Sunday - Part Four
Hojo walked into the laboratory holding Chloe who was now awake. She was a little startled at first but recognizing Weiss she quickly calmed down.
As Hojo surveyed the room he was not impressed. Miles was right; this was a sorry excuse for a laboratory. It was a large room with the back wall covered in shelving full of mineral samples. To the far left side of the room was an empty mako chamber and work station covered in various sized test tubes, vials and beakers. On the right side of the room was a SND machine consisting of a big metal chair connected to a helmet hanging above it. Next to it was a computer desk with a chair and a desktop computer surrounded by papers and random clutter.
Hojo shut the door behind him and put the child down while he got to work. He walked over to the SND device and turned it on to allow time for it to power up. Then he walked over to the computer and sat down at the desk while he programed the device logging onto the World Wide Network.
If everything goes according to plan he should be able to locate Jenova’s consciousness on the WWN and finally give it a vessel worthy of its power. The child was the perfect choice since it was a carbon copy of project S and was the only thing that could come close to his Sephiroth. By his calculations this child would be almost full grown in a little over a year allowing Jenova enough time to grow accustomed to its new body. Once strong enough it will use its knowledge to finally complete the task it started when it crashed into this planet thousands of years ago.
Although his plan would mean the destruction of the planet and all life on it he didn’t care. Being a scientist it was more important for him to see his experiment or theory to the very end. As with his Omega theory and Project S the destruction of the world was a small price to pay. In this case Jenova’s triumph would be his living legacy and as he always said once a scientist always a scientist.
As soon as Hojo logged onto the WWN he looked over at the girl who was playing with some of the rocks in the far back corner of the room. He walked over and picked her up carrying her to the SND device. He sat her down but she didn’t sit for long and struggled to get up wanting to go back to the rocks. While holding the girl down with one hand Hojo looked around for something to use to restrain her. Seeing some wiring on the computer desk nearby he reached over grabbing the wire then used it to tie her arms to the chair so she couldn’t escape. Chloe started to cry loudly while struggling to break free.
“Shut up!” Hojo shouted at the girl growing impatient.
He took the helmet and placed it over her head. Being a child the helmet was loose and covered her face from her mouth up. With the helmet on Chloe started shaking her head and squirmed trying to get it off but no luck. After some time of thrashing and fighting she realized she was trapped and finally gave up struggling but continued to cry and whimper.
As soon as the device was ready Hojo walked over and activated the switch turning it on.
When Tifa and the others entered the 37th floor hallway the first thing she could hear was her daughter crying. Hearing her daughter in distress a wave of rage and adrenaline rushed over her. She sprinted towards the laboratory entrance and burst through the door. Inside she found her daughter strapped to a chair with a helmet covering her head and face. Standing next to her daughter was Weiss.
Upon seeing Tifa he unsheathed his katanas. Tifa raised her fists just as Cloud and Genesis came up from behind her with their swords raised. Miles stayed behind the two keeping a distance from all the action.
When Cloud looked around the room he was surprised to see his daughter was so big. He was expecting to see a five month old baby, not a young child. Seeing his daughter restrained in the chair and hooked up to the machine angered him.
“You’re too late,” Hojo said aiming one of his gun blades at the group.
Without saying a word Cloud and Genesis rushed Hojo with their swords raised. Just when they were about to reach Hojo he avoided their attacks with lightning fast speed. Hojo was so fast they couldn’t even focus on him when he moved. They stopped in their tracks looking around but before they realized what happened Hojo was standing next to them with his gun blades aimed at each of their heads. He fired at the two but Genesis and Cloud jumped back dodging his bullets.
“You fools,” the scientist said with an evil grin. “You two are no match for me,” he warned them.
Although Omega returned to the planet after it was defeated by Chaos a little part of it still remained within him just like a piece of Chaos remained within Vincent. Now it was time to show them his real power. Suddenly a burst light came from Weiss’ direction causing everyone to take a step back shielding their eyes.
When the light was gone they looked to see that he had transformed into a seven foot tall white and metallic looking monster with wings coming out of its back. Like Vincent in his Chaos form he looked like a mix between Weiss and Omega. He had three big metal spikes covering the top of his head and eyes. His long white spiky hair extended down his back. His wings looked like a mix of metal and feathers with the outer structure of the wing made of metal and the rest of the wing covered in big white feathers. His shoulders, chest, torso and legs were now covered in metal armor. He was still holding his gun blades which had grown larger, longer and glowed a neon blue.
Cloud and Genesis looked at one another then charged at the Weiss Omega hybrid without skipping a beat. This time the monster effortlessly blocked their attacks simultaneously with his two katanas. He then forcefully countered their attack sending them flying backwards towards the back of the room but landing on their feet. They immediately charged him again.
While the three were fighting Tifa ran over to her daughter to take off the helmet.
“No wait,” Miles said just before Tifa touched the device. He ran up next to her. “Her consciousness is still connected to the network. You need to shut it down first.” Miles walked over to the computer and started to type on the keyboard.
While Miles was typing Tifa looked back to check on Cloud and Genesis. As soon as she turned she noticed the two being thrown across the room crashing into the shelves full of mineral samples.
Suddenly out of nowhere the monster appeared behind Miles driving his katana into his back. The tip of his sword hit the computer screen cracking it and blood splatter covered the broken screen.
“I’m not going to let you ruin my plan that easily,” the creature said to Miles as he pushed the sword deeper into his torso. Miles let out a cry of pain falling onto his knees as the monster pulled the gun blade out of his body.
The creature grinned evilly at Tifa as she tried to punch him but he easily dodged her attack. He tried to counter by striking her with his sword but she jumped backwards before he could get a clean hit in. He did manage to graze her arm causing long deep cut across her bicep. Tifa was now standing a few feet in front of him holding her upper right arm.
By now Cloud and Genesis were rising from the wreckage on the other side of the room. Seeing Tifa standing in front of the monster with his gun blade pointed at her Cloud grabbed his sword ready to fight.
Before Tifa could react the monster fired at her aiming for her chest. She tried to dodge the bullet but she wasn’t fast enough and it hit her left shoulder. She let out a cry of pain grabbing her gunshot wound.
Hojo was growing frustrated. No matter how much he tried this girl just won’t die and he was determined to get her out of the picture. Angry his shot missed he raised his sword again trying for a kill shot.
Seeing Tifa injured and in danger a wave a rage rushed over Cloud. Infuriated he griped his sword tight and ran over to save her before it was too late. Before Hojo could react Cloud rushed him with a series of fifteen powerful strikes at lighting fast speed. They were too fast for even the monster to react and he just stood there paralyzed as he was bombarded by Cloud’s omnislash attack.
Once the attack was over the monster dropped his swords and fell to his knees transforming back to Weiss then collapsed to the ground. He was alive but unconsciousness.
Seeing he was no longer a threat Cloud looked over at Tifa who was holding her gunshot wound bleeding. He then used his cure materia to heal her.
“Chloe!” Tifa said looking over at her daughter. Realizing Weiss was no longer a threat she immediately ran over to her daughter.
Chloe was crying and whimpering the whole time but hearing her mother’s voice she started to cry harder and began struggling to free herself. The child’s wrists looked sore from struggling against the restraints which infuriated Tifa. She wanted nothing more than to rip the helmet off of Chloe but the machine was still on and heeding Miles’ warning earlier she hesitated not sure what to do.
“That’s okay sweetie. Mommy’s here,” Tifa said trying to calm the girl down so she wouldn’t struggle. “We’ll get you out of there.”
Tifa looked down at Miles who was wounded lying on the floor then she looked over at the computer. By now Genesis was standing near Cloud and Tifa turned to ask them if they knew how to turn off the device. Before she could say anything the building started to shake violently like it was an earthquake but it only lasted a few seconds. She could hear what sounded like an explosion outside then suddenly the whole room moved and the lights around them went dark. With the power gone the emergency lights activated illuminating the exit. It felt like the room had shifted a little and most of the laboratory equipment was in disarray.
With the power off Tifa ran over to her daughter and lifted off her helmet before untying her restraints. Cloud walked over to the two just as Tifa was picking the girl up. Chloe gave her mother a big hug still crying.
Cloud watched as the two embraced. He was amazed at how much Chloe looked like Tifa. After a few seconds the girl was starting to calm down except for the odd sob. Noticing Cloud the girl looked over at him and he could see her big blue mako eyes looking at him. Cloud smiled at the girl as she studied him and after a few seconds the girl smiled a little back.
Tifa was still holding Chloe when she heard Miles cough. She looked over to see him still lying on the floor with the broken computer next to him and the desk onto of his legs. She looked at Cloud who knew what she was thinking. He handed her his cure materia as she handed him their daughter.
She went over to Miles and lifted the computer desk off his legs. A pool of blood had formed around him and even in the dim light she could tell he was pale and not looking good. She tried to use the cure materia but his injuries were too severe.
Noticing Tifa kneeling next to him Miles looked up at her.
“Is she okay?” Miles asked her.
“Yes,” Tifa informed him. Despite everything he had done to her in the past she didn’t want to see him die. They did have some good times together.
“I’m sorry Tifa,” Miles said then he closed his eyes as a wave of pain rushed over him. “I hope you forgive –“
“Don’t talk like that,” Tifa said cutting him off as her eyes started to tear up. She tried to use the cure materia again but it was too late and his injuries were too severe. She looked at him as the life left his eyes and he was gone.
Closing his eyes Tifa took as few seconds to say goodbye then stood up and walked over to Cloud and Chloe who were both watching her with serious expressions on their faces.
Genesis was standing a few feet behind them and Tifa could see him looking around. That’s when she also noticed that something was missing.
“Weiss is gone,” the winged man informed them.
Cloud turned around to look at the spot where Weiss collapsed then he turned to Genesis.
“He must have escaped when the building started to shake,” Cloud suggested.
“I wonder what he was trying to do with Chloe,” Tifa said walking over to her daughter and brushing the hair out of her eyes. Surprisingly Chloe seemed content with Cloud holding her considering this was their first time meeting.
When they exited the laboratory they were surprised to see most of the windows shattered and the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Still holding his daughter Cloud walked over to the window and looked down to see that the Robot was destroyed and its remains had collided with the building. Given the destruction below they decided to use the stairwell located on the opposite side of the building.
When they exited the building the sun was just starting to rise over the city. They immediately found their friends near the entrance and everyone looked exhausted. Seeing Cloud and Tifa exit the building Yuffie looked relieved.
“We were just about to go in searching for you two,” Yuffie said running ahead of the others to greet her friends. “Glad to see you are okay.” Noticing the child in Cloud’s arms Yuffie smiled at the girl. “Is this Chloe?” she asked surprised to see the girl was so big.
Cloud nodded yes.
“She’s adorable,” Yuffie said fawning over the girl. “I’m aunty Yuffie,” she said to Chloe leaning over to face the girl. Chloe just looked at her blankly not sure what to think.
A moment later Barret, Vincent, Alex, Katerina and James walked over to greet their friends.
“What the hell happened to ya?” Alex asked the winged man who was standing next to Tifa. “We were worried Miles did something.”
“He tried,” Genesis informed them.
“What happened to him and Weiss?” James asked looking around.
“Miles is dead and Weiss I’ll explain later,” Genesis said to the three. He really didn’t feel like going into details at the moment.
“What are you going to do now?” Tifa asked Genesis. Now that she found out the truth about her past she knew her home was here in Edge with Cloud. Although part of her was going to miss the little house near Mideel.
“I going to call off the raid on the Junon headquarters and warned them about Weiss. Then I’m going to hunt him down and try to rid him of his curse.” Genesis explained.
Genesis accomplished his goal of destroying the WRO and although he was angry that Miles and Hojo’s betrayal caused so much innocent bloodshed he felt pulling his remaining deepground members out of Junon would prevent more unnecessary casualties. He feared Hojo’s first stop would be Junon to get to the remaining deepground members before him. He knew he had to hurry and did not want to waste any time.
“I’ll meet you in Junon,” Genesis told his three associates. He looked over at Tifa and nodded to her then took off into the air.
Knowing they had a long road ahead of them Katerina said bye to the girl and Tifa then the three started walking. As they were walking away James looked over at his friends.
“We’re not walking all the way to Junon are we?” he asked them. He was already tired and Junon was a long walk. “We’re getting another airship, right?”
“Shut up!” Alex said quietly as he looked back then turned to James. “They can still hear you!” he stressed to his friend as they continued walking towards the city’s outskirts.
Meanwhile the others called Cid to get up update on the situation. They agreed to go meet Cid and the others in the airfield.
“Chloe’s probably hungry. I should get her something to eat,” Tifa said to Cloud. Although he wanted to help the others her daughter was her first priority.
“I’m hungry too,” Yuffie said to Tifa. “I know where there’s a 24-hour store on the other side of town. Want me to show you?” When Yuffie was at the 7th Heaven earlier it was completely empty of food so there was no point going there without stopping by a store first.
Tifa nodded yes and took Chloe from Cloud. The three girls made their way towards the shop leaving the three men.
“Meet us at the bar later for some breakfast!” Yuffie called back to the men before turning and catching up to Tifa who was walking with Chloe. She figured she was not the only one who was hungry so they might as well make breakfast for everyone.
Knowing they still had a long day ahead of them Barret, Vincent and Cloud took a short break before making their way to meet Cid and the others in the airfield.