Payback's a Bitch Chapter 9

By Joe L.

They had arrived to late. When Briggins and Cloud arrived near Kalm, the battle was already over. Most of Kalm was burning, with no survivors. They were all shot.

"Good God! What the fuck are we gonna do now?" Briggins screamed at Cloud, as they walked to the top of the hill they were on. Cloud scratched his chin for awhile, and then said,

"Hold on a second. Now I have a really good idea. Since this secret base is buried underground, then that means that the Order will probably use drills and explosives right?"

"Yeah. We already knew that."

"Well, here's the easy way to use our plan. We take out a few of the explosives guys, take their clothes, and pose as one of the Order's guys. We then set up OUR explosives around Kalm, destroying all those bastards!"

"What if somebody asks what we're doing when we are setting up our explosives?"

"We'll just say that we're doing what we were being told. Trust me, it's fool proof." Briggins nodded. While it sounded easy, it was definetely going to be hard to pull off.

"Let's hurry. There's no guarantee there are any explosivs guys, and even then, it might be hard to find them." Cloud said as he hurried down the hill to Kalm. Briggins followed.

As Cloud and Briggins got closer, they were amazed by the fact at how much damage the Order had done. It seemed they had left nothing untouched. These guys must be professionals. Cloud just couldn't believe that humans were actually helping destroy this Planet by helping the Order. In a matter of ten minutes, Cloud and his companion were around thirty yards away from Kalm. He was surprised to see no guards securing the entrance. He figured they would have to sneak past a few guards.

"What do we do now?" Briggins said, as they continued walking to Kalm. CLoud shrugged.

"I dunno. Just try to not be seen I guess. At least not by Yegolar or Gyver. Hopefully we can get out of these clothes and find some ones that will suit us better." Actually, this remark was more for Cloud than Briggins. Briggins was adorned in his Shinra soldier uniform, fitting in perfectly. Cloud on the other hand, was wearing the same outfit he usually wore. Gloves, shirt, baggy pants, and boots. He definetely would be spotted easily. But now Cloud and Briggins were inside what remained of Kalm.

While walking through the ruined remains of Kalm, several guards stopped the companions. There were five of them, armed with machine guns, and the one in front spoke to them.

"Soldier, what are you doing?" The man asked in a deep voice. Briggins answered calmy,

"We are looking for the demolitionists. You happen to know where they are? We are supposed to instruct them on what they are supposed to do."

"Hmmm. Oh yeah, they are about seventy five yards east. I think they are about ready to go sir. Good luck," the soldier saluted Briggins and Cloud. and they continued on their way.

"Damn, that was close." Cloud wiped the sweat from his brow. Briggins nodded, and then pressed. Taking the soldier's direction, they arrived at a burnt down mansion, with about twenty five men dressed in white suits, the kind a doctor would have if they were examining some type of extremely deadly virus or something. A suit with the large helmets, the gloves and everything. Good for concealing who we are, Cloud thought. Cloud whispered something to Briggins and they approached two of the demolitionists. They told them it was important. They then took the men inside the building. It was mostly burnt down, but not like anybody could see them.

From there, Cloud and Briggins quickly punched the two in the face, knocking them unconscious. From there, they stripped their suits and put them on theirselves. Cloud didn't even bother to take his clothes off. They needed to hurry and fast. Soon, they rejoined their military "buddies" and soon a drill instructor spoke to them of their mission and what to do. The man told them they would be using a special bomb that was highly radioactive, hence the reason for the suits. Cloud and Briggins however, kept their packs containing the C-4.

Soon, the instructor was finished and let the men relax for around half an hour.

"Okay Briggins, are you ready?" Cloud whispered.

"Hell yeah," Briggins said, and the group got up from the ground which they had been sitting on. Quickly, they made their move to set up their bombs. Trying not to be seen, they placed their C-4 in various spots around the area of Kalm, trying very hard not to be spotted by guards. While a few times a guard would see them, they dismissed it as the demolitionists preparing for their job. Soon, in around fifteen minutes, they had used all their C-4, and they had alot. They were going to blow what remained of Kalm straight to hell.

"Okay, the timer on all of them is set for ninety minutes." Cloud stated plainly as they finished setting up the C-4.

"Damn. Isn't that cutting it a little too close?" Briggins asked, very concerned. Their might be a chance Gyver had already used a missile by then.

"I don't think so. It is going to take him a while to find this place, find out how to use a missile and all of that stuff. I think we have enought time."

"Well, can't you just the timer?"

"Sorry, but I'm no expert at bombs. I don't know why, but these bombs have been preprogrammed at this set time. I don't have the skill to change them." Briggins sighed to himself. He hoped that Cloud was right. Because if he was wrong, everyone on Earth would have to pay.


"Are we ready to go yet?" Yegolar asked Colonel Garond, impatiently.

"Yes sir. All the charges have been placed accordingly. It is at your command when we detonate." Yegolar smiled. Finally, his plan was coming to fruition.

"Good. Clear everyone out. In five minutes, detonate the charges, understood?"

"Yes sir." Garond saluted him, and walked off to tell the demolitionists. The explosives were set for five minutes. With that, all of the military we're cleared out of Kalm.

It was thirty seconds till detonation. Gyver and Yegolar waited very impatiently. They wished that the explosives would do the trick, but imagined that they would have to use the drills to clear the rest of the dirt and soil out.

In an instant, a loud explosion ripped through the ground and air, destroying everything in it's path. Pieces of the ground and houses were hurled up in the air as if they nothing. Everyone near Kalm could hear the explosion. While not extremely large, it made a hellacious sound. Even the citizens of Junon could hear the faint sound of destruction, though they could not tell what it was.

When it was over, Gyver smiled for the first time in a long time. He was actually happy. He'd never remembered this happy. Because when he looked over the remains of the area he had destroyed, he saw what he had been waiting for his entire life. An underground elevator. Leading to the Cetra missile bay.

"It is time, my master. It is time now." Gyver said, awestruck.


"Shit! They found the goddamn missile bay!" Briggins screamed in anger. Yegolar would destroy this planet before himself and Cloud could enact their plan.

"Don't worry. It's been around twenty minutes. Only seventy more minutes." Cloud said. Though while it was only an estimate, it was fairly accurate.

"I don't know Cloud. We're cutting it awfully close."

"Look, there's nothing we can do. It's not like we can just start killing everybody. We're just going to have to wait it out for awhile, and hope for the best."

"Hope for the best?"

"Yeah. Like that it'll take Gyver and awhile to figure out how to operate the bay. Also, we need to get out of here right now."


"Well, our C-4 going to go off in awhile, and I'd hate to get caught in the middle of it."


Yegolar and Gyver took around twenty scientists with them down into the sacred Cetra hangar. When they opened up the door of the elevator, it was very large. Like a normal elevator, there were buttons right by the entrance but they were not in English. They were in the language of the Cetra. Fortunately, Gyver was well acquianted with the Cetra language and had no problem punching in the correct button to the missile hangar.

With a loud groan, the elevator made it's descent into the heart of the Planet. Yegolar was surprised that the machine even worked. It had been thousands of years since anyone had even touched the machine, but the Cetra were excellent engineers of many things.

In a matter of minutes, the doors opened once again to a dark passageway. They were in the hangar, but all the lights were off.

"Find a lightswitch or something," Yegolar muttered to the group, and soon everyone was searching for a switch. A scientist found something, and clicked it on. Soon, the lights all in the clicked on in unison. The missile bay was fairly normal, with many chairs and desks. They appeared to be in the main antechamber, with many hallways leading off to different sectors. There were signs posted up on hallways. Gyver read them aloud.

"Officers quarters. Government quarters. Missile bay To missile control. Let's go there, shall we?" They all agreed, and went to a hallway to the left of them. The hallway was very long, and they were all amazed at the Cetra architecture. The building materials they used were like nothing they had every seen. The missile bay appeared to be made out of wood, but the wood was a dark grey color, and hard like steel. Yegolar surmised that they could have gotten it from their homeplanet of Gorath, or possibly another Planet they had once dominated.

Once they had finished walking down the hall, they were greeted by a large room filled with computers and chairs and a large radar screen, which seemed like a map of the entire Earth.

Getting his team of scientists sitiuated throughout the room, Gyver explained to his scientists what all the buttons meant. One turned on a camera that was right in where all the missiles were. Yegolar and Gyver watched the screen awe as they saw all the missiles. They had been waiting there whole lives for this. As they were watching this, a soldier came rushing in.

"Yegolar sir!" The soldier said, gasping for breath. Yegolar turned around to listen to what this soldier had to say.

"Yes, what is it?"

"Some guards reported seeing two men setting up C-4 from outside the perimeters where are bombs were detonated?"

"Meaning what soldier?"

"Somebody has set bombs up around whole city sir!"

"Cloud......" Yegolar growled, pure hatred filled within his soul. "The bastard got out. Thankfully, he didn't go after the Sword of Life. He would have destroyed the Keeper. Anyhow, find these two men. I don't care what you have to do, just find them. Now hurry, and also disarm the C-4. Go now," and with that, he dismissed the soldier, who immediately took off.

"Who do you think Cloud's accomplice is?" Gyver chimed in. Yegolar thought for a moment and then conjectured,

"Probably that traitor Briggins. Don't worry yourself, Gyver. I'm sure once we'll find those two, and disarm the bombs. Everything is going to plan. I expected a few roadblocks on our way to totally cleansing this Planet of all human life."

"Should I report to our troops that all the missiles are to be taken to the trucks?"

"Of course. And after that, contact our fellow brothers and sisters. How long do you think it will take for them to reach Earth?"

"Oh, I'd say about twenty minutes."


AVALANCHE's battle with the gigantic Keeper had begun. The room was so incredibly large that the Keeper had enough room to run around in. It must of been the size of a small city! Vincent's Death Penalty was the first attack, hitting the Keeper squarely in the chest. The bullet penetrated his skin, but did no apparent damage. Then, Cait used the power of his Thunder materia, and a gargantuan bolt of lightning penetrated through the ceiling of the cave and came crashing down upon the Keeper, creating a massive explosion on his face. When the ash cleared, he remained there smiling. He was testing AVALANCHE. He was going to let them have the first attack.

The sound of Barret's Pile Banger rang out through the cavern, his bullets landing there mark everytime, but still doing no damage. While he reloaded, Tifa took the opportunity to use her Ultima materia. In a matter of seconds, a small green ball was formed around the Keeper's feet. Soon, the ball grew larger and as it grew larger so did it's power. Soon, electric energy coursed through it and it was half the size of the Keeper. The Ultima was enveloping the entire Keeper, and then it exploded in a fury of magical energy. The Keeper grunted, and once again was unharmed.

"Good show AVALANCHE. I applaud your courage and bravery. But now it's my turn." And with that last words, he started his barrage.

Sephiroth had been standing close to the Keeper, looking for a chance to strike. When the Keeper finished his sentence, Sephiroth jumped from the rocky ground he stood on and into the air. Now, he was flying straight up so he could get a good shot at the Keeper's head. While he flew upwards, the Keeper swung his heavy fists at him, but Sephiroth dodged the jabs easily. He was then around twenty feet from the Keeper's head, horizontally. With a blinding quickness, Sephiroth stuck Masamune straight out in front and lunged right into the Keeper's eye. The Keeper was caught off guard and cried out in pain when Masamune went straight through his eye, making a deep gash, and drawing blood. In a matter of seconds, Sephiroth removed Masamune and started swinging at the Keeper's face. Though the Keeper's was temporarily incapacitated, it didn't last long. As Sephiroth was feebly cutting the Keeper's face, he swung out with a gigantic fist, hitting Sephiroth straight in the chest, sending him crashing to the cave wall, and then plumetting straight to the floor. Sephiroth landed with a loud thump. While not dead, Sephiroth was out of the fight.

"Shit! He took Sephiroth out with one punch!" Barret cried out, as he and Vincent shot away at the Keeper with their guns. Next, the monstrous Keeper turned his attention towards Cait Sith. He didn't make a move to attack him, only stared at him with those inhuman eyes.

As Cait saw this, he pulled out one og the most prized materia that AVALANCHE had. It was red, and perfectly shaped like a sphere. Cait called upon the power of Bahamut. But the Keeper was unaware of this. He only smiled at Cait, and was planning how he was going to crush him.

However, out in space, Bahamut heard the plea for help. He rarely heard a call for help, but now it was more urgent than before. Bahamut then located the target with his incredible vision. And with that, he spread his mighty wings, and began charging up for his attack. He charged up his attack that started as a light blue ball, right by his snout. As Bahamut concentrated harder, the energy became stronger. Soon the force of the energy started to shake even Bahamut himself, and he was having trouble concentrating on the attack itself. But the people needed his help more than ever, and he knew he must deliver. Soon, his ball of energy was too great to control any larger and he let it go. He sent his blast of supercharged energy hurtling through space itself, heading toward Earth.

Now the Keeper was ready to attack he walked past Barret and Vincent, who were in the front blasting away. He made very sure not to step on this, not just yet. He stood mightily over Cait. He then raised both fists in the air when he heard a noise. From far away, but coming very fast. Then he looked at the ball in Cait's hand. He's summoned a monster from that materia, the Keeper surmised, but it was too late. When the Keeper looked up, Bahamut's blast had crashed through the cavern's ceiling and hit him directly in the chest. The result was an enormous explosion, sending the Keeper crashing to the back of the cave, landing with a large crash, a crash that caused everyone to fall to the floor hard. The Keeper couldn't beleive what was happening. These humans have survived longer than anybody I have ever fought! All of AVALANCHE cheered. While the Keeper was almost immortal, he could be beaten. There was no longer a doubt within any of their minds.

The Keeper slowly rose from the ground, but this time he had a few scrapes on his otherwise perfect skin.

"Well done. But I'm afraid not even your materia will help you know," he said, and then he created a ball of flames in his hand. AVALANCHE had no idea what he was doing and they moved back from the Keeper. The Keeper looked over AVALANCHE. Who should I hit, he thought. Then he decided to hit Cait. He was the one that appeared to be carrying most of their materia anyhow. With deadly accuracy, he hurled the ball of flames at Cait, which solidly hit his face, engulfing the mechanical being in flames. Back at his home, Reeve stood silent. It looked like Cait was destroyed. What am I going to do now?

Back with AVALANCHE, they all looked shocked at what remained of Cait. Now they were down to Yuffie, Tifa, Barret, and Vincent. Yuffie ran over to the pouch which carried the group's materia. He carefully plucked it away from Cait, careful to not set it on fire.

"I got the materia!" Yuffie yelled to Tifa. Tifa only shook her head, that's not going to do any good, she thought. Except maybe.......

"Hey you guys! Hold Keeper off for a while! I got an idea!" Barret and Vincent then continued their assault with their guns. While it did little to stop him, it made him draw his attention away from Tifa. The Keeper decided that Vincent and Barret must go. To finish them off, Keeper blasted them his a beam that came straight from his mouth. It was a orange beam that hurtled straight to the ground near the two, it's blast sending both crashing to the ground. In most's cases, Vincent's Choas Beast would have taken control of him, but in this case, he could not move a muscle. Barret on the other moaned in pain. It can't end this way, he thought. But I can't do a thing about it.

"It looks like you two young ladies are the only ones left. Farewell, brave warriors..." the Keeper said sardonically, a smile etched across his face. But now Tifa had found the materia she was looking for.

"Ultimate end," she whispered silently, and her prayers were answered. Suddenly, the Keeper found himself in a black void. Where am I, he thought. What had happened to the cave? That's when he saw figures in the distance. They were very far away, but he could make them out. They were approaching faster and faster, and by the time he knew it, eleven knights surrounded him. What is this, the Keeper thought. He never seen this before, actual knights that were as large as himself. Most of them carried axes and swords and spears, while one appeared to be a wizard. Keeper studied the knights. They made no move to attack him, only scanning at him through their helmets. And as Keeper was eying them, that was when the attack started.

Almost as one, the Knights quickly attacked Keeper from every side, biting into his flesh with their sharp weapons. The Keeper screamed in defiance and tried swatting at them, but no avail. The knights were simply too quick, and in a matter of ten seconds, the Keeper was down to his knees and covered in blood. His wings had been torn to pieces as had the rest of his body. As he looked up to see if the Knights were still around, he saw a vision that he was terrified of. A knight in perfect silver plate mail stood over him. This Knight was infinitely bigger than Keeper had ever imagined, and as the Knight drew his sword, the Keeper looked in horror as he knew what was going to happen. With one massive swoop, the Knight's sword cut through the Keeper's skin as if it were butter, spilling his blood into the nothingness. As the Keeper fell to the ground, he noticed he fell to the cavern floor. He was back, and he noticed he was actually lying down, with Tifa standed right by his head.

"What was that????" The Keeper asked weakly, blood pouring from his mouth as he talked.

"It's a materia orb we found. It's called Knights of the Round." Tifa said as she looked over the Keeper's wounds. They appeared to be fatal, even for the Keeper.

"I see.....You have won......I am defeated...and dying....Your friends strength will be healed.....But I...must... ask...Who will....use the sword? You....realize there is only one person on this entire earth who can use it." The Keeper said, gasping for breath.

"I think we know who it is." Tifa smiled as she thought of Cloud.

"I see.....But know take the Sword of Life....And deliver it to Cloud Strife.......Earth's last hope." And with that, the Keeper vanished into nothingness, and as Tifa and Yuffie looked on, on their fallen comrades were restored to full health, apparently no harm done to them. They looked over themselves and Vincent said,

"I am guessing that we won?"

"Yeah! It was awesome! Tifa used-" Yuffie started excitedly, but Tifa cut her off.

"Let's just get that Sword and get out of here, alright?" Everybody looked at each other, and they started walking over to the sword. It took around ten minutes to reach the back of this room of the cave, considering it's enormous size.

Soon however, AVALANCHE arrived at the Sword. It was beautiful. It's hilt was made of pure gold, etched with runes and jewels adorning in. The blade itself was a bright green color, like the Lifestream. It was shaped perfectly, as the blade ended in a sharp point at the end, that appeared perfectly fine with no signs of dullness or anything.

Tifa reached out and grabbed the hilt of the Sword. It did nothing. None of the magical powers Sephiroth had talked about. Just a peculiar looking sword.

"Nothing's happening," Tifa stated to the group.

"I know. You cannot use the Sword, therefore you won't be able to use it's power." Sephiroth replied calmly, knowing perfectly why nothing was happening.

"We had better hurry back to the Thunderhawk so we can go to Kalm and help out Cloud," Cait interjected into the conversation.

"The machine has a point. We have no time for dawdling around. I fear that those maniacs Gyver and Yegolar have already begun their countdown to extiction on this planet," Sephiroth spoke to his compatriots.

The games are over. It is time for the real battle to begin.


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