The Story of Vincent Valentine Chapter 4
Hojo's First Moves
Planetary Year- 1905 --- 2/1 Nibelheim
Vincent had spent about four months in Nibelheim already. He'd been tired of the place from day one. Now, he was exhausted of the tired old burg. He was disgusted when an accident that occurred at the famous mountain range just outside town was talked about three months later, as though it had happened yesterday. The dead cluster of buildings was pathetic. It made Kalm look like Midgar. Despite this, Vincent found enough to keep himself busy, and even occasionally entertained. Mostly, this was a combination of working in the mansion/lab, and talking with Lucrecia. She was everything he could have asked for in a woman. She wasn't smart, she was a certified genius. She was brutally honest, a trait that was evened out by her ironic sense of humor which appealed to Vincent immensely. It was this honesty that was bothering Vincent today.
"I've never heard of a Turk being the messenger boy." Lucrecia's words from months ago floated through Vincent's mind. Well, he had. Over the past damned four months, Vincent had been Death's messenger. He felt like the brainless assistant in a cheesy old horror movie, collecting parts for the mad scientist's monstrous project. As he walked from the General Store with lunch to the mansion, he mockingly murmured to himself. "'Yeess Mmaassstterr! Rriigghtt aawwaayy Mmasstterr! Dddoo nnnoottt wooorrrrryyy Mmasstteer!' Shove it." He grumbled afterwards. "I'll be damned if I don't at least learn what the hell he's doing with these friggin' carcasses by tomorrow."
He stormed into the mansion, and swiftly, as with practice, shot up and down the stairwells of the creaky old building, without arousing any of it's endless number of unwelcome inhabitants. He didn't want to shoot with one hand, and balance coldcuts with the other. He dropped the bags in the kitchen, and swept off to the lab.
Instead of his customary knock, Vincent was about to lightly kick open the lab's door, when he heard Hojo and Lucrecia talking. He paused to listen.
"It's amazing, my dear. I believe that fool's research may be exactly what I need. This... Jenova. It's properties, if my theories are correct, might be the very catalyst for my experiments. The only question is how to get it off of Gast's table, and into my hands. Do you have any ideas, Lucrecia, my dear?"
"You said that already, numbskull." Vincent thought to himself. A tingle of jealousy swept over him, at Hojo's casual endearment. He shook it off, and continued to listen.
"If Gast won't give it to you face to face, why do you think it could even possibly help you? Few scientists leave enough true information or background in their notes to give you a total understanding of the subject."
"I could care less about the subject. I want the material! Perhaps he has found a way to procure some Jenova. With it... Well, lets just say that compared to me, Gast will be a footnote in the annals of science."
"I'm afraid I can't help you with that. You'd have to go up to Icicle Inn for such a... project."
Vincent had listened to more than enough. He knocked once, and calmly opened the door. "...Lucrecia. Your turn. You know where it all is."
Lucrecia nodded. "Of course. I'll call you in a few, boys. The only one of us who can cook is going to work." With that, she left the lab, and headed for the kitchen.
"Vincent. I need to ask you something."
"The answer is no."
"I don't care what rank you are. I will not kill, abduct, or hurt Professor Gast. If you want the damn virus, get it yourself."
Hojo sneered. "You'll pay for this, Valentine. Also, make sure you knock, next time. You might get shot if you don't."
"Relax, Hojo. I won't stop... science. I'll just keep a very close watch on it.
Little did he know that his "very close watch" would damn his mind for years to come. It would also damn his soul, as well as the souls of so many others...
Planetary Year- 1905 --- 2/6 Nibelheim
Hojo's strange excursion to Icicle Inn had been successful, in more ways than one. He had returned with not only a few samples of Jenova, but Professor Gast in tow, as well. Vincent noticed the angry, subdued glint in Gast's eyes as he focused his sleepless, bloodshot orbs on Vincent. He wondered why.
"Hello, Professor Gast. It's good to see you aga-" Vincent began.
"As I was saying before, Gast... Your theories, however probable, have no proof. If we combined sentience with the distilled essence, we might begin a considerably less harmful set of reactions. With testing, we might easily be able to improve our subjects, rather than harm them. With a few eggs broken, as the saying goes... Well, this would be quite the omelet!" Hojo interupted, walking past Vincent as though he didn't exist. Suddenly, he stopped, and turned to Vincent.
"Valentine. There's a bag in my hand. The one marked Fragile? Guess what? It is. Take it directly- and carefullyto the second freezer. The one with the bottles marked catalyst. You know?" He paused, as if thinking over something and realizing there was a much better way to do it. "No, better yet, go to Professor Lucrecia, and tell her to put it in the second freezer instead."
Vincent spit, his distaste landing an inch from Hojo's feet. "While I'm at it, would you like me to ask Lucrecia to knit me a bib? I'll do it myself Hojo. I won't drop your precious samples."
Hojo turned purple. For a moment, he looked as though he was about to do the rest of the rainbow. "If you drop it, Valentine," Hojo warned with malice, "Your head will be rolling along side the bag."
Vincent shrugged, and walked to the second freezer. "Jenova..." He mused, studying the bag. "I wonder what you're going to do to us?" He put it in the freezer. As he left the room he could have sworn he'd heard a growl, coming from Freezer Number Two.
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