Legacy of the Past Chapter 1

The Unknown Comes

By Nemo

She stood in the open field, dead silent and completely still. She was dressed in all black from her shoes to her shirt. On her back in its sheath was her Rune Blade, polished and perfect. Her hair was fire red and it was cut short, just above her ears. Her eyes were sea blue and sparkled in the morning sun. She sniffed the air and wrinkled her nose. It smelled of smog and factories. “Midgar can’t be far.” She thought to herself. She shoved her hands in her pockets and followed the smell in the air. Although she hadn’t stopped to rest for days, she wasn’t tired. She knew why but just thinking of it made her so angry that she had to push the thought away and continued on. She slowly walked over the hill and when she looked up from her feet that she was kindly watching when she saw it. Midgar. The city seemed to have grown in size even though there wasn’t any more land to expand on. Each reactor had a steady stream of smoke coming from the top. In the middle was Shinra Headquarters, standing like a giant robot standing, looming and towering over the city. “That’s basically what Shinra does.” She said out load. With a glimmer of hope to change the future and a lot of anger from the past in her heart she started toward the city.

Still unsure why she felt so called to desolate city of Midgar, but something, someone was calling her to the slums. Who or what it was that was calling her and telling her to hurry. She shook off the feeling and continued down the path. She sighed, she knew Shinra too well and she knew getting into Midgar was not going to be easy. “But then again, it never was. Shinra had a lot of pride and pride is a weakness. Maybe…they’ll make it easy so they can show off in front of the civilians. Show them how powerful they are. Prove to them that they could catch anyone who dare sneak into the city?” she thought out loud. Shrugging, realizing it didn’t really matter how she got into the city, they would be searching for her as soon as they had an excuse too. Walking down to the fences that blocked off the city, she stopped. She leaned in and looked at the fence. Heat was coming from it. Security. She turned left and started walking along the fence. After what seemed like hours, she came to area that was in need of repair. A wire hung over the ground a little over five feet off the ground. She looked up; it was connected to the plate of Midgar. That was the last place she wanted to go. Couldn’t risk getting caught. Not yet. “Oh, well. I guess I’ll just jump into the slums.” She thought out loud again. She rubbed her hands together and jumped, grabbing the wire. Pulling herself a little over three feet above the fence she started to swing. As soon as she could clear the fence, she let go. Dropping to the ground, she landed easily on one foot and one knee. Straitening, she brushed the dirt off and was about to take a step when a gun clicked.

“Don’t move.” A voice demanded. The girl looked ahead and saw four Turks advance out of the shadows, guns raised. She gave them a half smile and didn’t move. “Remove yourself of your firearm.” The same Turk demanded.

“I have no firearm.” She replied opening her coat reveling no guns.

“Well…then remove yourself of any weapons you might be carrying.” The Turk demanded.

“Is this really necessary?” she asked him not even touching or going for her sword.

“Every Turk and every SOILDER knows who you are. We’re always on the lookout for you. Ya know, just in case you show up, like ya did today.” He replied. He smiled, “Now why don’t you make it easy on your self and come quietly.” She threw her head back and started to laugh. Not a snicker or a chuckle but a real laugh. The Turks looked at each other and exchanged puzzled looks. After a minute or so when she could regain her breath she got serious and looked directly into their eyes and said,

“Why don’t you make it easy and just shoot yourselves.”

"What d--.” The Turk didn’t get to finish his sentence, she had grabbed her sword and sliced them all before any of them could even try to pull a trigger. Each Turk fell to the ground, a pool of blood gathering around their limp bodies. Staring at the bodies, she smirked and put her sword away. Too easy. She left the bodies where she had cut them down and walked slowly away, entering the Sector Six slums.

Tifa cautiously looked over her shoulder, just to make sure or to reassure herself that no one was following them. As usual, no one was there or at least no one she could see. That didn’t help with that feeling she had, like eyes were watching her every move. Like they were just waiting for her to let her guard down so they could strike. She wasn’t about to let that happen so she was ready fight at any moment. Although she was the leader she very well knew that she had to watch her back, as well as the backs of her comrades. She pushed aside any fears and pressed farther into the Mako reactor. She was still so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she barely heard Barret yell to her.

“Yo, Tifa! Slow down will ya? This bomb weighs a ton and Biggs and I really can’t RUN with it.” She turned around and glared at him.

“Then why the hell did you bring such a damn big one?!” Tifa replied.

“Dunno. We were out of the small, handy-dandy ones I guess. Jessie needs to make us some more.” He answered and he turned around and glared at the girl.

“Give me a break, ass. You want to make em, go right ahead but we certainly don’t want them blowing up while we’re carting them around now do we? They have to be perfect.” Jessie replied.

“Perfect my ass. You want to make em perfect, you can lug this thing half way around Midgar, make my life a hell of a lot easier.” Biggs grumbled. “Why can Wedge take a shift carrying this damn thing once and while?”

“Because…well just because.” Wedge stammered.

“Yeah because you’re a damn wuss. Ya batter not make AVALNACHE look bad tomorrow, I have a friend from Kalm I haven’t seen in eight years comin and I don’t want to make it look like I joined a wuss convention.” Biggs said.

“Great…visitors.” Tifa grumbled, “Can we trust em?

“Course, she’s ex-Shinra and mad as hell at them. Hmmm, she never told me why in her letter. She just told me that she was going to be in town and that she was going to stop by and pick up a few supplies…like bombs!” Biggs said eyeing Jessie.

“Shut the hell up Biggs.” Jessie said lowly.

“Nah, you know I have to make everyone’s life hell is my job. My life dream and destiny.” He said smirking. “Just thought I’d for warn you, my friends a little…well to put in normal terms…weird.”

“Biggs, if you don’t shut the hell up I’m going to knock your teeth out.” Tifa said raising her voice. Needless to say, Biggs wasn’t an idiot so he shut up. Tifa rolled up eyes and sighed. “I’m surrounded by fools.” She thought. As soon as they got to the part to the part of the reactor where they would split up, Tifa finally held up a hand that signaled Barret and Biggs that they could rest. The two men set down the bomb and sighed with relief. Jessie sneered at Biggs and walked up to Tifa and said in a voice that sounded like a cross between being very mad and very hurt. Biggs felt a hint of guilt rise in his throat.

“Tifa, we have to set the bomb within the next hour or it will detonate.”

“Fine. Wedge, Jessie you two wait here. Barret, Biggs you bring the bomb and come with me. Let’s get moving.” Tifa barked. The two men sighed but did as they were told. Moving farther into the reactor Tifa began to see bits of material laying on the ground. They were either crushed or broken and too small for use. Tifa ignored the temptation to pick them up and chuck them half way around the world, she pressed on. Tifa could feel the anger for Shinra grow as they began to reach the core. The feeling that they were being watched kicked in again. Shaking it off, she picked up the pace and reached the core before Barret or Biggs had the chance to complain. She looked at the reactor again and tried to hold back the anger and the temptation to punch the hell out of the damn thing. Barret and Biggs heaved the bomb down to the core. So exhausted from the carry the two men nearly dropped the thing. Biggs leaned against the side and of the reactor and took a deep breath.

“Now that’s my workout for the next year. Jeez, why do things always have to be so difficult?” Biggs asked sarcastically.

“Shut the hell up and set the damn bomb.” Tifa harshly.

“Don’t go into a hissy fit Tifa, I’ll get to it don’t worry.” He replied. Tifa glared at him and from the look in her eyes he didn’t need to be told twice. “Fine I’ll do it now.” He knelt down and typed some numbers and codes into the bomb. The clock came up and started counting down from ten minutes. “K, I set it for ten minutes. Kinda funny, no one else knows the code to disarm that bitch. Heh, let’s just hope I don’t die and you guys suddenly have to disarm it. Good luck and may the force be with you. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

“Right. Let’s go…NOW!” Tifa said. She turned away from the core and walked away very fast. Barret and Biggs exchanged looks of confusion.

“I swear Barret, that girls loosin it.” Biggs quipped.

“If Tifa heard you say that you’d be dead.” Barret snapped back.

“I guess I’m the jackass that everyone hates today?” He quipped again. Barret rolled his eyes and jogged to catch up with Tifa. Biggs just shook his head and ran to catch up with his leader and fellow comrade. As soon as Tifa reached the bridge, she knew something was wrong. Jessie was usually explaining something to Wedge and Wedge was pretending to be interested. This time they both were standing at attention and facing other direction. They weren’t talking or moving.

“What the hell is going on?” Biggs whispered.

“Yo! Jessie! Wedge! What the hell are ya doin? Barret yelled. Jessie turned around very quickly and screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Run it’s a trap!” she didn’t get the say anything more because at that instant a shot was fired. It hit Jessie in the back of the neck. She fell forward.

“Get the hell out of here while y—“ Wedge yelled but another shot was fired. It hit him in the back on the head. Tifa and Barret ran to see if they were alive (not being able to see their wounds from the direction they were facing) and Biggs just stood dumbfounded. Tifa ran to her fallen comrades and fell to her knees by Jessie side. She fumbled with Jessie’s wrist as she felt for a pulse. She felt none. Barret leaned over to feel for Wedge’s. There was none. Tifa could feel the tears well up, and then she remembered Biggs was still standing there by himself in open shot range. Biggs stood numb. He couldn't believe what he just saw, Wedge and Jessie both dead? "They both went hating me I bet." He thought to himself. He didn't even notice the soldiers coming down on ropes until it was too late. They swung forward and knocked him off his feet. He fell backwards and watched the soldiers drop down with their guns raised. Not given him a chance to say any last words or surrender, the solider emptied a round into both of Biggs's arms and one in the stomach. Tifa wanted to scream. She looked at Biggs, lying on the ground, blood pooling about him. He spit up some and took a deep gurgling breath struggling to let the air enter his punctured lungs. Then he said, just loud enough for everyone to hear since the dead silence of the room.

"Burn… in…hell… Shinra… I'm… sorry…I…couldn't…see…you…again…K--" he couldn't finish the name of his friend from Kalm. He smiled at Tifa and Barret and lay down on the ground…dead. Tifa and Barret looked towards all the exits but they were all being blocked by advancing troops. The captain, which was a Turk smiled at them and said,

"Go disarm that bomb and we'll consider making your deaths quick and painless."

"We can't for two reasons. One there isn't enough time to get all the way down there before the bomb blows. And two, you just killed the man with the codes to disarm it." Tifa said flatly. What point was there left? They didn't stand a chance of escaping.

"What?! You there, go see if that guy is still alive!" the Turk exclaimed. A solider ran over to Biggs and felt his neck. He shook his head.

"He's dead Jim!" the solider replied. Barret looked over to his right and saw a spare gun lying on the ground. He kicked it and it went clanging and tumbling down the bridge making a racket.

"Ah, there's our back up." He lied. All the soldiers looked over the bridge to see where the back up was. Barret shot a wire free and grabbed it while also grabbing "out of it" Tifa. They swung away from the reactor. The soldiers looked up and saw them swing away, they were about to shoot when there was a huge explosion that echoed through the room. A burst of fire came through the door. The Turk just stood there watching the fire come and closed his eyes as it engulfed him.

The girl looked up. She heard the explosion and even saw the fire. A reactor had been hit. Nothing new there, there were so many people that despised Shinra and the fact that they were killing the planet that Mako reactor terrorist attack seemed to be something that would appear in the news at least once a week. She had only been in the slums for a few hours and she already knew that the most active terrorist group was AVANCHE and their favorite thing to do was to hit Mako reactors. She raised her eye bows at the thought of President Shinra’s face when he saw his “precious” Mako reactor blowing up. She smiled, now that would be a sight for sore eyes. She shook her head and walked on. The slums were an interesting place to her. She found it unusually welcoming and the people surprisingly happy while they scrapped their lives together. After spending so much time outside the slums and in the world where the air smelled fresh to her the air in the slums stunk. The ground was so polluted she felt like if she pocked it, something brown or green would come oozing out. She shook her head again. Some people didn’t have the money to move into the plate. They had an excuse. Others just stayed down here because of foolish pride. “Pride is the essence of human nature.” She thought. She continued through the slums, passing rusted houses made out of metal. It made you appreciate places like Kalm, Mideel and what Nibelhem used to be. She walked lost in her own thought until she came across a group of Shinra solders. Actually, it was more they came across her. When they saw her they began to advance. Ready to kill at any moment even though this would be a bad place to, she got her guard up.

“Excuse me ma’am?” the solider asked. Huh? What the hell is going on?

“Have you seen a group of Turks near by?” Yeah, I saw them. You’ll find them in half a million pieces and dead. And unless you forgot this ever happens you’ll be the same, better yet I’ll kill you anyway. She smiled to herself and shook her head.

“Thanks anyway. I’m sorry for disturbing you, have a nice day ma’am.” The solider said beaming a huge smile at her and they were on their way. She was about to shake her head in disgust when she froze. Her twisted mind was working again and those solders had given her a plan to scare the sh*t out of Shinra.

Tifa blinked. She couldn’t tell if she was dead or alive. Either place would be hell at that moment. She moved her hand and touched her face. Yep, alive. She pushed herself up very slowly. She looked around, they landed somewhere on the road between Sector 6 and Sector 7. She looked around again and saw Barret laying on the ground not that far from her. She pulled herself to her feet and stumbled over to where Barret lay. She leaned over and shook him. He moaned and grumbled something about giving him another five minutes. That sent Tifa off, she got so angry so suddenly it she didn’t even remember being slightly mad before being furious. The fact that Biggs, Wedge and Jessie were all dead sunk in and it pained her. She clenched her fists and began to shake with anger. She looked own at Barret and screamed,

“God damnit Barret, get the hell up! What the f*** do you think your doing lying on you’re ass?! Jessie, Biggs and Wedge are dead and all you can do is mumble some sh*t about giving you another f***** five minutes. I’ll give you five minutes…five minutes in hell if you don’t get the f*** up!” Barret jumped to his feet and saluted Tifa. He stared straight ahead and refused to look her into her eyes. Tifa shook her head and started walking in the direction of the Sector 7 slums. Barret turned and jogged to catch up with her. They walked side-by-side silent. Tifa looked straight ahead not really noticing anything or anyone around them. She was concentrating on her anger and how to use it. She properly wouldn’t have even heard Barret talking to her if his voice wasn’t so big and deep. It broke the silence between them like china teacup on tile.

“What are we going to do now?” he asked.

Tifa wanted more than anything to ignore that question. She didn’t want to think about the future. But she could not just answer, she was the leader, she had all the answers. But she didn’t have the answers, she was just as lost and confused as he was. “This isn’t the time to lie or make up stories or give false hope.” She had to be honest with him even if it meant giving up some pride. Tifa’s weakness was not in strength or in mind but that she had a lot of pride. It pained her to even give a little up. She stopped and looked at him, he stopped and looked back. Then Tifa said,

“I don’t know Barret. I really don’t know.”

The girl took a deep breath and continued to pull herself up the wire. She thought of President Shinra’s reaction to her little “surprise.” It made her smile. “They have to know that I’m back.” She said out loud. She reached up and grabbed a piece of metal and pulled herself onto it. She stood up very cautiously just to make sure that the metal pile would support her weight. If she fell, she doubted she would live, even with her body in its condition. She rubbed her hands together and looked down to ground. The climb was long and tiring. Her hands were red and evidence of blisters to come were starting to form. Ignoring the pain, she started climbing the metal mountains again. She looked up in mid climb and she could see the top of Shinra Headquarters. She reached into her pouch and pulled out a hooded black cape. She didn’t want them to know it was her…just yet. She put it on and pulled on the hood and started to finish the climb. She could her footsteps on the plate and muffled voices. She swiftly pulled herself onto the plate and hid among the shadows.

As she suspected, as group of Turks were off duty and wondering around the Headquarters front door. She smiled, this was going to be way too easy. Seven of them and just by looking at them she could tell their ranks. There were four armatures, two intermediates and one professional. The professional was the only one she was a little worried about. He was the only one who could hit her in the head with a bullet…maybe. Since it was late, the armatures were young and of course had heaved a few drinks. The intermediates were even worse, they were so hung over that the two men could barely walk straight let alone shoot a damn gun. The professional was the only was seemed very somber. The other six men had taken their guns off their belts and piled them up about three feet from the sitting professional. But the professional had his gun and he was polishing it. He was staring at it as if it had one little thing wrong with it or even one speck of dust on it his life would end. He started at it as if his very essence depended on that gun. The girl laughed to herself, “In his case, it does.” She reached behind her and pulled out her sword. It glowed in the light of the building. With one more smile, she lunged forward.

The first man didn’t even see her coming, nor did he stand a chance of living. Her sword sliced through his back, a steady stream of blood pouring out from his mangled body as he slumped to the ground. The professional reacted quickly and aimed his gun at her head and emptied an entire round. But she was too quick and she ducked and he hit his own man in the head. The tip of the sword grazed the pavement as she moved onto the next Turk. The sword sliced up his chest and across his neck nearly decapitating him. The man next to him wasn’t as fortunate. When the sword left the other Turks neck it came around and sliced through his neck, his head rolled a few feet away. The two intermediate men stood in line one behind the other and slowly made their way toward to the pile of guns. She saw them out of the corner of her eye and whipped around shoving her sword in both of their guts. She smiled and pushed them off the blade, their bodies slumping to the ground in a bloody mess. She turned around very slowly and looked at the remaining Turk. He was frozen still with an empty gun. She started to walk towards him but stopped next to the dead Turk who had the clip emptied on him. She looked at the dead man and then at the “dead man walking.” She smiled at him and said,

“Nice shot, too bad you hit the wrong target. “ The Turk didn’t answer, he just started at his gun, wishing he had bullets. Then he noticed he had one left. When he didn’t answer she continued talking. “What’s your name?” she asked. The Turk nearly jumped out of his skin, “Maybe they will spare me.” He thought.

“Erik, Erik Jones.” He replied.

“Really? Okay…Erik, how long have you been in the Turks?” they asked. At that moment Erik realized that this attacker had a girl’s voice. He shook his head, there was no way a girl could be that good. Deciding not to push the patience of this attacker, he answered their question.

“Four and a half years.”

“Well Erik Jones, Turk for four and half years. I need your blood to scare the sh*t out of the President.” She smiled at him and ripped out a dagger and threw it. At that same instant Erik shot his final bullet. The dagger sliced threw the air and embedded itself in Erik’s forehead, right between the eyes. When she heard the gun she tried to move out of the fire zone but the bullet smacked into her left shoulder. She grimaced in pain and covered the wound with one hand and struggled to move the battered bodies into a pile in front of the door. Taking Erik, she pulled him into the middle and dragged his bleeding body along the sidewalk, leaving a bloody message. She then picked him up and threw him on the top of the pile. She backed up and looked at her handy work. Putting her sword back in its sheath, a hand on her bleeding shoulder and walked to where she would attempted to climb back down to the slums. She left a pile of bodies in front of the door, all brutally murdered and a bloody message that read: I’M BACK.

Tifa and Barret had walked most of the way back to the Sector 7 slums in silence. Neither of them knew what to say. What could you say at a time like this? After walking through half of the Sector 7 slums, Tifa’s bar the Seventh Heaven came into view. Sitting on the stairs with her arms crossed was Marlene. She was wearing a little pink dress, she looked like a little angel but she didn’t look too happy. She looked up and saw Tifa and Barret making their way towards the bar, she stood up and started to stomp her way to them. Tifa and Barret stopped in mid walk and as the furious little child stomped up to them.

“Where the heck have you two been?! I’ve been friggen walking for five friggen hours.” She squeaked. Barret winced a little at the little girl’s language and thought, “Dyne would kill me if he heard Marlene like this.” The little girl used to be really sweet and loveable but with her mom dieing, her dad disappearing and hanging around Tifa, he really didn’t blame her for turning into a “little bitch.” Tifa sighed and walked pass Marlene to the bar. The little girl looked around and suddenly looked worried. She looked Barret with worried eyes and asked, “Where is everyone, where is Biggs, Wedge and Jessie?” Barret got down on one knee and looked at the little girl, straight into her worried eyes.

“Marlene…sweetie. Biggs, Wedge and Jessie are dead.” He said very quietly. Marlene’s mouth hung open and she tried to speak but nothing came out. She looked away from Barret and stared at nothing. “I—I’m sorry honey. I know you really cared for them and—.“

“Gosh darn Shinra!” the little girl interrupted in a harsh voice. “I hate them and I swear I’ll destroy them! As God as my witness, I pledge to whip the planet of that scum!” She ran away from Barret and into the bar. Barret sighed, he figured that’s how she’d react. He managed to gather himself and slowly drag his tired body to the bar. He forced himself up the stairs and to open the door. Tifa was standing behind the bar and Marlene was nowhere in sight. He guessed she was either up or downstairs. He walked towards Tifa and sat down.

“I hate to hit us with more bad news but we got robbed while we were gone. All of our bombs, if we had any, firearm, ammo, the works everything is gone. They obviously knew where to look because, according to Marlene who watched from the second floor, they had no problems finding or getting downstairs.” She said slowly.

“Sh*t. This is just great. Did they get any secret files that we stole or any info on the other groups?” he asked.

“No.” she replied. They both sat in silence for a moment. Tifa was cleaning glasses for opening time. Barret tapped his fingers on the counter, thinking. When the truth sank in, his heart sank to the pit of his stomach. He sat there for at least five minutes trying to gather up his courage. Finally, he spoke up.

“You know Tifa maybe we should…well you see…I’ve been thinking…have you noticed that…well…what I’m trying to say is…don’t we need to let it go? You know just forget about Shinra and think about starting real lives? I can’t just abandoned Marlene and who would take care of her if something should happen to us?” Tifa looked him and started into his eyes. She brought her fist into his nose so fast he didn’t have time to move or duck.

“There is no way in hell I am ever giving in! Those assholes are sucking the life out of the damn planet and your thinking about giving up?! I don’t think so! If you even think about giving up again I’ll beat you into a bloody pulp and then put a bullet into your brain and then I’ll crop your damn body into little bit and then burn those f****** pieces!” Then she brought her fist into his chin almost three times as hard. Barret rubbed his chin and said,

“Feel better?”

President Shinra paced around his office, not sure what to think. The events of the day weighed heavy on his shoulders. The people were afraid, afraid that whoever…or whatever had caused the havoc out front would come after them. They also doubted whether or not Shinra could or would protect them. But the President Shinra knew better, he knew that this was one of Hojo’s little “friends” coming back to destroy the company or maybe even him. Damn that little bastard. His stomach twisted and curled and whatever he had for breakfast was barely staying down. He knew this person was strong and extremely pissed. “What am I going to do?! The people are freaking out!”

“Don’t worry sir. We will find them and make them pay. I already have a trail and I sent Reno and Tseng after it. Who in their right mind would challenge Shinra? They will parish and you. Sir, will bathe in their blood,” Rude said. He was dressed in his black suit, his baldhead polished and clean. He was sitting in a chair, legs crossed and hands folded.

“Who could have done this? Oh Jesus, could it have Sephiroth?! How can we compete against the greatest solider of all time?!?” the President exclaimed, very fearful.

“It wasn’t Septhiroth. Sephiroth’s masamune is long and thin. This blade was shorter and wider.” Rude replied. He had to give some confront to the paranoid President. He smiled, thinking of watching that vile person bleed. He had lost seven good men and he was ready for blood. He wanted revenge. When he mentioned this to Reno and Tseng, they gave him weird looks and wondered away. They mumbled something about how crazy Rude was getting. Crazy? No, not him. Crazy for blood maybe? Yeah, and that’s what President Shinra liked about him the most. His thirst for blood. Rude clenched his fists. He couldn’t believe the two Turks weren’t willing to help him get blood. The two rookies’ were properly afraid and willing to leave Shinra because of Rude’s behavior. Better yet, they were going to leave, Rude could feel it in his bones. In his mind, they were traitors and had to die. But he had nothing against them except his own accusations but their times will come, He had a feeling that they would need a scapegoat soon and two would be even better.

“No, no Rude. I will not bathe in their blood. I would much rather seen them “analyzed” by the newest member of the Shinra team. Our new head of the Shinra science department, Professor John Payne. Ironic huh? The new member of the science departments name is pronounced like ‘pain.’” The President said with a gleeful smile. Rude smiled too, the thought of that person lying on an operating table with needles and IV’s sticking out of them amazed and entertained him. “No, I won’t picture the clocked person. I’ll picture the cloaked person along with Reno and Tseng. I will make them suffer. If they won’t stand by Shinra, and me let them die a traitor’s death. “ Rude thought to himself. There was a knock on the door and both men turned to see who it was. The door opened and a man stood among the shadows, when he emerged from them, the President grinned.

“Ah hello Professor Payne…a pleasure to see you again.” He said with a vile smile.

The girl didn’t feel so good. After a long climb back down to the slums, she had lost a lot of blood from her shoulder wound. A soon as she got the chance, she took off the hood of her cape and tried to cover the blood with the cape. People didn’t even give her a second glance and she was glad. It wouldn’t be long now until the news would come on making an announcement trying to calm the public. She sighed, although she knew that she had to let Shinra know that she was around she wished she didn’t have to kill. She hated the blood that was smeared on her hands and she felt like no matter how much she tried to get herself clean again it always just smeared. The blood never leaves and she always has this guilt lying on her shoulders. But on top of being guilty, she knew that if she didn’t kill, others would die or she would have to through pain again and that was the last thing she wanted.

Finally, she grew so exhausted that she had to sit down. She found a pile of junk lying on the left side of the Sector 5 slums not far from Sector 6. She found an old chair and pulled it somewhat away from the pile. She sat down and sighed, the guilt hurt and so did her arm. She pulled out her knife and started working, struggling to get the bullet out.

Reno and Tseng surveyed the situation they were in. Rude had assigned them to find who had brutally murdered seven Turks and wrote the I’M BACK message in one of the Turks blood. They waited very impatiently for the scientists to find any trace of blood left by the murderer. Tseng sighed, they weren’t getting anywhere waiting for these damn scientist. He turned to Reno and said,

“Look this is going to take forever. Why don’t I take a cyborg and two Turks and just started looking. If any of the nut balls over there find some blood, follow it with the goggles. This is the only way we’re going to get somewhere.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. If either of us find anything, call on the PHS.” Reno replied. Tseng nodded and started to walk away. Before he could get more than 50 feet from the scene Reno called to him.

“Hey Tseng! I agree they are nut balls.” Tseng just shook his head at Reno and walked away. Reno smiled to himself, he just couldn’t resist. He looked over at the bug-eyed scientists and said, “Is this going to be much longer? I don’t want Tseng to get all the fun.”

“No sir it won’t because we just found a trail of blood that isn’t one of the Turks.” One scientist replied.

“Yahoo! Now I get to have some fun! Let’s whoop-ass!” Reno cheered. The scientist took the sample of blood and put it in the special goggles. Reno made a face to them, they were ugly as hell. “You men I gatta wear those f***** up things?! Jeez, there goes my social life. Right down the damn drain.”

“Sir, these will make any trace of that blood glow, even a microscopic drop but that shouldn’t be a problem to follow. From the look of it our friend had one hell of an injury. Good luck…sir.” Reno gave the bastard scientist a look and signaled his two Turks and his cyborg to come with him. He follow the trail to a hole in the plate, it seemed their friend had climbed up and down. Fool. A God damn fool.

“There is no way in hell I’m climbing down that. I’m taking the stairs.” Reno said and went to the elevator just to the left of them. The three men and the one cyborg got in the elevator and started down to the slums. The two Turks seemed very nervous after what they had seen on the plate. Reno noticed this and laughed to himself. “This guys are wusses.” He thought. The door opened and they were on the hunt. Reno put on the goggles and noticed the glow on the ground ten feet in front of them right away. He followed the trail through most of Sector 4 and most of Sector 5. When the trail started to seem still very…fresh he started looked ahead every few steps. After what seemed like hours, he looked up and saw their prey. He knew who it was and he felt the not in his stomach come and grow o fast he didn’t know what hit him. He pulled his PHS out of his pocket and dialed Tseng’s number. He picked up after the first ring.


“Reno, target found.”


“Sector 5.”

“Go for it and be careful.”

“Gotcha.” Reno hung up the phone. He knew that he had to plan this out carefully or she would make short work of him and his men. He observed her surroundings, she was about five feet from a pile that was her back protection but what Reno noticed was an ally through the junk. He smiled as an idea popped into his head. He told the cyborg to go around the pile out of sight and too wait behind her without making a sound until he had a clear shot of her head. Reno and the two other men would be a distraction and the people that helped the cyborg get a clear shot. He sent the cyborg off and started walk towards his prey. “Well, well, who do we have here?”

“You know who.” She replied not looking at him. She was digging into her own shoulder with a knife. Reno grimaced, “that had to hurt.” “How did you find me?”

“Traced your blood. From what I could see on the plate, you don’t like Shinra too much now do ya?”

“Gee, you Shinra people are about as fast as they come.” Reno grimaced. Smart bitch.

“Well I have strict orders to take you back to the Headquarters.”

“And is that supposed to make you special?” she looked up at him for the first time. Her eyes were a deep forest green. They had a slight glow to them. He smiled.

“You worked for us at one point?”

“That’s in the past. You want to take me back to the Headquarters huh? I’d like to see you try.”

“Then fight me.”

“I’ve killed too much in one night.”

“Are you showing me mercy?”

“Depends, do you want it?” she had stopped digging into her arm and now was staring at him, an evil look in her eyes.

“No, I want you to take your best shot.”

“Your mistake.” She reached behind her and pulled put a huge sword. She stood up very slowly and that was all the cyborg needed. That moment of a clear shot. He brought his iron fist around and smacked the girl in the head. She fell forward to the ground. Reno smiled.

“No, your mistake.” He pulled out his PHS and dialed Tseng again. Once again, he answered after the first ring.


“We got her.”

“Great, you up for another catch?”


“That “someone” Payne needs was spotted going into a church in Sector 5. You wanna get em?”

“Yup, I’ll take care of it.”

“K, I’ll send my cyborg. He’ll meet you there in case you need another one.”

“I’m on it.” Reno hung up the phone. By now the girl was being held by the arms by the cyborg. He smiled and thought, “God am I ever going to get a raise for this.”

Good evening Midgar. Today, we were hit with a lot of tragedy. Earlier a terrorist group hit a Mako reactor. The group was later indemnified as AVALANCHE, the most active group in Midgar. On top of loosing a reactor, we lost some solders to the explosion. Our prayers are with those lost souls. In other news, a commotion was caused outside the Shinra Headquarters building. A cloaked person attacked and murdered seven Turks. Using the blood o one of the Turks, the murderer wrote a message that read I’M BACK. Rude, head of the Shinra Turks had this to say: “…We will stop at nothing to find this murderer. We’ve already sent out to two Turks to find the them…” Thank you Mr. Rude and good luck. I hope we find this cruel person. We will keep you posted on any new information. Until then, good night Midgar.

“Geez, this town is more screwed up than ever.” Cloud grumbled. He shook his head and turned away from the giant monitor. The slums were just as he could barely remember them. He had only been there for a few days; two to be exact and he still didn’t know why he felt like he was being called to the town. But when he got there, whatever was calling him still hadn’t shown up yet. Cloud shoved his hands into his pockets and walked around the Sector 5 slums. He had been to Midgar and worked for Shinra at one point in his life. To him, that was the worst mistake in his life and the best thing he ever did in his was leaving.

Cloud wondered around the slums, deep in thought about how much he needed to figure out why he was there. He looked to his left and he saw an old, run down church. He thought he heard someone humming. “Why would anybody be in there?” he thought to himself. He turned and walked in the churches broken down door. In the middle sat a girl, with long brown hair and pink dress. She was humming some song that sounded like something that was over 100 years old. He looked at her, wondering what she was doing, then he saw what she was tending too. Flowers?! Flowers, growing in the slums?! He stood in the doorway, mouth hanging open and dumbstruck. Bringing himself back to Earth, Cloud forced himself to walk towards this girl. She didn’t even notice that him until he was practically standing over her. She looked up at him suddenly, her eyes full of fear. “Are you here to take me away?”

“Huh?” Cloud replied, very puzzled.

“You work for SOILDER don’t you? I can see it in your eyes.”

“Not anymore.”

“Oh…sorry I assumed.”

“I don’t blame you. I would assume too.” She stood up and brushed off her dress. She tossed him a bright smile and then threw out her hand.

“My name is Aerith, what’s yours?”

“Cloud, nice to meet cha.” The two people shook hands. They let go and Aerith sat down again and began tending to the flowers again. Cloud knelt down and touched the flowers, very gently. “How can they grow in this ground?”

”I think it’s because this is a church and it’s sacred.” Aerith replied.

“I guess that makes sense.” He said scratching his head, puzzled. He didn’t believe in that kind of stuff. They sat in silence for a moment, until they heard the door open and a voice that called.

“Aw, isn’t that cute!” Cloud and Aerith turned around slowly and saw the man who held the voice. He had a blue suit and he had grey eyes and red hair. He smiled.

“Look, boy, I don’t know who the hell you are but…why don’t you just jet and pretend you never met this girl.”

“Why the hell would I do that?” Cloud replied, “And, who the hell are you?”

“Reno of the Turks and you?”

“Doesn’t matter now does it.” Cloud looked beyond Reno and saw two other Turks behind him and a cyborg. The cyborg was holding a figure in a black cloak, he couldn’t see their face but he did see blood dripping from their left shoulder. “I see the Turks have moved from looking for candidates for SOLDIER to kidnapping.”

“Not technically. Abducting, maybe on that one.” He said pointing to Aerith “But with this one.” He said pointing to the figure being held by the cyborg, “This is an arrest.”


“Yeah an arrest. This is the lovely little…person is the murderer who took out seven of our Turks.”

“Really? By themself?”

“Yeah, well this one deserves everything they’ll get.” He turned around and punched the figure in the stomach and then in the left shoulder. He pulled his hand away and it was covered in dark blood. The figure grunted and Reno made a face, “Damn, why do you bad people always have to bleed.” Aerith grimaced and leaned forward and whispered to Cloud,

“Cloud, can you get me out of here?”

“Sure, think we should blow this place.” Cloud whispered back.

“What the hell are you two talking about?” Reno asked, “Eh, what does it matter? Cyborg, take our first guest and wait outside.” The cyborg turned and started to walk away but before they could turn, Aerith caught a glimpse of the figures eyes…they were red. She shook off the feeling of fear and went back to thinking about their escape. Cloud whispered to her,

“When I say “go”, run as fast you can.” Aerith didn’t need to be told twice. To her, Reno didn’t seem to be the smartest person in the world. It was at that moment that she noticed that Cloud had a huge sword in a sheath on his back. She sighed at least he was armed. He leaned back and whispered, “…go!” she turned and ran as fast she could from the Turks, Cloud at her heals. She ran up the stairs and didn’t stop until she heard a crash. She looked behind her and saw another cyborg holding onto Cloud’s ankle. She gasped, the cyborg was trying to twist his legs right out of his hip! Cloud struggled until he kicked the cyborg in the face. The blow distracted the cyborg enough to loosen the grip on Cloud ankle so he could pull it free and it also gave him enough time to shove the cyborg down the stairs. As the two-ton monster fell down the stairs, the two other Turks came running into the room. Unfortunately for them, they didn’t have enough time to move before the cyborg fell on them, crushing them. Aerith grimaced at the sound of their crushing bones. Aerith and Cloud made a break for the roof, disappearing out of sight. Reno made a face at the mess at the bottom of the stairs. He had only one word to say, “Shit.”

Cloud and Aerith made it to the roof. They both sighed out of breath from running. They were about to jump to the ground and walk away until they remembered the other cyborg waiting outside. “Get down.” Cloud hissed.

“We can’t just leave that person in Shinra’s grasp. They will kill them or worse. We have to help!” Aerith whined back. But Cloud wasn’t listening, he was watching the dark figure.

The figure was growing impatience and was starting to struggle. The cyborg grew tired and just lifted them clear off their feet by their arms. That obviously got them even madder because now they weren’t just struggling, they were fighting. They were kicked and grunting trying their hardest to get away. Finally they came back and kicked the cyborg hard in the kneecap. It winced in pain and the figure broke free. Within a second they had a sword out and they sliced it down the cyborgs chest. The creature fell forward and the figure moved away. Moving to the left, away from the cyborg had been standing they waited. Within minutes, Reno emerged from the door. The figure didn’t even give him enough time to see that they had escaped. They slammed their fist into the back of Reno’s head. He crumbled to the ground. The figure had their back turned to Aerith and Cloud and they couldn’t their face even after they removed their hood. All they could see was fiery red hair cut short, just above the ears. The figure raised their sword over Reno’s heart and began to descend down. Aerith panicked and screamed at the figure

“NO! Don’t kill him! There is no need to!” The figure froze in mid motion and didn’t move. Aerith held her breath, unsure what they would do. They lowered their sword away from Reno and sighed in frustration. They spit at him and started to walk away, back still turned to Aerith and Cloud.

But before either of them could say anything to the cloaked person, Reno was on is feet and charging at the figure. He football tackled them. The figures sword flew from their hands and fell a few feet away. He held them down and screamed,

“They said I could bring you back dead or alive! I guess it’s going to be dead!” He pulled out a small knife and raised it high above his head. Cloud reacted as quickly as he could. He grabbed a piece of metal from the pile and jumped down from the roof. Running as fast as he could, he came up to Reno and smacked him on the back of the head as hard as he could. Reno fell over, knocked out cold. Cloud looked back at the figure, now on their hands and knees, not moving. Their sword was out of reach and they didn’t seem to be willing to move to get it. Cloud just watched them, waiting for them to make their move. Without warning, the figure brought a foot under Cloud’s feet and sent him flying on his back. While spinning around, the figure pulled a knife and they used their elbow digging into his chest to hold him down, holding the knife to Cloud’s neck. Suddenly the figures green eyes went big and they whispered, just loud enough for spiky haired punk to hear.



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