The Story of Vincent Valentine Chapter 3
Planetary Year- 1904 --- 10/9 Nibelheim
The town was sleepy. Vincent couldn't think of many other words for it. A truck was parked against a picturesque white picket fence, overshadowed by a near by tree. The old pickup looked as though the last time it had moved was in the time of the dinosaurs. Like them, it was also probably extinct. The only sounds were those of a windmill lazily circling about in the town square, and of a single person leaving a building marked "General Store".
"She said that she was waiting in the inn. Apparently, the place we rented is in disrepair. That'll be our first assignment, I suppose."
Vincent shrugged. "Goody. Let's find her, and get to work."
Hojo nodded. "Valentine, hurry along into the inn and ask for a woman there under Shinra. I'll scout the new lab."
Vincent gave a halfhearted nod, and walked into the inn. That was the first reason he hated Hojo. He was an asshole. The second reason was that apparently, he was Vincent's personal asshole.
Vincent walked into the small, two story inn, which was also... Sleepy. "I'm looking for a woman under Shinra reservations." He said to the man at the desk.
The man nodded. She's right upstairs. First room. Can't miss it, there's only two rooms." He grinned at this, which apparently meant that his comment substituted for humor in this Hicksville.
Vincent scowled, and reached into his pocket, pulling out two coins. He placed one on the counter. "For your patronage." He flicked the other with his thumb, sending it up and onto the cheap, scarred wood surface with a flourish. "That one is so you can afford a better joke next time." With that, he walked upstairs, not even looking back for a reaction.
Sleepy was right. There was one hallway, two bedrooms, and a bathroom at the far end of the hall. It was pathetic. He knocked on the first door, and looked out the window until the door opened.
Vincent turned around. "Turk. I'm here to bring you-" He looked into the woman's eyes, and almost fell over. Her face was a perfect, delicate, china face, strengthened with determination and dependability. Her body was as flawless as one could find. Her eyes were as deep as the space between the sea and the horizon.
They spoke simultaneously, making her laugh, and him, to his chagrin, almost blush.
"Well then, Turk, I'm with you," she grinned sardonically, "I'm Professor Lucrecia. High ranking microbiologist, geneticist, botanist, and zoologist."
Vincent paused. Usually, he would have simply walked down the stairs, waiting for her to follow. But she was... different. "Vincent. I shoot things."
"Nice to meet you, Vincent, the Turk Who Shoots Things. Hojo sent you?"
"Yup." Vincent's hand nervously trailed it's way along his arm, and he scratched his shoulder. "Let's go."
"I'm curious." She said as they walked down the stairs, "I've never heard of a Turk being the messenger boy."
Vincent's face lost all emotion. "Neither have I. Hojo is an asshole. That's my opinion, and he knows it."
Lucrecia shrugged, "Each to their own."
"But of course." Vincent replied, walking down the stairwell slowly, looking over his shoulder. Lucrecia grinned happily, and Vincent almost... almost smiled.
After mere seconds in the mansion, Vincent knew why he was called to this assignment. He could feel the presence of danger crawling through the building. As Lucrecia shivered from the cold, Vincent drew his gun.
"Professor. I want you to run to the lab when I tell you to. Do not look back. Do not stop for anything. I'll be right behind you. Ready? Go!"
Lucrecia began running as though the Hounds of Hades were on her. Vincent began to kill. Floating mirrors fell to the ground. Strange creatures which looked like a cross between a pumpkin and a doily dropped like stones. Bats began spurting blood, and lives ended. Vincent smiled to himself. He'd done well. He calmly holstered his gun, and joined the scientists.
"Excellent. With any luck, they'll finish the bastard off." Hojo murmured to himself.
"Did you say something, Professor Hojo?
Hojo jumped. "Professor Lucrecia! A pleasure to meet you at last!"
"The same to you. What did you say, though.?"
"Ah. Well, I was referring to the mousetraps I've put in the next room. I have a feeling this building is infested."
"Quite right. The place is simply crawling with vermin. Large, disgusting vermin."
"Hello, Vincent." Hojo said smoothly, fighting to keep his face composed. "What happened to you?"
"This?" Vincent said with laugh, gesturing to a small gash on his right shoulder. "Nothing at all. Just a scratch, really."
"Are you sure?" Lucrecia asked. "It looks as though it might get infected. One moment."
"It's nothin-" Vincent said, but Lucrecia ignored him. She swept past him to a small black bag on a table. She pulled a brown glass bottle from the bag, and, in a few swift motions, had opened the bottle, poured a small amount of the liquid on the wound, and capped the bottle.
Vincent leapt across the room when Lucrecia let go of him, and recoiled when the liquid on his arm began to bubble. He pushed away from his arm as though it would detach from his arm. Suddenly, he stopped, and almost blushed again. The stare of pure poison he shot at Hojo quickly halted his laughter. He glanced at Lucrecia.
"I don't like doctors. I also dislike liquids that make my arm start to melt."
Lucrecia laughed. "Hahaha! Oh, poor Vincent! That was simply an alcohol cleanser!"
Vincent shrugged. "Tell me first, next time."
Hojo cleared his throat. "Now, if you've finished the dramatics, Valentine, I'd like you to do something for me. Several somethings."
"Collect a few LIVE specimens from the building. Bats, mice, any warm-blooded creature. Then, go out and fetch me some... Larger specimens."
"...When you say larger, do you mean... About the size of a human?"
"Precisely. Dead and alive, if you would."
Lucrecia shivered slightly as Vincent soundlessly left the room. What had they done to the poor man to make him so cold? She looked at Professor Hojo. A genius or not, she had a feeling Vincent was right. Hojo was an asshole.
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