Payback's a Bitch Chapter 3
By Joe L.
Cid was at home sleeping. He'd been there for quite some time, considering Cloud had nailed him with a clean shot to the jaw. Cid would be fine, but he would be very pissed off. Just then he stirred from his sleep in his bed.
"Unnnn..." Cid groaned as he streched out. He looked around. He was in his bedroom, the lights were turned off, and he was in his bed. He threw the sheets off and stood up. He was still groggy, and had trouble walking and opening up the door in his room. He couldn't remember much, only that Cloud had punched him and he had gone unconscious. Now he was moping around in his house, his head aching, and not sure where anybody was.
"Cid, you really should go back to sleep," a feminine voice called to him. Obviously, it was Shera's voice. Cid looked to see where she was, and saw she had come out of the kitchen, holding a mug filled with some sort of liquid, possibly tea.
"What happened to me, Shera?" Cid moaned. He rubbed his head. He needed some Advil or something. Shera shook her head and then sighed, "Well, we didn't want you to go with Cloud and Tifa to Cosmo Canyon, so Cloud kind of hit you to keep you here." Cid nodded. Yes, that's how it was, he thought.
"Well damn it, I can't just stay here! I gotta go help 'em!" Cid yelled. Shera tried to calm him down,"Cid please! You need to regain your strength. Please don't do anything rash, I wouldn't want you to get hurt...." Tears started to well up in her eyes.
"Shera, listen, I know what I'm doin'. The guys need me, I know it. I can't just sit here like an asshole and not do somethin'. I wouldn't ever do something I didn't know how to get myself out of. I wouldn't ever hurt you like that...."
"Oh, Cid!" Shera cried out, falling into Cid's arms. Cid gripped her tight to him, calming her down.
"Shera....don't worry 'bout me. I still got a few tricks left up my sleeve, and I ain't gonna let some damn pyscho like Sephiroth put me down. Not yet..."
"Please Cid, just tell me you'll come back alive," Shera whispered desperately. Cid lifted her face to his and said,"I swear to you I'll come back." He then kissed her passionately on the lips. Shera's eyes almost bulged out of their sockets. She had waited for this moment, and thought it would never come. Now it did, and she didn't know what to do. He then released himself from her. She was dumbfounded.
"Cid....I don't believe..." Shera stuttered. Cid only grinned to himself.
"Full o' suprises, ain't I? I'd love to continue this but hey, I got places to go." Cid then walked out the door, leaving Shera to her thoughts. Cid went out the back door. He had been working on a very special project. He called it Thunderhawk. But it wasn't an airship like the now wrecked Highwind. It was something special. He's been working on it for years. It was very small, about the size of a two large refrigerators.. It was somewhat elliptical in shape, and grey in color. There was a sliding door to get in and out. Inside, their were various buttons for Cid to set. This was going to make him famous. This prototype was the first in a large step of ships to go extremely fast. Cid's calculations were that with the power from the materia he had packed in, the ship could go nearly as fast as the speed of light. But he wasn't sure. It could malfunction and blow up or simply crash land. But he had to do it. Hey, it would prove without a doubt I'm the greatest pilot ever, he thought.
"Jesus fuckin' Christ...here's goes nothing," Cid mumbled, and opened up the hatch. he sat down inside. It was very cramped inside. He closed the hatch. He pressed a button, and heard the engine start up. It was very quiet, but he could feel the rumbling. He then pressed a few more buttons. With a sudden jolt, the Thunderhawk lifted from the ground to the sky. It was amazing, so far, so good. Then Cid punched in the coordinates. He felt a rumble. He was sweating profusely.
"Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit," Cid repeated over and over. He heard slowly the engine gaining speed, and then he felt tremendous force on his body. Everything around him was going by so quickly, it was like it wasn't there. Everything was just a mass of colors. God dammit, I'm doin' it! It fucking worked!!!
Then it stopped. The stopping gave Cid a bad whiplash, his heading snapping forward. But he was okay. He saw he was over Cosmo Canyon. But he saw a great green orb around around an inn, and two people running.
"SHIT! Someone's casting Ultima!" Cid screamed, but it was too late. Ultima exploded, ripping through the inn and shaking the Thunderhawk. I gotta get down there damn it, Cid thought.
He slowly moved the Thunderhawk down towards the ground. He had to see if anyone had survived.
Cloud was awakened by the sound of what sounded like a jet engine. He looked to see what it was. It appeared to be some sort of pod like structure, and someone was in it. They stepped out. They wore a blue jacket, brown pants, and had a cigarette in their mouth.
"Cid!" Cloud cried out in surpise. Cid ran over to him. He took the cigarette out of his mouth.
"Thought ya could take me down, huh? Well, you don't know Cid Highwind!" he stated proudly.
"Okay, okay, just help me up and help Tifa up to." Cid nodded and grabbed Cloud's arm and pulled him up with one swift jerk.
"Thanks...." Cloud brushed the dust off his clothes. "I think Tifa might be unconscious. And Red.. he was inside the inn." Cid took a puff of his cigarette.
"Shit! No one could have survived that." Cid shook his head. Damn Sephiroth. Damn Sephiroth straight to hell.
"Yeah, well damn it, we gotta try!" Cloud said, and walked over to the pile of rubble that was once the Cosmo Canyon Inn. Cid followed Cloud till they stood on a pile of wood and glass. They both started lifting up pieces, desperately searching for Red. After minutes of picking up debris and not finding anything, they had given up all hope of finding Nanaki.
"SHIT!" Cloud yelled at the top of his lungs. He pounded his fists against the shattered glass and wood, making small gash marks in them. "God dammit! I swear to God, Spehiroth, I am going to kill you! Do you hear me? I am going to kill you, you worthless piece of shit!" Cid only cursed to himself a few times.
"He died for a good cause, Cloud."
"What cause? He died senselessly! The protector of Cosmo Canyon is dead for not damn reason!"
"Hey, he died protecting Cosmo Canyon, didn't he? If he hadn't fought Sephiroth, Sephiroth would have likely destroyed this entire god damn town!" Cloud started a retort, but then thought to himself. Cid was actually right. If Red hadn't done what he had, then Cosmo Canyon would have likely been destroyed. But now who would protect Cosmo Canyon from the army of Gongaga? Cloud and his team had other things like stopping Sephiroth. They had no time for battling Gongaga.
"Now who'd gonna defend this place from Gongaga?"
"I dunno....with Red gone, we gotta take some drastic measures," Cid said, taking another puff of his cigarette. He then took it out and threw it on the ground, and quickly stepped on it with his boot.
"We need to get the rest of AVALANCHE back together," Cloud firmly stated. Cid agreed. They needed more people.
"I got a little machine I call the Thunderhawk. Get ya to any place in this entire damn world in seconds. Let's take that to get everyone."
"Wait, someone needs to stay with Tifa." Cloud looked out across the horizon. He saw people coming out of their homes, in a state of shock at what had happened.
"Cloud, you stay with Tifa. I'll get everyone back here. Shouldn't take very long," Cid said, and then abrubtly left. Sephiroth had definetely left his mark on Cosmo Canyon.
Jake was in his room asleep. This was the first time in a long while since he fell asleep, usually he heard strange voices in his head, or could hear the tell tale cries of soldiers dying. He was beginning to think that maybe the officials of Gongaga would stop this stupid, senseless war. What good would taking over Cosmo Canyon do? Besides it extensive archives of information, it had nothing. Just then he felt a great tremor. A great explosion. He saw it in his mind. A great explosion in Cosmo Canyon. A soul returning to the Lifestream. Lifestream? Jake though, Where did that come from?
"It's time, Jake," a voice in his head said.
"Time for what?" Jake called back.
"You'll see. Very soon, you will see," the voice answered cryptically. Then it left. Damn it, Jake thought. What the hell is wrong with me? Just then he heard his dad's yelling curses and his mom shrieking in terror.
"God dammit! Jake! Get the fuck outta here!" his Dad called out, and then he heard a shotgun go off. Jake heard his mom cry out, and then another shot. Murderers just gunned down my parents, he thought. He felt a little sad, but hey, they would return to the Planet. The hell? Return to the planet? Jake said to himself. There's something wrong with me. Just then someone kicked in his door. Jake whipped his head back to see who it was. Two men in black suits and sunglasses stood were the door would have been. They each carried AK-37's, one of the men reloading a clip.
"I presume you are Jake Donald Syndel," one man said.
"No-no-that ain't me," Jake trembled. The man laughed at him. "Ha ha! Young man, come with us. We have someone who wants to meet you." The man in the black trench coat walked over towards him and grabbed by the arm.
"Hey man, let go of me!!" Jake yelled out, but the man simply replied by doing nothing. The other man nodded, and behind Jake a portal was opened. It was like a black hole, swirling with many colors. It was like looking into something strangely beautiful. The man threw Jake in the portal. They both the asassins stepped in. It was time for Jake to meet their master.
Cid landed the Thunderhawk in front of Corel. It was in the dead of the night. Corel hadn't changed that much since Barret arrived back, save that the people had a more optimistic outlook on life. The homes still were either tents or run down stone buildings. Barret lived in a large, wooden house in the center of Corel. He hadn't been elected mayor of Corel, but most people thought of him as the leader of Corel. He was doing so much to improve Corel, he had little time for contact with Cloud and the others. Cid walked aimlessly around, looking for some sort of indication of where Barret's house was. Finally as he neared Corel, he could make out the city more. He saw Barret's house. He quickly ran over to it, not caring where he stepped. He knocked on Barret's door loudly. He heard a grunt from someone inside the house, and then the door slowly opened. It was only a small part though.
"The hell do ya want?" a gruff voice asked, Barret's.
"Shit man, it's Cid! You gotta come with me Barret! We're in some deep shit!"
"Whatcha talkin' bout? I can't go nowhere, it's god damn three in the morning!"
"Sephiroth's alive, dumbass!" Barret opened up the door fully, and ushered Cid in. Cid was panting.
"How in the hell is Sephiroth alive? I thought we killed that dumb bastard."
"I dunno how he is alive. But he killed Red, and now he's after the rest of us. I know it, man. We gotta get everyone else, though. We're gonna hafta take out Gongaga. With Red gone, there ain't no one to help out Cosmo Canyon."
"Jesus, man! I thought all this bullshit was over!"
"With us, it ain't never over." Cid said. Barret agreed, if Cloud and the other's needed his help, he'd help him.
"Can't believe Red's gone..How'd he die?" Barret asked, upset. Red was a friend of Barret's, but now Red was gone. It had happened all too quickly.
"Sephiroth.....used Ultima on 'im. Destroyed the tavern they were in. Course, Sephiroth's still alive though." Barret cursed silently. This time he swore, Sephiroth's is gonna die.
Cloud lied on the rubbage which was a tavern. Tifa was still unconscious, and he was lying down. It had been one hell of a night. He thought about Red, Sephiroth, Tifa, everyone. Why was this happening? Is it true? Would he ever be rid of Sephiroth? Was Sephiroth really immortal? Of course not, he told himself. Sure, Sephiroth was strong, but there had to be a way to defeat him. Just then Tifa walked over to him. Finally, she was awake.
"What happened?" Tifa was still dazed. Cloud solemnly spoke, "We were knocked out for a while. Red's... Red.....Red is dead. Can't find his body or nothing. Cid's on his way to get the others." Tears welled up in Tifa's eyes. Cloud pulled her closely to him. "I know how you feel, Tifa. It doesn't seem right.... There's someone else behind it."
"What? Sephiroth doesn't take orders from anyone, besides Jenova..." Tifa said, sniffling.
"I know....There's something strange going on....I think it has something to do with The Order."
"How could they bring Sephiroth back to life?"
"I don't know Tifa....But I have a feeling that they are controlling the people of Gongaga. I just know it." As soon as Cloud was finished, he heard the roar of the Thunderbird's engine. Cid and Barret stepped out.
"Cloud! I heard about Red.....I'm sorry," Barret lowered his head. Cloud put his hand on Barret's shoulder,
"There's nothing any of us could have done."
"Well, I'm off to get the others," Cid interjected, and then scampered back to the Thunderhawk.
Jake found himself in a dark room. It appeared something like a church, with pews and a tapestries in the background. The walls were of stone, cold like ice.
"Welcome, Messiah," a voice called out from the darkness. It was the voice haunting my dreams, Jake thought. The figure stepped out from the darkness. He was in a dark robe. That was all.
"Who the hell are you?" Jake stepped back. Gyver held out his hand.
"Don't be afraid of me....I'm here because I need you," Gyver replied soothingly. "You are under Midgar. This is my temple of the Ghiites. I am leader of the group known as The Order." Jake thought for a second. Weren't they the ones making Gongaga attack Cosmo Canyon?
"The Order? Aren't you controlling Gongaga? Why are you making us fight Cosmo Canyon?"
"Well my dear Jake, it's a long story. The inhabitants of Cosmo Canyon have a certain scripture of Ghiite literature I need....I must tell you though, I am not controlling Gongaga. Only one of my mere pawns. But unfortunately, the lives of your townsfolk will be cut short."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, I have forseen Cloud and his AVALANCHE friends will attack my base their. I care not though for your town. It was pathetic anyways."
"How can you say that, you sick mother fu-" Jake started, but Gyver viciously hit him with a backhand to the jaw.
"You must refrain from such language. After all, you are the King of Ghiites." Jake rubbed his jaw, who the hell are Ghiites.
"Who are the Ghiites? Why am I the king?" Jake demanded.
"Don't worry, all will be revealed in good time."
The knight stood was in a darkly lit room. He was the leader of the armies of Gongaga. Gyver had ordered him to stop sieging Cosmo Canyon. Their were other events about to transpire. Just then, Gyver contacted him.
"Yes my lord?"
"Do you know where I keep the explsoives in this base?"
"Of course I do my lord, you showed me.
"Excellent...I want you to put them all around this base and order every guard out of here. There are some people coming."
"Am I to stay here?"
"Of course....some sacrifices must be made to win the war."
"Of course my lord.....I will do your bidding. I am merely a pawn in your hands."
"Excellent. I must leave you now. I have other business to attend to."
"My lord, who are our special visitors?"
AVALANCHE finally was back together again.
"So where are we going?" Yuffie asked impatiently. Vincent stared at her, "You seem rather happy for someone who has just had the unpleasentries of having a friend die."
"Alright, everyone!" Cloud called out at the top of his lungs, "We're going to Gongaga. I don't have much time to explain. We hafta him 'em hard and fast!"
"What exactly are we going to do their?" Cait Sith called out.
"There's an organization called The Order. They have something to do with reappearance of Sephiroth." Everyone that hadn't heard about it was in shock, looking with grim faces at each other. Vincent chuckled to himself and responded sardonically to himself, "True evil never dies...."
"Enough talk everyone. Let's go." Cloud stated and started towards Gongaga. Everyone followed, with Cloud in the front, followed by Tifa, Cid, Barret, Yuffie, Cait Sith, and Vincent bringing up the rear. All had their weapons drawn. It didn't take them that long to get to Gongaga. But what they saw was amazing. Gongaga had erected great fences around the city, ensuring no one would get in that was not wanted.
Guards armed with shotguns and adorned in the garb of a Shinra soldier blocked their path.
"Get the fuck outta here. Gongaga don't take punks like you in." Vincent cocked his Death Penalty.
"Oh, but I insist." The guards looked at each other. Looks like they didn't have much of a choice.
"To hell with you!" They yelled and loaded their weapons, but Vincent shot his Death Penalty. It hit one of the guards square in the chest, knocking him into the fence. Cloud was upon the other in an instant, slashing him across the neck and shoulder.
"That was too easy," Cid said, a cigarette lighted in his mouth.
"Ya know, smoking is really a nasty habit," Yuffie said, blowing the smoke out of her face.
"Yeah...Maybe I'll quit one day," he replid, gazing at the stars. Maybe one day I will...Cloud searched the bodies for keys, and found them. He unattached them from the guards' belt, and put them in the keyhole in the fence. The gates to Gongaga were opened.
The companions stepped inside. Gongaga hadn't changed that much, save for the fact it reeked of pollution and waste. In a secluded corner lay a strange looking building. It was bigger than any others, made out of solid granite instead of the shoddy stone and mud and straw like most homes.
"Hey, let's start over there," Cait pointed to the building, and Cloud nodded.
"Yeah, let's go." This is too easy, Cloud thought. Like we're being led here. Soon, they were at the doors of the building, which no one was guarding. Cloud slowly eased the door opened. The building was very dark, only lighted by a single torch. Cloud could see that it branched off in two pathways. Damn, he thought. He didn't want to have to split up the team.
"Cloud, look. This places branches off." Yuffie noticed. Cloud nodded.
"I know Yuffie. Okay, Tifa and Cid, you guys come with me. The rest of you, Barret, Vincent, Yuffie, and Cait, you guys take the other path. Got it?" Everybody nodded. Cloud and his group took the pathway on the left. They walked down very slowly and quietly, they could hear their companions' footsteps on the stone ground. The pathway was lighted by torches at various intervals, providing enough light just to see till the next torch.
"God damn, I don't like the looks of this. There ain't nobody here!" Cid whispered. Cloud thought for a moment. Could this be the right place? Maybe their base was somewhere else....
"Let's just keep going," Cloud said, and continued on. The others agreed, and continued treading down the long hallway. It was then they were fascinated to see a great set of steel doors blocking their path.
"See, we're going the right way," Cloud pointed to the large doors. He pushed with all of his strength on them. They didn't even budge.
"Damn! Cid, Tifa, get over here! I need your help."
"Okay, Cloud," Tifa responeded as herself and Cid walked over to help Cloud. All three of them pushed with all their might. They grunted and swore and pushed till finally the door gave way and opened. The spontaneousness of the door opening and the companions' putting all their weight on the door caused them to stumble forward when the door opened.
"Shit." Cid said as he hit the cold floor, with a thump. Tifa brushed herself off and got up quickly.
"C'mon you guys! Let's hurry it up....This place gives me the creeps." Cloud grunted something unintelligable in response and got up slowly. The room they had stumbled into was quite plain, with a few tables and chairs here and there, no windows, and a book shelf.
"What the hell is this?" Cid called out. This didn't look like a secret hideout to him.
"I'm not sure....I thought this would be the right place to go to..." Cloud trailed off. Now they had to go tell the others this probably wasn't the right place. Just then a man came out of the darkness. He was wearing a long cape, adorned with full plate mail, and a helmet with a red plume on top.
"Greetings my friends....My master Gyver has plans for you."
"Who the hell are you?" Cid asked, his Venus Gospel in hand. Cloud drew his Ultima Weapon, while Tifa got herself in a fighting position. Looks like they's have to either get some information out of this guy or get rid of him.
"That's not important right now......But what is is that you have exactly two minutes to live," the knight sneered.
"What are you talking about?" Tifa stepped in front of Cid.
"My master set a trap for you....And now it looks like he won't even need Sephiroth to finish off you fools!" The knight laughed a hideous, inhuman laugh.
"Why did your master bring back Sephiroth?" Cloud grabbed the man by the neck as well he could.
"Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!" The knight continued his mocking. Tifa tapped Cloud on the shoulder.
"Cloud, we gotta get out of here!" Tifa said. It was no use talking ot this night. They had to get out of here. The companions started running like crazy to the exit, hoping they would have enough time to save their friends. After what seemed like hourse, they finally reached the intersection they had branched off in. They ran forward in a desperate attempt to find the rest of AVALANCHE. They fianlly saw about 50 yards ahead of them the rest of AVALANCHE. They increased their pace, and finally caught up to them.
"What the hell are you guys doin' here?" Barret asked, as he saw Cloud running up to him.
"No time to explain, we gotta get the hell outta here!" Cloud yelled frantically, and ordered everyone to run like mad. Now all the companions were in a full sprint, hurrying to the exit.
Then Cloud heard an explosion. SHIT! The bomb has gone off, he thought.
"Goddamn it! The fuckin' bomb just went off!" Cid yelled as he too heard the bomb go off. All of AVALANCHE looked behind. They could see the fire was coming up behind them. It was one hell off a bomb, Cid thought. The heroes increased their pace, but the fires still came on even stronger.
"Look! There's the door!" Cloud pointed. He ran as fast as his tired legs would carry him to the door and finally made it out of the house. The others were behind him and they too came out, but then Cloud heard another explosion. This explosion knocked all of AVALANCHE back at least twenty feet. The entire building was in flames, and catching everything around it in flames.
"God damn......" Cid moaned. Everyone slowly got up. No one was injured, not seriously anyways.
"I believe we should get out of here right now, considering this whole town is burning on fire," Vincent said, appearing not to even be injured. If Cloud would have been awake, he would have agreed.
"Well this is just great! We got Gongaga on fire, Red is dead, Sephiroth is alive, and now Cloud unconscious! Shit! Is anything ever going to go our way?" Barret yelled out, as he noticed inhabitants of Gongaga coming out of their houses, fleeing. Gongaga was burning down, and AVALANCHE could do nothing about it.
"So you really want to know about the Ghiites, huh?"
"Of course," Jake responded, "What do I have to do with them."
"My boy, you are the reincarnated spirit of Yegolar."
"Who is that?"
"The greatest Ghiite to ever live. We are the ones that discovered the Lifestream, materia, mako, everything about this entire planet. But the Cetra stole it from us....They used us to quench their own thirst for power, and they killed my people. Now these pathetic humans rule the world. They abused this planet for too long my boy. We have to take it back....It is your birthright!"
"How...how did the Ghiites get here?" Jake asked. Gyver smiled in response.
"Let me show you." Gyver grabbed Jake by the head and looked him straight in the eyes. Gyver's spirit left his physiological body and entered Jake's mind. Jake's mind was blank, young, unknowing of the world. Gyver spoke to Jake, "Let me show you....." Gyver took Jake's spirit with him.
Gyver opened a rift in the time continuum, and both he and Jake went inside. It was like being in some sort of roller coaster, except with fascinating colors and shapes and figures around. Finally they stopped.
"Where are we?" Jake asked, in awe of where they were. It resembled Earth, but their were no signs of civilization. The sky was blue, there were many forests, rivers, ponds, lakes, mountains. It was incredible. It was like nothing Jake had ever seen in his entire life.
"Welcome to Earth......ten thousand years ago."
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