Long Time No See Chapter 2
Signs of Trouble
After five years of peaceful excistence little did anyone know that trouble was starting to stir. None had a clue where to look or when. No one even knew what stirred. It wasn't even a thought to those who were not involved. The nightmares were about to begin again.
A dark figure walked into the underground lab. As he entered the lab he found a man in his mid-twenties with short blond hair. A scrawny build covered to his neck and elbows with a lab coat. Even with a scrawny build the dark figure could see that he made up for it with his brains.
"Professor Alberton Andrews," said the dark figure.
The young man in the lab coat turned around to face the dark figure who was dressed rather nicely in his navy blue suit with a red tie to go with it. His black hair went down to his shoulder blades.
"Yes Mr.President.What can I do for you?" asked Alberton.
"I was just checking on your progress with our main project," answered Edward Ripton. His brown eyes scanning for anything of interest. Anything he was hoping to find dealing with his main interest at the time.
"Well I have started it but the cloning process won't be done for approximately 14 or 15 years," replied Alberton.Then he asked," Are you sure we shouldn't just bring back Sephiroth?"
"I'm positive it was because of him Jenova was so weak. Jenova is better than Sephiroth especially with what Sephiroth might try to do the same to me that he did to president Shinra. Sephiroth only got in Jenova's way," said Edward. The man had despised the failure known as Sephiroth for many reasons.
"I doubt that but you do know that both were trying to destroy the planet which we live on, don't you?" questioned Alberton as he got back to work.
Edward nodded then added," You'll find a way to make it liable for control by me."
Professor Alberton Andrews turned again and looked at him eyes filled with a serious expression then he suddenly laughed. The laugh itself was filled with a touch of madness. Obviously the scientist found something very funny that Edward didn't catch.
Edward eyes showed much confusion. Out of interest Edward asked," What's so funny?"
The professor stopped laughing, looked at the young president of NeoMidgar again then answered Ripto's question," No one controls Jenova. It would be Jenova who controls you if anything."
"You will change that I believe.Now I must attend a meeting.Please keep up the good work," finished Edward as he walked out of the underground lab.
Alberton shook his head then looked at the the tissue of Jenova which he found in the Northern crater.
"He doesn't understand that you can't be controlled Jenova. Bringing you back is going to destroy the world. I guess that is what you wanted," snickered Alberton.
He slid his sleeve up to reveal a number III. He smirked then got back to work on his project. Trouble was coming and went unnoticed by everyone but the lifestream. It was time to send its warnings to the members of Avalance. The five years of peace were now disturbed by the trouble of eevil intentions.
Back in Nibelheim a small celebration was being held for the mayor's son. This day was little Zack Strife's birthday. The Strife mansion was full due to the party. Some townspeople but mostly friends and family. Tables had everything from presents to food lined on the two of them. All of Zack's friends and his parents' friends were in the backyard of the mansion. The fence surrounded the big yard. The mountains and trees beyond fence made it look more peaceful than it did during the meteor crisis. A four year old boy with brown spikey hair stood before the table that held the presents.
Zack looked at the presents with his eager blue eyes eyeing each gift. He started to walk toward the gifts but was stopped as someone's arms wrapped around him and picked him up. Zack stretched his arms out still trying to reach the wrapped boxes.
"Dad, why don't you just let me open them.It's driving me crazy!"cried Zack as Cloud carried him away from the table holding all of the presents. Zack folded his arms across his chest while still being carried. Finding he was too far away to reach them now.
"That's what makes it fun. Besides you'll get to open them as soon as you blow out the candles on your cake," Cloud laughed seeing the eyes of the four year old begging to get to the sprinkled, wrapped presents for the seventh time.
"I don't know when you will even let me do that," replied Zack as Cloud sat him down gently. The begging in his eyes disappeared as he looked curiously to see where everyone was. Cid and Shera sat at one table talking with their 4 year old son, Doug and also with Zack's parents.
'Probably talking about how he will be a great pilot one day,' thought Zack.He had no doubt that Doug could do that. Doug was smart.
It was Doug's twin brother,David who annoyed Zack. David looked the the same as Doug. Blond hair and green eyes but Doug was nicer. Cloud sat next to Doug with Zack's mother, Tifa, sitting next to him and Zack's 2 year old sister, Truda, taking a nap leaning against her mother. Barret was standing near the table with Elmyra next to him watching as the 9 year old Marlene Wallace and 4 year old David Highwind were throwing water balloons at Cait Sith's mog. Cait Sith not wanting to get wet, joined them.Yuffie was filling more water balloons for them with the water hose. Red XIII or Nanaki was laying in the shade under the tree near the house taking a nap.
"Hey Zack. Catch," said David Highwind. He tossed the water balloon to Zack. Zack dodged knowing the balloon would shoke his clothes by exploding the second he grabbed it.
"You'll pay for that attempt David," yelled Zack.
"Save it for later its time for cake," said David running to the table where the cake stood.
"Zack Strife get over here so you can make your wish,"said Tifa. Tifa looked around for her son. Finding him walking over to the big bundle of red fur.
Everyone walked over to the table. Zack saw Red wasn't awake yet. He walked over to where Red napped. He gently shook Red trying to wake him. The red beast looked at Zack, yawned than sat up and stretched. Noticing that Red was a little on his depressed side Zack asked, "What's wrong Red?"
"You don't need to worry Zack. I was just thinking," replied Red as they both headed to the table that everyone, other than them surrounded.
"What were you thinking about?" questioned Zack although he had a thought about what it might be. His parents had told him how Red was the last of his species but somewhere in Zack, he felt that Red wasn't alone. There had to be another one of his species. Zack was sure of it. Yet, there was also a doubt in the back of his mind also.
"Just things. Let's hurry to the others. How about a ride?" said Red letting Zack hop onto his back.
When they joined the others everyone started singing Happy Birthday to Zack. As soon as they were done Marlene said, "Make a wish, Zack." Zack nodded. He had the wish planned before he came to the table. He silently made the wish that Red would find a female of his species someday. After the candles were blown out. He ran directly to the presents. Everyone else followed.
Zack opened the first gift which was from Cid, Shera, Doug, and David. They had given him a water bazooka. He looked at David then grinned and said thanks to the rest of the Highwind family. David who wasn't sure what Zack was planning but he had a thought that the present would play a part in payback for the earlier water balloon. He only swallowed hard as Zack went to Yuffie's gift. It was a set of posters with the summon monsters each on one of them. After thanking Yuffie, he opened Red's gift which was a model of Cosmo Canyon. Shaped exactly like the city with the candle which lit up when the on switch was pressed. After scratching Red behind the ear in thanks he opened the present from Barret, Elmyra, and Marlene. Their gift was a blanket with a picture of every bahamut on it, which made Zack happy. Bahamuts were his favorites in the monster catagories.
Zack saw an envelop on the table addressed to him. When he opened it he saw a card. Zack could tell it was in his dad's hand writing. Inside it read,"Happy 4th birthday. Hope you had fun because you deserve every bit of it. Your everything we could ever want in a son. Love you forever, Mom and Dad." His eyes fell to the bottom of the card where it read, "P.S.You're birthday presents from us are in your room."
With reading the card he sprinted to his room opening the door. He looked puzzled for a second not seeing anything different. Then not only did he find a toy sword shaped like the Ultima Weapon but also noticed a husky pup wrapped in blue ribbon run at him. Catching him completely by surprise he fell back with the husky pup licking him on the face. Doug, David, and Marlene all caught up to him first seeing the adorible pup.
"Oh he's so cute,"cried Marlene as the pup walked to her and let her pet him.
Doug turned around to see Cloud and Tifa walk into the room. Soon followed by the others. David was now petting the pup then it took its little legs and ran back to Zack. Zack noticed the blue collar and the license which their address and PHS number was engraved on it.
"Are we keeping him? Is he mine?" asked Zack excited that they would have their own pet dog. Cloud nodded. "Wow! Does he have a name?" asked Zack excitedly again.
Tifa shook her head then replied, "We didn't want to name him because we wanted you to choose his name."
David looked up at Cloud and Tifa and asked, "Is he a purebred?"
"Yep," said Cloud.Then he continued, "He's had his shots and has a license."
Zack looked at the grey and white pup, "I think your name should be Shade." The pup barked agreeing to the name.
"I guess he likes it," said Doug. Then he turned to his parents and asked, "Will we get a puppy someday?"
Cid and Shera looked at each other both shrugged then Cid answered, "We'll see." He laughed as both Doug and David were pleading with their green eyes at Shera and him.
Zack showed the new pup to his little sister Truda. Doug and David still begging but only making Cid laugh harder. Marlene ran up to Barret and Elmyra thinking whether or not she should ask. The rest of the adults went to get the gifts. When the presents were all inside the kids and the new pup went to play outside while the adults stayed inside talking and joking around.
Doug, David, and Marlene were playing fetch with Shade. Zack snuck into his room to get his new water bazooka. After he grabbed it and took it to the bathroom.He slowly filled the tank and walked out the door. Someone grabbed his arm gently. Zack turned and saw it was Shera. She then whispered, "Get David good. He tried to to get all of us earlier. I saw his attempt on you so go get him." Zack smiled knowing now that he would not get in any trouble for giving a little payback for the water balloon even though it didn't hit him. She smiled back then disappeared behind the bathroom door.
Marlene saw Zack walk out the door silently with the water bazooka in his hands. He put a finger to his lips and pointed towards David. She nodded in understanding then turned to Doug. Marlene and Doug lead the pup away so David would be the only one to get sprayed. They felt a little bad about David but it was payback. David saw them walk away. He turned to look and caught a glimpse of Zack Strife before getting drenched with water. Marlene and Doug were on the ground laughing at the soaked David Highwind. Zack dropped the bazooka and started laughing himself.
Before David could start shouting at Zack the ground moved. The others were on their feet too and as silent as statues. The pup ran quickly to Zack. Zack picked him up then saw that the ground was splitting. Doug and Marlene were closest to the house. Before long they ran into the house almost bumping into the worried parents. Shade stood whimpering as the ground split further and further apart. Zack held the pup tight frightened by this. He nor David were near their parents and they couldn't jump.
Cid and Shera quickly ran to the edge followed by Cloud and Tifa.
"DAVID!!!!!!!!!"yelled Cid and Shera at the same time.
"ZACK!!!!!!!!!!"yelled Cloud and Tifa who were just as worried if not more.
"MOM, DAD. HELP!!!"cried Zack seeing both his parents and David's parents seperated from them by six feet of deep, glowing holes. David called to his parents too, although he knew it wouldn't help. Zack saw Cloud starting to back up and could see what he was going to do. He was washed over with hope but also fear. Hope that his father could make it across in the jump and save David, Shade, and him then the fear that his father wouldn't make it and fall into the green at the bottom of the large now seven foot gap.
Cloud backed up enough to get a running start. His son was in danger if the gap went too much closer to the fence he would probably fall into the gap. That was one thing Cloud Strife was not going to let happen. With one last deep,quick breath he ran and jumped. Making it to the other side he quickly grabbed Zack and David. The gap was too big to try and jump across carrying the two children. The crack stopped widening then let forth a geyser like roar sending the green into the air. Cloud covered both children as the lifestream shot up and settled again. The gap began to close slowly. Cloud stayed protectively over the two children and the pup in Zack's arms.
The crack was completely closed. Cloud got up and let David meet up with the worried Cid and Shera. Cloud looked at Zack and searched him for any injuries.With a concerned look he asked his son, "Are you okay?" Zack nodded then hugged Cloud tight as he sobbed into his father's shoulder.Cloud whispered some reassurances to the boy. He lifted him up and was quickly joined by Tifa.
"Are both of you okay?" asked the worried Tifa. Cloud nodded. Zack was still shaking uncontrollibly to answer. Tifa ook the boy from Cloud smothering her son with several loving kisses.
"Let's get Zack away from here in case it happens again,"said Cloud as Tifa and him walked back into the house. Tifa carrying the still shaking Zack. Cid and Shera both followed. Shade the pup followed Cloud, Tifa, and Zack.
"We better get David home. Happy Birthday Zack. We'll see you some other time,"said Shera. She led Doug and David out of the house with Cid coming up the rear.
"Yeah we all should head on home.Call us if anything else like that happens again," said Elmyra as she followed Barret and Marlene out the door.
"Happy Birthday Zack. Now I must hurry so Cid can give me a ride to Cosmo Canyon," said Red before exiting.
"You know that I practically live here now so I'll just go to sleep in my resting spot," Cait Sith turned and walked into his spot where the mog and him would sleep in the corner of the room.
With everyone else gone Tifa put little Truda to bed then came into the living room to sit on the couch. She had been very frightened when she saw Zack across that gap. She was also worried when Cloud jumped although if he hadn't Cid, Shera, or even herself would have attempted and failed. Greatly releived finding everyone was safe she still wondered why the lifestream had to pick this day and time to show up.
Zack sat up in the bed with Shade curled up next to him. Cloud sat at the foot of the bed making sure Zack got to bed comfortibly. Zack asked, "What was that green stuff in the crack?"
Cloud replied, "Remember when we told you about the lifestream.That was what it was." Cloud and Tifa told alot of bedtime stories to Zack when he was young. Alot of them having the lifestream in it somehow.
"So that was the stuff that mom and you fell into,"said Zack. Cloud nodded. "That was really scary.I'm glad you came when you did Dad."
Cloud looked at Zack carefully seeing if he was still in his shaken state. "Of course I would have came Zack. Truda and you are my most important concerns. For me my life is nothing compared to yours. Quite a birthday party, huh. You should get to sleep." He laughed and looked towards Shade.The pup was a sleep and dreaming peacefully, "Shade thinks its a good idea." Zack nodded then fell into his covers and said good night before shutting his eyes and drifting off to sleep. Cloud ruffled the boy's hair and replied with a fatherly tone, "Good night, Zack."
Cloud came out of Zack's room then saw Tifa on the couch. He walked over and sat down next to her seeing that she was still badly shaken by the incident in the back yard. He couldn't blame her. He was just as freightened. It just didn't show as much.
"You going to be okay?" asked Cloud hoping that she wouldn't stay frightened but even he was frightened during the quake and the eruption.
"Yeah," replied Tifa. She looked at Cloud then added, "I was just scared to death that both you and Zack might leave Truda and me although I knew neither of you would get hurt. Did Zack get to bed okay?"
Cloud nodded. "It's just something you do. Trust me. I won't leave Zack, Truda, or you," he paused for a second. "I'm going to go into the backyard and see what caused that eruption."
"I'm coming with you," said Tifa getting up to head to the backyard following Cloud.
Looking where the crack had been and all around the yard for any sign of the lifestream. Not finding anything left from the incident Cloud looked at Tifa hoping she found anything. She just shook her head then began to head for the mansion. Cloud started to follow but was stopped with the ringing of the PHS. Red's voice came on the PHS.
"Hi Cloud.This is Red," Red continued, "I have been listening to the planet and call it a hunch but I think the planet was trying to warn us of something earlier at Zack's birthday party."
"I wish it wouldn't try to warn us by almost killing Zack and David," replied Cloud.
"I don't think it was trying to hurt either Zack or David," said Red noting that Cloud was one of the worried parents when it happened.
Tifa came up to listen to the conversation. Cloud responded to Red, "Well keep a good eye on the planet okay Red. If trouble is stirring then we'll have to fight it. Talk to you later" Cloud then turned to Tifa and explained what Red had told them. They returned to the mansion and went towards their bedroom. After talking a little bit more about what had happened and what Red had said they went to sleep.
"I will.Good bye," with that Red pressed the off button on the machine that he used as a PHS seeing how he couldn't use a PHS like the others. Red began to think if maybe Aeris Gainsbourogh was warning them of a danger and what that might be. Yuffie called earlier telling him that one appeared in Wutai not too long ago. He decided to watch it closely and watch for any more signs of trouble.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic