ShinRa Mansion - Final Fantasy VII Halloween Oneshot
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or the Legend Trip. I wish not to make any profit from this, just purely made for the entertainment of others.
Notes: Happy Halloween! This is a tale based on a film I watched a while ago called 'the Legend Trip' and I hope you all enjoy!
"It's just a house,"
You may say
As you stand looking up
at ShinRa mansion today,
"But looks can be deceiving,"
All neighbours will warn,
"All that's lived there before,
Are all left now to mourn."
You see, in this mansion,
People tend to go mad,
Murder friends, hallucinate,
It's really quite sad.
Those who stumbled across it,
Those who made it their own,
Found themselves in hospital,
Or under names carved on stone.
I now tell you the tale,
Of two friends who came past,
One wounded in battle,
Not sure he could last...
"There's a house up there Cloud, I'm sure you can rest there whilst I call a doctor." His response was a nod and a sharp intake of breath as Cloud stumbled, jolting his form, disrupting the wound in his stomach.
Zack looked down at his friend; the obvious discomfort radiated from his face. He gave a pained smile to the blonde's spiked hair, only hoping there was a doctor local enough. A bullet lay deep inside the young infantryman's gut, allowing blood to ooze from a gaping hole it created as it embedded itself in his lower intestines. Cloud was already pale as a sheet, not from the loss of blood entirely, but the pain which was making him dizzy and weak. He had never been one for pain and blood, just the thought made his head spin.
They neared the building and were greeted with a tall, black wrought iron gate, peppered with rust and moss. An old concrete wall lead from them to the mountainsides, the white paint now browning with age, showing the full extent of the mansion's land. Much to Zack's despair, it looked to have not been occupied for several years, if not more. This could mean it was locked or dangerous.
A thick chain held them together. Luckily, contrary to the SOLDIER's previous thoughts; the padlock was missing. But the anxiety was locked deep into Zack's mind.
Pushing open the gates, Zack helped Cloud through them. Slowly, they stumbled up a dirt path leading up to the mansion.
The building looked old in both the design and the condition it was in. The masonry work was sturdy and of Victorian stature, grand and full of detail. However, diminishing some of the glamour, the many windows were covered in a thick film of dust, acting like curtains and making the rest of the building look run down.
They reached the great wooden double doors, they too looked ancient. A green substance recoloured the once finely polished wood and the handles were rusty; the shimmering iron now lost to years of being abused by rain and wind.
Cautiously, Zack took a handle and pushed the door. To both his and Cloud's relief, it swung wide open, revealing a cavernous hallway. It was dim, the late afternoon sun seeing to that, cold and lifeless. Zack closed the door behind him and glanced over the room.
The room carried the Victorian style; the walls were covered in greying white wallpaper with several dark stains leaking down them. A tall wood panelled skirting board framed the room and a single dreary painting hung in a corner. To keep it company, a silent grandfather clock hung decaying next to a dark wooden door, matching four others that surrounded them. A staircase dominated the right corner of the hallway, though it was covered in only a thin film of dust. Perhaps the mansion had been occupied more recently than Zack had expected.
The banisters lead up onto a balcony-like corridor which overlooked the great space below, giving a full view of the dreary rug that was thrown across the floor, worn down from the years in which it had been occupied.
The corridor above lead off into a T-shaped junction, the balcony itself standing in front of three tall windows, almost gothically designed as metal framework twisted into the dusty glass skilfully. Pillars stood between them, they too carved with twisting designs. Taking a chance, Zack decided to take Cloud upstairs, hoping to find a bed of some sort; if there was furniture downstairs, there should hopefully be some upstairs too.
"How are you doing?" He asked.
"Not too bad.." Cloud replied, wincing as they began to move again.
"I'll help you upstairs, there might be a bed for you. I'll call a doctor after that okay?"
"Sure.." The two reached the steps. It took time getting up them, but Zack wasn't concerned about the time; he was much more concerned about Cloud's health.
Reaching the top of the staircase, Zack found himself with a dilemma. Turning left saw him up a few more steps and into a small alcove with three doors staring out at him. Turning right lead off again up several steps then into another corridor, on which there were no doors to be seen. He gave a frustrated groan.
"What's wrong, Zack?"
"This place has too many doors." He surveyed the possibilities again, frowning, "Can you stand on your own?"
"Yeah, if I have a wall or something to lean on." Zack nodded and helped him to a pillar. The tall window beside it overlooked a huge expanse of trees climbing up Mount Nibel in the middle of this wall, the familiar film of dust obscuring the normal lush green colour.
Cloud pressed his shoulder into the pillar, steadying himself with his feet, wincing and screwing up his face in discomfort. He watched Zack run to the left; inspecting an alcove of doors. He tried each of them.
He ran to Cloud's right now, turning left again and disappearing for a moment, before running back and off to the right. Cloud turned his head to watch this but was stopped as a jolt of pain shot up from his stomach.
Zack returned looking a little more optimistic, "There's a room over to the right. It's got a bed where you can rest whilst I get a doctor out here." Cloud nodded and gave a weak smile. Zack pulled the blonde's arm over his neck and helped him over to the room.
The bed was dusty and cold, but the strain on Cloud's stomach had subsided and it felt brilliant.
"I'm gonna go call a doctor for you. ShinRa should be able to send someone quick enough for you." Zack explained as he placed his friend's gun and bludgeon onto a desk beside the door. Cloud nodded and laid back onto the pillow, relishing the relief from the pain.
The black haired SOLDIER made his way down the stairs, where he hoped to perhaps find a kitchen for some water. He'd seen no bathrooms either; strange for a mansion.
He pulled out his phone as he jogged down the steps, dialling ShinRa quickly. He held the device to his ear and listened to the ringing.
He reached the bottom of the staircase and headed to the first door. He tried the handle.
"Director Lazard? We need a doctor out here right now." He checked several other doors.
"What for? It was only a check up mission. You haven't fallen down the mountain have you?" Locked.
"No, Genesis copies attacked, I took care of them but Cloud was hurt. I need you to send someone out here to take a look at him."
"All of our helicopters are currently in use, they won't be free until morning, do you think Cloud can wait that long?"
"I don't know, he looked pretty bad when I took him upstairs, he should be alright."
"Upstairs? Where -... you?"
"Where are we? In a mansion on the side of Mount Nibel. It's got shelter and a place to rest, so I brought us here."
"Mansion?" The director paused then spoke again with urgency, "Zack, that place is -... get -...it-... safe!"
Zack frowned, "Sir, you're breaking up, I'll go talk to Cloud and call you back." He brought the phone away from his ear.
"Wait, Za- !" He flipped the phone shut and sighed wearily before pocketing the device and facing the first door once again.
It had taken a good beating with both his shoulder and Buster sword to open just one of the doors, then to come face to face with another. It too was locked. Thankfully though, this one had a key poking out from the lock, holding host to a sticky white cobweb.
Zack had discovered this room to be a small kitchen with a sink which, remarkably, worked. He found and filled a glass to take up for Cloud.
Cloud closed his eyes and let his head drop onto the pillow.
"I'm sorry man, this is all my fault."
"Don't worry about it, it's not that bad, it's just a bullet after all."
Zack gave half a chuckle, "But I bet it hurts, here," he threw a packet of tablets at his friend, "that should help the pain for a while. I would have gotten you some ice but there wasn't a freezer." He set the glass down onto a table beside the bed.
"Thanks." He picked up the tablets and sat up, screwing up his face in discomfort.
"You should get some rest, you look exhausted." Zack said, looking back at his friend from the door.
Cloud winced again, "So do you."
Zack grinned, "Nah, I'm wide awake. I've got to take care of you. I'll be downstairs; yell if you need me." He left the room. He pulled his phone out from his pocket and stared at it.
It was turned off. He shook his head and frowned, "Maybe I am tired. I could swear I didn't turn it off though." He mumbled, switching it on again. He dialled the Director's number and held the phone to his ear.
The SOLDIER heard nothing but static.
Confused and with a frown threatening to stick to his brow, he looked at the screen.
He groaned loudly and almost threw the phone across the hallway with frustration.
Night fell slowly and Zack was bored. He'd broken into four more of the rooms and discovered two more bedrooms, a grand looking study, a room with two shelves sitting looking as bored as he was and what looked like a classroom. He'd gotten bored of finding dust and spiders.
He sat in the kitchen, holding a mug half filled with water, staring at a dark patch on the wall.
He'd checked up on Cloud an hour ago and discovered him to be fast asleep. But that hour had passed by so slowly it could well have been the day before. On his way back from checking on the younger boy, he'd broken into the last room of his exploration, the room with the shelves, and found a newspaper. It was old and yellowing, dated a good ten years ago.
With nothing better to do he had picked it up and read through it.
The articles it contained were interesting. Most were political and described many normal happenings in the town below he knew as Nibelheim, but what caught his attention was a whole double page spread dedicated to the very mansion he was sitting in. It seemed that there were many queries and myths about the building, many suggesting it was haunted. There had been several reports of deaths and murders committed in the house and survivors had found themselves in a mental institution. They spoke of nothing but ghostly figures and voices.
One man in particular, a priest of kind nature, had entered the house to cleanse it of bad spirits for a previous owner. He had emerged seeing the form of a naked woman, her face nothing but a blank patch of skin and wrapped in barbed wire, every time he closed his eyes. She followed him with her arms outstretched, moaning and dripping with blood from multiple gunshot wounds. He claimed that she was soon accompanied by many more terrifying demons. When retelling this tale to the doctors, he came to a realisation; if he couldn't see, the woman and her demons could not follow him! He took a pen and stabbed himself through the eye.
After reading this, Zack had felt cold and a little uneasy. But this had soon been overcome by boredom He shifted his gaze to the ceiling and discovered another dark patch; the same colour as the one he had previously been staring at.
He frowned at it. A demonic face screamed and disappeared, making him yell and crash to the floor.
He gathered himself up shakily, sitting back on the chair, his eyes firmly on the table. He ran a shivering hand through his spiked hair and assured himself it was just his tiredness playing tricks on him. He wouldn't be staying long anyway. Just until morning; nothing could happen, right?
Cloud shifted and awoke with a gasp as a bolt of pain shot up from his stomach. He screwed his eyes up and repositioned himself.
He reopened his eyes and blinked.
He saw hazy moonlight shining through the curtains, silhouetting leaves across the fabric. He gave a small, patient sigh then regretted it almost instantly as the bullet made it's presence known once again.
He shifted his gaze towards the door and frowned suddenly.
They weren't Zack's footsteps, the shoes were far to soft to be his boots. The door opened, creaking eerily, revealing a bespectacled man in a long white lab coat. His greying black hair was pulled into a rough ponytail at the back of his head. Straggled strands of this hair hung over his face which gleamed with a disturbing happiness.
"Hello, hello, I'm Doctor Hojo." He chimed, entering with a small brown leather bag.
Cloud looked confused, "I thought you weren't coming," he gasped and winced, "until tomorrow morning."
"Oh no! I'm coming now, there's no time for dallying, there's a bullet inside you that needs to be found." On a small dressing table, Hojo laid out several medical instruments on a white cloth, smiling wickedly and full of glee.
"Now then, just a small incision." He picked up a scalpel, staring at it with slight adoration. Cloud suddenly felt very uneasy.
The doctor unbuttoned his shirt and brought the scalpel down to the gunshot wound.
"Hey wait!" Cloud cried. Hojo stopped abruptly, smiling madly at the blonde infantryman. "Don't I need anaesthetic?"
"Don't be silly! We can't afford such luxuries! I do have this for you though." He selected a short wooden cylinder wrapped in string and shoved it into Cloud's mouth.
"There we go." Hojo resumed his operation instantly. He stuck the scalpel into Cloud's skin and pulled it violently across his stomach.
Cloud screamed into the block and screwed his eyes up, gripping the sheets of the bed tightly. Hojo looked on with a gleeful grin as small drops of blood splattered onto his face.
Zack's head rested in his hand; his eyes closed and mouth open slightly, opening a little more then returning to it's normal position as he breathed.
Slowly, his head was slipping off his gloved hand.
"Right then, let's find that bullet for you." Hojo declared, thrusting his hand into the huge incision he had just created. The blonde cried out again, the screams turning into loud sobs.
He dared open his eyes and found himself screaming again and clawing at the bed sheets as Hojo began to pull his intestines from within his body. He felt sick and tried to close his eyes, but they were stuck wide open on the bloody pink organs Hojo was unwinding and inspecting carefully.
He looked disappointed and threw them back into Cloud's body. He started to root around again, ignoring the blonde's crying.
"It seems the bullet went further in." Hojo said shaking his head and turning back to his instruments, "This should help though." He held up a huge corkscrew shaped piece and pointed it at the mess of intestines. Cloud gagged as he stared wide eyed with fear at it.
Hojo stuck it into the boy's body and began to twist it. It worked like a fork and spaghetti; picking up the organs smoothly, bringing up more screams and cries from it's victim. Tears of pain accompanied the screams as Cloud saw and felt his guts being twisted by the doctor, who wore a demonic grin as he searched for the bullet.
"Ah! There we are!" Hojo cried, delighted. He plunged his hand into the pool of blood and picked out a glittering lump of brass metal.
He pulled the corkscrew from Cloud's intestines aggressively and threw it across the room.
Then he dropped the bullet.
Cloud's eyes widened with new fear as Hojo's gleeful face turned suddenly venomous. He grabbed his scalpel almost baring his teeth with a strange new anger, "Run away from me will you?!" He cried, glaring at the pool of blood and guts, "And you!" He pointed harshly at the terrified blonde, "Hiding it! Don't you want to get rid of it?!" He screeched, waving the scalpel around with his non-pointing hand, "You can't keep hold of it forever! I will get it out!" He plunged the scalpel back into his body and stabbed him repetitively, making blood splatter across his deranged face, causing Cloud to scream louder than ever.
Zack's head managed to fall from it's resting place and hit the table. He awoke with a start and sat up, clutching his head.
He yawned and sighed, staring out at the dark behind the window. Then he heard screaming.
He darted from the kitchen and to the stairs, then climbed them as fast as he could.
He burst through the door, "Cloud! What's... wrong...?" He stared in both horror and shock as he was met with the infantryman's blood coating both him and the bed. Cloud was sobbing into a rolled up rag stuffed into his mouth and gripping his own shredded intestines, looking completely bewildered and in unimaginable pain. Zack squeezed his eyes shut and pulled his head away and to the side.
He reopened his eyes slowly, a saddened frown playing on his forehead. He caught sight of Cloud's gun and he slowly reached for it and picked it up. He held it and stared at the weapon for a moment, listening to his friend's cries of pain.
Zack looked up and pointed the gun at the blonde, "I'm so sorry, Cloud."
"Zack?" The black haired SOLDIER looked up from the floor. Director Lazard was making his way up the dirt path towards him with a group of medical staff.
"Zack, have you been out here all night?"
"What about Cloud? Where is he?" The blonde director asked looking concerned.
"He's still upstairs... But... he doesn't need your help anymore..."
Lazard frowned, pushing his small glasses up his nose, "Zack, what happened?" His tone was very worried and his eyes pierced Zack with serious concern, his own assumptions came to mind though these he did not want to be true.
"The pain must have gotten really bad... he must have tried to get the bullet out himself... so he pulled his own guts out."