Thus, the ending of Wolfish Ways begins.
Story Theme: Revolution Roulette - Poets of the Fall
Chapter Theme: Our Solemn Hour - Within Temptation
Summary: It starts...
"Fix them Hojo, and do it now."
The scientist stared at the blonde 1st, not missing the deadly fire that was shining in his electric blue eyes. He flicked his eyes to the raven haired Lieutenant General standing at his side, determination and anger flowing through every line of his body. Then he looked to the two men who were collapsed on the floor between them, their bodies having failed them. Hojo sneered, pushing his glasses up absently and flicking his greasy hair behind his shoulder.
"Why should I do anything for Hollander's failed experiments?" he said dismissively, glaring at Cloud when he suddenly found the man in his face.
"I will kill you if you don't fix them," he growled, and Hojo's sneer only widened. He brushed Cloud's hand off his collar, where it had been twisted in his fist.
"You kill me, they'll never get fixed," he snapped, patting himself on the back mentally when a tinge of uncertainty crept into those blue eyes. Hojo took a step back, not intimidated in the least by any of the 1st's, not even his son. He had an idea, as he studied the two men on the floor, then the two that were standing. He had been itching to get his hands on Cloud, ever since he had figured out that somehow, the blonde kid had joined with his beautiful Jenova. He had tried, repeatedly, to get Cloud to willingly agree to become his experiment. He never had anything to convince him though, and was always turned down, even threatened with bodily harm by his own son. But now…now he had leverage.
"If you let me try something on you," he said to Cloud, then looked at Zack. "Both of you, I will fix these two…things." He watched their eyes narrow, as they contemplated his offer. He could tell neither one of them wanted to agree, but he knew they would, because they knew he was the only who could fix Angeal's and Genesis degradation.
"Don't," the soft whisper came from Genesis, and Hojo restrained himself from snapping at him. Cloud knelt down, eyes going soft as he took the deathly pale hand in his. Genesis found enough strength to look up, his slowly graying auburn hair swinging forward, and obscuring his gaunt, ashen face. "Don't do it. Were not worth his price."
"He's right," Angeal added hoarsely, not arguing when Zack knelt, putting a supportive arm around his shoulder. "You know what he'll do to both of you. Don't do it, please." Completely ignoring the fuming scientist, Zack and Cloud looked at each other over the heads of their ill lovers. The same thoughts were going through their minds.
If they agreed, they would go through not only physical torture, but mental as well. Considering what had happened to Sephiroth, and Vincent at the hands of this man, neither one was to keen on that idea. Yet if they didn't agree… Hollander had no clue how to fix what was wrong with them, and considering they had gotten to this point in only two weeks was alarming. Angeal and Genesis had gone from strong and healthy, to mere wraiths of themselves in that short of time. They didn't even know exactly what was going on, besides that it was something to do with Jenova's cells. She was dead, yes, but if that was the reason, then Cloud, Zack, and Sephiroth should all be deteriorating as well. Since they weren't, and they were all products of Hojo, it was only logical to assume that Hojo could fix them. Now they knew it was true, because despite Hojo's desperation to get Cloud into his labs, if he couldn't fix them, he would have said so. An idea popped into Cloud's head, a very good, but stupid idea, and he looked at Hojo.
"How much longer do they have, do you think?" he asked, purposely keeping his voice small and uncertain. It worked, and a triumphant light entered Hojo's eyes. Perfect.
"I would say another month at least, if not more. Despite the deterioration of their Jenova cells, they would be able to live that long. As long as they got regular doses of mako, of course."
"Of course," Cloud said dully, looking back to Zack. He mouthed the words, barely moving his lips, 'Bar the door.' Zack blinked, narrowing his eyes, and Cloud gave him a small, reassuring smile. He hoped he knew what the hell he was doing. Zack stood, and walked over to the door.
"Where do you think your going, young– " Hojo started, before his voice was choked off by Cloud's hand. Without wasting any movements, the 1st had him in a chair, tied to it and gagged within a few minutes. He looked over his shoulder, only to see Zack glaring at the assistants who were trying to leave. He walked over to the group, ignoring the astonished eyes of the two Generals on the ground, and smiled charmingly at the scared people.
"Listen," he began, hooking his thumbs into his belt loops, and easily making himself seem non-threatening. They relaxed, and he continued to smile, though inside he was seething. He wanted to kill all these people, because they worked for Hojo. "If ya'll could, would you pack up all his equipment, everything ya think he'll need. I would be much obliged if you would do that for me." One daring woman stepped up, giving him a suspicious look even as half of them walked away, talking amongst themselves as they started doing what Cloud asked. Hojo could only glare at his underlings, as they ignored him completely.
"Where are you taking him?" she asked coldly, and Cloud let the jovial, good boy charm seep off his face, replacing it with his own cold, angry look of his own. He knew his eyes had changed to an icy blue when she flinched, and dropped her gaze.
"I'm not going to tell you, so that way, if someone asks, you can honestly say you didn't know where we went," he said, his voice clipped, completely unlike the sexy drawl he had been using. She stared at him for a moment longer, weighing the truth of his words. Finding no falsehood, she nodded and effortlessly took over command of the packing.
"What are you doing?" Zack whispered to him, sighing in amusement when he noticed that despite the excitement, Angeal and Genesis had fallen asleep, leaning against each other.
"Taking him with us," Cloud whispered back, pulling out his phone, and dialing Tseng's number.
"I need a transport helicopter, destination vacation spot." A.K.A., Mime, a city in Wutai that was going to be their base of operations when they left. Well, a spot about 200 miles into the thick jungle to the west of the city. The Turk was silent for a moment.
"How soon, and what cargo?" Cloud smiled, and it wasn't nice.
"Immediately, and precious." Meaning human.
"I will be going."
"Affirmative. Is an hour good?"
"Yes, it should take that long to get ready."
They both hung up. Cloud knew that the helicopter would be ready, and on the landing pad on the roof of the Tower in exactly one hour.
"Zack, talk to that woman, and get a few people to start taking stuff to the roof please," he said quietly, and Zack nodded. Cloud touched his arm lightly as he walked past. "Make sure you go with them." Nodding, Zack did as he was bid, and walked over to the woman as he walked over to Hojo. Pulling up a chair, he sat in front of him, giving him a level look, and ignoring the boiling hatred oozing out of his dark eyes.
"You said that mako will slow down the deterioration, correct?" Cloud said in a controlled voice, and Hojo just glared at him. Smiling his unpleasant smile once again, Cloud reached out, and snapped the very tip of his left pinky finger, making the scientist writhe and scream into the gag. When he was done screaming, Cloud gave him a very pleasant smile. Seeing Hojo in pain had put a warm, fuzzy feeling in his heart.
"Now, same question." The scientist nodded, sweat beading on his forehead above his glasses. "Second question. You can fix them, right? If you can't, tell me now, and I'll give you an easy death." Hojo's eyes widened slightly at his threat, then he slowly nodded again. Cloud echoed him, and stood. He walked over to the woman who was directing the lab staff, and politely tapped her on the shoulder.
"Miss, would you happen to know where the mako shots for SOLDIER's are kept?" he smiled at her, back to being the harmless good ol' boy, but she knew better at this point. She gave him a guarded look, and walked over to a refrigerated case, pulling out two vials of the glowing green/blue substance. She handed them to him, and he nodded his thanks. He walked past her and went to the metal rolling shelves that were always next to the examination tables, and pulled out two syringes. Zack walked past him with two laden carts pushed by two men, and gave him a curious look. Cloud shook his head, and knelt by Genesis and Angeal, both of them still asleep. Gently, he reached out and nudged them as Zack and the carts disappeared through the door, and two pairs of glazed blue eyes opened, and looked at him groggily.
"I need your arms," he said quietly, both of them giving him confused looks before seeing the mako in his hand. Understanding dawned, and Genesis was the first to hold out his left arm. Gently rolling up his sleeve, Cloud filled one of the needles, and finding his vein, slowly emptied the mako into the redheads arm. Genesis hissed once, and then suddenly his eyes exploded in light, and, for lack of a better description, he was more there then he had been. Angeal was next, and the same happened with him. They both stood shakily, arms around each other's waists for support. Cloud softly caressed Genesis's face, then Angeal's, so very glad that they had gotten over what had happened with Jenova.
"I need you both to start moving our stuff out of Midgar, and to Mime. Call everyone and tell them that the plans have changed, and it starts now." They both looked at him.
"Now?" Genesis whispered, and Cloud only nodded.
"You sure?" Angeal asked, and Cloud nodded again. Their plans weren't supposed to go into effect until later in the year, but what was happening with the two of them forced his hand. If they stayed, Hojo wouldn't fix them, because neither Cloud or Zack were willing to become his experiments. If they left, they would be able to monitor his outside contact, his tests, and they would probably have people who'd be willing to serve themselves up as human subjects, as sad as that was. However, by bringing him with them, they would be able to force him to treat Genesis and Angeal, and that was the important part.
The two men stood, and nodded to him. Cloud watched them leave, and a few moment of staring blankly at the door, it was pushed open again, Zack and the two men walking back in. He was still standing there, when they left again a minute later, the carts laden once again.
He knew in his heart that he was doing the right thing, but even knowing that couldn't keep the doubts from creeping in. Doubts about Hojo being able to heal them, whether or not this would actually work they way they wanted. He already talked to Reeve, and realized that the engineer already had multiple ideas for wind turbines, ways to change the current mako reactors into hydroelectric generators, and even different engines in their current vehicles that ran on mako, that would use nearly 70% less energy, while still keeping the same usability. They could do so many things, first by reducing the use of mako, while they started building the wind and water machines, then getting rid of it all together. It all seemed so easy. They would keep ShinRa out of the Eastern Continent and Wutai, starting there. If the people liked what they did, then eventually, it would spread to the Northern and Western Continent, and the Planet would be rid of ShinRa as its global power. That was the hope anyway. So many things could go wrong with that plan.
He was snapped out of his musing by a big bang, and he looked over his shoulder to see Hojo staring at him with glazed eyes, from where he hit his head on the floor. Shaking his head, Cloud walked over to the man, and righted the chair that the scientist had knocked over. He opened his mouth to scream, having managed to get the gag out of his mouth, and Cloud backhanded him lightly. Lightly meant that blood flew from his mouth, and started running down his chin when Hojo looked back at him with stunned eyes.
"You…you hit me," the older man said, voice slightly slurred. Cloud only smiled, and nodded.
"Yes, yes I did. And if you don't cooperate, I will be happy to turn you over to Sephiroth," he purred, putting his hands on the arms of the chairs and leaning forward, until he could smell the sour sweat of fear coming from Hojo. He also heard the commotion of the people packing, and knew his next words would only be heard by Hojo. His smile turned wicked, as he also remembered that Hojo had no clue that Vincent was out of his coffin, and coming with them. Hojo knew Sephiroth wanted a piece of him, and logically, he probably also knew Vincent wanted a piece, and just as badly. He made a promise to himself then, that once he got the good doctor to Wutai, the two men would have their piece. As long as they didn't kill him, though. Neither Cloud, Zack, Angeal, or Genesis had ever been experiment on by Hojo. They got to watch, not participate.
"I trust you remember Vincent Valentine?" he smirked when Hojo's eyes widened, his heart speeding dramatically and the smell of fear rose exponentially. "I see that you do. I'm going to give you to both of them, and then sit back and laugh my ass off when they torture you, like you did them. They can do anything they want to you, as long as they don't kill you. I promise you that."
He watched in sadistic amusement as Hojo failed to control his rapid breathing and heartbeat, finally passing out. He straightened, and turned as footsteps sounded behind him. The woman stopped by him, giving the scientist a disgusted look.
"Everything that is important is packed, sir," she said, bowing her head respectively. He nodded, thanked her, and turned to leave, Zack waiting at the door, but she stopped him with a light touch on his arm.
"Are you doing this, because its true?" she asked when he looked back to her. He raised an eyebrow, frowning in confusion, and she elaborated. "Is it true that he did human experimentation?" Cloud opened his mouth, closed it, then opened it again, deciding to trust this woman.
"Yes, he did," he said, and refused to say anymore. She frowned, thoughts racing across her face, and Cloud waited politely, if impatiently, for her to come to the conclusion of her thoughts.
"I want to come with you," she said firmly, and it was his turn to blink in shock. "I know what you must be thinking, but if you let me come with you, I will keep an eye on him, and not let him do anything like that to another human being. I swear it. If I had known he was doing things like that, I would never have agreed to work alongside him in the first place." Her voice was nearly vibrating with sincerity, and he could detect no lie in her eyes, voice, or body. He was on the verge of denying her request though, on principle, when Zack's smell washed over him, a second before a broad hand was placed on his shoulder.
"Let her come," Zack said quietly. "If she doesn't do what she says, we can always kill her." His voice was deadpan, and if Cloud hadn't known him as long as he did, he would of sworn that it was sincere. He knew that Zack wouldn't actually kill her, though the rest of them might, but this woman obviously believed him. She paled, eyes going wide.
"I s-swear," she stammered again, and they both nodded, though on the inside they were smirking.
"Then come with us."
She did, and it wasn't long before Cloud, Jaz, Hojo, and the new lady, Eve Supinelo, were on the helicopter, heading in a straight line for Mime, where they would off load their supplies and people, before carting them off into the woods, which was their true destination. Cloud and Jaz wouldn't be leaving again, Sephiroth was already there, and soon everyone else including the Turks would be joining them. Yes, it was time to begin their Revolution.
News report, November 7th
"We have just received a video, mailed to us from an undisclosed location, from 1st Class SOLDIER's, General Sephiroth, and Lieutenant Cloud Strife." The perfectly styled blonde woman smiled at the camera, before it switched to a shot of Sephiroth sitting in a chair, with Cloud standing behind him, the backdrop a plain concrete wall.
"We are recording this video, in the hopes that any channel on the Planet will broadcast it. We hope, that you all do, because what we have to say is very important." Sephiroth paused, his eyes becoming very firm, and convincing with their sincerity.
"I have left ShinRa. I am going to follow the plan of my Lieutenant Cloud Strife, because what he proposes, I feel, is the right thing to do. We no longer have to live under ShinRa, and their blanket of dependence. I ask anyone who feels the way I do, to follow us in doing what is right for the Planet, and everyone and everything living here." He nodded, and then stood. Cloud came around, and took the seat, even as Sephiroth placed his hands on his shoulders.
"I am not going to mince words. What I ask, many of you think will be impossible. I ask for revolution." He paused, taking a deep breath, collecting himself. He stared straight into the camera as he spoke, and anyone watching, felt as though his sincere, glowing eyes were looking directly at them.
"I ask that you put your faith in us, for the time being, and let us protect you while you, and not ShinRa, make your lives a better place. We do not have to use mako energy for everything. Already, there are plans in the works to build wind turbines that will use the wind to generate electricity. We are already using solar power alone. It can be done. The mako reactors can be shut down, which will severely reduce the presence of mako mutated creatures. We do not have to live under ShinRa any longer. They are a corrupt company that cares nothing for the people their supposed to protect. If you will work with us, we can make a better Planet, where you don't have to worry about being killed for speaking your mind. Everyone has free will, they should be free to use it."
He leaned forward, and his eyes nearly glittered with challenge and pride.
"I believe in our human race. I believe that we can change things. If you believe, if your ready to do the right thing for the Planet, then we will protect you while you strive for those goals. We will be here, keeping ShinRa from crushing us, and we hope that you will be there as well. All I ask is that you do your best for those around you; humans, animals, the Planet itself. Oh, and President Sir?"
A small, predatory smile slowly formed on his face, as his elliptical pupils narrowed to slits, irises glowing brightly with deadly promise.
"If you decided to do this, and push us, we will not hesitate to use deadly force. If our fellow Military still continue to be in your employment, we will not hesitate to strike the killing blow. We will not hesitate to use your own, stealthy tricks against you."
Anyone watching knew instantly that they meant the Turks. It was not confirmed that they did the dirty work, but there were enough true rumors to make people understand that they were more then bodyguards.
"That is something that you need to remember. For everyone watching, you should know that all three General's have come with us." Angeal and Genesis stepped into the picture, on either side of Sephiroth. "Also Lieutenant General Zackary Fair." Zack stepped in. "As well as most the Turks." Tseng, Reno, Rude, Elena, Cissnei, and a few others stepped into view, now filling the entire camera.
"We will keep the Western Continent free from ShinRa, if you will only trust us -" the television screens across the Planet went blank, before the blonde woman came back on, looking frazzled.
"Our feed was just cut, ShinRa told us to stop it. This video is completely true, ladies and gentleman, we have confirmed reports of their disappearance, as well as Dr. Hojo and the entire engineering department, led by Reeve Tuesti. It is confirmed, they are gone, and the video is authen -" The screen went black once again, but this time it stayed that way.