Final Fantasy 7 Episode 1: The Great War Chapter 3
The War Begins
10 years later
Sephiroth raced down the corridor leading to the examination room, his white shoulder length streaming behind him. He politely knocked on the door and barged in with out waiting for a response. This was just as well; he wouldnt have gotten one anyway.
"Professor, Im here! Im not late!" The boy clambered onto a chair and beamed at the man.
Gast looked up from the notes he had been making. Then he glanced at his watch to confirm Sephiroths statement.
"Indeed," he agreed patiently. "Youve actually arrived ten seconds early. That must be a new record."
"I do my best," Sephiroth was overly pleased with himself, as was often the case.
"You know the procedure by now, lie on the examining table."
"I dont see why Ive got to have these tests every week. None of the other kids do." Never the less, the child did as instructed.
"Sephiroth, dont look on these tests as a chore. They help me understand you and then I explain to Mr. Shinra and in return he allows me to-"
"To set up even more tests, I can certainly see how that is beneficial for everyone."
Gast sighed as he picked up his equipment. He couldnt very well tell his young charge why he specifically was studied, the less about his past this child knew, the better.
"Wheres my mother?"
The professor nearly dropped his tools at this question.
"Wheres my mother? Everyone has a mother, Luthar said so. So wheres mine?"
"Well " Gast thought furiously to himself. What could he say? "Your mother died giving birth to you. Her name her name was Jenova" It wasnt a complete lie Gast rationalized, at least from a certain angle.
"So," Gast didnt want to be asked anymore probing questions, so he decided to counter attack. "Whats new?"
"Nothing much. I won the track meet,"
"Good for you!"
"Big deal," Sephiroth had come in first for every sporting event in his life. First in Nibleheim and now here, in the Seven Cities. "Its so boring around here. The move was exciting, but its the same here as anywhere else Ive been."
Gast was about to respond when Hojo entered the room. He ignored Sephiroth and walked strait up to Gast.
"Wheres the report youre supposed to have done?" He asked indifferently.
"On the desk, but it isnt finished yet."
Hojo picked it up anyway and left.
"What a geek," was Sephiroths opinion. Gast hid a smile, if only the boy realized but that was exactly the sort of thing Sephiroth must never realize.
The president of The Shinra Foundation sat at his desk, hands folded in front of him.
"So tell me," he greeted Gast as the man entered the newly built office. "What have you found out?"
"Not much," Gast admitted as he took a seat in front of his employer. "Sephiroth is as normal as anyone, physically."
"Dont be absurd, hes the strongest, fastest, most agile "
"Yes, yes," Gast interrupted. "But these traits all occur naturally. Aside from containing Jenovas cells, Sephiroth is just like you and me."
"What about our attempts to inject Jenovas cells into other humans?" Shinra directed this question to Hojo, who has entered without Gasts knowledge.
"As predicted, they have experienced an improvement in strength and speed. However, it is nowhere near that of Sephiroth. I believe this is due to the fact that Sephiroth was injected with Jenovas cells while still developing. His DNA was mutated then, as opposed to acted on when he had already grown."
"Gentlemen," Shinra motioned for Hojo to sit beside Gast. "You know that my company is a manufacturer by nature. We funded your research in order to manufacture Materia, not on a purely scientific basis. We have greatly improved thanks to your work, but I fear this Jenova Project is beyond our capabilities I cant afford to fund these endeavors without promise of a return profit, and I dont see one coming. I have therefore decided to suspend any further research on this topic indefinitely."
"What?" Gast couldnt believe this, the research they were doing could revolutionize the world, but Shinra only cared about quick profits. Hojo took the news in stride, hardly seeming surprised.
"You will still be employed here," the president assured the doctors. "But I am a business man, and so I need you to look after this business. Materia is this corporations future, not genetics. Good day gentlemen."
Gast was thunderstruck. All his painstaking effort, thrown away because it didnt show the promise of profit. Hojo had already gone, but Gast couldnt let it end like this.
"Sir, what will become of Sephiroth?"
"Nothing will become of him, Gast. Hes lived under the shelter of this company for his entire life, well had no problems supporting him still. He will continue to take up residence in this very building."
"What life is that? To be brought up by a company whos used him only for research. Thats not a promising future."
"I fail to recall you objecting to this while you worked with him,"
"I didnt just work with him, Ive been teaching him. Ive helped raise that boy, but if Im busy working on Materia problems hell end up ignored. His own father treats him like dirt."
"Very well doctor, if you feel that strongly for him why dont you raise him yourself? Take him home, he is no longer needed here."
"As you wish sir."
7 years later
"Tension has mounted ever since the attack by the Gi Clan on Cosmo Canyon. The leader of Wutai, known as Lord Godo Kasaragi, claims that he in no way either knew of this invasion nor did he condone it. Nevertheless, Wutais army has been dramatically increasing since that time; as well they have been manufacturing aircraft and submarines by the hundreds.
"Lord Godo insists that this is nothing for the United Cities to be concerned about, but the President of the UC gave a speech earlier today stating that war appeared almost inevitable. President Figaros speech, given in the Seven Cities, went on to say that if such a war were to be waged, the United Cities would defend their border from Nibleheim, to Junon, to the capital of Seven Cities itself.
"This entire national argument stems primarily from Wutais refusal to trade with any city in the UC, seven years ago. This, in turn, is believed to be caused by Wutais Materia monopoly being overthrown thanks to The Shinra Foundations Mako condensing process. President Figaro formally declared that all Materia should be bought from a national company, opposed to from a foreign power."
Sephiroth switched off the television. He was tired of these endless politics and wished that, if a war was to start, it might as well get on with it and quit interrupting his favorite shows.
The Shinra Foundation, indirectly blamed for bringing the world to the edge of war, Sephiroth wasnt sure why it bothered him. Certainly, Shinra had looked after him when Gast quit five years ago. They offered financial support and a place to stay, should he ever need it. He hadnt, his natural talents made supporting himself almost too easy.
That was no reason to feel protective to the corporation that had created him. They didnt want him anymore, so they covered it up with money. What did he truly owe them? And yet he did feel that he hadnt made things easy for them. Hed cost them money before he was born, and had given nothing in return. He was obligated to defend them; Shinra was the only family he had.
The phone rang, bringing Sephiroth out of his unhappy thoughts. He picked up the receiver and got an earful of excited babbling.
"Wutais attacked! Theyve declared war on us! They went strait to through Nibleheim and are set to take over the entire continent. Costa Del Sol, Corel, Gongaga and Cosmo Canyon are scrambling to get a defense together."
"Luthar, calm down." Sephiroth felt guilty about having wished for the war, now that it actually had started. Hed never believed war would ever break out, it had seemed like no more than a media infatuation. "Now, when did this happen?"
"The reports are just coming in now, seems that they sent in an air attack and parachuted the troops in. The town didnt have a chance.
"The army heres preparing to ship out to Junon. Then itll be on to the Costa Del Sol. Were set to go with."
"Youre joining the army?"
"Arent you paying attention man? Weve gotta do this, our freedom depends on us. Youll join to right?"
President Figaro reclined in his chair. He looked upon the grim faces facing him at the table. To his right, Admiral Heideggar the commander of the United Cities army. Beside him was Palmer, head of the UC research and development. On the presidents left, were the owners of the two top manufacturing companies; The Shinra Foundation and Scarlet Industries. The facing table held the representatives of the east United Cities, Rupert Domino for Seven Cities itself, Max Robinson of Kalm, and Jim Burnette of Junon.
"Its no secret why Ive called you all here," he started. "Wutais attack has been expected for sometime now, despite theyre lies."
"Expected?" Burnette countered. "Nibleheim was taken in less then fifteen minutes!"
"Granted, we werent away of Wutais exact plans, but they have little choice now. The enemy forces are no doubt set to charge over Corel and into Costa Del Sol. After the mine and port have been secured, theyll sweep back to Cosmo Canyon and Gongaga to secure the entire continent. There isnt much we can do about this, our forces there will be greatly out numbered and out maneuvered. Admiral Heideggar is sending a compliment of soldiers to help defend Costa Del Sol, but this is merely to bide us time to gather our defenses.
"Wutai wont be satisfied with just the west, theyll soon head towards us in the east. We must fortify Junon against siege, which will be the main target. We still out number the Wutai army and with luck we can begin pushing them back to where they came from."
"Out number Wutai?" Robinson asked. "Maybe by population, but our army will be cut in half by the loss of the west. Where do you plan to find more soldiers?"
"Ive decided to reintroduce conscription, all able-bodied men from 17 to 30 will be enlisted into the army by law." He held up his hand to stifle the outbursts hed expected. "We must look past individual rights and see that the entire United Cities is at stake here. I have no other choice."
"Thats all well and good," Heideggar put in. "But my army doesnt have enough weapons to supply such a large number of new recruits."
"That is where Mr. Shinra and Ms. Scarlet come in. They will manufacture enough to support all your needs, both traditional and Materia weapons. This is a great strength against Wutai; while their land is rich in Materia, they do not have the ability to manufacture it as we do.
"If there is nothing more, this meeting is adjourned."
Sephiroth tried to make himself comfortable on the army cot. The motions of the ship did little to help. Sighing, he got up and went up on deck. The night was clear, the sky light up with a multitude of stars never seen in the bright light nights in Seven Cities.
"Couldnt sleep either, eh?"
Sephiroth turned to see Luthar standing behind him. He shook his head, normally that would have sent his mane of white hair flying. After his military haircut, he didnt even feel like himself.
"The captain says well dock at Del Sol within the hour," Luthar continued. "Then we wait for the Wutai bastards to strike."
"What do you have against Wutai?" Sephiroth asked in surprise.
"Havent you been paying attention?" Luthar threw his hands into the air. "Theyve declared war on us!"
"Yes, theyre the enemy. But that doesnt make them some evil force "
"Than whyd you join the army?" Luthar challenged.
"I didnt have much choice."
"Bah! You signed up before the declared conscription."
"I didnt mean from the government, I meant from you."
Luthar was cut off by the captains announcement.
"We will be docking at Costa Del Sol in ten minutes. All personnel prepare to port. I repeat; we will be docking at Costa Del Sol in ten minutes. All personnel, prepare to port."
"This is indeed a great day, a day forever looked upon as the crowning achievement in industrial enterprises. With the merger of the Shinra Foundation and Scarlet Industries, the United Cities can depend on peerless weapons manufacturing."
Renée Scarlet suppressed a sigh. When the president of the Shinra foundation had proposed a merger, she had no idea hed be making a public presentation about it. And certainly not a long-winded speech! Had she known, she would have insisted on picking the new name.
"And now, without further ado," continued Shinra. "I give you Shinra Incorporated!"
The veil was lifted to reveal the new sign and symbol decorating the front of Shinras new office tower. The crowd gave such an enthusiastic response that Renée new they must be shareholders. President Figaro also applauded; and why shouldnt he? Now he had only one money-grubbing company to deal with, opposed to two.
Shinra returned to his seat, flush with victory. He turned to regard his new vice president.
"We shall usher in a new age." he promised her.
"Yes," Scarlet could hardly hold back her sarcasm. "The world will never forget this momentous occasion."
"Troops, fall into line." the drill sergeant walked up and in front of his charges. "The enemy has taken Corel and is heading this way. Theyre using a new attack method, parachuting armed soldiers while at the same time attacking on land with a compliment of tanks and ground troops.
"Nibleheim and Corel were overcome by this offensive, however we have time to prepare for such an attack. We have begun installing antiaircraft weaponry brought over from Junon to cope with the air attack. The tank assault will come before their ground troops, hitting the minefield. The foot soldiers will be up to you to destroy.
"You have each been issued a machine gun with a Fire, Ice or Bolt Materia set into the barrel. Both have limited ammunition, so pick your targets wisely.
"Now, get to your designated positions. Our enemies ETA is three hours."
The soldiers scattered, going to their assigned posts. Sephiroth and Luthar were sent to the hastily dug trenches on the front lines. Also there were their friends from Seven Cities; Tim, Carole, Scott, Mike, Nadia, Kyle, Jack and Amber. As well, there were recruits from the rest of the East Continent regions and the natives of Costa Del Sol.
"Now Wutai will pay for what theyve done." Luthar said confidently.
Sephiroth exchanged a glance with Tim and Amber. They were Luthars closest friends, but theyd never seen him act like this before.
"Whats with him?" Mike whispered to Sephiroth. "This is a suicide mission, we all know it."
"Cmon Seph, you know its true." Nadia put in. "Think about it, are training took place on a boat consisting of how to use a gun and activate Materia."
"Look aroun," Kyle added. "Do ya see trained personnel at all?"
"No, just new recruits like us." Mike said in a hushed tone. "This is just a stall for time. The real army is fortifying Junon and the rest of the East."
"You saw them working on that fort, right?" Carole asked.
"Yeah," Sephiroth couldnt believe what he was hearing.
"Why would they build it on the East Coast if they thought theyd win here?"
"Theyd build it here to block off Wutais advance, but theyre going for the sure deal by protecting themselves over there." Mike concluded.
"Then whyd you all come?" Sephiroths question brought forth a grim chuckle.
"What did you want us to do? With conscription established, its either die now or be forced to die later. Not much of a choice."
The sound of a jet engine came cresting over the hills.
"Theyre early!" Scott said in surprise.
Five planes appeared on the horizon, bedecked in the blood red of Wutais military. The planes flew in the standard V shape, keeping on a direct course for Del Sol. Sephiroth turned at the sound of the anti-aircraft turrets. He found that they hadnt been installed on the land at all, but were still on the ships that had brought the United Cities Army over.
This really was suicide! When things got too hot the ships would pull out and head back to Junon, stranding their soldiers to whatever fate Wutai had in mind.
The planes came ever closer and now Sephiroth could make out half a dozen tanks as well. Behind the tanks swarmed a multitude of soldiers. According to the plan, this siege could be stopped, but of course Wutai would strike again and again, toppling all resistance. While, with an ocean between them, the UCA could create a proper defense at Junon.
Sephiroth gritted his teeth, if Wutai was going to take Costa Del Sol, it would cost them more than just time. The planes were almost within range of the guns
An explosion sounded from behind them, had someone fired off too soon? Sephiroth turned to see one of the warships sinking into the harbor. Another explosion sounded as the next warship in line was hit by an unseen missile. It too began to submerge into the water.
The three remaining ships began to pull out, but no one could see what was causing the catastrophe. The ships made a run for the wide ocean, one was destroyed in the process, but the other two managed to escape.
From the depths of the harbor arose a red painted ship. It was long and sleek, the water showered down from a tower type protrusion in the middle of the craft. From the tower, a door opened to unleash a stream of Wutai troops. Three more of these crafts arose, chasing the UCA warships.
The Wutai attackers met the UCA defenders, who were barely able to prepare a defense against an attack from the wrong side. At the same time, the planes over head opened their bay doors as more troops jumped clear to parachute into the fray.
Many of the paratroopers landed in the minefield, ending any chance they had to help their comrades. Others were killed before they landed by shots from Sephiroth and his companions. Still, they kept poring out of the planes, some firing on the way down.
The back lines were being easily dismantled by the attacking forces as Sephiroth and his companions rushed to aid their allies. The battleground erupted into explosions of magic attacks, as the defenders drew on their Materia. Bolts of lightning rained forth from the sky, jets of fire streamed forth and Ice enveloped the area. The Wutai troops had no way to counter this magical barrage, and they fell by the dozens. Soon, the aggressors from the boat had been nullified, while the paratroopers ceased their attacks from above.
Sephiroth looked around, bodies littered the ground. The wounded and the dead were everywhere. He looked for his friends; Amber and Mike rushed over to him, carrying Tim between them. Luthar was charging towards the last of the Wutai troops, his finger never leaving the trigger of his gun.
"Seph!" Amber called as she and Mike reached him. "Weve got to find a medic, Tim needs help."
Mike shook his head.
"There arent any medics, we have to help him ourselves. Sephiroth, do you know how to clean a bullet wound?"
"Dont bother," called another voice. "Put em out of his misery now, better than leavin em for the Wutai to take prisnor."
They turned to regard Kyle. He limped towards them, using his gun to support his right leg.
"How can you say that?" Mike demanded. "Hes our friend!"
"Thats exactly why I sayt" Kyle retorted. "Look there, the tanksre gonna do us in, we dont stand a chance against em."
Sure enough, the tanks were still converging towards the minefield. Only, the Wutai troops were sent forth first; taking out the mines with their own bodies to clear a channel.
"Best we can hope for is a quick death." Kyle said grimly.
"How goes the battle, General Gorky?" Staniv asked.
The rather rotund Gorky turned to his good friend Staniv. He smiled at the title, such a foolish thing.
"It goes well, General Staniv," he replied with a wink. "The submarines arrived on schedule to destroy their warships. However, they managed to complete the minefield, as you feared; which has slowed the tanks advance. Despite that, Costa Del Sols army is in tatters and will fall in a matter of time."
"How many men did we lose?"
"A little more than expected because of the mines, but well within our projected losses; no more than three score."
"What of the warships, did we get them all?"
Gorky shook his head.
"One managed to get away. When the subs were forced to rise they became too vulnerable so did not pursue. The ship was slightly damaged and may not survive the trip back to Junon."
"Theres not much we can do about it then. But now theyll know about our subs and find a way to combat them."
"Shall we prepare the invasion of Cosmo Canyon and Gongaga?"
"No," Staniv decided. "They serve no practical purpose, nor do I wish to deal with the warriors of Cosmo Canyon on their own ground we would have too much difficulty.
"We must press on to Junon before they complete the fortress, if we can maintain a military presence on the East Continent well have all but won the war."
The tanks rolled into Costa Del Sol in single file, following the cleared area through the minefield. The lead targeted groups of soldiers, those clearing out the last of the Wutai paratroopers and fired. The troops on both sides were obliterated. Sephiroth looked on helplessly has his comrades vanished in clouds of smoke.
"Cmon, weve got to get out of here!" Mike grabbed Sephiroth by the arm, but was shaken off.
"Luthar, weve got to find him," Sephiroth insisted.
"Are ya nuts?" Kyle demanded. "We dont have no chance of findin em. Sides, hell be long gone if he got any common sense."
Sephiroth nearly smiled at that statement.
"Unfortunately, he doesnt." He said and ran to where hed last seen his friend.
Sephiroth could barely see, the smoke stung his eyes blinding him to the carnage. He tripped and stumbled over bodies, calling out to Luthar. A shell detonated nearby, sending turf flying. Sephiroth dove from the explosion and rolled back to his feet. The tanks were forming a line now, ready to roll over the port town. Then Sephiroth saw a lone figure charging the tanks.
Sephiroth ran with all his might, but he knew it was too late. Luthar reached the first tank as Wutai soldiers came swarming in behind. Sephiroth fired his gun, taking down a few attackers, but the numbers were too great. Luthar leapt upon the lead tank, opened the hatch and jumped inside. In a moment the turret swiveled around to point at one of the tanks next to it, and fired. Luthar had taken control, Sephiroth realized, but now the remaining tanks knew as well and were converging on the rebel. Luthar piloted the tank towards the minefield, crushing the Wutai soldiers in his path. Those who leapt to the side found themselves surrounded by the hidden mines; the rest hurried back the way theyd come. Two of the remaining tanks pursued Luthar, while the other two continued their advance into Costa Del Sol. Sephiroth fired again at the few remaining Wutai troops to survive Luthar and the minefield. He was an expert shot, taking down half before running out of ammunition. He threw the gun away and grasped the fire Materia from the barrel. He sprinted across the battlefield, dodging the bullets fired at him. He felt one and then another hit him, but Sephiroth refused to give in. He concentrated on the Materia and flames gushed forth, sweeping over the Wutai lines. As he used the Materia, he felt it drawing on his energy to facilitate its powers. He concentrated, feeding his rage into the gem and the flames came again; white hot. The magical fire swept over the soldiers, burning them where they stood. It hit the tanks, melting the metal frames and boiling the soldiers within. Soon the attacking forces had been completely incinerated. Sephiroth looked past his handiwork to see one of the tanks returning. One of the others had been run off into the minefield, and one had been blown in half. Sephiroth readied his Materia again, just as the hatch of the tank opened to reveal Luthar.
"What, did you miss me?" Luthar asked with a grin.
"Sir, weve picked something up!"
Admiral Heideggar looked over to the young man.
"What is it Lieutenant?"
"It appears to be a ship, heading directly for us. Its shape matches the description given to us by the survivors of Costa Del Sol."
"The Wutai submarine?" Heideggar had heard the reports, but he didnt believe them it had seemed to be an insane excuse for failure.
"Yes sir, five hundred yards and closing."
"Prepare the defenses, were ready for them this time " This was the end, they didnt know anything about the capabilities of these crafts. It was best not to let anyone else know this though.
"Sir, the ship is rising! It should be coming into visual range now."
Heideggar looked out the window into Junon harbor; water was rising in a foaming crest. A tall red tower emerged, followed by the rest of the vessel's body.
"Target it with everything weve got!" Was the enemy foolish enough to bring itself into full view of their weapons?
"Sir, look!" The soldier pointed to a white shirt now blowing in the wind on the submarines tower. They were surrendering? Heideggar grabbed a pair of binoculars in time to see the hatch open.
"Lower you defenses, its one of ours!"
Sephiroth guided the ship into port, Luthar triumphant on top of the tower, standing with Amber, Mike and Kyle.
The end of Episode One
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