Elena sat in the exam room, an ice pack pressed to the back of her head, the blinds drawn tightly closed. The orderly who stood by looking over her charts was fidgety and nervous, still expecting at any moment the monstrous Leviathan would come slithering around the corner and crush the two of them, a sandwich between flimsy cinderblock walls. The summon had disappeared with the summoner, though, and now Healin could try to scrape itself back together. Those doctors who were unharmed or minimally scathed were coming to the aid of fallen staff and patients who were now even worse off than when they'd checked in. The death-toll was going to be exceptionally impressive, and was certain to continue to rise. Healin was not stocked with enough blood and surgeons to possibly save everyone…
All around executive decisions were being made - who should live and who should die. And for some reason Elena had a nurse all to herself even though all she'd suffered were a few well-earned bruises and a bump on the head. Finally becoming irritated with his mouse-like scampering about the little room, Elena lost her temper and cursed him out the door. "Shouldn't you be resuscitating some one!" The shouting felt good, emotionally, but a moment later there came another stabbing pain at her temple and she dropped back into the half-propped exam chair.
For a few blessed moments she was left to herself, able to drift, unthinking in the quiet, before the soft pad of expensive leather shoes down the hall reached her ears. She opened her dilated hazel eyes the ever so smallest crack, enough to see the general outline of the two suits that entered: one pristine white, and one so dark a navy blue it was damn near black. Just like hers. Only cleaner.
"Tseng-san. Shachou." She greeted them quietly, hoping to set the volume for the conversation by her own soft words. Tseng would likely be good enough to oblige. Actually neither man was the sort to regularly raise his voice. They both came off much more dangerous the lower their voices got.
"Elena…" Her superior was immediately at her side, inspecting her condition. He trusted her in a fight, implicitly, but once it was all over and done with it seemed as though he let go of his professional bearing and permitted himself fret. It had only gotten worse since they'd come back from the Forgotten City, but then that was to be expected. She found it touching, and gratifying, actually. It seemed to Tseng she was an equal and an individual both at once.
"I'm alright," she assured him, her voice fittingly steady. "Drugged, a Sleep. I let my guard down and Valentine hit me square in the face. Sneaky bastard. He came from the upper floor, through one of the holes Leviathan left in the ceiling."
For a moment Tseng looked surprised to hear this. After the gallant rescue from their captivity at the hands of the silver haired men, Tseng had almost assumed that Vincent was acting on old TURK loyalties, and maybe he had been, then, but now…? "And you had Yazoo, right there, point blank?"
"Point. Blank." Elena shot off an imaginary bullet from the tip of her index finger. "I caught the movement above my head and shot upward instead. Of course I missed Valentine by a mile. By then I was sneezing Sleep dust and he'd swept the little fuck right out from under me. I have no idea where they went, no clue what the hell Valentine would want with him." Elena sighed, disappointed in herself, confused with the situation, but not entirely surprised.
The TURKs were pretty well aware that Vincent Valentine could be considered an Elite's Elite. It wasn't really known what Hojo had done to him, but the deranged scientist hadn't even been able to dispose of his own trial-run, and save the long hair and tattered crimson wardrobe, Mr. Valentine didn't look any different than the photograph in his file (which had been sealed, of course, but what did that matter to the TURKs? Internal espionage was just one of the perks, a routine exercise, really.) Not a day older, at all.
"And Loz has disappeared with them, as well…" Rufus interjected quietly, thinking. "I want those two detained, as soon as possible. Once you are fit to leave this facility, Elena, I want you and Tseng to locate them and find a way to bring them back while Kadaj is conveniently out of the way. Unfortunately as a team they've proven a bit too much for us, but Yazoo is wounded and Loz cannot act on his own volition. Provided we can find a way around our dubious friend, Mr. Valentine, there should be no better time than now to get them back in hand."
Rufus turned and made his way back to the exam room door. He paused a moment through, considering, and when he'd made up his mind he looked over his shoulder to the trustworthy pair of TURKs once more. "And under no circumstances permit them to reunite with our dear Kadaj… He was, unfortunately, able to attain the head of Jenova… I don't even want to consider what their reunion might mean…"
Elena permitted herself a small smile beneath the icepack. "Then your permission, Sir?"
"You have it." Rufus answered her curtly. "Whether they engage you or not, you may kill them if need be."
Tseng could hear Elena, almost purring like an expectant lioness, and could picture her already mentally browsing through their impressive armoury.
Author's Remarks: IT LIVES! Hehehe! I bet the second round of interest this hibernating story is enjoying owes itself to the English Advent Children release? May I just say Dubbing SATAN! Ewww! And the subtitles on that puppy? Not much better. :P I'm still going by my personal interpretation. The SHM are still going to be "Avatars" not "Remnants" (WtF?oO) and all the movie-line references will be my translations as well. "Uragirimono nan da yo" does NOT mean "He's what you'd call a Black Sheep." Close, but no cigar. So there! I'll make notes of the differences when necessary.
Translations: None this chapter. My brain is utterly fried. I can't think in coherent Japanese. (Must now go to work for the next five hours and speak nothing but Japanese.) Kill me… TT