Payback's a Bitch 2: Redemption Chapter 9
By Joe L.
"Surely, you cannot expect us to pull troops out of Gelaria and Budeshe. I desire peace as much as you do, but these are strongholds for our military forces in the Eastern and Western regions of Bakaar. I-"
"I expect no less, King Zarin. I want those troops pulled out of their immediately. As if slaughtering half the people there wasn't enough, you send hundreds of soldiers and then enforce cruel, martial law on the people," Braka'karin responded icily, causing members of the monarchy to shift uneasily in their chairs. The talks had started in Dacar, and they had not been going to plan. Many different officials were in the courtroom of Castle Zarin, some Fists of God, the Grand Masters, Chief Scientist Jerolo, to name a few. Also, Rebels had their leaders present. Thus far, Braka'karin was not giving an inch to the Zarin or his goons and was demanding a variety of things, from more civil rights for all Ghiites, to the demilitarization of sectors, and to better health care for poorer towns and villages that were far from civilzation.
"And what about your pulling out of troops in areas?" A General in the army called out to Braka'karin. He was a hot-headed, impatient Ghiite named Xixon with a tendency to grate on one's nerves with his remarks. However, he was certainly not a Ghiite to be trifled with. "We know that all around the globe, you have literally hundreds of small bases, hidden away from sight but growing in numbers and strength. We demand to know the position of your men! Peace cannot be attained with your lackeys running free from any sort of law!"
"General, calm yourself," Gar'saan retorted to the over-zealous General, who sat back down in his chair and mumbled to himself bitterly. "If we are to start puling soldiers out of different zones, we need your assurance that you will follow suit and disband portions of your sphere of influence."
"I'm afraid that cannot be done, Grand Master. You see, I believe wars can be helpful to a society. They lead to revolution, to a changing of things that are hopefully to the benefit of the citizens. But, the wars you have waged against our people are not beneficial. This monarchy under Zarin has, from the beginning, slowly infested itself into every Ghiite's way of life, telling one what to think, read, eat, watch, and so forth. You have shown a total lack of responsibilty and accountability for your actions, and that is why I cannot disband my army. We are the people's army, the Rebellion. We are needed to protect the rights of the citizens, to ensure that they will not become slaves of the government that has sworn to treat them fairly." Most Ghiites started to nod their nods, and scratch their chins thoughtfully as they contemplated Braka'karin's remarks. Zarin, however, remained unimpressed.
"I agree with you, my dear friend. Wars are essential to any civilzation to progress, to become stronger, to become unified. But if we decide to let your Rebels keep the lands you have claimed, don't you see that you are dividing us and throwing away all the progress we Ghiites have made in the last millenium? What would stop people under my rule and Ghiites under your control clashing against one another? You must believe me when I say I understand your view of me. You see my as a tyrant, correct?"
"Your past transgressions have caused me to percieve you as such, milord."
"Yes, and perhaps to a certain extent I agree. I am not my father, Yama Ketsuo, though he was guilty of murder against his enemy, was a fair ruler. He loved his people, as much as I do, even moreso. But there was always social unrest in Bakaar, talks of overthrowing the Empire and establishing a new goverment. Not to mention dissention among the military, and of power-hungry generals seeking to proclaim themselves dictators. But I am different. I cannot tolerate such insolence directed at my goverment, at me. If we as a whole wish to better ourselves, the first thing to achieve this is to be unified under one government, one ruler. And that is the King of Bakaar. I do not wish to imprison every person who speaks out against the government, who proclaims that I am unfit for rule. But I must be steadfast in my determination to combat all enemies who would seek to set up their own nation and proclaim themselves King. However, peace and unity cannot be claimed without your help, Braka'karin. After 500 years of fighting I have learned something very valuable, friend, and that is no matter how strong a ruler is, or how brilliant a tactician he is, without the majority behind him, he will ultimately fail. I ask you, Leader of the Rebellion, former Fist of God and of the Order of Kaio, Braka'karin, will you join me in the unity of Ghiite people?" Zarin had stood up from his chair that was at the head of the table, and was greeted by the cheers of the Ghiite's surrounding him, praising him for his impassioned speech and his ultimate desire of peace. Even members of the Rebellion were touched by the King's words, leaving them to wonder if Braka'karin was wrong in guiding them to believe that Zarin was a cruel, evil Ghiite with no heart nor compassion for a single soul besides his own.
"Very poetic, Zarin. But I'm not naive, I see through your pretty words and explanations like they are glass! Damn you for making a mockery of everything that I have hoped to achieve!"
"Braka'karin, you must-" a Rebel leader started to say, feeling as though things were about to get out of hand.
"Shutup, damn it! I'm not stupid, Zarin! I know this game your are playing with all of us. You fancy yourself a clever Ghiite, don't you? Arrogant bastard!" Zarin shook his head in response, and responded by soothingly saying,
"Perhaps it is time to adjourn for today? I believe so. We will begin tomorrow-"
"No! I want you to tell everyone in this room right now about your dirty secret! Tell them, damn it!" Zarin looked positively shocked, and looked around like a stray pup lost from it's mother.
"What do you mean?"
"Enough lies! You have sacrificed thousands of Ghiite lives in order to create one thing, the perfect Ghiite! And when they are complete, you will use them to wipe out every sort of resistance on this entire planet! How many have died because of your insane dream? A hundred thousand?" Zarin smiled, and shook his head yet again.
"You are clearly exhausted from everything. Please, Braka'karin, don't continue this foolish ourburst. You are-"
"Doing what? Telling the truth! Listen to me, Zarin is using all of us!" Braka'karin screamed, pointing to Rebels as well as imperial officers. "Once he finishes his experiment, none of us will be left alive! We have to stop him before it's too late!" Zarin could take no more of Braka'karin's ramblings. He motioned for three guards to "escort" Braka'karin back to his room. However, Braka'karin flung the soldiers off of him, and they crumpled to the ground.
"You're goons can't help you know, your Majesty," Braka'karin called out mockingly. Much to Braka'karin's disdain, most of the peacetalkers had left, tired of his psycotic outburst.
"Get some rest, friend." Zarin said as he walked over to Braka'karin. He patted Braka'karin on the shoulder and whispered to his ear, "100,000? No, more like 500,000." Zarin left the room, leaving Braka'karin by himself, hatred in his eyes, utter hatred that had no equal.
In Chief Scientist Jerolo's lab, three Ghiites were in the Regeneration Tanks. However, these were not normal Ghiite soldiers. They were as far beyond a normal Ghiite as a Ghiite is beyond a human. No, these were the perfect Ghiite, who had no equal in strength, fighting prowess, endurance, agility or any other ability. The pinnacle of a warrior.
"A matter of hours, I suppose?" Zarin asked Jerolo, who was studying a computer screen at the moment. The lab was very dark, and cold. It was deep underground, and only a handful of Ghiites even knew of it's existence. Fewer yet knew it's purpose.
"Yes. The drugs I gave them had a side-effect. Seems their bodies reject vaccines, rather violently actually. Perhaps it's the fact that their genetic structure has been completely altered, or the presence of massive amounts of mako." Jerolo droned as he continued looking at the screen, not bothering to look at his King.
"Yes, yes. Enough of your scientific dribble. Are you saying a common cold could kill them?" Zarin asked impatiently. Great, I spend five hundred years of my creating the perfect soldier and then find out if they ever get sick, they're done for.
"I'm not saying that necessarily. Perhaps their bodies are immune to all sorts of diseases, and there was no need for a vaccine. That could be possibly why the vaccine was rejected. Or the vaccine was tainted somehow."
"Whatever," Zarin muttered, not caring for Jerolo's excuses. "So, what did you think of Braka'karin's outburst? I suppose I touched a nerve on him, you know?" Jerolo cracked a smile, remembering the events that had transpired only a few hours ago. Braka'karin screaming like a raving lunatic, Rebels and Imperials alike staring at him in disgust.
"Quite a show you put on, Zarin." Zarin modestly replied,
"Oh, I don't know. I think I was lacking something.... What is it? Heart. You know what I mean."
"I don't believe your capable of such an emotion, my King." Zarin nodded his head in agreement. He was right, there isn't a caring bone in my body.
"Do you think anyone believed his ravings? After all, he knows about the Super Ghiites." Now, Jerolo finally pried his attention from the computer and got up from his chair. He went over to the Tank controls and started rapidly pushing buttons.
"I doubt it. But even if some people were able to make sense of his rantings, in a matter of hours, they won't be able to do a thing about it."
"You remember our deal, Zarin?"
"You had better keep you end of the deal. I implanted an enzyme in them that causes a most painful death, an enzyme that at any time I can activate. Remember that."
"What? Don't you trust me?"
"No more than I trust the Grim Reaper himself."
"As well you should....." Zarin uttered as he stared at the Super Ghiites. "He he. They're magnificent. Any idea why only three were completed?" Jerolo shook his head. That was one question he wasn't sure if he could ever figure out, no matter how much time he was given.
"No. I think we were just lucky. Perhaps it's the fact that these three were in fact former soldiers, who'd undergone rigorous mental and physical training."
"Such a shame, don't you think? Well, quality over quantity I suppose. Did you find the item I requested of you?"
"Of course. I had to have troops search the Thor for quite a number of hours, however. It seemed to me as if somebody was trying to hide it, to make sure nobody would find it."
"Please bring it to me," Zarin muttered, staring adoringly at the Super Ghiites. Jerolo rolled his eyes and replied sarcastically,
"Of course, your Majesty."
Chief Scientist Jerolo is a rather rude fellow, don't you think?
I agree. But he is a genius in every scientific field, and where not for him the Super Ghiites would have never been created, Father.
He will be the first to go.
Of course. Once the Super Ghiites are fully functional, he will be of no use.
"King Zarin," Jerolo murmured impatiently, "here it is." Zarin appeared stunned, but quickly regained his composure and grumbled,
"Good. I shall leave you now. Tomorrow I expect the Super Ghiites ready for combat. Understood?"
"Yes." With that, Zarin left the lab with the item that Jerolo had acquired for him. It was a sword, a sword that was pure perfection. It was crafted like a katana, though the blade itself was around seven feet long, not counting the hilt of the sword. The blade was sharpened so exquisetly, that it could cut through a piece of lead as if it were butter. Compared to a sword used by a Ghiite (though no Ghiites used swords any more), it was like a gift from God. Any collector of antique weapons would have willingly given all of his wordly possessions to simply acquire this one sword.
"Almost time now," Reno whispered to himself, as he lay quietly in his room on the bed. It amazed him that in a matter of a few hours, he would be attempting the most dangerous mission ever by a Turk. Sure, the pay is good and everything, but... damn! If this isn't done perfectly, everybody is going to die, even Rude and Elena. My two best friends in the entire world! Am I crazy in thinking that this will work? Hell, who's to say the explosives won't go off in time and the whole mission is botched? What am I gonna do then? Since Godo has already paid us, maybe we can get the hell outta here and move somewhere else. Sure, Godo will want our head, but it's better than this goddamn insane-
"Earth to Reno!" Elena cried out impatiently, startling Reno away from his troubled thoughts.
"What the hell is it?" Reno replied, almost whining. Elena rolled her eyes and then muttered,
"Well, I've been trying to tell you but you've been staring at the TV like an idiot. Anyways, I think it's time to get ready. Damn, this mission is crazy."
"I know. I was thinking......"
"What? Sorry, I wan't paying attention."
"Nothing. Uh yeah, I should get ready," Reno mumbled as he opened up the closet door and took out his pistol. For this mission I'm not going to need the Nightstick.
"Are you scared, Reno? Ah, poor baby! He he," Elena giggled as she left the room to prepare herself for the upcoming mission. Screw you Elena! It's not that I'm scared, it's just that this entire mission is so fucking pointless! What good is it going to do if we whack the head of a crime family? Nobody is gonna stop fighting, hell, everybody will probably fight even more!
What am I saying? I'm a Turk...... Turks are scared, they don't complain, they don't question the morality of the mission. They simply do as told. That's what Tseng taught me...... Man, I wish Tseng was still around. Now there was a perfect Turk. Cool, calm, collective. Nothing got to him, and he didn't take shit from anybody. Damn Sephiroth for taking his life!
"Listen up people, I'm going to go over this once. Once," Reno clled out to the group assembled in Godo's pagoda. It was about 5:00 PM, and the party didn't start for a few hours.
"We will split up into four groups. We'll each arrive at different times and sit at different. You know who you are with in your group, so stay with them. At around 12:45, we expect the Schenkers to leave the party, and that is when we make our move. Team One, your responsibility is to take out the guards posted at the entrance to the banquet hall. Team Two, you will get the guards at the emergency exit. There will be three of them. The five guards at the east and west walls will be taken out by the explosives. That should provide enough cover for Teams Three and Four to take out the Schenkers. Don't leave anybody alive. And we have to finish everything in one and a half minutes, because by then, the police will have arrived. Any questions?" One soldier sheepishly raised his hand.
"Uh, can I go to the bathroom? I really gotta go!"
"Damn it, hurry up," Reno put his hadn on his head, and thought to himself that he was working not with professionals. but with incompetent clods. As everyone started to leave to go to the party, Reno accosted Yuffie whispered in her ear,
"Don't fuck this up, brat. Cuz if you do, we're gonna make you pay, alright?"
"Screw you, Reno. I'm tougher than you think. Maybe that's why AVALANCHE kicked your ass all the time," Yuffie whispered equally as vicious.
"Just don't do anything stupid.... Well, we better get going." With that, the two went to the limousine that to escort them and Reno's fellow Turks to the party.
Braka'karin paced around nervously in his room, muttering to himself about the talks earlier in the morning. It wasn't like Braka'karin to show any sign of emotion, especially not in a violent ruckus. But something snapped inside Braka'karin, something about Zarin self-righetous indignation and arrogant bravado that pushed Braka'karin over the limit. I know that bastard is simply spoonfeeding every this dribble simply so he can hatch his evil plans without any dissention. But I see through his games. I know who and what he is! He may have fooled his Imperial fools, and perhaps some of my Rebels, but I am not so naieve. This will end. Soon.
"Master, may I come in?" A voice called from the hallway. Braka'karin though for a moment and then replied,
"Yes, of course." A young Ghiite entered the room. He bowed before his master and then cleared his throat before he began.
"Master, I was wondering....... Can there be no hope for peace? I mean, Zarin sure doesn't seem like the cold hearted, hateful Ghiite you made him out to be. With all do respect, I believe that if we work together, we can achieve peace." Braka'karin shook his head out of disbelief, disbelief that his own comrades could be so easily fooled by pretty words and promises of peace by a Ghiite who was evil to the core.
"What is it, Master?" Braka'karin laughed softly to himself.
"Oh, it's just that I never thought my teachings and entire plan for world peace have been dashed because my own companions refuse to acknowledge the fact that Zarin is using every Ghiite for his wicked schemes."
"Really Master, I do think that-"
"Perhaps you are right, Derin. Perhaps my hatred has been misplaced, perhaps I am wrong in foolishly fighting the Imperials and Zarin. Perhaps this Rebellion and peace returning to Bakaar was just a dream of mine, borne from my silly idealism as a young Ghiite and because of my contempt of Zarin." Braka'karin thoughtfully rubbed his chin, and yet again laughed softly.
"Perhaps you are correct, Master-"
"No! Don't you see? Zarin is everything I have told you he is, a cruel, calculating bastard! And he is much more clever than I thought him to be. Not even some of his own lackeys know of his experiments, as most would be opposed to it. He covered his tracks well when he murdered Gyver Deldrin, Sr., and then framed his own father. He is a most worthy adversary, that much I will concede. But he has made a mistake. He has not killed me yet. It matters not whether you or any of our comrades will fight with me against me against him. If I must, I shall challenge by myself."
"Please Master, don't do anything foolish."
"No more foolish than believing Zarin's words. What will it take for you to believe that Zarin desires only his own perverted reality of peace?"
"I'm not saying that I am contemplating quiting the Rebellion and joining the Imperial army. I am merely saying that some of our brethren are tired of this war. 500 years Master, and what have me to show? Please believe me Master, when I say that every one of your followers would willingly give our lives for you. But we also wish to attain peace, so that our sacrifices shall not be in vain. Consider dealing with Zarin, Master, not just for our sakes, but for the innocent people who will be slaughtered if this war continues." The young Rebel bowed yet again before Braka'karin, and then exited, leaving the Rebel leader alone in his room. No, my pupil, I cannot deal with Zarin. While I cannot believe my comrades naivete, I can understand it. I was once young and idealistic, believing that it was my duty as a Ghiite to serve my King, and in exchange for him providing stability in our world, I would give him my life. However, this King that currently resides on the Great Throne is not worthy of anything, except a slow, brutal death. Don't you understand, my son, that Zarin is using this facade to gain your trust? He is choosing to take on the role of a polite, peace-loving, misunderstood ruler, as to conceal his motives.
My Rebellion has not been in vain. We have made progress, and with determination, we shall continue to gain ground against Zarin. But perseverance is the key, something I believe some of my beloved comrades have lost. I can admit, this war has been difficult, and at times I have wished to never have witnessed Zarin's cruelty, to never have learned of the horrible atrocity he was performing against my and his people for his own gain. That terrible act of genocide...... That terrifying image haunts me to this day. Some nights I wake up in a cold sweat, and I see the bodies of my people, mangled and disfigured beyond recognition, their faces contorted with fear and pain........
And that is why I will fight forever, till I take my last breath, or until Zarin is relieved of his duties as the King of Bakaar. When I think of the innocent people who have died because of that one evil, hateful Ghiite, I know that I must never yield in my fierce determination to destroy Zarin. I remember once a great Ghiite remarked.... how did it go? Ah yes........ The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
Tifa Lockheart stared out into the infinite sky, gazing wonderously at the stars. It was night, perhaps midnight or so. She didn't remember how long nor when she had decided to look at the stars. They are so beautiful, and yet command such power. I wonder if Cloud can stare at the stars, too? Can he admire than wonderful luminescence, their guiding light? Does it remind him of that night in Nibelheim, at the well?
That night, that single night in Nibelheim, was one of Tifa's most treasured memories. The stars that night shined even more brighter that night, as if reinvigorated by the emotional tension between the two. And while it was one of Tifa's happiest moments, it was also one of her saddest. After that, it was seven years before she saw that face, that perfect face that she so adored.
Cloud, why did you have to leave me? I need you more than anything....... Without you, I feel incomplete, like there is a piece of my soul missing. I had felt that way after you left for Midgar to become a SOLDIER. At first, I thought it was perhaps because my mother had passed away, or perhaps when Nibelheim was destroyed. I felt this terrible void in me, and I thought it would destroy, very slowly and meticulously.......... But, then I saw you in Midgar. God, you looked horrible. At first, I didn't really recognize you, but then I saw your face....... And that feeling of emptiness and sadness dissipated and was eventually gone. I would never admit to it, but I knew then that I needed to be by your side, to feel your touch, to hold me in your arms.......
Tifa slept content that night, dreaming of a knight in shining armor who rescued her from a terrible dragon......
"Good job, Gyver. You are becoming quite a powerful warrior," Grand Master Gar'Saan remarked as he jumped up from the ground. He had been sparring with Gvyer in the woods, and Gyver had landed a powerful elbow to Gar'Saan's sternum. While it was by no means a serious injury, it did give Gar'Saan quite a shock when he smacked into a tree.
"Thank you, Grand Master." Gyver bowed before his teacher, and they both proceeded to walk back to Castle Zarin.
"Grand Master, can I ask you something?"
"What was my father like?" Gar'saan was not expecting the question, but he was none the less prepared. He had been a friend of Gyver, Sr. and had admired his courage and honor as a warrior. Like most Ghiites however, he did not believe in Gyver's quest of reclaiming Earth.
"A warrior's warrior, that would be an apt summarization. He was always thinking of his soldiers, of their welfare, and always seeked to improve their quality of life. He was quite popular among the common people as well. Yama was a well-respected king, but he didn't quite have the charisma that Gyver carried. His speech, his stance, his tone.... At first glance one might have assumed him to be arrogant, but it wasn't really that. He was proud, proud to be a warrior and proud to serve his king. However, he was always rambling about making a voyage to Earth and destroying the human civilzation. Then he would ressurect Yegolar and become the ruler of Earth. I never believed him, however."
"Many people thought my father's quest to regaining Earth was foolish. I wasn't one of them," Gyver remarked bitterly.
"I suppose so.... Anyways, I remember at the height of his popularity, thousands of people would crowd the streets just to glance at him, even if it was momentary or what have you. There was talk of insurrection, of Gyver relinquishing the throne from Yama and crowning himself King. However, he told me that while he didn't agree with Yama, he would never make an act of insubordination against the King. It would have gone against him morals, you know. His creed was that the King was the Master, and the people were his servants. Not very many people in truth would have sacrificed their lives for the good of the monarchy and the King. Your father was one of them."
"I once heard talk that Yama was going to step down and name my father King of Bakaar."
"Humph. Just rumors, my boy. Though I do believe that Zarin is not adept in matters of the state, he is the son of Yama and therefore is the rightful heir to the throne. If your father had been crowned King, it would have broken the line of Kings we have been ruled by since our humble beginnings." The duo by now was very near the outskirts of Dacar. Already on the horizon, the great cities largest buildings decorated the sky. "Terrible thing that Yama murdered him."
No, Gyver's mind screamed, Yama did not murder him. Zarin, that power hungry bastard, is the culprit. He murdered my father in cold blood, thereby destroying his greatest enemy and ridding his own father of the throne. But now Zarin, I will have my revenge. When the Rebellion comes once again to Dacar, it will not be a mission of peace or harmony, but one of conquest. And when I defeat you in combat, I shall parade your corpse around the city and the people will cheer when they see their evil, sadistic King finally gone. We will be heroes........ All of us.
I see your face every time I dream
On every page, every magazine
So wild so free so far from me
Your all I want, my fantasy
Oh, look what you've done to this rock'n' roll clown
Oh, oh, look what you've done
Photograph- I don't want your
Photograph- I don't need your
Photograph- All I've got is a photograph
But it's not enough
"Photograph" by Def Leppard
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic