|The Core of Crisis: Rewrite
Author: reithedragonboy PM
It's the same story as my original version, just with better skill and technique behind it. The summary will be in the first chapter for those of you who never read my original version of this before.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Zack F. & Cloud S. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 12,281 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 11-11-10 - Published: 09-15-10 - id: 6325856
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Hello. For those of you who did not read the note before coming to this story and feeling like you've read this before, that's because this is a rewrite; a better version of the original.
Anyway, here's the summary of the story; a much better improvement to the original. Hope you like it! Please leave a review before you leave to another story.
Summary: The Shinra Company is the highest power known to man on all of Gaia. They are known for their superb army and their scientific discoveries and breakthroughs known only to better the living of those who live on the planet. They are considered the pioneers of the new era of wealth and prosperity for the planet, one that has been so for the past few decades ever since their founding. It is with that in mind that the company has created a grand city to house this super power and keep under careful watch. It was built in record time, thanks to the company's great advances in technology, and was named Midgar, along with a sub-name tagged onto it, The City of Endless Dreams and Countless Possibilities.
That, however, is merely a farce; a facade that only the highest of the highest officials in the company can see through simply because they created it themselves. Dirty behind-the-scene dealings occur behind closed doors, and the public is never made aware of them. In turn, they are kept ignorant with the constant deliverance on promises of continued prosperity and protection by the company itself. As such, the dark side of the company hides within the public eye, cleverly concealed by a carefully woven veil of ignorance and deceit.
That carefully woven mantle, though, is threatening to be blown away and reveal to the entire world just what kind of business the Shinra Company is. It is through the one secret that only three people know of that will cause the fall of the "Golden Age of Prosperity," an age carved out of nothing but lies and carefully woven promises. It is through this one act of trying to extend the reach of their archaic might that they will finally be undone.
It all started on a day that was just as normal as any other day for the army the Shinra Company manned. Ever ignorant of what was happening right under their noses, they dutifully committed to their job, and that commitment was about to be repaid with utter tragedy and chaos raining down upon them.
Now, follow the story of how only a tiny splinter of this army survived through this raging storm of tragedy unleashed by countless years of deceit and greed. Watch as they fight to survive the effects of tainted power made real and discover the hidden truths about the company they so selflessly serve. See how they survive through one another and work their way through this hurricane of lies that is about to hit them on this very night, a night that starts out just like any other normal night within the Shinra Company Headquarter's walls...
Become witness to this tragedy and watch as the countless possibilities become severely numbered and the endless dreams stop and shatter along with the hopes of many who rely on such a tainted and corrupt power just to survive. And it all starts on a night just like any other; and it shall end on a night unlike any other...
"How much longer do you think they're going to make us wait here?" a spiky blond hair boy dressed in a blue shirt and pants uniform, just like the rest of the cadets in the room with him, softly asked his friend, whom he was standing at attention next to somewhere at the back part of the room. "We've been in here for almost an hour now and nothing's being done about this."
"I don't know, Cloud," the person, who had ebon black hair that was somewhat long and tied up into a ponytail at the back, replied in an equally soft whisper. "All I know is that somebody wanted almost all of the Shinra army staff, including any available 3rd to 1st Class SOLDIERs, which pretty much looks like all of them to me, gathered here in the assembly room. Apparently, it must be something really important that they want to talk about if they practically want the entire army here."
Both people looked to have been in their early to mid teens. They were practically at around the same height, but the blond looked slightly taller because of the way his spikes stood up and angled itself in odd directions. Both were skinny but had muscle visibly showing through their tight shirts; although the long haired teen looked a lot more muscular, as his muscles were clearly rippling through his shirt.
"Well, if they don't start soon, I'm going to sneak myself out of this place," the other cadet, whose name was Cloud, replied with crossed arms while tapping his boot-covered foot impatiently. "I mean, we're the closest ones to the door. It's practically right next to us. I doubt that they would even notice one cadet missing from all of this. That and all of this waiting is nothing short of ridiculous. You'd think that they would realize we have other things to be doing besides waiting for some person who doesn't even have the decency to come here on time like the rest of us."
"That's what you're saying now, but are you going be thinking the same thing when you get caught wandering the hallways?" the other person warned as he saw the blond starting to become slightly antsy. "I doubt you'll be singing the same tune when that ends up happening to you."
"Oh, come on, Adeus. I'm sure even you're thinking the same thing as I am here," the blond said in a teasing tone as he lightly elbowed his friend's ribs with his elbow. "Don't go denying it. Besides, they only said that this scientist of theirs named Hojo wants to tell us about a scientific breakthrough he's made. What does it have to do with us? Nothing, I tell you. He just probably wants to show off his intellect to us or something like that."
"I wouldn't say that it has completely nothing to do with us," Adeus said thoughtfully, although he did keep the possibility of what Cloud said rooted in the back of his mind. "It does seem weird, though, that he's asking for every person who's in the Shinra army. Does what this guy has to say really affect all of us?"
"I don't know and I don't care," Cloud answered with a small huff and a somewhat childish roll of his eyes. "I've already made up my mind, though. I'm not going to just stand around and listen to some scientist tell everybody that he's discovered something so extraordinary. If you ask me, he could have easily done the same thing by submitting an article in the Shinra newspaper."
"Wait, you're not seriously leaving, are you Cloud?" his friend asked in hushed shock as the blond started to casually make his way out of the open door, the action already fully answering his question.
"Well, why not?" the blond asked back as he neared the exit while trying to stay as casual as possible, a feat he found hard while talking to Adeus at the same time. "We're bound to figure out whatever this scientist had to say tomorrow morning. If it's that important, then everybody will be talking about it."
"Oh, you're unbelievable, you know that?"
"I know. And I'm guessing that's why you ended up finding a friend in me when we first met six months ago. So are you coming with me or not?"
"You really want me to go ditching this assembly with you?" Adeus asked in shock as he raised his eyebrows at the suggestion.
"Don't tell me you're actually planning on staying here just to listen to the scientific crap?"
"Uh, that kind of was the original plan here."
"Fine then, your loss of the widely sought for freedom that everybody wants. If this does happen to go long into the night and you have a hard time getting up tomorrow for morning training, though, don't come crying to me about it."
"What? You don't really think it'll last that long, now do you?"
"I don't know, Adeus, but I'm not sticking around to find out. See you tomorrow morning if you're not too out of it."
"W-wait a minute, Cloud!" Adeus whispered hastily as he walked as quickly and inconspicuously towards the door his friend just exited out through. "I've changed my mind! I'm going with you."
"I figured you were going to say that sooner or later," Cloud answered with a grin and a small chuckle as he saw the black haired teen sidle alongside the walls until he was out of the doorway with him. "You always try to do whatever it takes whenever it comes to the training stuff that we do."
"Of course I take them seriously," the ebon haired teen responded as he sighed out in relief at the fact that they did not get caught sneaking out, at least not yet. "Those are probably the only things that these people here look for when they're choosing who they want to have in SOLDIER. They only want to look for the strongest of the strong here, and I'm not going to let one missed training session get in the way of my chance at becoming a SOLDIER."
"Is that why you decided to take my lead and ditch the assembly?" the blond inquired with a playful smirk dancing on his lips.
"I…well, that's…, Oh, that doesn't have anything to do with it, Cloud!" the long haired teen stuttered out. "I just want to make sure I'm in top form when we have to do drills tomorrow, that's all. God, you're really starting to sound a lot like Zack with all your playful nagging, you know that? I think he's starting to rub off on you."
"Whatever you say, Adeus," Cloud said with a shrug as he led the way down the hall to the cadets' quarters where they both shared a room. "Now that you mention it, I wonder if he's going to be doing the same thing as we're doing."
"Even though he's a real playful guy, something that I find hard to believe since he's actually supposed to be a 1st Class SOLDIER, I figured that he came here simply because he had nothing else to do" Adeus said with a small shrug of his shoulders. "The announcement earlier did say for any available 1st Class SOLDIERs to attend. I don't think he'd be here if he had something important to be doing."
"I guess you're right. It doesn't make sense that he'd come here and shirk his other duties, unless his other duties have to deal with filling out paperwork or other things like that," he added with another silent chuckle. "Then again, I wouldn't put it past him to come up with an excuse or two to get out this meeting. Either way, I bet you a hundred gil that he actually finds a way sneak out of there."
"Yeah, I guess we shouldn't put it past him to do something like that," the blond replied as the smile he had on his lips only grew wider. He had to rub the end of his nose a bit to keep himself from laughing out loud at the memories that were flooding through his head. "He does know how to use that puppy-dog look whenever he wants things to go his way. That and he's done crazier things before we even met him, or at least that's what he tells us. Anyway, let's hurry up and get to our rooms before one of the higher-ups catches us; then we'd really be in trouble."
And with that, the two of them continued on their way as stealthily as they could towards their rooms, hoping that none of the SOLDIERs or other personnel would catch and report them. If that happened, then they would be in so much trouble; they would prefer suffering through a boring meeting than suffer through punishment. Oh well, it was already too lat to change their minds. All they could do now was keep moving and hide from any higher-ups they see in their path.
Those two are either really daring or really stupid, a raven haired SOLDIER 1st Class situated at the back of the platform where the podium was situated on thought as he looked at Cloud and Adeus trying to leave the assembly room unnoticed. They're really lucky I managed to distract the other 1st Class here or they would have been in a world of hurt by now.
"…And so… Hey, did you even hear a word I just said to you?" a man of the same hair color and looking to be somewhat older asked with an annoyed edge in his voice.
"Uh, what?" the raven haired man, who looked to be in his mid to late teens, replied dumbly as he diverted his attention to the man next to him. "Sorry, I kind of missed the last part."
"Oh honestly Zack, you better start paying more attention to things whenever someone's trying to talk to you," the man said with a sigh as he palmed his forehead lightly. "That kind of behavior is something that can easily get you in trouble with the president. I don't even understand now why I even decided to let you pass on to the 1st Class SOLDIER program."
Both men were of the same ranking, but the age difference, along with experience, clearly separated the two from each other. The teen looked to be taller than the other, but only by a little less than an inch or so. His hair was also pretty spiky and openly defied gravity without any kind of gel to help it, a complete opposite to the older man's visibly better tamed, yet slightly ruffled-looking, hair.
"Anyway, I asked if you were sure that you had finished all of your business before deciding to come here?" the man continued on with a small sigh escaping his lips, already knowing what the answer was going to be before he even had a chance to hear it.
"Uh, I'm sure I did, Angeal," the young teen answered as he thought it over, knowing full well in the back of his head the small pile of paperwork on his desk in his room. "Everything looks like it was done the last time I checked it out."
The other man, Angeal, seemed to know that and did not look the least bit surprised at hearing that the young SOLDIER, Zack, had finished all of his work already. He just thought he would let it play out, seeing as how he always found some kind of hidden amusement to the teen's antics.
"Oh, wait a minute; I think I did forget about something!" Zack exclaimed somewhat loudly, causing everybody inside the room to look at his direction with raised eyebrows. Apparently, he had forgotten that he was right now in an assembly room awaiting for the main man to arrive.
After mumbling an apology to both the crowds and others that were on the podium with him, all while scratching the back of his head in an embarrassed fashion and ruffling his gravity-defying locks of spiky raven hair, he said in a softer tone, "There's still that report for the Turks that I haven' t finished yet. They said that they wanted it done two days from now, but I think Tseng's expecting it by tomorrow morning just so he can look over it for any mistakes I might have made. I still don't understand why he wants to treat me like a child sometimes."
"Oh, I think I can come up with a couple reasons why he's thinking like that" Angeal chuckled a bit, earning him a scowl from the teen. Whether he was laughing out of amusement at the face or at how he saw the young teen prove himself wrong again, the spiky haired teen did not know. "Well, if you think that you have to do it, then go ahead and do it. You don't have to stay here and listen to Professor Hojo talk about whatever it is he's decided to talk about."
"Oh, trust me, I'd rather be doing paperwork than to listen to that creepy old scientist run his mouth about something that practically nobody except the president himself cares about," Zack stated with a light groan leaving he back of his throat. "If you want me to be honest with you, I think he just likes to hear himself talk about his 'scientific breakthroughs' and all that other boring jazz."
"You keep talking like that about him and you'll find yourself in a lot of trouble," the older man warned as he suddenly gave off a knowing smile, one that usually signaled to Zack that he knew what he was up to and was going to be in some kind of trouble later. "Just like those two cadets that snuck out of the room while you were trying to take my attention away from them."
"Uh, what are you talking about, Angeal?" the teen asked, keeping his surprised feeling in careful check and trying to feign ignorance on the subject while pretending to look out in the crowd for said escapees. "Who did you say managed to get out of this hell…uh, meeting?"
"Oh, just cut the act, Zackary," the man said with a hint of amusement in his voice before letting it disappear and replacing it with seriousness. "You've been my student for so long; I can practically tell what you're doing before you even decide to do it. Before those two even left, I figured that they were going to pull something like that while you unconsciously help them."
"…Heh, nothing I do ever gets past you, does it?" Zack asked with a nervous half-grin plastered on his face.
"Fortunately for me, nothing does. Alright, I'll cut you a deal here, even though I'm not supposed to be doing that. If those two don't get caught going to wherever it is they're going to, I won't report you about your aid in their unauthorized leave. However, if they are caught, then I'll let Director Lazard know that you helped a couple of cadets leave the assembly room when they weren't supposed to."
"I hope that you're not going to make me promise to that and then just conveniently find them wandering the hallways, are you?" the teen asked, both eyebrows raising in suspicion at his comment. "Because if that's what you're thinking, then there's no way I'm falling for such a lowball trick like that."
"Where's the honor of making a promise, then, if that's what I had planned all along? Besides, I could just get you in trouble right now if I wanted to. I wouldn't need to go through all that trouble getting your hopes up just so I can punish you in the same way I should be doing now."
"…You know, that's a really good point you bring up there, Angeal," the teen stated with a sheepish grin. "Alright, if they don't get caught, you won't say anything about this to anyone."
"You better be thankful that I choose to put up with your childish antics every now and again," the older man sighed with a small shake of his head. "I, myself, honestly don't know why I do."
Yeesh, I didn't think that I was that noticeable, the teen thought with a frown as he clearly ignored the man next to him. I really hope that Cloud and Adeus don't do something stupid and get themselves caught. If they do, then I'll personally give them hell the next time I see them for training.
"Alright then, Angeal. I guess I better make my way back to my room now if I ever plan on finishing all that stupid paperwork for Tseng by tonight. I'll see you tomorrow, provided that I'm not fast asleep."
"Try not to get yourself sidetracked on your way there," the man said in a knowing tone. "And I do hope that you're not going to end up oversleeping tomorrow. I'm sure you remember what happened last time that happened."
"Hey, that was a one-time thing!" Zack answered with a huff as he walked off the podium and made his way to the exit nearest him. "If you're worried about anyone sleeping, direct that to yourself. Make sure you stay awake during this boring lecture. I'll probably ask you about it in case we have a meeting regarding this speech."
"I'm not your personal human recorder, Zack."
"I know, but I also know that you'll still end up helping me with that. Anyway, I got to get going now. See you tomorrow, Angeal!"
With a small wave of his hand, the young SOLDIER 1st Class got of the platform and made his way towards the nearest door. A few of the 2nd and 3rd Class SOLDIERS and a couple of daring cadets looked at him as Zack softly hummed to himself as he pasted right by them. Apparently, he was happy that he found a way to get out of being here right now.
"Restless little pup," Angeal mumbled to himself with a roll of his eyes, but the smile on his lips showed that he was just as amused as the others. "Always managing to find some way to get out of listening to Hojo's speeches. Hopefully, he's not going to miss out on much this time around."