Disclaimer: I do not own Dissidia or Final Fantasy. Damn you if you think otherwise.
Chapter 22: Garland the Scientist.
He practically jumped out of their bed, "You okay?"
"Yeah. It's nothing," she rubbed her cheek.
"...You don't have a cavity do you?"
"I um ah...how'd you guess."
Giggling slightly, he opened the bathroom door and idly leaned on the frame.
"What? You thought I didn't notice your sudden craving for sweets before I left?"
"They were good stuff!"
"You'll gain weight that way."
She pouted and began playfully punch him, "Meanie!"
He laughed and blocked the mock attacks. After a minute or two of what could easily be interpreted as a kindergarten cuddling match, he succeed in wrapping her arms around her torso and holding them from behind.
"No use trying," he teased as she tried to free herself.
"Okay fine. You win," she lowered her head slightly.
Then snapped it back up as quickly and as hard as she can. Expecting this, he moved his head to the side while keeping his grip firm.
"Nice try. But you're gonna have to-"
He winced as a foot suddenly impacted his erm...sensitive bits. As he crumpled to the ground, she daintily stepped over him and began to pull out some clothes from the closet.
"What was that for Tifa?"
"For being to rough on a lady," she leaned into the closet a bit more.
Grunting, Cloud got back on his feet, "I wasn't even being rough on you."
"Says the super powered SOLDIER.."
He murmured something under his breath. To which Tifa sighed, "Okay I'm sorry."
Cloud didn't say anything, then he lunged at her. She jumped back but he grabbed her legs. After some more playfulness, Cloud declared.
"I'm taking you to the dentist."
A raised eyebrow, "That's nice of you. But don't you have to take care of that little knight?"
"I can ask Terra to do it. Besides if its you I-"
"Cloud relax. I'll be just fine," she stood up, "Now get out."
Cloud's turn to raise an eyebrow, "What's with the sudden change of tone?"
"I need to put on some clothes."
Cloud giggled a little, "This after-"
"Cloud! Please!" she jammed a finger at the door and was blushing faintly.
Laughing and smiling a bit, Cloud obliged and stepped out of the room. Turning around, he found himself face to face with their stone faced leader.
"Hi there...um...how long have you been-?"
"Long enough," his expression didn't offer the slightest hint as to what he was thinking, "Should I inform Terra and Luneth that you will not be able to join them?"
"Yeah something came up. Tell them I said sorry."
A shrug, "Very well then. Quite a shame though, it seemed like Luneth was really looking forward to it."
Cloud felt a pang of guilt. He had promised the pair that he would take them to that new water park, but that was before Tifa got here.
"I guess I will just have to crush Luneth with disappointment and have Terra shoulder the terrible burden of having to cheer him up. And the reason for all that: an overreaction to a simple five minute drive to the dentist."
"...That is just low Light."
"Low? I am not attacking anyone."
"Very funny," he sighed in resignation, "Fine I'll do it. But if anything happens to Tifa while I'm gone-"
"Do you doubt her ability to keep herself safe?"
"Do not worry. She is a very capable warrior. I doubt anything short of the Warriors of Chaos can be a threat to her."
Cloud exhaled, "Okay then. Well guess I've got to get dressed."
He started for the bathroom, but Light called out.
"By the way. How did she get that toothache?"
"She took a liking to sweets. Told her it was bad, but..."
He nodded, "I understand."
"This is your lab?"
"Yup!" he moved a shelf and unleashed an ungodly amount of dust, "Beautiful isn't it? Got it for a low price too!"
"More like you got cheaped out."
"It's second hand," he pulled opened a curtain and unleashed even more dust, "What did you expect?"
"You should lower your standards."
"And you should raise them," he fondled with some of the many broken pieces of equipment, "this is slightly better than inheriting a useless pile of junk."
A raised eyebrow, "How so."
"At least this useless pile of junk comes with four walls and a roof."
An exasperated sigh, "Do you know a better place to get discount fully functional, state of the art, laboratories?"
"Fully functional?" he reached for a microscope which immediately turned into dust upon contact, "I could get better equipment from a random hobo."
Now annoyed, he placed his hands on his hips, "Oh yeah?"
A smug smile, "Yeah."
"Then get to it."
"Fine," Kefka exited the lab and left Garland to his thoughts.
"He does have a point," he glanced at the broken equipment, "but its better than nothing."
The door opened without warning and in walked Kefka who placed a microscope on the table.
"See? The hobos outside have better equipment than what you could possibly find in this ancient junkyard."
"Don't be so quick to judge," he started moving around some of the junk.
Sighing in resignation, Kefka joined him in his endeavor. After over a quarter of an hour, Garland finally announced.
"Aha! Here's something," he pulled clear what appeared to be a large slab of rock with seemingly random stuff written on it.
He flipped it around, "What the heck is this?"
"Let me see that," he took the stone and scrutinized the lettering, "looks like ancient Hebrew or something..."
He suddenly snapped his fingers, "Aha! This is half of the Ten Commandments!"
Standing up, he headed for the trash can while saying, "Let me just put this junk here where it belongs and-"
He stopped mid step. Turning back to Garland, "What the hell are the Ten Commandments doing here?"
"Don't ask me. I just bought this place," he turned back to the pile, "let's see if there's anything actually useful in here."
Kefka sighed in frustration. But now though, his curiosity had taken hold: if they found something like the Ten Commandments here, what else could be waiting? Smiling softly to himself, he crouched back down.
"Are you sure is the best approach?"
"Of course. Do you doubt me?"
"No. But I do question the merits of this method."
"You came here for an answer and I provided it to you. Should you not be grateful?"
"I am grateful. But-"
"Enough. Try it out and have your suspicions squashed."
The man nodded and left. Once certain that he was alone, the other one started snickering.
"Well. I believe that fulfills my evil quota for today."
"State of the art huh?"
"Well...it was state of the art."
"When? A million years ago?"
Garland was about to roll off a rebuttal, but decided against it. Gathered in a not so neat pile before them were the things they had managed to pick out of the random junk in the lab floor(the other half of the Ten Commandments was never found).
Kefka reached in and pulled out a pair of sharp stones, "This is your Bunsen burner?"
"What? Its cheap."
"You have to consider quality too you know."
A sigh of resignation, "Okay fine. Where do you suggest we get better equipment?"
"We could trade with hobos."
"Because for some reason, all the great second hand stuff goes to the hobos."
"Well doesn't look like we have a choice," Garland grabbed his coat.
Outside they hailed a taxi and had it take them to the more marginalized sectors of town. Along the way, he suddenly realized.
"What do we have to offer for trade?"
Kefka lifted his eyes from his magazine, "Anything really. You could ask them to become lab rats if you wanted."
"What did you trade for the microscope?"
"A half eaten sandwich."
Garland stared at him, half amused, half disgusted as the taxi rolled to a stop. Kefka jumped off and walked two steps before saying, "Well come on Garland! The game's afoot!"
After half an hour of bribery, intimidation, extortion, and distributing free food, the two intrepid "scientists" left with a pile of equipment and an army of newly recruited lab ra- assistants.
Kefka noticed the stunned look on his colleague's face, "You'd be amazed at what these guys carry."
"And how is it that you know about this?"
"Being a lawyer can take you to all sorts of strange places."
"For some reason, yeah. Any ideas why?"
Garland kept his ideas to himself and chose not to reply. They piled in the boxes they were carrying into the back of their pickup truck, which was assembled from parts they managed to get from the hobos, hopped in the cab, and started driving back to the lab. Stopping at a red light, Garland glanced out the driver's side window.
Gazing out, he noticed a familiar girl with black hair, in black clothes exiting from a bus, "Hey. I know that girl."
"Who?" Kefka leaned forward to see past Garland's impressive girth, "Oh her. I think she's related to that Cloud character. What was her name again...I know it starts with a T."
"Toots?" his companion put in helpfully.
Kefka smacked the back of his head, "NO!"
"What? It starts with a T and it fits her perfectly!"
"Didn't know you were such a perv."
"This coming from the pedophile?"
"Hey! My interest in her is purely for destructive purposes. Ah! Tifa! That's right!"
Garland leaned out the window, "Oh that's right! Now I remember! She's the reason Cloud betrayed us!"
"Damn straight," then he noticed something else, "Hey. Garland. Do you notice someone out of place?"
"Apart from the two of us in the Hobobile? No wh- Oh."
They eyed the figure that just emerged from the bus Tifa was riding.
Kefka reached for his wallet, "Ten bucks its a stalker."
"What gave it away," his friend replied dryly, "The fedora? The shin length trench coat that's probably wider than his shoulders? The gloves? The handkerchief covering his mouth? The fact that he's walking exactly 15 paces behind her? The fact that his hand are always in his pocket grasping the not so carefully concealed binoculars? Or the fact that he's wearing a completely black wardrobe in the middle of the day?"
"The blockers. Who the heck wears huge black sunglasses that completely cover the parts of your face that aren't covered by the hat and the handkerchief?"
"Someone trying hard to be unnoticed. And thus, failing at it completely."
They watched the man for a few more moments. Then Kefka suggested, "I think we should warn her."
"We're on a ceasefire. Besides, this could be interesting."
"Good point," he leaned out of the window as far as he can, "Hey! Hey you! Hey! HEY! TOOTS!"
The last one caught her attention. She turned quickly turned around and at the same time, the man turned to his right and began to examine a flaming barrel. Earning the disgruntled looks of a few hobos who were using the barrel's fire for warmth.
"You looking for a fight!" she then realized who was talking to her.
"Hey there!" Garland waved from his awkward position. Completely ignoring the green light, "How you doing?"
"Erm...fine I guess," she was already suspicious, "Something I can help you with?"
"Just a friendly neighborhood Warrior of Chaos saying hi!" he started jamming his thumb towards the suspicious man.
Tifa followed the thumb and fixed her eyes on the extremely suspicious man. And realized, "Wait a second. That's the guy from the bus."
She ponder the possibilities for a few moments. Her thoughts were, however, interrupted by a loud horn.
"If you're done pondering our motives, you might want to get a move on before things get ugly here."
She raised an eyebrow, then turned her attention back to the man. He was still standing there alright, but the hobos were getting rowdy. They actively berating him and one had pulled out a knife.
"Right. Thanks," she waved half heartedly and was on her way. Glancing back slightly, she saw him walk away from the fire and keep an exact distance of 15 paces from her.
"Okay," she muttered to herself, "creepy."
Back at the laboratory, our intrepid duo set up their equipment. About an hour later, the hobos they had recruited or the Hobrigade, as Garland liked to call them, arrived and helped with the preparations. With their help, the place began to resemble a decent work environment.
After an hour or so of that, the group recessed. The main lab was ready for use and all that was really left to set up were some of the more obscure equipment in the other rooms. Alone in the lab, Garland and Kefka enjoyed a cup of coffee while the hobos had their lunch at the back of the lab.
"Just curious Garland: exactly what do you intend to research/invent/whatever?"
A sip, "Whatever I feel like! I mean, the title says 'scientist' after all. That practically means that I can do what ever the damn hell I want as long as in its the field of SCIENCE!"
"Uh...what? You jumped into this without even knowing what you're going to do first?"
"Yup! Isn't that how all great inventions come about?" he trumped a fist into the air, "GO SCIENCE!"
A shout echoed from somewhere in the back, "GO SCIENCE!"
Kefka sighed, there is apparently no limit to stupidity.
"So...what do you want to do?"
A shrug, "Got any ideas?"
"Well...I do know a bit about Magitek. Maybe we can start there."
"Let's go!" Garland jumped from his seat and marched over to the lab equipment.
"Do you even know what Magitek is?"
"Not a clue!" he opened a fridge and began to pull out test tubes.
"Sigh...guess I'll have to explain it then."
He put on a lab coat and pulled out a white board and a stick, "Magitek is the process of infusing magic extracted from espers into machines or living creatures. The end result is a magically infused piece of equipment or being that is capable of using magic. The equipment is usually more durable, the living beings more powerful, and both of them have the ability to use magic. Further more-Are you even listening Garland?"
"Yeah yeah. THIS shall be our test subject!" he triumphantly held said object high into the air.
"...A blitzball? What. The. Hell. Garland," he took it from his outstretched hand, "What is this even gonna do?"
"Who knows? Not knowing is half the fun in science."
"Garland, I'll say this once: this is not science. This is quackery."
"Half of science is quackery!"
"...I give up. Let's just get this over with."
After around an hour and a half of what can only be described as a pair of guys attempting to perform a complex process with absolutely no knowledge of it and thus failing completely almost every time, they finally succeeded in infusing a blitzball with magic without it blowing up prematurely.
Garland lifted the ball form its container and held it up to the light. He turned around, paused, then pulled a lever which opened a containment unit similar to those you find in the Magitek Research Facility. Out stumbled Kefka. Who collapsed to the ground shivering.
"I can't believe you used as the stand in for the espers!"
"Where else was I supposed to drain magic from?" he rolled the ball around a bit, "Doesn't look like anything happened..."
The clown got back on his feet, "How are you sure? You're no blitzball expert."
"And I suppose you are?"
Suddenly the door slammed open and in walked Jecht.
"Yo! How are you guys doing?"
"No I'm not," Kefka jerked a thumb at Jecht's direction, "But I bet he is."
"I'm a what?" the Blitz King was unsure if he had interrupted something important.
"Could you do us a favor Jecht," Garland tossed the ball to him, "how do you evaluate this blitzball?"
He cocked an eyebrow at them, "Into sports now huh? Let's see what you got..."
First he bounced the ball up and down. Then he rolled it across his shoulders. Then he had it spin on the tip of his finger.
"Smooth touch. Properly balanced. Weighs just about right."
He then tossed the ball high into the air, "Let's see how good you withstand a hit..."
Then he hit the blitzball as hard as he could. It promptly exploded and took out the entire room they were in. After the smoke cleared, Kefka, now sporting a funny Afro, turned to his companion, "How much magic did you put in that?"
"Enough to kill a god eight times over."
"What the hell are you going to use that for!"
"Do you mind me asking: what in Sin's name are you doing?"
They turned to Jecht, and found that he was completely unharmed.
"How are you unharmed by that?"
"I'm the Jecht. Like I asked, what are you doing?"
"Infusing objects with magic. FOR SCIENCE!" Garland then began to rummage through the half destroyed cabinets.
"Right. What are you going to use an exploding ball for?"
Garland grinned at them. They felt uncomfortable at that.
"In tonight's news: an assassination attempt on the mayor's life!"
Firion turned up the volume.
"Earlier this day at the start of the inter-city volleyball tournament, the mayor was asked to throw the opening serve."
Footsteps approached the couch, "Hey Rosebud! What's up?"
"Shh! Quiet Tidus."
"When the mayor attempted to serve, the ball promptly exploded with enough force to leave a large crater on the ground!"
"Ouch. How'd he survive that?"
"You'd be surprised at what it takes to kill that guy."
"Despite the attempt on his life, the mayor still managed to deliver the opening serve for the season and deliver a proper speech."
Firion now lowered the volume, "I'll give him this much: he can put on a tough face when needed."
A laugh, "Yeah. But hey, he is the mayor. He has to look good."
Firion chuckled and sat back up, "True. True."
The door opened and Tifa entered the living room.
"Hi guys," she stood near a window and peeked outside.
"Hey there," Firion cocked his head in her direction, "Something wrong?"
"Well...there's this guy that's been following me all day."
"A stalker? You sure you aren't imagining things?"
"I'm pretty sure I not imagining the guy standing under that lamppost outside in the rain."
Squall, who had been silently reading a magazine the entire time, stood up and parted the blinds with his fingers for look.
Firion muted the T.V., "Well Squall?"
"She's right," he leaned back and stroked his chin, "Guy looks like the type you see in those horror films."
Tidus jumped from his chair and joined Squall, "Hey you're right! What could he want with you?"
Tifa shrugged, "I don't know. But I do have a guess at who it is."
The sound of a car pulling up on the drive ended all further conversation. And all the warriors in the living room left, save Squall who parted the blinds again.
The group headed to the kitchen, where there was a door that lead to the garage. They arrived just in time to see Cloud, who was carrying Luneth, and Terra walk in.
"So. How was you day?"
"Great. Luneth's so tired he fell asleep on the way back," Cloud handed him to Firion.
"Still a kid this one," Firion left the kitchen and headed for the stairs.
"I need to ask you a question Cloud."
He blinked, "What's wrong Tifa?"
"There was a guy following me all day. I was thinking that it might be you. With your paranoia and everything."
His eyes widened, "Someone was following you all day!"
"I think that outraged reaction pretty much clears him," Tidus couldn't help but grin at Cloud's sudden panic attack.
"Besides, he was with us all day," Terra added.
"And also," Squall arrived from the living room, "that guy you're talking about was still standing there when they arrived. In fact, he left just a second ago."
A bit of silence followed. Cloud then grabbed his goggles, "I'm going to run that guy over."
Tifa held him back, "Now now. There's no need to kill anyone Cloud."
"Who shall be killing who?"
They turned their attention to the door and found Warrior of Light standing there, dripping wet, with a plastic bag under his arms.
"No one! No one is killing anyone," then she noticed the bag, "Uh...what have you been doing?"
"I was out. Did you not notice?"
"Nope. So where've you been?":
He lifted the rather bulky bag, "Picking up my laundry."
Terra paused in her coffee making, "Doesn't Miss Hiyorimi do our laundry?"
"Yes. However I have left some of my clothes at the laundromat before my departure and have forgotten to retrieve them when I returned."
"You. Forget something? That's a first," Tidus scribbled this down as if it was a monumental occasion.
"Is that all? I must return to my quarters," without waiting for a reply he walked past them and out of the room.
Terra moved to the door and shouted after him, "Don't forget to dry yourself before going off to bed!"
"Don't forget to brush your teeth!"
"Don't stay up too late!"
"And no sneaking out in the middle of the night!"
"Yes Terra. I am aware of what to do and what not to be done...Thank you for your concern."
They heard a door close upstairs. She smiled to herself, turned around and saw the amused faces of her housemates.
"So...what was all that about? Exactly?"
"That? Well we all have to look after each other. And he always forgets to take care of himself."
"So you've decided that in the absence of anyone else, you'll be his substitute parent?"
"I never meant anything like that!"
"Sure. So I guess no one is safe from your motherly instincts."
Her question was met with stiffened laughter. Even from the normally stoic Squall.
"Well I guess this is for the best. For that guy at least," Tidus headed for the door, "Bye."
"Later," Squall followed suit.
"...Okay...I'll go check up on Luneth," Terra left, slightly puzzled.
Cloud and Tifa were now left alone.
"So. How was your dentist appointment?"
"Not bad really. Doc already fixed it."
A nod, "Good. Now I need you to listen to me."
"Are you going to lecture me or something?"
"I'd like to, but I'm more concerned about Mr. Stalker. Luckily, I've got an idea."
The next day, Tifa left the house, boarded a bus, and dropped herself off with no apparent destination. All the while she was being followed by our conspicuous individual who was maintaining the usual distance. She appeared to be taking her time and was walking slowly but picked up the pace when the sky darkened and a light rain began to fall. Then all of a sudden, she turned and hurried down a dark alley. The man, surprised at this sudden development, picked the pace and darted into the alley after her. The alley was pitch black thanks to the weather and its placing between two tall buildings. That, and the speed at which he was running, were the reasons the man failed to noticed the 2 by 4 slab of metal that they called a sword if only for convenience.
He went down with a painful thud. Cloud then jumped out of his hiding place and Tifa reappeared.
"Gotcha now!" and together they attempted to subdue the man.
The man was, however, unexpectedly agile. And if one would judge from his rather precise movements, had a reasonable amount of combat experience.
"Not the typical stalker huh?"
She unleashed a fast five punch combo accompanied by Cloud suddenly dashing forward with speed that shouldn't be possible from a regular man, let alone one with a sword that big.
He nimbly dodged Tifa's punches and sidestepped Cloud's strike...only to walk straight into her roundhouse kick. It struck the area just above his left cheek, smashed the glasses to pieces, and sent his hat flying revealing silver hair. Before either of them could take a closer look, there was a sudden flash of light that temporarily blinded everyone. When the light faded, their friend was no where to be seen.
"Tch...he got away," Cloud attached the sword onto his back.
"He's a pretty good fighter for a stalker. Well I guess I won't be seeing him anytime soon though."
"I'll kill him next time."
"When did you get so violent?"
"Since we moved into this abnormal city."
The sound of trash cans being toppled over behind them interrupted what ever replies she could have made. Turning around, they saw Garland and Kefka looking at them nonchalantly while carrying bags full of what appeared to be garbage.
"Oh don't mind us," the bigger man waved his hand in dismissal, "we were just minding our own business picking up some stuff when you two charged in and then beat up a guy for walking in on you."
"Geez. We all know you two have the hots for each other, but at least have the decency to stay home!" Kefka sneered at them.
"You thought we were-? Oh God NO!"
"No? Oh. So you really don't care about decency huh? Tsk. Tsk tsk. Some Warriors of Cosmos you are."
A nod from his companion, "Light will love to hear about this."
"For the last time, This is NOT what you think it is."
"Sure it's not."
"Of course it's not! What are you guys even doing here!" Cloud jammed a finger in their direction.
"Well, we were quietly collecting stuff for our next project," they lifted their bags, "When Strife over here showed up, we stuck around to see what he was up to. And when Tifa over here arrived, it became rather clear what you were doing. Then that guy showed up and you beat the snot out of him for walking in on you."
"What part of what 'you got it all wrong' can you not understand?"
"Talk to the hand Strife," he motioned for them to leave, "Now beat it before I tell Light on you."
"Not until we-"
Garland whipped out a cell phone, "Where was Light's contact again?"
"Check under L. If it's not there then it at W."
"No shit Sherlock," he turned back to Cloud, "I am about to send incriminating evidence to the one man you cannot black mail."
"...You're evil Garland."
"I am a villain after all."
Cloud grumbled something incomprehensible before being led away by Tifa. Once he was they they were out of earshot, Kefka asked.
"You never had Light's number did you?"
"Why would I have it?"
"Below me," he jerked his head towards the Hobobile, "Let's go."
They packed up and headed for their lab. Upon returning, they proceeded to dump all the stuff on the table.
"Hey Garland, what're we gonna do with all this trash anyway?"
"We'll make a golem out of it of course!"
"A trash Golem? Seriously? You know you can't make golems out of just anything."
"Sure you can!" he began to pull out all sorts of vials from a drawer, "I once wandered into this place where they had Fruit golems, Meat golems, Bread golems, Candied Yam golems, Pencil golems,and even golems made from a collapsed mineshaft!"
"...What the hell kind of place was that?"
"Some kingdom with a lousy council running it after the king got imprisimed."
"Imprisimed? What the hell is that?"
"Getting trapped in a prism of course!" he marched over to the lab's clean room, "Are you gonna help me do this or not?"
Kefka sighed, "Fine. Fine."
After an hour and a quarter of extremely complicated machinations and procedures that are related to making a golem but are so long, wordy, and complicated that I find it a pain to actually include, they succeeded in making a weird looking amalgamation of various recyclable materials that could perform basic human operations like standing, walking, mundane tasks, and kicking a hapless adventure's ass so badly they're left beaten up for 3 turns. (The references are rather blatant now eh?)
"Beautiful isn't it Kefka!" he stepped back to admire their work"
"I don't think beautiful is the right word really," he pinched his nose to block out the smell, "This thing reeks!"
"We used recycled garbage, of course it's gonna smell a bit."
"A bit? You could this thing's stench as a biological weapon!"
"That's a great idea! Let's sell it to the local Family!"
"...Do you really want chaos to engulf this city?"
"Sure I do! 1) I'm a villain and 2), more job openings might arise from that."
"That might also summon good ol' Chaos here."
"Nah. He's too busy indulging himself in his habits," he rolled his eyes and checked his watch, "Wanna go for some lunch? My treat."
"On you? Sure why not."
The two of them left the lab and never bothered to lock up. So when they returned later, Garland found that his marvelous creation was gone.
"What the hell happened to my golem!"
"Looks like it was picked apart," Kefka pointed to the markings on the floor, "It looks like there was a struggle: the golem fought back with all its might."
"Who the heck could've possibly infiltrated this lab and wrestled with my golem without the hobos noticing?"
"The answer to the first: we forgot to lock up. The answer to the second: I think I saw the hobos selling some junk before we came in."
"...Why the hell did we hire hobos again?"
"They're cheap and easy to use. But you made that golem out of stuff that could probably be sold for five bucks apiece without considering that your workers were hobos and will sell anything that can be sold."
"Guess I have no one to blame but the hobos huh?"
"That's not what I-"
"Whatever! To the next plan!" A glowing aura surrounded Garland. And was accompanied by floating, blinking, letters saying "Evil Scientist Mode: ACTIVATE!"
Kefka watched in exasperation for a minute. Then whacked the letters with a broom and proceeded to sweep them out of the room. Closing the door behind him, he asked, "So what's the plan this time?"
"First we need to visit the city schools..."
At the Cosmos residence's particularly spacious backyard.
Warrior of Light stood alone, gazing inside a blazing oil drum. Behind him, the door opened and Cloud strolled towards him.
"Hey Light...what are you doing?"
"Burning some organic garbage," he didn't turn around as Cloud positioned himself to his right.
"Burning? I thought you preferred burying the stuff in the compost pit?"
"Yes I do. But this is a very small amount that I generated myself."
"...Right. Anyway I have to...what happened to your face!"
Warrior, simply put, looked terrible. His left eye was blacked out. There was a rather large bruise on his left cheek and there were multiple cuts on the ridge of his nose, between his eyes, and his left cheek.
"A run in with a few thugs downtown."
"What were you doing there? Wrestling with thugs?"
"Business. On my way back I stumbled on what appeared to be a street fight."
"And you tried to break it up?"
"In a way..."
"This after you said we shouldn't put ourselves into danger willingly?" he shook his head, "So much for leading by example."
"Hmph. I admit that was a serious oversight."
Cloud kept shaking his head, "Oversight is putting it lightly. Anyway, just don't let Terra find out."
"She has taken it upon herself to care for you. If she finds out about this-"
"What are you two doing here?"
The pair froze at the voice. Warrior immediately turned his head so that the left side of his face would be unseen by Terra who was striding towards them.
She noticed the fire, "Are you having a barbecue or something?"
"Terra. We do not cook barbecues over barrels."
"Would that stop you from trying?"
"What are you looking at?"
She turned her head in the direction he was looking and blocked the sun with her hand, "I don't see anything there."
"There is nothing to see there."
"Then why are you looking there?"
"...There was something there a while ago I think."
"...You're starting to act really suspicious," she placed her hands on her hips, "Are you hiding something?"
He raised his hands defensively, "No."
"Why won't you look at me properly? You are hiding something!"
She grabbed him by the cheeks, earning a loud whimper from him, and turned him around. Cloud took a few steps backwards, leaned back on a tree, and enjoyed the show.
"Warrior of Light!"
"What have you been getting yourself into!"
"I-I can explain."
"You had better!"
Cloud burst out laughing. It was, simply put, a completely one sided conversation/lecture as Terra began to admonish Warrior while the latter could do nothing more than stand there and take it. The "conversation" ended with Terra practically dragging Warrior back into the house for "proper" medical treatment.
"Oh hey! I almost forgot!" he moved from his spot, "About Luneth. You're really sending him to school?"
"Yes. It is for the best."
"Okay. Just making sure."
"By the way: when did Tifa get that toothache?"
"Before she left Edge I think. Why do you ask?"
"...Nothing. Just concerned for a fellow warrior's health."
"You should take your own health into consideration mister!"
Warrior appeared to mumble something but closed his mouth instead as he and Terra disappeared into the house.
Cloud smiled to himself and strolled back into the house. Now he mused about getting Luneth to school.
"That method did not work. The disguise was far too obvious."
"Perhaps that is true. However, I am confident that this next method will be successful."
"What is this?"
"Your newest disguise."
"This one is also a bit too obvious."
"Nonsense. Children love animal mascots."
"True. So what is this one called?"
"It goes by many names. But for our purposes its name shall be..."
"That's Pedobear out there..."
Fate lifted his eyes from the magazine he was reading, kneeled on the chair, and gazed out the window. Trailing some distance behind them, on a bicycle with balloons attached to the side, was a man in a large brown bear costume.
"Admitted. It does appear to be Pedobear. What of him?"
Luneth slunk down on his chair, "I think he's following me."
His companion followed suit, "How can you be so sure?"
"I think I saw him outside our house when I boarded the bus."
"Hmn. Well that is a point of suspicion."
"What do we do?"
"Nothing. We must have sufficient proof that he is indeed following you before we can act."
A shrug, "Fair enough."
The rest of the trip continued relatively quietly, although Pedobear was still following. Arriving at the school, the children disembarked from the bus without much enthusiasm(it was the start of the school year what did you expect?). Last to disembark was Luneth and his friend Fate. The two had met a week or so ago. After a series of strange events and happenings, they became good friends.
As they strode towards the school, Luneth cast a nervous glance over his shoulder: the bear was there across the street, watching him in a very creepy manner. When they made eye contact, he(the bear) waved at him in a slow and creepy manner. All the parents in the vicinity were dragging their kids away and some were even calling the cops.
"This has become quite the scene," Fate mussed.
"Let's go. I don't think I want to see this."
They hurried up into the school as things started to get louder. Unbeknownst to them, Mr. Bear had followed them into the building. While strolling down the corridors at a leisurely pace, Luneth noticed something: the familiar armor of Warrior's arch enemy.
"Garland!" he jabbed a finger at him, "What are you doing here!"
"Well if it isn't the little brat. Finally figured out that you still have a lot to learn huh?" the stalwart sneered.
"Of course he does," Kefka walked into view, "This little brat could really use a few more hard earned lessons!"
The two of them then burst into that maniacal laughter villains are so renowned for. They would have continued laughing if Luneth's companion didn't cut through them.
"You still have not answered his question: what are you two doing here?"
They stopped laughing and glared at Fate.
"And who are you?"
"A friend of his."
"Doesn't give you the right to but in. Now beat it!" the stalwart jerked his thumb of to the distance.
"You misunderstand: what is happening here is also a concern of mine since that is our science lab you are in and it appears that you are filching our lab equipment. As a student of this school, I cannot stand by and watch you take our equipment."
"Hmph. You got a point there kid. But! You fail to realize that we have permission from the school principal!"
"Is that so? Then perhaps you should have just informed us that your business was official and we could have avoided all this."
"Ain't no fun if you know."
"Hmph. Fine then do as you wish. We will take our leave now," he turned and left and was followed by Luneth, who stuck his tongue at them before turning around and following his friend.
Kefka stepped forward, "That one's got quite a mouth on him."
"I can see how they became friends. Let's go," he grabbed the bags and together they headed to the principal's office.
"Thanks Doc! Sorry about the sudden drop-in though."
"My pleasure. It's certainly worth the trouble," the Tarutaru jumped down from the chair, "But you'd better replace them on the double!"
"What is with that incessant rhyming?" Kefka whispered.
"That's just how she talks."
"Don't they ever get annoyed at that?"
"Why do you think she's here?"
"Are you two done loudly whispering? Do not think I am so far away as to not notice a thing."
"Sorry bout that," Garland headed over and examined the papers that Shantotto had placed on the table.
"If all has been made clear, then we can finish the deal by your signing here."
"Sure sure," he picked up the pen and signed the papers.
"Thank you!" she swiped the papers and rolled them, "And now I must bid you adieu!"
She practically shoved them out of her office and slammed the door very deliberately behind them. The two of them stared absently at the door for a moment.
"Well that was awfully rude," Kefka aimed a kick at the door.
"That's just how she is. Now come on," he lifted their bag of equipment and started off. After sticking his tongue at the door, Kefka followed. As they hurried down several flights of stairs, Kefka caught a glimpse of something standing in front of one of the classroom doors.
"What the hell?" he stopped, went back up, and took a better look.
"...What the hell?"
"Oi! What's going on up there!" Garland's booming voice called from below.
"Pedobear is standing outside one of the classroom's door while holding a bunch of balloons."
"Really?" his voice was coming closer, "I take it you want your idol's autograph."
"Yes I do find his wei- wait. WHAT!" he swung around and saw Garland's amused expression. Well, as amused as a faceplate could get.
"What? Isn't the guy your idol for-"
"Do I have to explain it again? What I was doing is only for the purposes of my plans!"
"Sure you were. But is that your only purpose?"
"Of course it is!"
Garland laughed and took a look, "Well that aside. What the hell is he doing here anyway?"
Their target had still not moved from his spot in front of the classroom door clearly visible to everyone inside.
"Obviously looking for a victim. What should we do?"
"Enjoy the show?"
"Sounds like a plan."
The found a comfortable spot on the stairs and sat down. They were too far away to actually hear anything going on but they could take a guess. After a while the teacher, a boy that could be no older that twelve with red hair wearing a green suit and sporting some tiny spectacles, opened the door to ask what he was doing.
"The kid has no idea who he is does he?" Kefka tried hard to hide his amusement.
"Probably not. Still, this could turn out interesting."
After a few moments of somewhat awkward silence, the bear made a rather...unpleasant move towards the young teacher.
"He is dead now!"
But before he could grab the teacher, Fate jumped out from behind the teacher and sucker punched the bear so hard that he flew across the corridor, trough several walls and right out of the building.
"Ouch," Garland was unconsciously rubbing his jaw, "That has got to hurt."
Kefka was doing likewise, "Who would've thought that little guy could pack such a punch."
"Must be why he was so confident in talking us down," he picked up his stuff, "let's get out of here."
The continued on their trek. The descended the last few flights of stairs and exited the school trough a back door. Curiously, said back door was also being used by a fully armed S.W.A.T. Team.
Kefka turned his head 180 to get a better look, "What could the S.W.A.T. Team be doing here? Was there a terrorist threat on the place?"
"I don't know. Let me go ask," he headed towards the lone police cruiser where a familiar officer was seated barking at a radio.
"Secure the perimeter! I want teams on every exit! We'll get him this time!"
"Hey Noloe! What's going on here!"
Officer Noloe looked up with a hostile look on his face. One that was immediately softened when he realized it was Garland calling him. He stepped out of the car and offered his hand, "Hey Garland! How're you doing?"
"Just fine," he shook Noloe's outstretched hand, "If you don't mind me asking: what are you doing?"
"Well we received a report saying that one of the city's most wanted people in the city was sighted here. Knowing that it was a dangerous person, we mobilized the S.W.A.T. Teams."
"Okay. So...just who is this person?"
Their conversation was interrupted by one of Noloe's subordinates.
"Sir! We've found him! He's making a break for it!"
Noloe pulled out a pair of binoculars, "Aha!"
Garland squinted his eyes to focus on the rather bulky figure vainly escaping on a bicycle.
Before he could turn to ask Noloe, he heard the latter's voice, amplified by a megaphone, "There he is troops! OPEN FIRE!"
Every single cop and S.W.A.T. Personnel in the area turned sent a cascade of bullets and, would you believe it, rockets. For some inexplicable reason, practically every single round and rocket fired missed by a wide margin. Taking advantage of this, their target pedaled so fast that they could practically smell the burnt rubber.
"Dammit!" Noloe grabbed his radio, "All units pursue the target! I repeat! Pursue the target! This time we'll bring him in!"
"Dead or alive?"
"Nope. Just dead," he closed his cruiser's door.
"Hey! One last question."
He lowered the window, "Yes?"
"Where did you take your firing lessons?"
"The ISMA: The Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. Why?"
"...Nothing. Be on your way then. Nice seeing you again."
"Same here," he lifted his radio again, "Let's go troops!"
With a loud roar, from the engines of course, dozen of police cruisers, S.W.A.T. Vans, and even a couple of Humvees drove off, at top speed, to pursue their hapless target.
Kefka walked over, "The entire police force and then some mobilized...to apprehend Pedobear?"
"Not apprehend. Kill."
"...What did he ever do to deserve that?"
A shrug, "Who knows who cares. Anyway, let's go: the mobile lab's a waiting."
"Yup. We won't be doing today's experiment at the lab. We'll be doing it at the place where I hope to demonstrate our product."
"And what would that place be?"
"Oh. Okay. Sure. Okay. Don't stay too late. No talking to strangers. And no more sweets. You know what'll happen if Light finds out. Sure. See you later. Bye."
Cloud put down the phone and sat back on the couch. Tifa leaned closer.
"Who was it?"
"Luneth," he leaned back and changed the channel, "school was canceled early due to some sort of shenanigan concerning Pedobear."
"Pedobear. You mean that Pedophile who dresses in a bear costume?"
"Yup. They called in the cops who proceeded to chase him out."
"So where'd they go now?"
"To that amusement near the edge of town."
"You're okay with that?"
"He can take care of himself," he wrapped an arm around her and they made themselves comfortable.
After a while they heard footsteps and Bartz entered the living room.
"Hey guys! Uh...what're you doing?"
"Just relaxing. Something we can help you with?"
"Oh! Terra's looking for Warrior. Have you seen him by any chance?"
"No, we haven't. But...why is Terra looking for him?"
"Well he disappeared earlier and she's worried that he might end up hurting himself again."
"Tsk...Why would he leave the house?"
"I don't know. Maybe he has some business to attend to?"
"Why would he just disappear then?"
Tifa sighed and took the remote from Cloud. She changed the channels while the two men continued to debate whether or not Warrior of Light had a reason for leaving without telling them. After a while, she stumbled across a news channel that was showing what appeared to be the entire city's police force, S.W.A.T. Unit, and a few military forces chasing a man in a brown bear costume on a bicycle. And for some inexplicable reason, the man on the bicycle was maintaining a solid lead on the poor folks chasing him.
She was about to change the channel when Cloud said, "Hey. Could you turn that up?"
She obliged. And they listened to the news.
"Following from the report earlier: the second most wanted person in the city was sighted at a local school, law enforcement has since been pursuing the dangerous individual."
"Guess Mr. Bear isn't very popular," Bartz laughed pleasantly.
"He targets little children. Of course they'd love to do him in."
"This is overkill though."
"There's no such thing as overkill."
"The police are currently engaged in a pursuit with all available man power and then some."
"Is that...a Humvee?"
The group watched in silence as the police cruisers, S.W.A.T. Vans, and that Humvee sprayed bullets at their hapless prey. As with earlier, they inexplicably miss with almost all their shots fired. The man in the lead police car muttered something to himself and was ducking back into his car when it struck a pothole large enough to get the cruiser airborne for a good five seconds or so. The force of the impact jerked the officer's still outstretched arm an fired a shot out of the gun he was still holding. The shot, even though the gun was clearly pointed at the sky, somehow managed to hit the man in the bear costume in the chest. Barely missing his heart.
"The heck? When they were all aiming for him they couldn't even graze him. And when a guy fires a shot that definitely would've missed they nail him? The hell?" Bartz scratched the back of his head in confusion and frustration.
"Nothing makes even the slightest amount of sense in this town," the ex-SOLDIER shifted in his seat.
"And here I thought you were joking."
Then a bunch of explosions echoed from the T.V. they turned back in time to see a pair of A-10's fly over the camera's shot.
"And it appears the air support requested by the police has arrived!" the reporter was saying, "although it appears that they have missed with their laser guided missiles-"
"What. The. Hell."
"Like I said Bartz: nothing makes any sense around here."
"Looks like they're coming in for another pass," she pointed out.
They turned back and saw the A-10's fly by again and this time, they emptied all their ammunition on him. And miraculously, at couple of rounds hit him and he is forced off the road.
"Finally! someone with aim!" the mime thumped a fist into the air.
"Hold up," Cloud rose from his chair, "What's that?"
They scrutinized the screen and realize that Pedobear, who had ditched his bike and was fleeing on foot, was headed towards an amusement park that was located just at the edge of the city.
Tifa realized, "Wait a second...isn't that-"
"I know," he grabbed his coat and shouted, "I'm borrowing your car Leonhart!"
"Hey! What! Why!"
Before Squall could even open his room's door, the sound of a car taking off at full speed was heard. They heard a window unlatch and the angry lion's voice roared.
"Get back here Strife!"
"Could you just let it slide? It's and emergency," Tifa reasoned.
"There's nothing going on?"
"Haven't you been watching the news?"
"I have. What about it? Last I saw it was about that dumb bear running off to an amusement park."
"Well your little knight happens to be there."
"...I thought he had classes?"
"The whole Pedobear fiasco started at his school. So they dismissed."
"...I see the emergency. Guess he'd better hurry up then."
They heard the window close. At that point, Terra entered.
"What was that noise?"
"Cloud had to go do something important," Bartz turned to her, "Any luck?"
"None at all," she then noticed what was on T.V., "What's going on?"
"Oh that," he turned back to the screen, "Just some trouble near the edge of the city."
Meanwhile, at said amusement park. The bear had already climbed the fence and sprinted past several tents to get away from his trigger happy pursuers. After peeking around the edge of a tent, he darted out and blended into the crowd. Unbeknownst to him, everything was being observed by Luneth and Fate.
"...He really is following me."
Fate sighed, "I guess there is no denying that now."
"Guess I should deal with him then."
"How do you intend to proceed with that?"
"I don't know. Beat him up or something."
His companion smirked, "Then let me handle this."
"I think he'll be weary of you after that incident earlier at school."
"Hmph. Do not worry, I have other methods of approaching him."
The two of them wandered deeper into the park. As they walked they noticed a stage where two familiar "scientists" were hosting a show.
"What the heck are they doing here?"
"They appear to be exhibiting their inventions and what not," Fate took a sip of his coffee.
A shrug, "Might be worth a look."
The two of them approached the stage and sat down in the back row. All the while keeping an eye out for Pedobear. On stage, the two of scientists, or perhaps a better term would be quacks, continued their demonstration. Garland poured a bunch of strangely colored chemicals into a beaker which produced an uncomfortably orange puff of smoke.
He turned back to the crowd, "Ladies and gentlemen! Allow me to demonstrate our wonderful formula: The instant growth formula!"
Producing a manikin's(the one's you see in department stores not Warrior's relatives) head out of nowhere, he sprayed some of the formula on its head. And, for some inexplicable reason, it grew hair that could be described as a combination of the Warrior of Light's, Sephiroth's, and Ultimecia's hair.
"Well...that was unexpected," he mumbled to himself. Then he held the can high for the people to see, "With this wonderful product, all your hair related worries are solved!"
His assistant took a can and examined it, "Does it only work on hair?"
He was met with a shrug, "Not sure-What are you doing!"
"Finding out," and with a wicked grin, he sprayed a large amount of the stuff into his nether regions. The results were...let's just say that it made every male in the audience, well everyone except Luneth, who didn't see anything wrong with it, and Fate, who couldn't care less and focused on enjoying his coffee, grasp their nether regions in a display of insecurity.
Kefka admired his sudden growth spurt, "Now if I had some Viagra...hey!"
Garland didn't answer but instead continued spraying another can of something at his companion's growth spurt. Within moments, the growth spurt had been reversed and the men in the audience breathed a sigh of relief.
"The heck! What did you do Garland!"
"Demonstrated our other product: The shrink all formula. Now here's our last product: The Pest B Gone!"
He pulled out a red can and commenced a demonstration, "Just spray it on the object that pesters you-" he deliberately ignored the box of cockroaches and sprayed some on Kefka.
"What the hell are you doing!"
"And watch it disintegrate in a violent explosion before your very eyes!"
"What the! You sonofa-!"
There was an extremely bright flash of light accompanied by a tremendous zapping sound and a violent explosion (just like he promised). When the light died down and the dust cleared, Kefka was nowhere to be found.
"Guaranteed satisfaction!" he gave the crowd a thumbs up.
A blackened hand suddenly grabbed the can from Garland's hip and sprayed it on the knight. Startled, he turned to his side and saw hid impromptu test subject angrily glaring at him.
Before he could even open his mouth, there was a bright light and another explosion. Once everything cleared again, the clown looked triumphantly at the blacked spot where his companion stood moments ago.
"Submariner," finishing his insult earlier, "If any of you are interested in our products, step forward and fork over some cash."
The crowd moved forward, most of them interested in Pest-B-Gone concoction. Luneth and Fate instead wandered away. After a tour of the amusement park that lasted around half an hour, Fate motioned to his companion.
"Could you excuse me for a moment?"
"Huh? Oh! Sure."
He nodded and walked towards a coffee stand. As soon as his companion wasn't looking however, he ducked behind the stand. Then after making sure no one was looking, he pulled out five cards, paused, put one back, and touched the remaining four on his forehead. Four portals appeared around him and out came four young girls all wearing identical coats.
The one in front,a girl with long twin pigtails, asked respectfully, "What can we help you with Fate-sama?"
He hands them a picture, "I need you to get rid of this man."
"Him? Of course. Consider it done."
"But may I ask why? Is he troubling you?" this time it was the girl a bit to the right. The one with long hair and horns pointing upwards.
He shook his head, "Not me. But he is bothering a friend of and I am concerned about it."
"Really? That is good to know!" the cat-girl responded gleefully.
"Also. That man has a reputation of being a pedophile."
This last bit of info caused an uncomfortably long bout of silence. When the girl spoke again, her tone was deadly.
"We'll take care of it. Where is he?"
He scratched his chin for a moment, then pointed to a building that looked vaguely like a clown's head, "Wait in there. We will lead him into the building and once we pass by...you know what to do."
They nodded and left. He watched them for a moment then headed back to Luneth.
"Oh! There you are Fate! Where'd you go?"
"I just needed to take care of something," he replied with a shrug.
"Fair enough," he looked at the map he was holding, "Where to next?"
"How about there?" he pointed to the building he had sent his girls into.
"I don't know...looks awfully creepy to me."
"Come now. I'm sure we have nothing to fret from a 'Fun' house."
"But it has quotation marks of 'Fun' part. It's practically telling us that there's something dangerous there."
"And what of it? I'm sure we'll be able to handle them."
He thought about this for a moment, "Well...you are right. And it's the last one we haven't seen yet...guess we should go then."
With that settled, the two of them headed for the building, though Fate was pretty sure there were plenty of other places they hadn't seen yet. Along the way, Fate made sure that his quarry was following him. After making sure that he wasn't too far away, they ducked into the building. Once inside, he started forwards but stopped when he noticed Luneth trying to hide himself next to the entrance, sword drawn.
"What are you doing?"
He shot him a quick glance, "That guy in the bear costume is following us. I figured I'd ambush him here."
The aquamarine haired boy chuckled slightly at that, "I thought I told you to leave him to me?"
A raised eyebrow, "You have something planned?"
"Yes. It appears we have the same idea."
"You're gonna ambush him here?"
"You have someone else working for you."
"In a way," he headed deeper, "shall we get going?"
Luneth glanced at Fate, then at the door, then back at Fate. Shrugging, he placed his sword back into the scabbard and followed him in. When they had vanished into the house's depths, the four girls Fate had instructed to wait there appeared.
"That was Fate-sama's friend?" one of them, the one with cat ears and a tail, raised an eyebrow.
"Seems so," the one with the pigtails replied. Then she turned to the one with horns that pointed upwards, "Is he coming Melody?"
She nodded, "Yes Flame. Though it appears he is taking his time."
A nod, "Bracelet get ready with your artifact. Calendar back her up."
The two, the first one being the one with cat ear and the other one being the one with sidewards pointing horns and a rather large dragon tail respectively, nodded and moved to a spot slightly hidden from the door. The remaining two, Flame and Melody, took positions on either side of the entrance. And then they waited. After a minute or two of waiting, their target finally strolled into the building. The building was practically empty save for them, Fate and Luneth. Which would explain why he had chosen this as their ambush place: no one would notice.
As he was about to go down the path Fate and Luneth had trekked earlier when the four girls jumped out of their hiding places, two in front of him, two behind him. Flame opened her mouth to deliver an unintentionally bad pre-asskicking one liner when all of a sudden, everything became a blur. When everything settled down again, the girls found themselves bunched together in front of the bear who was standing in front of the entrance. Before they could comment on the situation, a large wall of text appeared before them.
You're Fighting a Pedro Bera.
Contrary to what the news and the cops were saying, this guy isn't the infamous internet meme come to life.
This is his identical twin who lives in Mexico. He's been having a rough day. Mistaken for his brother, punched
through several walls by a kid half his size, pursued across town by the entire police department, shot at by
cops and aircraft...
And now there are a bunch of girls who want to beat his ass for no real reason.
He's not very happy about that.
You get the jump on him.
The girls gawked at the sight: this just doesn't make any amount of goddamn sense.
"Oh forget this!" Flame ignited her clothing and attempted to dash forward to incinerate their target but found herself being held down in place by a unseen force. The other girls tried the same but also found themselves being held in place.
"What the heck is going on!" She struggled but was still unable to move. Casting a nervous glance, she realized that he wasn't moving either.
"This is most unusual," he examined the wall of text before him, "I've never seen anything live this in life."
He turned his gaze to the girls that had tried to ambush him and had mostly succeeded before the strange incident.
"They seem to be finding it difficult to move," he tried moving his own appendages, "It appears that some unseen force is hindering our movement...what could this be?"
He reread the wall of text before to try and see if there were any clues hidden in it.
You're fighting the Fatees
These sad little girls are practically all that remains of a once proud and glorious organization that practically ruled the world
All thanks to that wretched Takamichi and Godel! If only the two of those hadn't teamed up we wouldn't have to rely on these pitiful young ones!
The one with the cat ears is Calendar: an annoyingly childish little girl!
The one in her flaming birthday suit is Flame(Obviously): that one is far too hot tempered for her own good.
The one with the dragon tail is Bracelet: whatever you do you won't get an emotional reaction out of her.
The last one, the one with the violin and the horns is Melody: Such a nice little girl. Out of all of them she's the most reliable. You can really trust her to get the job done.
The other three, especially Calendar, are absolutely pitiful! Every time I watch them blunder and stumble their way into fulfilling their goal makes me want to cry! Not cry in joy or happiness! But in disgrace! In pity! In Shame! I cannot believe that all we have to work with with are these pathetic little-!
I'm ranting too much now. Moving on.
They get the jump on you.
He stared at the words for a moment, "Looks like who ever is manipulating these evens dislikes these girls."
At a highrise apartment complex that Garland has once delivered mail to.
A tall man wearing a black robe and face mask sat in front of a computer with three screens all displaying different things. The screen in the middle displayed a web browser with some sort of game playing, the one to the left displayed what appeared to be a complex computer program, and the one on the right displayed a live video feed of what was happening in the "Fun" House at the amusement park. Curiously, the words the girls and Pedob- er, Pedro Bera, were reading where also displayed in the computer program displayed on the left screen.
Behind him where the houses other occupants. All of them looked like Fate so much they could be mistaken for clones if not for the fact one was a girl and the other two had wildly different hairstyles: one had hair with spikes so large and so unkempt that it could challenge Cloud's and the other one's hair was also spiky, though not to the extent of the previous one, looked and moved as if it were a flame.
The girl was minding her own business on the couch sipping tea and watching the news. The one with spiky hair was standing behind the robed man and quietly observing what he was doing. And finally, the one with flaming hair was poking a glass container holding the key that Garland had delivered and a silver and blue staff. The key and the staff were crossed together and were connected to each other and some weird looking machine by a bunch of wires.
"Can I use this staff when you're done with it Dynamis?" he said in the direction of the man on the computer.
"No. Now don't interrupt me Quartum. I am trolling."
He continued to peck at the keys while the other boy watched.
"What are you doing anyway?" he finally asked.
"Like I said Quintum, I am trolling."
"What is this trolling?"
"Something you wouldn't understand. Now go join Sextum on the couch."
He waved his hand dismissively. Quintum ignored this and stayed where he was. Then he pointed to the central screen, "What is this?"
"A game I discovered a while ago."
"Would you mind if I-"
"No. I am in the middle of obtaining my Wossname."
"...What is that may I ask?"
"An item that is extremely difficult to get."
"If it is that difficult to get, why do you have so many other tabs and programs running?"
"Because I am multitasking."
"Is that all?"
He motioned to the screen on the left, "What is this?"
"A program that manipulates reality."
"The reality around here? I thought the Code of the Lifemaker couldn't do that."
"It cannot. But that staff can."
"So why wire it to the Code?"
"So I have an interface I am familiar with."
"...Where did you get the key?"
"Must you question everything?
"What else is there to do?"
"...Very well. I got it from a white haired man I encountered the other day. He said it was thanks for helping him pick up one of his quarters but I sense that he intended to give it to me in the beginning and just used that incident as an excuse."
"What could he have to gain from doing that?"
"I know not. But I intend to discover."
Quintum then notes the screen to the right, "I assume that these are your victims?"
"You would assume correctly."
"But are those not Tertium's minions?"
"Indeed they are."
"Why torment them then?"
"I do not like them."
"And that is reason enough?"
"I had thought that you would not swoop so low."
"Then it would appear you are mistaken," the two then quietly watched the ongoings for a bit.
"How are you even doing that?"
"From what I've learned the staff can manipulate the reality around this city the same way the Code can manipulate objects in Mundus Magicus. I wired it to the Code so that the commands I use would be similar to the Code's. The program makes interfacing and manipulation easy. Also-"
His rant about mechanics was interrupted by an unexpected development: I.e. an effing tank blasting its way into the "Fun" house.
"What in the world! Where the heck did that come from!"
"I believe that is the police calling in the army to help them chase their quarry," Sextum's calm and monotonic voice informed him.
Dynamis turned around, "Why in the world would they call in the army to chase down one fugitive in a bear costume!"
"Because apparently, while they may lack competence from practically anything else, hunting down pedophiles is serious business."
"...buffoons," he turned back to the screen, "In any case I must compensate for the change in parameters so the program does not..."
The screen on the left displayed an error message in bright red size 46 text.
Error: unaccounted change in parameters.
System is terminating.
Quintum tried to hold back a snicker, "Perhaps if you had not been so busy complaining you would have managed to salvage your program."
Dynamis threw him a nasty look. But instead of doing something horrible to Quintum, he murmured, "Well at least I can get my-!"
"Why is only one camp bombed back to the stone age? I overshot my kills!"
Now he just moved went on the balcony and shouted to the heavens.
"FFFFFFUUUUUU-wait a second: I can just use the program to turn back time a little so I do not overshoot it."
He dashed back in and saw, much to his and everyone else who wanted to use the computer dismay, that Sextum had sat in front of it and was clicking away.
Now he was justified, "-UUUCCCKKKK!"
Quartum was busy directing his flames to try and melt the casing, "Don't mind me. I'm trying to get a tool I can use for my next murderous rampage."
"Sure," Quintum mumbled. He then peeked over Sextum's head.
"...You have a Facebook account?"
"What of it?"
"Nothing. Its just unusual," he turned his gaze to the screen on the right, "My. Where did the Tertium's minions go?"
"I believe they were grabbed by soldiers and taken away," she replied with a shrug.
"That so," then he noticed a car drive into the building and roar back out a few moments later, "Who could that be?"
"Not sure. What I am sure of is that he is not a cop."
"I believe I saw Tertium and his friend in the back seat."
"Hmph. And what of the bear?"
"He ran off in the opposite direction. Now if you wish to follow the rest of the story you can watch the news."
The tone of her voice was dismissive. So he turned around with the intention of taking the remote. He however saw a most interesting sight. Quartum was still trying to melt away the glass, yes. But he had failed to notice that Dynamis had stopped screaming and was now standing ominously behind him. Without even bothering to say anything, the older man smacked Quartum in the side of the head so hard that he flew put the window and straight down to the pavement.
"Honestly these new models..."
It was already evening by the time Garland and Kefka got back to the lab. There they unloaded all their stuff and counted the profit they earned for selling their variety of potions and the likes.
"So Garland, what next?"
His companion pulled out a set blueprints, "THIS!"
"And what, exactly, is THIS?"
"Blueprints for my latest brainchild: the Fourthwallinator!"
He pulled down a chart, "Throughout my various researches-"
"What researches? The only thing you ever do is strap stuff together and make some mayhem."
"That there exists another plane parallel to ours known as the 'Real' world-"
"The only thing 'real' here is your nuttiness."
"In order to traverse to this 'Real' world, a barrier known as the fourth wall must be overcome-"
"Just take a sledge hammer and bust every fourth wall in a room."
"To accomplish this goal, I have designed and built the Fourthwallinator-!"
"Which is probably just a giant sledge hammer."
Garland clamped Kefka's mouth shut with a clothespin and picked up a cup of coffee. At that moment a platypus, wearing a fedora, crashed in through one of the windows and rolled to a stop directly over an X mark on the floor.
The knight feinted surprise, "Oh, Perry the Platypus how unexpected..."
Well frankly put, the platypus also looked surprised. I.e. his, if it is a male, eyes were wide and the general posture he took suggested a shock of some sort. Garland used that to his advantage and pulled a lever that dropped a cave over the X mark.
"And by unexpected, I mean completely expected!" he then noticed the strange look Kefka was giving him after the latter had removed the clothespin.
"...Is this platypus an acquaintance of yours Garland?"
"Oh! Him? He's a secret agent!"
"...You have got to be kidding me."
"Come on! Can't you see the fedora?"
"A fedora does not make a secret agent. And that thing is a damned platypus. They don't do much you know."
"...You'll understand," he turned back to the imprisoned platypus, "Now Perry the Platypus, you must be wondering why I'm doing this."
"Are going to do a villain monologue or-"
"You see Perry when I was a little boy-"
At this point, the part Garland began talking about a past he didn't have, Kefka just pulled down a huge image of Captain Picard performing his memetic pose to to represent exactly what he was feeling.
"If you don't mind I'll be having dinner," he left the room in exasperation.
Back at the Warriors of Cosmos' residence.
Cloud next to the second floor window and peered outside quietly. He had managed to get Luneth home successfully but he received an earful from Squall when he got back. Well, as far as he was concerned it was worth it. When he got back, he asked about the news and learned that the police, even with the help of the army, failed to catch their target and he was now loose in town. To that end Cloud, in the absence of Warrior, took charge and assigned lookout shifts, in pairs, with him taking the first. No guesses for the identity of his partner.
"Just how long do you intend to stand there?" Tifa asked from the kitchen.
"The whole shift."
"Couldn't you at least have moved a chair?"
"Don't need it."
Shaking her head, Tifa emerged from the kitchen climbed a short flight of stairs, and handed him some coffee, "Here you go."
"Thanks." he took the mug and they sat there for a moment.
"So...how'd it go?"
"Huh? Oh," he shifted his weight, "Not bad. Had to drive into a building though."
"Saw it live on T.V."
"...Just for the record, I didn't bust the wall: the tank did."
"Like I said: we all saw it on live T.V. Who was the kid with Luneth?"
"His friend. Fate if I remember correctly."
"That was his friend? He didn't look like the type to have friends."
"I know. But somehow they wound up being good friends."
"How'd that happen?"
"They really don't want to talk about it."
"Weird...huh?" She leaned closer to the window and squinted her eyes.
Cloud raised an eyebrow and followed his gaze. Hi expression turned into a frown at what he saw. Near the garage door, hiding behind the hedge, was a familiar character in a bullet riddled bear costume.
"Great," he mumbled, "What in the heck could that freak be doing here?"
"Probably looking for a place to hide in."
"Not gonna happen," he reached for his sword and headed down the stairs with Tifa following.
Inside the garage they heard the door being unlocked from the outside.
"He has a key for the door? Who is this guy?" Tifa wondered aloud.
"We're about to find out," he waited for him to walk in and then the two of them pounced him. The man in the costume put up a weak struggle, influenced by the fact that he was riddled with dozens of bullets, and was quickly trapped in a spinal lock by Cloud.
"Hey Cloud, don't you think we should cure him first?"
"Maybe," he rummaged his pockets, pulled out a cure materia and cast it on their captive.
"Okay then mister let's see who you really are," he pulled the mask of him and immediately jumped off.
"What the hell!"
All he received in response was a groan of pain.
Tifa walked closer, "That explains why he has a key to the garage door."
"But why the heck did he dress up as a Pedo?"
"Maybe he's secretly one?"
"I don't think so. There must be some other reason."
"Guess we'll have no choice but to ask him then."
"We've gotta move him to somewhere more secure and patch him up a bit more though."
"Good point," he hoisted the man in a fireman carry and they moved up to his room. While in the process of patching him up, he began to come to.
"Ughh...What happened?" he then noticed Cloud and Tifa, "How did I get here?"
"We carried you duh," Tifa pulled out some more potions, "Just what kind of stunt were you trying to pull?"
Cloud picked up the bear head, "Do you even know what this is?"
"Yes. It is a bear costume."
"Let me rephrase that: do you know who this bear is?"
"A Mexican bear named Pedro Bera."
"...Who told you that?"
"He would be uncomfortable if I revealed that."
"Then he was lying. This isn't Pedro Bear, this is Pedobear!"
"And who is that?"
Cloud face-palmed, "You should get on the internet more."
"I find little time to do that with all my other activities."
"Like stalking children like an obsessed pedophile?"
"...I was not stalking anyone now am I a pedophile."
"You were actually. And also, that 'Pedro Bera' of yours has a reputation for being a pedophile."
"..That would explain why I was being pursued."
"...Your obliviousness can get you killed you know."
"It nearly has already."
He sighed and stood up rubbing the ridge of his nose, "Get on the internet more. Maybe you'd learn a thing or two about memes and the like."
"What were you doing anyway?" Tifa asked.
"We just saved your life. You could at least tell us."
"...I was trying to see who stole the sweets in the kitchen."
"What? That was all you were doing?" Cloud stopped in what he was doing.
He let out an exasperated sighed, "If that' all you wanted to do you should've just waited in the kitchen!"
"I have thought of that but..."
"But what? Whoever you consulted told you to go with that idea?"
"I'll take that as a yes. Who told you to do that anyway."
"...Perhaps I was asking for it..."
Garland looked up from his clipboard, "Golbez. I see you have submitted you weekly quota despite the fact that you have only committed two evil act this week."
"Yes. Is there a problem with that?"
"Obviously. As villains we have to maintain a quota for our evil. Two acts are not going to cut it."
"What if the first act involved fooling a perfectly honest, innocent, and clueless individual into doing an act that is easily seen as a crime and the second would bring an extremely huge amount of trouble that will encompass the entire city."
"...Who is this person you tricked again?"
"Its in the file."
"...Ha! Good one! I'd say your quota is well and accomplished for the next two weeks or so!"
"Thank you," with that Golbez left.
Back at the lab, Kefka sat in the break room eating a pizza while Garland indulged in his insanity.
After a good fifteen minute, he heard a reassuring explosion followed by Garland's voice, "Curse you Perry the Platypus!"
He then slid out of his chair, and calmly walked back into the lab.
"So...what's up Garland?"
The aforementioned man looked like he just snapped out of some sort of spirit possession, "What?"
"What do you mean 'what'? You were narrating some retarded story about a childhood I'm sure you never had."
"What are you talking about? I don't remember a thing like that," he stood up and brushed the dust off his clothes.
"...Do you remember the platypus that you were convinced was a secret agent?"
"A platypus? Why would you think that? They don't do much you know."
"...Okay. Let's just say for now that nothing happened . Okay?"
"I'll agree with that."
"So you got any other ideas?"
"One more thing," he reached deep into a closet and pulled out a plastic container filled with some sort of liquid.
"What is that?"
"A kaiju growth serum."
"A kaiju growth serum. Makes kaijus grow."
"What are you gonna do with it?"
"...What's the catch?"
"Don't know yet."
"So you're going to feed me a serum with unknown and untested side effects?"
"...Let's do this."
A little while later, back at the Cosmos residence.
Luneth stood on a stool and reached deep into the closet to grab the can of sweets that Warrior had stashed in the back. Sure he wasn't sopposed to be doing that but they were just to good to be wasted. After triumphantly pulling out a few and popping them into hi mouth, he turned around to leave when he was confronted by a rather unsettling sight.
Standing behind him, arms crossed over his chest, was Pedobear.
Screaming a yelp of surprise, he threw a fire spell at him and ducked into the cabinet just as the explosion consumed the man in the costume. There he allowed himself a sigh of relief.
That is until the door opened and he finally saw the face of the man inside the suit. When he did, it became immediately clear that this guy was no pedophile. In fact, it was a little worse.
"Luneth," Warrior spoke slowly while the flames on his suit sorta cast an ominous shadow on his face, "I would like to have a word with you."
Longest one yet. I'm also trying out a new writing style. What do you think?