Here you go! Genesis and Angeal are alive…for now.
Disclaimer: I wish I owned it. Maybe someday….
Chapter 13 Not Alone
Cloud was restless as he paced the hallways outside the cadet quarters. He'd taken off the armor he'd been given, it brought back to many mixed feelings to wear it for long. Also, he couldn't exactly wear it during normal classes, only for certain tests that were coming. During such moments was when armor was allowed, if the students could afford it of course….which most couldn't.
What he needed was a plan, something so insane that it couldn't possibly fail. Problem was that his resources were limited and his choices even more so. Not to mention the utter lack of intelligence on the other goings on in Shinra. This whole situation was simply too big for one person, how could the Planet even think that he could handle it alone-
"Don't look so down, kid!" A voice called from behind him.
Cloud whirled around and gasped. It was an all too familiar white and black cat.
"You…um…hi." What was Cait doing out? AVALANCHE as he had come to know it through his own memories wouldn't start for some time yet.
"What? That's it? I'm hurt!" Cait exclaimed dramatically, clutching his chest.
"What? What do you mean what? And here I thought we were friends, Cloud!"
Cloud could have sworn his jaw was now on the floor.
"E-excuse me? But you….you can't know me!"
Cait grinned back at him.
"Awww. Come on now! How'd you possibly think you'd save the world without me!"
Cloud couldn't help himself as he wrapped up the mechanical cat in a hug.
"Please tell me this isn't a dream. Please." He hadn't been big on hugs in a long time but for this he made an exception.
"Nope. I don't think so."
"The others!" He held him at arms length. "Cait, does that mean the others came back too?"
Cait looked sad.
"I….don't think so Cloud. I'm sorry. I know if Vincent remembered he'd have woken he'd have broken out and be here helping already! And I tried to visit Aerith but there were Turks all over the place! And you know Wutia is still in COMPLETE shut down….Cloud this place is more of a mess then it was after everything got destroyed!"
"I know, I know. Listen Cait, I need to talk to Reeve. Please." He knew Reeve, even after they found out the truth, still maintained Cait and himself as separate personalities. He didn't really know much about it if he was being honest, but when he could he tried to be sensitive to Reeves wishes.
Cait looked at him thoughtfully before nodding.
"Alright. Come on then. If somebody catches you out this late you could get in some serious trouble." He snickered. "After all, you are just a cadet….and you're a lot shorter then I remember too."
"Oh really? Are you really going to start in on the short comments?" Cloud grumbled.
Cait started making his way down a few hallways and up a long flight of stairs. Doors that should have been locked, considering the hour, swung open effortlessly.
"You shouldn't make it so easy to tease you then!" Cait shot over his shoulder before increasing his pace. They made there way up several fights of stairs before they reached a rather out of the way office with 'City Planning' labeled on the door.
Cloud opened the door almost cautiously.
Reeve was sitting behind his desk, piles of papers strewn looming above him.
"Cloud. Its good to see you." He looked so much younger then Cloud remembered the few times they'd met face to face. "I sent Cait to find you as soon as I could finish his programming." He chuckled, "It went much faster this time seeing as I've already done it once before. So, have you noticed the difference in him yet?"
"Um….no? He seems the same as I remember pretty much. I don't know, my memory of that time keeps clashing with the here and now too much for me to keep every detail straight."
"Well I increased his battle abilities, though that's something I did when I became worried about Deepground. But what I meant was the fact that he's acting independently!"
Cloud just stared.
"I don't understand."
"What? You mean you can't tell the difference Cloud?" Cait joked.
"You see, Cait was always a moderately powerful AI. He's just smarter now, more….human you could say. I spent years after Meteor perfecting his program. He has more personality then he did before. And somehow, don't ask me how, he's regained all the memories of his time before we returned."
"But he's a machine. Now offence Cait but I thought the Planet only worked with living things."
"I am living." Cait grumbled, but he didn't seem too horribly offended since Cloud didn't mean it maliciously.
"Perhaps I made him more life like then I thought. He even breaths now, you know. I am still working on having him consume food though."
"Enough about me! We've got bigger things to discuss!" Cait interrupted.
"Indeed. I've been using all my considerable skills to locate JENOVA."
"And unfortunately I've hit a dead end for now. I don't know where she is, but she's not in Nibelheim. There's a lot of files still to go through however. I will find her, worry not."
"He must have moved her. Or maybe she was never there to start with. Its possible he moved her there later too. Look, try and find out if he keeps a record of the labs he visits outside Shinra. It might give us an idea of at least where to start. Of course there's a few labs he had I'm sure wont be listed anywhere. Also, while you're looking for her I need you to be looking for Kadaj and the others."
"Do you think they'll be a threat?"
"Their still too young for that. If we get to them quickly enough I don't think they will be."
"I will make them my top priority then. JENOVA can wait a little while. Those poor boys, however, are at Hojos mercy as we speak. I know at least a bit of what was done to Sephiroth as a child. If their going through even half of that I'll be surprised if they aren't already half insane."
"Also, I need a way to disable to Mako reactors slowly and without blowing them up."
"Well I did build them. With a bit of time I should be able to find a way to safely shut them down. I don't know if you knew this but Rufus contacted me after the whole Deepground incident. He was trying to work out alternative energy sources. I'm still working on it, but I can charge small things with a Lightning Materia already. Of course, that was with the equipment I used to have. I suppose if I had access to a way to create Fusion Materia that might help. Of course, even if I did have that kind of access-"
"Reeve, you're losing me. Work it out with Cait. I'm sure he has a better idea of what you're talking about. First Kadaj and his brothers…then we work on Rufus. He would have killed the President given half the chance. But so would half of Shinra. Maybe we could-"
"Stop." Reeve held up a hand, "Nowhere is safe in this entire building when you want to talk like that."
Cloud rolled his eyes.
"I didn't know you prescribed to the 'Turks are always watching' propaganda. Besides, before Rufus took over the Turks were….actually with the President as he is I wouldn't put it past him."
"If you want to talk more about this we can meet this weekend for lunch or something."
"How about a late dinner? I'm spending my spare time training with Zach."
"Of course." He grinned, "Still want to be a SOLDIER, do you?"
"Its what's best, not just about what I want."
"Of course, of course. Saturday for dinner then? I'll have Cait place the location under your pillow when I find a nice quite place to meet."
"Sounds good, if a bit overcautious." Cloud hesitated before hugging Reeve tightly. "I'm glad you're here Reeve."
Reeve hugged him back just as tightly.
"Same to you, Cloud."
"Hey! What about me?"
Cloud broke away from the hug.
"Of course Cait. I'll hug you after you escort me back to my bed."
As he began the walk back, Cloud felt lighter then he could ever remember feeling. Suddenly, the future he was working for seemed a little less impossible.
Like it? Hope you did! Thank you to my wonderful Beta and my Beta Gamma! Anyway, if you wish for me to keep all those characters you like alive you'll review! Do it! Come on…please?