Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1604
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any characters therin. I am making no money off of this work.

Premonitions II: Crisis Core

Chapter 11: The Revelation

Wednesday, January 30, 0008

Three Days Until the Wedding

12:45 p.m.

"What are those?" asked Shera, as she noticed a bottle of pills on Cid's kitchen table.

"Nothing," Cid replied.

Shera folded her arms and gave him a cross look.

"Are those sleeping pills?" she asked.

"No," he sheepishly replied.

"Don't lie to me!" she ordered.

"Yes," he admitted. "I wanted to sleep through the next few days."

"Why?" she asked him.

"Because this wait is killing me," Cid replied.

Shera sat down and sighed.

"It's only four more days, Cid," she pointed out.

"It's gonna feel like four years," he sighed.

Realizing that she was not reaching him, Shera took his hand and smiled.

"You know Cloud and Tifa might need you over the next four days," she pointed out. "They've been attacked every day since Tifa started looking for her dad."

"I think she's crazy," Cid grunted.

"Me, too," Shera agreed. "But she's still our friend."

Cid sighed. He glanced at the sleeping pills again, and gave Shera a frustrated look.

"Why'd you have to be seventeen?" he groaned.

Shera gave him another cross look.

"You still like me for who I am, don't you?" she asked.

"You bet your ass," he replied.

Shera smiled, and placed her hand on his cheek.

"Hang in there," she assured him. "Four more days, and my ass will be bare for your pleasure."

MEANWHILE...

1:00 p.m.

Cloud and Tifa walked, hand in hand, towards the spot where the Highwind was parked.

Tifa seemed more relieved than she had been for a long time. In fact, she was somewhat smiling. Yet there was already something on her mind.

"The Island Gulag," she began. "I could have sworn I heard about it from somewhere before. But where?"

As Cloud and Tifa were nearing the Highwind, they both saw a figure closing in on them.

Cloud noticed that he looked exactly like him, only his hair was blue. Other than that, their resemblance was uncanny. If this stranger dyed his hair blond, it would be impossible to tell them apart.

Yet the way he was approaching was not in a friendly manner. He was most certainly pursuing them.

And yet, someone recognized him.

"Karnak?!" exclaimed Tifa.

"You know this guy?" Cloud asked in surprise.

"When I trained for martial arts when I was sixteen, he...um…"

"I demonstrated how deadly I am," Karnak interrupted, stopping mere feet from the couple.

"So he's not a good guy?" Cloud inquired.

Tifa shook her head.

It was that moment that Cloud noticed a buster sword on Karnak's back as well.

"What do you want," he demanded.

"You are in no position to inquire," Karnak taunted.

"I have a buster sword just as much as you do," Cloud announced.

"That would be an interesting contest," Karnak observed. "But, fortunately, it shouldn't have to come to that. I simply have a message for Tifa."

"What is it?" she asked, though she already knew the answer.

"Stop now," Karnak commanded. "This is the third day in a row that you nearly got yourselves killed. That should be a warning enough."

"That's only because you're hiding something," Tifa retorted.

Karnak sighed.

"What did curiosity do to the cat?" he inquired.

"I'm sorry," Tifa rebuffed, "but I won't stop until I find him."

"You're going to regret saying that," Karnak warned her.

And then, Karnak smacked her in the face.

Cloud immediately drew his buster sword.

"You touch her again, and that hand's coming off!" he threatened.

Karnak smiled.

"Well, then," he responded, "perhaps we should settle this like gentlemen."

Karnak drew his buster sword before turning to Tifa.

"If you know what's good for you, you'll stand back," he warned.

"Do it," Cloud ordered.

"But I-"

"You have no defense against his sword!" Cloud pointed out.

Defeated, Tifa stepped back.

Karnak immediately charged Cloud. He swung his buster sword, causing it to hit Cloud's with such force that it knocked it out of his hands. It hit the ground and began to spin, slowly moving away. Finally, the sword stopped.

"Pick it up!" ordered Karnak as he pointed his sword at Cloud.

Cloud cautiously picked the sword up and gripped it. This time, he was the first to charge. He darted towards Karnak, swinging his buster sword with all his might at Karnak's. Moments later, Cloud's sword fell backwards from his hands, landing on the ground and nearly hitting Tifa.

Cloud picked up his sword again. He then turned to see Karnak a mere two feet away.

Karnak quickly swiped his buster sword again, causing Cloud's sword to fly out of his hands once more.

"Enough of this," Karnak announced.

"Are you going to kill me over this?" Cloud demanded.

"It would be no fun to kill you," Karnak dismissed. "You're the same Cloud Strife who defeated Sephiroth, yet you don't seem to know the back end of your buster sword from the front!"

"Sorry to be a letdown," Cloud said sarcastically.

Karnak put his sword away and turned to Tifa.

"Is it worth it?" he taunted.

"You bet your ass," Cloud answered for her.

"This is the only warning I'll ever give you," Karnak said. "Your father is dead!"

"Go to fuckin' hell!" Cloud retorted. "I know who you work for. I know she's hiding something."

"I'm not doing this for the Continental Governor," Karnak dismissed. With that, he walked off.

Tifa ran over to Cloud and threw her arms around him.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I'm fine," he replied.

"I don't want to get you killed," Tifa added in a somewhat shaky voice.

Moments later, Cloud and Tifa quietly boarded the Highwind.

"At least we know he's alive," Tifa said as she sat down on the bridge.

"I think its obvious," Cloud said. "Karnak runs the Island Gulag."

"Why could he be trying to hide it?" Tifa asked.

"I remember now," Tifa suddenly said. "I remember because there was one other person who was looking for the Island Gulag."

"Who was that?" asked Cloud.

"My cousin," Tifa replied. "Tobin."

"Was he looking for your dad?"

Tifa shook her head. "I don't know. I never knew Papa was there until now."

"Did he find it?"

"I don't know, either," she replied. "I haven't talked to him since the raid on the Sector One Reactor. He came by while you guys were out."

"I think we just found another lead," Cloud said.

"I'm texting Tobin now," Tifa announced. "If he's found out where the Island Gulag is, my father will be home by tomorrow."

Moments later, her phone buzzed.

"What did he say?" asked Cloud.

Tifa shook her head.

"It wasn't Tobin," she replied. "It was Elena."

"She and Tseng are inviting us to a double date at the diner."

"At a time like this?" Cloud asked skeptically.

"There's nothing more we can do today," Tifa replied. "Tobin has to get back to me. If he knows where the Island Gulag is, we'll go there tomorrow."

Cloud nodded in agreement. After what they had gone through that day, they could certainly use a break.



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