Darkness Falls Chapter 31

By Gemini83

Cid and the others were walking past a set of ruins. They stopped to notice the fine craftsmanship of the structure. Even after spending Planet knew how long under the ocean, it still looked sturdy enough to last centuries more.

Elena looked on the structures with a sense of awe, “that’s the Cetra for you...damn impressive and twice as thorough.”

Barret nodded his agreement, “looks like it could hold off a pretty large attack.”

Reeve knitted his eyebrows, “why must we think of battle in a place like this?”

Barret shrugged, “can’t help it...our current situation doesn’t exactly fill me with thoughts of lilies in the field.”

Cid winced, “damn Barret, even I can appreciate this place.”

Barret sniffed, “I’m a barbarian and proud of it.”

“Lord I hope you fight better than you crack jokes,” pleaded Elena.

“What?” asked Reeve, “you don’t know?”

Cid stopped dead in his tracks. Raising his hands, he signaled them to stop as well.

“What’s wrong?” asked Barret.

“Shsh,” hushed Cid, “listen...”

They all strained their ears, trying to hear what Cid was talking about.

Hisses emerged from the forests around them. Rustling sounds broke the silence, so low that only their ears could have heard...and even then only when they were concentrating.

“Where are they?” asked Reeve, activating his armor.

“I don’t know,” answered Cid, “let’s back off to the ruins for cover. There’s no telling how many of them are out there.”

“Well,” whispered Elena, “looks like we’ll be using Barret’s idea of the ruins as a shelter against attack after all.”

The tall man from North Corel remained silent, mentally cursing their luck. There was no time to deal with these guys. Kaede needed them.

The shadows came screaming out of the night, like giant crows. Their eyes glowed red, as blood. Claws and fangs gleamed dully in the moonlight. The alien figures came out of the night to attack the four humans.

Explosions shook the ground around them, and the four retreated hastily to the ruins nearby.

Barret and Elena leaned against the doorway leading outside, while Reeve and Cid readied themselves.

Elena took out a strange device.

“What’s that?” asked Barret.

“A detonator,” replied Elena.

“Detonator?” returned Barret.

Elena nodded, then looked out the doorway, “come a little closer you fools. That’s it...GOTCHA!!!”

She hit the button on the device, and a large blast blinded them all for a moment. Screams grew louder, then were silent. Barret looked out the passageway to see several of the wraiths lying dead on the grass.

He grinned, “A girl after my own heart.”

Elena laughed, “save the compliments for later. It's the size of your firepower that counts, but we’re not out of the woods yet.”

“I could say somethin’ about your choice of jokes,” said Barret, “but I’ll control myself.”

“That’s a first,” joked Reeve. He shot wraiths that got too close with the lasers in his wrist armor.

Cid watched everything in silence, seething inwardly that his own choice of weapon was rather useless in a situation like this. Then he heard a scream in the distance, and his entire world came crashing down around him.

He could see her clearly in the bright light of the moon. Perhaps that’s what the wraiths wanted...to make him see what they knew he feared...

...They had Shera...

Vincent and Yuffie fought back to back, slaying as many of the wraiths as they could. But for each Drahk that fell, always more would rise to take their place.

Vincent had already emptied several of his guns, and let them clatter to the ground. He had more.

Yuffie was finding a hard time throwing her weapons in such close quarters, and settled for using them as sickles. She held a large shiruken in either hand. Her right arm was unprotected, and the blade cut into her skin a little, causing her hand to bleed. She paid it no heed. If they didn’t win here, she’d never have to worry about pain or blood ever again.

Vincent turned into a dark angel, and spread his wings. He didn’t fly, he couldn‘t leave Yuffie alone, but he did push into the Drahk ranks with all his pent up rage. The wraiths tried to attack him, but he came down upon them with all the fury of a force of nature. He smote the dark creatures with his powers, blasting them away, daring them to attack him. The Drahk fell back warily before his might.

Yuffie was fighting doggedly, protecting Vincent’s back with her own weapons. She blasted several away with her own magic. The dark things expired with a scream, leaving a faint burning smell in the air.

And then a wraith rammed into Yuffie. She shot it through with a powerful fire spell, but the thrashing body continued to bullet forward. Then all was darkness for her...

Back at the ruins, the others stopped firing, for fear of hitting Shera. They wouldn’t put it past the Drahk to use her as a shield. But the concern became moot after a while. A few Drahk carried her off into the woods.

“Damn it,” cursed Barret, “what do we do now?”

“They’re using this as a distraction,” reasoned Elena.

“We have to get her back!” shouted Cid.

“What do you propose?” asked Reeve.

Cid thought of a plan in the spur of the moment. It was simple really...he believed in simple plans. There was less that could go wrong.

“Gee,” quipped Elena, “you don’t ask for much do you?”

“You sure you can pull it off man?” asked Barret.

“I don’t have much choice,” replied Cid, “just do it for me guys, before I think better of it. I owe her too much.”

Elena nodded, “fine...Barret, Reeve, cover me.”

She threw her handguns away and reached behind her, drawing a pair of automatic pistols. Elena heaved a deep sigh, then ran out of the passageway.

Barret and Reeve opened up fire, distracting the wraiths. A few had the presence of mind to shoot back, but Elena ducked and kept up a constant blind barrage from her automatics. She clipped several as she ran, and the dark figures fell, never to rise again.

Elena jumped to the relative safety of an outcropping rock, and put her back to it. Blasts of return energy shot harmlessly overhead as she sunk down into the ground.

Reeve and Barret drew back, hiding behind the walls of the ruins again, and reloaded their weapons.

“She’s got guts man,” appraised Barret, “I can see why you like her.”

Reeve laughed, “is it that obvious?”

Barret shrugged, “if a grunt like me can tell, it had better be.”

Reeve smiled at the pun, knowing full well that Barret had a sharp mind behind that face, despite what people said. The tall man made no effort to enlighten others, instead preferring to surprise them should the need arise.

The President of Shinra Inc. looked back to Cid, “ready when you are.”

Cid nodded back, and looked to Elena. She was crouching behind her rock, ready to fire when Cid decided to make his move. She gave him the thumbs up.

“Do it,” ordered Cid.

The three humans opened fire on the Drahk wraiths, as Cid ran out of the ruin, howling and screaming his rage. He cut down any who got in his way with cold efficiency. But most were too busy firing back at Barret and the others to pay him much mind.

“Go get ‘em Cid!” shouted Elena after him.

The Captain smiled grimly, running to catch up to Shera. And when he finally caught up to the Drahk who were holding her, he would give them a very hard reckoning indeed.

Vincent saw her falling, and ran to protect her once more, shooting a wraith through the chest before it could finish its attack on the ninja. But he was caught unawares from behind, a blast of energy searing through his armor. Yuffie swiftly got to her feet, but Vincent fell to his knees beside her, coughing, breathing harshly. His dark robes turned back into a red cloak, and he curled into a ball. Yuffie cried out desperately, grabbing his fallen guns and firing into the attacking Drahk wraiths. They fell back...but all too soon, Yuffie ran out of bullets.

She dropped the guns, and turned to Vincent. It was no use, she couldn’t hold them off alone. She cradled Vincent in her lap, and stared into his eyes.

Vincent was gasping for breath, feeling so light in her arms.

“Give me...a minute Yuffie,” heaved Vincent.

“We don’t have one,” replied Yuffie, tears streaming freely from her eyes.

From the corner of his eyes, Vincent could see the dark creatures approaching slowly, like wolves closing in on a tiring lion.

Vincent sighed, “oh Yuffie, I wanted to say so many things...”

Yuffie caressed his pale face with her hands, “quiet Vince, you don’t need to say anything...”

“Ah, but I do Yuffie,” returned Vincent, tears streaming down his face, “I’ve failed you, and I never got to tell you...that I loved you...”

Yuffie stifled a gasp, forcing back her tears, and hugged the man in her arms closer to her. Vincent drew back, lightly touching her face. She closed the distance between their lips, and they shared one brief kiss before a blaze of light engulfed them...

Kaede and the others made their way through the city undisturbed, which unsettled Cloud. By all rights, they should have come across opposition by now.

That was when Cloud saw a flash of silver hair, and his eyes flared with rage.

The Four Horsemen had made their way to the Fortress of the Ancients, followed by a handful of the Emperor’s wraith guards.

Kaede fired at the enemies, his magic flaring. The others followed suit, blasting away at the dark figures nestled against the Cetra building.

They didn’t bother firing back, and soon disappeared into the Fortress.

Kaede and the others stopped the attack, and looked on silently.

“Well,” said Aeris, “what now?”

“We have no choice,” replied Kaede, “we go in after them, and stop whatever they’re trying to do.”

“What what might that be?” asked Cloud.

“I don’t know,” answered Kaede, “but we don’t have much of a choice, do we?”

Tifa nodded, “let’s go guys. We have to stop them, let’s do it for Nanaki.”

The four silently trekked into the Fortress, now as much a trap as a beacon of hope. They strode forth to meet destiny without a word, caring nothing for themselves. They walked into danger, knowing it could be the end, because they had to protect the life of this planet...because that’s what heroes did.

Even the one’s doomed to die...

Especially them...

Author’s Note: Whoa, this is a personal record for me. I wonder how many more chapters I have left before the end? We’re getting close to it now. Also, I’ve intentionally been down-playing Kaede and the others until now. There’s a reason. I wanted you to see the others a little before I shot straight into the final chapters, which are almost completely dominated by Kaede and his group. Anyway, hope you like it so far. Okay, I’m tired, my eyes feel like lead, my head is aching, I‘m beginning to think and talk like my characters...all signs of sleep deprivation. I think I’ll go lie down and write some more later. Keep reading and sending feedback, I live for it.


Chapter 32

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic