Friday - Part One
As soon as Yuffie heard about the prison escape on the news Thursday morning she tried to call Reeve but there was no answer. She assumed he was busy dealing with incident but after a day of not hearing from him she knew something was wrong. Going this long without returning her calls was unlike him and she was starting to get a bad feeling. The next morning she rushed to the headquarters and went directly to his office but the door was locked.
She unclipped her ID card and slid it through the door crack trying to find the latch. She heard a click and the door opened. She was hoping there was something in his office that could give her some clues as to his whereabouts. His office looked as pristine as usual and nothing appeared out of the ordinary. She tried thinking about what to do next.
That’s when Yuffie noticed the security monitor behind Reeve’s desk. The security cameras would be able to tell her the last time he was in the building. She walked across the room and rolled his chair over to the monitor typing on the keyboard. She was surprised to discover that all the cameras were deactivated. She proceeded to rewind to Wednesday night when she was talking with Reeve in his office. Luckily the cameras were working at that time and she could see herself leaving. On the top right screen showed the security camera located outside the main security office. Thirteen minutes after she exited the building she witnessed a peacekeeper walk into the security room and all the screens went black.
Instantly she knew something happened to Reeve and a really bad feeling grew in the pit of her stomach.
It was early morning when Tifa, Genesis, Weiss, James, Alex and Katerina exited the house towards the shuttle leaving Miles and Chloe alone at the kitchen table.
“So what are we going to do today?” He asked the young girl who looked at him with a questionable look.
Miles picked up her plate and cup putting it in the sink then he turned back towards her.
“Want to come see daddy’s workshop?” He asked her as she looked at him with a big smile.
The young girl suddenly became excited and raised her arms signaling for him to pick her up. He then proceeded to pick the young girl up and carried her to the shed behind the house.
It was morning when the Shera touched down near Mideel. Cloud, Nanakin and Cid exited the ship and the two men followed the feline creature into the jungle. It seemed like Nanakin knew exactly where he was going.
After about twenty minutes of walking they reached a clearing with a small two story house sitting in the middle of the opening. The three stopped and looked around before continuing towards the house.
“This place looks abandoned,” Cid said noticing that there were no people around and the outside of the house looked unkempt. All the window blinds were closed so they could not look in. “Should we knock at the front door?” he asked.
No one objected so the Captain walked up and rang the doorbell. They all waited and no one came to the door.
“Nobody’s home. Should we go in and look around?” Cid asked the others.
“That never stopped us before,” Nanakin commented. He could tell by the scent that people were here recently and that familiar scent he was almost certain was Tifa’s. His instincts were telling him this was the right place.
Cloud reached out and checked the door which was unlocked. They entered and stood by the entrance making sure nobody was home.
“Hello, anyone home?” Cid called out. Nobody responded.
They looked around. Straight ahead of them was a staircase leading upstairs. To the right was what looked like a living room and to the left was a short hallway leading towards the kitchen.
“Cid you go look upstairs while we check the rest of the house,” Cloud suggested.
Cid nodded yes and headed up the stairs. Nanakin checked the living room sniffing around while Cloud walked towards the kitchen. As he walked through the kitchen he noticed another doorway on the other side with porch area, back door and staircase leading downstairs.
Cloud walked towards the staircase and continued down. At the bottom of the stairs was a closed door. He walked down and turned the knob but it was locked. He debated if he should force the door open but this seemed like a nice family home; not the kind of place you would expect fugitives to live in. The last thing he wanted to do was break down the family’s door. He was about to go back up the stairs to check on the others when he heard a noise coming from the other side of the door. He walked closer to the door putting his ear next to it.
“Hello?” he called out. He was sure he heard the faint sound of someone calling out from inside the room.
Cloud was not going to take any chances so he proceeded to kick the door open. When he entered he was surprised to see Reeve sitting in a cell on the other side of the room. He was propped up against the wall barely able to keep himself up. Reeve’s face was bloody and bruised and his shirt had blood all over it. Reeve looked up with a faint smile when he noticed Cloud.
Cloud rushed over and broke the cell door lock with his sword. He opened the door and went into the cell helping his injured friend up.
“What happened?” Cloud asked the commissioner as he put his arm around his shoulder for support.
“Miles and the others,” Reeve struggled to say. He was severely dehydrated and in a lot of pain. “We need to get to Edge,” he warned.
“What about Tifa? Do they have her? Is she ok?” Cloud asked his friend franticly as they slowly made their way towards the stairs.
Reeve nodded yes. He was barely able to move with Cloud doing most of the work. A trail of blood from Reeve’s face was dripping as they walked. Cloud had to get Reeve onboard the airship and to Edge as soon as possible. He helped his friend up the stairs and through the kitchen just when Cid was walking down the stairs from the bedrooms. Cid and Nanakin were shocked to see Cloud with an injured Reeve. Cid got on the other side of Reeve helping him through the front door with Nanakin leading the way back towards the airship.
After twenty minutes of wandering through the forest they came across the Shrea and boarded. Cloud and Nanakin helped Reeve down to the lounge while Cid went to the bridge to prepare for takeoff. Cloud laid Reeve down on the sofa and used a cure materia on the semiconscious man. The spell helped with his cuts and bruises but there was a lot of internal damage that it couldn’t fix.
“Reeve, do you know what they are planning?” Cloud asked his friend kneeling next to him.
Reeve was not fully awake yet and was mumbling incoherently. The swelling was gone but his face was full of dried blood. Cloud got up and walked over to the bar gabbing a bottle of water for his friend. He opened it and tried to give him some of the water. Tasting the water on his lips Reeve lifted his head drinking it rapidly then started to cough due to drinking too fast. He then laid his head back down with his eyes closed tight in obvious pain.
Cloud and Nanakin waited until he gained consciousness. Fifteen minutes later Reeve slowly opened his eyes and looked over at Cloud.
“I need your phone,” Reeve told Cloud who turned his phone on and handed it to him.
Reeve slowly sat up on the sofa holding his head with one hand and the phone in the other. He then proceeded to call the deputy commissioner of the Edge Headquarters to warn him about Miles and the others. As soon as he closed the phone it beeped indicating that Cloud had a voicemail message.
“You have a message,” Reeve said handing Cloud his phone.
“Why are they targeting the headquarters in Edge?” Cloud asked Reeve before putting the phone up to his ear listing to the message.
Reeve paused for a second before answering. He was leaning forward with his hands on his head resting his elbows on his knees. It looked like he was in a lot of pain.
“They are after files containing top secret information,” Reeve explained to them.
Reeve had went through great lengths to protect the files they were after. Not only were they encrypted and password protected the drive they were on could only be accessed on sight and only from two computers in the whole building. Unfortunately he provided all this information to Weiss last night.
Cloud finished listening to the message and closed his phone handing it back to Reeve.
“Yuffie is looking for you,” he informed his friend. “What about Tifa?” Cloud asked eager to get some more information from him. He was relieved to hear she was okay but he wanted to find her as soon as possible.
“She’s fine,” Reeve reassured his friend wondering how he was going to break the news about Tifa. He was about to call Yuffie back but part of him felt he should warn Cloud about Tifa first. He paused for a few seconds before continuing. “Cloud, there’s something you should know.”
Yuffie tried calling all of her friends and left messages but the only two she could reach were Vincent who was in Kalm and Barret in Corel. She told them about Reeve and what she saw on the camera.
Barret told her he was stuck in Corel until he could find a ride to Junon. Normally the fastest way to get around was to call Cid but he was not answering his phone so Barret had to find alternative arrangements which could take hours.
Vincent on the other hand had his own means of transportation and said he would be there in an hour. Yuffie told him she would wait at the headquarters until he arrived. While she was waiting she decided to do some more snooping around.
She proceeded to make her way to the security control room to check where she witnessed that peacekeeper turn off the security system. She exited Reeve’s office and headed towards the stairwell. The security room was located one floor below so it would be faster for her to take the stairs.
She went straight through the emergency exit and down the staircase to the floor below. As she walked down the hallway she passed a few people who were just arriving to work. She nodded hello to them as they passed. She made her way down the hall towards the security room only to discover that the room was locked. Using her keycard she tried to unlock the door like she did Reeve’s office but this one had a deadbolt and wouldn’t open.
“Gotta bust out the big guns,” Yuffie said to herself as she pulled two bobby pins out of her hair and started picking the lock.
As she was picking the lock a female employee walked by giving her a strange look. Yuffie figured they never seen someone picking a lock before.
After a few seconds the lock clicked and she opened the door. She walked in to see a security guard lying near the controls dead. She inspected the body and discovered ligature marks around his neck meaning someone strangled him to death.
She assumed the killer was the man she saw on the security camera dressed as a peacekeeper. All the security monitors in the room were deactivated showing blue screens. As she looked around she noticed all the cameras were shut down so she reached over the body, making sure not to touch it, and turned the system back on.
With all the cameras up and running Yuffie looked around and everything seemed normal. Even though they were short staffed there was quite a few people walking around. Most of the screens showed people walking through the hallways towards their offices.
Then from the corner of her eye she looked down at the bottom screen and noticed a group of five peacekeepers walking through the hallway on the third floor. The third floor was one of the busiest floors and it was not uncommon for peacekeepers to be wondering around the building. But as she watched them she noticed they would stop at all the occupied offices and look in. In most cases they would continue walking after looking in at the person working. From what she could see from her view on the monitor the people in the offices would look up at the sight of the peacekeepers then turn their attention back to their work once they continued on.
Then she noticed the peacekeepers stop at an office with a man working at his desk. Upon seeing them the man stood up and pulled out a gun from his desk drawer. The man exited the office, walked past the peacekeepers and towards the elevator. Then the peacekeepers stopped at the last office in the hallway and one of them walked in. Yuffie could not see what happened inside the office from the angle of the camera but a few seconds later the peacekeeper walked out with his gun in his hand and not in its holster.
On another screen she witnessed the man she saw from the third floor walking out of the elevator on top floor. He then stopped at Reeve’s office walked in checking it then walked out. When he realized there was no one else on that floor the man walked back towards the elevator.
Yuffie was so mesmerized watching what was happening on the screens it startled her when her phone rang. She looked at her phone to see it was Cloud calling.
“Cloud!” she said answering her phone. Then she listened for a second realizing it was not Cloud. “Reeve! What happened to you? I was so worried.”
Then she listening while Reeve update her on how he was captured by men dressed as peacekeepers.
“I think they are in the building right now,” she explained to him. “I’m in the security room and there is some weird shit going on. I think they killed someone. You need to get here fast!”
Reeve told her he would be there as soon as possible and he directed her to keep him posted on everything that is going on.
Yuffie knew something was wrong and she had to figure out what without being discovered. She quickly exited the security room and ran towards the stairs. She walked into the stairwell and could hear people walking up the stairs towards her. Fearing it was the enemy approaching she took the stairs leading back up to the top floor.
Inside the shed behind the house Miles was busy making materia with Chloe sitting on the floor playing with the round orbs like they were big marbles.
“It won’t be long before you’re able to use materia the proper way,” Miles informed the young girl as she held a yellow orb in her hands.
She just looked up at him and smiled in response then continued playing.
Miles has had a fascination with materia ever since he was a young child. Growing up near Mideel where lifestream surges were a common occurrence he was aware of its dangers but at the same time he understood it was also the giver of life. He always like materia in particular because it allowed one to harness the power of the lifestream giving the weakest person god like powers.
It was this interest as a child that influenced him in his studies. He had been a collector of materia since childhood and was upset that his precious huge materia was destroyed when the Turks blew up his airship. They were supposed to be the crown jewels of his collection. It was never his intension to use the huge materia to power a bomb. That was just a part of the wild goose chance he sent everyone on to buy them some time. He spent months trying to drop hints about his fake plans for the huge materia and even murdering the two people in Edge just so Reeve could connect the dots later. The only bomb he intended to detonate was in Healen which the real Genesis was unaware of. He knew Genesis would not have agreed to the destruction of a town with a hospital. Luckily for Genesis that plan was foiled by the Turks.
Still, if that was the worst thing to go wrong with his plan so far he should considered himself lucky. Overall Miles was rather happy at how everything turned out although there were a few close calls especially with the incident at Fort Condor. It was apparent to him that lady luck was on his side and he couldn’t help but feel that everything leading up to this point was destined to happen. Or maybe it was just the universe finally making things right for him after losing so much.
After he was fired from Shinra he went searching for employment in other towns but not many people were hiring especially when a big meteor was plummeting towards the planet. That’s when he decided to returned to the family home near Mideel he inherited years earlier. It was there he spent most of his days trying to develop his own materia making machine similar to the one he use to work with in Midgar. Unfortunately parts were hard to come by being in the middle of the jungle so he didn’t get very far. By then Mideel had been destroyed by a huge lifestream surge so he spent years searching through the ruins looking for anything of value and collecting mako samples.
It was there he ran into Genesis and an injured Weiss. Recognizing Genesis he decided to help him and suggested taking his brother to the Shinra Manor since he worked there previously and was familiar with the laboratory.
By the time they reached Nibelhiem they already had a plan formulated. In Nibelhiem Miles was surprised to see that many of the actors that were hired by Shinra when he worked there years ago were still residing in the town. Miles and Genesis decided to use them as ‘volunteers’ for the first wave of minions. Genesis overpowered them, took them up to the Mt. Nibel reactor and showed him how to make copies. Once they were ready they were given their orders and Miles went to apply for a position with the WRO while Genesis went searching through the Midgar ruins.
When Miles was not working on assignments for the WRO he was researching how to help Weiss using information provided by Genesis and the rest of the time he spent perfecting Genesis’ technique for making copies.
Then Genesis found the three Deepground SOLDIERs in the ruins and Miles agreed to help them. By that time he knew he needed Shelke to save Weiss and they had to put their main objective on hold to help Weiss and the SOLDIERs. Then Miles needed to develop a completely new plan once he got wind of the reactor demolition project knowing the Mt. Nibel reactor was on the chopping block.
Luckily by then he had already managed to utilize the Genesis copies to help him make dozens more in the Corel and Mt. Nibel reactor laboratories. Once they secured the WRO airship it was much easier for them to transport potential monster and human copies. It reached a point where they had so many subjects they had to set up a new shop in the old mako excavation facility up north. Miles was so delighted when he discovered Cloud was asked to help with the reactor project. It was his chance to get his revenge and he worked it into his plan at the same time.
The only time he feared being caught was with the Fort Condor reactor. That was his fault for trying to put too much on one plate. Although it wasn’t part of their plan Miles wanted the reactor parts of his materia making machine and directed the copies to use the parts from the Fort Condor reactor. Unlike most of his plans he left this to the last minute and the night before it was scheduled to be demolished the copies went in to gather the equipment. Unexpectedly the copies came across raiders in the reactor already ransacking the place.
Fortunately luck was on their side that night and so many things that could have gone wrong didn’t. Had the Turks decided to inspect the reactor that night the copies might have been discovered. Had the Turks spotted their stolen airship concealed nearby or if one of the raiders managed to escape, a year of work could have went down the drain. Luckily none of that happened and the copies knew enough to dispose of the bodies. Walking through the Fort Condor reactor with Vincent was the most nervous he had been throughout the whole ordeal.
Realizing he spaced out Miles looked over to check on Chloe who was still happily playing with the materia. She looked up at him when she noticed Miles staring at her and smiled.
He smiled back and continued tinkering with the machine recalibrating the pressure gauge. He couldn’t help but think how funny life was. The one thing that was not part of his original plan, Chloe, was the best thing to come out of all this. If only Hojo could see him now. When he was younger he wanted nothing more than to work with the scientist but years later he was now improving on Hojo’s experiments. Having Chloe under his control he was going to have a subject more powerful than any of the Jenova projects and being so young he was going to mold her into the perfect SOLDIER. It just goes to show you can’t plan life no matter how hard you try.
Miles’ thinking was interrupted by the sound of his phone ringing on his workbench. He walked over, answered it and listened to Genesis on the other end.
“What!?” He asked furious after listening to the news.
Hearing the anger in his voice Chloe stopped playing and looked up at him worried.
Miles then proceeded to pick up the young girl while still holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder and hurried into the house.earing the anger in his voice Chloe stopped playing and looked up at him worried.
Miles then proceeded to pick up the young girl while still holding the phone to his ear with his shoulder and hurried into the house.
Genesis, Tifa and the others were twenty minutes outside Edge. They were all sitting on two bench like seats facing each other with Weiss and James sitting on one side and Tifa and Genesis on the other. Alex was up front piloting the airship and Katerina in the co-pilot seat.
Genesis received a phone call. He answered and listened before hanging up. Everyone could tell by the expression on his face that is was not good news.
“What is it?” Weiss asked curious.
“Reeve called his security to warn them of our arrival,” Genesis informed them as he dialed Miles’ number to let him know.
“What? Does that mean he escaped?” James asked.
“I don’t think he called from inside his cell, so yes, he escaped,” Weiss explained to the blond frustrated with the news. He knew he should have killed Reeve when he had the chance last night.
“How the hell did he get out?” Alex asked yelling back to the group. They were able to overhear the conversation from the cockpit.
Worrying the house was attacked Tifa turned to face Genesis who was on the phone with Miles.
“Are they okay?” Tifa quietly asked Genesis.
The winged man turned to look at her and nodded yes with the phone still to his ear. He continued talking on the phone for another minute before hanging up and turning back to Tifa.
“They were in the shed working when someone broke in and freed the prisoner,” Genesis explained.
“So do we stick to the plan?” James asked not sure what all this meant.
“Assuming he is travelling by airship we probably have an hour lead at least,” Genesis explained to the group then turned to Tifa. “Do you think an hour will be enough?” he asked her.
Tifa nodded yes. She was unfamiliar with Edge and the building she was infiltrating but she was confident she could do this.
“What about security?” Katerina asked looking back at the group from the co-piolet chair. “Don’t they know she’s coming?”
“That won’t be a problem,” Genesis assured her.
The only major problem he could foresee right now is if Reeve or one of his friends appeared before she can retrieve the files and he knew it will be an even bigger problem if Cloud showed up.
Reeve had just gotten off of the phone with Yuffie. He had told Cloud about Tifa before calling the girl but Cloud was not taking the news well.
“There is no why she is helping them,” Cloud informed his friend taking back his phone. “They must be manipulating her somehow.”
Reeve’s news upset him. They were still forty minutes outside Edge and Cloud was getting restless. After what Reeve told him he was anxious to find Tifa as soon as possible. Cloud was pacing back and forward in the small room while Reeve sat on the sofa leaning forward trying to ignore the pain he was in. Nankin was sitting near the sofa listening to the conversation.
“Cloud, she didn’t even recognize me. Miles said she has amnesia.”
With the way Cloud was taking the news Reeve didn’t even want to mention how close Tifa and Miles appeared in that basement. Cloud was always such a calm person Reeve had never seen him this agitated. Even when Tifa went missing he seemed sad not frantic like he was now.
Cloud didn’t want to believe Reeve and hearing him mention the scientist’s name angered him more. He was certain Miles must have done something to her. He was a crazy scientist after all. Maybe he was controlling her the same way he attempted to control him. There was no way she would forget her friends especially him, not after everything they been through. That’s when he remembered Tifa’s pregnancy.
Cloud suddenly stopped pacing and looked at Reeve.
“Did Tifa look different in any way?” He asked his friend.
She had been missing for eight months now. Cloud never found out how far along she was so either she was still very much pregnant and due soon or she was no longer pregnant which could mean one of two things.
Reeve looked up at Cloud and paused before answering.
“No, why?” He asked.
“Just wondering,” Cloud replied sounding a little disappointed. He sat down in a chair across from Reeve looking deep in thought.
When he was in the house earlier there was no sign of a baby living there which probably meant that their child didn’t make it to term. After everything Tifa had been through he was not surprised but it still upset him. He wished he could have been there for her when it happened. One of the things that motivated him to not give up searching was the thought of seeing Tifa and his child along with the hope of being together as a family again.
They all sat in silence until Cid’s voice came across the intercom.
“We’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Get ready.”
Hearing that Cloud started to get restless again and was about to exit before being stopped by Reeve.
“Cloud,” Reeve told his friend, “I’ll send backup as soon as possible.”
Cloud nodded then exited the room towards Fenrir.