A Mentor

"Ahaa, may I ask what you're intending to do with my new specimen?" Came the croaking voice from behind them.

If Zack was able to move – which he wasn't – he would have gotten to his feet, sworn, and punched the creepy scientist through the chemical storing cupboard behind the lab-coated man. Zack was livid. He could have killed right now. How dare that son-of-a-bitch come into his room, kidnap him, take him downstairs, and attempt to experiment oh him?

Zack's head lurched upwards in sheer anger, however his forehead hit Angeal's gloved hand and the raven-haired teen slipped back down against the hard mattress of the stretcher.

"Professor Hojo?" Angeal stepped forward, placing a hand in front of Genesis to stop him from running straight at the reptile-like man standing, arms folded, before them. "Why is Zack in the lab? He had a training session with me scheduled for a few hours ago." Hojo merely cackled, his circular spectacles slipping down his nose.

"It's my job, isn't it? To enhance the SOLDIER forces? What better way to test my theorems than on a young SOLDIER like Fair, here?"

"Bastard." Genesis seethed.

"Professor Hojo, did President ShinRa give you permission to use my student? My student, whom he had assigned to me for the remainder of his SOLDIER ranking?"

"Of course not, Commander Hewley! I'm given the right to use any man that I see fit! The grunts are hardly capable for the intake of mako—"

"YOU USED THE FOOT SOLDIERS FOR YOUR EXPERIMENTS?" Genesis roared, his icy blue eyes shimmering the violent green of the mako-warrior, SOLDIER First Class. "Are you trying to be funny?"

"Genesis, control yourself." Angeal sighed. Zack rolled his eyes. He didn't care if Genesis spat fire at the deranged scientist, as long as he could get the fuck out of there and stand on the charred mans face! Che.

"Get outta here, Angeal! We thought they'd died!" Hojo laughed to himself. Angeal and Genesis' eyes narrowed at the exact same time, and Hojo looked up, sensing their fury. Well, Genesis' fury. Angeal's curiosity.

"They did die." Hojo stated matter of factly, as if it was no big deal, a man's life. "Like I said, the grunts can never handle the intake of mako, and the results tend to involve their internal organs imploding upon themselves, or a full out explosion. Awful mess it causes, sadly—"

"If you don't stop spitting out this bullshit…" Genesis stated through gritted teeth, "I'll kill you. I should have killed you the moment you came into this room, but I didn't."

"Well of course you didn't, since you know full well that turning on your own side will bring on certain extermination…" Hojo trailed off, smirking through chapped lips.

'Extermination? That meant... If a SOLDIER was to betray his comrades… he'd… be destroyed? But how does one destroy a First Class? They're invincible, aren't they?' Zack was thinking quickly, he couldn't understand what was happening… it was all so confusing. And the drugs they'd given him... his head felt heavy… like he wouldn't be able to hold it up, even if he were to stand up.

"Professor Hojo," Angeal hissed, his pale blue eyes also glittering with the mako energy as his anger rose, "I'm no scientist, but I know that that is not the way to experiment. You're not supposed to use the foot soldiers anyway – and if you were to, say, in a war, we needed instant backup, the mako has to be progressed slowly! You know that!"

"I do."

"Then why the hell…" Genesis trailed off, ending Angeal's sentence. Well, they were close friends after-all. "DO YOU JUST KILL PEOPLE FOR FUN?"

"I don't. Commander Rhapsodos, Commander Hewley, if it means this much to you, you can take the boy and leave. I don't mind. There are plenty of other fine young men out there."
"Touch…" Zack hissed, "Touch us…" Why weren't the words coming out properly? "And I'll… I'll kill you…"

"Yes, because you could do that right now couldn't you? You cocky brat. Hewley! Take your kid and leave my labs this instant or I shall inform President ShinRa that you were interfering with my experiments."

Angeal swore under his breath the whole time that he was slinging Zack's limp arm around his shoulder and Genesis had resorted to smashing through a glass window after Hojo in his utter rage. He then helped Angeal drag Zack to the lifts and through the SOLDIER floors, to his bedroom.


The Next Morning…

"Zack? Can you hear me?" Angeal was prodding him repeatedly in the arm, concerned that Zack hadn't awoken since he'd passed out after threatening Hojo.

"Yeah, I hear you." Zack muttered groggily, still pissed that he hadn't been given the opportunity to smack the psychotic professor across the face several times. He stretched – oh man, he was stiff as a rusted lock! Every muscle in his body ached, even after his extensive training, he'd never felt so tense and sore in his life!

"How are you?"

"I need some ibuprofen. Now." Was all he could manage before moaning loudly at the way his arms felt so incredibly rigid. Those paralysis drugs sure did their job…

"Of course." Angeal handed him two tablets and a glass of water.

"Two. Is not. Enough." Zack hissed, why was he hurting so much?

"Relax, Zack."

"ANGEAL!" Zack whined, his voice scratchy and unused.

"I'm not giving you anymore just yet. See how you feel after twenty minutes. Take a shower, you'll feel better. No training for the next five days, or until your muscles calm down… The President's keeping Hojo strictly to paperwork and your instructors have been informed that you won't be attending their classes."

"Hojo strictly to paperwork?" Zack repeated, scowling, "The man should be thrown behind bars!"

"I agree, however, he's the only man capable of distributing the mako proportions correctly and—"

"Yeah, I get it."

"Good. I'm going, I have a mission. A few of your friends have said that they'll stop in soon and keep you company while you're on room arrest…" Angeal flinched at the sound of Zack spitting his water out.

"ROOM ARREST? WHAT FOR? I DIDN'T DO SHIT!"

"I know that… It seems that Hojo got to President ShinRa before we did, and made up some hot lie about you destroying his lab."

"One day, that guy is going to get stabbed through the back by Sephiroth's masamune! I'm not even freakin' kidding, man." Zack swore repeatedly, cursing Hojo for his cunning. Angeal merely chuckled and gave Zack a small salute.

"You did good, Zack."

"Tch. Thanks…" He flicked two fingers off of the side of his head as Angeal left, smirking to himself.

He'll go far, that kid… when he finally grows up.

END OF PART ONE.


I have no excuses. I'm sorry doesn't cut it. Just, please, find it in your glittery hearts to forgive me! I lost my muse over final fantasy… and over Zack *LE GASP*, I'm shocked too! Oh. Mai. Gawd. And this chapter sucked. It was the most realistic ending I could think of, without killing Hojo. You know, it's my dream to kill Hojo? I wish I'd killed him. Life'd be so much better, ya know?

I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue this, but now I think I'll turn it into a kind of anthology, so that you can see how Zack goes from being this angry kid swearing and beating people up to the loveable puppy we all know and adore. So this was the end of part one, and therefore the end of this little story - but part two, I will post in this story, you know what I'm saying?

Any ideas as to what the next part could be?

Again, I'm sorry. So, so sorry for not updating. I can't believe how bad I am.

YCRx