Payback's a Bitch Chapter 6
By Joe L.
"How much farther is Nibelheim?" Yuffie said, as she tapped Cloud on the shoulder. Cloud moaned and then said angrily, "Infernal child, we'll get there when we get there!" Yuffie rolled her eyes.
"Okay! Jesus, don't have a hard attack," Yuffie huffed under her breath. Infernal child? Cloud had never said that. And much to Yuffie's distress, they were quite far away from Nibelheim. They were right now just past the mountain peaks of Cosmo Canyon and entering the wide open hills and plains that led to Nibelheim. As they were walking, they noticed that Vincent had stopped, and was looking out at the plains.
"Vincent, what is it?" Tifa asked him. Vincent didn't even glance back at her when he responded.
"In the distance. It appears something or someone is moving around. Looks like an animal." The creatures were around fifty feet away. Vincent decided that they should hide behind some bushes until Vincent got a good view of how many of them there were. Vincent then saw seven more of the creatures join the one he had spotted.
"Some sort of monster. They look like a cross between a lizard and a scorpion. Regardless of their appearance, I will be willing to bet that they aren't friendly." The creature's, as Vincent had noted, had very scaly green skin, with a prehensile like tail. But their face was that of a bug, with many eyes, and they had pincers in replace of claws. A very strange creature indeed. He then took out his Death Penalty and loaded in three bullets. From there, he took aim at one of the creatures with his scope on the Death Penalty. He lined up his shot, aiming directly at the creature's scaly head. Then, he pulled the trigger and the bullet hit right on the mark, blasting the creature right in it's head. The rest of the creatures cried out a strange kind of wail and they immediately started running around in circles, trying to comprehend what was happening to them. There were seven of the creatures left, and Vincent wasn't about to let them live. He took aim once again and shot two more, one in the chest and the other in it's back. The remaining abominations took to the hills, suddenly sprouting wings from their backs and flying far away, out of Vincent's range.
"Looks like that did the trick." Vincent said wryly. It certainly had.
"All right, can we get movin' again?" Cid said, and Vincent put his Death Penalty away. He imagined they wouldn't be running into any trouble for awhile. Or so he thought.
They were in the barracks, like they had been for quite some time now. Two years by his count. Two years under the rigorous training of Colonel Morris and the promise of substantial pay for their cooperation. And now, it was almost time for them to earn their pay. They had been told that when the time was right, they would be told their mission objective. But that was all. Nothing since then except training. But now, Gyver was about to announce their mission. Their moment.
"Goodday. You all have been here two years. And now, it is time for your mission. Underneath Kalm, there is an ancient artifact which my master needs to use. And of course, your job is very simple. Level Kalm. Leave nothing untouched. And once you have accomplished this task, you will be given your promised 100,000 gil each. That is all." Most of the other soldiers nodded their heads, and after they were dismissed, talked to one another about the mission. Except for him. Private Richard Briggins, formerly of the Imperial Army of Junon. But he had been summoned by this Order for undisclosed reasons. And now, this was his mission. Destroy Kalm. What the hell had he been thinking? He couldn't agree to such an insane mission. It was basically terrorism! Kalm barely had a standing army, so how were they to defend themselves? Briggins decided to talk to Colonel Morris about this turn of events. He found the Colonel in his office, a dark, damp room dimly lit by a single torch and only adorned with a desk and two chairs. Briggins immediately sat down in the chair next to Morris' office and spoke.
"Colonel, did you hear what I just heard?"
"About what, Private?" The Colonel asked.
"About our mission, sir. We are supposed to attack Kalm."
"Yes, that is right. What are you so worried about? It's our job."
"I know sir, but how can you condone it! We're wiping out an innocent city! I had no idea that this was our mission!"
"You had no idea? Son, what are you talking about? Who cares? We're getting paid good money, so who gives a shit about Kalm anyway? Just a piece of garbage town."
"Do you have any fucking idea what you're saying?" Colonel Morris immediately stepped up from his chair to look down upon Briggins.
"Listen Private, do you know who you are talking to? Your commanding officer! So cut all of this bullshit! Just that the hell went up your ass, son? Since when did you become so righteous and holy! When you join the army, you are expected to uphold your duty, no matter what it is! Do you hear me? No matter what the goddamn cost. And if that means pillaging an entire SMALL town, than goddammit, that is our mission. And of you can't handle something like that, then get the hell out of my office and get your ass out of here and go home to your mommy, okay?" Briggins visage remained the same, angry and hateful.
"With all do respect sir, fuck you and this whole fucking place." With that, Briggins stood up from his chair, saluted Morris and walked out of the building. He was going to talk to Gyver about this. He stormed from the Colonel's office, through the barracks, and straight down a few hallways, all which he remembered had lead to Gyver's quarters. He had remembered going there when he had first arrived at the Order's base. It had been around three months since the last time he had visited Gyver's room, but he had an excellent memory. Soon, he was upon the large wooden doors that led to Gyver's room. He opened them up, and stepped inside. Gyver, as usual, appeared to be working at his desk, probably working on the details of their attack on Kalm. Gyver obviously saw him come in, and spoke in his soothing voice.
"What is it soldier, shouldn't you be readying yourself like the others? We do leave tomorrow you realize." Briggins walked over to Gyver's desk and viciously said,
"Listen, cut the crap. Destroy Kalm? What the hell are you thinking? What have they ever done to you and what do they have to offer to you? Huh?"
"I don't understand. You are supposed to be a soldier right? And since I am your commanding officer, you are supposed to do what I say, right?"
"That's right, but this is different. I've been here two years, thinking of all the possibilities of what our mission was. I thought that maybe we were here to stop the war between Gongaga and Cosmo Canyon, or Wutai and Junon. But destroy Kalm? You have to be fucking joking! Why?"
"Why, you ask? Must I go through this story again? Oh well.
Many years ago, the Cetra created a missile called a Proton missile. This is probably the deadliest missile ever constructed. They planned to test it's power against a Planet many lightyears away. But fortuneately, an entity known as Jenova arrived on Earth and wiped out most of the Cetra, and their missile was lost to them forever. But with the decline of the Cetra, somehow, this gave birth to the beings called humans, who themselves where much like the Cetra. The humans rose quickly to power, and my people had no hope of ever taking this planet back. But you humans never discovered this Proton missile that was to be used by the Cetra. Recently as two years, I came across a piece of Cetra literature that spoke of the Proton missile and it's whereabouts and it's supposed power. Using my best encryptologists, I deciphered the Cetra's language. While it took many weeks and months, the payoff was great indeed. I discovered where this missile was located. It was in a missile bay along with many others like it. As I stated, the missiles were set to be used on targets across the galaxy, against opponents that rivaled the Cetra's power. And this missile bay was underneath what is now Kalm. And now that I know where it is, I must get to this bay. That is why I brought all of you soldiers here. I cannot risk a defeat. No matter the cost I must reach this missile bay and see if these missiles truly work."
"What do you mean, see if this missile truly works?"
"Why, use it on this Planet of course."
"Are you fucking mad? You are going to destroy this Planet?"
"Well, for a time, I wished to reclaim this world for my people, but I realize that dream will never come to fruition. Mankind has polluted and pillaged this world, just as the Cetra did. The damage that has been done can never be repaired, so I must destroy it. Erase any evil that still remains of the Cetra and humans."
"You are fucking insane! I won't let you destroy this world!" Briggins stated defiantly.
"What can you do? Kill me? I think not. Though while my exterior is weak, I assure you I am a more powerful being than you have ever seen." Briggins stared at Gyver with sharp, hatefilled eyes.
"You won't get away with this."
"Ah, but I already have."
His cell was very cold. So cold he grimaced when he touched the floor to rest on, considering there was nothing else to sleep on. Cloud sighed to himself. How in the world am I ever going to get out of here? It seemed utterly hopeless, though Cloud had taken note that the guards only checked the prisoners once every two or so hours. Maybe between those checkups I could try and dig a hole through the wall. It appears to be made of only very soft rock. Ah, but where would I hide the evidence? And what could I use to dig with? Damn me, I'm going crazy, Cloud thought. But then, most people would probably be shocked at the prospect that they were actually an alien of an ancient race that once inhabited prehistoric Earth. At this point, Cloud didn't know if he believed him. It didn't make any sense that he was a lizard. He had never shown any physical signs of a lizard, he was never contacted by the Ghiites, and he couldn't communicate with the Planet.
"He has to be lying," Cloud said to himself. Though he admitted to himself that at times he felt alone in the world, they were just normal emotions that every human has. It was not because he had a yearning to return to a faraway planet. No, Gyver is just playing mind games with me, exactly like Sephiroth. He wants to drive me insane, so that he can control me and bend me to do is biddings. This is what Cloud believed, maybe only halfheartedly, but he still did. It was the only way to cling to his sanity. Just then Cloud heard several loud footsteps. Guards coming to check up on all the prisoners, Cloud surmised.
Sure enough, three guards adorned in the garb of a Shinra soldier entered the room. They all carried M-16's and Glock pistols attached to their belts. They seem to be more heavily armored than before, Cloud noted. Why such the upgrade in security, Cloud thought. Cloud could faintly make out their voices.
"So what are we supposed to be doing now?" The guard on the left said.
"You fucking moron! Watch over the prisoners!" The guard in the middle said, exasperated.
"Yeah, but why was Gyver so hyper about us watching them?"
"Cuz of that Cloud guy. If Cloud escapes, Gyver sez that he can destroy all of us!"
"Shit! You have to be fucking kidding me!"
"Hey, Master Gyver doesn't lie. He says that if Cloud survives, there is a weapon like no other."
"What? Stronger than the Proton missile?"
"I don't know. It's a sword of some kind. Something about whoever wields the blade becomes impervious to pain, all the while this sword can destroy anything in it's path."
"How could Cloud get this sword?"
"Master doesn't know. He only says that he has the potential acquire the sword, so that doesn't mean he necessarily he will get it."
"Yeah, but let's face it, he isn't going anywhere."
"You're right. Besides, once everyone leaves this place, there ain't gonna be no way for him to survive. Without us giving him food and water, he'll starve to death."
"He he. Say, you hear that the little prick Briggins defected?"
"What? That little bastard? Who gives a shit, I thought he was a useless little fuck anyways."
"He thinks he can stop Gyver somehow. What a complete nut."
"Yeah, fucking stupid man..." The rest of the soldiers conversation remained unimportant, with them talking about how many women they had knocked up and who they'd like to knock up. Briggins, Cloud thought. So he had defected from Gyver. If I ever get out of here, I could use a guy like that to fight the Order that is if I ever get out of here, Cloud said to himself.
"Are we ready to leave yet?" Yegolar said impatiently. Gyver looked up at Yegolar from his desk. It appeared Jake had finished the transformation from Jake to Yegolar. He was now a fullblooded Ghitte. Jake Syndel no longer existed, there now was only the Ghiite named Yegolar Y'Akir.
"Well, the troops have been fully armed, the tanks have been loaded with ammo and gasoline to run on, and the various other infrantry weapons have been stockpiled in the trucks. So to answer your question, yes we are ready to leave for Kalm."
"Excellent. Tell everyone that we are leaving." Yegolar smiled. Finally, they were starting their march to Kalm. In a matter of half an hour, everyone Order soldier and tank and truck had been assembled out of Midgar, finally seeing the daylight for the first time in years. When everybody had been gathered, Yegolar spoke to them all for the first time.
"Goodday to all of you. I believe that you have been already informed of our mission. In case you weren't around, then here it is. We are traveling to Kalm in search of an ancient missile bay buried underneath Kalm. But you soldiers don't need to worry about that. My scientists and teams of demolitionists will worry about that. Your job will to be eradicate every living thing in Kalm. A few ground rules for all of you soldiers. First, never ever retreat during this battle. If you men are as good as I think you are, you will totally wipe out Kalm. Secondly, never hesitate to shoot women and children, because as I said, every living thing. That is all. Now let's go." And with that, the army of the Order began it's silent, deadly march to Kalm. Yegolar had them march single file, an old trick to hide their numbers. Not that it mattered. No matter how good Kalm were at fighting they didn't stand a chance against the Order, unless they got reinforcements. But in this day in age, nobody helped anybody. The entire world was in a state of turmoil. Nobody trusted anyone anymore.
After many hours, in the distance, Yegolar spotted on the horizon Kalm. It seemed very peaceful, probably unaware of the fate which would befall it.
Well, at least they are all gone, Cloud thought. Those bastard Order guys are all gone, but that still doesn't help me get out of here. Then Cloud heard footsteps, boots. What is an Order soldier still doing here. Sure enough, a soldier dressed in a Shinra uniform approached. But his helmet was off and Cloud could see his face. He had short black hair, and his face was covered with a very thick beard and mustache. His eyes were a raven black, and he appeared very angry. . He came right up to Cloud's cell and stated very plainly.
"Hey, are you Cloud Strife?"
"Yeah that's me."
"Good. I'm getting you out of here." Then, the soldier reached from his pocket and took out a set of keys. He then unlocked Cloud's cell, and Cloud stepped out, finally free.
"Thanks. But why did you let me outta here?"
"I got a score to settle with those Order bastards. They think they are going to destroy Kalm and this entire fucking world. Ain't gonna happen. And I figure that if anyone can help me, it's you. You are Cloud Strife after all."
"I know about what the Order's planning to do. But what can we do to stop them. I have some friends that would help us, but they have no idea where I am."
"You mean AVALANCHE?"
"Yeah that's right, but still, that's enough to take out an entire army."
"You're right. But we have to give it a shot, because who else will?"
"Wait, I got an idea!"
"What is it?"
"Just follow me. We might make it in time to stop them from taking over Kalm, but we can still toast all those assholes."
"Explosives. And lots of them," Cloud said with a childish grin and ushered for the soldier to follow him.
"Say, what's your name?"
"Briggins. Richard Briggins."
"Well Briggins, welcome to AVALANCHE. Your first mission, save the fuckin' world."
The rest of AVALANCHE's trip to Nibelheim had remained very uneventful. Most of them were getting very sick and tired of traveling, but Cloud had told them that they were getting very close.
"Trust me guys, we are almost there." Cloud explained to them. Cid rolled his eyes at this.
"Yeah, bullshit. You said that hours ago. This time I mean it. We should get there before nightfall. I promise."
"Whatever, let's just go," Cid said, and started smoking another cigarette. With that, AVALANCHE returned to walking to Nibelheim. Around sundown, Vincent made out the telltale mountains which meant Nibelheim was in front of them.
"We are almost there my friends. As the day wanes, our journey has just begun," Vincent said eerily. In a matter of fifteen minutes, AVALANCHE had reached their destination. Nibelheim. A once peaceful city that was destroyed and then rebuilt by the Shinra. And now, nowbody was here. It was a ghost, an ominous reminder of the evil and deception of the Shinra. Here I am, Cloud thought. Were Cloud and his friends journey began. And it will be where their journey ends.
"Now that we're here, the hell are we gonna do?" Barret gruffly said. He was way too tired to try and search for some base.
"I dunno. I guess stay in of these houses for the night. I don't know about you, but I'm way to tired to try and search for something." Nobody argued, though Cait Sith didn't need sleep. So they decided to go into the closest house to them, which happened to be an inn. They all got into seperate rooms, said goodnight, and around 10:00, everyone was asleep. Everyone except Cloud had morphed back into Sephiroth now.
Now is the time, Sephiroth thought to himself. You have led these cretins this far, and now it is time to finish your job and kill them. But then a feeling came over Sephiroth. Was is this, Sephiroth thought. Remorse? You are fooling yourself, he thought. These people are not your friends. They never were. Don't do this to yourself. Remorse and pity are for the weak. Sephiroth clenched his teeth. He took his knife from it's sheath and started out of his room. It's time to finish game once and for all, he thought. He decided to got to Tifa's room, for no other reason than it was the closest room to him.
He quietly stalked over to her door, and slowly turned the knob. He saw Tifa fast asleep on her bed. In her room, he noticed that there was a window, which would make a good escape if they all come after me, Sephiroth thought. He tiptoed over to Tifa's bed and had his knife in his hand. He put his hand over Tifa's mouth, and that is when she woke up.
"Hello Tifa Lockheart." Sephiroth smiled evily. Tifa's eyes almost popped out of their sockets when she saw who stood over her. "Yes Tifa, it is me. And after I kill you, your other friends will suffer a similar fate." He brought his knife up for the killing blow, but Tifa used the opportunity to kick him in the stomach, sending him sprawling backwards and dropping the knife.
"You little bitch! You'll pay for that!" He hissed and ran over to his knife, but Tifa was quicker. She ran over to Sephiroth before he could pick up his blade and solidly hit him with a roundhouse kick that sent him into the dresser, crashing into it. Sephiroth couldn't believe he was getting beat, and in a fit of anger got up from the remains of the dresser and ran at Tifa. Tifa, not expecting this, was caught off guard and was tackled by Sephiroth, sending her sprawling to the floor.
"I don't need a knife. I'll kill you with my barehands!" Sephiroth said as he choked Tifa, who could nothing to stop him. Luckily, Cid had heard all this commotion and came into her room. WHile only adorned in his boxer shorts and having no weapon in hand, Cid was not afraid. He was almost knocked by seeing Sephiroth on top of Tifa, choking her!
"You fucker! Get the fuck off of her!" Cid said as he raced over and knocked Sephiroth off Tifa with a vicious kick to the stomach. The kick sent Sephiroth to the ground, who immediately jumped up.
"Look who joined the party. Welcome Cid," Sephiroth smirked as he readied himself for a fight.
"Shut the fuck up and prepare to get your ass kicked!" Cid said as he charged at Sephiroth with a flurry of punches, each connecting with Sephiroth's jaw and forehead. Before he knew it, Cid had knocked Sephiroth on the ground, covered in blood. Just then the rest of AVALANCHE came in.
"Cid, what the hell is happening?" Barret yelled as he saw Cid standing over a figure.
"Just shut the hell up! Sephiroth's here!" Cid yelled back. As he conversed with Barret, he took the opportunity to punch Cid in the stomach, sending him to his knees. Then, Sephiroth stood up and picked Cid up, in a military press. Sephiroth walked over to the window, preapring to throw him over.
"Prepare to die Cid Highwind!" Sephiroth yelled maniacally.
"Fuck you, shiteater!" Cid screamed defiantly as he lashed out with his fists, connecting squarely with Sephiroth's jaw. The blow knocked off balance, and sent him through the window, with Cid with him. They both fell from thirty feet in the air and each landed with a loud thump. While Cid was instantly killed, the fall did nothing to Sephiroth. He immediately got up and ran. He had failed. How would he explain this to Gyver?
The rest of AVALANCHE had ran to the window to look down at the carnage. It was horrible. Cid's body was crushed, every bone broken, and most certainly dead. Tifa cried out in anguish, with Cid trying to comfort her. Yuffie even cried for the old man, whom she had to admit she cared for even though they fought most of them time.
Vincent was the only one who showed no emotion. As usual, he stood over the scene of carnage and did nothing.
"So, Sephiroth lives. I should have known. Oh well." Tifa completely lost it at that remark and screamed at Vincent,
"What do you mean oh well? Cid's dead!! What the hell is wrong with you? You're not even human, you sick bastard! You're not even close!"
"She didn't mean that-" Barret started but Vincent cut her off.
"She is right. I'm not human, and I haven't been human for a very long time. But I have no time to argue with her. We have a job to do. Find Sephiroth, and kill him. For good."
Damn, how could I fail? Sephiroth thought. How could I be so stupid? As Sephiroth was pondering these thoughts, Gyver entered his mind yet again.
"Yes my master?" Sephiroth answered, uneasily.
"Have you completed your task?"
"Well, no, but I-"
"No my master. I did manage to kill Cid. But you see, my element of-"
"Damn you Sephiroth! You failed. I should have never have revived you, you were better off remaining dead!"
"Please, if you will give me another chance, I am sure-"
"No! No more chances! Sephiroth, you will burn in hell with the rest of these people when this is all through! I no longer need you and your pathetic talents."
"What? You think you can defeat me you incompetent fool? Do you know how I am?"
"I won't have to. As much as I'd love to teach you a thing or two about true power, I won't need to fight you. You and the rest of this pathetic planet do not have much longer to live." And with that, Gyver ended his contact with the great Sephiroth. That bastard, Sephiroth thought. So all along, Gyver was playing me for a fool, Sephiroth thought. Gyver's true motives were revealed. Nobody plays Sephiroth for a fool, he thought. Nobody.
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