Square Wars: The Return of the Paladin Chapter 4
Judgement Day, For Whom?
Mog and the moogle chief lead the small group of rebels to the Mako Reactor.
Ahead of the group was the landing platform. A chopper started to leave.
Aeris felt Cecil in that chopper. But she had to let it go. The current problem
now was to get in the reactor. The two moogles chattered among each other.
Then they faced Cait Sith.
"Kupo! We go around. There be back door!" Mog declared.
"Well, what are you waiting for? Lead the way!" Cait Sith insisted.
In space over the planet Guardia, the rebellion fleet massed together. Flying through the massive capital ships and the Big Whales was the Highwind, piloted by Cloud and Zack. Also in the Highwind, a bunch of crewmembers maintained the ship and manned the guns. Cloud looked outside at the starfighter-filled space. Everyone seemed to be here. The attack was to begin.
"Barret, all the fighters are here." Cloud spoke into the radio.
"Dat thing is ready now! Now, let's go in da hypa'space!" Barret's voice crackled through the radio.
"Okay, we're moving out!" Cloud replied.
"You know, I'm gonna time this offensive we're planning. I bet its pretty short." Zack remarked. Cloud just pushed a bunch of switches. The Highwind jumped into lightspeed, as did the other rebel crafts.
The group finally reached the reactor's back door. It was a maintenance entrance. At least four SOLDIERs guarded the entrance. Cid found the rest of his strike team in another part of the forest. Now the question is how to get in. As the human members discussed this, the moogle chief spotted a bunch of hoverbikes. Intrigued the moogle move towards them. Cait Sith, who wasn't in the discussion, notice the moogle running towards the bikes.
"No. Don't do that! They'll find us." he said. The moogle didn't listen.
As he started the bike he was on, the SOLDIERs noticed him.
"What the? Get him!" one of the SOLDIERs said. Only three started chasing the moogle, for the moogle has taken the bike for a spin. And there were only three bikes left. With the three SOLDIERs gone, only one was left guarding.
"Well, what do ya think about dat? That furball was more useful than I thought?" Cid remarked.
The Crazy Motorcycle Chase theme played again, as the three SOLDIERs pursued the rouge biker. They shot at it with a few laser blasts. The moogle chief, having enough biking for his entire life, started flying into the air and out of the sights of the SOLDIERs, still chasing the runaway bike.
Back at the back entrance of the reactor, the lone SOLDIER was forced to surrender. Jessie deciphered the code for the main entrance. The strike team, with Cid, Tifa, and Aeris in the lead, walked in, not knowing what to expect.
The elevator was going up. Cecil was about to meet the evil emperor, q man whose real ambition was to be a god. With the Dark Knight escorting him, he had no choice. The doors opened. A group of SOLDIERs lined the entryway. Cecil and the Dark Knight walked through the SOLDIERs. Up ahead, he was seen. His theme was heard. Yes, the heartbeats, the bells, and the choirs. Sephiroth was there. As the two walked up to the ruler, Sephiroth dismissed his SOLDIERs. Face to face, Cecil stared at the silver-haired man.
"Welcome, young Darkheart. I've been waiting for you." The Dark Knight kneeled
before his master. The emperor looked at the young warrior. Cecil had a set
of bindings on him. With a snap of Sephiroth's fingers, the bindings fell
to the floor. Then the evil ruler set his gaze on the young man's eyes. "I've
been waiting for you for a long time. I aim to complete your training. In
time you will look to me, as your new master."
Cecil was defiant. "You'll never be my master. I will not be so easily convinced like my brother has."
Sephiroth chuckled. "No. In time you'll respect me. You'll see things my way." The Dark Knight walked up to his master, and handed over the Mana Saber to him. "Ah... what's this? A Mana Saber, the choice of weapon for Mana Knights. It looks just like your brothers. Just remember, your brother can never be good again. His soul is now tainted by darkness. He'll always be my puppet. And so will you."
Cecil kept still, feeling that the emperor must fail. "You'll not have time
for this. We'll all be destroyed."
The evil ruler just laughed. He knew what was coming. "Oh, you're taking about your planned attack on this battle station? Why don't you look outside?" Sephiroth pointed his sword outside. The Cecil saw it. The entire Shinra fleet was stationed outside. "I have known you rebels will come after us. Why do you think I allowed the information to fall into their hands?" It was a trick, he thought, as he kept listening. "You see, your friend will never destroy the Mako Reactor. The shield will still be standing. The rebellion will soon end." Sephiroth now started cackling on the spot. All was coming to place.
The strike team finally blasted to the reactor's control center. Cid leads
"Everybody get the @#%@#% out! We're taking over this joint!" he barks out to the personnel. But outside the entrance a platoon of SOLDIERs entered the base, having been hidden from the strike team. Robo, Cait Sith, Mog, and the moogle chief witnessed this occurring. Seeing their friends captured, the two moogles talked between each other and left the robots alone. Cait Sith wasn't pleased.
"Hey, come back here!" he declared, but the moogles kept on walking. Inside the strike team was on their way to the generator when SOLDIERs surrounded them. There were hundreds of them. No way they could fight them out. The only viable choice was to surrender.
"Freeze you rebel scum!" the commander ordered.
"@##^@#&$#?! Dang it! We're SCREWED!" Cid swore, as the strike team was let out.
The rebel fleet finally left hyperspace. Up ahead of them was Mua, and the
new Meteor of Doom. Cloud remarked about the sight.
"My, I never knew how big these things are. Shall we go in and blow it up?" he asked his copilot.
"Let's make things formal. Check for a shield of some type." Zack replied. Cloud shrugged. It wouldn't make much of a difference. So he used the ship's instruments to analyze for a force field of some sort. It didn't seem to work.
"What the? Why isn't the sensor's working?" he demanded.
"Well, maybe they would be jamming our materia sensors." Zack replied.
"Why would they be jamming us. They would only jam us if they..." The words sunk into Cloud's head. What if they did knew? "Wedge, try to see if you can scan for a presence of a shield." He spoke into the radio.
"I can't get a reading. What now?" a voice crackled through the speakers. Cloud was now sure. They were going on a collision course.
"Wedge, lead the fleet away from Meteor. The shield's up!" he spoke. Barret was monitoring communications between the pilots. Cloud wouldn't lie. The fleet was in danger of being destroyed.
"@#%@#%! Meteor still hav' da shield! Change course! Change course!" he declared on the airwaves. Then Banon came up to him. He seemed a little frantic.
"Sir, we report enemy ships in the area. Hundreds of them!"
"#@%$@#%@#%! We've been made foos!" Barret replied. As it was, the fleet's new course was in the direction of the Shinra's fleet.
Sephiroth again pointed his sword out the window. "Look Cecil. See what's
happening." Cecil watched instantly. The larger Shinra fleet was there, launching
fighters on the rebel fighters. Even though the Mana Fortresses didn't
participate, the ISFs were still causing trouble. He felt great agony. "Look
at that. Your pathetic rebellion friends did come. Now witness their
destruction!" Cecil felt it. His anger towards the emperor was great. Not
just because of the many killing he has done, but also his tyrannical acts
now. He felt the urge to kill the emperor. His saber was on the chair. "Good.
I feel your frustrations. You want to kill me." That's what he wanted. Killing
out of anger would make him a dark knight. He must resist. He must not end
up like his brother.
"No. I will not give in so easily." he defiantly replied. Sephiroth just laughed. The time will come soon enough.
The rebel strike team was forced outside the back door. During their capture,
many SOLDIERs came to beef up security, as well as a bunch of Proud Clods.
A Proud Clod walked up the group. A hand moved on to the cockpit opening.
The cockpit opened. It was Scarlet and Heidegger.
"Gwa ha ha ha! You're all doomed!" Heidegger laughed.
"Kya ha ha ha! You're done for." Scarlet laughed. She looked at the strike team. It members really varied. "Looks like we got some white mages, black mages, regular mages, ninjas, thieves..."
"That's TREASURE HUNTER!" Locke declared.
"Whatever... engineers/mechanics, kung-fu fighters..."
"It's not KUNG FU!" Yang, Saban and Tifa declared.
"Silence! A yeti, pilots, artists, a vampire..."
"..." said Vincent.
"A caller, swordsmen, and a mute!" Scarlet finally said.
"I'm not a mute!" Crono declared. Heidegger laughed.
"Gwa ha ha ha! You are now. Silence!" Crono lost his voice.
Hiding in the woods, Cait Sith and Robo looked over the situation. They were
trying to figure out what to do.
"You're the one with the brains. You figure it out!" Cait Sith shouted.
"What? The 'god' can't do anything by himself? That's a shame." Robo replied. The whole thing turned into a shouting match. That brought the attention to the SOLDIERs, as well as Heidegger and Scarlet. She sent out the SOLDIERs to see what was the noise. They uncovered the fighting droids, who stopped as they realized they were spotted.
"Oops." muttered Cait Sith. Scarlet looked at their new guests.
"Hmm. We have robots too. Couldn't I asked for anything more?" he laughed. Then without warning, a bunch of armed moogles ambushed the SOLDIERs. In another part of the area, Mog and the moogle chief appeared, with more moogles behind them.
"Kupo. Start attack now!" the moogle chief declared, as the moogles blared
their horns. Then from out of nowhere, hundreds of moogles popped out of
the grass, came from the air, rode in on chocobos. SOLDIERs were sent to
halt the invading attack. The rebel strike team took advantage and attacked
their oppressors. Cid, Aeris, and Tifa ran to the entry door. The other members
ran through the forest.
"You puny fools. Nothing can stop Proud Clod!" Scarlet laughed, as she and Heidegger reentered their Proud Clod. The other Proud Clods started moving through the forest, hunting for moogles and rebels. SOLDIERs on hoverbikes also joined in. While the moogles took down many SOLDIERs, they had to retreat because of the approaching Proud Clods. They tried various dances to slow down the hulking robots, but the robots were unfazed.
Cid on the other hand was trying to reopen the reactor's back door. "Circle, Square, X, X." he muttered, as he inputted the password. The door didn't open. "@$#%@#^! Aeris, get Robo here! I'll hold these freaks off." Aeris got out her PHS while Cid blasted incoming SOLDIERs with fire spells. Hopefully Robo can get here open up the door.
Out above in space, Cloud and the other pilots struggled with the dogfighting
of hundreds of ISFs, which continually attacked the large rebel ships.
"Man, these guys don't know the meaning of the word quit." Cloud muttered.
"Us or them?" asked Zack. Sometime the copilot can be annoying. Zack took notice of the Mana Fortresses outside. "Hey, why are they just standing there? Shouldn't they be attacking?" Zack wondered.
For a second time in a row Zack said something useful. "Hmm. That is strange. They seemed to be waiting for something..." Cloud responded.
Inside the Black Omen's bridge, Rufus looked at the battle outside. Zeal
comes up to him.
"Sir, we are in attack position. Shall we fire?" Zeal announced.
"No. Not yet. The emperor has a grand surprise for us all." Rufus smirked.
Sephiroth saw it. The boy was strong. But he hasn't played his wildcard yet.
Maybe he should do it now.
"You keep seeing it but you still denying it. Your friends are losing. Now, you witness this. See the firepower of this battle station destroy your friends!" Has the rebellion been trick? Even though half-completed, the station could still generate a planet destroying beam? It would seem so as Sephiroth said, "Fire at will, commander." through the comlink.
In the control tower Dr. Lugae and Dalton oversaw the charging of the new
"FIRE!" Dalton commanded. Dr. Lugae hit a few buttons, and the energy was released. The shot hit and destroyed a rebel cruiser. Cloud witnessed the destruction.
"What the? That laser came from the Meteor. We're sitting ducks!" Cloud declared.
"I kno' foo'! Why we don't retreat?" Barret's voice crackled on the radio.
"We can't! Cid's down there. Just give him some time." Cloud replied.
"What about Marlene?!" Barret shouted back.
"Look, just get the ships to attack the Mana Fortresses. The beam is pretty large. The empire doesn't want to risk hitting their own ships." Cloud tried to convince Barret.
"If we get outta here alive, I'm gonna shoot ya! Okay men, attack da #$@%^#@$@ Fortresses!" Barret's voice rang through the airwaves.
"Sure you will." Cloud laughed, as he directed the Highwind towards the menacing Fortresses.
Aeris, Cid, and Tifa tried to clear the entrance area of SOLDIERs. Cait Sith
and Robo would be coming in soon. Hopefully they should crack security and
bust in the place. Robo and Cait Sith did make it. But Robo became a sitting
target for a SOLDIER when he tried to force the computer to open the door.
With one shot Robo was trashed.
"Omigosh! What are we gonna do?" Tifa asked, avoiding gunfire.
"Screw the computer. I'm gonna rewire that @#$@#% thing!" Cid shouted.
Outside in the forest the other rebels and the moogles kept retreating the advancing Proud Clods. It would take a working plan to stop these things. Despite the star chucking from Edge and Shadow, the pummeling from Sabin and Yang, the mystifying from Relm and Edward, the stealing from Locke and Yuffie, and the using of powerful magic from Tellah, Strago, Rosa, Palom, Porom, Terra, and Rydia, the SOLDIERs marched on, backed by the many Proud Clods. Yet, Red XIII, Umaro, Edgar, and Vincent started to formulate a plan with Mog and the moogle chief.
Sephiroth smiled. Things were going his way. Now for the finishing touches. "Well Darkheart, I feel your anger rising a lot. You're rebellion will soon quickly end as it began. And all your friends, they shall join those who perished beneath me." Now he was beginning to taunt Cecil. "Come on. Take your weapon. I won't move. Strike me, and make yourself a warrior evil." Cecil couldn't stand it. He must vent his anger. He must. In rage, he pulled his weapon, ignited it, and aimed to slash the evil emperor down. The Dark Knight ignited his saber and blocked the blow. Now the battle between the two brothers has finally begun. They both knew, this isn't going to be a regular sibling feud.
The plan was simple. While Edgar and Vincent cut down trees for the moogles to make traps, Umaro, with the help of Mog and the moogle chief, will hijack a Proud Clod. The three sneaked behind a Proud Clod, and the two moogles flew onto its back, tying a long rope to it. Umaro then scaled the rope until he reached the top. It was up to Mog to distract the pilots.
Scarlet and Heidegger was in that Proud Clod. They enjoyed terrorizing the
rebels. Suddenly a moogle appeared in the window.
"!!! Heidegger, get that thing off this machine." Scarlet insisted. Heidegger stopped the robot and opened the cockpit door, only to be pulled out by Umaro. Scarlet, wondering what happened to Heidegger, also got pulled out after she looked out. Both were tossed to the ground, and Umaro and the moogles made themselves comfortable in the cockpit. This Proud Clod was theirs. The first thing they did with it was to blast another Proud Clod to pieces with the back cannon. Then they started terrorizing the SOLDIERs that were pursuing their friends.
The traps for the other Proud Clods were set. A few logs were used to smash the Jamar Armor by swinging into them with vines. The destruction of the armor allowed more damage to be dealt. More logs were used to trip Proud Clod walking through the forest. The tide of battle has turned to the rebels, for they were able to now concentrate their attacks on the SOLDIERs. Yuffie finally distributed the materia and weapons she stole from SOLDIERs. Sabin used his Fire Dance blitz more often. Shadow and Edge started aiming their stars at SOLDIERs. The mages were able to use more attack spells than support and restoration spells. The Proud Clods were now trash, except for the one Umaro controlled. They drove them back to the Mako Reactor.
At the reactor Cid tried his best to rewire the console so the doors were
opened. Instead he only succeed to close another door. Cid shrugged and tried
again. But Aeris, who was detracted when the door closed, got shot in the
knee. Tifa, and Cait Sith immediately respond to her cries, trying to cure
it. As they did the SOLDIERs surrounded them.
"Well, looks like this is it." Aeris remarked. But it wasn't so, for Red XIII charged through the SOLDIERs. That allowed Tifa to give them a good punch. Then it came. A Proud Clod walked in with its hands aimed at the group. But luckily it was Umaro who popped out of the cockpit, growling.
"Umaro, it's glad to see you." Cid said.
"We hijacked this thing to blast out other Proud Clods. So far, we don't know what we can do with it." Red XIII replied. Cid then had a big grin.
"I know what we can do." he chuckled.
The battle was getting furious between the two warriors. Cecil and his brother,
the Dark Knight, were evenly matched. But sometimes Cecil got the upper hand.
He once pushed his brother down the stairway to the emperor's throne. Realizing
what he did, he extinguished his saber. He was fighting aggressively. Sephiroth
"Yes. Yes. Allow the hate to consume you. Become part of the dark side." he said. Cecil tried to relax, but his brother only made it hard.
"Well, Bugenhagen did train you very well." the Dark Knight responded.
"I won't fight you brother. I swear I won't." Cecil defiantly said. The Dark Knight walked up the stairs, and took a swing at Cecil. Cecil was forced to reignite his saber to block the blow. After they exchanged a few more swings, Cecil leaped up to a catwalk above the throne room. "I swear there is still good in you. There is a conflict within you."
"I have no conflict." the warrior replied.
"You aren't able to destroy me now. Not today, not ever." Cecil declared.
"You underestimate the power of lifestream in the hands of darkness. So you won't fight, then let's meet your fate." With that, the Dark Knight throws his saber, cutting a support pillar, and his saber returned to him. The catwalk fell, sending Cecil to the ground. Sephiroth laughed again. The boy was going to crack soon.
In space, the rebels finally had some success. Even though there were some
casualties, they inflicted heavy losses on the Shinra fleet. Cloud looked
out at the scene. He was getting tired of the scenery.
"Cid, it would be good if you knock those shields down." he muttered to himself, dodging an incoming blast.
Thanks to the Proud Clod, Cid was able to fool the inside that he was a Proud Clod pilot requesting assistance. With that the remaining SOLDIERs within the building moved out, leaving the back door open. When the SOLDIERs got out though, they found themselves by a giant group of moogles and the rebels. They immediately surrendered, and the rebels reentered the reactor. Now it was a matter of time when Tifa would set the timer and the whole thing would explode.
Cecil remained in the darkness, trying to avoid fighting again. Yet the Dark
Knight taunted him.
"You can never hide from me forever, Cecil."
"I shall not fight! I will not come out!" Cecil declared.
"Don't you see? Turning yourself to the dark side is the only way out. You must do to save your friends. You have strong feelings for them, especially for..." The evil warrior concentrated, trying to find what had Cecil held so dear so recently. "Aeris. She's our sister, isn't she? To be more specific, your twin sister. Bugenhagen was smart enough to both of you from me. Now he has failed. I knew she was a special being ever since I capture her. I have felt since from the beginning she was one of our kind. If you don't want any part of the dark side, how about her?" That really aggravated Cecil. Aeris, was a Certa. She would never betray to the darkness of the emperor. In a fit of madness, he came out of his hiding place, and forcefully attacked his brother. In time the dark warrior was forced to retreat, Cecil overpowering him. They ended up near a deep shaft, only blocked by some railings. Cecil swung furiously at his brother, until he chopped of his brother's mechanical hand, sending the hand and the Mana Saber down the deep chasm. The warrior was getting weaker. The emperor walked over near the two chuckling.
"Well, I knew you could do it. Now, take down your brother, and become my
new puppet." Cecil looked at his brother's right mechanical arm. It was missing
a hand. Then he looked at his right hand. It's now mechanical because his
brother cut his hand off. No, he wasn't going to end up like his brother.
"No. I won't do it. I won't kill him." he willingly said, tossing aside his weapon. "I'm a Paladin, a Mana Knight of the Light, like my brother before me."
With that Sephiroth's glee turned into rage. The boy has defied him. "So be it, Paladin!"
"Get outta here! You betta mosey 'cause she's gonna blow!" Cid screamed to his strike team members, as they rushed out of the Mako Reactor. Seconds afterwards, the Mako Reactor exploded with a shockwave. The shield is now finally down, as Barret saw it on his console.
"Cloud! Get ya @$$ in da Meteor! Da shield is down!" he announced over the
"Roger, Barret. Red Wings, Green Wings, all fighters follow me!" Cloud responded. The Highwind then lead the charge towards Meteor. They are finally going to do what they came here in the first place. Destroy the Meteor of Doom.