Reunion Chapter 25
By Janet Monstwillo
(I'm so tired. So weak. So...) Raieyana's eyelids fluttered open. (...happy that it's all over. God, I wish I could've been unconcious this time, too.)
"Finally awake, huh?" Lucrecia walked over with the baby wrapped in a blanket. "You lost a lot of blood. If it had taken any longer, I probably would have called for help. But you did just fine, and you have a healthy baby boy."
Raieyana grimaced. "I notice you left out the traditional 'normal' tag."
"Well, he looks fine. Ten fingers, ten toes, check him yourself," she said, handing him to Raieyana, "it's all there."
"That's not what I meant and you know it!"
"That's real wonderful. This wouldn't all have been such an ordeal for you if you didn't make it that way. I offered my arms to you, my comfort, and you never have said 'thank you' even once."
Raieyana shook her head. "I'm sorry that I didn't pick up one the subtle vibes of 'welcome to my home' that you placed in your dank, dark, depressing cave of pain. Look, I'm sorry this whole situation was hell. But it's not something that would ever come up on a greeting card. I can't be the child you never had. I can't be more to you than a friend of a friend."
"Honey, you can't do everything by yourself."
"I know that, but I could do anything without your pity. You should save it all for yourself. God knows, you need it more than I do."
Lucrecia scrutinized her face. "What do you know about me? How much has Vincent told you?"
"I don't know," said Raieyana softly, "how much has he told you about me?"
"Only that you were in danger and needed a safe place to have your baby."
"That's it? Mr. Silent-Vampire-Man pulls through again. I'll elaborate for you. Maybe you'll finally understand. The Shinra are after me because they think I'm the last Ancient, they know I'm the daughter of Sephiroth, and that sounds pretty damn good to them."
Lucrecia's eyes lit up. "You're Sephiroth's...? Well, I'm..."
"You knew all the time, and you still said all those things..."
"Look, this whole thing has not put me into a 'shiny-happy-Raieyana' mood. I've had a lot on my mind lately."
"Umm...hello?" Elena walked into the cave.
"What the hell are you doing here?" exclaimed Raieyana.
"Reeve and Reno sent me. The Gens have gone to occupy Junon. They took Reeve and Reno hostage. They told me to take Lucrecia to another hiding place, and bring the baby to...well, I'm supposed to meet someone named Lia near the ruins of Midgar..."
"Oh, that sounds right," said Raieyana.
"...and you're supposed to try to get to Costa Del Sol and meet up with the people there. Reeve said that you were armed, so I guess..." She paused, and looked at the baby. "He's awfully cute," Elena said.
Raieyana smiled weakly. "His name's Patrick. I...do you think we can rescue them?"
"I don't know, all the other Shinra buildings were hard to infiltrate..."
"No, that's not what I meant. I've infiltrated all the other ones before, I was just wondering if you knew how strong these 'Gens' were."
"I have no idea."
"Well, that's encouraging." Raieyana picked up her sabres. She gingerly handed Patrick to Elena. "Good-bye for now, my precious," she whispered, kissing him lightly on the forehead. "Until later, Elena, Lucrecia," she said, nodding. Then she slowly walked out of the cave.
Elena set Patrick down in the basket Lucrecia had been using as a makeshift bassinet. "So, where are you going to go?" she asked Lucrecia.
"Oh, I don't know," said Lucrecia softly. ("Reunion...")
"You do have someplace to go, don't you? It wouldn't be safe to stay here."
("...the reunion...rejoin the fold...reunion...") "Of course, it's just..." She picked up a large rock. "...hard to really pick a place for it. There are so many choices." ("where will i go...i think i'll go and see the reunion...he says that it'll be better than the last...the last one was a poor turnout...")
Elena looked at Lucrecia. (She sounds like she's not quite with it. I suppose anything would be better than this cave, though. What is she doing behind me? Is she packing?) "But if you pick a place, I'll fly you there in the helicopter. It would be terrible for me to think that you weren't safe..."
("...even though everyone was invited...no one replied...no rsvp's...no 'thank you' cards...but now they will all come...all come...all come...") "I think I'll be safe, so don't you worry," said Lucrecia, approaching her from behind. "I'll be just fine."
There was a loud sound when the rock connected with the back of Elena's head. Lucrecia had supernatural strength, of course. After all, someone who harbored Jenova inside of her could not be normal after all those years.
Lucrecia looked down at the blood softly flowing onto the floor of the cave. If she still had control of her own emotions, she would have felt sadness, and maybe remorse. "I'm sorry. You were such a nice girl, bringing me news and a helicopter. But I had an appointment that I just couldn't miss." She picked up Patrick and walked toward the front of the cave. "I really did you a favor. It's not like someone like you could survive the Reunion, anyway..."
(Why...does...my...head...hurt...so...much...) Elena slowly crawled to where Lucrecia had left the PHS. She turned it on. (No answer...I'm getting...some kind of voice mail. I have to leave...a...message. Tell...them...before it's too...late.)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The room was dark, except for one bright light. (And the damn thing is shining straight in my face. I can't believe the clichés this guy enjoys.) Reeve squinted at Lucas Shelding. (He must have been quite the newbie before I left the Shinra. I barely remember him. One of Hojo's lackeys... Hojo?)
"Look, Reeve, if you tell me where this Raieyana Amine girl is, you can leave scot-free. She can't mean that much to you."
Reeve closed his eyes. "Shelding, you know I'm not going to tell you jack. So why are you wasting both of our time? Just lock me up and be done with it. Or kill me. You're not getting any information out of me."
Lucas slammed his hand down on the table. "There's where you're wrong, Reeve. Either you or Reno is going to tell me the whereabouts of Raieyana and her two children. I don't care if I have to torture you until both of your minds are completely crushed."
"The children?" Reeve whispered.
"Come a little closer, Lucas."
Lucas leaned in close to Reeve's face.
Reeve spit in his eye. "Go blow yourself, Shelding. Some people have loyalty, a concept that Shinra scum like you could never understand."
"Don't forget, Reeve," said Lucas, wiping off his face, "the you were a Shinra. Besides, Reeve, everything I do is out of loyalty. I just happen to answer to a higher power than you. The only god. Science."
"You sound just like Hojo."
"You say that like it's a bad thing. I take it as the highest compliment."
"Hojo was a madman. His actions destroyed the lives of many people and they almost destroyed this planet. Anyone who would take my statement as a compliment is a moron."
Lucas was furious. "You'll beg me for mercy when I'm done. You'll tell me everything you know, and you'll wish that you knew more things so you could tell them to me. I will destroy you."
"But Lucas, she'll destroy you. Do you think I'm afraid to die? I have no reason to fear the beyond."
"Reeve, there is no beyond."
"You can believe that if it helps you sleep at night."
Lucas turned to a couple of the Gens standing behind him. "Take him away, now! There's no need to be gentle, either. Take him to room 31B tomorrow morning. We'll see your threshold of pain, Reeve." He watched as his men left with the prisoner. He nodded to the others. "Bring in Reno."
Reno's greeting was laden with sarcasm. "Professor Shelding, a pleasure. I'm sorry that we haven't been able to finish the job. A couple of things came up."
"Well, I'm thrilled that we now have a chance to work out this misunderstanding. I think you owe me a little money, seeing as you never did what I asked you to."
"If it was the money, Shelding, you wouldn't have done this."
"And if a few things had come up, Reno, you still would've pulled through. Admit it, you set me up. I'll admit I was a fool to hire you. Tseng always told me you were the weakest Turk."
Reno was unfazed. "Look, maybe you could play Reeve through all his emotions, but you'll have to be smarter than that to fool me. Shelding, you didn't come to Midgar Headquarters until a week after Tseng died. And considering I know I'm the weakest Turk, your comments do not bother me."
"Only a weak man would let his emotions prevent him from completing an assignment."
"It's only the strongest men that are able to admit their weaknesses. The fools hide them and quiver with fear at the thought that someone might discover them. Look, Shelding, I know you worship the ground that Hojo walked on. Hell, you probably found out a way to either clone him or become him. But you see, I was a Shinra. And that's why I would burn in hell before I would let you get your hands on Raieyana."
Lucas wrote something down in his notebook. "So you believe in hell. Interesting."
Reno shook his head in amazement. "What, are you psychoanalyzing me now? I know there's an afterlife, and I know I don't belong in heaven. So of course there's a hell."
"If you're going to hell, Reno, why not tell me where the girl is and live a little longer. Ought to be better than burning, I'd say."
"Because I'm bitter, Shelding. If I can't have her, you sure as hell won't. Look, you're obsessed with the scientific and the Ancient parts of her, and you want her body. But she'll never want you."
"Reno, don't you understand that I will make her perform my will?"
"She'll crumple your mind like a piece of wet newsprint."
Lucas smiled. "Funny. You both have this exaggerated view of her strength."
"I think you're the one with an exaggerated view of strength. Your own."
"Who will bring forth the Reunion?" Lucas asked.
Reno looked him in the eye. "Not you. Because it's starting without you."
Lucas punched Reno in the mouth. "You don't know what the hell you're talking about!"
"Then why the hell you so scared, Shelding? Or don't you understand that you'll always be just somebody's lackey?"
In a mad rage, Lucas grabbed a rainstick from his office. It made a gentle water sound as he repeatedly beat Reno with it.
Reno spat out blood. "That all you got, Shelding?" he taunted.
"Take him away. I will keep you alive," he swore to Reno, "and you will watch me have her before your very eyes!" Lucas closed his eyes. (I will have Raieyana Amine... Hojo's perfection... perfect... "my perfect specimin...")
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