Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1580
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 6: The Mountain Reactor Revisited

Tuesday, January 29, 0008

Four Days Until the Wedding

1:00 p.m.

Cloud, Tifa, Barret, and Elena stopped their trek through Mount Nibel as the Nibel Reactor stood before them. It seemed dead when looked at; it was no longer absorbing any mako. Nibelheim no longer depended on it for power; most homes there had solar panels. Rocket Town, the only other town that made use of the reactor, was more mixed. Half of the homes there (including Cid's) were solar powered, while the other half were powerless.

Realizing that they could not simply stand there, Cloud led the way inside. Upon viewing the familiar first room with the pipe bridge once again, Tifa immediately clutched his hand. Now that they were no longer pursuing Sephiroth, all that this location brought to her mind was haunting memories of her father.

"Was this where it happened?" Elena mouthed.

Cloud nodded the affirmative.

Barret followed silently behind Elena, keeping a watchful eye on her.

She could betray us at any time, he thought.

The four of them then entered the second room. The pods were still broken, with their contents still missing. Lids were everywhere.

"What the hell happened in here?!" exclaimed Elena.

"When we found Sephiroth in the reactor," Cloud replied, "he released what these pods contained."

Elena gasped in shock.

"He freed the makonoids?!" she shouted.

"They were a pain in the ass," Barret replied in a monotone.

The four of them then climbed the stairs.

Beyond the pod room was the infamous empty container where Jenova had once been.

"Is that it?" asked Elena. "That's where he went cray-cray?"

"That's it," Cloud replied.

"I see you found the secret stairwell," Elena observed as she saw the opening beyond the former tank.

"We didn't," Tifa corrected. "Sephiroth did. We just found it wide open. Sure enough, it was a trap."

Sure enough, this is a trap, Barret thought to himself.

They slowly began to descend the stairs. As they reached the first landing, Cloud, Tifa, and Barret began to feel uneasy. None of them could forget what had happened down there, and all of them were well aware of what they would see when they reached the next room. Tifa clutched Cloud's hand again as they reached the bottom; this was taking much more of an emotional toll on her than she had expected.

They entered the next room, and saw what they would never be able to forget.

"Cloud," Elena began, "isn't that..."

"Yep," Cloud replied casually. "That's Sephiroth, alright."

Sephiroth stood there, forever petrified in an eternal state of living death. His sword was still drawn, and he still had the distressful look of defeat on his face. As far as he was concerned, Tifa had just tossed the break materia to the ground.

"He can't hurt you," Tifa added. "In the original timeline, we killed him, but here we realized that he was more dangerous dead than alive, so we had him petrified."

"What happened?" Elena asked.

"Tifa dropped a break Materia and turned all four of them to stone," Cloud solemnly replied. "Along with herself. A soft brought her back to life."

"You should've seen Cloud cryin' at 'er feet when she did that!" Barret chuckled. "He thought she was gone for good."

"Who are those other three?" Elena asked, observing the three other statues.

"Avatars," Tifa answered. "In case he was killed. The one the longest hair is Yazoo. The one with the shortest hair is Loz. The guy with the sword is Kadaj. Sephiroth created them all be seducing and impregnating an unsuspecting woman; one in the snowy plains, one in Midgar, and one in Costa del Sol. Each woman died in childbirth."

"Wow," sighed Elena as she returned her attention to the petrified Sephiroth. "What a sick fuck." She then reached into her jeans pocket. "I think I know what to do."

She then began to walk towards the petrified Sephiroth. And then, she heard the sound of a gun-cocking. She turned to see Barret presenting his gun-arm, with it aimed directly at her face.

"Excuse you?!" Elena exclaimed.

"We didn' need your help gettin' down here!" Barret hissed. "Now step back!"

"Barret!" Tifa exclaimed.

Elena slowly backed away.

"You don't need to do this," she insisted.

"Like hell I don't," Barret grunted. "I saw you fiddlin' in your pocket. Take the soft and give it to Tifa!"

"It's not a soft!" Elena insisted as she pulled the contents from her pocket.

"Lipstick?" Cloud asked.

"I was only going to humiliate him," Elena sighed. "You really thought I was planning to bring him back?"

Barret grunted.

"There's no other reason for you to come down here," he pointed out.

"Really?!" Elena sighed as she pointed to the wall. "Than what's that?"

Cloud, Barret, and Tifa turned to see a touch-dial code kiosk imbedded in the wall.

"That's what I came here for," Elena said as she walked over to the kiosk. "I'll even tell you the code. It's one-two-zero-seven"

She then dialed the code.

"Brace yourselves," Elena ordered.

"For what?" Cloud demanded.

An unseen door then slid open next to Elena, revealing another room.

"That!" Elena exclaimed. "I bet you didn't notice this the last time you were here," she gloated.

Cloud nodded.

Unlike the dark room the four of them were standing in, the hidden room, having lights on, was as bright as day. The walls and floor were clean and white. Before them was a long corridor that led around a bend. It was, effectively, a high-tech secret room.

"Shall we?" asked Elena.

"After you," Barret replied skeptically.

Elena duly led the three down the corridor.

"This isn't very big," she said. "It's only four rooms."

"What is this place?" Cloud asked.

"Basically, a security room," Elena replied. "We had to monitor for intruders."

"You needed four rooms for that?" Barret asked.

"I dunno," Elena replied. "I just know the code because it works in every reactor. I've never actually been to this one."

Just then, the lights suddenly began to flash red. An unpleasant noise began to sound.

"Uh-oh," Elena muttered. "I think they know we're here!"

"But the Shinra's been liquidated!" Barret protested.

"They don't know that," Elena replied.

"Who's 'they?'" Barret demanded.

Moments later, five eight-legged robot walkers, each a foot high, appeared from around the corner. All five began firing lasers in their direction immediately.

"Motherfucker!" shouted Barret as he quickly took his gun-arm and fired on them, dispatching them with the greatest of ease. He then turned to Elena. "You didn't tell me those shits were down here!"

"I didn't design this place!" Elena insisted.

Moments later, five more robot walkers appeared from the other end of the corridor.

"You don't just give up!" shouted Barret as he once again aimed his gun-arm, blasting them all to pieces.

As the four resumed their way down the corridor, Elena turned to Tifa.

"How much ammo does he have?" she asked.

"A lot," Tifa replied. "I never really bothered to count. Or even ask him."

"Will he eventually run out?" Elena asked.

"Eventually," Tifa answered.

"Has it ever happened before?" Elena inquired.

"Once or twice," Cloud replied. "We had to just resort to my sword."

"And my mitts," Tifa added.

Finally, they reached the end of the corridor. Before them stood another sealed door.

"We don't need a code for this one," Elena explained. "It'll open automatically for us."

Barret glared at Elena again.

"You first," he commanded.

Elena sighed and walked towards the door, causing it to slide upwards and reveal the next room.

Inside were twenty more robot walkers. Upon spotting Elena, they began to fire at her in unison.

"YEEE-OWWW!" Elena exclaimed as she jumped back.

Cloud immediately darted in front of Elena, took his sword, and swung it, taking out four robot walkers.

"Quit tryin' to be a hero and riskin' all our asses!" Barret reprimanded as he aimed his gun-arm, opening fire.

For a few moments, Barret and the walkers equally exchanged fire. Slowly but surely, however, one walker exploded after another. There were twelve. Then nine. Then five.

And then, a laser from one of the walkers struck him in the left foot.

"Shi't!" Barret grunted as he hobbled in pain.

"You okay?!" Tifa asked.

"I'll live," Barret replied as he continued to hobble.

As Barret was recovering, Cloud took his sword and finished off the remaining five walkers in two swipes.

"There," Cloud said triumphantly. "Problem solved."

"Thanks for saving my ass," Elena said.

"Don't mention it," Cloud replied.

After Barret insisted he was okay to walk, the four of them entered the room, scanning for any more robot walkers. After being unable to find any, they noticed that the room was much smaller than the corridor; it was only about five yards square. At the other end of the room was another door that looked identical to the first one.

"I'll go in first this time," Cloud offered.

"It's your funeral," Barret replied.

Tifa, meanwhile, walked up next to him and placed her hand on his shoulder.

"We'll do this together," she insisted.

She then moved her hand forward, and the door slid upward.

Before them stood another robot walker. This one, however, stood five feet tall.

"How did I know there was going to be a big one?" Cloud muttered sarcastically.

Cloud raised his sword and threw it down on the giant robot walker. It clanged, and bounced back up.

"What the hell?!" he shouted.

"Allow me!" Barret announced as he aimed his gun-arm and fired.

Everyone's ears were greeted with a clanking sound; the bullets had no effect on it.

"This thing's bulletproof?!" Barret exclaimed.

"No problem!" Cloud shouted as he pointed his finger at the giant robot walker.

Moments later, lightning struck the walker, but apparently did nothing.

"Ummm," muttered the stumped Cloud.

"Can this thing be killed?" Tifa asked.

"Two lightning strikes at the same time," Elena replied.

"What?!" Cloud exclaimed.

"Two lightning strikes at the same time!" Elena repeated.

Cloud turned to Tifa.

"You have lightning materia equipped?" he asked.

Tifa nodded.

Meanwhile, the giant walker's "head" began to illuminate; it was getting ready to fire.

"Quickly!" Cloud commanded. "On the count of three!"

Tifa nodded again.

"One!" the said in unison. "Two! Three!"

Two bolts of lightning struck the giant walker simultaneously.

The walker let out a hideous noise, and began to shake for a few moments before becoming still and collapsing.

Beyond the defunct walker was yet another door.

"I guess the surveillance console is beyond that door?" Cloud asked.

"I believe so," Elena replied.

Cloud took a step forward.

"Wait a damn minute!" Barret shouted. "You don't think that damn thing's gonna explode?"

Cloud took a long look at the fallen walker.

"It doesn't look like it," he said.

He then walked around the walker and approached the door, which opened for him.

Tifa followed suit, walking around the walker to where Cloud was. She took his hand and led him through the doorway.

Elena turned to Barret.

"There's no sense in staying here," she said as she walked around the walker and through the doorway.

Barret stood in his position for a few moments. He then made his way around the walker and through the door. Moments after the door closed behind him, his ears were greeted by a loud boom.

The giant robot walker had exploded after all.

"WHOA! SHIT!" Barret shouted.

Tifa, meanwhile, had spotted the surveillance console. Drawn to it like a moth to a flame, she quickly made her way to the console and sat down, placing her hand on the mouse. She then stopped there; she had no idea what to do next.

"Here," Elena said as she gently took the mouse and clicked on one of the programs. She pressed a few buttons before the screen displayed "surveillance files."

"Thank you," Tifa said.

"What date was it?" Elena asked.

"October 1, 0002," Tifa replied.

Elena entered the date.

"Do you remember the hour?" she asked.

Tifa shook her head.

"They wouldn't let me take my phone with me," she replied.

Elena pressed a few more buttons before the screen revealed the familiar room with the long pipe.

"Was this the room?" she asked.

Tifa nodded.

For the longest time, nobody entered the room. The four of them spent an endless interval of minutes staring at the video of the room. The only thing that moved was the gears.

Was this the wrong day? Tifa thought.

Elena clicked fast forward. The clock sped up, but the room remained empty.

Tifa sighed; this did not seem very hopeful.

And then, figures began to blur.

Elena quickly clicked the play button, and allowed the scene to unfold.

The fifteen-year-old Tifa was there. She was on her knees, kneeling over the fallen Brian. There was no audio, but the twenty-year-old Tifa remembered word for word what she had said to him.

"Is that her father?" Elena mouthed.

Cloud nodded.

Eventually, the twenty-year-old Tifa could no longer hide her emotion, and tears began to flow from her eyes.

"Papa," she whispered.

Cloud placed an arm around her waist for support.

On the screen, the fifteen-year-old Tifa picked up the sword laying next to the fallen Brian and ran into the next chamber.

The four of them continued to watch as Brian continued to lay face-down on the ground. Each of them, especially Tifa, hope to see something happen with him.

But nothing did.

Just then, the sixteen-year-old Cloud walked by on the screen, carrying the fifteen-year-old Tifa.

And then, there was, once again, nothing. Brian continued to lay on the ground, without even moving a finger.

The twenty-year-old Tifa watching the video shed a few more tears.

Perhaps he really did die after all, she thought.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, two paramedics arrived. One of them knelt down, and placed her fingers to Brian's neck.

"They're checking his pulse," Tifa said aloud to herself.

Her heart began to beat faster; it was a glimmer of hope.

On the screen, the paramedic continued to feel for his pulse for a few moments. Finally, she stood upright, and turned to face her colleagues.

And she nodded.

Tifa suddenly gripped Cloud's hand.

"He nodded!" she exclaimed. "He's alive!"

Two more paramedics arrived with a stretcher. The other two lifted Brian onto it before the five of them disappeared to the left.

MEANWHILE...

A helicopter hovered over the Nibel Reactor, and began to make descent.

On board stood Karnak, Anez, and twelve more scout-bots.

"I won't fail this time," Anez assured Karnak, who was standing next to him.

"You better not," Karnak warned. "If you fail this time, mark my words, I will make other arrangements."

"I won't let you down," Anez insisted. "These are second generation scout-bots. They can't fail."

Moments later, the helicopter landed.



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