Modehiem Outskirts - Part Four
Cloud was relentless in his attacks. Genesis was able to counter all his blows but was growing tried and could not get a strike in against the blond. Genesis knew he was not strong enough to defeat Cloud by himself.
It was a pity that Hojo’s mind control experiment did not work on him, Genesis thought. Having this powerful specimen under his control would have made him invincible. Genesis was hoping he would not have to stoop to this level but he was growing tired and had no other choice.
After a series of strikes Cloud jumped back with his sword raised waiting to see if his opponent had enough.
Genesis took this opportunity to reach into his pocket and pull out the switch Miles gave him. He pressed the button holding it down. Instantly Cloud dropped his sword and fell to his knees holding his head in anguish.
Cloud have never felt a pain like this despite being impaled by a sword on more than one occasion. It felt as if something was ripping apart his brain and trying to escape his skull. Cloud could not take it anymore and for the first time in a long time he screamed in agony.
There was no doubt in Tifa’s mind who that scream belonged to. Cloud was in trouble and she had to go help him. Instantly a wave of adrenalin rushed through her body giving her the energy and power she needed to escape her enclosure.
Miles looked up from his work to see Tifa move inside the mako chamber but before he could react the glass pod exploded causing shards of glass and mako to fly across the room. Miles shielded himself from the flying glass and before he even had a chance to look up Tifa rushed him grabbing him by the neck. She pushed him up against another pod pinning him so hard the glass cracked a little behind him. Miles gasped for air as Tifa tightened her grip on his neck.
As she choked Miles a sharp pain was starting to run from her head down through her body which she assumed was a reaction to the mako and adrenalin. Tifa used every ounce of strength to fight the pain and concentrated on hurting Miles.
“St…stop…he’s killing him...Ki…kill Genesis before…too late.” Miles barely managed to say as Tifa was crushing his throat.
She could still hear Cloud’s screams in the background. Instantly Tifa released Miles by throwing him across the room like a ragdoll and raced towards the sound of Cloud’s screams.
As she drew closer to the exit she could see Genesis standing over Cloud who was kneeling on the ground holding his head in pain. She was moving so fast Genesis didn’t even hear her approach him. She rushed towards Genesis kicking him in the back sending him flying in the air over Cloud and rolling on the ground across the hallway but he caught himself landing on his feet.
The trigger he was holding dropped to the ground next to Tifa and Cloud. Seeing it Tifa walked over and crushed it with her foot. Cloud took a few seconds to compose himself before struggling to stand up.
Tifa walked over to help him and looked back towards Genesis to finish him off but he was nowhere to be seen. Part of her wanted to go track down Genesis but she ignored the nagging thought focusing on Cloud.
“Are you ok?” Tifa asked Cloud helping him up.
It has been a few days since they last seen each other and as soon as she touched him her feelings of anger instantly diminished.
“I’m fine,” Cloud replied hugging Tifa tight. “How are you? What did he do to you?”
Tifa held him for a bit before answering.
“I’m fine,” she told him.
She did not want to go into the details just yet; she knew it would upset him. Cloud put his hands on her arms trying to look her in the face to see if she was really okay. She was looking down at first but finally raised her head slowly so they were face to face. She looked into Cloud’s eyes and she could see his expression change when he noticed the mako glow in her eyes. He didn’t say anything but she knew this upset him.
“Where is he?” Cloud asked her tightening his grip on her arms.
Words could not describe how angry he was with the scientist. Tifa was not surprised at Cloud’s reaction but she had never seen him look this angry at her.
“In the room with Shelke,” she informed him.
Tifa and Cloud walk back into the room and over to the table Shelke was laying on. She was unconscious but breathing.
Tifa looked over in the direction she threw Miles but he was nowhere to be found. She looked around to see if there were any clues to Mile’s whereabouts but most of his equipment was still there.
Realizing Miles had fled the scene Cloud walked over to Shelke and picked her up in his arms.
“Let’s go,” Cloud said softly to Tifa and turned to exit the room.
The three wandered the corridor maze on guard for a surprise attack from enemies. As they turned a corner both Tifa and Cloud could hear the distant sound of footsteps causing them to stop in their tracks.
Cloud gently placed the girl down on the ground propped up against the wall. He proceeded to reach for his sword while Tifa prepared herself for battle. As the footsteps drew closer they realized there were multiple people approaching. Cloud raised his sword ready to attack when suddenly some familiar faces turned the corner towards him.
“Cloud! Tifa!” Yuffie yelled and ran over to them while the rest of the group were happy to see they were alright. Yuffie stopped in her tracks as soon as she noticed Shelke propped up on the floor next to them still unconscious.
“Is she ok?” she asked kneeling down so she was face to face with her friend. “What did he do to you?” she asked her unconscious friend softly brushing some of her hair away from her face.
“She’s alive but we need to get her to a doctor,” Tifa told Yuffie seriously.
“Anyone know the way out of here?” Cloud asked the group. He gently picked up Shelke and the group proceeded to show Cloud and Tifa the way out.
As they all walked towards the exit everyone was quiet for the first few minutes until Yuffie broke the silence.
“So what happened to Miles and Genesis?” she asked.
“They fled once Tifa escaped,” Cloud answered.
“Why do I have the feeling that’s not the last we’ll be seeing of them,” Elena commented.
“You’re right,” Tifa said to Elena somberly. “Miles has the huge materia and he plans on using it.”
Tifa felt bad for not sounding more concerned but after what she went through over the last few days she felt emotionally drained. It had actually slipped her mind up until now. At this point she was so mentally exhausted everything around her felt dazed.
“Do you know what his plans are Tifa?” Reeve asked concerned.
“All I know is that during the attacks on the cities he had the copies plant explosives in three locations and he needs to enter some codes to detonate them at once.” Tifa continued to look straight ahead walking as she answered Reeve. She was trying really hard to try to remember everything that she overheard Miles say. “The fourth target he plans to detonate personally.” She heard him rant to Genesis non-stop about his plans for the huge materia.
As they continue walking with Tsang in the lead Reeve took a few minutes to ponder Tifa’s information. He knew Miles was working on a project to generate energy using materia and he wondered if this was his real plan.
Over the past few months Reeve had kept Miles busy with the Corel project and while planning the reactor demolition mission Miles rarely left the WRO headquarters with the exception of a half-day leave he took a few days before the mission. But he himself had been so busy planning the satellite launch it would have been easy for Miles to slip away for a few hours now and again.
Then it hit Reeve like a bag of bricks; everything Tifa told him suddenly made since. The two WRO members that were found dead, Miles’ project, the codes, and the clone attacks were all connected and Reeve was sure he knew how. One of the two people that were found dead in Edge was a programmer who worked on the satellite project and the other was an engineer who worked on the same project but was also assisting Miles with the designs for his materia project. Reeve was sure these two were assassinated because they either assisted or knew about Miles’ plan and had to be eliminated.
“I think Miles might be using the satellite to detonate the explosives,” he informed the group.
“What?” Cid asked upset over the thought of someone using his baby for something evil. “Shera and I oversaw that whole project. There is no f&*^in’ way someone tampered with it behind our backs.”
“No,” Reeve corrected the pilot. “I think he obtained the codes to reprogram the satellite after its launch. Which means he needs to send someone to enter the codes in the control room in Junon since they failed to do that during the last attack.”
Although the copies managed to infiltrate the Junon headquarters during the last attack they were unable to reach the satellite control room on the 4th floor before they were driven away.
Reeve took out his cell phone to call ahead and notify the WRO.
“But why go through all that trouble?” Barret, who had been relatively quiet so far, finally spoke up after Reeve was finished on the phone. “Why don’t he just use a timer or detonator to trigger em’?”
“He was a Shinra scientist,” Reno piped up. “They’re all crazy. It’s probably just his way at getting back at the WRO.”
“Does anyone have any idea who or what he is targeting?” Yuffie asked the group.
That was a good question everyone was thinking but nobody had an answer to. Reno figured if he wanted to know the plans of a crazy scientist he needed to think like a crazy person.
“How fitting would it be if he used the WRO satellite to destroy the WRO headquarters,” he thought out loud.
Then the realization hit everyone. Reno was right.
“Reno, you’re a genius,” Reeve told the redhead.
There were three WRO headquarters in three separate cities on the planet. This would explain why the three headquarters were the primary focus of the attacks and why he planned to hit three locations.
After all that walking they finally reached the exit and proceeded to trench through the snow. The group used two helicopters to reach the facility since Cid’s ship was too big to land close enough but with one helicopter damaged they only had one functional helicopter remaining. Luckily Cid made sure his airship and crew stayed nearby so they could be called for a pickup once they reached higher ground.
“What about the fourth location?” Cid asked.
Tifa was trying her best to remember her time captive to see if there was a piece of information she missed that could help. Then she remembered Miles said something to Genesis when he asked about the huge materia.
“Miles saying something about having to travel near Kalm and having an old score to settle,” she informed the group impassively. She was looking straight ahead as she talked not making eye contact with anyone as if she had a lot on her mind.
The more Tifa talked the more the people around her realized she was not sounding like her usual self. She seemed detached and distant. Anyone who knew Tifa well enough knew she was not being the same cheerful self but after what she went through they did not blame her for acting different.
“The only thing in that area besides Kalm is the chocobo farm and…” Elena paused. She looked towards Tseng who came to the same realization when a look of concern grew on his face.
“Boss!” Reno and Rude said simultaneously coming to the same conclusion as their fellow Turks.
Reno reached into his pocket for his phone to call Rufus to warn him but there was no answer. At this point the Turks only had one thing on their mind and that was to go help their commander and chief.
They started to race towards the helicopter while the others continued on towards the pick-up location while Cid called ahead to inform his crew of their approach.
The Turks promised to keep them up to date and notify them as soon as they had more information.
As soon as they boarded the airship the crew had it prepped and ready to go. Cloud handed Shelke to Barret who took her down to the lounge with Yuffie. Cid, Reeve, Cloud and Tifa proceeded to the bridge to decide on their next course of action.
“So Junon?” Cid asked as he stood at the controls.
Reeve nodded yes.
They figured the best plan was to try to stop them from accessing the satellite in order to prevent all three bombs from detonating. Reeve called all three headquarters to start evacuating and told security to search for anything that looked out of the ordinary. Luckily many of the staff had not returned after the attacks since most were assisting with the injured or with their families. He told security to notify him if they found anything suspicious.
Everyone was silent the first few minutes after take-off. Tifa and Cloud were standing close to each other near the back of the control deck while Reeve stood near Cid who was piloting the aircraft.
Cloud and Tifa knew they had a lot to talk about but they wanted to wait until they were alone. Cloud figured they would have lots of time to discuss the events after he dealt with Miles and Genesis. He was still consumed with anger and wanted to hold on to that anger until he saw Miles again. Talking with Tifa would just calm him down; she always had that effect on him. Tifa was so consumed with her own thoughts she did not register the awkward silence in the room.
Shortly after Barret joined the others on the bridge breaking the silence.
“I just got a text from Vincent,” Barret informed his friends. “Weiss and two others escaped in an airship and he is followin’ em’.”
“It must be Miles and Geneisis,” Reeve commented. The airship they escaped in must have been the airship that went missing two weeks ago. He had a suspicion that it was an inside job and he was right; it was Miles all along. Then Reeve looked at Barret. “Call him back and tell him to update us as soon as he has more information.”
Barret proceeded to call Vincent. It was good that they had someone following them.
“Now we got some eyes in the sky. They won’t be able to make a move without Vincent knowin’ about it.” Cid said without taking his eyes off the window.
There was complete silence amongst the group as they made their way back to Junon.