Premonitions II-C: Crisis Core

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 709
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII, Crisis Core, it any characters therin. I am not making any money here.

Chapter 29: The Blood Test

Cloud sat strapped in a chair. He didn't find it necessary. Hojo had simply ordered him to report for a blood test. The restraint was one of two things that he had found odd. The other was the fact that the order had come from Hojo and not Heidegger, who was the acting director of SOLDIER.

Two yards to his right sat Sephiroth, who had also been summoned for a blood test. He was strapped and retrained in a similar manner.

"What are we doing here?" Cloud finally asked.

"You heard the order," Sephiroth replied. "It's a blood test." He paused. "Officially."

"And unofficially?" Cloud continued.

"I have never, at my time at SOLDIER, been ordered to take a blood test," Sephiroth said suspiciously.

"How come Zack doesn't have to take one?" Cloud asked.

"I don't know," Sephiroth answered. "I'm baffled by that myself."

A few moments later, Hojo entered the room. After thanking the two of them for coming, he immediately went to Cloud. He tied his arm and drew enough blood to fill a small vial.

"Ouch," Cloud said sarcastically.

He then did the same to Sephiroth, who displayed no reaction whatsoever.

And then, within a mere five minutes, it was over. Hojo unbound his two guinea pigs and walked away with the vials, without thanking them.

Cloud sat there for a few moments, contemplating what had just happened, as well as Hojo's strange antics. He had been told it was a routine health monitoring.

That did not ring true.

"Meet me at the bar in Wall Market," Sephiroth suddenly commanded.

"They won't let me in," Cloud replied. "I'm too young."

"I'll get you in," Sephiroth assured him. "There's something I really need to get off my chest."

"But why me?" Cloud asked. "We don't really know each other."

"It's about what just happened," Sephiroth replied.

"But it was just a blood test," Cloud protested.

"That's what Hojo wants you to think," Sephiroth insisted. "I'll explain later."

LATER...

Anyone passing through the sixty-seventh floor of the Shinra Headquarters would see Hojo sitting, seemingly harmlessly looking into the microscope.

In a view denied to everyone except for Hojo himself, two cells were under the microscope. Mind you, this is probably a good time to mention that this is not just a microscope you would study your cheek cells in the seventh grade. This is something Hojo invented. His microscope was a microscope in name only. In reality, it was actually a device used to analyze the nuclei of extracted cells. That, in turn, means it reads your DNA.

But that's where the fun just begins. The device also allows anyone who uses it to combine the DNA of two cells to synthesize a new genetic code. This is what Hojo wanted the blood test for.

So here we come upon Hojo eyeing two cells under his microscope. One of the cells belonged to Sephiroth. The other began to Cloud.

Once Hojo identified the cells, he immediately got to work. Slowly but carefully, he removed twenty-three chromosomes from Cloud's cell. He then removed twenty-three different chromosomes from Sephiroth's cell.

And then, he fused the cells together. I don't know how that thing works, but, at the end of the day, and as a result of the blood test, there was a brand new cell with a brand new genetic code.

And the new cell began to divide.

MEANWHILE...

"I'm sixteen," Cloud protested as he took a seat next to Sephiroth. "I'm not old enough to drink."

"Come on," Sephiroth insisted as he slid Cloud the beer. "Live a little. Do you know how many troopers don't even make it to twenty-one?"

It was Cloud's first time to a bar in his life. He was sixteen, and still had never learned to drive. He observed how there was a regular bar, where he and Sephiroth were seated. He could also see three or four square tables and a karaoke machine near the back.

"Well," Cloud continued, "I'm assuming you didn't just call me here for some friendly rendezvous."

Sephiroth gave Cloud a stern look.

"That son of a bitch doesn't want to test our blood," he began.

"Then why did he take it?" Cloud inquired.

"Because he doesn't expect us to come back from the Nibelheim mission," Sephiroth replied. "He wants our DNA on file."

"To clone us?" Cloud asked.

"Or worse," Sephiroth suggested.

"But why me?" Cloud wondered aloud. "I didn't even make SOLDIER."

"You are the president's son," Sephiroth pointed out.

"Then why not Rufus?" Cloud asked. "Why not draw his blood."

"The President wouldn't let Hojo get close enough to Rufus to take his blood."

Cloud, at this point, was finally compelled to drink his beer. Hojo was expecting him to die on the upcoming mission. It was a difficult thing to take in. Granted, he knew that being a Shinra trooper carried certain risks, and that SOLDIER was even more dangerous, but he had never been sent on a mission he had not been expected to come home from.

Then again, it was Hojo's opinion, and Hojo was known for some quite bogus opinions.

"Actually," Sephiroth continued, "I don't know what Hojo wants with your blood. Perhaps he knows something about you that we don't."

Cloud knew he wasn't quite normal (I can back that up; I knew Cloud as a kid), but he wondered how much he had to learn about himself.

"Maybe it's because we're going to Nibelheim?" Cloud suggested. "It's my hometown."

"Maybe," Sephiroth echoed, though he didn't seem to agree.

Now, unless you're under five (in which case I order you to close this journal and give it to your parents, as there's more nudity and implied sex in the coming chapters), or you've been living under a rock for the past five years, you'll know that Sephiroth goes insane on this mission. I was there and I saw it all.

It wasn't pretty.

LATER...

The cells had divided, and organs had started to develop. By the second hour, as Hojo watched in awe, the embryo had arms and legs.

By the third hour, the embryo had become viable, meaning its development was equivalent to the development of a nine-month-old, naturally occurring embryo. But it did not stop there.

The creation continued to grow rapidly. By the fourth hour, it had the body of a four-year old.

Hojo found it intriguing that the creation's hair was blue; it was a feature that neither Cloud nor Sephiroth had.

By the fifth hour, the creation had the body of a ten-year-old.

By the sixth, he (as both Cloud and Sephiroth had the Y chromosome, the creation would inevitably be male) had the body of a fifteen-year-old.

He finally stopped growing at the seven hour mark, with the body of a twenty-year-old.

Hojo was satisfied with his creation.

"With Sephiroth's savage, he can wipe out the entire senior staff," he said to himself. "With Cloud's humility, he will submit to me."

And the creation opened his eyes.

MEANWHILE...

Zack gently rubbed Aerith's bare shoulders as she sighed in contentment. It was a Thursday, and that meant that there was a game the next day. That, in turn, meant a four hour evening practice for Captain Gainsborough.

But that was over now. After a long day, they had decided to take a bath together.

Still, Aerith was quieter than usual. She seemed very melancholy, as of she was hurting inside.

"Everything okay?" Zack asked.

"I just realized it's September 6," she replied.

"September 6?" he inquired.

"It's Gehrig's birthday," she clarified. "She would have been eighteen today."

It didn't take Zack long to figure out what put Gehrig back on Aerith's mind. They were now talking about getting married. Gehrig, if she had lived, would have been her maid of honor.

Zack held Aerith close.

"Sorry," she apologized, "I can't dwell on the past.

"It's okay," he assured her as he kissed her cheek.

Eventually, they got out of the tub and dried each other off. They then walked into the bedroom with their arms around each other. Zack climbed into bed. Aerith put a pink tank top on (she always went to bed with at least a top on, as her tits somehow hurt the next morning if she slept completely in the buff), turned out the light, and joined him.

"You okay?" Zack asked.

"I think so," she replied as she lovingly wrapped her arms around her boyfriend and kissed him on the cheek. "Just a weak moment."

"You can have those with me," he reminded her.

"I know," she sighed as she rested her head against his shoulder.

LATER THAT NIGHT...

Zack was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of Aerith getting out of bed. As he opened his eyes, he could see his girlfriend with her back turned towards him, rummaging through the dresser. He was baffled why she was doing so, but didn't really care. She was still only wearing the tank top, and he got a good show of her bare butt while she was rummaging, so he said nothing.

After a few minutes, Aerith found what she had been looking for; a printed selfie of herself and Gehrig. It was obvious the day had hit her hard. She spent the next few minutes simply staring at the picture.

"Zack," she eventually began, much to his surprise; he hadn't made a sound. "I really wanted her as my maid of honor...do you care who her replacement is?"

"Pick anyone you want," Zack assured her.

"Anyone?" she asked. "Anyone at all?"

"Anyone at all," he said.

"Can we...break tradition?" she asked, still facing away from him.

"I'm not traditional," Zack replied, though he wasn't quite sure what she meant by that. "You can even propose to me if you want."

"I can't do that!" she dismissed with a giggle. "I'm a girl!"

"How do you want to break tradition, then?" he asked.

"Just something I've been thinking about," Aerith replied as she put the selfie away and turned to smile at her boyfriend. "Tell you later?"

"Pick anyone," Zack repeated.

"Thanks," she said. "I just really needed that."

She then walked back over to the bed, and her face became serious.

"I'll be honest," she began. "I've been feeling kind of lonely today." She paused, and smiled at him. "Can we spoon?"

Zack nodded and turned on his side as Aerith climbed back into bed and under the covers, pressing the skin her exposed lower half against the skin of Zack's. It was a welcoming feeling for both of them.

"How'd you know I was awake?" Zack asked as he felt her take his right hand in both of hers.

"I can feel you watching me," she giggled.

"Nobody can feel anyone watching them," Zack insisted. "It's a myth."

"I can," she insisted.

"Stop lying before your pants catch on fire," he playfully warned.

"I'm not wearing any pants!" Aerith giggled.

Zack kissed her on the cheek and held her close.

"Hey, Zack?" she suddenly began. "One more thing before you pass out again?"

"What's that?"

"Who are you picking for your best man?" she asked.

"A buddy of mine from a couple of missions," Zack replied. "I met him in Modeoheim last January."

He was, of course, referring to Cloud.

"You have a new BFF?" Aerith asked.

"I suppose you could say that," he replied.

"Is he your age?" she inquired.

"He's sixteen," Zack replied.

"A baby?!" she exclaimed.

"That's only a year younger than you!" Zack pointed out. "Anyway, he's been filling the void since losing Angeal."

"I'm happy," she said. "But I've never met him."

"I'll introduce you to him," he continued. "I really hope you like him."

Be careful what you wish for, Zack.

THE NEXT EVENING...

September 7, 0002

Cloud was once again called somewhere. Only this time, it was the diner.

Zack, unlike Sephiroth, respected the fact that Cloud was underage. Hell, so was Zack!

"What's going on?" Cloud greeted as he sat down.

"I just need to vent," Zack replied. "It's my girlfriend."

Cloud was quite relieved; this didn't seem to be a gloomy discussion about how he was going to die again.

"What's going on?" asked Cloud.

"My parents have a villa on a lake between Gongaga and Nibelheim," Zack replied. "I'm taking her there the weekend before Nibelheim."

"That's not so bad," Cloud observed.

Of course, he didn't know the details.

"She thinks I'm going to propose to her," Zack explained. "I'm actually taking her there to soften the blow."

"About the mission in Nibelheim?" Cloud asked.

"You got it," Zack replied. "I'm not sure I'm coming back from this one."

Cloud's eyes widened. Now Zack was saying it, too. This was definitely something he found troubling.

"What do you mean?" Cloud asked

"This can't leave here," Zack warned.

"No problem," Cloud assured him.

"Some serious shit is about to go down," Zack began. "Sephiroth is thinking about deserting."

Cloud let it sink in. Something about him seemed suspicious, and Cloud wondered if he should tell him about the blood test.

"I don't know how or what he means by it," Zack continued. "There's a chance he's going to kill me in the process."

"Do you have to fight him?" Cloud asked.

"I hope not," Zack replied. "If he just walks away, than no. But somehow, I don't think it's going to be that simple."

Zack then wiped his forehead.

It wasn't easy for Cloud to watch; he looked up to Zack as brave and confident.

"But, anyways," Zack continued, hoping to lighten the mood, "you excited about going to your hometown?"

"Not really," Cloud replied.

"Not really?" Zack inquired. "Don't you have anyone back there?"

"Just my mom," Cloud answered.

"Just your mom?" Zack asked. "No siblings?"

Cloud shook his head.

"Anyone else?" Zack continued. "Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Casual friends?"

"It's kind of complicated," Cloud replied.

"Say no more," Zack conceded.

He then nursed his soda for a couple of minutes.

Zack thought about Aerith. She was fully convinced that she was getting a rock for her finger within the next few days.

She shouldn't count on it, he thought.

She was fully expecting to be Mrs. Fair before her nineteenth birthday.

It looks beyond doubtful, he realized.

She was fully expecting him to come home from this mission and pick up where they left off.

Nope.

He realized he needed to be sure that she was okay; that the grieving process would be as smooth as possible.

"Cloud," he began, "if something happens to me, can you take care of my girlfriend?"

"If I survive," Cloud replied, "sure thing."

"I'm even cool if she ends up falling in love with you," Zack said. "I want her to be happy."

Not interested, Cloud thought.

There was somebody else on his mind.

Somebody else who he would be seeing...soon.



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