When Reeve woke up he was lying face down on a cold floor. The room was dimly lit but the faint light still irritated his eyes. He tried to ignore the pain lifting his head off the floor looking around. He was in a make shift prison cell in what looked like a big office with a desk and computer in the middle of the room. The only source of light was a small lamp located on the desk. He was in a small cell in the corner of the room surrounded by metal bars. Realizing he was alone in the room he sat up against the wall checking out his surroundings.
As Reeve surveyed the room he couldn’t see anything that could provide him clues as to where he was. Even in the dim light he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary. As he sat in the cell he couldn’t help but get the feeling like he was being watched. That’s when he noticed the shadow of something or someone under the desk looking at him from behind the desk chair.
“Hello?” Reeve said wondering if the small shadow was human.
It didn’t move or respond to his voice and stayed motionless staring at him. Reeve was sure it was alive because he could see the slight shine of its eyes. Maybe it was a pet dog or something Reeve thought to himself.
Reeve leaned forward and crawled over to the cell bars sticking his hand out trying to get its attention. As soon as Reeve stuck his arm out the shadow took off from the opening through the back of the desk and quickly ran across the room. It proceeded to open a small door in the wall, like a laundry shoot or a dumbwaiter, and disappeared inside shutting the door behind it.
A few second later someone walked into the room turning on the lights as they entered. Reeve stood up quickly as soon as he noticed that it was Miles who entered.
“You,” Reeve said gabbing the cell bars furious at the sight of the scientist.
“Long time no see,” Miles told Reeve with a smile as he shut the door behind him and walked over to his desk.
“What have you done with Tifa?” Reeve demanded. He reached into his pocket for his phone but it was gone. If he could only let the others know he found Miles.
“Looking for this?” Miles said holding up a piece of Reeve’s broken phone on the desk. He must have broken it to ensure Reeve could not be tracked.
“And don’t worry,” Miles said throwing Reeve’s phone back on his desk, “she is perfectly safe.”
“Where are you holding her?” Reeve asked infuriated.
“Holding her? I would never do such a thing,” Miles said sounding insulted. “She is free to go wherever she wants. See for yourself.” Miles walked over to the door and opened it. “Tifa,” he yelled out the door. “Can you come here please?”
Miles walked back over to the desk and sat on the corner of the table looking at Reeve with his arms folded and a big grin on his face.
Less than a minute later Reeve was surprised to see Tifa walk into the room holding sandwiches and two bottles of water. She walked over next to Miles and laid a bottle of water and a sandwich down on the desk.
“I brought you some lunch,” Tifa said as she placed the food down.
Seeing Tifa alive and well Reeve was speechless.
“Thank you, that’s very kind of you,” Miles said to Tifa in a sweet voice.
Tifa smiled at Miles and looked over at Reeve holding the extra sandwich and water.
“Are you hungry?” She asked Reeve. She was looking at him like he was a stranger.
“Tifa are you okay? We’ve been so worried about you!” Reeve said as he grasped the cell bars tight.
He was eager find out what happened to her. He wanted nothing more than to go over and hug her right now. For the last few months he was starting to think she was dead.
She responded with a questioning look like she was trying to figure out who he was.
“I’m sorry I don’t–“ She started to say but was cut off by Miles.
“Unfortunately Reeve, Tifa does not remember you or anyone else. After the Mt. Nibel incident she was injured and has amnesia. She didn’t even know her name until we told her.” Miles put his hand on Tifa’s lower back caressing it trying to comfort her.
“Tifa, this is Reeve,“ Miles said motioning to man trapped in the cell. “Remember I told you about him? He was the Shinra executive who founded the World Regenesis Organization.”
Tifa looked at Reeve with a frown.
“I remember,” she said.
“Tifa honey, would you please excuse us while I talk to Reeve?” Miles asked the female who laid the food down on the desk and exited the room.
“What did you tell her?!” Reeve asked more furious at the scientist. If he was telling the truth and she really did have amnesia Miles must be manipulating her with lies.
“I only told her the truth.” Miles explained. “The poor girl has some memories but mostly about her childhood and Shinra destroying her hometown. So we explained to her that we were her allies fighting Shinra before it fell. Now our new enemy is the WRO who was founded by a Shinra executive and funded by the ex-president Shinra.” Miles laughed. “We also explained that we were in the process of destroying her hometown reactor when you and your friends showed up to stop us and she was injured in the process.”
“Those are all lies and half-truths,” Reeve said angry at his deception. Although some of it was true Reeve was upset at how Tifa was manipulated into thinking her friends were her enemies.
“To you maybe,” Miles shrugged. “To Tifa we are the only family she has and she’s happy here. We told her our plan and she is willing to help us.”
“What’s your plan?” Reeve asked concerned.
“You’ll see,” Miles said then he stopped to think. “Actually you won’t see because you will not be leaving this basement alive. The only reason you are still breathing is because you have some value to us at the moment.” Then he took the extra sandwich and water Tifa left on the table and threw it between the cell bars at Reeve. “You are lucky she is such a nice person. Enjoy your meal.”
With that Miles took his sandwich and water and exited the room.
Tifa walked up into the crowded kitchen. Genesis and Weiss were sitting at the kitchen table while Katerina and Alex were standing in front of the table leaning on the counter behind them. They were in the middle of a conversation when she walked over to the open counter space next to Alex and continued making lunch.
“So what the hell happened after we were stuck in those pods?” Alex asked the winged man. “Last thing I remembered we volunteered for some Deepground experiment or something. Then four years later you’re waking us up and the worlds gone to shit.”
Genesis took a sip of his tea before answering.
“Well long story short, after you were anaesthetized Sephiroth and Jenova tried to destroy the world by summing a meteor. He was unsuccessful but Shinra and Midgar was destroyed in the process. You three were trapped in the sector 3 slums rubble. Then Weiss here tried to overthrow the Restrictors and got a little carried away.” Genesis looked over at Weiss who rolled his eyes in response. “He tried to summon Omega and was possessed by Hojo. He too was defeated and I woke up from my slumber. While searching the Midgar ruins I stumbled across you three. It was a miracle you survived.”
“Oh,” Alex said then paused taking in all that information. “Well thanks for saving us. I know that’s the last time I volunteer for an experiment.”
Genesis did not acknowledged the thanks and continued drinking his tea. He did not need to be thanked for what he did. Almost everyone in that room was alive thanks to each other’s help. Weiss and Nero saved him after he was defeated by Zack and he saved Weiss in return. After Omega was destroyed and he discovered Weiss’ body he was lucky he found Miles.
Not knowing how much the world changed during his slumber Genesis took Weiss to Mideel to find a back country doctor only to discover the town in ruins. Miles was living nearby and happened to stumble upon them. That’s when they both realized they had similar goals so they formed a plan.
Shortly after Miles joined the WRO and Genesis spent months combing through the Midgar ruins looking for information relating to Deepground by checking the many properties owned by the secret organization. Unfortunately the Turks were also searching the ruins so it was a race for Genesis to get everything he was looking for without being discovered. Luckily he knew where to look and he stumbled upon his old colleagues before the Turks did.
“So what’s up with this World Regenesis Organization? Are they running things now or something?” Alex asked. He heard about them when he was in the detention center and it sounded like they replaced Shinra as the new world leader.
Genesis nodded yes. In his mind there was little difference between the WRO and Shinra. Shinra was an electrical power company that overtime grew so powerful it became the government of Midgar. Overtime it grew into an army that started wars with any city that didn’t agree with them. The WRO on the other hand is an army that was trying to act like a world leader. Genesis knew absolute power corrupts absolutely so it would just be a matter of time before the WRO became as twisted as Shinra and he had to stop them before that happened.
Years ago when Genesis showed signs of degradation and Hollander’s promises of a cure failed him in an act of desperation he started to recreate his favorite book LOVELESS. In his attempt to reenact the book he view himself as the hero and Zack as the prisoner and he thought by fighting Zack he would obtain the gift of the Goddess and be cured. It was not until he was defeated by Zack the he realized that he was not the hero from the book but the prisoner. Once he accepted this truth he received the gift of the Goddess. After he was cured of degradation by the Goddess materia he had a revelation and realized he was chosen by the Goddess. He was proud to be a SOLDIER but at the same time himself and his friends, Angeal and Sephiroth, were used and lied to by Shinra. He promised to take up their legacy and protect the Planet himself so history would never repeat itself. He was not going to fail his mission.
“We are going to ride the planet of the World Regenesis Organization so future generations won’t have to suffer the same fate as us,” Genesis explained to his Deepground allies.
Genesis knew not everyone in his group felt the same way as him. Miles and Weiss cared little about saving the world. Miles only liked the plan because it involved ruining the people who ruined his life. Weiss did not object to the plan but was only going along with it because it involved the resurgence of Deepground and destroying the WRO who defeated him almost two years ago.
Genesis was glad to have his old comrades in the house. Up until now the only person he could have a philosophical and intelligent conversation with was Tifa. Miles was also busy ‘planning’ and Weiss was not much in the way of a conversationalist.
Genesis could tell Weiss viewed him as weak for wanting the help the ‘humans’ but he didn’t care. He knew he was more powerful than Weiss and over the past few months he was trying to get through to his brother in showing him the errors of wanting too much chaos. The psychopath was beginning to realize that his plan to destroy the world was a little much. Too bad Sephiroth was not able to realize this before it was too late; he was a good friend.
“Even if the morrow is barren of promises. Nothing shall forestall my return. To become the dew that quenches the land. To spare the sands, the seas, the skies. I offer thee this silent sacrifice.” Genesis quoted out loud before taking another sip of his tea.
Alex looked at him blankly then smiled. “Good to see you haven’t changed much,” he said to his friend.
Tifa had been silently listening to the conversation making food. She put a sandwich on a plate and cut it into small pieces.
“I have a few extras if anyone wants them,” Tifa said referring to the two sandwiches still on the cutting board.
Genesis and Weiss declined but Alex and Katerina gladly accepted the sandwiches thanking her. The two ate in silence until they could hear the loud footsteps of James walking into the kitchen. The brawny man looked like he just woke up with his blond hair messy and still looking sleepy.
“I haven’t slept in a bed that soft in years,” he said to everyone stretching. Then he noticed his two friends eating the sandwiches. “Where did you get those?” he asked looking hungry.
“Tifa made them for us,” Alex explained with his mouth full. “They’re really good.”
As Alex said that Tifa had her back to James reaching into the refrigerator looking for something. James smiled at Tifa admiring the view of her ass as she was bending over. Tifa was the only one not noticing James checking her out.
Katerina rolled her eyes and frowned at the sight of James being a pig.
Still not paying attention to him Tifa took some juice out of the fridge and onto the counter next to it with her back still turned to him. With an evil grin on his face James walked over behind her.
“Hey sweet cheeks, can you make me one of those?” He asked reaching his hand out.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Genesis warned but before he could finish his sentence James had already grabbed Tifa’s ass.
As soon as James’ hand made contact with Tifa she reached behind and gabbed his wrist turning around. She then twisted it forcing him down onto his knees. She continued to forcefully twist his arm behind him in an arm lock while he yelled in pain. Everyone around him could hear a pop sound like his shoulder was coming out of its socket. Tifa was frowning as she twisted his arm further causing him to yelp again.
“She doesn’t like it when you do that,” Weiss informed the big man leaning back in his chair smiling. He had made the mistake of making a comment to her once which had negative results for him.
“I like her,” Katerina commented watching the scene with a big smile on her face.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” James yelled wanting the pain to stop but at the same time embarrassed for giving in to a woman. He had never let anyone get the best of him like this. He was a big strong man and he could not believe this girl’s strength.
Hearing the commotion a small hooded figure walked into the kitchen from the same entrance James emerged from. The figure was around three feet tall wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie with the hood up covering its head.
Noticing the person Tifa smiled instantly as she released James’ arm helping him back up onto his feet. James rubbed his shoulder sulkily while Tifa walked over picking the person up in her arms. She pulled back their hood revealing a young girl with long brown hair and bright blue mako eyes. The girl smiled at Tifa hugging her.
Seeing the child Katerina smiled at the girl and walked over to them.
“What a beautiful girl. What is her name?” Katerina asked.
“Chloe,” Tifa replied brushing the girl’s hair out of her face.
“How old is she?” Katerina asked.
“Almost five months,” Tifa explained.
Katerina gave her a questionable look.
“You mean five years?”
“No, months,” Tifa corrected her not surprised at the confusion.
“We think it’s due to the mako exposure,” Miles explained. Everyone was busy looking at Tifa and the child no one noticed Miles standing by the basement entrance on the other side of the kitchen. “Tifa needed to undergo mako treatments to survive her pregnancy and we believe the direct exposure to mako in the womb caused the rapid growth.”
Through his research he predicted that mako can affect the development of children who are exposed. Most SOLDIER’s born through Shinra experiments, like the Jenova projects, are not exposed to Mako until their late teens. Shelke was exposed as a child and stopped aging; an adult stuck in the body of a child. He could only assume that because Chloe was exposed in the womb it had a different effect on her causing her to grow rapidly.
“So you’re one of us,” Katerina said softly to the child bending over so they were face to face. The girl smiled at the woman and reached her hand out touching Katerina’s face gently.
“She can’t talk yet,” Tifa informed Katerina. “Miles thinks her growth will return to normal as she gets older.”
Tifa walked across the kitchen and put the child in a seat at the table. She then brought Chloe over the cut up sandwich and juice. Miles walked over to the child putting his hand on her head and messed up the girl’s hair jokingly. The girl looked up at the scientist and smiled before she started eating.
Miles walked over to the counter placing down half of the sandwich he didn’t finish.
“Are you going to eat that?” James asked eyeing at the sandwich hungrily.
“No,” Miles replied as James immediately grabbed it scarfing it down.
“Now that we’re all here we should go over the plans for tomorrow,” Miles explained to the group and they all proceeded to listen carefully as he continued talking.
Cloud was exhausted, shattered and disheartened but he was not going to give up searching. After leaving his friends in Junon he went looking for Tifa on his own. That was over six months ago and he had not found one single clue. He went looking in every town he could think of and talked to as many people as possible with no luck.
Tifa was his everything and looking for her was the only thing he had left. His friends would call from time to time leaving voice messages. He won’t return their calls but he would check them to make sure the messages were not about Tifa which they never were.
He was searching near Gongaga when he received a message from Cid telling him that he wanted to meet up and he had some important information. He immediately packed up his bike and rushed across the continent towards Rocket Town.
Although Rocket Town had not developed as much as some of the other towns like Corel it was still growing and thriving. Seeing the Shera parked in a field outside town Cloud knew he could find Cid tinkering in his workshop.
Over the years Cid had managed to build a big workshop near his house which he used to work on various projects in his free time. When Cloud entered the shop he found Cid working on what looked like a jet engine. Cid looked up when he noticed someone enter.
“Hey,” Cid told Cloud with a big smile happy to see his friend.
“You said you had some information,” Cloud asked Cid. He wanted to continue searching as soon as possible and didn’t have time for small talk.
Cid paused for a second and gave him a guilty look not sure what to say.
“It was Shera’s idea,” he said sounding a little nervous. “She suggested I call you. We thought you could use a good meal and a bed to sleep in. I’m on vacation this week so first thing tomorrow we can use the ship and I can help you search for a few days.”
Cid felt bad for lying but they were all worried about him. The last time Cloud was acting like this he had Geo-Stigma but that time he also had Tifa there to knock some sense back into him. Without Tifa they all knew Cloud was never going be the same but they had to try to be there for him.
“Not interested,” Cloud said abruptly to his friend then turned to leave.
He was angry at Cid for wasting his time. He knew his friends had given up hope. He did not need Cid’s pity. Cid would never say it but Cloud knew he didn’t think they were going to find her; he was only offering to help him search in exchange for taking a break. He couldn’t help but think if Cid would stop searching if it was Shera who went missing. Immediately Cloud felt a little guilty for thinking like that. He knew his friends were just looking out for him but he was still not going to accept Cid’s offer.
“Sorry,” Cloud said to Cid before shutting the door behind him.
Cloud left the town and boarded his bike frustrated. It was going to take him half a day of straight driving to get back to the Gongaga area. He drove without stopping and was a few miles outside Cosmo Canyon when he decided to set up camp for the night.
It was nightfall when he started a fire and reached into his bag for some canned food. He had just finished heating his dinner when he heard a noise. He looked around but the light from the fire made it impossible to make out anything in the surrounding darkness. He slowly laid down his food and reached for his sword lying next to him. Holding the sword handle he waited to see if he heard the noise again.
A few seconds later he heard what sounded like someone or something approaching. He stood and raised his sword when he noticed the shine of eyes reflecting off the light from the fire. They were close to the ground so he knew they were not human. Assuming they belonged to a monster Cloud prepared himself for an attack.
“Cloud, it’s me,” he hear a familiar voice say.
Instantly Cloud recognized the voice as Nanakin. He lowered his sword as the cat like creature approached his camp.
“My apologies for startling you,” Nanakin said as he step into the light and sat by the fire.
“That’s okay,” Cloud said sitting back down and picking up the plate next to him. “Hungry?” he asked motioning to the pot of food sitting next to the fire.
“No, thank you,” Red replied shaking his head. “I have been trying to track you down for three days now,” he informed his friend.
“What for?” Cloud asked after taking a bite of his food. He hoped this was not another attempt to get him take a break.
“I just came from Mideel,” Red informed Cloud.
“There is nothing in Mideel, I checked.” Cloud informed his friend flatly.
A few years ago the small village was destroyed by the lifestream after the Ultimate Weapon attack. The inhabitants waited for the mako to recede back into the ground but after months of waiting it never receded so they abandoned the town.
“I know. Four days ago I was deep in the jungle near the town’s ruins when I located a concealed WRO airship and a house. I watched the house all day and did not see anyone emerge but I think you should check it out.” Nanakin explained.
The problem with not having hands was Nanakin could not enter the property without making himself known. He walked around the house and tried to look in the windows but all the downstairs blinds were drawn. He could tell people were living there and there was a familiar sent to the place. Due to only having paws he was also unable to use a cell phone to call Cloud so he had to try to track his friend down by foot. At first he thought it would be easier to locate one of their other friends to call Cloud but he could not find anyone in Edge and the 7th Heaven was abandoned. He was unable to locate Reeve in Junon and he did not know the whereabouts of Barret, Vincent or Yuffie.
Cloud thought it was a long shot but this was the closest thing he had to a clue since Tifa went missing. Seeing as how it was so late he planned to leave at sunrise first thing in the morning. Mideel was a long ways away and it would take a few days for him to reach it. He wished he had Cid’s airship right now.
“How did you manage to find me?” Cloud asked his friend. He never told anyone where he was going and the only person he talked to in the last few months was Cid earlier today.
“Well I searched everywhere and the only person I could find was Cid in Rocket Town. I guess I just missed you because he told me you visited him earlier today. I told him to call you but he said you probably wouldn’t return his call. That’s when we went looking for you and noticed the fire.”
“Cid’s here?” Cloud asked.
“He’s waiting for us just over that hill.” Nanakin said motioning behind him.
Now Cloud felt like a fool. Not only was he mean to his friend if he had of stayed in Rocket Town like Cid wanted Nanakin would have found him sooner and they would be in Mideel by now.
Cloud proceeded to pack up his belongings and put out the fire. When the fire was extinguished he took his bike and followed his friend towards the airship.
It was late night and everyone was sleeping except Miles, Weiss and Genesis. Miles was in the shed behind the house calibrating his machine when Weiss entered to give him an update. The scientist was so focused on his machine he failed to notice that the spiky haired man had blood all over his clothes and hands.
“It took a lot of persuasion but I was able to obtain most of the information you wanted,” Weiss informed the scientist with a smile. He was happy to volunteer his services for the prisoner’s interrogation as it gave him a chance to release some built up stress. Being cooped up in the house for the last few months was starting to drive him crazy.
Miles stopped what he was doing and look up at Weiss who sounded too happy. It always worried him when he sounded like that.
“You didn’t use the solution I provided you?” Miles asked frowning.
“I wanted to try it the old fashion way first,” Weiss shrugged,” but he was stubborn. Don’t worry I used your method once his screams became too loud. I don’t think anyone upstairs heard.” Weiss explained. He knew he would be in a lot of trouble if he woke up the child.
“Did you get all the security details and passwords?” Miles asked
Weiss nodded yes. “I tried to ask him about the location of the weapon but he wouldn’t answer then when I tried to persuade him further he passed out.”
“No matter,” Miles said turning back to his machine. “All that information we need we’ll obtain from the files. Once we have secured both buildings we will have all of their information at out fingertips and we’ll be unstoppable.”
Weiss smiled evilly. After spending the last few months with the scientist Weiss was starting to like the way he thinks.
Then Genesis, who had just returned from a stroll outside, noticed the shed lights on and joined them to discuss some concerns he had with tomorrow’s plan.
“I don’t think using her is a good idea,” Genesis warned standing behind Miles by the front entrance with his arms crossed.
Miles was now kneeling on the ground tightening a bolt with a socket wrench. The shed was a large workshop with a workbench full of tools and the machine Miles was working on took up most of the free space. Weiss was to the right of Miles leaning on the workbench.
“Who else are we going to use?” Weiss asked his brother. “We have three fugitives, Miles and I are on wanted posters throughout the city and you have a giant wing coming out of your back. She’s the only one who can walk into the city and the building without drawing any attention.”
“Can’t we just use one of the renegades?” Genesis suggested trying to come up with an alternative solution. It’s not that he didn’t trust Tifa, he just thought using her was too risky.
Miles had the same worries but he considered all the risks before formulating this plan. Using Tifa was a big risk but he tried to mitigate it as much as possible. He stopped what he was doing and stood up to face the winged man.
“First off, we can’t trust the renegades with this sensitive information. Secondly, I do plan to use them as backup should the need arise. Finally, all our intel indicates that none of them are in Edge right now so this is the perfect time for her to strike.” Miles then took the wrench he was holding and walked over to his workbench laying it down before turning back towards Genesis. “Nevertheless, it will be your responsibility to watch out for her. If one of them does happen to show up you need to get her out of there immediately and we’ll switch to plan B. That’s why we have a plan B.”
Miles was the type of person to calculate every step and have multiple back up plans if he felt it was necessary. He felt good about the plan overall but knew there was always a chance something could go wrong. He was a clever man but not everything always went according to plan for him. Some things just can’t be predicted and sometimes there was human error on his part.
The situation with Tifa’s memory loss was a perfect example. Miles knew for certain that the chip activated the poison but what he didn’t know is why it didn’t kill her. He hypothesized that when it was activated the chemicals failed to spread throughout her body and was confined to the part of her brain only affecting her memory. But even if this premises was correct, Miles still do not know why the poison didn’t kill her as soon as it was released. He assumed it was due to her superior strength and rapid healing abilities which caused her body to overcome the toxins. Still, he was gratefully for this mistake. When he implanted the chip he only did so as a way to control her since that’s what the Restrictors used to control Weiss and Miles thought he could do the same with Tifa.
Miles walked back over to the machine and activated it. The lights in the shop dimmed before the machine rumbled causing the ground around the shed to shake a little. The rumble intensified as steam started to shoot out the top of the device. A few seconds later the machine stopped and a blue orb rolled out the side.
Miles smiled at the sight of the materia. He walked over and picked it up inspecting it. He had been working on this little project for many years now and was delighted to finally see the fruits of his labor.