Darkness Falls Chapter 25

By Gemini83

Reno and Rude were at Shinra Headquarters, running routine checks and research. Currently, they were whittling away the time in a computer laboratory, running schematics on the planetary forces. They were also processing the information Red found and correlating it with anything concerning the Fortress of the Ancients.

Reno leaned back in his leather chair, rubbing his temples as he trudged through the multitude of computer displays.

“Tell me again,” groaned the Turk, “why did I take this job?”

“It’s better than no pay and getting drunk,” replied Rude, “...and you’re a bit of a masochist.”

Rude’s lips twitched in smile, “now that’s a scary idea.”

Reno glared at Rude, and grinned back, “my friend, the thought of you actually developing a functional sense of humor is even more frightening.”

The two were interrupted as a loud shrilling noise issued from the sensors in the room.

Reno covered his ears, “WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?”

One of the technicians managed to shut down the alarm, he went pale as he read the computer readout.

Rude caught the look, “tech, report status.”

“S-sir,” stammered the man, “our sensors have picked up a proximity warning.”

“And?” demanded Rude.

“It’s huge, and extraterrestrial,” replied the worker breathlessly.

“What?” exclaimed Reno, “let me see!”

The tech pulled up a visual of the problem...it WAS huge...

“Oh hell,” whispered Reno.

Hundreds upon hundreds of dark ships, looking for all the world like giant crows, were heading toward the planet. What’s more, there was a strange aura about them...almost as if there were a...storm brewing around them. A particularly menacing looking ship spearheaded the incursion force, dark, crystalline, and terrible...a harbinger of death.

“It’s them,” voiced Rude.

“Damn,” said Reno, “we have to get this message to Reeve ASAP!”

“I’m calling him now,” answered Rude, tapping his computer.

‘Sometimes,’ thought Reno, ‘it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed.’

Reeve and Elena were enjoying the sunrise on the shores near Midgar. They had ridden their chocobos out here, desperate to get away from the madness, if only for a little while.

Elena took several deep breaths, “I just needed to get out of there, you know?”

Reeve nodded, “we’ve been working nonstop for days.”

Elena sighed, “I swear, I’m going to need some downtime when this is over.”

“I hope you don’t expect to be paid,” he joked.

The Turk returned a rather sordid stare, “oh my, the boss actually made a joke.”

He laughed in response, encircling Elena’s waist with his arms.

“Thank you Elena,” he said.

She wrinkled her eyebrows, “for what?”

“For this,” he answered, just before kissing her.

He drew back, unsure if she wanted this.

Elena gave him an answer rather forcefully, “about damn time. Care to try again?”

Reeve smiled again, only too happy to comply, letting his arms rest at the small of her back.

She drew him in closer, caressing his arms with her hands, becoming lost in the excitement of it all.

A persistent ringing interrupted their passion. Reeve groaned as he pulled away from the kiss, staring into Elena’s eyes.

The troublesome ringing continued, drawing a dejected look from Reeve. Elena hid a smile as he answered the phone.

“This had better be good,” he warned, with a murderous gleam in his eyes.

“Sir, we have a problem,” came the reply.

“Rude,” demanded Reeve, “what did you disturb me for?”

“Sorry sir,” answered Rude, “it couldn’t be helped.”

“What is it?” asked the President.

“We picked up proximity warnings on our space sensors,” replied the Turk.

Reeve became pale, “that means...”

“The Drahk have finally arrived,” finished Rude, “readings are going off the charts.”

“What’s their ETA?”

“A few hours at the most.”

“I’ll be there soon,” Reeve nodded, “fine, alert the others, we need to get ready.”

“It is already being done,” came the answer.

The President of Shinra Inc. turned off his phone, and looked sadly into Elena’s eyes once more, and sighed.

“It’s them,” she said, “isn’t it?”

Reeve nodded.

Elena let out a deep breath, “planet help us.”

All of Avalanche was gathered in the tactical room within the Highwind. The Turks were there as well, trying to show a display of the attack force in space. However, something about the dark forces in space were interfering with the resolution of the video feeds, causing them to flicker. It was as if the images of the Drahk were driving even the computers mad.

Kaede sighed, “curse it, I was right.”

The others looked at him, asking him the obvious question.

The Planeswalker shook his head, “personal fleet of the emperor himself. We can be assured that whatever they want with this Planet, we won’t want to live to see defeat. If we lose, the lucky ones will die quickly. That’s a price I’m not going to pay”

“Where’s the emperor’s ship?” asked Cloud, his tactical training kicking in.

Kaede nodded, glad to see his friends were undaunted, “something tells me that its within the morass of ships they have pointed at this planet. What concerns me more is this...”

He tapped a button, bringing up a holographic display of the incursion force. The board was chock-marked with any number of red dots, entire scores even, signifying the attack ships. However, it wasn’t the red that disturbed him, it was the strange bluish cloud that seemed to be concentrated near the center.

“What is it?” asked Aeris, feeling chilled to the very bone.

“I’ve never seen it before,” admitted Kaede, “must be something new they have prepared for us.”

“Do you think this is why the Fortress of the Ancients was created?” suggested Red.

Kaede shrugged, “perhaps. Until we can figure out how to use it though, it may as well be an over-glorified art gallery. I’ve already taken the brothers Bahumet and the Knights off the watch.”

“Do you think that’s wise?” asked Reeve.

“We don’t really have a choice,” replied Cloud, “Godo, Seto, and the others will need all the help they can get.”

Reeve nodded, “so what do we do then?”

That was the crux of it. Entire armies lay waiting for the enemy. Canons were primed and ready for use. The only question that remained was what exactly the leaders were going to do.

Kaede never got the chance to explain his plan, for just then, a claxon began to blare loudly, jarring everyone from their thoughts.

Cid screamed into the comm-link in the room, “turn off that damn racket! I can‘t hear myself think!”

As soon as they had started, the alarms subsided.

“What is that?” demanded Reeve.

Reno raised his hands, “hold on a second...”

He tapped his headset listening intently to the information coming in from them other end, “are you sure? Are the cannons ready? Okay, wait a second.”

Reno turned to the President of New Shinra Inc., “The Drahk are within attack range, should I order the cannons to commence firing?”

Reeve turned to Kaede.

The Planeswalker nodded in reply, “you had better. If we don’t put a dent in the undoubtedly large landing attack force, our forces will we ripped to shreds.”

“Will it do anything?”

“It will do something,” answered Kaede, “and it’s a hell of a lot better than nothing. Use as much power as you have to. I think this qualifies as emergency enough to use whatever methods are at our disposal, mako included.”

Reeve nodded, sighing as he gave the order that would start battle...the battle which would make or break the destiny of his planet

“Do it.”

Reno nodded as he relayed his orders to the stations around the world.

Aeris felt the pains coming again, a throbbing migraine, threatening to tear apart her mind. Kaede looked at her with concern in his eyes, but she smiled bravely for him. He nodded, completely understanding, they were all under a lot of stress.

But he couldn’t help feeling there was something more to Aeris’ “light-headedness” than she was letting on.

And deep within the depths of the planet, ancient powers stirred in response, as the world spiraled through madness...

Sephiroth looked with disdain at the monitors before him.

“I don’t like this,” he said aloud, “I would prefer some decent resistance.”

Methos looked pointedly at the Jenovan, “remember where your loyalties lie.”

“Oh I do,” replied Sephiroth, “but I’d enjoy a real challenge for a change.”

Warning alarms racked the room with sound, signaling danger.

“What’s happening?” demanded Morbius.

“It’s the planet,” answered one of the technicians, “they’re unleashing some sort of...energy attack against us.”

“Will it do any damage?” asked Veletta.

“To this ship?” scoffed Methos, “doubtful. Send the landing parties.”

The technician did as ordered, but soon came again with bad news, “sir, the energy blasts are shredding through some of the ships. We’re having trouble breaking through.”

His temper flared, Methos had had enough of the planet’s nuisance, “THEN ATTACK THEM IN FORCE!!! SEND EVERY DAMNED DROP SHIP WE HAVE, BUT GET THE JOB DONE!!!”

The tech nodded nervously as he signaled for an upscale in the attack.

“Hmm,” grinned Sephiroth, “you do get results, don’t you?”

Methos merely glared at the Jenovan, the hatred clear in his eyes.

But Horseman of Chaos ignored the comment, “move us into attack range, let’s punch out their forces now.”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” asked Morbius, “I thought we were-”

“Now,” insisted Methos, “no more playing around. If they want a fight, they shall have it. I was feeling merciful, I would have given them all quick deaths. But now I’m annoyed. Now they will all perish like Kaede...slowly, tortured, and begging for death.”

Sephiroth grinned evilly, liking Methos even more every passing moment, despite himself. Despite the fact that, like everyone else, he was going to fall to his knees before the mighty Sephiroth.

Morbius nodded as he ordered the ship prepared for battle stations, preparing to win glory for his emperor...

Veletta smiled grimly as she thought of her plans for the Cetra...

Methos reveled in the ways he would kill Kaede...

Sephiroth brooded on his plans to usurp these fools, take the power that was rightfully his...

And so the game went on, everyone jockeying for their position in the new order to come...

Kaede was in the Kitana, which was knifing through the air like a bat out of hell. With him was Aeris, enjoying the final moments of peace they might ever know.

“Don’t worry Kaede,” comforted Aeris, “we’ll get through this...together.”

He smiled back, “of course we will. Besides, I have this to bring me luck...”

He brought out his sword. Attached to the hilt was Aeris’ old string necklace.

She grinned in return, “I’m honored that such a great warrior would deem it lucky.”

“Of course,” answered Kaede, “now I think we should get to the bridge. Kitana can pretty much steer herself, but...”

“Right,” laughed Aeris, “Cloud isn’t the happiest person when flying.”

Cid, on the other hand, was having the time of his life flying the new and improved Highwind. He cut through the air faster than thought, and he loved the sensation.

“Dammit Cid,” shouted Barret, “you think you could slow down a little?”

“Aw come on Barret,” returned the captain, “where’s your sense of adventure?”

“I left it behind during take-off,” groaned Barret, “along with my stomach and the rest of my insides.”

“Really hon, you should be more considerate,” chided Shera, “but I suppose boys will be boys.”

Cid glanced sidelong at his wife, “do I look like a boy to you?”

Yuffie, braced against her chair, muttered a reply, “not by a long shot.”

“I heard that,” warned Cid.

Yuffie stayed quiet, sinking deep into her chair to keep from feeling too nauseous.

“Don’t worry,” calmed Vincent, “it’ll be over soon.”

The young ninja couldn’t decide whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

The various leaders of the Planetary forces gathered in the spacecraft and drop ships. Kaede and the others flew to every war zone, bringing what aid they could to the battling forces. The small task force ran strafing runs against the falling enemy. Each member had a comm-link, that they might communicate and coordinate the attacks. They shot the drop ships out of the sky, and when the enemy landed, shot them out from the ground as well. But always there were more to take their places, and already, the great battle had begun, pouring out onto the lands like a plague, as human and Cian alike fought against the terror of the Drahk.

Lord Godo of Wutai was marshalling his forces just south of Costa del Sol, not far from the Cosmo Canyons. He didn’t know why he had been stationed hear. By all rights, the Cian should have been holding their ground here. However, the young Cetra, Aeris, had said otherwise, as if she knew something. Godo pushed the thoughts aside.

The cannons were firing constantly now, but still, black shapes fell from the sky. For every Drahk drop ship destroyed, always another would take its place.

All too soon, dark masses could be seen on the horizon, coming towards his position. All too soon, battle was joined. Here was the first battle that would determine the planet’s fate.

The Drahk fell upon the Wutai and Shinra armies like great shadows. Dark beings, clothed in darkness, howled their rage into the blazing skies as they brought destruction upon the battle field. Claw met blade as the armies clashed.

Shinra Lieutenant Traven and his battalion had broken off from the main attack force, choosing to support Wutai raiders with their tech.

The battalion of men came up from behind a large attack force, and the Shinra soldiers fired their pulsar cannons into the dark masses. The cries of beasts from countless planets tore through the air, and they turned to face their opponents. The captain watched with satisfaction as the Wutainian swordsmen ran in, swords clashing, fearless in their single-minded pursuit of defeating the enemy. They were one people now. There was no Wutai, no Shinra, just the planetary forces, making one final stand against impending evil.

The Lieutenant caught a glare from the side of his eyes, and turned to look. His blood ran cold, for more Drahk forces were coming at them...reinforcements to add to the existing attack force.

“We have to get out of here,” said a Shinra soldier.

Traven shook his head, “we have to hold our ground. If they get past us without warning, the army will be on the defensive.

The Shinra soldiers turned to the oncoming forces.

The leader of the Wutainian guard, Akari, saw the Lieutenant’s movements, and nodded. It was too bad the Wutai-Shinra war had ever occurred, for such brave warriors would indeed have been honorable allies.

He signaled his swordsmen to protect the Lieutenant’s flank, so that he may attack the reinforcements without fail. The leader of the guard knew that it was a death sentence, but he had never signed on to live forever anyway.

“Men, protect the Shinra gunmen,” he said, nodding to the Lieutenant.

Traven nodded back, “let them have it.”

The Shinra guns fired in the reinforcements, decimating many instantly. But always the tide would swell and come forth, an impregnable wall. If Traven didn’t do something, they were in big trouble.

Akari fought on and on, with a tireless sword arm. Monsters fell screaming before his blade. He was drenched with blood, but little of it was his. Unfortunately, his men were not so lucky. Slowly but surely, his troops were falling. It was only a matter of time. There was no turning back now, they were sandwiched in between the two incoming forces.

Traven continued to fire round upon round into the heaving masses, but they still came. He activated a button on his belt, keeping it hot in case of a last resort. It was his trump card, he had designed it himself. Traven hoped he didn’t have to use it, not yet anyway...but he probably would very soon.

Akari of the Wutainian guard watched in as his men fell. How many women had he made widows today? How many children had he made orphans? There was no counting, and there was no choice. These sacrifices were made to protect the planet, although that was little consolation to him, or the future grieving families.

Traven watched on in horror as the reinforcement finally closed. It was now down to energized knifes. The Shinra soldiers strode into the battlefield, wielding their firebrands and firing their guns. But it was no use. They died...heroes, everyone of them. A huge Drahk demon charged at the Lieutenant, staggering the Shinra man with a horn blow to the side. He fell, shielding his face with his hands. He hadn’t even gotten to use his special weapon yet...and now he never would...there would be no warning for the others.

The leader of the Wutai task force saw the Lieutenant fall under a large demon. He and the Lieutenant were the last...there was no one else. However, the Captain seemed to have a trump card, some strange device concealed within his armor. It was clearly visible to those who knew where to look. The Wutainian made up his mind, he didn’t know what it was, but it was something. There was no choice. He could do no more, but the Lieutenant could.

Akari charged his energies, and ran at the demon, running his sword deep into the monster. The beast screamed as dark blood coursed from its chest, but the Wutainian wasn’t through yet. He drew an magic stone from his pouch, and activated it, hoping this would buy enough time for the Lieutenant’s last move.

The stone released a blast, vaporizing both him and the demon. Akari’s last thought was whether he had told his wife this morning that he loved her...

The Lieutenant opened his eyes to see the Wutainian tackle the demon. Was he crazy? Then a flash of light took both him and the demon. Traven cursed...what a loss. The swordsman had been brave. The Shinra Lieutenant looked around...he was the only one left. The hordes closed around him in a circle, demons and wraiths and other figures best left unseen. There were no options left. It was time to use his trump, the Wutainian had died to give him this chance.

Traven brought out his hand, with a detonator button on his glove. This was it, no turning back now.

He grinned at the monsters, just to throw them off track, “see you in hell boys...”

Traven pressed the button, releasing the critical energies within his armor. He barely had time to even think, but he forced himself to picture his daughter. He hoped Claire, his wife, would forgive him for what had to be done.

“I love you hon,” were his last words.

The suit went nova, creating a massive explosion just under a hundred meters wide, taking much of the reinforcements with it. When the smoke cleared, a gaping hole had been made in the enemy forces, nothing was left but empty space.

Lord Godo’s troops took heart from this attack, and began to attack the Drahk with new fervor.

Godo had seen the raiding party’s attack. He had sent them to scout ahead for trouble. He had even known the outcome was stark, but they did it anyway, because he was their leader. He was surprised by the minor miracle that decimated the Drahk reinforcements. It both saddened him and heartened him that the foray had been successful. Those dead men were brave soldiers...heroes everyone. But Godo didn’t want heroes, he wanted future grandfathers who would bounce kids on their laps. The enemy was stricken, but at what cost?

Despite the hole in the Drahk armies, there were still so many. Too many to hold off alone. How much longer would the line hold? Unless another miracle happened, they were doomed.

But miracles were coming in wholesale today. The fates were generous. Glowing figures shone on the horizon, mere pinpricks of light. Soon however, they coalesced into the shape of three dragons and several strike ships. The lead ship was strikingly white to the other black ones.

The Brothers Bahumet roared as they blazed their fires into the Drahk armies, exacting their toll of blood and pain in Drahk casualties.

A few of the ships grazed low against the ground, pouring forth reinforcements of Wutai and Shinra soldiers alike.

Twelve figures dropped from the white strike ship...and the Knights of the Round came onto the battlefield, adding their might to the planetary forces.

Godo stared amazed, never had he known summoned creatures to fight like this, was it possible to use them in such a way?

A familiar voice came to him from his ear comm-link.

“This is the Highwind,” it shouted, “Dad, are you okay?”

“Yuffie?” asked Godo incredulously, “is that you?”

“Yeah!” shouted Yuffie, “it’s the cavalry to the rescue!”

Godo smiled, the day was looking up, if only a little bit. His daughter had come to fight by his side. His daughter...whom he had not even really known for such a long time. He had always been proud of her, although he never admitted it. Now she was a great warrior, come to aid him in this time of need. This time, things would be different. This time, he would be a real father to her, after they won this battle.

And Gaurduan Forces fell from the sky, adding their might to the battle, that had to be a good omen.

Godo raised his twin swords as he prepared to attack. The line had to be drawn here. He would see no more families made orphans and widows. It ended now...

...He hoped...

Meanwhile, out in space, above the battlegrounds, a dark ship prepared for its dark task.

“Power levels nearing maximum...”

“Prepare to initiate beam weapon...”

Methos, Dark Lord of Chaos, saw over all with a glint in his eyes. Within his grasp lay the power to destroy worlds, and he reveled in it.

“Awaiting your orders sir,” asked a subordinate.

He looked once more, disdainfully, at the planet before voicing his order, “fire...”

Author’s Note: Well Jani (sorry for the misprint), you wanted action, here it is! Nothing much else to say. I’m trying to keep this interesting. Read on, the WEAPONS debut next chapter.


Chapter 26

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic