Our Weapons of War Are Mighty Chapter 4
By Gary M. Gandy
Vincents look was a mixture of puzzlement and curiosity. He stared at the slender white object Cid had given him for good luck. Just try it, the old pilot had told him. Youll love it.
Vincent had never been one to smoke, but they had always calmed Cid down, and right now even he was feeling jumpy, contrary to usual. The mass of people swarming in and out of the large ballroom was staggering. Hundreds of suits and dresses piled into one room was not something he was accustomed to. He just hoped the uniform he had grabbed from the security guard would fool anyone who came close.
He lit the end, just as he had seen Cid do and tried to pull a drag. After several fits of coughing and retching, he dropped the cigarette to the ground and hastily pounded it with his foot, considering unfit for man or beast. How Cid could suck on nearly eighteen of those a day was beyond him.
Suddenly, a mass of white hair caught his eye. He recognized Sephiroths long mane and tall frame. The head of Shinra was casually making conversation with the suits, his own tux fitting in with the mass of black and white. A tall buetiful woman stood next to him, evidently his date. He wondered if Sephiroth actually cared for another human being. Vincent wondered if putting a bullet into the man from here and sacrificing himself would be worth it, but it wouldnt help Seph and Aeris to escape any easier. On that subject, he hoped Seph wasnt having any trouble finding her. He suspected that the place had hundreds of rooms now, and she could be in any one of them on the biology floor.
Turning his attention back to the ball happening below him, he viewed on of the more prestigious parties thrown in the world. The snippets of conversations that floated up to him were a mixture of business and pleasure. Amid pieces of business and trade he would catch descriptions of vacations and recent events. He wondered what kind of life a normal person lived. What would it have been like to wake up each morning, head to work without the fear of not coming home, and then go back to a family. Too him, it sounded wonderful, but he also realized it was probably something he would never experience.
He looked up at the enormous clock hung from the northern wall. 9:15, still plenty of time. He kept his eyes on Sephiroth, making sure that the man stayed in the room. If he left the party, it would end the whole thing real quickly. Vincent just hoped that Seph was having as easy a time as he was.
Even though the rooms and hallways were like a maze, Seph remembered them as if they were his own home, which it actually had been not too long ago. He negotiated them casually as he always had in the past, avoiding anything that might draw undue attention to himself.
Soon, he could see what had been his personal elevator ahead. He walked up, not surprised at all when the guard behind a desk stood to attention.
Sir, I thought you were at the party, the guard told him, still saluting.
You may stand down, Seph told him. I just need to check on something for a moment.
Yes sir, the guard said, immediately turning a key that opened the steel doors to the elevator.
Seph stepped in, breathing out slowly. He hadnt really been worried, but the whole deal made him a shade nervous. Strange as it was, he had never been nervous before. He didnt know why he was now, unless he had really changed that much. He shook his head, reminding himself that the hardest part was still ahead.
He stared through half closed lids at the ever increasing floor numbers being displayed. He reached down absent-mindedly for the second time that night, missing the familiar grasp of the Masamune. Perhaps not having his sword was making him nervous, but there was no alternative. The weapon just didnt go that well with formal wear.
He stepped out of the elevator as the doors opened to the sixty-eighth floor. He recognized the familiar sterile smell of the biology lab. More than anything, it reminded him of Hojo. Several memories flooded from his sub-conscious. As he walked down another hallway, it still was hard to believe that man had really been his father.
Turning again, he came up to the largest room in the facility, the one he hoped that Aeris was in. Placing his palm to the sensor on the wall, he waited for the machine to read his fingerprints. The huge steel doors slid open soundlessly as he entered into the control room for the area. There he saw several female workers busy monitoring Aeris through multiple cameras in the room.
One of them turned to see him enter the room. Soon, two more saluting frames greeted him. At ease, he said, beginning to be annoyed.
Yes sir, they answered, both dropping their arms. We didnt expect you here when the party was going on sir.
I thought Id drop in and take a look at our little quarry here. You two can take a fifteen minute break, but be back after that. I plan on heading back down again soon.
The two women nodded, grateful to get out of the small room. Seph walked up to another set of steel doors, which slid open before him. As he entered, he saw Aeris turn from her gaze out the window and fix her eyes on him.
Even now, as she looked upon him, he could see no signs of malice, merely anger at he captor. Being around Aeris had always made his uncomfortable, mainly due to the fact that he had been responsible for her death. Usually when she entered the room, he would try and find some way to leave. She had confronted him about the issue several times, but he had just made up an excuse and left. Even now, he could feel guilt swelling up.
Come to check on your specimen again, Aeris asked him, her tone neutral. Or have you actually had some misgivings about your little plans for me.
Seph stopped short. You mean he actually put that into action? He hadnt expected Sephiroth to go through with the idea of combining Cetra and Jenovas genetic patterns.
What do you mean he? You decided on it.
Seph realized he hadnt told her who he was. As things were he was going to get nowhere fast in this situation. No, Sephiroth decided on it. Im here to make sure he doesnt go through with it.
Aeriss eyes widened in amazement, and she started to open her mouth before Seph stopped her. Look, I know you have a million questions, but that has to come later. We have ten minutes before youre discovered to be missing, so we have to go now.
He took her hand and almost yanked her out of the room, both of them walking as fast as they could, trying not to be discovered. Seph radioed in to Vincent, telling him where they were headed. Just as they were about to enter the elevator, alarms all over the whole floor went off.
Damn, Seph cursed, realizing the two women probably had come back early. Vincent, we have a problem, he called over the radio.
I heard, Vincents voice said over the PHS. Ill be up in a minute. Just try to get to an outside window.
Seph didnt understand what Vincent was going to do, but he wasnt about to waste time asking. Already he could hear the loud tromp of several boots, probably from Shinra guards. He took Aeris and ran down another hall, heading as fast he could for the windows overlooking the top of Neo-Midgar.
He and Aeris soon found themselves staring out over the city. They spun around, listening as the footfalls came closer. Seph could here the shouts of the guards. He realized that without his sword, he would have to find some way to distract them long enough. He was already looking for something to use as a weapon when Aeris tugged at his arm. He turned around to see Vincent in Shinra uniform standing on the ledge just outside of the window.
Vincent ran his metal gauntlet through the window, completely shattering it. Seph helped Aeris out before getting up on the ledge himself.
How did you get up here, he asked, looking around for some mechanism the ex-Turk had used.
The same way we are getting down. Vincent aimed his gun at the top of the building and fired, sending a grappling hook onto the roof. He gave a tug to make sure it was secure.
Wait a minute, you dont mean for Aeris tried to protest. She never had the chance to finish though, because Seph pulled her with him as they all three lept of the building and fell downward.
Aeris screamed as they fell nearly forty stories before the slack ran out and they started to swing to the right. Vincent made out a huge garbage truck filling up with paper waste. He waited until they were directly over it before he cut the cord. They all fell into a heap, just as the driver started the engine and began to drive off.
Well, that was definitely a different experience for me, Aeris said, finally breathing again. I wasnt much into the falling part, but thank you both for getting me out of there.
Dont mention it, Vincent said, propping himself up on a heap of wadded up reports. Seph just nodded.
Now dont start that again, Aeris told him. You said the most words youve ever said to me up there and now youre starting that silent treatment again.
Seph actually smiled, not noticing it. He had just realized that through the whole ordeal, he hadnt once thought about that day at the City of the Cetra. Youre welcome.
There that wasnt so bad, she said, each of them bracing themselves as the truck took a turn.
Well, at any rate, the driver is going to get one big surprise, she said. Imagine him finding a girl, a Shinra guard, and the Shinra President in a tux in the back of his truck when he empties this load.
A half-hour later, that thanked a wide-eyed garbage man as they got out of the back of his truck and headed back towards the base. Seph and Vincent were busy explaining what had happened since Aeris had been caught. It wouldnt be long before they headed out for Fort Condor and took the Little Bronco to join the others.
The next day, Sephiroth was taking his aggressions out on the guard that had let his double into the elevator.
What the hell were you doing! I could have you arrested and put away for the rest of your pathetic life for this.
Im sorry sir, the guard explained, still at salute. I just didnt know. He looked exactly like you.
I dont care, Sephiroth said, his tone becoming less agitated. I didnt occur to you as a bit suspicious that I could be here and making a speech at the party at the same time. And stop saluting. It makes you look like an idiot.
The man dropped his arm just as the colonel walked up behind them both. I didnt know you were giving the speech sir.
Sephiroth realized that the man wasnt really to blame, but he had needed to vent his rage on something, and the man had been present at the time.
True, you couldnt have known at the time, Sephiroth conceded. You are excused and dismissed. Next time however, you might just try and call someone to make sure if someone comes in at a strange time that looks like me.
Understood sir, the guard said, saluting again as Sephiroth and the colonel entered the elevator. He breathed in deeply in relief as the doors closed.
You do understand he couldnt have done anything anyway sir, Colonel Jameson said.
I understand, but I feel a lot better.
They both laughed. It is a bother though that she was taken, Jameson said.
Sephiroth nodded. True, although it really doesnt matter. Once we have the Weapon in our labs here, we should be able to understand the power source behind it. Once that happens, even Cloud will find it near impossible to stop the WarBlades from taking her.
You dont think he knows that we are looking for them do you?
No, not yet, Sephiroth said. And even if he does, Ive left a little surprise just in case.
Well just have to wait and see if he is on top of the situation. If he is, then youll understand.
Jameson was curious, but he also understood the conversation was at an end. He merely stared forward and waited for the door to open again.
Through his binoculars, Cloud could see hundreds of people in lab coats and in digging gear mingling inside of the lines of Shinra guards and the small Blades. He watched as the people moved like ants, scurrying in and out of the huge digging site. The giant whole was over three hundred feet thick. He wondered what digging equipment had cleared out that much dirt.
Putting down the binoculars, he checked the time. If Seph and Vincent werent back in two more hours, they would head out without them. He had been thinking about Aeris lately, wondering what kind of shape she was in.
Suddenly, someone put their hand on the back of his neck. He twisted around, but saw it was only Tifa. He smiled as she kneeled down beside him before bringing up the binoculars again.
You see it? she asked.
Nah, its too far down in that hole. Im not even sure if they have found it yet. I just hope they dont wake the Weapon up trying to get it out of there.
How do they plan on lifting it out of the ditch if its all back together again. The Ultima Weapon was huge!
I imagine theyll haul it using cables. You can support that kind of weight with enough cables.
They both turned around as Barret walked up. I got good news. Vincent and Seph just radioed in. Theyre headed this way with Aeris.
Cloud and Tifa both stood up. How is she, Cloud asked.
Vincent says shes fine. From Sephs story, he says Sephiroth had big plans for her that included keeping her safe. Anyway, they should be up in a few minutes. We left the rope down the canyon wall for them.
They all ran back to camp to find the group already assembled. Vincent was relating what had happened to the others. When Aeris saw him, she ran over, both of the embracing for a long time. Tifa walked over to check on Vincent and Seph.
You two did fine I see. Thank you both.
Vincent shrugged. Seph did most of the work. I just made sure we had an exit.
You can quit with the modesty bullshit, Cid said walking up. So what happened Seph?
He managed to find a way out of the building for us, although I suspect Aeris would have preferred a different way. He then explained how they had swung down into the truck. Cloud and Aeris walked up to join the group.
So I guess we hit the site now, huh? Barret asked.
Yes. I assume everyone knows their jobs. Barret, Vincent, Tifa, and myself will go down and plant the explosives. Red, Seph and Cid will provide a diversion to draw off troops to let us in, while Aeris, Yuffie, and Reeve will make sure we have a way out. Everyone got that?
Everyone nodded and headed off to gather they stuff. A few minutes later, they came down the same way they had come up to avoid being seen. Not long after, the group was moving as quietly as they could through the jungle, in case there were more Blades in the area.
The going was slow, but they were better prepared this time, and made better time. They came up on the site from the south. There, Red, Seph, and Cid split up to go around to the north. Once there they would initiate combat, but retreat back into the jungle and try and keep the troops occupied as long as possible. Then the bombing group would sneak in. If all went well, they would plant the bombs, and get out, with the backup group there in case all hell broke loose.
Cloud was waiting patiently with Barret right behind him, waiting on a signal. Suddenly, on the other side of the hole, a giant drilling machine exploded into a hundred pieces.
Well, theres Cids signal, Barret said, starting off behind Cloud. Told you we should have told him no dynamite.
Why do that? Tifa asked. It got their attention.
They could see most of the Blades and troops heading off north. They walked up to the fence, with Cloud quickly dispatched. On entering, they could see most of the miners and technicians all gathering on the other side to see what was going. Cloud thought he saw Seph for a moment, but then he turned his attention back to the target.
The hole had several winding paths in the sides, allowing easy access. They ran as fast as they could, not seeing anyone. In a few minutes, they were at the bottom. They split up, each with a separate plastic explosive Reeve had designed. Cloud noticed several strange looking machines around him, but all were either unmanned or shut off. He placed his bomb on the side of the hole, just like Reeve had shown them, and met up with the others.
Everyone set? he asked. Then lets get the hell out of here.
They started up on the same path they had taken to get in, the sounds of their friends battle getting farther and farther away.
When they came to the surface, they saw that most of the people were still busy trying to find out what was going on. Cloud could still see a clear path back to where they had come in so they ran towards it.
Before they could get there though, a small Blade hovering overhead spotted them. Barret and Tifa just managed to jump out of the way as it discharged its guns at them. Vincent hit the ground rolling as a rocket exploded where he had just been standing. He came up to a knee, firing several rounds at the robots head. One damaged the machines visual sensors while another completely destroyed its gyroscope. It flew in erratic circles before slamming into the ground and exploding.
The rest of them got back up and ran for the forest, all of them fearful of being hit from behind by some other unseen Blade. Cloud had rarely felt more relieved than when he burst through the underbrush to find Aeris and the others waiting there. She had just radioed in to Cids group.
There on their way here. They split up to confuse the Blades, but they all think they lost them.
What happened out there? Yuffie asked, noticing Tifa struggling for breath.
Fuckin Blade is what happened, Barret said, slamming his gun-arm against a tree. His tone revealed he was quite agitated. Damn thing came out of no where. I should of seen it.
Just chill, Tifa told him. None of us saw it. He just caught us unawares. We got okay though.
Barret nodded. I still dont like it though.
Red suddenly burst through some bushes, followed by Cid and Seph.
It would seem we have made it, the bright red cat said. I could be wrong, but wouldnt it be better to leave now.
Cloud got off the log he was sitting on. Right. Lets go. We can detonate the bomb from farther away. I want to do it soon, before anyone gets back in that hole though.
They started back in the direction of their camp. After nearly a mile from the site, Tifa pulled out the detonation switch.
Cloud, I want to do it now, before anyone goes back in. Im afraid if we wait any longer, someone will.
Cloud nodded, figuring they were far enough off.
Tifa hit the switch, the bright red button becoming a bright shade of green. There was a loud thud through the air, followed by a loud bass hum. The ground shook for a moment, then a large cloud of dirt could be seen over the trees near the site.
Looks like you made that one right, Yuffie said, scratching Reeve on the top of his head.
What do you mean that one. I always make the bombs right, he said, looking at her sideways.
You think that will keep them out of there, Cid asked.
It should. Most of their heavy equipment was down there in the hole. As far as I could tell, they hadnt reached the Weapon yet.
Well then, lets go home, Tifa told them. Id rather not worry about any more of those bugs coming out.
What bugs? Aeris asked.
We can talk about it later, Seph told them. Right now I have a feeling we should get out of here.
Seph didnt speak often, but when he did, the others usually knew it was important. They started of again, silently as they could, always looking up for signs of pursuers.
It was nearly evening when they got back on top of the cliff. The dirt had cleared out of the air, and they could clearly see the hole at the site was filled in. Cid was prepping the Little Bronco. He and Vincent planned on flying it back to the Fort.
Good job on the bomb, Cloud said to Reeve. What do you think about actually coming with us.
It has its good points, and its bads, like being shot at. I still like it better though. Anyway, what would you all do with out me.
Cloud was about to answer when Tifa called out. He ran over, taking the binoculars that she handed to him. Looking through them, he focused back on the site. There he could see four of the huge WarMechs blasting their way out of the dirt. Each had a cable attached to something below the sand. As they flew out, they pulled the Ultima Weapon with them.
Holy shit! he said, dropping the binoculars. The mechs were already flying, pulling the large beast through the air with them. They must have been some of the heavy machinery down there. Cid, how long before we can get the
Cloud stopped short. Cid was idly dragging on his cigarette, leaning against a rock. Cloud didnt understand how the man could just sit there while their target was getting away.
Not a problem, Cid said coolly. Suddenly, something large shot over there heads. Cloud looked up and could see the Highwind soaring after the Blades.
It came within range and opened fire with its missiles. One of the mechs turned mid-flight to fire at its pursuer, but it exploded in a ball of flame as a stinger rammed through its hull. The other rear mech was torn apart by the Highwinds guns, which also managed to shred its cable. The other two mechs, unable to support the weight of the behemoth they towed, were pulled into two as their cables yanked out their insides.
Cloud and the others yelled triumphantly as the Weapon fell from over two thousand feet up. The mechs had managed to fly out over the ocean by then, and it hit the water, shattering into hundreds of pieces.
Cloud turned around to Cid. How in the hell did you pull that one off. I thought the Highwind was miles away.
I told em to leave their radar on in case they saw something big. If they did, I told them to blast it. No big whoop.
Cloud grinned. I was wondering why you looked so content.
Yeah, well, you dont become a captain without thinking about these kind of things.
Cloud walked over to where Aeris was standing, watching the Highwind return to pick them up.
No matter how many times I see it, she said as he walked up, it never loses that awe. Its just like the first time I saw it.
Cloud put his arms around her, holding her from behind. Well, that little piece of awe is coming to take us home for some well deserved rest. I think a nice long snooze is just what the doctor ordered.
Aeris turned her head and looked at him. Are you crazy? This is the first Ive been out in a while. I was cooped up at Shinra and now you want to sleep? Lets go do something when we get back. Maybe we could hit a club or something
Cloud let her go on, propping his head wearily on her shoulder. He could feel sleep pulling on the back of his eyelids, yet still she kept talking about what to do. All he really wanted was sleep.
Aeris kept talking until she though she heard something. She turned to see Cloud fast asleep, resting on her shoulder. She stared at him for a moment before sighing to herself. Looking up, the Highwind was dropping lower to pick them up.
Oh well, maybe some other time, she said.
Sephiroth breathed in deeply. You mean to tell me they managed to blow it up in mid-air.
Yes sir, Jameson said, waiting for the blast of anger.
Except it never came.
Very well. Have the good doctor Angston make plans to salvage the remains out of the ocean if he can.
Yes sir, Jameson said, smiling at his fortune. He didnt understand why his employer was so happy, but he wasnt about to risk asking why. He hurridly flipped off his com-switch.
Sephiroth shook his head and sighed. Cloud, Cloud, Cloud. You always seem to pester me. Ever the worth adversary. And it would seem you have my twin on your side too.
Not that it really mattered of course. He would settle things one day. It might be a week, might be years, but things would be settled. He looked down, eyeing the document regarding the wormhole portal. It would be operational in three days.
Sephiroth smiled to himself. That was his secret after all. He would always have his little backup plan. Cloud could run around and try to stop him at every corner, but he would always come right back up.
Just then, he felt the sudden shaking underneath him. A loud klaxon flared from the speakers, followed by a womens voice announcing that a bomb had just went off. Sephiroth jumped up just as another blast shook the tower. He didnt know how Cloud had done this, but he would pay.
He ran as well as he could despite the shaking room. If he could get to the other tower, he might avoid being crushed if the floor collapsed. He was just at the door as another explosion shook the building, this one bigger than the rest. Sephiroth leapt just as the floor caved in, reaching for something to hang on to.
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