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.

Chapter 15: The Abandoned Reactor

Thursday, February 1, 0008

Two Days Until the Wedding

9:00 p.m.

A knock sounded Alicia's front door.

She opened it to see Karnak and Yesha standing a foot away. Immediately, any remote shred of hospitality she might have had vanished upon viewing them

"Leave me alone, you bastard!" she snapped before slamming the door shut.

Yesha turned to Karnak in surprise.

"What was her problem?" she asked.

"We...know each other," Karnak replied. "So she still remembers."

"Give me the word and I'll break her skull," Yesha begged.

Karnak shook his head.

"We've just gotten more unwanted attention that we needed. We've managed to track Tifa all the way here. She can't be too far ahead."

Yesha sighed in disappointment.

"No need to worry," Karnak assured her. "Before the day is out, Tifa will be yours."

9:30 p.m.

"What's this?" Jessie asked as she and Barret approached another ride.

"Oh," he answered, "this is the gondola."

Jessie scanned the gondola, and the track it belonged to.

"This seems like fun," she observed. "Want to go on?"

Barret hesitated. The gondola was usually for couples. Then again, he was well aware of how distraught Jessie was.

"No problem," he said.

The two of them boarded the gondola, and sat across from each other.

The gondola began to move, and, soon, the two occupants beheld the speeding roller coasters, as well as the searchlights based in the waters below.

"Wow, Barret," observed Jessie in awe. "This is beautiful."

The gondola continued to move, and soon passed the racetrack. Jessie gasped as five chocobos raced past the window.

"They have chocobo races here?!" she exclaimed.

"You bet," Barret replied. "Cloud and I were thrown in Corel Prison when we first came here. We got out because Cloud won us a chocobo race."

Suddenly, Jessie observed fireworks of all colors exploding around her.

"Fireworks?!" she exclaimed. "What have I been missing?!"

"Hey," reminded Barret, "I didn't come here for the first time until I was thirty-five!"

They sat there silently for a few moments. Looking around, Jessie found the atmosphere almost romantic. Perhaps this would be the time to tell him. She realized that, at this point, she would not have much to lose.

"Barret," Jessie began.

"Hold on," he commanded. "I think I know what you're goin' to say?"

"Really?" asked Jessie.

Barret nodded.

"Yes, it is true that I died nine years from now," he began. "But that timeline is gone. And now, any of us could die at any time. Whether it's fifty years from now or tomorrow, I sure as hell don't know. Me, you, Tifa, you name it."

Jessie nodded.

"But I'm gonna live my life, no matter what," he continued. "That's one thing I can guarantee."

Jessie smiled. She did feel somewhat better, but there was still the other thing she had wanted to talk about.

"Actually," she began, "there's something else."

"Somethin' else?"

Jessie nodded.

"Something I've been wanting to tell you...since the beginning."

"Shoot," said Barret.

He had a nervous look on his face, as if he could tell she had something serious to say.

Jessie was nervous as well, but she was well aware that, no matter how she worded it, the meaning would not change. So she just decided to say it.

"I like you," she said. "And I want to get to know you more."

Barret leaned forward. He ran his hand over his forehead. Then he spoke.

"Let's go to the wedding together," he suggested.

"Really?" Jessie asked in surprise.

Barret nodded.

"Yes, I'd love to!" she exclaimed.

Barret smiled.

"C'mon, you know I like you, too!"

"Really?!" Jessie exclaimed hopefully.

"Since we started," he added. "I meant to say somethin' to you, but..."

At that moment, Jessie could no longer resist, and threw her arms around him.

It was all she needed to hear.

MEANWHILE...

The atmosphere was quite different in Gongaga. The night was dark, and there were no stars visible; clouds were gathering in the sky.

Tifa quietly parked her minibike and hid it in a bush. She then turned to the ruined reactor.

This is it, she thought. The locker with Tobin's journal is hiding somewhere under all that debris. Tonight, I'll find out where the Island Gulag is. Or I'll die trying.

Slowly, she entered the ruined reactor. As an early reactor, it was quite small. A simple path led a few feet in before looping around and circling back in the opposite direction. On each side of the path was nothing but debris. Somewhere, amongst that debris, was the blue locker containing Tobin's journal.

One feature of Tifa's cell phone that still worked was the flashlight. She used it carefully, covering it with her hand to avoid creating a light for all to see.

Every few moments, Tifa looked up, and scanned her surroundings, looking for anyone who might be approaching. Time after time, she remained alone in the ruined reactor.

After nearly an hour, Tifa happened upon what she had been searching for. There was the blue locker, well hidden amongst the debris.

Cautiously, Tifa pulled the locker out, taking care as not to make any noise. She shined the light on the dial and remembered the combination.

"Thirty-three, thirty-nine, nine," she said to herself.

She rotated the dial in accordance with the combination. Moments later, the locker door opened.

Inside was a red book. It was small but thick. Tifa quickly took the book and flipped through the pages. The handwriting was definitely Tobin's. Initials on the cover read: T. J. L. It was, no doubt, Tobin's journal.

As the journal was small but thick, its dimensions allowed Tifa to slide it into her pocket.

Soon, the feeling of victory faded as Tifa recalled the dangerous place she was in. She needed to leave this place at once and return to the safety of Nibelheim before she was discovered.

Realizing her escape would be simple, she stood up and began walking towards the exit. All that she would have to do was retrieve her minibike, mount it, and ride it back to Nibelheim, where she would be safe.

Tifa reached the exterior of the reactor.

Immediately, she was covered by two tall shadows.

Karnak was waiting there, with a six-foot, muscular woman.

Yesha cracked her knuckles.



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