Legacy of the Past Chapter 5

Pins, Needles, and a Fire Escape

By Nemo

Elena paced around the Turk lounge. She had been put in charge of keeping everyone or who was left in line. That was a pretty easy task since every other person in the whole damn building ran for his or her lives. Every person in the building had been evacuated when a secretary discovered the heap of soldiers (or what was left of them) in the lobby. Judging by the way that they were killed, the officials announced that it was the dreaded 'hooded girl' who had killed the Turks just days before. In a frantic panic, the people ran from the building (so fast and so scared that a proper evacuation wasn't needed) in fear that they would be next. "The people in the this building are so dumb. If it really is the 'hooded girl' she seems to be one hell of a hacker so she could just tap into the main frame and get all the address. That is, if she was there to kill us all. She might not be, she might just want to piss a bunch of executives off and give the building a good scare but then again…" Elena shook her head, only a few Turks remained and they looked like they were ready to bolt at any minute. Elena heaved a big sigh, she wished Tseng and Reno were there. They wouldn't have run they would have fought with there all. They would have left the safety of locked doors and gone after the hooded girl themselves. Ever since the arrest, Elena had a feeling someone wasn't being honest. Maybe it was the look Reno have her when he held her by the shoulders, or maybe it was the look Tseng gave her when Reno hit the ground the gun was going for his own head. They looked so…confused and… Something nagged her, but she just couldn't put her finger on it…


Cold metal handcuffs slapped on Karta's wrist and the guard pushed her down the hallway. She couldn't believe what the guard said to her "comrades". "I wonder what they'll think of me now? I wonder if Naden will still give me those weird looks or if Barret will even trust me again? And Tifa, I bet all of her questions were answered." She thought, "What the hell was I thinking telling Cloud that 'I'll be fine' like hell I will?! Don't be a moron Cloud, get the hell out of here and leave me behind!" She took a left and saw a guard leading Aerith towards the holding cells. Her eyes went huge when she saw Karta tried to stop and say something but the guard gave her violent shove to keep walking. Her hair was messy and her face was as a white as a ghost but besides that she seemed in pretty good condition. Her green eyes had a hint of fear and horror in them and Karta had to smile. She knew that Aerith had seen and heard things that her young, virgin eyes and ears shouldn't have seen and heard.

The guard gave Karta a shove and led her into a lab. It was the same she had been caught in, but there was something different about it. Sitting in the middle of the room was an operating table. It was metal, slick and freshly polished. A bright light hung from the ceiling and reflected off the table, it glowed and you couldn't look at it for a long time or your eyes would start to hurt. The guard yanked out Karta's Rune Blade and put it against the wall. He fidgeted and Karta grinned, "The guard is scared of him…with good reason." She thought. "Um…sir?" the guard asked quietly. Whatever Professor Payne was doing he seemed oblivious to everything else around him. The guard straightened and cleared his throat. "Sir, I brought the girl like to you said." Professor Payne turned around; he was holding a cloth and a long slick blade. The guard gave a little squeak and Karta chuckled.

"Thank…you. You may remove the cuffs and leave." Professor Payne said in cold strict voice.

"But…I…" the guard stammered.

"She knows if she tries anything I'll personally take care of her friends in my own special way." He said eyeing Karta. She returned the cold stare. The guard undid the cuffs, saluted and left shutting the door behind him. Karta stood her ground not moving. Professor Payne put down the knife and looked up at Karta grinning. "I believe we have some catching up Karta."


"I don't know what to think." Naden said, "What did he mean by a 'former specimen'?"

"I don't know, why don't you ask Mako boy here." Tifa said glaring at Cloud, "What do you know about this?" Cloud just started into nothing, deep in thought, he didn't know a lot but he knew something…but was it his place to tell them? He glanced around the room and listened to the breathing of his waiting comrades. He took in a deep and breath and looked at them.

"We need to get out of here. When we get out of Midgar, you can get the story from her mouth. Not mine." He replied.

"What are you suggesting?" Tseng asked form behind the other wall.

"That we escape, find Karta and get the hell out of Midgar." Cloud said sternly. Just then, footsteps made their way into the area. Everyone quieted down and listened.

"Get in there." The guard said the door to Cloud and Tifa's cells opened and a guard pushed Aerith inside. The door shut and he walked away. Cloud walked over and helped her to her feet.

"Are you alright?" he asked.

"That…that…that man is crazy! He kept looking at me and poking me with pins and needles and…and…and he kept mentions Karta and whenever he did, he go over and sharpen a knife! Or put some mixture in a shot. He's CRAZY!!!!!!" she exclaimed.

"Who is?" Tifa asked.

"The new head of the Science Department." Reno grumbled, "Professor John Payne. He always talks about what a genius Hojo was, he's just as loony as Hojo was."

"What do you mean…'was'?" Cloud asked making his eyes narrow slits with suspicion.

"He disappeared, resigned and disappeared off the face of the earth." Reno replied. No one said anything; they all just thought and listened to the movement around the building.

"But…but…how do you plan on escaping Cloud?" Naden asked. Cloud sat back, thinking of a really good plan that could get them out of there. How could they get a key?

"Hey Tseng…what rank were you in the Turks?" Cloud asked.

"Um…pretty high...why?" he replied.

"You wouldn't happen to have one of those unlimited keys would you?"

"Um…no I never got one."

"Yeah but I did." Came Reno's voice interrupting the conversation.

"You…you did?" Tseng asked in disbelief, "…how…?"

"Advantages of a misspent youth." Reno replied rolling his eyes. When all he got was confused looks, he sighed, "In other words, I had some spare time on my hands so I made an extra."

"Where…where is it?!" Tseng exclaimed.

"Yo chill man. I know where it is, its Rude office in some locked draw. The bastard caught me." he replied.

"Why the hell would you tell us now?! It doesn't do us any good now?!" Tseng screamed gritting his fists.

"Whoa, chill out man! Jeez, you need to breathe or take a God damned vacation! Come on, this is me we're talking to me here! I NEVER just make one of something, and Rude didn't think to check me for copies. For the head Turk, he sure is a dumb ass." Reno said pulling out a key from his pocket, "But there is one minor problem."

"What?!" everyone asked,

"The lock is on the OUTSIDE." Reno said pointing at the door.

"Great, now what?" Tifa said. She folded her arms and sat down pouting. Everyone sat for a moment trying to come up with a good idea. Suddenly, Naden spoke up.

"Guard hey guard! The Turks in the first cell came up with a plan of escape!" he shouted. Reno's head shot up.

"Why you…" he started.

"Don't worry, I know what I'm doing." Naden whispered back. The door opened and Reno and Tseng looked at the guard.

"This is it, I'm dead." Reno thought but as soon as the thought passed through his head, he figured out Naden's plan. He stood up very slowly with his hands in the air.

"No one ever told me that I couldn't shoot you." The guard said raising his gun. Reno moved like lightning, running forward and slamming the guard into the metal wall. With a sickening crack the guard fell to the floor, blood coming out of his ears, nose and mouth. Tseng sat thunderstruck but Reno grinned.

"Damn…that felt good." He thought cracking his fingers. He reached down and disarmed the guard of his semi-automatic and tossed it to Tseng. He caught it. "Let's go." Reno said. On the table sat a variety of weapons. A sword, shotguns, clips, gloves and his Night Stick. "My favorite weapon." He said shifting the rod on. Then he turned to the middle cell and put the key in the whole. The door opened and Reno saw he comrades for the first time. He recognized all three. Cloud was the ex-SOLDIER that he met in the church with Aerith the Ancient. He also recognized Tifa from--

"Hey I know you!" Tifa said pointing at Reno interrupting he thoughts. "You're in my bar in my bar every other day! My best customer! My God, you pay the rent!" Tseng walked in the room, still a little pale. Her eyes went even bigger when she saw him. She pointed at him and said, "And…and you're the one who always drags or carries him out after a long night!"

"Yeah, I guess I do." Tseng replied sticking his chest out.

"And I suppose that makes you special or something?" Tifa asked sarcastically. Tseng didn't reply he just looked away.

"So, I suppose the black man with the gun arm is one of our comrades as well." Reno asked.

"Yeah, that's Barret." Tifa replied.

"Okay…I'll let them out." Reno said walking away. He turned and left and walked towards the other cell. He put his Night Stick on the ground and opened the door. He glanced around the room and as soon as he saw Barret he lunged for the other body of the room. He grabbed the other man of the room and dragged him outside the room. He slammed Naden against the wall and glared at him. "You sorry little bastard. Do you realize that if I--" Reno stopped in mid sentence, he just stared at Naden.

"Look I'm sorry that I didn't think this plan through too well. I guess that was a pretty dumb idea. Sorry…" Naden replied. Reno just stood with his mouth hanging open, Tseng came out of the cell. When he saw Naden, he dropped his gun. Reno dropped Naden and he backed up to Tseng.

"(What's going on Tseng? He should be dead!)" Reno whispered.

"(I don't know, he's acting really nice and caring. No Shinra is like that. He also changed his name and he looks really confused. He also doesn't recognize us.)" Tseng whispered back. They continued to stare at Naden.

"What are you guys looking at?" Cloud said as he walked out of the cell.

"Nothing." Reno replied, "nothing at all." He looked at Naden, "have we met before?"

"Quite honestly Reno, we could be brothers and I couldn't know. I fell through Tifa's roof and hit my head. Lost my memory. I think I lived on the plate and tried to commit suicide." Naden replied.

"Oh, I see. Yeah, I think I've seen you around the plate before." Reno replied. Everyone piled out of the cells and gathered up their weapons. Reno walked over and picked up his Night Stick. Tseng walked up to him.

"Why did you lie to the Vice-President?" he asked in a low voice.

"Because if we become friends with Naden, we'll we clear when he gets his memory back. Besides, it's our duty to protect him." Reno replied. They all came together, weapons drawn and ready to go. They all looked at each other and moved out. They crept along the hallway, weapons raised. Without warning, a group of 3rd class SOLDIERS came running around the corner, their leader Rude.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here? Tseng and Reno teaming up with AVALANCHE? Well who would have thought? Wait, what am I thinking, I already told everyone that you were part of AVALANCHE, and look what happens. You teams up with them, I guess when you're sitting on death row you don't think straight. Not that you ever did Reno." Rude said in a cold voice, "SOLDIERS, take out everyone but the Turks, that's my job."

"You guys we're in a bad spot, we have no room to move around." Naden said.

"Going down?" Reno asked. They moved fast and used their weapons to break the floor. Within a second, the floor gave away and they all were sent plummeting to the floor below.

"Ow, well it worked. Now we have room to move around." Tifa said siting up and rubbing her head.

"But we're also that much farther away from Karta." Reno pointed out.

"We need to deal with these guys and get her out before Payne can try anything ugly." Cloud said. "Reno and I will head back up to get her out, can you guys handle them?"

"No problem." They all said in one way or another.

"One little piece of advice, SOLDIERS are nothing without their swords. Remember that." Cloud said.

"Be careful you guys and watch out for Rude's fists…ouch." Reno said. They both turn and ran for the fire escape. They all got around in a circle with their backs facing each other and waited for the SOLDIERS while Aerith hid in a corner.

"Hey Tseng, what did Reno mean by 'watch out for Rude's fists'?" Tifa asked.

"Rude had the bones in his hands replaced by metal ones. They are strong enough to kill a man." Tseng replied. They had no more time to talk the group of twenty SOLDEIRS and Rude came out through the elevator. There was no time to prepare, just another bloody battle.

Rude stood in the back, as if waited for someone to fall or for all of the SOLDIERS to die. Tifa used the same strategy as last time only a little different. Using her Dragon Claw, she slashed across stomachs and faces of the SOLDIERS, but would also use the sharp blades to take off fingers or even hands of someone's face or stomach. Then, unfortunately for those people, they would have a close encounter with her blades…in their faces. Naden shot at hands and wrists for his targets, they he would hit the tops of their heads with the barrel of his gun. With cracks and blood, they would fall to the ground, with their eyes rolled back. Tseng used his quick reflexes to his advantage, he never went for hands, legs for even stomachs, and he used the semi-automatic to put led into their heads. He also never put just one bullet, but at least five. Barret got in front of Aerith and shot off any person that got within firing range. All the while, Aerith was screaming and the ring made everyone squint in pain. When the last body fell, they all looked at Rude. He didn't look scared or even surprised, if anything, he looked amused. He brought his hands up and started clapping. The claps rang throughout the room; no one moved a muscle.

"I must say I am impressed. I just wished I could have seen Karta or Cloud or Reno fight. Now that would be even better. Since their not here, they must be loose in the building or dead. Either way, I have to go protect the President." Rude said back into the elevator.

"Backing away form a fight Rude?" Tseng asked.

"Oh no Tseng, you and Reno and I will battle it out someday. Just not now, I want Reno to be here so I can pound that face of his in." Rude replied and the doors shut. Tseng let his gun fall and only word could describe the feelings he felt: damn, damn it all to hell.


Rude leaned against the wall of the elevator door deep in thought. "AVALANCHE is better than I thought. They took out twenty 3rd class SOLDIERS and no one even broke into a sweat." Rude thought. The doors opened and he walked out. The place was completely abandoned, only a few brave secretaries roamed around, looking over their shoulders every now and then. Rude turned and walked up the stairs to the Presidents office, he opened the door. He heard a gun click and he put his hands up. "It's just me sir." He said. Reeve put the gun down and the President came out from under his desk.

"Ah, it's just you Rude, you gave me quite a scare." President Shinra said.

"I'm sorry sir, I won't do it again." Rude said, "But I have a update on the situation."

"Go ahead."

"AVALANCHE took out twenty 3rd class SOLDIERS and they didn't even break into a sweat. I think we may have underestimated them."

"I see, that's not good. You may leave; you leave as well you Reeve. I wish to have some time alone."

"How will we guard you sir?" Reeve asked.

"Outside the door of course." The President replied. Rude and Reeve left the room and the President leaned back. He pushed a button on his desk and a cage opened and out walked a red lion creature. The President smiled,

"Hi there Red." He said.

"I told you, my name is Nanaki." Nanaki said firmly.

"I will call you whatever I want and you will like it." Nanaki felt his ears start to burn with anger. He lost his patience with the President; he ran forward and bit the President on the hand as hard as he could.

"Yeeow! Get out of my city right now!" President Shinra screamed. Nanaki ran the office and out of the building. He wondered the slums for a little while until he found the door that led outside Midgar.

"I will find my way home if it's the last thing I ever do." Nanaki said with sheer determination in his voice. He started to walked off into the hills…


Karta stood in the middle of the lab. Her weapon was near by but she couldn't get it, it was too far away and yet it was so close. Neither her nor Professor Payne had said a word for a good hour and a half. This wasn't all too surprising to either of them considering neither of them were very high on each other's 'favorite person list'. Karta stood her ground watching Payne's every move and he would glance over his shoulder to make sure she wasn't trying anything. Another thirty minutes went by in complete silence. Finally, Professor Payne turned around, holding a shot in his right hand.

"Do you remember the old days, Karta?" he asked tossing the shot in his hands.

"How could I forget? They only take up about half of my life." She replied.

"Let's see…how old were you when we first met…?"


"That's right, so I would have been…twenty-one, correct?"

"Yes, you always did enjoy a good drink."

"How long has it been since we last met?"

"Two months."

"Oh how time flies. Has it been that long already?"


"Well then…we're very far behind schedule aren't we?"


"Well then…we better get on task…shouldn't we?" He started to walk towards he her but Karta held up a hand in protest.

"No, we shouldn't." she said sternly.

"Why?" he asked, stopped in mid step.

"Because, I've had enough."

"Do you remember what we used to do to you? The mixture we used?"

"Yes…it was a Jenova / Mako mix."

"And what would happen to you after we injected it into you?"

"I would go into 'State of Mind' as you called it."

"Yes…I wish to see it again." This time, Professor Payne didn't walk but bolted towards her but she was too quick for him. She grabbed his hand and threw him too the ground. He landed with a thud on his back. She brought a foot back to kick him in the head but he rolled away and grabbed her ankle and pulled her to the floor. He picked up the shot to inject it in but Karta kicked it out of his hand. He was so surprised by how fast she was that he didn't have time to react, nor did he have time to stop her from grabbing his collar and yanking him to his feet. Karta pulled back and punched Payne in he face, his collar ripped and he stumbled backwards. She came up to him and kicked him in the stomach and then punched his face again. She picked him up by his shirt and looked him in the eye.

"It's my turn to inflict pain." She said coldly. She gathered all her strength and punched him in the face. He fell backward unconscious. She turned her back to him and walked towards the door. She never bothered to look over her shoulder and she never saw him move until he was running for her as silent as a cat. She never knew until he raised the needle in the air and stabbed it into her shoulder blade. A little stream of blood fell out as Professor Payne pushed the mixture into her body. Karta gritted her teeth it hurt like hell.


"Where exactly are we going?" Reno asked.

"To the main lab I guess…I brought you along so you could show me where to go." Cloud replied.

"Hey I was only a Turk, I had no business on this level…I never WANTED to go up here anyway. Too creepy for my taste." Reno replied. Cloud felt something-go wrong in the pit of his stomach. He started to pick up the pace. Reno noticed and he started to as well. "Hey Cloud, what with the pick up?"

"Something's not right, I can feel it." Cloud replied and he started running up the stairs, Reno close behind.


Karta gasped for breath, it felt like someone was trying to pull her windpipe out of her throat. Her face was wet with sweat and it dripped off the bridge of her nose. She felt her body start to shake and the world started to fuzz over. Professor Payne held the needle in place, his nose was bleeding and a stream of blood came from his mouth. It all fell on Karta black clothes. He smirked, "Now I have her within my grasp." He thought. He grinned even bigger and started to laugh. Suddenly, the door flew open and Reno and Cloud came running in. Payne froze and he was so surprised he didn't have time to block Reno's Night Stick before it smacked his head. Payne fell to the ground with a loud thump. Karta looked up and saw Cloud looking back at her.

"Karta? Karta, are you all right?" he asked.

"Cloud…? I thought…I told you…to get out of…here." Karta struggled to say, although she could barely breathe let alone talk.

"You're my friend…I would never abandon you." Cloud replied.

"Come on you guys, Payne won't be out forever." Reno said. Karta gave him a strange look.

"He's our ally now, I'm explain later." Cloud said, "Well…you can barely talk so I take you can't walk either. Okay, put one arm over my shoulder and another around Reno's, we'll take the fire escape."

"Cloud…you…you don't…" Karta tried to protest but neither of them were listening. They already were dragging her down the stairs. "They…don't…understand…" Karta thought but her thought were interrupted by the world spinning, her body going limp and darkness overcoming her.

"She went limp, she's passed out." Reno said.

"We need to get out of here, we'll ask her some questions when she wakes up." Cloud said. He saw her sword leaning against the wall, "And grab that." He said pointing at the sword.

"How will we know if she wakes up?"

"When you're passed out, the body is completely relaxed, when she wakes up, her body will tense up and we'll feel it." Cloud replied.

"Oh…" Reno said his voice trailing off. "Let's get moving." They picked up the pace going down the flights of stairs.


"That wasn't so hard." Naden said twirling his gun in his hands. Tseng didn't reply he just stared at the elevator door. "You want to get even with Rude, don't you?"

"Yes…I do." Tseng replied. Aerith walked over and put a hand on his shoulder, Tseng turned his head and looked at her.

"You will, I know you will." She said. Tseng smiled at her. He stuck his chest out again and turned to the group and said,

"They will properly take the fire escape, so we'll meet them down there."

"How?" Naden asked. Tseng turned to him and smiled,

"How do you think, we'll take elevator." Tseng replied. The group grinned and walked into the elevator.


"Ah shit! Damn man, this is going to be my exercise for the next fucking year." Reno said breathlessly. "Is she still out cold?" Cloud looked at Karta.

"Yup, but we're almost there, I can hear the cars on the street below." Cloud replied. Reno and Cloud continued down the stairs in silence, both secretly worried why Karta was unconscious for so long. Both so deep in their own thoughts, they didn't see Karta's eye open, mainly because her body stayed relaxed. They also didn't see that her eyes were no longer blue or green, but entirely black.

Karta moved like lightning, she wrapped her hands on Reno and Cloud's shoulders and slammed them into opposite walls with inhuman strength. Her glowed with an eerie black and her voice didn't sound like her own.

"Get…the…hell…away…from…me! " she screamed, her voice shrill and almost inhumanly cold. She held them against the walls glaring at each of them. Before either of them could say anything, Karta snatched her sword from Reno and bolted down the stairs in a blur of speed. Reno and Cloud sat thunderstruck and before they finally managed to get up and run down after her.

"Shit man, what happened to her?!" Reno asked. Cloud didn't reply he just kept running after her.

But when they got there, they met up with the rest of the group and no one could believe what they saw.

Karta was killing any person that got within range in the most brutal of ways. No guard or Turk or SOLDIER fell to the ground dead without a limb missing, if it wasn't an arm or leg…it was a head. Her eyes still glowed with that black tint and when nearly 100 guards or Turks or SOLDIERS lay dead, everyone else got the sense to stay away from her. She turned to the group, blood was smeared on her hands and face and blood dripped from her sword. She then turned her back to them again and started to shake. She dropped her sword and fell to her knees. She covered her head and shook violently, Cloud made his way slowly towards her but stopped when she moved. She opened her eyes again and this time they were completely white, no pupil, nothing. She stood up and threw her arms into the air and screamed at the sky,

"Come to me, my children!" She then fell to the ground, her eyes shut tight. Cloud walked up to her and looked at her. Her face had the emotion of pain and sweat broke out all over again. She wrapped her arms around herself and started screaming in complete agony. Only this was her voice and Cloud knew something wasn't right inside her. The agonizing screaming went on for about three more minutes when it stopped and she was out cold again. Cloud looked at her, he lifted up her eyes and looked at them, they were blue again. He signaled everyone to come over, they all stared at her, and millions of questions filled their heads.

"Well…who volunteers to carry her first?" Cloud asked.

"I will." Naden said quickly, too quickly. Everyone nodded and they started on their way back to the slums.

"What the closest town Cloud?" Tifa asked.

"Kalm, we're going there. It's not safe in Midgar anymore." Cloud replied. They all moved in silence, taking the elevator down to the slums and going out the side door using the keycard. Before they knew it, they were all on their way to the small town of Kalm.


Professor Payne opened his eyes his head was pounding. He pushed himself to his feet and looked out the window. On the ground was a mess of human remains, blood everywhere. He could only guess that Karta had done all that.

"You can run Karta, but I'll find you again. And if it isn't me…then 'he' will." Professor Payne said to no one. He then started laughing, the hysteria filling the entire Shinra building.


Hi to everyone that's reading this. Well I guess there is an up and a down to everything. I'm finally out of school, did pretty good on my grades, my GPA was a 3.571 which is honor roll. But there is always bad news too. While at a camp, I realized that I have problems and that I need help. I came back from camp and told my parents about the feelings of depression and the suicide attempts. I went to the doctor and now I'm on meds. But now the point to this announcement: the doctor told me to do things that release stress and in my case it's writing and that means I'll be writing a lot more. The point is this is a warning that my writing is going to be weirder that usually and I just want to warn everyone out there. Thanks to everyone who's reading this. ~Nemo


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