The Story of Vincent Valentine Chapter 7
The Puppets and the Puppeteers
Planetary Year- 1904 --- 2/14 Nibelheim
When Vincent got back to the mansion, he was seven pounds lighter. Sweating nightmares, endless movement, and carrying an ever growing supply of subject bags behind him that collectively, weighed over a ton in the end. He'd needed to rent the only working car in the town to bring them all back. It had taken three trips, anyway.
Vincent was thoroughly pissed off. He had long since decided he wouldn't be one of those nuts who talked to corpses. Sadly enough, all this left him with was himself; or, more accurately, his memories. A past of being victimized, altered only by making others the victims was not a life one often enjoyed reflecting on... At least if he had a heart.
He DID have a heart, after all. Thinking along these lines had slowly put him on the track of "separated from Lucrecia" to "damn that Hojo" to "damn the Shinra" to, of course, "damn the whole damn world". Having gone through this cycle at least twice a day had left him in less than a happy mood.
He had gotten back to the mansion, all bags in tow, labeled, and prepared at four AM, the ninth year anniversary of his being kidnapped by the Shinra. He had learned from experience that sleeping on this night; regardless of how much attention he had paid to his calendar; left him with the most horrible, screaming, past-life nightmares he could ever have imagined. His solution? He didn't sleep. He manned the coffee machine for his vigil, watching the sunrise Lucrecia had mentioned, caffeine addling his brain on one end of the balance, as sleeplessness shook the other.
"Hey! 'Morning Vincent! Welcome back!"
The mostly drained coffee cup dropped as though in slow motion, as Vincent shot into the air in surprise. Vincent's quaking heart didn't keep him from roaring out the loudest, most surprised stream of profanity in his life.
Lucrecia yelped in surprise when the cup hit the floor, and again when Vincent's nerves shattered. She bent down to pick up the shattered pieces, and bonked heads with Vincent, who's voice had calmed, giving way to embarrassment and adrenaline fueled reactions. "Go-good morning, Lucrecia. Sorry about that." He said, heart, breath, and mouth, still racing.
Lucrecia's own heart was starting to slow down, as Vincent helped her clean up the coffee. "No problem, Vincent. Sorry I startled you." She nervously laughed. "Guess you really aren't that much of a morning person."
Vincent shook his head. "That's what happens when you mix ten cups of coffee, bad memories, and-" He paused, glancing at his watch. "-about forty sleepless hours."
"Forty hour-" Lucrecia murmured in surprise. "Why didn't you sleep?"
"It doesn't matter."
"Yes it does."
He shook his head again. "Nine years ago, I was drafted, that's all. There's another few cups in the machine, if you want some. I'm gonna get to work." He walked away.
Lucrecia was stuck, as physical reactions, and three different apologies stuck against her brain. By the time she was able to decide, Vincent had already left the room. Lucrecia sighed, and poured a cup of coffee. "I'm sorry." She whispered.
He certainly hadn't WANTED to do this, but Jenova had given him the only choice. He had tested the subjects thoroughly. It did work, at least. It was safe. He sighed, and mixed the beaker again. He didn't need to test this formula out. It would work, he knew. A few drops would get Lucrecia to come to him. Then Jenova would have her vessel. Then, and only then, would Jenova come to him, she had said. Hojo picked up the vial, and grinned as it achieved the proper color. Lucrecia would give child. A child not of her own, but of Hojo's... And Jenova's. Then he would be complete.
Gast heard the laughter in the other room, and shuddered. He was mad. That was all. Absolutely, utterly, helplessly insane. He crossed the mansion, to Vincent's bedroom. With a sharp push on a single stone, he opened the door into the Sanctuary. Gast wasn't much older than he looked, but this house was. He had been born in Nibelheim. He knew everything about it. Everything. He walked down the old stairs, into his grandfather's library. The old man, and his son, had both been, if not scientists, then researchers. They had both written with frightening punctuality small diary entries about their scientific progress. Gast had done the same. But he'd done a lot more of it. He'd copied down his entire knowledge of Jenova, and moved it down here, amidst the hundreds of other books. Suddenly, he realized he hadn't closed the door behind him. He ran back up the stairs, and closed them. He didn't see Hojo's shadow darting away from his line of site, as he shut the ancient, camouflaged door.
Everything was happening so quickly. Then again, without a proper host, it was difficult for Jenova to keep a firm grasp on time. All Jenova knew, or felt, was that it was all coming into play. Wherever Jenova was, whoever Jenova was around, they were all working, willingly or unwillingly, to Jenova's ends. Her conquest would come soon.
"The mood is about to change." -- Tazz
(God knows why I put this down. Oh well. All the great artists were insane.)
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