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 7: The Sudden Attack

Tuesday, January 29, 0008

Four Days Until the Wedding

2:00 p.m.

Tifa continued to stare at the surveillance screen. The room with the pipe bridge was now empty, but she had seen all she needed to see. Now, her heart was filled with hope. Now, she would only be tasked to find out where they had taken him.

"So there we have it," Tifa said softly. "He didn't die there after all." She then turned to her fiancé. "Right, Cloud?"

"They put him on a stretcher," Cloud replied. "He survived. If he was dead, they would've put him in a body bag." He paused. "The question is: where did they take him?"

"I know that's what we need to figure out next," Tifa added.

Cloud took the mouse and closed the surveillance window. He then began to search the desktop and all of the drives for relocation records, without success.

"It's not displaying any records of where they took him," he said in a frustrated tone of voice.

"It won't," Elena said. "Records are kept at the Shinra Headquarters."

"Which no longer exists," Cloud sighed.

Tifa lowered her head in sadness. "That means the records have all been deleted."

She almost wanted to cry; she was back to square one.

"Not necessarily," Elena said. "Unless whoever bought out the Shinra company hired someone to professionally wipe the system-which certainly didn't happen, since a system that big can take months to wipe-that system can be hacked into, and the records can be retrieved."

"Anyone here know how to hack into a system that big?" Barret asked.

Cloud, Tifa, and Elena were silent.

"I sure as hell don't," Barret said.

And then, an idea popped into Cloud's mind.

"I think I know someone who might," he suggested.

"Really?" asked Barret. "Who?"

"I'll give you one hint," Cloud answered. "Her name rhymes with Luffie Lisaragi."

Barret gave Cloud a nasty frown.

"We have to resort to her?!" he sighed.

"Unless anyone knows anyone else," Cloud replied.

Everyone was silent.

"Then there we have it," Cloud decided. "We'll go to the former Shinra Headquarters tomorrow and have Yuffie hack into the system."

"Aren't you forgettin' somethin'?" Barret pointed out. "We're all still fugitives on the Eastern Continent. We can't just go strollin' into town."

Cloud placed his hand to his mouth.

"You've got a point," he said. "Who isn't a fugitive?"

"I guess anyone not officially in Avalanche," Tifa replied. "Red XIII, Yuffie, Cid, Vincent, Reeve..."

"We'll have to send one or two of them with Yuffie," Cloud said.

Tifa stood up, turned to Cloud, wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and, for a rare occasion, buried her head in his chest.

"My papa's alive!" she sniffled. "He's alive, Cloud! He's alive!"

"In any case," Barret said, "there's no sense in stayin' here."

Minutes later, the four of them were back in the musty basement of the Nibel Reactor. Elena entered the code again, sealing the hidden rooms. Before the four of them mounted the stairs, one last thing was addressed.

"What about Sephiroth?" asked Elena, pointing to the petrified villain. "We can't just leave him here!"

"He's petrified," Cloud replied. "He's not going to come back."

"And even if he does," Tifa added, "he'd be too late. Holy moved. Meteor's history."

"But what if someone brings him back with a soft?" Elena asked.

In response, Barret pulled a small electronic device from his pocket, and duct-taped it to the wall, making sure that it faced the petrified Sephiroth.

"What is that?" Tifa asked.

"It's a camera I can check with my phone," Barret replied. "If someone softens 'im, I'll be the first to know."

Realizing that none of them could stay there, and that none of them wanted to stay there, all four of them mounted the stairs to the surface.

"So what's going to happen to Sephiroth?" asked Elena as she continued to climb the stairs. "Are they going to put him in a museum or something?"

"Doubt it," Tifa replied. "Nobody really knows he's down there."

"And I'd prefer it to stay that way," Cloud added.

"Those people on Round Island...some of them are worshipin' him like a god," Barret pointed out as he reached the top of the stairs and made his way into Jenova's chamber.

"And if one of them knows he's here," Tifa added, "well, it won't be good."

"But Holy moved," Elena mentioned as she returned to the pod room. "He can't destroy the world anymore."

"No, but he can still go on a killing spree," Cloud pointed out as he descended the stairs.

"I guess nobody would want that," Elena said.

The four of them passed through the room with the pipe bridge before exiting the reactor. They breathed more easily for but a few moments until they noticed it.

Anez was waiting a few yards from the reactor's entrance.

"Oh look," Elena said. "It's Anus!"

"Anez," he corrected.

"Friend of yours?" Tifa asked.

"Ex co-worker," Elena applied. "Ramon Anez used to work for the Shinra. Until he got fired."

"For what?" asked Cloud.

"Spying on Scarlet in the bathroom," Elena answered. "He's a sick puppy."

"What's he doing here?" Cloud asked.

"Your guess is a good as mine," Elena replied.

And then, the scout-bots began to appear over the horizon, marching ominously towards the four of them.

"Are those the same ones?" Elena asked.

Cloud nodded.

"Well, now we know who was behind the attack last night," Elena said.

"How many this time?" Tifa asked.

"Looks like twelve," Cloud answered.

"And four of us this time," Tifa added.

"In any case, this won't be a problem," Cloud said.

With that, he pointed his finger at one of the scout-bots, and cast lightning.

The scout-bot did not break apart this time.

"Um..." Cloud muttered before casting lightning once again.

The scout-bot, unharmed, continued its pursuit.

"Shit," Cloud grunted.

"This isn't my prototype!" Anez announced.

"Both at the same time?" Tifa suggested.

Cloud nodded.

They both pointed their fingers, causing two bolts of lightning to strike the scout-bot simultaneously. There was still no effect.

"What's wrong?!" Tifa exclaimed.

"They're lightning proof," Barret replied as he cocked his gun-arm. "That's what's wrong!"

He opened fire on several scout-bots at once, resulting in only clanking sounds.

The scout-bots continued their pursuit.

One of them approached Elena and reached out its hands, preparing to strangle her.

Elena, in response, suddenly raised her leg into the air, and performed a mid-air roundhouse kick, striking the scout-bot in the head.

"Fuck!" Barret shouted.

The head came off immediately, landing on the ground and rolling harmlessly away. The body collapsed to the ground.

"That girl can kick!" Barret exclaimed.

"Who else can?" Elena quickly asked. "Who else knows martial arts?"

Only Tifa raised her hand.

Elena then turned to Barret and Cloud.

"Stand back," she commanded.

"But...!" Cloud began to protest, but stopped himself.

"Cloud," Tifa assured him, "we've got this!"

With that, Tifa charged toward the nearest scout-bot and performed an axe kick, taking the head off with the greatest of ease. She then performed a double upper-cut, decapitating two scout-bots at once.

Meanwhile, Elena performed another mid-air roundhouse kick, decapitating not one, not two, but three scout-bots.

Anez began to sweat; there were only five scout-bots left.

And then, the odds turned further against him.

"I'm coming!" shouted a familiar voice.

Moments later, Cait Sith appeared from behind the horizon. He pounded the nearest scout-bot on the head, causing it to break into pieces.

A second scout-bot put its hands on Cait Sith's left arm in hopes of ripping it off, but Cait Sith, himself a robot, was built to be much stronger.

"Are you kidding me?" he taunted before freeing his arm, dispatching the scout-bot in the same manner.

"Didn't anyone ever tell you to put a robot against a bunch of robots?" Cait Sith asked.

"I kind of had a lot on my mind," Cloud replied.

There were three scout-bots left, with one approaching Tifa, one approaching Elena, and one approaching Cait Sith. Moments later, after one mid-air roundhouse kick, one axe kick, and one pound with a giant fist, all of the scout-bots were gone.

Cait Sith charged at Anez and pounded him on the head, knocking him out cold.

The cat then turned to Elena.

"Thanks for alerting me," he said.

Elena looked at him crossly, and placed her hands on her hips.

"You're late," she reprimanded.

"I'm sorry," Cait Sith apologized. "I was at Sage's school play. My cell was silenced."

"Excuses, excuses," Elena sighed.

"We got all the info we needed," Barret said. He then took a look at the fallen Anez. "May I suggest we get our asses outta here before he recovers and calls for reinforcements?"

Cloud, Tifa, and Cait Sith nodded in unison.

"One more thing," Elena announced.

Moments later, Anez's hands and feet were tied.

AN HOUR LATER...

3:00 p.m.

The helicopter sped away from Mount Nibel. Karnak had arrived and picked up Anez, but declined to untie him; he simply allowed him to lay bound in the fetal position on the floor.

"You failed again," Karnak reprimanded. "Just as I suspected."

"I can come up with better-" Anez began.

"No," Karnak interrupted. "No more scout-bots. We're having a meeting. It looks like we need to try someone else's idea for once."

"Can you at least untie me?" Anez requested.

"Maybe tomorrow morning," Karnak replied. "Right now, I want to see you humiliated. Because that's how I feel. They now have scout-bot parts. Those can lead them to us."

"No, they can't," Anez insisted. "I already programmed a safeguard. They delete all programming and files once they're decapitated. We're safe, Karnak. We're safe."

In response, Karnak pulled out a knife.

Anez gasped, fearing the worst.

But instead, Karnak cut Anez loose, and allowed him to rise to his feet.

"That reactor has surveillance footage," Karnak said. "They now know that Brian Lockheart survived that day."

"But they don't know where he is," Anez replied.

"Not yet," Karnak said. "Not yet."

At that moment, Anez could no longer see land out of the helicopter window.



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