A/N: After nearly a year hiatus due to health issues, here is a brand new fanfic chapter. I will be alternating between this fic any my Detective Conan fic for the foreseeable future.
Chapters 1-3 of this fic have undergone a bit of a rewrite for clarification issues.
Disclaimer: This is fantasy and not meant to be, in any way, an accurate depiction of dissociative identity disorder.
A Final Fantasy VII Fic
by Krista Perry
Summary: A short time after the events of Advent Children, Jenova sets events in motion that will once again draw Cloud and all of his friends and former enemies into battle - not just for survival, but for body, mind and soul.
The earthquake had unsettled Tifa more than she realized and she found herself wide awake at half past midnight, bracing herself for an aftershock that had yet to hit. She stood by her hotel room window looking out at the night. The light pollution from Gold Saucer made it impossible to see any stars, and since the amusement park was in the middle of a virtually impassable desert, there was pretty much nothing else around as far as the eye could see. Just deep, dark nothingness. It certainly added to the creepy ambiance of the Ghost Hotel.
And as she stood there, listening to Denzel and Marlene's steady, even breathing as they slept peacefully in their beds, she couldn't help but think of the last time she had been in this same room, over four years previous. She had entered to find Cloud standing at this very window, looking out at this same bleak view.
The emotions of that time came flooding back to her. Cloud was still so broken back then, living a life pieced together from fragments of his own memories, and those of Zack's that he had somehow absorbed through the Jenova cells that infested him. And she, not understanding, had been so confused, and more than a little afraid. But still, that night she had taken him by the hand and pulled him out of the room, in spite of his half-hearted protests, to go on their very first date.
But as bold as she had been at the start, by the end of that evening, as they sat in the gondola watching the fireworks, her growing dread and uncertainty kept her from voicing the questions that plagued her. How do you know what happened at Nibelheim, Cloud? You weren't there.
Except for that one moment when you were.
And that had been the problem, right there. For five long years Cloud had haunted her thoughts; because somehow, impossibly, he had been there at the Mt. Nibel reactor. She had often puzzled over why Cloud seemed to be the one who appeared to her in her dying moments. Cloud, who had cradled her to his chest, and had wept over her broken, bleeding form. His tear-streaked face was the last thing she saw before the darkness swallowed her. Her last thoughts; that the boy from next door, who Daddy said wasn't allowed to talk to her because he was a good-for-nothing brat who almost got her killed - the cute, shy boy who broke the rules and talked to her in secret anyway that night at the water tower – he hadn't forgotten his promise. He had returned, just to save her.
But when she awoke weeks later in the care of doctors in Midgar, she was no longer sure of what she had seen. She ventured to the hated Shinra Building and tried to find Cloud within the ranks of the Shinra military, but there didn't seem to be any record of him. No one she talked to even recognized his name, and she started to wonder if something had happened to him; if perhaps he had died before he ever reached Midgar to join SOLDIER, and maybe that's why she saw him when she was on the verge of death.
With these thoughts, Cloud soon became just as much of a ghost as her father and the rest of the townspeople. An apparition of memory; a dying hallucination that she thought might represent all of her old hopes... and regrets.
And then, five years later, she found Cloud at the train station. Very much alive, older, handsome, strong, confident... Claiming to be an ex-SOLDIER and knowing things about the Nibelheim massacre that all reason told her he shouldn't know, because he wasn't there - except, inexplicably, during those last moments when he held her.
She wasn't quite sure exactly when the feelings of nostalgia, fascination and the reignited spark of a forbidden crush turned to love after finding him again, but it had. She knew she loved him even long before the mystery of Cloud's presence at the Nibelheim massacre had been solved when they fell into the Lifestream and she had walked through his soul, helping him heal – though that experience pretty much sealed his claim on her heart. She loved Cloud, and… he seemed to reciprocate the feeling.
Especially since the battle with Sephiroth's Remnants. He was trying so hard to let go of the past and be part of their little makeshift family. Tifa could tell that it still wasn't easy for him, but at least some things were getting better. He no longer had that ever-so-subtle flinch whenever she would reach out and touch his arm or take his hand in hers, as though he felt he didn't deserve to be touched with kindness or affection. And his smiles were starting to come more often and more naturally.
It wasn't where she wanted their relationship to be… but it was a start. The rest would come with patience and time, of that she was certain.
Tifa stretched, and unsuccessfully stifled a yawn. It was very late, and her fears of aftershocks had yet to manifest in reality. It had been almost five hours since the quake hit without a single follow-up tremor, so maybe it was time to try and get some sleep, because she knew that if Gold Saucer's attractions were up and running by daylight, there would be no way to convince the kids that it was time to leave.
Besides, thinking about Cloud, and that long-ago date… if he was able to join them, it would be wonderful to try it again, without all the fears and anxiety that cast a shadow over them the first time.
As she sat down on her bed and checked the alarm clock on the side table to make sure it wouldn't wake her up any earlier than necessary, there was a soft knock at the door.
She frowned as she went to answer. This late at night, she could only imagine that it was some kind of emergency. She hoped that a hotel manager hadn't come to tell her that they would need to leave Gold Saucer anyway, just as she finally talked herself into staying.
She opened the door. And looked down.
"Hello, lassie, long time no see."
Tifa blinked. "Cait Sith?"
"Sorry to intrude at such a late hour," he said, slipping past her into the room, and speaking just above a whisper. The feline robot's narrow-eyed expression was inscrutable as always, but he sounded worried. "I hope I didn't wake you."
"No," she said, closing the door and following him, feeling utterly perplexed. "It's good to see you, but… what's going on?" Even if he had discovered she was staying here after the quake, she knew that he would have waited until morning to visit, unless something was wrong.
Cait Sith cast a glance at the children, who were still asleep, then shook his head. "Bad things, I'm afraid."
Tifa felt her stomach sink, and knelt on the floor so that she could be eye level with him. "What is it?"
"That quake earlier?" he said, then leaned forward, lowering his voice even further. "It was felt all over the planet, but it was centered at the cave where Lucrecia Crescent sealed herself in crystallized mako."
Lucrecia Crescent? Sephiroth's mother? "I don't understand," Tifa said, dread filling her insides. "What does that mean? What happened in that cave that could shake the whole planet?"
"I'm not sure yet," Cait Sith said. "Nothing has been confirmed, but Reeve sent Vincent on a mission to investigate, and in the meantime, he's mobilizing WRO troops."
Tifa tried to absorb that. She had seen Lucrecia in the crystal four years ago. She didn't seem dangerous. If anything, she seemed desperately sad. But apparently there was far more to this than just a tragic woman hiding away from the world if Reeve was activating the military. "Why?" she asked. "What does Reeve think is going on? Is he with you right now?" Meaning, is he watching through your eyes at the moment?
"Nay," Cait Sith said. "Reeve is in Nibelheim, and getting ready to return to Midgar. I only found out was happening a few minutes ago when I hacked the satellite networks. I read the reports, saw the emails, the call logs, and heard the voice mail Reeve left for Vincent. As for what's going on… there are several possibilities, but I'm pretty sure that Reeve's main concern is the possibility that Jenova is active again."
Tifa stared. "Active? You mean, active through Lucrecia?"
"And Reeve sent Vincent to investigate?" That struck Tifa as a profoundly bad idea.
"Of course he did," Cait Sith said, raising a brow at her. "Who else would he send?"
Tifa didn't know what to say. Anyone but Vincent, she thought. What that could do to him, if things are as bad as Reeve fears…
Cait Sith seemed to know what she was thinking. "Tell me this, Tifa. If it was Cloud in that cave, would you want anyone else but you investigating first?"
Tifa shook her head. "I see where you're coming from," she said, "but I don't turn into an uncontrollable, rampaging demon when I get upset."
Cait Sith sighed. "Aye," he conceded, "but Vincent will not be going alone in this. He made a call to Cid, no doubt to arrange for transport."
That made Tifa feel only slightly better. "Who else knows about this?"
"Among our group? As far as I know, just Reeve, Cid, Vincent, me, and now you."
"We need to let the others know," Tifa said, getting to her feet and reaching for her PHS on the side table. As she did, she saw Denzel. He was still lying in bed, but he was watching her, his eyes wide open. Sighing, she looked over at Marlene, who was also wide awake, and looking worried. "Sorry, kids," she said. "We didn't mean to wake you."
Cait Sith tilted his head apologetically. "Aye. I should have tried to be quieter."
Denzel sat up. "What are we going to do if Jenova is back? What if it tries to do something bad?" He reached up, rubbing at his forehead where his Geostigma used to be.
Tifa sat next to him on the bed and put her arm around his shoulders, giving him a smile that she hoped looked more reassured than she felt. "We'll fight, of course. And we'll find a way to stop it." She flipped open her phone. "I'm going to call Cloud, okay? He'll want to know about this."
Denzel nodded, giving her a hesitant smile.
Tifa glanced at the clock. Almost one a.m., which meant that it would be almost eight a.m. in Edge. Cloud, when he slept at all, was an early riser, so she felt confident that she wouldn't be waking him.
The phone rang… and rang… and went to voicemail. She hung up and tried again. And again, voicemail.
Which would not have been unusual for Cloud before the Remnants, when he was hiding from everyone. But since then, Cloud had answered every time she called, without exception. Once he had even answered when he was in the middle of fighting off a flock of attacking levrikons on his way to the chocobo farm. It had amused her that she could hear the sounds of battle, the flapping of wings and shrieks of rage from the monsters, the clash of sword against razor talon, while Cloud talked to her as if he was taking a leisurely stroll.
"He didn't answer?" Marlene said, and the concern in her voice told Tifa that she was having similar thoughts.
She nodded, trying not to let her worry show, and turned to Cait Sith. "You said the quake was felt planet wide?"
He nodded. "Reports came in from all over. Edge, Wutai, Healin; as far north as the Icicle Inn, and as far south as Mideel."
"Then maybe he's just busy checking on the kids," Denzel suggested. "Cloud would want to make sure they're okay."
"Yes," said Tifa. "Maybe that's it." But deep down she knew it wasn't. She didn't like this, not at all. The earthquake, the possible re-emergence of Jenova… and yet Cloud not answering his phone right when all of this was happening bothered her the most. She couldn't help but remember, with painful clarity, waking up one morning and discovering that Cloud had just up and left without a word. "I'm going to try again."
"While you do that," Cait Sith said, "I'll contact the others, and then check in with Reeve for the latest news."
Tifa nodded, only half paying attention as Cait Sith said quick good-byes to her and the kids before letting himself out of the room, because Cloud's phone was ringing. And ringing…
Come on, Cloud, pick up! What's wrong? Where are you?
Cloud hung suspended in mako mist in his cylinder prison, shivering, trembling as his body worked to grow back the parts Hojo had cut away the day before. Or was it the day before that? Time had lost all meaning, and he supposed it didn't really matter. Each moment felt like an eternity.
He looked over at Zack, in the cylinder next to his. His friend seemed to be sleeping. Just as well. It's not like he could talk at the moment anyway.
He could feel his tongue growing back inside his mouth, and he did his best to ignore the sensation, because it was triggering his gag reflex something fierce. But worse than that, his fingers were slowly growing back. The pain was gone, mostly, but the itch… the itch was maddening. He did his best not to look down at his fingers because at the moment they were little more than thin, bony stubs of flesh emerging from his mangled hands.
And inside his mind, his fragments were chatting up a storm, and he just wished he could make them all shut up.
There was the piece of him that was literally black with hatred and anger. It never seemed to be quiet, constantly muttering its murderous intentions toward Hojo and his stupid flunky lab assistants.
Kill them, hate them, kill them, get out of here, escape and kill them all, make them pay, make them suffer….
And the rest, they were him too. They were all him, but they talked to each other and argued inside his head, and Cloud just couldn't understand why he was in pieces like that. It wasn't… normal.
Hah, like you understand anything about normal.
Shut up, we understand just fine, that's how we know this is not normal.
It's not normal, it's not even real, this isn't happening. It's all a nightmare, just a nightmare, we just have to wake up, just please let us wake up….
Are you still going on about that? Come to grips with reality, idiot. Nightmares don't last years.
How can you tell how long we've been here? I can barely tell the difference between one moment and the next.
I keep track.
…this isn't real, the other is right, a little bit, it was real once, but not anymore, we're just remembering, reliving a memory….
And the crazy one decides to join the conversation. Great.
…not crazy, just know what you don't because you can't, you don't remember that this is a memory…
How does that make any sense?
… we forgot this and now we remember but now we have to remember that this is memory or we won't be able to get out…
Yeah, whatever. Why don't you go over by the shadow and be nutzo together?
I… I want to go home. Wh-where's Mom?
Oh for Shiva's sake… who let the little kid out?
Nobody let me out, I came by myself!
Mom's dead, kid. Sephiroth killed her, remember?
Great, you've made the kid cry. Hope you're happy. Kid, go back to where you were. It's too scary out here for you.
Yeah, Hojo went and cut off all our fingers, and wasn't that a barrel of laughs.
Shut up, jerk.
Wh-what? No! Where are we? I want to see Mom!
Look, kid, you really don't want to know. Come on, take my hand. I'll take you back where it's safe. And don't any of you other idiots do anything stupid while I'm gone.
Good riddance. He thinks he knows everything.
He knows more than you, mister none-of-this-is-real.
How can this be real? How could this be anything other than a nightmare? People don't just grow back their tongue and fingers when they've been cut off!
With everything Hojo's done to us, I doubt we count as "people" any more…
YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN. YOU ARE MINE.
... Okay, did anyone else hear that?
I heard it.
So did I. It wasn't any of us.
Then who the hell was it?!
Just what we need – some creepy stranger crashing our little insanity party.
…it was her, she's inside us, she's part of us, she has been for a long time, and we need to remember or we won't be able to fight….
Cloud wished he could cover his ears and shut out the arguing. It was giving him a headache.
And now the boss wants us to shut up. Like we don't feel everything he does.
He knows that. We're all the same person. We're just… broken.
Welcome back, oh wise one.
That was quick. The kid going to be okay?
Who can be "okay" in this situation? He'll be as fine as possible, I guess. I think I convinced him that coming forward isn't a good idea.
I wish we could all go where the kid is. I mean, who wants to be out here and experience all this crap?
We've talked about this, and it's a bad idea, remember?
Yeah, you want to just leave the body empty with no one at the helm? Then Hojo wins. Besides, we can't just abandon Zack. He'd never do that to us.
…. it happened, it already did, we all left, all of us, but we couldn't help it, we were forced back by the mako poisoning and we couldn't escape and we were trapped for so long that when we did escape we were even more broken than before and we didn't remember who we were…
Somebody shut him up.
Finally! I'd rather listen to him ramble on than any of you.
Isn't anyone else worried about that weird voice earlier?
Hey, here's an idea, you can be worried for all of us. Now, shut up, I want to listen to Zack.
Cloud turned his head and looked at Zack. His friend offered him a weary grin, a shadow of what it used to be before they ended up as Hojo's specimens. Cloud nodded at him, and would have pointed at his mouth to indicate he couldn't talk yet, but he still didn't want to acknowledge the growths at the ends of his hands that weren't quite yet looking like fingers.
But Zack seemed to understand. "Yeah, don't worry about talking." He looked at Cloud's hands, and couldn't quite disguise his look of amazement. "That's some healing factor you've got going on, Cloud."
If Cloud's fingers had been anywhere near whole, he would have flipped Zack off.
Zack chuckled ruefully, apparently seeing Cloud's feelings about his "healing factor" in his expression. "Yeah, I know, I know. It sucks. I mean, it's great that it looks like you'll get your fingers back, but man. Too bad it has to come with the rest of our Hotel Hojo package." He shook his head. "But you should see your eyes. The mako glow is really strong right now. I didn't think mako alone could heal injuries as severe as that, but it's doing something. Providing the energy for the regeneration, maybe? I dunno, science was never really my thing, you know?" He sighed. "I wish I knew what he was doing to us."
You and me both, Cloud thought, and several of his fragments chimed in with agreement.
Zack tilted his head and frowned, as if listening to something off in the distance, and Cloud tensed. Usually when Zack did that, it meant that a few moments later, Cloud would hear hard-heeled footsteps coming down the stone corridor toward the lab, signaling the return of Hojo.
But he didn't hear any footsteps. Only a slight, faint buzzing sound.
"You hear that?" Zack asked.
I hear it too.
Me too. What is it?
…it's the future, it's the now, the present, the real present and now we have to remember and wake up…..
Can't we gag him, or something? He's really getting on my nerves.
"Sounds like… a phone," Zack said.
….it is, now wake up, wake up…
Cloud's headache spiked, sharp and throbbing, and he clenched his watering eyes shut for a moment, trying to will away the agony.
When he opened them again, he blinked away tears of pain, not sure he was seeing correctly.
Zack was standing just outside his cylinder, grinning at him. Startled, Cloud looked at the cylinder next to his… and there was Zack, floating in mako mist just like he was. Eyes widening, he looked back at the Zack standing in front of him. And just behind Zack, mostly hidden… a girl? In a pink dress…
Okay, we really have gone crazy.
The Zack in front of him just raised an eyebrow, giving him an appraising look.
"Don't you think you should answer that, Cloud?"
Answer the phone? How can we answer the phone when we're trapped in here?
Zack snorted, and shook his head. "You don't belong here, buddy. This was a long time ago. You need to wake up. And you'd better answer that soon, because Tifa's getting really worried."
…yes, wake up, please wake up….
As the Zack in front of him spoke, the cylinder, the lab… everything else melted away into indistinct gray. And he remembered…
Wait, said a fragment, hold on, you mean the crazy one is right?
And then they all remembered. And slowly, the gray shroud bled away from his vision…
… and Cloud found himself lying on his back, staring up at the ceiling of 7th Heaven's back storage room. His phone was ringing from inside his duster pocket.
But he didn't move. He lay there, trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened. He pressed his tongue against the roof of his mouth to assure himself that it was actually there, and he flexed his fingers, clenching them into fists. His finger joints ached with ghostly, remembered pain.
"What the hell," he muttered.
No kidding, a fragment replied, and the others murmured assent, and Cloud suddenly realized that this nightmare… flashback… had shaken things loose in his head but good.
Fantastic, he thought. Just great.
He sat up slowly, his head still hurting, and as he reached for the phone in his pocket, it stopped ringing. He looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Tifa… but then he already knew that. He flipped open the phone to call her back… and then hesitated.
How was he going to explain all of this to her?
He didn't have time to think about it, because his phone started to ring again. So, even though he felt far from prepared, he answered. "…Hello?"
"Cloud!" He couldn't help but wince at the almost tearful relief in Tifa's voice, and in the background, he heard Denzel and Marlene clamoring to know where he was and if he was okay. "Hush, I can't hear," Tifa said, and they quieted. "Cloud," she said again, and she sounded a bit more composed. "I'm glad you're all right. I… I was worried."
"Um…" He actually felt pretty far from all right. From the corner of his eye, he could see the photo that triggered his flashback, lying face up on the floor against the wall. Someone had sent it to him. Someone had announced intentions to get revenge, and had then done this.
I think we should find whoever did this and kill him, his dark fragment growled.
Yeah, we know what you think.
"Cloud?" Tifa asked, hesitant. "Are you okay?"
He took a deep breath and sighed. "Not really."
There was a pause. "What's wrong?" He could tell from her steady voice that she was bracing herself for the bad news.
Remember how we fell into the Lifestream, and you were in my mind, and it was all in pieces, and you talked with those pieces and helped me put myself back together again and helped me regain some of my real memories? Well… I kind of broke into pieces again, but it's not too bad because at least we all seem to know what's going on this time….
Yeah, he didn't know if he want to reveal that at the moment. At least not over the phone. That was a conversation best held in person. But he had to tell her something.
"I… had a flashback," he said. "I was stuck in an old memory from Hojo's lab. It was… bad."
The master of understatement strikes again!
Shut up, this is hard enough without you trying to be clever.
Cloud pressed a hand to his forehead, as if doing so would silence his fragments. "So, I'm glad you called," he continued. "The ringing of the phone helped to, uh, bring me out of it."
"Cloud," Tifa said, and she wasn't even bothering to hide the worry in her voice. "I've been calling you non-stop for the past twenty minutes."
"Oh." He wasn't sure what to say to that. Just how long had he been out of it?
How about, Thanks for your persistence, Tifa! If you hadn't kept calling, we probably would have starved to death lying on the floor, believing we were back in Hojo's lab.
Wow, we are so messed up.
Actually, I think we should find out why she was calling non-stop for twenty minutes. That's not her style. Even when we took off after catching the Geostigma and weren't answering anyone's calls, she didn't do that.
Good point. "Why did you keep calling?" Cloud asked. "I mean, I'm glad you did. But why?"
"The earthquake," Tifa said.
Cloud blinked in surprise. He had almost forgotten about the quake that had woken him in the early hours of the morning. "You felt it too? All the way over there?"
"It was felt all over the planet. I was calling because Cait Sith is here at Gold Saucer, and he came by to tell me that the earthquake was centered at the crystal cave, where Lucrecia Crescent sealed herself away in mako." Cloud knew exactly what that implied, and could feel his skin grow cold as Tifa took a shaky breath. "He said that Reeve suspects that it's Jenova's doing. That she's active again."
As Cloud tried to process that, his fragments went wild.
Well, now, things are starting to make sense.
Hey, who remembers the creepy voice that crashed our flashback? Recognize it now?
What creepy voice? I didn't hear anything.
You were off taking care of the kid.
Yeah, and while you were gone, our favorite psycho alien bitch made a cameo.
What?! Why didn't anyone tell me?
Why should we need to? We're all the same person, remember?
And what person would that be? The last time we were this broken, most of us were so amnesiac from the experiments and mako poisoning, we spent a whole year wandering the planet thinking we were someone else entirely!
But we know who we are now…
Yeah, but our memories are still full of holes.
Weren't you paying attention during the flashback? I, for one, am just fine with holes.
Will you all be quiet! Cloud said, and it felt weird to be yelling inside his own head. Look, we all know it sucks to be this broken again, but right now I need to stop feeling so scattered so that we can deal with the problems at hand, and all this arguing isn't helping, so shut up and help me focus!
The voices in his head fell silent. He felt a moment of gratitude that his fragments could listen to reason.
"I think this is all connected, Tifa," he said. "Almost immediately after the earthquake, I received a threatening anonymous message vowing some kind of revenge. I went to check on the kids, and when I got home, there was an envelope taped to the back door. Inside was a picture…" He almost faltered, remembering, but he steeled himself and pressed on. "It was a picture of me when from when I was Hojo's prisoner. It triggered the flashback."
"Oh, Cloud." Tifa's breath hitched. "Are you going to be all right?"
"Yes," said Cloud, hoping he sounded reassuring. "You got me out. I'm fine."
"Okay…" Tifa said, not sounding at all convinced. "But I think you're right. It can't be a coincidence that all of this happened at the same time. We're coming home."
"No," said Cloud. "I'm coming to you. If you want to leave Gold Saucer, head over to Corel and meet up with Barret. I'll meet you there."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I don't think I want to wait around here to see what other surprises this anonymous hater has in store. Whoever it is, he knows altogether too much about my past."
"Good point," Tifa said. "Okay, we'll meet you in Corel. When are you leaving?"
"As soon as I get off the phone and can pack some supplies."
"Okay. And, Cloud…"
"… Be careful. And keep in touch, okay?"
"I will," he said.
As he slipped his phone back into his duster pocket, he glanced over at the photo on the floor. Connecting to his materia, he cast a small fire spell on it, and watched with satisfaction as it curled to ash.
Tifa's not going to be happy about that burn mark on the tile….
Way to ruin the moment, moron.
"Guys," Cloud said, refusing to feel ridiculous for talking out loud to the voices in his head. "We've got work to do. So let's try to hold it together, okay?"
You're the boss, boss.
Fifteen minutes later, Cloud was packed and on his motorcycle, speeding westward out of Edge.
"I'm not sure the photo had any effect, Professor." Shane Kilgore sat in front of his computer in his office, and paused the surveillance footage from the camera he had hidden in the back alley behind 7th Heaven. He pressed his phone to his ear, frowning. "He took the envelope inside. About an hour and a half later, he came out, got on his bike and drove away. I can't even tell if he looked at the photo or not."
"Oh, he looked," the voice on the other end of the phone said, almost gleeful. "And the results were most satisfying. Most satisfying indeed."
"How do you know?" Kilgore felt slightly put-out over going through the effort of setting up surveillance if it wasn't even needed.
"She observed the entire incident, of course. From within."
"… I see."
"Save the video of the flowers. She wasn't yet at full power at that time, and was unable to observe that particular incident. I'm sure she wants to see for herself how her initial message was received."
"As you wish, sir. Will you require any more surveillance of the subject?"
"No need. Not anymore."
"Very well. Any further instructions?"
"Yes. I need you to go to the lab in Junon and prepare to welcome a new specimen – oh, do stop glaring, Reeve. You are completely lacking any intimidation capability whatsoever, especially when you're all tied up, as it were. As I was saying, Mr. Kilgore, the Junon lab needs to be made ready for our arrival."
As Kilgore put his phone away, he paused for a moment. Reeve? Not Reeve Tuesti, the head of WRO? Hah, if that was so, what a coup that would be.
There was one thing Kilgore knew for certain – working for Hojo might be dangerous, but it was never, ever boring.
A/N: Posted without proofreading, will do later when I'm not so tired I'm seeing cross-eyed. In the meantime, please forgive errors. Feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Next: Vincent and Cid and Jenova, oh my!