Payback's a Bitch Chapter 8
By Joe L.
They had been marching for hours now. Yegolar and Gyver would not permit them to stop and rest, so they kept marching. But now, they were in the home stretch. On the horizon, they could see the outskirts of Kalm.
"Finally, we're almost there," Gyver said, and smiled. "It is almost time my master. Almost time."
"Not nearly as close as I wish it to be Gyver."
"You have nothing to fear, my lord. Kalm barely has a standing army of 500 men. And also, all the equipment they have ancient compared to our guns. Nothing can go wrong."
"Nothing except AVALANCHE."
"They can do nothing. How can a band of people survive against an army of thousands?" Yegolar smiled at this. He was right. If AVALANCHE was stupid enough to attack him they would die. It was useless to try and stop him.
"I suppose so," Yegolar smirked. The rest of the march remained uneventful, until they reached their destination. On the outskirts of the city, Kalm's army awaited Yegolar's troops. While Kalm's army was inside the city, the Order's troops were outside of the gates, and easy targets A man in the front of the Kalm army seemed to be directing orders, and pointing troops to go here and there.
"I advise you and your army to retreat. If you do not, we will be forced to destroy you!" Yegolar called out to the opposing army. The general of Kalm's army said something to one of his lieutenants, and then spoke,
"ATTACK!" And with that, the Battle of Kalm begun.
After the general yelled out his response, the sound of gunfire ripped through the peaceful land. Many of the Order's troops fell, though more took their place. With that, the Order responded with the firing of guns and of firing of rockets from rocket launchers, bazookas. In a matter of moments, the gates of Kalm were destroyed, and Order troops stormed the gates, taking cover, and returned fire to Kalm. Fortunately, the Order troops that got inside were immediately killed by Kalmish troops up in buildings, picking them off.
"Damn! Use the fucking tanks! Now!" Yegolar screamed. He hadn't imagined Kalm to be capable of this. Their AK-47's and rifles were easily dismantling Yegolar's M-60's and rocket launchers. Order troops were directing to take cover on one of the many hills surrounding Kalm, and let the tanks destroy the buildings were Kalmish troops were. Yegolar had an impressive tank force of around 50. With one attack, the tank's powerful shells sent many buildings up in flames.
"Fuck! Give me a fucking target!" A soldier in one of the tanks called out. The other soldier manning the scope looked frantically for a target.
"There's the cocksucker right there! Twenty yards to the east! Up on about the third floor! Shit, the mother fucker's got a fucking gatling gun!"
"Alright! Fire!" The soldier ordered, and the tank's 155mm round went soaring through the air, till it destroyed the tall mansion the soldier and his compatriots were firing from. "Yes! That motherfucker's toast!" Just then a loud explosion went off. It was right next to their tank.
"Shit! Terrin! What the fuck was that!!!" the soldier asked Terrin.
"Fuck me! Rogers, it was one of our fucking tanks!" Terrin called out.
"How the fuck did that happened! Find out who's the mother fucker with anti-tanks guns like fucking that!" Terrin looked for more men. Mostly he saw groups of soldiers with rifles, picking off infantry. Then he spotted ten troops manning five MLRS's, or multiple launch rocket system.
"Shit! Get those fuckheads right fucking now!"
"Yes sir!" And with that, the cannon shot off another round, immediately destroying the soldiers, along with their MLRS's, ensuring now that all of Yegolar's M551 Sheridan tanks could break through and go into the heart of the city.
"All right Jenkins! Send communications to all other tanks. Tell them give cover for me and ten other tanks. We're going inside!" The third officer in the tank, Jenkins, nodded. He radiocontacted all the other troops to give cover to his tank, and the ones Rogers ordered to come with him.
"Okay! Let's kick some ass!" Rogers called out, and with a roar of the diesel engine, the Sheridan was off across the plains, right into Kalm. The tanks drove past the rest of the Order's ranks, followed by ten other Sheridan's, and covered by the rest of the tanks' force and the many infantry storming through to Kalm, firing their machineguns and killing with no remorse.
"Okay! We're in! Terrin! I need targets! Let's give these bastards hell!" With that, the tanks cannons went off like crazy, incinerating homes and buildings, killing soldiers and innocents alike.
"Come on you guys! I need backup! We got three guys up in that building! It's about 300 yards away, and it's picking our tanks to pieces! Get someone on it! Our fucking cannons can't reach that fucking far!" Lieutenant Rogers cried out over the radio. He needed some infantry to pick off the soldiers, because those Kalm officers were equipped with three gatling guns, whose bullets easily shredded the tank's armor.
"Okay, we're coming!" A voice crackled over the radio. "We're sending sixty-five infantry with over ya to help! Hold on!" Rogers then ordered his tanks to keep pressing forward, no matter the cost. Then Yegolar's voice crackled inside all the radios of every officer and tanks alike.
"Everybody! Get up off you ass and rush these fools! They don't stand a chance of we send all of ur army! So go!" With that, the infantry came up from their hiding postions and stormed the gates of Kalm. While many Order troops lost their lives in this blitzkrieg, thousands crossed into Kalm, and destroying and shooting everything in sight. After about twenty minutes, all the soldies were inside Kalm. Once again Yegolar's voice cried out,
"Destroy everything! I want everything destroyed! Women, children, everything!" With that, the tanks blasted homes that were once left alone, and as the soldiers made their way down streets, they shot all who were in range. What was once peaceful, now was a tornado of guns, fire, and dead bodies. Though Kalm had done good in defending their territory, once the soldiers had gotten through, it was all over.
Rogers and his tank force blasted all snipers and heavy artillery that Kalm had, while the Order's infantry killed all Kalmish infantry and anything else that was alive. In around half an hour, the Battle of Kalm was over. Half was Kalm was destroyed, the other part burning, and every soldier was dead.
As the Order was celebrating their massacre of Kalm, they heard explosions not from their own, but of enemy soldiers. Somewhere, a band of soldiers was killing them. Panic ensued. Soldiers rushing to their guns, running to their tanks, men taking cover.
Rogers in particular took cover behind a trashcan. "Where the fuck is that coming from?" Then, a rocket soared through the sky and hit near Rogers, destroying three tanks and killing numerous men in the tanks.
"Shit! Somebody find those shitheads!" Rogers heard the sounds of machineguns firing and of soldiers dying. Soon, many rockets were being shot off, destroying most of the tanks that remained. Rogers decided to try and get a look as to where the rockets were coming from. He saw. They were coming from a small building on the edge of town. Putting down his binoculars he was using, he gathered up fifty officers to join him.
"Okay ladies, keep your eyes open. There might still be soldiers roaming the streets, so don't put your guard down!" With that, his band of soldiers stealthy ran down streets and through alleys, and hid behind buildings as to not be spotted by the enemy. Rogers figured that those soldiers had been there since the start of the fight. He estimated that maybe twenty enemy officers were in their, most of them with only assault rifles, but some with M-60's amd obviously MLRS's. Since they were approaching the building. Rogers used his binoculars and scoped out the building. They were firing from various windows from the house. It was around two stories tall, and looked to be quite tall. He wondered if there could be more than he imagined.
"All right. We're almost there. Just remember that these fuckers are a lot tougher than we gave 'em credit for, so watch out! Now, move it!" Rogers motioned for them to follow him, as he crept to the entrance of the building. There appeared to be now guards outside the building, protecting it. In a matter of moments, Rogers and his team were right at the wooden doors of the house.
"Here we go!!!!" Rogers yelled as he kicked open the door, and his troops stormed inside. Much to their chagrin, there were soldiers with AK-47's awaiting them. Shots rang out, and men went down. Rogers sprinted under a table for cover, and decided to use one of his grenades. Thankfully, his team were drawing fire away from him, so that he could get a chance to use his grenade. In a split second, he hurled his grenade in the officers direction, and with a large explosion, most of the enemies were dead. His team finsihed the rest of them off.
"How many did we lose?" Rogers asked a soldier. The soldier only shook his head.
"I don't know, Lieutenant. Hard to say. Nine, maybe ten."
"Shit! Gotta be more fucking careful next time! Okay, take ten guys to secure this floor. I'm taking the rest upstairs." With that, Rogers split his team, and he and his men following him climbed up the stairs leading to the second floor. Rogers spotted five guards walking down the stairs, to investigate what happened to the others. They were surprised to see slodiers waiting for them, and even more surprised when they were all shot in a matter of seconds. His team continued their descent up the stairs. Finally, they were on the second floor. Rogers saw , as he thought, men with MLRS's firing their rockets from the windows, with twenty soldiers armed with assaulr rifles to provide protection from someone who entered the building. Roger's team opened fire with a grim ferocity, taking the enemies by surprise and instantly killing five of them. In a panic, on of the men manning a MLRS accidentally shot his rocket straight up in the air, making a huge explosion in the building, killing all the other soldiers with MLRS's. What a lucky break, Rogers thought to himself.
Rogers heard the enemy trying desperately to call out orders in the madness and try to retaliate but to no avail. Though many of Roger's troops were gunned down, it didn't matter. Most of them survived, as Rogers took cover behind an overturned table along with other troops and randomly picked off Kalm soldiers. In around ten minutes, the Kalm officers had surrendered. Rogers had gathered them all up and set them up in a straight line, like that of an execution.
"So, you guys think that you can come up here and shoot all of us, and then surrender and expect to live? Bullshit! While I respect you for being so brave as to defend your city, I will show no mercy. Gentlemen, I salute you," Rogers saluted the officers that he had captured. However foolish they were, they were brave for trying so desperately to defend a hopeless cause. Rogers ordered his officers raise their guns, take aim on a man, and then fire. In a matter of seconds, the prisoners that Rogers had taken were executed.
"Good job you guys. Let's go back."
The Battle of Kalm had officially ended. 1,250 troops had died on the Order's side, while around 1,500 civilians and troops alike from Kalm died. Though battered and bruised, the Order was victorious. Kalm had put up a good fight, but they were no match for the military muscle of the Order. Yegolar and Gyver couldn't have been happier. Now they were so close to their goal they could almost taste.
"My master we have won. Kalm is defeated. Now all we must do is find the sacred weapon." Gyver said to Yegolar, who took to roaming the streets of Kalm, taking a look at the destruction.
"I suppose so." Yegolar sighed.
"Yegolar, you seem unhappy. Is something the matter?"
"No...nothing's wrong. It's just....Forget it. We did a good job. Tell the men to send in the drills. This could take a while to find the weapon. I'm not sure exactly where it is, though it is buried in the northeast sector of this town. Now go."
"Yes master," Gyver bowed to Yegolar, and ran off to find the engineers, who had been patiently waiting for the battle to be over so they could start their task of finding the missile. It is almost time, Yegolar thought. The time is near for my brothers and sisters to reclaim this land called Earth. This planet that is ours. Almost time......
Sephiroth had not told them anything, except that they were to find a relic forgotten by time.
"Goddammit Sephiroth, tell us where we're going!" Barret screamed as he followed Sephiroth to a cave by what was once Mideel.
"You'll see Barret. Believe me, this is no trap. There is a weapon that can be used to defeat an entire army." Sephiroth smirked. He just hoped it hadn't been destroyed or lost.
"That's it, we're not moving a singel bit till you tell us what it is!" Tifa said, and stopped walking. The others did the same. Sephiroth raised an eyebrow, and then sighed to himself. Well, here we go.
"Alright... As you know, the Cetra in reality were a warite race. They lived to make weapons of mass destruction. Around a thousand years ago, when they had fully harnessed the power of the Lifestream, they started to create weapons from it's energy. The first were crude attempts, that malfunctioned and wouldn't work. But then, a Cetra named Garrilk constructed a weapon. He got a flask full of the Lifestream and froze it. Much it his surprise, it hardened into a type of Lifestream ice. But it wasn't like normal ice. It was hard like steel. But it was lightweight. Garrilk tested it's strength by forging a weapon, a sword. When he was finished, he decided to test it out. He was blown away by the power of the weapon. It cut through solid rock like it was butter. But when he tried to construct more of these swords, it failed. No other soldier of the Cetra's army could use them. So, the leaders of the Cetra decided to enlist Garrilk in their army to train him to be the ultimate soldier. While training, Garrilk found another power of his sword. Somehow or another, the power of the Lifestream created a type of barrier around him, and whenever he used his sword, this magical barrier appeared. This barrier was indestructible. Nothing could hurt it. Garrilk found out many times in battles that his enemies were no match for his might. He was the most powerful Cetra in the world. But soon, he became greedy. And he used his sword for his own personal gain, not to protect the Cetra. Soon, he killed the Royal Cetra Family and took the throne as Emperor of Cetra. And then, his sword ceased to work. For some reason, it no longer cut through stone and his magical barrier no longer was activated when he held his sword. It is said that only one who is pure of heart can wield this weapon of the Lifestream. Garrilk was once one of the few good Cetra, but the sword changed him....
But now, we must find this sword. Though I should say, I don't know if any of us could wield it. None of you are proficient with a sword, and I am most certainly not pure of heart. Who could use it?" Sephiroth thought. Was anybody pure of heart? Dedicated to the protection of his Planet?
"Cloud," Tifa said. Only Cloud could use this sword.
"Cloud. How fitting..... One of the greatest swordsman ever..... I suppose there could have been none other." Sephiroth agreed with Tifa. They had to find Cloud. "But unfortunately, we aren't sure where Cloud is, are we?"
"No, but we think he's going to Kalm."
"Ah, yes. He'll meet up with Yegolar and Gyver. I'm afraid without the Sword of Life he stands not even a chance."
"Do you think it will take long to find this sword?"
"I don't know for sure. It might not even exist anymore, though that is a risk that we will have to take. But enough of this pointless chatter. We have work to do." And with that, Sephiroth continued his descent into the cave. It was pitch black. When AVALANCHE and Sephiroth had traveled deep enough, there was no light. It was so quiet in the cave that the companions could hear one another's footsteps. Just then Vincent's keen ears heard a noise. Footsteps.
"Sephiroth, did you hear that?" Vincent whispered to his companion.
"Yes. I believe something is waiting for us. Ready your weapon. It's looks like were will be in for a fight." And with that, AVALANCHE readied their weapons and prepared for a battle. In the distance, they saw a dozen figures walking right towards them. They appeared to be a bright green color, and almost liquidy. Like they were made of the Lifestream. When they were around ten yards away, one of them spoke in a gurgling, high pitched voice.
"Leave now. This is no place for a man."
"We want no trouble, I assure you. We are only hear in search of something important to us."
"What might that be?"
"The Sword of Life. We need it's power to help us in a battle."
"I'm afraid I cannot let you pass and find the sacred Sword of Life. A human such as yourself is not worthy of such a weapon."
"You are mistaken. With or without your consent, I will pass as will my companions to find this sword."
"Then you will have to get through me," one of the spirits said and with those words, it sprang forwards toward Sephiroth, while the others took on the rest of AVALANCHE.
The one which had talked to Sephiroth jumped right in front of him, and landed perfectly on it's feet. From nowhere, it's arm and hadn't turned into a kind of sword and immediately the spirit took to attacking Sephiroth viciously, with Sephiroth matching it's fury with finesse and skill. Though he doubted the spirit would wear itself down, we could already see that it was leaving it's body exposed with it's attacks. As the creature brought it's pseudosword up for a swing, Sephiroth stuck his Masamune right in the creature's belly, putting a look of pure shock on the creature. But then the shock wore off, and it changed to a look of spite.
"Ha. You are the first man to ever harm me. And you will most certainly be the last." And then the creature continued it's assault on Sephiroth, striking every possible second, looking for a weak spot in Sephiroth's defenses. But Sephiroth was a very good fighter, the best besides Cloud, and he knew that this Lifestream creture could be beaten. Unfortunately though, the creature had backed Sephiroth into the stone wall, and was lashing out with his "sword". Sephiroth easily parried the blows, and soon, the creature thrusted at Sephiroth, who hit the creature's sword, sending it to the ground. With nothing to protect itself, Sephiroth thrusted straight through the creature's neck. A strange kind of light greenish-blue blood poured from the gash, and the creature convulsed rapidly. In a matter of seconds, the creature had vaporized into nothingness.
As Sephiroth looked on, he noticed the rest of the creature's were gone, except the one attacking Yuffie. She was having a hard time scoring very many hit's with her Conformer. The shuriken seemed to have little effect on the beast even when she did hit. Sephiroth sighed to himself, and walked over to the creature. The monster didn't even notice him and it was way too late, for when the creature turned around, Masamune was in the creature's stomach and it died very quickly. Yuffie appeared stunned at the fact that Sephiroth would actually help her and said nothing.
"I believe the appropriate words in this situation would be thank you, eh?" Sephiroth grinned. Yuffie only nodded in response. Sephiroth being nice? Yuffie thought, this is getting weirder every second. "Everybody okay?" AVALANCHE nodded, the creatures proved no problem for experienced warriors.
"So where do we go now, Sephiroth?" Cait Sith asked. Sephiroth cocked his head to face the strange machine.
"We continue down this cave. I'm not quite sure where the sword is, or if it even exists. But considering the attack by those monsters, I'm guessing it does exist. So let's continue," Sephiroth then continued down the depths of the cave, walking very slowly. It seemed odd to him that while they were traveling deeper into the cavern, it appeared to be getting lighter. Like something at the end of the cave was very bright.
Whatever lied at the end of this cave, AVALANCHE pressed on. While everyone was weary of traveling more, they all complied and continued down the cave. To most of them, it seemed like they were getting nowhere. Yuffie constantly complained about how hot it was in the cave, while Barret moaned about the fact that he needed a break. Even Cait Sith complained. After all, Reeve did need to take breaks from controlling Cait once in a while. Of all the group members, Vincent was the only one up for the task. But of course, he rarely said anything at all, much less complain. Finally AVALANCHE had a break. In the perpetual darkness, Vincent saw a light, around three hundred yards away.
"Look there my friends. A light. I believe we are almost to the end of this journey." The rest of AVALANCHE looked to where Vincent pointed.
"I see it! You're right Vincent. So let's hurry up with this and get that sword!" Tifa cried out in joy. And with that, the rest of the group continued on with a renewed vigor and intensity. It looked as if maybe they were close to getting the Sword of Life. Finally the party came upon the source of the light.
It was a large room in the cave. In the back, floating above a wooden case was a sword. The Sword of Life no doubt. But in front of them stood the largest creature they had ever seen. It was seventy five feet tall, with huge rippling muscles. It's skin appeared to be tough, and leathery. It's skin was a tan color, with wings sprouting from it's back. It stood upright on claws, that appeared to be as sharp as any sword or axe. It's head was adorned with many horns jutting from every direction. It's face looked to be almost human, but not quite. It's nose came to a sharp point, and it's eyes. It's eyes set it apart from anything. There was something about those eyes that was not right. Like looking into a whole new world....
"Holy shit," Barret muttered as he saw the creature. AVALANCHE slowly stepped away from the creature, all except Sephiroth and Vincent. The creature opened it's mouth to speak, in a loud, booming voice.
"I am the Keeper. You have made it this far. I congratulate you. Are you here for the Sword of Life?"
"Yes we are. And if we have to defeat you to get to it, so be it," Vincent said coldly. He was not afraid of the terrible beast.
"The Sword of Life cannot be given. You must pass two tests. Two tests of mind and body. Are you ready?"
"Yes," Vincent answered.
"The first test is a test of the mind. You must answer a riddle. You have one guess. If you fail, you all die. Agreed?"
"Then here is the riddle. I see everything, but I have no eyes. I hear everything, but I have no ears. What am I?" Then the Keeper folded his arms, and waited for the answer. Damn, I know this, Vincent thought. This is an easy riddle. I should know this one. The rest of AVALANCHE was deep in thought, knowing that a wrong answer would cost them their life.
"You have ten seconds.....nine....eight.....seven....six.....five.....four....three....two....one..." The Keeper stated matter of factly.
"The brain!" Yuffie blurted out. Everyone looked at her. If that wasn't the right answer, they would all die.
"That is correct. You have passed the test of the mind. Can you pass the test of the body? Nobody ever has."
"What might that be?" Vincent questioned. The Keeper grinned to himself.
"A duel to the death. Your friends against me. If you win, you take the Sword. If you lose, you will be dead. You have no choice but to accept." All of AVALANCHE looked at each other, and drew their weapons. Yuffie readied her Conformer in one hand, Cait Sith readied some materia he had, Tifa readied her fists, Barret prepared his Pile Banger, Sephiroth drew his Masamune, while Vincent loaded his Death Penalty and said slyly,
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