Friday - Part Two
Genesis exited the airship just before it reached the airfield. Being able to fly he thought it was best to keep a bird’s eye view especially with the added risk of their enemies showing up at any moment. Even though they were using a stolen WRO shuttlecraft they figured the airfield was the best place for the aircraft to blend in.
Upon arrival Tifa departed and proceeded into the city while Weiss, Alex, Katerina and James stayed onboard the aircraft keeping an eye out for Reeve and the others.
“So what do we do if we spot them? Attack?” James asked looking out the aircraft’s starboard side window.
“No, first we warn Genesis then we attack,” Katerina corrected him looking out the port side window opposite to James.
“Weiss, I hope you know what these people look like,” Alex added from the captain’s seat where he was watching from the front of the aircraft.
“Don’t you remember?” Katerina asked turning away from the window and looking towards Alex in the cockpit. “They’re the people we fought on Mt. Nibel.” She reminded him.
“Yeah how can I forget getting the shit kicked out of me by an airship,” he commented sitting back in his chair and hanging his feet over the armrests. “That’s my kind of ship. Why can’t we have an airship like that Weiss? This one’s a small piece of crap.”
Katerina grinned at Alex’s comment.
“So who’s the one Genesis is worried about showing up?” James asked still looking out the window.
“Cloud,” Weiss said flatly looking out the window next to Katerina. He was starting to get annoyed with all the talking going on around him. These three idiots never seem to shut up.
“Was he the big guy with the gun arm?” Alex asked trying to remember.
“No, I don’t think so,” Katerina corrected him. “I think he was the cutie with the big sword.”
Alex leaned over his seat looking towards the back of the airship. He frowned at Katerina.
“You think he’s cute?” he asked her a little hurt.
Before Katerina could answer James interrupted. He was looking out the window when he noticed something approaching them at a rapid speed. As soon as he could make out what it was he had to say something.
“Does Cloud have blond spiky hair and ride a motorcycle?” the big man asked.
“Yes, Why?” Weiss replied turning to look at James.
“Well I think he just drove past us,” James commented.
Before any of them could react Cloud had already passed them and was almost at the city’s edge. Weiss sighed and pulled out his phone to warn Genesis.
When Tifa walked into the big city she didn’t recognize anything. She knew she had been in Edge before because Miles told her she had. She was hoping being back would trigger some memories but nothing.
The city was big, dirty, noisy and crowded; much different from where she had been living the last eight months. She followed the directions towards the WRO headquarters which was not hard to find being one of the tallest and biggest buildings in the city.
Tifa walked through the front entrance of the building and surveyed the lobby. To the right of her was a little café with some tables and chairs out front. The shop had three people in it getting their mid-morning coffee and snacks but other than that the lobby was relatively empty. To the left was a lounge area where people could take a break or wait. Towards the back of the lobby was a glass door leading into the rest of the building. Next to the door was a security desk and a guard. Tifa watched as an employee left the café and walked past the security guard swiping their ID card next to the desk before entering. Tifa had Reeve’s ID card in her pocket which she hoped still worked.
Taking a deep breath she started to walk towards the security guard sitting at the desk. He was an older man with gray hair and beard. As she past him she was about to pull out Reeve’s card when the guard stopped her.
“Miss Lockhart,” the guard called out to her.
Tifa turned to look at him with a smile. Her hand was still in her pocket holding the card.
“You forgot to sign in,” the man said as he reached over and handed her a clipboard. She looked and on it was a piece of paper with the title ‘Guest Sign In’.
“Sorry, I forgot,” she said forcing a nervous laugh. She proceeded to pick up the pen attached to the clipboard and printed her name then signed it. The last column was titled ‘Picture ID’.
Tifa looked up at the man.
“I forgot my ID,’ she informed him sheepishly.
The man looked at her for a second then smiled while reaching for the clipboard.
“You and Mr. Strife never have picture ID,” he informed her while handing her a clip badge with a big ‘V’ on it. “Do you want me to call someone to let them know you’re here?” the guard offered.
Not recognizing the last name Strife Tifa didn’t give it much thought.
“No, that’s fine. They already know I’m here,” she replied and swiped her visitor pass. “Have a nice day,” she told the man before entering and walking down the hallway.
It didn’t take long for her to reach the elevators. The first twenty floors could be accessed by just pressing the buttons but all the upper floors required an ID card for access. Tifa took out Reeve’s card and swiped it before pressing the button for the top floor.
The only two offices on the top floor belonged to Reeve and the deputy commissioner. When the elevator door opened Tifa looked out and was relieved to see that the hallway was deserted. She walked down and turned the corner to where Reeve’s office was located. His door was locked with a keypad that required a five digit code. Tifa pulled a piece of paper from her pocket and proceeded to input the code that was written on the paper. The device beeped and she heard a click.
She entered the office quickly shutting the door behind her. The office was spacious but simple with a desk, a couch, a few chairs and a big window overlooking the city. She walked over to the desk in the middle of the room and turned on the computer. She checked the piece of paper for the login name and password. The login name was ‘Rtuesti’. She looked again at the password. Weiss had terrible writing but she was sure he wrote ‘CaitSith#1972’ as the password. Not knowing what a Cait Sith was she inputted it and it worked.
Tifa was looking through the various programs when she heard what sounded like a door shutting coming from down the hall followed by footsteps. She stopped to listen but luckily it sounded like the footsteps were walking away from her. She was relieved when she heard the ‘ding’ of the elevator meaning whoever it was they were leaving.
‘Now it’s time for the hard part,’ Tifa said to herself while continuing her search for the files.
“So what did he say?” Alex asked Weiss as soon as he was off the phone with Genesis.
“He is going to call in plan B,” Weiss informed the three.
“That’s going to take too long,” James told Weiss. “We got an airship. Let’s just land on the roof and go in and get her.”
“He told us to stay here,” Weiss informed him.
“Since when do you listen to anyone?” Katerina told Weiss crossing her arms. “That’s not like the Weiss the Immaculate I’ve heard so much about.”
“Why does it matter what we do? Now that we’re switching to plan ‘B’ we don’t need to be secretive anymore. Let’s go in there guns blazing,” Alex tried to convince him. He was sick of being stuck in the small airship.
Weiss had to admit they made a good argument.
“Okay, let’s go,” Weiss agreed and Alex jumped back into the pilot’s chair.
Cloud raced through the city and parked directly in front of the WRO building. When he entered the lobby nothing looked out of the ordinary. He wondered if he beat them here.
Waiting next to the security desk was the deputy commissioner, Colin McClure. He was wearing a dark blue suit and had short light brown hair and green eyes. Upon seeing him Cloud walked over and Colin updated him.
“I’ve notified our head of security and they’ve dispatched extra peacekeepers to patrol the area.” Colin said as he looked around. “Our security chief said he would meet us here. He must be running late.”
Cloud had met Colin a few times before during Cloud’s many visits to the headquarters. Although Cloud didn’t technically work for the WRO he did visit often to drop off packages for his delivery service.
“Does Reeve know what they are after exactly?” Colin said quietly so nobody could overhear.
“He just said they were after top secret information,” Cloud informed Colin as he took the clipboard off the security desk to sign in as he always does. That’s when he spotted Tifa’s name on the register. He looked at the security guard surprised.
“Tom, is Tifa here?” he asked the guard.
The old man looked at Cloud and nodded.
“She signed in almost thirty minutes ago,” he informed the blond while handing him his visitor pass.
Cloud looked at Colin.
“Where would you go to access the files?” he asked the Deputy Commissioner.
“The only two places are mine and Reeve’s office,” Colin replied as Cloud followed him towards the elevators.
Once in the elevator Colin used his keycard to reach the top floor. When they reached the top Colin walked out with Cloud following.
“His office is at the end of the hall,” Colin said just as three peacekeepers turned the corner in front of them. Colin stopped in his tracks. “I thought I said to meet me in the lobby,” Colin told the man standing at the head of the group.
That’s when Cloud noticed a gun in the man’s hand. As he raised the gun Cloud reached for Colin to get him out of the way but it was too late and Colin was hit. Immediately all the peacekeepers opened fire just as the elevator door was about to close. Cloud took the opportunity to take cover in the elevator dragging the injured man with him. He took Colin’s keycard from his hand and swiped it pressing the button for the next floor down.
As soon as the elevators closed Cloud looked down at Colin who was lying on the floor holding his chest wound. Cloud kneeled down next to him trying to help him put pressure on the injury. He was losing a lot of blood quickly. The injured man looked up at Cloud.
“You need my card to…staircase,” Colin struggled to say.
The keycard Cloud was holding in his hand was now covered in blood. By the time the elevator reached the next floor Colin was dead.
When the door opened Cloud peeked out to make sure the coast was clear. He exited the elevator and walked down the hallway looking for the emergency exit. He continued on until he came across a door with an exit sign above it. He pushed the door open and entered the stairwell. He took a second to listen for anyone but it appeared to be empty. He then proceeded to walk up towards the top floor.
The instructions given to Tifa were long and complicated but the more she worked on it the easier it became. Tifa was almost finished decrypting the files when she heard multiple footsteps walk past Reeve’s office. She heard the ‘ding’ of the elevator then someone’s voice followed by the sound of gunfire.
She knew she had to hurry before she was found out. Once she was finished she put the memory card into the computer and started to download the files. After a few seconds she was startled by the sound of her phone ringing. It was Genesis calling.
“Hello,” she said answering.
“Tifa,” she head Genesis say on the other end. “Do you have the files?”
“I’m saving them now,” she informed him.
“We have enemies making their way towards you. It’s too dangerous to go back down. I have sent some renegades to help you reach the roof. I’m on my way.” Genesis informed her before hanging up.
Tifa put her phone back in her pocket and looked at the computer. The download was 76% complete. By now the gunfire had stopped and Tifa listened for any sign of activity outside. There was silence. Tifa looked back at the computer and the download was complete. She checked the drive to make sure it was saved then removed the memory card putting it back in her pocket.
Tifa got up from the desk and walked over to the door. She opened it and looked out to see two peacekeepers standing out front with their backs to her. They turned when they heard her walk out.
“This way,” one of the peacekeepers informed her before he started to walk towards the emergency exit.
She followed them down the hallway, through the exit and up the stairs towards the rooftop. Cloud had entered the stairwell just as they reached the roof. He ran up the stairs to the top floor and was about to swipe the card to enter when he heard the door to the rooftop slam shut above him. He decided to follow the sound and continued up the stairs towards the rooftop exit.
When Cloud walked through the door he saw Tifa standing on the roof with two peacekeepers standing behind her closer to him. They all had their backs turned to him. The two peacekeepers were holding guns and Cloud assumed they were going to attack Tifa. He charged them with his sword raised. He was so focused on getting to Tifa he slayed the guards before they even realized he was there.
As soon as they dropped to the ground he stopped to look at Tifa who had turned to face him. He was so relieved to see her as wave of emotions passed through him. It felt like years since he last laid eyes on her and she was even more beautiful then he remembered. She just stood there staring at him blankly; no smile, no gin, nothing.
“Tifa,” Cloud said taking a step towards her. She glared at him and raised her fists in self-defense. Cloud was hurt by this. He didn’t want to believe it but she really didn’t recognize him. “Don’t you remember me?”
“No, Should I?” She asked crossly. She was angry at him for killing the two men trying to help her.
Before Cloud could answer an airship approached them and hovered above while James, Katerina and Weiss jumped out onto the roof behind Tifa. Cloud raised his sword at the sight of his enemies. They were about to attack when Tifa raised her arm out signaling for them to stop. Tifa was already mad at Cloud for attacking the guards and she didn’t want to see her friends get hurt.
“I got this,” she told them then instantly rushed Cloud. She tried to deliver a roundhouse kick but Cloud jumped back avoiding the attack.
“Tifa, I can’t fight you,” Cloud told her but she continued to charge at him.
He could never raise his sword against the woman he loved. He had no choice but to try to block and dodge her attacks. He knew she was more skilled in unarmed combat so this was not going to be easy.
When Yuffie reached the top floor of the stairwell she looked out into the hallway to make sure the coast was clear before entering. There was no one around so she quickly made her way back to Reeve’s office. She knew he kept a gun in there somewhere.
She walked over to his desk and looked through the drawers trying to locate the weapon. The bottom drawer was locked so she used her bobby pin to open it. Inside was a bottle of sake, a glass and a handgun. She grabbed the gun and was about to shut the drawer when she took a second look at the bottle of liquor. Shrugging, she grabbed the bottle and took a swig before placing it back in the drawer.
She then looked over at the desk behind her with the security monitor, which was now working, to get a sense at what was happing. By now almost all the floors had peacekeepers and administrative staff walking the corridors holding weapons. Some of the lower floors had a few staff lying dead in the hallways or in their offices. She switched the cameras and in the cafeteria she noticed a group of around fifteen people kneeling with their hands on their heads surrounded by five peacekeepers with guns. It was obvious they were hostages and she knew she had to find a way to help them.
Then her phone vibrated. It was a text message from Vincent telling her he was in Junon but the front entrance to the building was locked. She figured they locked the entrance to keep people from entering and exiting. Looking at the security screen she could see the ground floor was heavily armed with assailants. She texted Vincent back and told him to fly up to Reeve’s office balcony. Then she walked over and unlocked the balcony door. A few minutes later Chaos landed and changed back before entering.
“What’s going on?” Vincent asked her.
“The place is being overrun,” she explained to him. “They have hostages in the cafeteria.”
“Who’s doing this,” he asked.
“I donno, they are all employees.” She recognized most of the assailants as people who had been working with the WRO for years. “The cafeteria is on the third floor directly under us,” she explained to him.
Yuffie walked over to the security monitor to show Vincent. Almost every floor had people patrolling the hallways with the third and ground floors heavily occupied. Not only were there five assailants inside the cafeteria there were two people standing outside the door and multiple people patrolling the surrounding hallway. Surprisingly there was no one patrolling their floor. Yuffie assumed this was because the assailants did not find anyone when they inspected it earlier.
Suddenly Yuffie’s phone started to vibrate. She looked and it was Cid calling.
“Cid,” she said answering the phone then paused for a second. “Reeve, where are you? The building is completely overrun and they have hostages in the cafeteria. Vincent’s with me.” She paused again listing to Reeve speak. “Okay,” she said before hanging up then looked over at Vincent. “They’re twenty minutes away,” she informed the ex-Turk. “We should go help the hostages before they get here. There’s only five guys in there. How about I sneak in while you cover me from the outside?”
“Do you really think that’s a good idea?” Vincent asked.
“What? You don’t think I can sneak down there undetected?” She asked. She was a little insulted that he was questing her ninja skills.
“It’s not that,” Vincent started to say but stopped himself. He was going to comment on her ability to be stealthy in her current attire. She was wearing a short skirt, high heels, and a tight blouse but something was telling him it was best not to go there. “Never mind,” he said agreeing to go along with her plan.
They agreed on a strategy and Yuffie took one last look at the security monitor to get a good idea on how she was going to proceed then she exited the office towards the stairwell. Vincent transformed and exited via the balcony.
Yuffie silently made her way down the stairs making sure to listen for anyone approaching. As she walked she discovered it was hard to be completely silent in her high heels so she ditched them in the stairwell and continued barefoot.
When she reached the third floor she slowly opened the door a crack and peeked out. A peacekeeper had just walked away and turned the corner out of sight meaning the coast was clear. She entered into the hallway and walked three doors down making sure to count the doors as she walked. She entered the fourth office quietly shutting the door behind her.
In the office was a man lying on the floor dead next to the door and Yuffie inadvertently stepped into the pool of blood next to the body. She was grossed out but forced herself not to make a sound. She walked across the room and jumped up onto the desk by the wall.
Making sure the safety was on she tucked the gun into the waistband of her skirt. Then on her tiptoes she managed to remove the air vent cover from the wall and proceeded to crawl up into the vent. On the desk a piece of paper had stuck to her blood covered foot and she attempted to kick it off trying to make as little noise as possible. Since it was a tight squeeze in the vent she couldn’t reach back to remove the paper but after a few kicks it finally fell off.
She started to slowly crawl through the vent but did not realize how dirty and dusty it was up there being such as old building. As she crawled, the dirt and grime was sticking to every part of her that was touching the vent. She also realized how difficult it was to maneuver in such a tight skirt. To make matters worse her shirt was repeatedly catching on the tips of the screws that were screwed into the vent causing little rips in her clothes as she crawled.
After a few minutes of crawling she finally reached the cafeteria. There was a little opening in the vent where she could look down through the vent cover under her to see where exactly she was and what was going on. Luckily she was directly above three of the assailants who were standing next to the hostages talking to them. She could not locate the other two from her position.
Yuffie reached for the gun and flicked off the safety. Suddenly she felt the vent shift abruptly and she was about to slowly back up when instantly the vent shifted again and split opened under her. She crashed down through the ceiling tile on top of two of the assailants breaking her fall.
Everyone in the room was shocked to see a very messy looking girl fall from the ceiling. As soon as she landed on the two men in a sitting positon she immediately aimed her gun at the third man shooting him in the head dead before he had a chance to react. A few feet away from her the other two men were about to open fire when the window to the cafeteria shattered and the sound of two shots were heard followed by the men dropping to the floor dead. One of the men she was sitting on was about to reach for his weapon next to him when Yuffie pointed her gun at his face directing him not to move.
Immediately Chaos came flying into the room and two of the female hostages let out a cry at the sight of the monster. Vincent transformed back and walked over to Yuffie pointing his gun at the two assailants as she got up off of them. One was unconscious and the other put his hands up in the air surrendering.
Yuffie immediately ran across the room and locked the door before anyone outside realized what was going on but it was too late. As soon as she locked it someone from the outside started banging on the door trying to get in.
“We need to find a way out of here,” Yuffie told Vincent.
She reached into her skirt pocket for her phone to call Cid but before she could call they heard the airship outside and a rope ladder came flying down in front of the big window.
“Right on time,” Yuffie said then she directed the hostages towards the window.