Just to assure you all this story is finished it's just finding time to upload them (I know it doesn't take too long but my free time is extremely limited atm xD) Enjoy!


-Chapter Twenty-Seven-

Nuclear Sky

"What the hell happened?" Shaun asked as everybody returned to the jet. "You could see the beam of light from here, it was huge!"

"We'll explain in a minute, we need to get in the air and out of the country now, we can't stay in one place for too long…" Vincent said to everyone, Cid took this as his cue to get in the cockpit and start the engines.

"Why not?" Tifa asked rather bewildered.

"The government can't keep that meteor quiet, it's visible for god sake! There will be panic, riots, the world is going to be plunged into chaos and there is nothing in the world we can do to stop it!" For the first time ever Vincent sounded truly defeated. He had always been the one to turn to for a plan, now however he did not know what to do.

The jet was airborne in next to no time, and for once none of them knew what to do, they all looked completely lost. Had they lost all hope completely? Where was there to go now, if the world was going to be in the state which Vincent predicted, and his predictions were usually true, the companions were going to be at the top of everyone's hit list, or at least Alex and Tifa would be.

Vincent collapsed into an armchair, and Shaun took it upon himself to switch on the television to see the state of the news. To nobody's surprise, meteor was headlining. There were several pictures taken from observatories, depicting in detail the huge purple meteorite which was hurtling towards the earth.

"But surely there has to be a way to stop it?" Shaun asked everyone in the room, "There is always an opposite to everything so there has to be to this!"

Cloud looked at him and replied. "There is, but there is not enough time to find the means to stop it. Holy is the only way to destroy it, and that was lost back in our world. We couldn't find it there, so why would we be able to find it here?"

This could not be the end, this was the last shred of hope that they had to cling to, they could not let it go. "No, that's not the outlook to have!" Yuffie cried, running up to him and punching him in the chest rather harder than usual, "We need to find it, it has to be here!"

"And where to you propose we start?" Vincent asked her, his head leaning on one of his hands, "Any logical suggestions at this point would be greatly appreciated."

"Well I don't know, holy places!" She cried, realising just how unspecific and consequently unhelpful this was.

The TV suddenly went dead, all they could see was white noise. Shaun went over to it and changed channel, however it was the same on every single one, nothing but white noise.

"Bad signal perhaps?" He suggested.

"No…" Vincent replied, "…something far more sinister…"

X

"A brilliant idea if I do say so myself…" Sephiroth said to Josh who was currently in control, "…you have proved yourself more useful than I could ever have imagined."

Josh did not answer as the two of them entered the studio. The two of them again seemed to be undetectable, walking past various runners and reporters without getting so much as a double take. He manipulated someone every now and again just to make sure he was heading the correct way.

Before long however he found himself facing the door which read 'news room', there was a red light lit above it which said 'on air'. This was exactly what he was looking for, he confidently stretched out a hand and pushed the door wide open. He was met with the standard setup, a news desk surrounded by green-screen, and several cameras pointing straight at it.

Taking several steps into the room, Josh sat down in a vacant chair and observed the newsreader for a moment. As expected meteor was headline news, a recording of the ship which he had summoned it from was currently playing. It was incredible how quickly this world managed to publish its news, which was exactly the thing Sephiroth wanted.

Josh closed his eyes, and the room suddenly went completely dark. "We've lost power we're off the air," A crew member said, "Go to emergency power back up now!" Nothing happened, the room remained in complete darkness.

He began to make several phone calls only to realise he had no signal on his phone. His face was illuminated, hovering there in the pitch black of the room. His face suddenly went blank. Putting his phone away, he walked over and sat behind camera number one.

The lights suddenly came back up and illuminated a horrible scene. Everybody except that one crew member had been slaughtered. Blood stained the floors of the studio, and leaning in front of the news desk was none other than Josh, looking directly down into camera one.

The red 'on air' light flipped back on. "People of the world," He began, speaking very clearly and defiantly, "I stand here before you now with two options. As you all know, a meteorite is heading towards the earth, it will collide with the planet in precisely two days, twenty one hours, seven minutes and thirty two seconds" He smiled, "Option one is you all accept your fate, you go out and enjoy the rest of your pathetic lives whilst you still can." His eyes flickered over to the door where several people had started trying to get in, Josh's barrier would prevent this with ease however.

"Option two is that you hunt down and destroy Alex West and her companions." He manipulated the green-screen technology and made a picture of Alex and Tifa both appear. "If, and only if these menaces are destroyed will meteor cease to exist. Look in every building, every home, every cave, every town, every city and every village. Leave no stone unturned, hunt them all down," The green screen flashed up pictures of all the other parasites and their hosts, "less you want to be destroyed. Will you let this be your end? That is the choice I leave to you, goodbye!" The on air light flashed back off.

Just as this did so the door burst open. Josh had removed the barrier and let them come in. As expected there were several heavily armed men. "Ah gentlemen…" Josh began, then allowed Sephiroth to take over.

"Fantastic, I was beginning to think you weren't coming…" He unsheathed his sword, the Masamune.

X

"Wait a minute…" Vincent began as the TV was reduced to white noise once more, "…why is he so intent on getting rid of us? The damage is done, unless…" He began to pace the cabin, "…unless killing him deactivates the materia!"

The fire seemed to return in Vincent's eyes within an instant. "Yes!" Cloud agreed, punching the air in delight, "that must be why, and he knows we are the only ones who stand a chance of killing him."

"Right!" Yuffie joined in, a look of utter ecstasy on her face, "So we just need to find him and kill him in order for…"

"Meteor to vanish!" Red who had taken over Shaun looked amazed, "when meteor is gone, the hunt for us will stop, and then we can…"

"Start trying to figure out how to get the hell back home!" Barret shouted, also getting to his feet and moving closer to his companions, "Only problem is…"

"Finding out where he is." Cid chirped in, yet still looking positively delighted, "But if we all pool our ideas that should be a piece of cake!"

They all looked round at Tifa, only to see that Alex had taken over and had not shared their enthusiasm. "It's Josh, you just want to destroy him too…?" She looked as though she was on the verge of tears. To everyone's amazement Red morphed back into Shaun, who walked over to her.

"Alex…" He began, looking at her very seriously, "…I think Josh died the second he realised what you were, I think…I think Sephiroth has killed the Josh we once knew completely, he is gone Alex…letting this thing which is pretending to be Josh continue to do what he is doing is an insult to his memory."

Alex completely broke down into Shaun's arms. There was nothing that could be said, nothing that could be done which would change his fate now. She had not accepted it up until this point, not wanted to believe that her childhood friend was gone, that a masked imposter was now running amuck in his place.

When the tears eventually subsided, Shaun released Alex from his grasp, and she turned to face the rest of the group. "You're all right of course…I'm sorry…"

"Don't be sorry, we understand…" Cloud was the first to say, walking over to her and giving her a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder, "…but we've got to do what we've got to do…"

"Yeah…" Cid said, he had just made a quick trip to the cockpit, "…and what we've got to do right now is set this baby down and refuel her."

"Where are we?" Vincent asked, flipping the TV onto the map screen.

"About a hundred miles south of Greenland, we should be able to set her down there quickly, attempting to go any further though and…" He made a whistling noise, followed by a 'pop' sound.

"Right set her down, only one of us needs to leave the plane, the fewer of us that are seen the better." Vincent suggested.

"I can camouflage myself and refuel the jet if that makes things a little more convenient?" Yuffie asked, unnecessarily demonstrating the ability for the umpteenth time.

X

The airfield they landed at seemed to be a prime example of how effectively Sephiroth's television announcement had worked. Getting the thing landed in a runway was difficult enough, many people seemed to be panicking and fleeing the country for…what? Nobody could say for sure.

"Perhaps there are underground vaults somewhere?" Shaun suggested, looking out of the window as Yuffie left to attempt to refuel.

"Won't do them any good even if there are…" Vincent informed him, "…this is not a normal meteor, it will go straight through the planet like it is butter, an underground vault might be a good idea for surviving a nuclear winter, otherwise it has little use…"

"Well then they may as well go on vacation…" Shaun remarked, his joke not receiving any kind of laughter response.

There was an explosion in the distance and several worried cries. "I'd get used to the sight of that if I were you…" Cloud said to everyone, "…Like you said Vincent, the world is in chaos, speaking of which…can you still become chaos here?"

"Can't say I've tried yet…" Vincent replied, now wondering why this hadn't crossed his mind before, "…what good would it do even if I could though? Unless we find Sephiroth that is."

"When we find him ya mean!" Barret shouted, trying to raise morale. There was another explosion in the distance. "Nobody ever got anywhere by thinkin' $%^% negatively!"

Vincent chuckled. "I don't think I can just do it automatically, much like back in our world it is going to have to be a spur of the moment thing I feel…" Vincent informed them all, returning to the original question.

Yuffie chose that moment to return to the Jet. "We are all ready to go, how often are we gonna have to do this?" She asked curiously.

"As often as need be!" Cid replied, jumping to his feet and returning swiftly to the cockpit. Moments later the engines roared into life, and they were off again.

"What I don't understand…" Shaun said as if continuing a long conversation, "…is how he managed to get pictures of us and all of our hosts, how is that even possible? He hasn't even seen Cid yet…"

"Some things may never be explained…" Vincent replied, sitting down and crossing his legs, "…for now, let's just focus on taking him down, we ask questions later."

X

One day, twelve hours and thirty two minutes to impact.

"It is within range at last sir!" An aide said, walking up to the president in the secured bunker. "We need you down at bunker sixty four immediately, this has got to work!" He sounded very enthusiastic.

The president of the united states however did not share the enthusiasm, this thing did not look like it was going to be beaten by normal means. "Anything is worth a try at this stage…" The past twenty four hours had been utter hell.

Since the television transmission the states had plunged into pandemonium. Many people stormed the Whitehouse, and it was extremely lucky that the president had got out alive. If he had not, the missiles he was about to fire would not have been accessible, and all hope would have been extinguished completely.

He and his aide walked down the clinically lit military corridors, until they finally reached a door entitled 'Bunker Sixty-Four'. The aid took a key-ring out from his pocket, fumbled for a few moments to find the right key, inserted it into the lock and turned.

They entered the bunker, it was completely kitted out with high tech military equipment. On the far wall was a map of the world with lots of different red markers all flashing rapidly. This, the president knew, was the current state of the world.

"Glad we can finally blow this thing out of the sky sir…" An important looking man said to him, saluting as the president approached.

"Worth a go Sergeant…" The president followed him over to a computer which had what appeared to be two finger print scanners, two retina eye scanners, two key card slots and two normal keyholes.

"We must do this in perfect unison sir…" The sergeant said, walking over to the right hand side to the four devices, the first of which was the normal keyhole. The president extracted a small key from his pocket and inserted it into the lock, a key he had hoped never to use, the sergeant did the same on his side, "On my count, three, two, one…" They both turned, one red light out of four on the monitor between them turned green.

The moved on to the key-card slot. The sergeant handed a card over to the president. "Again on three sir…" He said, inserting his card into the slot, "Three, two, one…" They both removed the cards in a flourish. The second light went green.

On to the finger print scanner. They both hovered their fingers a fraction away from their pads before repeating the process and pressing them to it. The third light went green.

The final security protocol now. "Sergeant, do you really think this is going work?" The president asked, resting his head on the chin rest in front of the eye scanner, no need for synchronisation this time it would seem.

"You have any other suggestions Mr President?" He asked, doing the same with his scanner, the president did not answer.

The final light went green. "On my count then…" The president said, addressing two men sitting at the computer next to him. "Fire in five… four… three… two… one… fire!"

Several bright orange lights near the coast of Hawaii lit up.

X

Around twenty huge nuclear missiles burst forth from underneath the sea floor, hurtling their way towards outer space and ultimately towards meteor. Their journey was being watched as mere dots on a map back in the bunker. They hurtled towards the huge boulder, yet before they were within fifty miles, they detonated, making the sky above the planet light up spectacularly, a light so bright it would surely burn the retina of anyone looking upon it.

So it had failed, whatever magic was used to summon meteor was too great for the missiles to penetrate. All hope for the mortal world was now lost, and their hopes, though they did not know it, now rested on the shoulders of eight individuals and their parasitical others.

X

"They should have known from the off that that wasn't going to work!" Barret cried, looking out of the window at the aftermath of the sky. Meteor was now a lot closer, a lot bigger to the eye. It was this that put it into perspective just how huge it must be.

"Can't blame them for trying." Vincent said, pacing around hopelessly, their last days efforts of finding Sephiroth had been unsuccessful.

"Oh but this is pointless!" Tifa said, exasperatedly, "…we have no idea where to look and no leads."

At that precise moment, Reeve's phone began to ring in his pocket. He was still unconscious, so Shaun took the liberty of relieving him of it. He read the caller id on the screen which said 'Francesca'.

"She is dead though!" He said aloud, making everybody crowd behind him to look at the screen, it rang through to voicemail. Seconds later it began to ring again, and Shaun decided to answer it. "Hello?"

There was a short minute conversation between him and whoever it was on the other end of the phone before he hung up and put the phone on the table beside Reeve. "Set course for Moscow, Russia, seems old Rufus Shinra wants a word with us all…"


A/N As usual reviews appreciated. Little disheartened this story hasn't had the response we were expecting (we thought the idea was pretty original xD) Until next time.

R+A