Child of an Ancient Chapter 1
By Shigan Lee
Cid Highwind stood by the controls of the Highwind airship. A cigarette was between his lips as usual. The smoking was usually working in a relaxing way for him. It gave him something to occupy his hands with while having his mind some other where. Today was different however. His tooth pressed the end of the cigarette and crushed the thin paper that wrapped the tobacco. The dry choking taste was making him feel a little better. Once in a while he looked over at the young woman who stood at the reeling of the huge airship. She held her head high and was gazing on the setting sun at the horizon. The chocolate-brown hair ran down her back like a dark river, her eyes were wine-red and her face could even touch a battered old pilots heart like his. She looked like an angel.
Well, maybe an arc-angel then.
So darn young and yet so matured. He smiled ruefully when he thought of how much this kid had experienced in her few years in life. She had seen her share of suffering and death, as well as horrors and hopelessness. You could be fooled by her young looks but there was no denying it when you saw her eyes. This girl no, woman knew what life was about. She had suffered more than the most people he had known during his life. But she stood her ground, refusing to give after, refusing to give up. Always filled with optimism and cheered others up when they were depressed, always so damn loyal.
That was the Tifa Lockhart he knew. The Tifa who had traveled all over the world with a bizarre group of people in a wild goose hunt to save the planet from getting smashed by a raving lunatic. The Tifa who had stood her ground in the northern crater and kicked Sephiroths sorry ass together with the rest of them.
He let out a tired sigh. It was hard to believe that it was the same Tifa who stood a several meters away from him. She was still standing straight, like if no one could get to her. But the signs that she was worn out showed a lot. Her clothes were in a poor condition, her hair was a scary mess and she had dark pools under her eyes.
She was exhausted. She needed a shower, natural rest and a good meal. Things she had lacked in a week now. She had pushed her own limits to the end during their search. Day and night, she stayed alert and ready to get up, her increasing activity while her consummation of food decreased greatly while the days passed.
He gritted his teeth again and chewed a little more tobacco into his mouth while his grip around the controls tightened. A flick of anger flared up in him when he thought of the reason to all this.
Him That damn spike kid. She was doing this for him, she was exhausting herself to death and tearing the world apart for his sake. He hoped that Cloud appreciated what she did for him. She had been searching non-stop even since his mysterious disappearance a week ago. According to Tifa, he had been fine until dinner a week ago. He had felt tired and said that he would tuck in early to her. He went nuts the same night and broke his way out from his room, jumping through the window after smashing some of the furniture. Then he had disappeared into the night, leaving a not so little scared and worried Tifa behind him.
Cid muttered a silent curse over the whole thing. She didnt deserve this, why couldnt Cloud just quit drawing freak stuff and settle down with her? Heck, the whole team knew that those two were crazy about each other, without themselves. Both of those brickheads seemed to refuse the facts that they needed each other so desperately. They even lived with each other, what kept the darn spike kid from blurting it out? Heck, he was no pro when it came to this kinda emotions but even he could see the longing gazes those two would pass each other between things.
But nope, he couldnt say it could he? Instead he made her running loose over the whole planet, chasing after him with no trails at all. Why the heck did he have to make her like this? Worried and terrified that something would happen to his darn ass.
Cid shook his head in frustration. Who the hell was he kidding? He was worried as well, all of the team was but Tifa took this hardest. Cloud had run out of her with no reasons, sane or not. Leaving her in a wrecked room, making a stunt from the second floor while screaming in pain. No shit, he had seen the room himself. Sephiroth couldnt have done it better.
He looked over at her again, she had slept about six hours in the four passing days. Hell it showed. Still she refused to sleep or even rest a bit. He had tried to convince her to at least sit down a few moments, she had just smiled and told him to not worry about anything but the flying. He hated seeing her like this, the optimistic girl with that bright smile as a wreck.
Cloud better really appreciate her job and come up with a hell of a good reason for running away, or he would beat that spiky ass of his to smithereens.
His thoughts were interrupted when his PHS rang, he picked up the small machine and held it to his ear. Reeves voice could be heard from the other side, the voice was serious but optimistic at the same time.
Cid, I think we found something!
Well, spit it out then.
Tifa turned around when she heard the mobile and looked at him hopefully. He nodded at her and signed at her to come closer. She almost ran up to the pilots seat, if it hadnt been her exhaustion she surely had. He couldnt blame her, they had been searching without traces for a whole week. Anything would do for her now, anything that they could hang on.
Some of my men asked around in the Bone Village area. Some people there had seen a man running into the forest and he never came back. They thought it was weird because he hadnt been carrying a lunar harp.
Did they ask if he was blond with spikes, maybe acting a little weird?
Yeah, but it was dark so they couldnt make out any details. They said that he had been screaming something, as if he was in pain.
That sounds close enough, any luck on the other continents?
No, Yuffie didnt have anything to report from the Wutai continent. And I havent heard anything from Barret and the rest, he called yesterday and said that they are still searching.
Ok, I and Tifa will go for Bone Village. Give me a call if ya hear something useful.
He hung up and turned to Tifa who was looking down.
I am so sorry, making you all searc .
Stop that girl, you know we are all worried for spike as well. We wanna find the kid and straight things out. Its not cuz ya asked us, we want to do this."
She looked a lot happier at his words, her eyes shone with excitement and hope when smiled. Darn she looked tired.
Look here Tifa, I will set the Highwind for Bone Village. We will be there about tomorrow morning. Why dont you get yourself a good rest and eat something? You will need the energy for tomorrow, and you want to be in good shape for yer spike dontcha?
She looked like if she was going to protest but failed to find a good argument for staying awake. There was nothing she could do before they got to Bone Village. He looked at her in a sympathetic way. She looked like if she was going to drop to the ground on the spot. She nodded at him as if he was her father and walked off towards the cabins for the crewmen.
Good night Teef.
Good night Cid, thank you
He grinned at her and threw away his mangled cigarette as he lighted another one. Finally she would get some of her well-deserved rest, he typed in the right coordinates into the computer and put it on autopilot. The green lamp confirmed that everything was ok and he sat down in his seat, hoping that this would be over soon.
Wherever you are Spike, make sure ya turn up your #&#/¤&#¤& ass soon, kidding yer woman is bad hobby.
A sudden picture of Shera appeared in front of him suddenly, he pushed it away and wondered why he was thinking of that stupid woman now. He shook his head and inhaled the smoke as he lent back and relaxed while watching the landscape around him passing the windows.
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