Payback's a Bitch 2: Redemption Chapter 3
By Joe L.
It would have been the crack of dawn, had this planet only one sun. But it had two, and one sun was always in the sky. Damn, how do these people sleep, Cloud thought. Hopefully over time, I will live to live with this. But for now, trying to get some sleep is going to be sheer torture, he said to himself. Cloud arose from his bunk bed and jumped down below to the ground, his reptilian feet landing solidly on the ground. He quickly dressed himself in the proper attire of a trainee of himself, the same garb that a martial arts person on earth might wear, except there was an intricate sign on the white shirt. It appeared to be a face, one side different from the other. The left side of the face was of a normal Ghiite, while the right half was that of some demon spawned from the pits of Hell.
Looking in amazement at the details of the insignia, Cloud realized that he had to be in the Training Hall by 6:45, and he would be late if he didn't go right now. Swiftly making his way through the barracks, he followed the directions given to him, and made his way to a faraway corner of the great castle. He opened up the great wooden doors that led into what was the Training Hall. It was quite a large structure, but was all one room, with hundreds of Ghiites packed inside. It was covered in various training equipment, like weights and pullup bars, and there was even a track going around it so Ghiites could run. The walls, made of the finest brick Cloud had ever seen, seemed to reach immeasurable heights. The building was probably around 1,000 feet tall, and little did Cloud know that even the walls themselves were a part of the gym that the one could use to train. Ghiites would race each other to see who could climb up the wall without falling.
He found Sephiroth talking to a Ghiite dressed in red martial arts outfit, while Sephiroth's was white like Cloud's.
"Sh'kaar, so glad you could join us," the Ghiite talking to Sephiroth said. It was the voice of none other than Grand Master Gar'Saan. He truly was an impressive figure to behold. While most Ghiites stood around 5 feet and 6 inches tall and weighed no more than 150 pounds on average, Gar'Saan stood well over 6 feet tall and weighed around 225 pounds. Few Ghiites could match this, and even fewer could match his power. Only a handful of Ghiites were stronger than him, one of him which was King Zarin. Cloud, or Sh'kaar as he was now know, bowed before the great Ghiite warrior.
"I was expecting Gyver to be here, but for now I would like to see what you to know of the martial arts," Gar'Saan said, exasperated. "Sephiroth, come here. Now, attack me with all you've got." He then readied himself in a defensive stance.
"Are you sure, with all these other people?" Sephiroth said.
"Don't worry, they won't mind," Gar'Saam said, a smile on his face. Sephiroth shrugged his shoulders, and then bowed before the Ghiite. Then, he too readied himself, ready to strike at any moment. In the blink of an eye Sephiroth was hurtling through the air, his fist raised and ready to strike. As he brought his fist down where Gar'Saan should have been, he hit only the air. Looking around, he saw that the Grand Master was behind him, his muscled arms folded across his chest.
"Ha. You'll have to much quicker than THAT!" The Grand Master yelled as he sent a brutal kick to Sephiroth's face. The Ghiite's clawed foot him right in the nose, breaking it instantly and sending him crashing to the floor. Sephiroth slowly got up from the floor, the other students in the Hall watching him intently, seeing the hatred and anger that burned in his eyes. Wiping the blood from his face, he started back to where the Grand Master stood, waiting apparently.
"Good try Sephiroth. But not even close. Now Sh'kaar, it is your turn." The Grand Master then turned his attention towards Cloud, who was immediately ready to fight this Ghiite. Faster than Gar'Saan expected, Cloud was upon sending a barrage of punches and kicks at him. The Grand Master laughed to himself as he easily dodged the young warrior's attack, and did a few back flips to distance his self from the warrior. As Cloud came shooting forth, his fists raised, the Grand Master delivered a crushing elbow to the stomach. Cloud's eyes nearly popped out of their socket, and blood spurted from his mouth. He dropped to the ground, clutching his stomach and gasping for breath. Gar'saan stood over Cloud's body, his arms crossed,
"Really I expected a better show from you, Sh'kaar," the Grand Master said mockingly, a sly grin on his face. He looked at the two defeated warriors. The rest of the Ghiites in the gym had gone back to their training, many passing the fallen bodies of Sephiroth and Cloud as they ran past, shaking their heads. As one Ghiite soldier saw the bodies of the two men that had challenged Grand Master Gar'saan, he was reminded of a proverb he had been taught as a young warrior about the power of the Grand Masters.
"No challenge a Grand Master
Is to challenge the wrath of God.
To challenge the one True King
Is to challenge Satan's spawn."
How to true it was, he thought. For while the Grand Master's were extremely powerful, they dwarfed in comparison to King Zarin's fighting power. It was once said that not even 1,000 Grand Master's combined could match Zarin's might. No, to challenge King Zarin is to challenge the Grim Reaper himself.
"How did the two do?" Gyver asked Gar'saan, who sat in his office, sipping an expenisve wine. Gar'saan office was one of the most exquisite in the entire castle, save for the King's room. Here, the carpet was made of the finest velvet, it's chairs and sofas made by the finest workers the world had to offer. His desk, made of mahogany, was littered with papers of applications of Ghiites into the Royal Military Academy of Dacar. Most of these soldiers would never make it past the training, being that they were to weak. The ones that did pass would most likely be regulare troops, of no real fighting power. But then there were the warriors trained in the martial arts. They were the most revered warriors in all the universe. They were called the Gelzenh duh Gott, or translated the Fists of God.
One had to understand that the Ghiites were a very religious race. They believed that God had blessed them with the ability to fight, and that to honor him, they would fight. And the truly blessed were the Grand Masters, for their power was trememdous. And then there was King Zarin. He was not a religious Ghiite, and yet his power was to large to fathom. With one finger, Zarin could destroy and entire planet. Some Ghiite priests said that King Zarin was the son of Satan, brought here to destroy the world and make the Ghiites pay for their sins. Few believed this however. He was just an enimga of their race. But whatever his origins, they knew one thing. He was power.
"Ha. Not even close to my expectations. One hit did both of them in, but on the other tests, they did quite well."
"Yes, they both seem to be very quick on their feet, and surprisingly strong, especially that Sephiroth. I didn't know humans possessed that kind of power."
"Well, he was part of their SOLDIER program, mind you. Those experiments that they performed on him as well as Cloud, probably increased their power tenfold."
"Yes. I imagine that given a few years, that could make fairly decent enough soldiers."
"Enough to join the Fists of God?"
"Perhaps. We could use some good fighters to to combat those Rebel bastards," Gar'Saan grumbled, as he was looking over the papers of some applicants. "That idiot Jerolo has been working on his project now for hundreds of goddamn years!"
"You mean Chief Scientist Jerolo?"
"Of course! Him and his idiot scientists get all the money in this entire world, and what do they have to show for it? Nothing at all!"
"Oh yes, the GEG project you mean?"
"Yes. To my knowledge, that jackass of a scientist has made no progress whatsoever. Oh well....." The Grand Master said as he was once again reading through applicant's papers. "You may leave. I have pressing matters to attend to." Gyver bowed before the Grand Master and then exited, leaving the Ghiite to his own matters.
"Another wasted specimen," Chief Scientist Jerolo said to himself, as he inspected the Ghiite body. Right now, Jerolo was in the autopsy room, examining bodies. This one was laid out on a table.
"Yes. Killed instantly once the process began," a assistant said to him.
"Oh really? Huh."
"Well, we did increase the the amount of Mako."
"Still........Oh well. What's another person when you have thousands of others, right?"
"I suppose so, Jerolo. Oh yeah, Zarin wanted to know how many have been successful."
"Three. As it has been for so many years, I have never been able to successfully create another. Ever since Derin..."
"Well, what are you waiting for? Go!" With that, the assistant scurried off, leaving Jerolo to examine the body. It appeared normal from the outside, but on the inside it's organs were filled with a bright green liquid. As he was examining the body, Jerolo though back to how he got involved with the GEG Project.
The news of Fort Andor's destruction didn't particularly anger Zarin, other than the fact that a group of the Fists of God had been defeated. This Rebellion that had sprung up had been a thorn in Zarin's side, and it was time to remove it. Civilians had reported seeing that just one of these Rebels had defeated a group of ten Fists of God as well as a Grand Master named Quadim. The Rebellion had been fighting Zarin for decades now, and now Zarin grew tired. If worse came to worse, than I might have to fight the weaklings myself, Zarin thought. No, nobody is worthy of fighting me. That would be too great an honor. I have a better idea.
"You have summoned me, my lord?" Jerolo said, as he was in Zarin's throne room.
"Yes. Did you hear of Fort Andor's destruction?"
"Yes........It appears that these Rebel fools are stronger than I even imagined. They defeated my strongest Grand Master."
"I know my lord. I wonder where they came from.......I suppose it's out of the question for you to fight them...." Jerolo responded. He knew that no one could fight Zarin, only one trained in the art of his father, the sacred Ketsuo-Ken. And nobody on the entire planet was strong enough, save for Zarin and his father. Therefore, Zarin had no intention of ever fighting. Not that he was a coward, quite the contrary actually. It was just that there was no use for it. But now, some Rebel had defeated his strongest Grand Master, and five Fists of God.
"Of course. Do you still have the DNA samples?"
"Why yes....Are you thinking....?" Zarin responded with an evil grin. "Do you think it's safe? I mean, what if they become......."
"Stronger than me? My foolish scientist, you have no idea of my power. This entire galaxy could be destroyed if I wanted it so. Don't worry."
"Do you really think it will work? In the past, the specimen's body rejected the DNA."
"I know. But we fixed that problem, didn't we?"
"Think about it. Warriors with the genes of the strongest fighters in the universe. They will have no equal."
"I think I know the perfect guinea pig to test this on."
It has been so long, Jerolo thought. 500 years since I have started and still, only three have ever been created. Perhaps because it was the others had been to weak to withstand the physical and mental strain of the procedure. Either way, it was beginning to become clear to Jerolo that he would never create another Super Ghiite. Three was enough, he thought to himself. Not even Yama Ketsuo, if he was alive still, could beat them. But now, it will be time to test them out.
"Again," Gar'Saan said to Cloud as they continued their sparring. Cloud was tired, bloody, and beaten, and yet Gar'Saan still pressed him on. Wiping his reptilian brow on his white training uniform, he once again charged at the Grand Master. Gar'Saan was fully expecting him to attack with a fist but just before Cloud attacked Gar'Saan, he dissapeared.
Gar'Saan looked around to see where Cloud had gone, and then a foot was planted square in the small of his back, sending him crashing to the gym's floor. As he lifted himself from the ground, he noticed blood was on the floor. He then noticed that his lip was busted from the fall. Once he got up to face Cloud, all the soldiers in the gym stopped and looked. Normally, the soldier would have been taken to jail for injuring the Grand Master. Gar'Saan nodded at the young warrior.
"Much quicker I see. While I am not fighting you with all my strength, still it is impressive for a young Ghiite who has only been here six weeks."
"Thank you, Grand Master," Cloud said as he bowed before Gar'Saan.
"Good. Go fetch Sephiroth. It's time for his exam to begin."
"It's time Sephiroth," Gar'Saan said slowly to the warrior known as Sephiroth. Sephiroth's icy gaze met Gar'Saan's. While Cloud treated Gar'Saan with respect, Sephiroth was sardonic and sarcastic towards him. "I have been training you for six weeks and now it is time to show me what you have learned. The only is no energy blasts. Not yet. Once you understand martial arts, then we will work on those, got it?"
"Of course dearest teacher," Sephiroth grumbled as he prepared himself.
"Now!" Gar'Saan screamed and Sephiroth flew through the air and raised his fist for a crushing punch. However, Gar'Saan easily dodged the attack and swung with his right leg to Sephiroth's stomach. Sephiroth easily blocked the blow with his arm and retaliated with kick of his own to his head, and Gar'Saan did a flip backwards to avoid it.
Sephiroth then landed on the gym floor, and as he did, a flying kick landed straight into his face, and Gar'Saan quickly jabbed Sephiroth in the stomach, and again kicked him in the face, knocking him to the ground in a pool of blood. Sephiroth jumped up and delivered a leg sweep, knocking Gar'Saan to the floor. As Sephiroth dove at the Grand Master, Gar'Saan was nowhere to be found and Sephiroth found the Grand Master behind him, his arms crossed.
"Still not quite at the level Sh'kaar is at," Gar'Saan called out and then continued, "but your fundamentals are much better than his. You have natural ability in the martial arts. I commend you."
"Thanks," Sephiroth grumbled as he wiped the blood from his mouth.
"Get some rest Sephiroth. You'll need it."
Cloud found himself in a field of green grass, lying on his back. The sky was shining and the sun was out. It was truly a beautiful day. The next thing he noticed, a young woman with chocolate brown hair lied next to him, smiling.
"Cloud.........." Tifa said softly, love in her deep brown eyes.
"Tifa.......You are here? But I thought-" Cloud started to say, in confusion.
"Whatever do you mean Cloud?"
"Tifa, I was taken away. What am I doing here?"
"Nonsense, Cloud. You have always been here. Nobody has taken you anywhere."
"I don't understand Tifa.......Why am I here? None of this makes any sense damn it!" Cloud yelled as he got up and looked over the countryside. What he saw was quite shocking to him. It was the city of Dacar, the capital of the mighty Ghiites. "Goddammit, I'm not supposed to be here! We're not together!"
"Cloud, we will always be together............"
Cloud woke up in a cold sweat. Another nightmare, he though, nothing more than that. He had been having dreams about Tifa for weeks now. God, how I miss her, he said to himself silently.
Reeve had voluntered to help the people of Kalm, as had many other people from across the globe. Everybody had heard of Cloud's heroics here, and they were all aware that there was a possibilty that the Ghiites could come back. Since then, the cities of Junon and Wutai had been beefing up their military and now where focusing all their money on defense systems.
Reeve, being the mayor of Junon, was intensely aware of the fact that AVALANCHE alone could not defeat the threat of the Ghiites, not by a long shot. They needed strong soldiers to to fight the Ghiites, and there was even talk of restarting the SOLDIER program. While Reeve was vehemently opposed to this, his opposition in Junon was not. They said that SOLDIER was the only chance of surivival and a battalion was being readied to fly into Midgar and retrieve plans of the process of making SOLDIERs.
Reeve did not like the idea of having a group of SOLDIER's running around at someone's disposal. It reminded too much of Shinra Inc, and he had promised himself that he would never let a corporation like Shinra ever be on this planet. It seemed to Reeve like the people of Earth had learned nothing from the Shinra and Sephiroth's path of destruction.
Reeve had returned to city hall in Junon, and Division 24 had returned from Midgar with the plans to construct SOLDIER's. There was only one problem, a supply of Mako. Reeve was thankful for this. He knew that even though he would never authorize the restarting of SOLDIER, his Head of Armed Forces, Michael Ellefson, would go behind his back anyways. There was bad blood between the two, going back into the days of Shinra. Needless to say, Michael believed that properly supervised, SOLDIER could very well be a productive group of warriors, keeping peace across the planet.
As Reeve was at his desk in his office doing paperwork, his secretary came in, a cute girl of 21. Her name was Julie, and since she taken the job, she had desperately asked Reeve to introduce her to Cloud. Needless to say, she was head over heels in love with him.
"Sir, General Ellefson requests your counsel in his office. It's about SOLDIER."
"Damn it. Tell him that whatever it is he is thinking, I am head of this fucking city," Reeve snarled, his anger rising," and furthermore, if he starts SOLDIER without my consent, I will have him arrested!"
"Yes sir," Julie stammered, never seeing Reeve so mad, and shuffled quickly out of Reeve's office. Reeve hadn't meant to get that mad but he wanted the whole SOLDIER controversy over. And he only one way to solve it.
"So, is that it boss?" The man with messy red hair said to Reeve. He sat across from Reeve's desk. He was a cocky man, with a shock of red hair and a pale complexion. His blue suit was always unkempt, his shirt unbuttoned and he usually reeked of alcohol. But he was not a man to be taken lightly. No, he was a Turk. And a damn good one.
"Yeah, Reno. Just name your price. You know as well as I do what Ellefson wants to do with those damn plans. Create his own group of SOLDIERs-"
"And crush all resistance and make himself ruler of this planet. I know, Reeve."
"So you'll do it?"
"100,000? Are you out of your mind?" Reeve gasped, shock overtaking him. Reno leaned back in his chair, smug as ever.
"Hey, we're Turks. We don't work cheap ya know."
"Yeah, I suppose you have to have money to be an alcoholic, right?"
"Damn straight. Take it or leave it. There's other jobs out there waiting for us."
"Alright, alright. But Reno," Reeve said, his voice serious.
"You were never here."
I live my life like there's no tomorrow
And all I've got I've had to steal
Least I don't need to beg or borrow
Yes I'm living at a pace that kills
Runnin' with the devil
Runnin' with the devil
"Runnin' With the Devil" by Van Halen
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