Payback's a Bitch 2: Redemption Chapter 1
By Joe L.
"Damn....." the prisoner spoke to himself. Running his hand through his long, silver hair, he sighed. Will this ride ever end? Sephiroth figured they had been on the Thor for weeks at least, if not a month or more. But out in space, time had no effect. After all, time is an arbitrary thing, Sephiroth thought. "Cloud?"
"What is it Sephiroth?" the warrior asked, with a hint of exasperation is voice. For all of the ride, Cloud had been stuck in a cell right next to Sephiroth.
"Oh, I just wanted to know how you envision your home planet....." Sephiroth responded, trailing off at the end.
"My home planet, eh? I'm not sure what to think of it really....I suppose I hope it would be much like Earth...but then again, who knows. I suppose we'll find out sometime, that is if we ever get off this goddamn ship," Cloud answered, annoyed by the fact that they were still on the gigantic Thor. Sephiroth had noticed that Cloud had becoming more bitter through this trek through the infinity. Not that he had been happy, Sephiroth mused. He is much like myself, feeling in our childhood that we were different, suffering many traumas in our lives. No, Cloud has never been a normal person. But Sephiroth noticed Cloud had become very irritable and bitter, and sometimes heard Cloud talking to himself. Maybe it was just cabin fever but Sephiroth knew it was more complex. It had to be all the experiences Cloud had been dealt, and now finding out his true origins and being taken to a mysterious planet he knew nothing about. Also, it was about the ones he loved that he had left behind. While Sephiroth cared for no one and was almost glad to be away from the remainder of the group known as AVALANCHE, he knew Cloud thought differently. While he cared for all of them greatly, even Yuffie, he knew it was Tifa that he harbored feelings for. But unfortunately, the two had never told each other their true feelings and now it was possible that they would never see each other again.
All of this added with the fact that Cloud's human skin had been removed and he was now a Ghiite like the evil Gyver all accumulated to making Cloud very angry at everything.
"I see....Do you believe we will ever return to Earth?" Sephiroth had never asked this question, and Cloud was a little unsure on how to answer. He hadn't really thought about it all that much.
"I...don't know....I never gave it much thought. God, I hope so...There was still so much that I wanted to do...But now, with all of this shit, I don't know. Would it be even feasible for us to get back to Earth? I imagine even as we speak we are being carefully monitored. I think the security will be even greater on this planet we are going to. I'd have to say that it's unlikely." Cloud sighed to himself, and shook his head, wondering what he had done to deserve this.
"You don't think that there is anyway?"
"I...I don't know right know...I don't know anything."
"Hmmph....I would have figured that you would already have some plan to get us out of here."
"Us? Listen buddy, don't think we are on good terms right now. Just because you fought along side with us doesn't mean I'll ever forgive you."
"Why Cloud, I am hurt," Sephiroth mocked sarcastically, grabbing his chest as if he had just experienced a heart break.
"Shutup damn it! You've made my life a living hell! I used to look up to you when I was a kid, but then I realized you were a evil monster! All the people you've killed.....Red...Cid......and Aeris......Goddamn you, Sephiroth....Go to hell. I swear, Sephiroth..."
"You swear what? You think you can hurt me? Listen to me, you fool, I am the last man that YOU should threaten. I never said we were buddies, and I understand your hatred of me. But do not threaten me. I would not hesitate to kill you in your sleep once we are off this godforsaken ship." Cloud had no biting comment or insult to hurl at Sephiroth. He merely took the words in and sullenly stared at the wall.
With that harsh remark, Sephiroth resumed his thinking as to when they would finally get off this ship. If it took them barely any time to arrive here, why is it taking them so long to get back? Could we be experiencing some kind of malfunction with the navigational systems? Have we gotten lost? Somehow, Sephiroth dismissed these ideas as pure fantasy. It was just taking them a little longer than usual to arrive at Bakaar, that was all. However, Sephiroth wondered, what will happen to us once we land on Bakaar? What do these Ghiites have in store for us? Sephiroth then thought, if they were planning to execute him. After all, he was not a Ghiite and was responsible for the deaths of thirty guards along with Gyver. What will become of me?
"How could you be so incompetent?" Gyver said angrily, noting on the fact that the crew had not brought enough cartothium. Cartothium, as it where, was a rare element found only on Bakaar. This particular element contained great amounts of energy, enough to power a ship faster than the speed of light. However, the crew of the Thor how only gathered enough to make the leap to hyperspace once. Gyver had been brooding over this fact ever since he had discovered it, which was about five minutes after he got over the ship.
"I...I dont know sir. We were in such a rush, and to avoid King-" Captain Falo'Zor quietly rsponded, afraid of Gyver's rage.
"Yes, yes, I know the dangers involved with this mission. But to forget the proper amount of cartothium is just idiotic!" Gyver said, as he pounded his fists against his chair he was sitting on. He and the Captain were in the hull of the ship, surrounded by many computers and machines and fellow Ghiites operating the Thor. Through the window in front, Gyver could see out into the vastness that was space. He had to admit, it was quite an awe inspiring thing to see.
"I know sir, but-" the Captain began, but was cut off by Gyver's hand motion.
"Damn......You may resume to your duties Captain. You are dismissed. But remember, in the future, pack the right amount of fuel, alright?"
"Yes sir," Falo'Zor said as he saluted the Ghiite warrior. Gyver then was left to himself as he sat on his chair, looking upon all of the activites in the ship. So much had happened to the Ghiite in the past. The destruction of the Cetra missiles, his defeating AVALANCHE, the capturing of Cloud and Sephiroth not to mention Yegolar's untimely death. He wondered if King Zarin would approve of his prisoners recieving training from Grand Master Gar'saan. After all, very few people were trained by Gar'saan, Gyver being one of them. While Cloud and Sephiroth possessed great power, with unyielding possibilties, he wondered if they could be able to get the job done. He knew Sephiroth would kill without a second thought, which was why he had revived him. But he wondered if Cloud was that cold blooded enough to kill innocent people.
After all, the life of a Ghiite warrior was very gory indeed. With the Rebellion trying to exert it's force and overthrow King Zarin, they had managed to capture many provinces on Bakaar. But the Imperial Army of Bakaar under direction had of lately been ordered to destroy these provinces, including women and children. Would Cloud be able to do it? Only time will tell, Gyver thought. Also on his mind was if he could even get Cloud to join his fellow Ghiites. Sure, they could torture him into submission, but he believed Cloud was very strong and would never submit. Would Cloud never join Gyver, and would he be forced to kill Cloud.
Though it sounded very tempting, Gyver needed Sephiroth and Cloud's combined power to take over Earth. Perhaps a brainwash would do them some good, Gyver thought to himself. However if it fails, then they will become vegetables and that was too risky. No, Gyver would have to wait it out and see what would become of Sephiroth and Cloud. As he was pondering this, a Ghiite soldier dressed in white battle armor, covering his torso and thighs and wearing a black jumpsuit under it, approached Gyver and saluted.
"Sir, we are within 100,000 miles of Bakaar. We should be arriving in a matter of hours."
"Also, King Zarin would like to speak to you. Please follow me sir," the soldier said as he lead Gyver to the conferencing room. The room was only filled with a computer, a blank screen and a chair.
"Please sit down sir," the Ghiite said as he flipped a few stitches and typed in a few commands. The screen was then filled with the picture of a Ghiite, except he had a lightly blue tainted skin.
"Gyver....how did your mission fare?" He's not angry, that's a good sign, Gyver thought.
"I am truly sorry King Zarin....I did not destroy the humans. However, I have managed to recover one of our own we sent to Earth to help us retake it. His name is Sh'kaar Nali. And I also captured a human with incredible strength, stronget than any normal human being. His name is Sephiroth."
"I see," King Zarin replied in his deep, gulutural voice, "but you did not conquer the Earth, am I right?"
"Yes your majesty, but you see-"
"As I said so many years ago to you and your father like wise, retaking Earth is a lost cause. I told you it was foolish, but you remained headstrong."
"You are correct your majesty."
"Now, what is so intriguing about these prisoners?"
"There passed almost equals my own your Majesty, and I-"
"Your own power? That little?" King Zarin remarked, mocking Gyver's power. As it were, Gyver on his home planet was considered rather weak for a Ghiite trained by Gar'Saan.
"Yes, your Majesty. I hope that you would allow them to be trained by Grand Master Gar'Saan," Gyver said, sweating nervously.
"I see.....You believe they have fighting potential."
"I know so King Zarin," Gyver replied recalling his fight with them," they are strong. I believe the training would greatly improve their fighting techniques. However, they aren't adept in the martial arts but......Believe me, oh mighty King, these warriors have great power."
"We shall see....I would like to inspect them, see if they are worthy. Then, I will make my decision. Goodbye, Gyver," Zarin said as he ended communication with the Ghiite Gyver. Gyver could only hope that King Zarin would the two warriors acceptable.
Once Tifa awoke from her unconsciousness, she saw something flying high into the sky and then dissappearing without a trace. Her head and her back ached sorely, but she would survive. She then wondered where everybody was. She saw all of her comrades, lying helpless on the ground, defeated from the battle. But she noticed that Cloud, nor Sephiroth or the one called Gyver was among them. She stumbled weakly across the plains in search of Cloud, but then a realization struck her. The ship that carried the Ghiites was also missing. Was that what I saw in the sky? Did they leave, and more importantly, was Gyver defeated? Considering the fact that she was still alive, she had to say yes. But where was Cloud? As the minutes passed, she had become increasingly panicked.
Just then Vincent walked up beside her and put his hand on her shoudler. He spoke solemnly,
"They are gone.....They left on that spaceship."
"What?" Tifa screamed, overcome by emotion. They took Cloud?
"I am afraid so. It seems that Gyver has other plans for Sephiroth and Cloud. But I wouldn't doubt that he won't come back and try yet again to conquer Earth." Vincent stated, hinting no emotion by telling Tifa that Cloud was gone. On the inside however, Vincent felt something creep inside of him. Sadness, he thought to himself.
"No....no...it can't be true," Tifa whispered, trying to fight back the tears that welled in her eyes.
"If I had any emotions I could feel your pain. I'm sorry Tifa, but they are gone." Vincent softly spoke, in a vain attempt to bring comfort to the heart broken Tifa. She could stand it no longer. She burst into to tears, and sobbed loudly, holding onto Vincent for support.
"No.....it's not fair.....He has left me again...." Tifa mumbled through her sobs. Vincent could do nothing except try and comfort her in his strong grip.
"I know all too well the pain you feel Tifa.....All of us loved Cloud as a dear friend."
"But.....I....I.." Tifa began but Vincent interrupted, knowing what Tifa would say next.
"Yes, I know.....But together, Tifa, all of us, we can get through this. The loss of a friend is hurtful."
"Do...do you think he will ever come back?"
"There is no doubt in my mind that you love him, right?"
"If Cloud truly loves you as much as you love him, then he will return. He will do everything in his power to return home. This I believe. Loves conquers all......." Vincent held Tifa in his arms, looking into the darkening sky. If he truly loves her, he will be back. And Vincent dearly hoped this to be true.
"What the hell is this?" Cloud said, as he noticed the ship was rumbling. He stood up from the metal floor he rested on in his cell looked around. Are we in some kind of turbulence?
"Perhaps we are entering the planet Bakaar?" Sephiroth responded to Cloud's question, which he agreed with. Considering the was no air in space or wind, then there would not be any turbulence. In a matter of seconds however, the rumbling of the ship ceased and it was over.
"Come with us," a soldier ordered gruffly as he opened up the cell gates and set Cloud free. It appeared that they had successfully completed their trip. Cloud noted as well that Sephiroth had been released and they both followed the guards to the exit of the ship passing by many other troops. This is it, Cloud thought. It is time to see my home planet. When he stepped outside, he was amazed at what he saw. The sky had a greenish hue to it, with two suns in's it sky. They had landed in what appeared to be a vast desert, with absolutely no signs of life. Even though Cloud was adorned in a prisoner's garb, which consisted of white pants and a white long sleeve shirt, he was quite hot. He noticed that Sephiroth was wearing the same thing as he.
"So here we are....." Cloud whispered to himself, as he was stopped outside by one of the guards. Gyver had gathered all the crew to speak to them.
"Dacar is only a mile away. We should make it there in no time, but remember to keep your eyes on the prisoners. We wouldn't want them getting away, would we?" Gyver smirked as he stared at Cloud and Sephiroth. He then led the troops forward, in a steady march to the capital city Dacar.
"Quite an interesting home planet, Cloud," Sephiroth noted as he walked alongside Cloud. Indeed, it was vastly different from Earth.
"You're telling me.....What do you think will happen to us once we get to Dacar?" Cloud asked Sephiroth, who thoughtfully rubbed his chin and responded,
"Well, like I said, we are to become warriors like these Ghiites. But other than that, I have no idea. Hmmm.... Strange. I just realized I am the only human on this planet. I wonder what will happen....." The rest of their march was uneventful, as it was continuous walking towards Dacar. Cloud was surprised to see that as he looked into the sky, there were no signs of clouds. I wonder what causes that? And also, why is this large city in a desert. In a matter of moments, his question would be answered. As they had finished walking over a sand hill, Cloud was greeted with a magnificent sight. The city of Dacar was truly a wonderful sight. It's surrounding vicinity was plush, green grass and tall palm trees. The city itself was a dizzying array of homes and huts and winding streets. It's size seemed to rival that of Midgar, and he noticed in the middle stood a gigantic castle, that was made of some type of black stone. It's highest towers seemed to reach endlessly to the heavens. It was odd to Cloud that this place could be so full of life while the other parts were all deserts. He wondered if there were any other towns on Bakaar, and if so, if they were built around places like this, a desert oasis.
"Quite an impressive town, don't you think?" Sephiroth spoke, in awe of the sight. For an alien city, it certainly was beautiful.
"I know.....It reminds me of Midgar though," Cloud said. Midgar brought up so many bad memories, he ominously looked down upon the city's grandeur. The streets swarming with people, the lights brightenting the night sky. So much like Midgar, Cloud thought, could this be a sign? While this thought was very intriguing, Cloud decided not to pursue it and only continued walking to the magnificent city. In a matter of no more than ten minutes the group of prisoners and Ghiites had arrived at the city's front gates, guarded by many soldiers in typical Ghiite armor, and carrying large guns.
"Gyver.....You have returned. King Zarin is expecting you," one of the guards said as he saluted Gyver and opened up the large gates from his tower he watched from. With the click of a button, the group had entered Dacar.
To Sephiroth, Darac was a very odd city. For all of the Ghiites technological advancements, the city was much like a crowded, medieval society or some ancient civilization, where everyone gathered in opened air markets. And yet, he felt it was better than the urban nightmare called Midgar that he once lived in so many years ago. For all of their shortcomings, maybe the Ghiites weren't all that bad.......
"Damnantion," Gyver grumbled as he spoke over the radio to one of King Zarin's guards who was stationed in the Palace of Zarin. It appeared that King Zarin had grown impatient, and since it was dark, that he did not wish to see the two men until morning. Also, he had closed the palace gates, meaning that the soldiers and their prisoners would have to stay in one of the local inns.
"Are you sure he has closed the gates off?"
"Yes sir......" the voice over the radio crackled. Gyver cursed silently to himself.
"Alright....Goodbye Officer," Gvyer grumbled as he turned off the radio and sighed to himself. How would they find an inn for all of them? He decided to split the group up. Most of the officers could go out on their own, but some of them had to stay with him and help guard the prisoners. He just had to find an inn. As he directed, most of his crew went their seperate, while ten of the remaining officers came with him, along with Sephiroth and Cloud. Gyver knew his way well enough around the city, but it was hard to make his way through it with all the Ghiites that scattered the streets. In a moment however, they had found themselves an inn. It was called the "Sleep Eazy Motel". They soldiers entered the inn, and as soon they Ghiite who worked the front desk saw Gyver's white breast plate with the emblem of Zarin on it, he immediately saluted the soldier.
"Sir, we are honored to have you and your comrades here," the Ghiite said, afraid of Gyver's stature as an exceptional fighter.
"Greetings my fellow Ghiite. Would perhaps have accomadations for all of my friends here? Preferably seperate rooms?"
"Of course sir!" The Ghiites conversed for awhile longer, and then Gyver pulled out an assortment of coins and gave them to the clerk. He accepted them and gave keys to all the men for their men. Gyver immediately told that guards were to take turns watching the prisoners, to make sure they didn't escape.
Everyone went immediately to their rooms and went straight to bed, except for Sephiroth. He looked up at the wooden ceiling from his bed and wondered. He had noticed that everyone in the streets had looked at him oddly, from the fact that he was a human. Though he had always been loner, now he felt completely isolated from everyone. Not that it had bothered him too much. On Earth, he had always felt different. He never had any friends, not that ir mattered. He felt that all people were ignorant, panicky, greedy creatures that needed to be locked away. He had felt superior to them, and thus did not bother to interact with them. But now, here he was, a prisoner of these people. How will I be treated? He knew that he was a prisoner, but he also knew that he had been brought here to become a warrior. And from the looks of it, it appeared that a warrior was respected greatly.
Still, he couldn't help but wonder if he would be ridiculed and taunted by fellow warriors because of his race. Though he had great power, he knew that he could not do anything against it, lest he be executed.
Not that any of this mattered anything to him. He never cared how other people thought of him, he thought himself to civilized for that.
However, finally Sephiroth had fallen fast asleep, awaiting the events that would follow the next day. In the room next to him, Gyver pondered about his meeting with King Zarin tomorrow morning with King Zarin. Would he be angry that I failed? While when Gyver was first contacted by him, King Zarin did not seem angry, but Gyver knew him too well for that. Him and King Zarin shared a very shady past, one that Gyver never wanted to talk about. He had told Gyver that he could never win and that taking over Earth was a fool's mission, but Gyver cared little for his opinion. Regaining the Earth for the Ghiites was my father's dream, and I'll be damned if I let that bastard King Zarin stop me.
And with that, Gvyer fell asleep.
A tout le monde (To everyone)
A tout mes amis (To all my friends)
Je vous aime (I love you)
Je dois partir (I must leave)
These are the last words I'll ever speak
And they'll set me free
-"A Tout Le Monde"
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