
"Oh!" She continued "That letter! Cloud... I didn't think you were coming at all! That was over a year ago when you sent it to me!"
I'll agree on this one.
"Im sorry Ti-" my head was interrupted by a thumping pain..
"OWW." I casually expressed my pain.
"Are you alright?" She asked me.
Would you SHUT-UP?
"Would you shut up?" I voiced accidentally..
Tifa recoiled with an unsure face.. She ran a 50 percent chance of being offended here, because she may have noticed I was talking to myself.
"oops... Not you Tifa... Me. 'ME' shut up. I.. uhh.. I'm talking to much!... aheh..." I assured her with a fake laugh.
"Right..." She hummed
Dude! Look what you made him do!
"So what are you doing here now?... I thought you weren't coming.. the letter said you'd be here 6 months ago!"
"uhh..." I began.
You were put on a mission
-Were- we now?
"I was on a mission..." I said
"Oh really?" She asked "To where?"
"uhh..." cmon voices.. help me out here.
Junon plains... monster threat.
Uhh.. What he said.
"Junon plains, monster threat." I said
She still looked at me strangely...
"So.." I started..
How are you doing?
"How are you doing Tifa?" I asked her.
"..Gimme hug-" I blurted unconciously.
Oh.. thanks. REAL funny guys.
"I'm fine." She said, then she gave me a hug.
She turned and faced away from me.
"Its been five years Cloud..." She began. "I thought I'd never see you again."
.... Five years?
So.. how's about something to eat, Tifa?
I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch.
"I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch." I said
Damn. Im starving here!
Tifa's eyes rolled back and forth between the ground and me. Finally she spoke. "It's okay, I knew I'd see you again anyways..."
Talk about you chicks who telegraph their insincerity, she's hiding somethin' dude.
"Is something wrong?" I asked her.
"No... it's nothing." She looked back up at me and fidgeted around for a few seconds, then saying, "I'm sure it was a long train-ride, are you hungry at all? I own a bar down in sector 7... I could get you something to eat there."
So we walked into sector 7 together. And then to her bar. It was called..-
"Tifa's Eat 'n Chew!"
....It was called "Tifa's 7th Heaven"
Like that TV show on the WB?
Yeah, only not.
Ehh, who asked you anyways?
We went in, and I saw a crowd of people in the bar all turned around, looking at Tifa as she walked in.
Don't they know that it's impolite to stare at a woman's...
"Sorry everyone... I didn't mean to be out so long, I was simply picking up a letter from the mail-delivery depot at train station, and I ran into my friend here..." She gestured towards me, "Everyone, I'd like you to say hello to Cloud Strife."
A bunch of people in the room raised hands and a quiet rumble of voices mumbled 'hello' to me. I removed the sword on my back and placed it against a wall next to the door.
Wonder if one of these sorry pukes is her boyfriend.
Now, how in the hell do you know that?
I'm psychic. And you're stupid.
I walked over to the bar and sat down on a barstool.
"I pity da foo 'dat sit in my seat!" A booming voice practiaclly ran me over almost immediately after I had sat down.
It's Mr T! He's my hero!
I looked behind me to see just about the largest most angry-looking man ever.
I don't see your name on this seat.
"I don't see your name on this seat." I said under some extreme form of compulsion.
WHAT!? Are you CRAZY!? Are you TRYING to get our asses kicked by this guy?! You can't beat Mr. T! And he's gonna pound you like a pinata and then break all the bones in your face if you try! And you don't wanna know what he'll do if he catches you skipping school!
He's not Mr. T for God's sake.... And we don't even go to school anymore!
"Why you little..." the large man raised a giant fist at me and shook it menacingly.
Would you please shut-up?
A little girl ran up behind the giant man and pulled on his pant leg.
"Daddy, no! No fighting!" She punched him in the side of his shin.
The anger drained from his face suddenly as he said, "....You're lucky that I need ta' set an example fo' my daughter... o' else I'd be whoopin' up on ya' right about now."
Good ol' Mr. T! Everyone loves Mr. T, because he does it all for the kids!
After several minutes of listening to the voices in my head argue about why or why not Mr. T should run for president, Tifa popped up from behind the bar and shoved a plate of heavenly-smelling food in front of me.
say "Thank you Tifa."
What? No Ketchup?
I thoughtfully chose my wording before speaking this time. "Oh wow! This looks great! Thanks!"
He 1-upped you!
I'm not his babysitter.
Yeah... then what are ya?
After finishing the meal, many of the patrons of the bar had already left. The giant man was still here, sitting in the corner of the bar, playing with his daughter.
"So... Cloud?" Tifa came from around the bar, "How was it?"
How does, "Tifa? Will you marry me?" sound?
Tempting. But might as well keep it simple.
"Good." I said
When he said 'simple', I don't think he meant, 'insultingly simple'
"Uhh... I mean, VERY good! I actually can't say that I've had better!" I corrected myself quickly.
No, actually I corrected you.
Tifa's eyes cheerily arched with a smile. "Thank you Cloud! It's good to know that I can do something right for the people around here."
A short silence... I fumbled for words to fill it.
Where's "Mr. Helpful" when you need him, eh?
"So..." I began, "Over these past...
....five years, what have you been doing?"
"Well... if you'd read any of the letters I sent you..." She began with a frowny scowl on her face.
"What letters?" I asked reflexively.
She huffed incredulously and stood up, producing a packet of letters from her pocket.
"I attempted to send these to you via the Shinra SOLDIER training, but they sent them back to me. They said you had been... disbanded?"
"I have?" I asked her.
Don't ask her, you moron. She wouldn't know!
"I have..." I said
"Well, have you or haven't you?" She asked me.
"I have.." I said, actually remembering something like that, incredibly vaguely. I began to speak a story based on memorized fact, but was mostly dress-up lie to convince her I wasn't senile.
After I had finished with my story, she looked at me that wierd way again.
"What's wrong?" I questioned, "You're looking at me that way again."
Her face flattened a little... "No.. nevermind it. Just a little odd to hear that you got fired from a government job. I thought that was impossible... And from what I hear, you were one of their best."
Yeah babe, don't worry about it. It was just the ol' "dishonorable discharge." (--I told 'em I was gay!-- *Wink wink*)
"Well Cloud... I'd like to ask you if you have a job now..." She began.
"No I don't." I told her.
Her eyes connected with mine as her face settled into a serious note....
"Cloud, the world is dying..."