Shattered Dreams & Sleeping Pills Chapter 21
What Went Right
"Hey Biggs, where you off to so early in the morning?"
"Work. He told me if I come in early today I could get the weekend off. Needs help with his tank or something. You?"
"Just out for a stroll."
The two friends fell silent, walking side-by-side through Sector Five. Each knew what the other was thinking, but no thoughts were voiced. Tifa's possible betrayal to the group was on everybody's mind, though for some reason, none of them had brought the topic up the previous night; they had all chosen to leave their loud and glorious leader in the dark.
Biggs and Jess continued to walk in silence until the young mechanic finally said something. "Do you think it was really him?"
"Who?" Biggs asked, though the question was pointless. He knew exactly who she was talking about.
"The guy who shot Marlene."
"Why do you think she was with him?"
"Fuck Jess, how the hell am I supposed to know? Maybe she was ratting us out or something."
"Not much point to that; it's not like we've gotten very far with the plans. Barret just rants and raves a lot of the time."
"I know. I wish we could get something done."
"Me too. A base would help. Y'know, a place to do business."
"Yeah. That'd be cool." He paused, thinking back to one meeting a couple days ago. "Hey Jess, do you think Tifa was right when she said people would help us out if we asked them?"
"You mean when she started talking about the slums banding together to form a massive underground resistance?"
"Yeah. Think it could ever work?"
"I dunno. Seems pretty unlikely, doncha think?"
"I guess. It'd be cool though."
"The thing is, people are afraid of Shinra. Their army rules the world and their financial power is second to none. Shinra could ruin them if they had reason to suspect something."
"You've been arguing with Wedge too much Jess."
"Nah, now I've taken up arguing with Barret."
"Somehow that doesn't surprise me. But seriously though, couldn't it be worth checking out?"
Jess shook her head. "Shinra scares the people. There's so few who would actually volunteer to stand up to them."
"What about money. Y'know, donations?"
"You seriously think people would part with their hard earned cash to help buy guns for a puny rebel group who's probably only ever gonna go after small stuff, y'know, the odd plant or something?"
"Yeah, you're right. I still think it'd be cool though."
"Sure it would, it's just not gonna happen."
They fell silent once again, each imagining glorious conquests against the company. Infiltrating the Shinra Headquarters, gathering information, blowing up mako reactors, blowing up the headquarters. It was all very nice to think about, but both knew that it would probably never happen. They were just too small, and if they didn't get stuff done in the early stages, there was no reason to believe that things would ever change. They weren't a rebel group, they were an anti-Shinra club, who sat around and argued about how they should do stuff, never getting past the planning stages. They were just too small to get stuff done.
"So he's repairing a tank, huh?"
"Wha? Oh, yeah, I dunno what he's gonna do with it once it's done."
"Heh. Mebbe he'll lend it to us so we can blow up that manufacturing plant in Sector Two."
"Heh heh, yeah right."
They grinned at each other and walked through the gates that led into Sector Six's notorious Wall Market.
"You really just out for a stroll Jess?"
She shrugged and kicked the dirt a couple times with the toe of her boot. "Lookin' for a job. Got laid off a couple days ago."
"Ah, I'll be fine. Just figured Wall Market was the place to look for jobs, y'know?"
He paused as a thought struck him. "You're not gonna go look at..." he stopped, not wanting to finish the sentence. The very idea of Jess reducing herself to that was just, unthinkable!
"No! No, I heard there was an opening at the Pharmacy."
"Oh, okay, good," he said, chuckling nervously. "That's not your kind of thing though, you sure you wanna work at the Pharmacy?"
"I need some cash to tide me over 'till I find something better."
"Oh. Y'know, we could always lend you some, if ya ever needed it."
She smiled a little and stopped walking. "Biggs?"
"The Pharmacy's here."
"Oh, okay, see ya later."
Biggs continued to weave his way through the early morning crowds of Wall Market. He reached the Weapon Shop shortly after separating from Jess. Ignoring the CLOSED sign, he opened the door and walked through the gate to the repair section of the store.
"You need help with the tank huh?"
"Yeah, get over here and hand me my screwdriver."
"That it? You needed someone to fetch your tools?"
"You got some kind of problem with that?"
"Nope. Free weekend for me."
"Yeah, you watch your mouth or you won't get paid for it."
Biggs chuckled and handed him the screwdriver. They worked quietly for a little while, Biggs thinking back to his conversation with Jess and chuckling as he decided to bring the topic up.
"Hey, don't suppose you'd lend me this tank once its done would ya?"
"Blow a plant in Sector Two."
The aging Weapon Shop owner looked up, an earnest expression on his face. "You joined the resistance Biggs?" he asked quietly, setting the screwdriver down on the tank.
"Yeah," he said, half-heartedly punching the shell of the tank. "I joined the fucking resistance."
"Must be an old fashioned group. Whatcha want to use a tank for anyway? I thought bombs were the way to go these days."
"Yeah. I was just joking anyway. Didn't expect ya to lend me anything."
"Oh yeah?" he asked, the seriousness in his voice suddenly gone. "Ya didn't think I'd lend you stuff so you an' yer buddies can go blow stuff up? Let me tell you something mister hotshot rebel, you just tell me if you need anything. If I have it, an' I can afford to give it to ya, it's yours."
"Why the hell not? I got no reason to like Shinra. Now I ain't saying that I'm willing to put my life on the line to get rid of them, it's the only life I got, but if you ever need any supplies an' stuff, don't be afraid to ask."
Stunned, the young rebel could only stutter his thanks and sit down, waiting for new orders. Chuckling, the rebels' new ally picked up the screwdriver and continued his work. Biggs said nothing, thinking instead about the conversation that had just taken place. Shaking his head, he picked up a screw and tossed it to his boss, wondering what was suddenly right with the world.
Even though I REALLY wanted to write about Rude and Tifa (hey, I'm not sure how it's gonna turn out either!), this chapter had to be written. I wanted to make a bigger show of the slums coming together, but then realized I hadn't mentioned. Nothing better to fix a problem like that than to throw it in. Or, go back and mention it more often, but it's too late for that.
Go To Chapter 22
Return To FF7 Fanfic