Welcome to a new fic. There´s not much to say about this yet, you will have to read and see if you like it.
I must warn you however: this is not supposed to be read by children, and I suspect that it will be disturbing for the one or other reader. Please do not complain, just stop reading if you do not like it, you have been warned ;)
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy Advent Children and I do not make any money from this.
Belly of the beast
"Okay, I´m entering the second underground level now, yo. Fuck, it´s dark here… Ew, and there´s icky stuff coming from the ceiling! And it´s cramped too!! Ouch!!!"
Mildly glowing eyes coldly watched from above as a lean, slouchy creature infiltrated its lair, clumsily staggering through the moist darkness. Huge shadows were standing in his way and he bumped against them, making strange hissing and growling noises, but bravely fought his way further down the labyrinth of broken, forgotten corridors.
Above the redhead, a silent, thin shadow elegantly crept behind him over the rusty, slippery pipes hanging from the ceiling, on all fours, the creature´s movements predatory and sleek.
Its prey was so noisy…
Well, they all were, but this one was different in a way.
It didn´t seem afraid at all; the strong, intoxicating odour of fear was absent this time. Instead there was something else.
"If I get that fucker, he´s shish kebab, yo!"
Why was this animal making these growling noises into that little box again? The figure on the pipes tilted its head, expressionlessly observing the human sneaking along the almost pitch black corridor, deeper down into the belly of the old, abandoned military science facility.
The walls had blackened over time; thick, rusty streaks were running over formally important numbers and instructions that had coordinated research when this place had been still used. It was hard to imagine that formerly this facility had been immaculate, white and sterile, with busy scientists buzzing through the corridors not even two decades ago.
Now what remained was a nightmarish perversion of this former glory and pride of the Shinra cooperation. Mold had claimed and devoured sterility; neon lights had burst, sticking from the ceiling like broken teeth and leaving the hollow, dead corridors to whatever crawled in the darkness.
Rusty trays, medical supplies and unused machines were all around, abandoned by the scientists who had fled the building in a hurry…
The creature on the ground had a quick look at some of the empty rooms that weren´t locked. He seemed on edge, but still highly attentive and maybe even… dangerous.
Actually the predator had decided to just follow and watch this intruder; make sure he wouldn´t come anywhere near its lair, but now it was not sure anymore that its 'guest' meant no harm at all. Which was quite annoying, because it had just eaten and felt kind of lazy.
The redhead still hadn´t spotted his follower one level above, but then again he was quite busy behaving aggressively, roughly shoving a huge, rusty metal thingy out of his way.
The predator disliked loud noises.
And the little box his visitor held was making creaked noises too. "Stop complaining and get this over with," was the irritated reply, that the crouched carnivore could not understand.
However it decided that it had waited long enough now; it was time to act. And while Reno was still cursing the bedstead deviously hiding in the darkness just so he could hit it with his shin, a large shadow came at him from above, knocking him out cold.
Reno groaned, as he slowly regained conciousness. His head was hurting and throbbing like hell, waves of white pain washing from a spot at his forehead down to the tip of his toes. And the fact that he was roughly dragged over the moist, uneven ground wasn´t helping matters either…
That thought made him come back to his senses fully though, his heart skipping a beat and his body stiffening only for a split second.
Fuck. He´d found the bastard. Or rather: the fucker had found Reno!
'Okay, stay calm. Don´t let it know you´re awake…'
Reno forced his jumping heartbeat down and relaxed his limbs, pretending that he was still out cold. Fuck. He should have been more careful; whatever it was that had attacked him had whipped out an entire reconstruction team! Admittedly it had only been five, untrained men, sent to investigate the building since Shinra had plans of rebuilding the facility that had been lying dormant for 15 years after that incident. However no one could have anticipated that such difficulties would arise…
The team had been meant to just have a look around and give a report on what had to be done to reconstruct the old labs, and give an estimation on how much it would cost the company. Nothing dangerous at all… However, 12 hours after sending them in, there had been no sign of life from them anymore whatsoever. The last communication they had gotten was some panicked, rushed half report on something being down here, and apparently it 'had gotten Jack and the others' and then there was a gurgled scream and static, before the connection had been interrupted. That had been a week ago, and now Reno and his team had been sent in to investigate the curious circumstances. According to his boss, they suspected that there was some wild animal housed in the labs now; maybe even one of the experiments that had survived the blast years ago. And that was what he´d been looking for: a hungry monster that occupied the darkness; a violent beast that had attacked the poor, unsuspecting men.
Apart from a bloody handprint on the inside of one of the doors, that must have been rather fresh, Reno hadn´t found anything however. Well, that wasn´t right either; Reno had found something, apparently. Maybe he should have put more effort into resisting the urge to satisfy is pathological curiosity and wait for the others (especially for the big guy with the even bigger gun), instead of charging into the belly of the beast all by himself….
But these thoughts weren´t helping him right now; he had to think of a way to overthrow his attacker. Flexing his fingers testingly, the redhead came to know that his EMR was gone, as was his walkie talkie. Shit. So there was no calling for back up… At least he was in a position where his hands were free; the beast was dragging him down the floor by his feet. Now, if he could get up…
Daring to crack an eye open a bit, Reno couldn´t see anything at first. He just heard the disconcerting noise of his body slithering over the wet ground, smelled the awful stench of unidentified things rotting in the molding corridors and felt his body bump against solidity.
It was so dark…
After a few seconds of holding his breath however, a blurry image appeared before his eyes. Right in front of him was something moving, a hunched, black creature whose silhouette was only slightly visible against the dark surroundings. It moved with strangely ragged, clipped and somewhat slurred motions, but it didn´t make any noise at all.
The image of terror was amplified by the fact that Reno couldn´t see the animal´s features; it could have been anything for all he knew. Well, maybe not an elephant, or a giraffe; it was rather small, and more monkey shaped. Maybe.
Suppressing a pained hiss when his head bumped over something on the ground, Reno quickly had to close his eye, as the beast stopped, its shadow going rigid. Damn, had it noticed that Reno was awake?
The redhead kept his body relaxed and his breathing even.
His feet were released and fell to the ground, rather painfully, but Reno didn´t even bat an eyelash. His senses were on alert, and despite not being able to see anything he could feel the monkey thing crawling over him. Warm breathing hit his skin, making goosebumps rise all over the redhead´s body, as the creature gave a silent snort. Inwardly Reno prepared to attack. Maybe, if he surprised it, it would flee and not eat him…? It was the only option he really had, since he didn´t know how long he had been out. If he was unlucky, it had been quite some time, and his team would never find him in this maze. Besides, the beast wasn´t that big, surprisingly, maybe he could even overwhelm it…
As the readhead was just about to jump up and scream his throat raw to scare the beast away, a very pointy finger poked him in the eye and this time Reno didn´t manage to suppress the surprised yelp.
"What the fuck?!" he blurted out, bolting into an upright, sitting position, and held his eye, with the other indignantly glaring at his captor.
The beast jumped backwards, crouching down before its victim and watching it with narrowed eyes.
Blinking, the redhead finally got a good look at his attacker, and his jaw slacked. "What…"
It was only a boy.
Or at least it appeared to be…
The only thing Reno could clearly see were two brilliant, eerily glowing green eyes that appeared almost black, because the pupils had widened so much. Still, judging from his physique, Reno didn´t reckon him to be much older than maybe 16 or 17. Where the hell did he come from?!
Quite confused, Reno let his hand sink down, instead slowly reaching out to the obviously wary little thing. "Hey, what are you doing down he-"
Sharp, pearly teeth were suddenly threateningly bared at him, and in a flash, the boy grabbed for something lying beside him, hitting Reno on the head with it.
"Ouch!!! What the hell?!" The redhead winced, holding the second bruise that was already forming on his forehead, scowling at the brat. "What was that for?!"
The predator blankly observed its victim, the EMR still in hand. What a thick skull. Tilting its head, the boy put some more strength into his arm and hit the strange, utterly surprised animal again, watching in satisfaction as its crystal blue eyes finally rolled back this time and he limply fell back to the ground.
Gripping meaty arms again, the beast continued to drag its food deeper and deeper into its lair, this time without any further incidents.
And many many thanks to my awesome beta Chephren^^