Legacy of the Past Chapter 8

As the Mist Rises...

By Nemo

Tseng smiled as a similar reaction passed the faces around the room. Karta grinned and sat back in her chair, arms folded.

"And what exactly do you mean by that Tseng?" she asked, a smirk on her face. Tseng smiled back,

"I know a place just beyond the Mythril Mines that is a hiding place for fugitives, a place where we can hide until things cool down a little…" Tseng replied. But as soon as the words left his mouth, he regretted it. He bit his lower lip and looked away from the group. Karta made her eyes narrow slits and sat up straighter.

"Things will not just 'cool down' Tseng. They will look for us without delay and with even more determination as time goes on. The longer we hide, the harder they will look and when they find us…" Karta let her voice trail off. "We can stop but we cannot afford to hide. We will not hide." Tifa did not like the tone of voice Karta had, and she glared at her red haired companion.

"And since when are YOU making the dictions for the rest of the group? You don't know everything about Shinra now, do you?" she asked, raising her voice. Karta turned and the two women made direct eye contact. Reno shook his head,

"She's right Tifa, we can't hide. She hit the nail right on the damn head. The longer we're out of site, the harder they'll search." Reno sighed and sunk into his seat, "Either way…we're royally screwed."

An uncomfortable silence passed as the sick reality of the situation sunk in. Cloud heaved a sigh and stood up.

"Well if this is our situation, we better get as far from Midgar as fast as we can." He declared. Aerith nodded,

But there is one problem…how are we going to get to this place? We have to cross the marsh lands and there is that big…snake…thing." Reno turned and raised an eyebrow at Aerith,

"Big snake thing? Well that tells us a lot Aerith thanks."

"She means the Midgar Zolom, Reno." Barret replied quietly.

"We'll just have to fight it." Tseng stated. Cloud felt his jaw hit the floor,

"What are you crazy?! We can't fight that thing!" Tifa nodded,

"He's right, there is no possible way. We'll be killed for sure." Tifa replied, "And I don't know about the rest of you scum's, but I don't want to die." Naden sat back and looked at each member of the group.

"Why not? I mean, we fought off god knows how many guards in the Shinra Headquarters. We can handle a snake if we work together." He said quietly. Karta looked over at Naden. She stood up and got directly into his face.

"What do you think this snake looks like Naden, hm? Like a little gardener snakes that you saw when you went outside? Or the Pythons that you read about in third grade? Not in the slightest…Take the picture you have in…" she paused and hit Naden in the forehead, "that blonde head of yours and multiply it by a hundred. This snake could wrap you in its body and crush your soul not to mention your body. This snake could take you in its mouth; its venom seeping through your skin. You would die a slow, painful death…" she paused again and stood up, looking down at her blonde companion. "Do you still want to battle it…?"

The entire room fell into an uncomfortable and deathly silence. Naden looked down at the floor, his ears burned with embarrassment. Karta rubbed her temple, trying to cease the pounding in her head.

"There was a chocobo ranch there at one point, but it was burned to the ground. The family was killed and the chocobo's were slain. We can't climb the mountains. Its impossible and there is no way around. We have one choice…" Karta explained, her voice trailing off. Cloud looked up at her,

"We have to battle it." He said quietly. The group sat silently in the room, each of their minds plagued with similar thoughts. Karta looked from person to person, none of them seemed entirely eager to leave the small town. Karta walked to the far wall where everyone had their weapons stored. She picked up her Rune Blade and shoved it in its sheath behind her. She turned to the group.

"We leave in an hour." She declared.


Naden shoved another clip into his shotgun and sighed. He was not looking forward to crossing these marches. He glanced over his shoulder at his companions. Tifa was pulling on her fighting gloves, Reno was charging his Nightstick and Cloud was shoving his Buster Sword into it's sheath. Naden sighed and walked silently over to Karta. She was leaning against the wall staring out the window. She turned when he was only a few feet away.

"Is there something you want or need to know Naden?" she asked flatly. Naden shook his head and took a step closer to her.

"You seem really distant. Are you alright?" he asked. Karta turned from the window and looked into his eyes.

"What do you think?" she snapped, and she brushed past Naden and to the door. She turned to the group, watching each member for only a moment. Without a word, she turned out the door and descended down the stairs. The Inn manger behind the desk glared at Karta with a strange look in his eyes. She turned and walked up to him, "Can I help you?" she demanded, trying hard not to sound too pushy. He made his eyes narrow slits and stared at her.

"I know who you are." He declared. Karta raised an eyebrow.

"What of it?" she asked hotly. He smiled slightly,

"There were a lot of rumors flying around when you and your family disappeared. One of them was Shinra had them killed and spared you because you had the talent with a sword. But the one I believe…" he leaned forward and got into Karta's face, "I believe you turned your family to the system and did the dirty work yourself. That their blood is on your hands, and you know what, girl? I can see it in your eyes. You know I'm right and just looking in your eyes is enough evidence for me and for the police of this town. Go crawl back to Midgar and lick the boots of President-"

The manager did not get to finish his sentence. With lightning fast speed, Karta seized the manager's collar. With little effort and one arm, she lifted him clear off his feet. His eyes blazed with terror ay her strength and speed.

"Listen to me you lying piece of shit-yard scum, you don't know anything and you better damn well keep your mouth shut about me and my family. I work for no one…" she sneered. He gasped for breath and whispered,

"That's not what the girl in the white top said…" Karta took a deep and shaken breath. She glared at the man and then dropped him. He rubbed his neck and glared at her, "What's the matter, did I hit a soft spot?" Karta turned and shot him an icy glare, she glanced up the stairs to where the group was preparing for battle in her former room.

"What do you think of me now, Tifa? Do you hate me more than you did before? Or do you look at me now through pity's eyes?" She turned her back to the stairs and stomped angrily to the door. "I don't want your pity Tifa…I want no one's pity." She pushed the door open and stepped into the afternoon sunlight. People turned and started to stare, but she shot every single one of them icy glares and their eyes immediately turned away. She started to wander the streets of the town, every now and then catching a glare from people. The town's people made a path for her as she shoved her way through the morning crowds. She knew where she was going, although it was an all around bad idea. She was walking directly to where the Shinra lab was.

"Karta?" She whirled around at the sound of her name. It was Aerith. "Everyone is ready to go, we're just waiting for you." She said quietly. Karta nodded and looked towards the lab again.

"Let's get out of here." Karta stated pushing her way past Aerith.


Cloud watched Karta come down the street towards to the group. There was more anger in her step; he could only guess what had happened with the Inn manager. The poor manager was as white as a ghost when they came down, and he seemed eager for them to leave. Cloud wasn't the only one who seemed to notice; the rest of the group was watching Karta with a keener eye. Maybe they all thought that she would freak out or go into State of Mind randomly. He knew that was not possible of course but the memories of the mangled bodies of the Shinra soldiers…her facial expressions, would make the strongest man's spine shake.

Cloud sighed and shoved his hands into his pockets; the day was off to a bad start already. He felt a light tap on his shoulder and turned to see Barret standing before him.

"Yeah?" Cloud said, raising his voice so it was in the form of a question.

"I have some business to take care of here, would it be ok if I caught up with you later?" he asked. Cloud thought about it for a moment.

"I don't know…you won't be able to make it across the Marches by yourself…we really can't 'wait'. "

"I know…don't wait for me…If I get left behind I'll find a way to catch a chocobo or something. Don't worry; I can take care of myself." Cloud thought about it for a moment,

"Alright but you just be careful. The last thing we all need is the death of a comrade." Cloud replied, both men slapped a hand together and held sure. Cloud nodded and Barret turned his back on them and strolled back into the heart of town. Cloud turned back to the group and nodded, they all seemed ready to leave. But Karta especially wanted out of the town. No one seemed to mind; the looks were getting old and almost threatening. Cloud turned his back to the town and started out into the fields. Karta was already a good 100 yards in front of them and seemed to have no intentions of slowing down. Tifa and the rest of the group, excluding Cloud, seemed okay with that. There was fear even if no one would come out and admit it. He glanced up ahead and saw Karta waiting for the group atop a hill. She was looking down on Kalm and Midgar, arms folded completely still, and her face emotionless. Cloud walked up and stood next to her.

"What are you looking at?" he asked. She didn't respond right away, she just heaved a sigh of relief,

"It's just good to be getting away." She turned her back and Cloud was sure he almost saw her smile. "Let's get going." Karta pushed her way through the group and started down the backside of the hill. Tifa turned and looked back at Midgar; although she despised the city, she felt slight remorse leaving the place that had been her home for all of those years. Tossing a piece of her chocolate brown hair over her shoulder she followed the rest of the group, lagging behind and deep in thought. Her eyes watched the ground as they trudged on. It wasn't until something in the grass caught her eye, that she stopped dead in her tracks. She looked down at it. There wasn't a doubt in her mind it was blood.

"Everyone stop." Tifa shouted to the group, they all turned and looked at her. "I found blood in the grass and it is human blood." Karta turned and walked up to Tifa and looked at the small pool on the ground.

"She's right, it is human blood. And…" she looked down a slight slope to their left, "…whoever it was dragged themselves here or someone else dragged them that way." She said pointing to the slope. Brushing off her pants, Karta stood up and walked over to the slope. She looked over the edge, muttered something that no one could decipher and jumped down. "Aerith, get over here." Karta's demanding voice arose from the ditch. Aerith looked somewhat surprised, but nonetheless she complied. She too looked down the ditch. She gasped.

"Everyone get over here!" she called. The group came running over and looked down. There stood Karta in knee-deep mud, she was frantically digging through the filth uncovering what seemed to be a body. She looked up at them, her face stern.

"Don't just stand there, come around." She sneered at them. She pulled the lifeless body from the mud and started to drag him from the muck. Aerith was the first down there, her level two cure materia ready. By now the rest of the group had walked around the hole. Reno pulled out a blanket while Cloud got a spare jacket from his pouch. Karta continued to clear the mud from the human; when it was gone she turned him onto his back on her lap and patted it a few times. He coughed up a combination of mud and blood. But he still wasn't breathing. Karta tipped their head back and blew some of her own air into his lungs. Meanwhile, Aerith casted her cure materia over and over. After almost five minutes of working, he responded and was breathing on his own. From the looks of it, he was a young man. His eyes were half open, and he looked up into Karta's eyes.

"Am I dead?" he asked. She rolled her eyes and sighed.

"No, you're not." She replied and helped him sit up. Reno handed him the blanket. The young man nodded and wrapped it around himself. Aerith eyed him for a moment.

"Who are you?" she asked. He ran a hand through his mud soaked head, his real hair colored seemed to be a brown with blond from the sun. His eyes were a light and happy, yet nonetheless mysterious, stormy gray with a hint of deep green. He had a lean frame and face that had a happy smile on it, spread across his lips.

"The name is Buck Lundvig." He replied, putting out a mud soaked hand to Aerith. Despite the filth, Aerith took the hand and shook it. Karta did not seem so happy.

"Do you work for Shinra?" she demanded. Buck shook his head,

"Nope the Shinra are a bunch of no good low lives." He paused for a moment, "Let me guess, you are all on the run?" Everyone remained silent for a moment. Buck looked from person to person taking in their faces. "I'll take that as a yes." The group went completely silent; everyone seemed to be extremely uncomfortable. Karta thought for a moment, how could they trust this "Buck" anyway. She trusted no one especially people with this good of instincts. There was no way he could look at a mortal face and know their thought process. Then again, she remembered that she was like that before the lab. Her parents always said that she had this uncanny sixth sense to people and whether or not they were telling the truth. She studied Buck for a moment, looking into his eyes watching every movement he made. He either was the best liar in the world or he was sincere. As reluctant as she was to admit it, something told her it was the latter.

Reno stood up and stretched. "Let's go! I want to kick some Zolom ass!" Karta studied the ex-Turk as well. He was young and eager to battle. "We'll see how tough you are when you are face to face with that Zolom." She thought.

Cloud got up as well and turned to the group.

"Reno's right, let's get out of here." He stated. Karta noted that Cloud had certainly become stronger since their last encounter. Aerith looked from person to person, her eyes wide with worry.

"But what about Buck?" she asked. Tifa made her eyes narrow slits and glared down at Aerith. The girl could not take Tifa's glare and looked away.

"We trust no one." She stated. Tseng looked up and tilted his head at Tifa.

"You trust people. You trusted Reno and I." He pointed out. Reno nodded in agreement. Karta stood up and looked at her brown haired companion. Tifa waited for Karta to say that she trusted her but the words never came. It was then that Tifa figured out that Karta knew that she still did not trust her. Naden nodded and stood up,

"You trusted me…even though I am a stranger to myself." He explained. Karta looked out into the horizon, the sun had reached high noon over an hour ago. It had to be nearly one in the afternoon and they still had five miles before they got to the marshes. Karta snapped back to reality when Tifa raised her voice.

"How do we know he isn't a spy?!" she screamed. Buck arched an eyebrow at her,

"You know I am standing right here. I may have been unconscious in the mud for god knows how long but I can still hear." Buck said, evidently struggling to keep his voice fairly bright. Tifa whirled around to face him.

"Give us one reason to trust you." She sneered. Karta sighed and glared at Tifa.

"Shut up, Tifa." She hissed. Tifa felt her mouth hit the ground; no one had dared tell her to shut up…ever. She crossed to Karta and got directly into her face.

"What did you say to me?" she snapped. Karta tilted her head to the side and looked at Tifa. The woman was predicable.

"No." she stated flatly with a smile. Tifa, on the other hand, looked dumbstruck.


"No, I do not accept the challenge you were about to say. If you wish to battle me, do it when this is all over. Then, whatever hatred and/or grudge you have over me will be settled. But until then, try to keep that fiery temper of yours under control." No one moved a muscle, they all barely breathed. Karta turned to Buck and looked down at him, "Can you fight?" she asked. Buck nodded.

"My dad taught me how to fight with daggers. I believe they are still with me…" he reached into his jean pocket and pulled out two knife handles with no blades. He smiled when Karta gave him a strange look; he pushed a button and a blade shot out from each end, making perfect daggers. Karta arched an eyebrow and Buck was defeated, "There is no way to impress this girl is there?" he thought.

"How good are you?" she asked, jerking him back to reality.

"Pretty good I guess but I'm more of a computer man…" Karta narrowed her eyes at him and gave him a strange look. She put off some questions until after they crossed the marshes. She heaved a sigh,

"Come on. Lundvig, you're coming too, but if you get in the way one of two things will happen. One: we'll leave you in some random town, drugged. Or two: we'll kill you. For your own safety, I would recommend keeping up." She said glancing over her shoulder. Buck nodded and jumped to his feet. He was still covered in mud, but no one seemed to really care and neither did he. They were crossing the marshes; they were going to be beyond dirty. Tifa clenched her fists and pushed Buck out of her way as she stomped after Karta. He stumbled back slightly and gave Tifa a strange look.

"Is it me she doesn't like or does she act like that to everyone?" Buck asked, turning his gaze to the men of the group. They all nodded in unison. Aerith felt a smile spread as she passed the men. They all turned and followed the girls north.


Tifa stepped over the last hill, she could see the remnants of the Chocobo Ranch. Pieces of burnt wood and half full bags of seed lined the ground. Nearby, three gravestones sat surrounded by fresh flowers.

"They were killed a year ago today." A voice from behind her said. Tifa turned to see Karta walking up and looking at the remains. Tifa raised an eyebrow at her.

"How would you know?" she grumbled. Karta turned and looked at Tifa, her eyes turning to a deep forest green.

"I knew that family Tifa. They lent me a Chocobo when I had no money. The let me sleep in one of their beds and gave me food for nothing. They took me in when I was hurt." She paused, "They reminded me of my parents and sister…so I felt at peace there." Her voice trailed off. Tifa watched Karta for a moment, she was extremely miserable with life. The rest of the group caught up and also looked at the ranch remains. The marsh could be seen nearly; none of them were particularly eager to battle the Zolom. The sun was setting behind the mountains, and Aerith shivered.

"Karta, can we wait until morning to battle this thing?" she asked. Karta did not respond, she just watched the marshes. "…Karta?" She nodded and turned to the group.

"I have crossed these marshes before, but never on foot. The best time is right before dawn, when the Zolom is just waking up. I don't want to hear 'let's cross now while it's asleep' crap from anyone." She pointed to the marshes, "We wake that thing up and we'll have one very cranky Zolom to deal with." She replied. The group nodded and planned to make camp near the house. Although Karta wanted to be as far away from the ruins as possible she just had to look around. As the group put up camp, Karta wandered to the far side of the house. The fire had, without a doubt, been started from the outside. Every door and window was locked. Karta did not need to look anymore for she already knew the truth. They were murdered. She turned and saw the sun dip behind the mountains, turning the sky from blue to an orange-yellow. Around the bend, a fire was being lit, food prepared and guard duties were being assigned. All the while, Karta could feel that things were going to dramatically change in the near future.


Buck silently finished the last of his dinner, watching each member of his new companions. They were quite a bunch; each of them had their strengths, weaknesses and different personalities. They didn't seem like they should all be traveling together; they were all too different. He glanced past the fire and saw the girl, Karta, sitting far away from the rest of the group, staring blankly into the fire, the flames dancing in her eyes. Buck stood up and walked over to her. She did not acknowledge that he was standing over her so he sat down next to her. That, she noticed.

"What do you want?" she snapped. Buck raised an eyebrow at her and looked at the fire. There was a moment of silence and he could feel her eyes on him.

"Can a man not sit and watch the fire?" he asked, sarcasm dripping from his words. He turned and faced her, she glared angrily at him and with no words, and Buck got his answer: no.

"No one sits near me unless they have a question about something. I wish to keep it that way." She glared at him harder, "Now, what do you want?" Buck raised an eyebrow at her,

"Well…um…Cloud told me about the conversations in Kalm and I just---"

"You don't want to finish that sentence." She sneered. Buck shut his mouth and turned to the fire, "You came here to offer me pity? I would recommend that you spread the word: I want no one's pity." She stood up and glared down at him, "Especially from anyone here." With that, she turned her back on him and walked away, to the far side of the house, away from the fire and the group. Buck looked down at the ground and played with the dirt. Naden watched him for a moment before venturing over and sitting down next to his new companion. Neither of them spoke, for neither of them knew how to start the conversation. Naden finally spoke,

"Don't take it too personally, she's like that to everyone." Buck nodded,

"I can see that but…I can see that in ways she is emotional as much as she may hide it." He turned and faced Naden, "Can you see it too?" Naden thought for a moment,

"Yeah…I guess I can. There is a lot of pain and betrayal in her. There is more to the story then she is telling us…" Naden whispered. Buck nodded in agreement and they both stared at the fire, unmoving and not uttering a word. Nearby, away from the fire and the group, Karta lay on her back staring at the sky. Her hands behind her head, Karta smiled slightly to herself,

"You won't win…" she whispered into the night. Smoke from the fire rose into the sky, bits of ash and flame settled themselves in the crisp night. A slight wind blew them out and across the field, across many lands…to a pale, scrawny hand. It snatched the ashes up and gently brought them to their face. He took a deep sniff of the ashes, the smell of their enemies gently touching his senses. He grinned this was perfect…


Barret wandered silently along the quiet streets of Kalm. He wasn't sure why he had decided to stay behind but he had. He did not feel…right with all of them. "Maybe I'll just stay here and make a life for myself." He thought, shoving his good hand into his pocket. "But if Tifa ever finds out, she would kill me." He stopped and thought that over again. "Why do I fear Tifa so much? Maybe it's because, although I am bigger, she has a better mind then me…" Barret walked deeper into town and looked around. Something did not feel right…the town was deathly quiet and it was not that late. There were no crickets, no voices from the bar, just a bone chilling silence. Barret gulped and walked slightly quicker down the street. It was not until a few moments later that he realized that he was right in front of the lab where Karta and her family had been tortured and tested. He gulped and stared at the door in front of him. The temptation was too great, he reached forward and pushed the slightly open door and stepped inside.

The first thing Barret noticed was the reeking smell. It was obvious to anyone what it was the smell of blood and burning human flesh. Barret checked his gun arm; he had a full clip locked and ready to fire. He quietly crept around the corner and looked into the main room. A man was leaning over an operating table deeply involved with something. Barret silently raised his gun when he saw the man sit up straight and look straight ahead. Barret could hear the man laughing silently.

"Come in Mr. Wallace, I know you are there." A all too familiar voice spoke out. Barret froze and lowered his gun, his mouth dropping open. The man at the table turned around with lightning speed and fired a gun at Barret. He had no time to duck, or dive out of the way; the bullet came flying through the air hitting Barret directly in the stomach. He could feel the bullet tear at his skin, piercing his heart and stomach. The force had sent him flying through the air and against a wall. The man at the operation table strolled over to Barret's withering body. He smiled and leaned over, staring into Barret's eyes. "Good night…Barret…" he whispered as Barret's vision fuzzed over and faded.


The morning sun rose over the horizon, turning the black night sky a light, cherry red and pastel orange. Karta stood atop the hill nearby watching the sunrise. She sighed deeply,

"I have to admit…this world is pretty much screwed over but even so…" her voice trailed off. Footsteps approached and she turned to see Cloud climbing the hill. He smiled,

"It's beautiful." He stated, finishing the climb and also looking out at the sunrise. "I couldn't help but overhear…sorry." Karta waved her hand and Cloud interpreted it as "that's ok". They both stared out at the horizon, silent and still. Movement beneath consisted of everyone packing their gear and preparing for battle. Karta sighed as the sun made its way over the mountains.

"Let's go; we need to cross as soon as possible." She said, turning her back and starting down the hill. Cloud nodded and followed. They both looked out at their companions. Cloud turned to Tifa,

"Any sign of Barret?" he asked. Tifa shook her head,

"Not a sign and not a word." She stated. Cloud titled his head slightly,

"You think we should wait?" he asked. Tifa shook her head,

"There is no need to because I know he didn't stay to quote - unquote "do something". He stayed because he doesn't wanna come with us. He wussed out." She replied, folding her arms and leaning on one leg. Reno ran a hand through his fire red hair and avoided eye contact. Buck silently sharpened his daggers while Tseng and Naden both checked their guns. Karta raised an eyebrow at Tifa and sighed again.

"Let's go." She stated, pushing her way through her companions. They nodded to each other and started towards the marsh. Karta turned to them and nodded, she stepped into the murky water. She sunk in ankle deep mud, weeds and water. Unfazed by the slime, Karta started to trudge through the water. Reno sighed and also stepped into the marshes; he made a slight face before also walking after Karta. Next came Cloud, followed by Naden, Buck and Tifa. Tseng took his step when he looked over his shoulder and saw Aerith standing there, making a face at the marsh.

"Come on, Aerith." He said, gesturing to her with his hand. She shook her head,

"No, that's disgusting." She declared shaking her head again. "I am NOT going in there." Tseng blinked a few times before putting out a hand to help her.

"You can't very well stay here." He told her. Aerith sighed and nodded. Taking a deep breath, she took Tseng's hand and stepped into the marsh. Making a face of disgust, she picked up her dress and started to walk. The group stayed close together in fear of being separated and running into the Zolom. They walked in silence for nearly an hour before Karta stopped dead in her tracks.

"Listen." She whispered. The group fell silent; they could hear it. The Midgar Zolom was hot on their trail and was nearby. They could hear it's humungous body moving through the water; it's huge tongue smelling for them. Karta drew her Rune Blade and got into fighting position. "Prepare yourselves." Naden and Tseng both cocked their guns, Tifa cracked her knuckles, Reno turned on his NightStick, Buck pulled out his daggers and Cloud drew his sword. The sounds were drawing closer; Aerith began to shiver. The water started to move, splashing waves against their legs. Karta glanced around; it was coming. She turned to her left and saw a shape flying towards them. "Duck!" she screamed.

The Midgar Zolom exploded from the water and let out a terrifying hiss. The companions spread in all directions to avoid being under the creature when it arose. Reno's eyes grew large as he saw how huge the creature was.

"Holy mother fucker!" he shouted. Karta ignored him. She charged forward, her Rune Blade set to kill. She jumped into the air and shoved her blade into the snake. The Zolom threw its head back and reared a scream in agony. Tseng and Naden stood their ground and started to shoot at the snake's head. The bullets had no affect what so ever and it just pissed the monster off even more. Karta yanked her blade out of the snakes back; it's sticky red blood flowing from the gaping wound. She raised her blade to stab the snake again, but the snake slid out of the way and used its tail to hit her directly in the stomach. The force of the blow sent her rolling back a few feet but Karta rolled on her shoulder and stood, glaring at the snake. Cloud charged at the snake, Buster Sword in hand. He spun around and sliced down the snakes' torso. The blade sliced down, cutting deep. Red blood steadily flowed from the Zolom's wounds, turning the surrounding water a deep crimson but nonetheless the creature did not give in. Tifa ran forward and started to slash at the snake with her dragon claws blind with fury.

Meanwhile, Naden, Tseng, Reno and Aerith had their own problems to deal with. While the others were fighting the Zolom, the noise of the battle had drawn other unwanted company to their position. Aerith was terrified and had planted herself to the ground of the marsh. Around her stood Naden and Tseng with their shotguns raised and Reno's NightStick crackling. Each monster came seemed to be trying to get to the Zolom, maybe to help it. Reno saw a creature get by the fast shots of Naden and Tseng. He grinned, and ran over to the monster. Before the beast had time to react, Reno had hit him over the head with 300 volts and a metal bar. But the small minions kept coming and they had only so many bullets…

Buck stood still for a moment thinking what he should do with his knives. When he saw the main problem in this battle he decided to take it into his own hands. The Zolom's head came down low and Buck ran in for the opportunity. As soon as it was low enough he ran forward with a knife in each hand. The knife in his left hand went high above his head and slammed down into the Zolom's head. The second knife, on the other hand, was used to disarm the Zolom of all of its senses. When the snake opened its mouth to hiss, the blade slammed into its skull, Buck brought the second knife around and sliced off the Midgar Zolom's tongue.

Seeing a window of opportunity, Cloud and Karta both followed Buck's blow by shoving their own blades into the Zolom's torso. Reno whirled around and saw that they were putting on the finishing blows. Tifa went to the Zolom's head and shoved the blades of her Dragon Claws into its head. Reno charged his NightStick to a deathly pulse.

"Get back!" he called. As soon as they were all away from the fading snake, Reno unleashed the pulse. The Zolom jumped from the jolt, but lay still. Everyone stood for a moment, ready to strike again at the slightest moment. A few minutes past and there was no movement. Karta sighed and shoved her bloody blade into her sheath.

"It's dead." She declared. A course of "Yes's" and "aright's" came out. Karta spoke up again, "No time to celebrate; another Zolom will sense this one's death and come after it's killers for revenge. We must travel quickly." Buck nodded and walked over to the Zolom's limp body and yanked out his dagger. Karta watched him for a moment, "You handled yourself fairly well, Lundvig. Maybe you won't be a burden after all." With those words, she turned and jogged through the marsh. When no one followed she turned. "Unless you wish to battle another one, or two at a time, I suggest you walk much faster."

That was all they needed to hear. They all broke into jogs although they were all exhausted from the previous battle. After all they had run a good 100 yards; Karta froze. She listened,

"Run!" she screamed. They all turned around to see the outlines of two Midgar Zolom's coming at them with lightning fast speed. Karta pushed everyone in front of her and shouted to the leader (who was Cloud), "Run straight ahead, you can't miss it!" And she was right, no sooner had she said that then Cloud felt dry land.

"Everyone, it's right here!" He yelled. Cloud stood by the entrance to make sure everyone got in. First it was Aerith, followed by Tseng, Naden, Reno, and Tifa, and Buck. Cloud turned to see Karta emerge from the mist, running for her life. Two Zolom's were right behind her. "Come on Karta, hurry!" Cloud shouted. She picked up more speed and almost dove into the cave; Cloud directly behind her. There was a humungous crash from the force of the two Zolom's hitting the sidewalls, trying to follow them. The mines shook and rattled, pieces of rock and dirt began to fall.

"Cave in!" Buck screamed, as the entire ceiling fell on the small group of companions, sending them all into what seemed like eternal darkness.


Well that was a bitch to write. The beginning was a pain in the ass because it was so slow but this last part, with the fight against the Midgar Zolom was so much fun to write! Wee! Anyway thank you Tio, Megami, Cyris, Kay and anyone else who has been waiting for this chapter. Until I write chapter nine! -Gem

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic