Fate Chapter 4
General Nanaki of Cosmo Canyon
By Tifa Gainsborough
The jagged edges of Mt. Nibel slowly came into view as the helicopter drew closer. From the air Elena could make out the burnt remains of the former Nibelhiem Mako reactor. Rude piloted the helicopter lower, searching for a good landing spot.
We cant land in the middle of Mt. Nibel, Elena informed him. There isnt enough room.
With a tiny smirk Rude maneuvered the helicopter to a safe landing next to the skeleton of the Mako reactor. Elena frowned, she should have known better than to question Rudes flying ability.
Show off, she muttered as the propellers died.
As Elena unbuckled her belt and prepared to exit Rude grabbed her hand. Elena turned and was surprised to see Rude had removed his trademark sunglasses.
Elena. If we die I want to you know something, Rude started but was unable to continue.
Elena reached over and gently touched his cheek. Dont worry Rude. You dont have to say anything.
Elena climbed out of the helicopter and walked to the front to meet Rude. They were out trying to find the best strategic way into Nibelhiem. Reno had sent them out while he briefed the kids. The kids They really are kids when you stop and think about it. I was twenty-three when I joined the Turks. Here they are at seventeen and eighteen fighting to save the planet.
As they headed out towards the city Elena knew why they had to fight for the planet. Because nobody else was willing to die for humanity. Nobody else cared.
The two trudged through the trails that weaved through the mountain. The old bridge was destroyed making them take a longer route. They kept a sharp eye out for monsters and anything much worse, like General Tifa.
Somethings wrong, Rude commented.
Elena stopped and stood next to her friend. She opened her senses and searched for whatever was bothering the bald man.
Whats the matter?
Weve been walking through these mountains for nearly an hour.
Elena raised one eyebrow, not seeing why the amount of time would cause Rude concern.
Rude, I really see no reason
Rude silenced her with a wave of his hand. Its not that. In an hour we havent encountered a single monster.
We just have great luck?
As much as Elena wanted to choke the whole issue up to luck, she couldnt. Now that Rude had mentioned something she was also beginning to wonder. Something is out there that is causing the monsters to stray far away. But what is the question.
Welcome to my parlor said the spider to the fly, a harsh voice laughed.
The two former members of the Turks spun and caught sight of the woman standing behind them. Neither had heard General Tifa calmly following them through the mountains.
So the great Turks have come to join me. But you appear to be missing a member, General Tifa said a smile of cruelty on her face.
Its two on one. These odds seem to be weighting heavily in our favor, Elena thought suppressing the urge to laugh.
I do believe we should even out these numbers, a calm voice said.
Elena peered over her right shoulder and her heart plummeted. General Cloud stood behind them, his Ultima Weapon unsheathed and clutched in his hand.
You know we are no match for you, Rude said softly, lowering his weapon.
Rude, what are you doing? Elena snapped.
Rude lowered his gaze to meet hers and winked. Giving them what they want.
The two Generals slowly stalked towards them. Elena felt like a caged animal about to be led to the slaughter. As General Tifa grew steadily closer Rude raised his weapon and fired. Elena turned at the sound of the gunshot. General Tifa staggered, blood blossoming on her shoulder.
Omnislash, a cold whisper filled their ears.
Elena grabbed Rudes hand and the world exploded with agony.
Dancing naked woman, on a warm summer beach. No more monsters, no more Generals. A peaceful filled
The alarm butted into my dream rather rudely. With a gruff moan I reached out for the alarm. Successfully missing the table and tumbling out of bed.
I lay on the floor, ignoring the alarm completely. Interesting, the carpet sure is soft. From the door there was a loud banging noise.
Turn that damn alarm clock off and get up, Shanna yelled. Guess she really wasnt a morning person.
Shut up Shanna and go back to sleep, another, more sleepier voice, yelled from somewhere in the hall. It sounded like Diallo didnt like getting up this early as much as I did.
Its nearly eight, Shanna stormed still pounding on the door.
Go away Shanna, I called, reaching up and turning the alarm off.
People are trying to sleep, a new voice yelled. It was deeper, probably belonged to Mitsu.
I wonder when
All of you! Shut the hell up and go back to sleep, Trista screamed from her room.
The halls were filled with voices as Shanna, Mitsu, and Diallo proceeded to get into an argument over what the proper time was to get up. I guess we can save the world, but we cant figure out what was the best time to get up. Out in the hall I could hear the sound of three doors slamming and silence finally filled the halls. Climbing back into my warm bed I tried to return to me dreams.
Everybody up now!
Shera was walking down the hallways, knocking on doors and calling peoples names.
Conlan, get up and get dressed, Shera said stopping momentarily at my door.
Damn, so close!
Climbing, most reluctantly, out of my warm bed I headed for the closet. Once dressed and ready, heading out seemed to be the only options. Walking out into the hall I met up with Mitsu who looked like he had gotten dressed in the dark.
Damn I hate morning, he muttered brushing at his hair.
You arent the only one, I assured him spotting Trista emerging from her room.
We headed for the cafeteria with great strides. People waved cheerfully as we passed, apparently they were morning people. The smell of food grew stronger as we got closer to the doors to the cafeteria.
We having an emergency meeting, Shanna said as she exited the cafeteria with Diallo following.
I gave the cafeteria a forlorn look as we headed towards the meeting. The atmosphere seemed to be a lot heavier than previous meetings. Reno was slouched in a chair, looking as though the worlds alcohol supply had been stopped. Shera was hovering over him, whispering in his ear. The remains of a sheet of paper were scattered across the floor.
Whats this all about, Trista asked as we took our seats.
Rude and Elena are dead, Reno muttered.
Five voices instantly sprang to life, each of us wanting to be heard before the other. With a wave of her hand Shera ordered us to silence.
How did they die, Mitsu asked once silence returned.
That bastard Cloud killed them, Reno snarled. Hes probably just been itching to get back at me.
Can you blame him? You dropped the plate on Sector 7, Shera said her voice not kind.
Reno surged to his feet, staring Shera down. I was simply following orders.
Shera rose to the challenged quickly. A lot of innocent people died because you were simply following orders.
Hey, shut up, Shanna snapped rising to her feet. Trista grabbed her hand and dragged her back into the chair. We have to do something.
She was right we did have to do something. Finally I had heard about enough arguing.
Bitching at each other isnt going to bring anybody back, I snapped loudly
Reno and Shera both looked away.
Think about it, how many people have died already? Elena and Rude are killed and suddenly Reno stops to actually think killing is wrong, I said.
Conlan, Trista hissed.
Im outta here, Reno stormed heading for the door.
Trista glanced around the room, rose to her feet and followed Reno out. A heavy silence hung around our heads. Shera sunk into a nearby chair and we decided to make a subtle retreat.
Everybody is dismissed, Shera said spotting us heading for the door.
In the halls we stood gathered together, discussing the past few minutes in quiet voices. Finally with nothing left to speak about we parted ways. I decided that heading back to my room was out. Trying to find where Reno and Trista headed off to sounded like a good plan.
The stale air of Neo-Midgar slapped me in the face as I opened the door. Too my left, leaning up against the building was Trista and Reno.
Reno was kneeling down, his red hair like a curtain around his face. Trista stood next to him, leaning against the wall. Her right leg was bent, her foot resting against the wall. She turned to me, her eyes dull. A cigarette was clasped between her red lips.
I didnt know you smoked, I said coming to stand beside Reno.
Neither did I, Renos muffled voice rang ragged between red curtains of hair.
Reno looked up at me, blowing a cloud of smoke in my general direction.
Do you need to smoke to be part of this party, I joked half-heartedly.
Trista flicked her cigarette into a gutter. She pulled a packet out and tossed it away. Guess not, Im all out.
Trista turned slowly to face me again. I held out a cigarette, one already dangling from my lips.
Well, I just learn a new thing everyday, Reno smirked.
Trista took the offered cigarette and took the lighter Reno held up to her. Dont tell me you do it because you think it looks cool.
I shrugged, blowing a ring of smoke towards the darkened sky. It reminds me of my mother. She used to smoke. I dont know why, but the smell is comforting.
Memories, Reno sang rising to his feet.
The three of us stood silently together.
So, hows everything, Reno said, grounding out his cigarette with the heel of his black shoes.
By the end of this year we probably will all be dead, Trista sneered tugging at her braid.
Reno and I turned to look at her. Trista returned the look, giving us both a tight smile. Joking.
Not funny, I calmly replied. But maybe it is true. We have to fight these damn Generals, what if they end up killing us all?
The roaring of engines cause our attention, jerking our gazes upwards.
Thats the Highwind, Reno observed, his voice tight with anger.
I watched the giant Highwind soar above us and fly dangerously close to the ground.
What the hell is it doing here, I could hear Trista yell above the roar of the engines.
The Highwind hovered for a few minutes and then soared back into the sky. The three of us exchanged glances. As the whine of the engines dimmed the sounds of screams split the air. I followed Trista and Reno as they raced towards the sounds of the screams. Did one of the Generals get cocky and decide to attack us on our own turf?
My body froze at the sight that lay in front of me. Time seemed to slow as I cautiously took a few steps forward. Lying in a pool of blood where two mangled bodies. Either I wasnt seeing this or my brain refused to comprehend what I was seeing.
Rude and Elena, Reno whispered, his voice heavy with emotions.
Shaking my head I finally got a good look at what lay in the streets. Elena and Rudes bodies were a mass of slash marks. Rudes right arm was missing and Elenas left leg was severed at the knee. A blood stained envelope was pinned to Elenas blue jacket. None of us wanted to touch the bodies. Finally Reno, with jerking motions, grabbed the envelope and ripped it open. Trista and I leaned over his shoulder to read it with him.
Foolish people that choose to oppose us. Gaze upon what we will do to those that dare cross us. Throw down your weapons and declare your alliance. This time you got lucky. Next time the victim will be returned to you one body part at a time.
General Cloud Strife
I told you. I fucking told you, Reno raged shredding the letter.
Trista tried to grab the enraged man as he sprinted back towards the building. We stood side by side, waiting and hoping for Reno to return.
He never came back.
The sixth floor was dark and nearly empty. I stood next to Trista staring out at the dark skyline. It had been three weeks since we had seen Reno. Our scheduled appointment to take our General Nanaki has been put off for at least another week.
Youve been here three months, Trista said suddenly, breaking the silence.
I laughed scratching the back of my head. Youre right. I didnt even realize.
With nothing left to say silence settled in again. This is so strange. At the beginning Trista wouldnt even give me the time of day.
With a scream of rage that caught me completely off guard Trista slammed her fist into a wall.
Its not fair, its not fucking fair, Trista stormed beating at the wall. Everything we seem to do, those bastards are always one step ahead of us.
Dont beat yourself up over it, I told her.
And why shouldnt I? Im the one that keeps pushing everybody forward, she said her voice sharp. I should just leave.
Trista, we cant do this without your help. We need you. The world needs us and we need you.
I dont care, she screamed, covering her ears. For once, Im going to care about myself.
She spun on her heels and I grabbed her hand. Yanking her backwards I threw her against one of the charred walls. Pinning her between my arms I stared her down.
Get away from me, she hissed, her voice low and dangerous.
You cant walk out, I told her matching the level of anger.
This is insane Im insane. She is going to kills me.
The little voice in the back of my brain laughed. At least she will know.
Her voice stopped in mid sentence as I lay my lips against hers. Just through her lips I could feel her whole body tense. I pulled her away from the wall, wrapping my arms around waist. She raised her arms and hung them around my neck tugging me closer. I pushed her downwards, laying her slightly behind a desk. Her hands balled into fists tugging on the material of my shirt. Pulling at her top, I un-tucked it from her pants. Her bare skin was soft against my rough palms. She gasped as I cupped her right breast.
I jerked back instantly. Im sorry.
The look in her eyes was one I couldnt read.
I didnt mean to. I should go, I said softly, pulling my hands from under her shirt.
Grabbing my hand she held it tightly. Stop now and Ill throw you out that window.
Yes maam. I smiled down at her as she pulled me back to her.
The feeling of arms wrapping around my waist jerked me awake. Opening my eyes slowly I took in the surrounding scenery. My gaze fell upon Trista, who was curled up next to me. The harsh light seemed to dim her beautiful features.
I cant believe I just did that.
Oh my God, Trista whispered coming awake.
Apparently she cant believe it either.
Trista I I started, trying to give the past hour some reason.
Dont say anything, she whispered.
She scrambled to her feet, clutching my jacket around her small form. I will never wear that jacket again. I turned away from her as she began to pull on her clothes. I found my boxers and pants and pulled them on.
Just forget everything, she said tossing me back my jacket.
I watched her retreating back, sitting on the floor in only my pants. I wanted to say something, to call her back. But what does one say in a situation like this?
The rough terrain of Cosmo Canyon lay in front of us. I adjusted my knapsack and followed the group. Trista stood in the very front, as far away from me as possible. She hasnt said a single word to me in the last week.
Whats up with you and Trista, Shanna asked, falling into step with me.
What do you mean?
Shanna sighed and rubbed her forehead. You two havent talked in a week. I know she can be difficult at times.
I would say difficult is an understatement.
We just had an argument. Thats all, I explained quickly, catching my balance as a large rock shifted under my feet. Yeah, an argument would be a good way to describe it.
Welcome to Cosmo Canyon travelers, a person greeted us at the gate.
Greetings, Diallo said, giving a wave. We are looking for General Nanaki.
Diallo you are such an ass, Mitsu muttered elbowing the taller man.
Why would you like to see General Nanaki, the man said, never letting his smile waver. Your that Kibo group arent you.
Glad to know the name gets around, I said.
We bickered with the man for another ten minutes, trying to convince him to allow us into the city. He held firm though, most likely too afraid of what General Nanaki would do to him if he failed. The sound of our arguments was drawing a rather large crowd of people. It unfortunately also was drawing the attention of General Nanaki himself.
Look out! A woman in the crowd screamed as a giant red beast launched itself at us.
We ducked as General Nanaki propelled himself over our head. He hit the ground and leaps again before we had a change to raise our weapons.
Shanna screamed as the sharp blades of General Nanakis headdress opened a gapping wound in her abdomen. Her gun clattered to the ground and she wrapped her arms around her waist. Trista swung her spear yet couldnt reach the moving General.
This is no good, Diallo yelled, protecting Shanna.
He moves to fast to get close enough to hit him, Mitsu explained, throwing a knife that General Nanaki easily dodged.
What materia do you have?
Will slow work, Shanna mumbled holding up the glowing orb.
If we can hit him, Trista said, taking the materia from her.
After three un-successful tries, Trista tossed the materia to Diallo. I dont think anybody saw what was going to happen next. The man we had been arguing with just minutes earlier threw himself into the battle. He latched himself onto General Nanakis back, slowing the great beast down greatly.
Hurry, he screamed as General Nanaki tore at the man with his teeth.
Everything seemed to move in slow motion. Mitsu ran in, body low to the ground. He drove one of his daggers through General Nanakis body. The beast gave one last shudder and collapsed. I tugged the bleeding man off the fallen General.
That was really stupid, I muttered, pressing down on a bleeding wound.
I had to protect my family, he whispered, his voice harsh. Am I going to die?
Trista kneeled down next to me and assessed the wounds. Not today.
I looked over at her and smiled. Trista looked away her braid nearly smacking me in the face. Guess shes still bitter.
So Im not dying.
We nodded at him. I was happy to see him give us a warm smile.
Good, but I think I might pass out. Im not good with blood.
And indeed he did pass out.
If I cant pass out, he cant pass out either, Shanna grumbled coming to stand beside us.
Be manly Shanna, Diallo teased her.
The whirl of the fan on my table was the only sound in my darkened room. We had returned three days ago and still Trista wasnt talking to me. I lay on my bed, staring up at the ceiling.
Maybe it is for the best, I told my fan. I mean, at least she didnt leave.
I rolled onto my side and watched the twirling of the blades. This is sad; Im having a conversation with my fan.
The sound of a gentle knocking at my door grabbed my attention. Climbing off the bed I went over to open the door. Trista stood in the doorway, dressed in baggy sweatpants and a tank top. Her hair cascaded around her face, down from its normal braid.
I hope I didnt wake you up, she whispered.
Nope. Would you like to come in, I offered, stepping aside.
She walked past me into my bedroom and I closed the door behind her. She stood in the living room, hugging herself. I know for certain it was not cold in my room so something must have been bothering her.
Im sorry if I have been acting like a bitch these last few weeks, she said softly still not facing me.
Hey dont worry about it.
But I do worry about it. I have no right to be acting this way.
I think after what happened you have every right to be acting this way.
She whirled facing me for the first time. Everything that happened? You mean by the fact that we slept together.
I think sleeping requires a bed, I joked.
Dont joke about this. I cant believe I She hung her head, suddenly finding the carpet very interesting.
Gave your virginity to me?
I did not give you my virginity, she snapped, although the normal anger was gone from her voice. That was taken from me a long time ago.
I wanted more than anything for her to elaborate. But seeing that rape was such a delicate subject with anybody I let it pass.
That you have sex with me? Never hurts to try again.
My mind screamed at my mistake. Have sex with me? Oh shit, that is going to cost me.
I meant, had. Not have, I quickly corrected myself. Lets just choke the whole matter up to teenage hormones.
I know what I wanted. And that was not the result of teenage hormones, Trista said softly, still hugging herself. I wanted you. Every fiber of my being wanted you. But now I dont know what I want.
If it helps, I wanted you as well. Man, that sounds so corny. How can she make it sound nice and I make it sound stupid?
Her laughter trickled across the room and drifted through me. Do you know what you want?
I looked out the window my mind working a mile a minute. I want you. I just want to hold you in my arms. To make this whole fucked up word disappear.
But you cant.
Because you wont let me.
Trista looked up at me finally. Maybe I did love her. Or maybe I just wanted to be near someone that could actually care for me. She sat down on the edge of my bed, still looking up at me. A few cautious steps and I reached her side.
Sit down, she said, patting the bed next to her.
I followed directions and sat down. She leaned against me, her head dropping onto my shoulder. I raised my left arm slowly and wrapped it around her shoulders. Now this is nice.
Tell me everything is going to be alright.
I kissed the top of her forehead. Is that what you really want to hear?
She laughed again. You dont want to know what I really want to hear.
If it involved me in any ways calling out your name in a fit of passion Im all for it, I said, causing her to punch me in the shoulder.
Im being serious.
So was I.
I keep thinking about that man in Cosmo Canyon. How he was willing to sacrifice himself to save his family. I want to one day find a woman I love enough to do that for, I explained when all she could do was stare. This is getting to be a pretty heavy discussion.
She nodded still leaning against my body. Just hold me tonight.
I crawled farther onto the bed, one hand clasped in hers. I kicked the covers back and climbed under. She slipped under the blankets and curled up next to me. Wrapping my arms around her waist I held her close. And the world drifted on, with us by each others side.
Authors Note: I hope that you enjoyed this chapter. I know I enjoyed writing it. I made one major slip up with a word, which actually worked to the stories advantage. Where did Reno go? Find out soon.
Disclaimer: As usual I only own Conlan, Trista, Diallo, Shanna, and Mitsu. Everything else is copyrighted by Squaresoft.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic