Finally! After working my other story, I have finally updated the next saga for my OC.
This first chapter is the longest by far, but I only say that because I don't know the length of the others! Regardless, I hope that you enjoy this chapter of 'The Lifestream Army'.
Disclaimer: This applies to all concepts of this story but I don't own wither Final Fantasy VII or Doctor Who! Keep note of this as this disclaimer probably might be forgotten. But I don't own anything in this story! Except for Mr Question Mark. He is MINE!
It continues where we left off in the previous story...
Mr Question Mark gripped the railing as the TARDIS shook violently. He had grown accustomed to the bumpy trips with his trips with the Doctor and he didn't feel home without them as a result. There was a whirring sound from the console (think similar to the 11th Doctor's TARDIS) and he went over to it and pulled a lever on it. Then he raced over to another lever and pulled that.
"Come on!" he said with excitement. He grabbed a hammer lying on the chair near to where he was and hit the console with it, it producing sparks where ever he hit. "I already repaired you!" He hit the console again, this time a large amount of sparks flying out. There was a bump in the ride and Mr Question Mark fell down the stairs near where he was, hammer still in hand, flying to the side as he now had no support to old onto.
He cried out as he was flung and smashed against one of the walls. He got up as fast as he could, but to no avail as he was flung to another side again. This time, he managed to get a grip on the railings and pulled himself up to the console, and when he did, he pulled another one of the lever. The TARDIS bumped violently at the pull of the lever and Mr Question Mark finally moved to a button on the console, smashing the hammer onto it.
There was a 'ding' and Mr Question Mark cried out "10 points!" in excitement before the TARDIS bumped one final time. Mr Question Mark leaned against the console, laughing at the bumpy ride that he had just had. With excitement, he ran to the door, throwing the hammer back onto the chair where it had previously been and opened the doors of the TARDIS.
Outside the doors was a large crater surrounded by the stone walls of a cavern. Near to where the TARDIS was, there was an opening in the rock. Directly in front of Mr Question Mark was a large crater; green mist and a green glow coming from it. The centre of the planet in the Northern Cave. He grinned and closed the doors, locking them with the key inside his locket and he then put the key back into said locket.
"Good job girl." He said as he patted the TARDIS. "You got the destination right this time." He let out a laugh and patted his TARDIS again. Grown from the Doctor's TARDIS, the chameleon circuit had been originally broken, a tip of the hat from the original model. The only difference in fact between his own and the Doctor's TARDIS was the fact that his own TARDIS was shorter than the Doctor's.
He checked to see if the door was actually locked and upon finding that it was, he moved towards the centre of the crater and looked into the centre of the planet that he was on. He remembered his previous encounter here, but he couldn't remember the time that had elapsed between then and now. He had had to release the Lifestream of the planet in order to help it heal itself faster and to repel a Meteor that had been plummeting towards the planet. (The end scene of Final Fantasy VII where the Lifestream stops the Meteor). There were others that had stopped the person who had summoned the Meteor but he couldn't remember their names. The only name and face that he had bothered to remember had been that of Sephiroth.
He breathed in the air of the Lifestream, feeling the planet's life flowing through him. He had always wanted to see the heart of the planet but hadn't really gotten the chance to. Having a holiday certainly was convenient for him.
He went around to a 'port' made by the stone that led into the planet's heart. Underneath him were numerous floating stones that he leapt from in order to reach the heart of the planet. If memory served him right, there was a stone platform that led to the heart just in front of him…
He saw that stone platform almost in front of him, jumping from the floating stone that he was on to the stone in front of him and then towards the stone platform. The sound of his shoes hitting the tone echoed in the crater as he landed and walked around the stone platform. He couldn't remember where or how he was supposed to get to the heart so his first step was to look over the edge of the platform, hoping to see a way to get to see the heart.
There was a cracking sound behind him.
With a quick motion, he reached for his sonic screwdriver and pointed it towards the source of the sound. There was no need for his gun. He wasn't in any immediate danger and firing a bullet inside the centre of a planet was definitely not something he was going to do. There was another cracking sound from the centre of the platform, Mr Question Mark scanning it with his screwdriver. He read the reading that it provided.
No life forms in scanned range
He checked again, the reading staying the same. Still the cracking sound came from the centre of the platform, this time; stones were visibly seen to be rising from the centre of the platform as if something was breaking from underneath the planet. But….the only thing underneath there was the heart. It was almost as if the heart itself was trying to break free of the platform and enter the world.
But there was no life form where the stone was. So what was coming from the stone? What was coming up?
Mr Question Mark pocketed his screwdriver, getting a loose stone from where he was and juggling it in one hand. Whatever it was that was coming up, he wasn't coming to be unarmed if it was dangerous.
The ground beneath the stone as the 'something' that had been breaking through broke from the heart. Mr Question Mark covered his face, hand still gripping the stone in his hand. Dust was kicked up as the force of the bursting kicked it up. Mr Question Mark saw a figure in the dust ahead of him. He didn't need to know what it was, but the long katana-like sword in one hand told him what he needed to know. If the heart of the planet had kept this thing, whatever it was, trapped, he needed to make sure that it didn't get out. But what was it?
Regardless, he threw the stone in his hand at the figure, hitting it in the head. He reached or another stone and heard footsteps approach him. He threw the stone in his hand again as the figure approached. Mr Question Mark stepped back, the rocks beneath him crumbling as he realised that he was on the edge of the platform. Nowhere to go. He had attracted the attention of the figure and he was certain if he ran for the floating stone platform near him, the figure would cut him done. Sweating, he reached for one last stone as the figure came into his view.
His eyes went wide as soon as he saw the face of his attacker. Long silver hair and a long sword. In fact the word should have been the first give away. (Don't know his eye colour but I think you guys will survive.)
Mr Question Mark licked his lips, hardly able to understand why the person in front of him was alive. He didn't like being ignorant. Ignorance, to him, wasn't bliss. It was one reason to say 'I don't know'. And he hated not knowing. So how was the figure in front of him alive?
"Sephiroth" he said as the figure approached him.
"I didn't think anyone would be here when I arose." He said looking at Mr Question Mark. "Regardless, you can't do anything boy. You should be honoured. You are my first kill."
"Great." Said Mr Question Mark. He didn't even see the sword as he was stabbed in the stomach. He let out a gag as it did, the cold metal of the sword turning inside of his stomach. He looked up weakly at the figure in front of him. Lifeless eyes looked at what was soon going to be a corpse.
Not if he could help it. Resistant to the end, he used the last of his strength to throw the stone as hard as he could towards his enemy. It hit Sephiroth's face hard but the former SOLDIER didn't even react, even when the stone drew some blood at its impact.
Sephiroth pulled out the sword from Mr Question Mark's gut and Mr Question Mark fell, green flying past him.
"I hate my holidays." He said, just as the Lifestream around him engulfed his body.
Precia woke up with a jolt, her chest hurting and pulsing with pain. She coughed, feeling like something was blocking her airway but nothing came out. She wiped her mouth, the feeling still there but she ignored it. It must the stress from having to deal with the media from the case with Churchill.
Mr Question Mark was on his holiday, so nowhere knew where he was. She missed his eccentricity and his character, to lighten up the feeling in otherwise serious atmosphere in the palace. She rubbed off the thought. Mr Question Mark would return when he did. But right now, she had her own problems to deal with.
She staggered out of her room, heading towards the bathroom that was near her bedroom. Her chest wasn't the only thing hurting now; her head was pulsing with the same pain. Using the wall as a support, she headed to the bathroom, opening the door and washing her face.
"Cause…..The Cause… (See the first in the series to know when this came up)"
She spun around, her head and chest still hurting at the voice. There was nothing else inside the bathroom apart from her, she could tell because of the fact that all the toilet doors were open as well as the doors leading to the baths and showers.
"Hello?" she asked. Maybe there was someone in here. She just had to make sure.
"Cause….the Cause cannot die….' It whispered. She spun around again. She had heard the voice behind her. She looked in the mirror in front of her to see if there was anything behind her. There wasn't.
"The Cause cannot die….."
So why was there a voice behind her when there was nothing there? And what was his Cause that it talked about?
Frightened, she ran out the bathroom, the feeling of the pain masked by her own fright as she ran towards her room and locked the door. She ran towards her bed and pulled the covers over her head like a child.
"Cause….." the voice continued to whisper. She smothered her face in her pillow, sweating and trying to ignore the voice. Mr Question Mark, she thought, where the hell are you?
Mr Question Mark sat up with a jolt. He immediately felt the pain inside of his gut. He ran a hand down his gut, feeling that the fabric of his shirt had already mended itself. It was at times like these that the fabric was indeed useful, as it hid wounds brilliantly, but it was a pain if he wanted to see the wound itself. He lifted the shirt up and looked at his stomach. Or rather, what was left of it.
A large hole was now where his stomach was, a red line inside of is stomach. He figured that he could see parts of his intestines if he adjusted his gaze but he had no desire to. He didn't know what it would be like if he threw up with a hole in his stomach.
Using his tie to apply pressure to the wound by wrapping it around his body he stood up. He turned, rather wobbled, around until he saw a landmark in front of him that he immediately noticed. Midgar. The large city rose in front of him, one that he had visited before Sector 7 had been completely obliterated, 3 years ago (thus making the time line 3 years after FF7 and 1 year after Advent Children). In fact, he had been there when it had been destroyed. He had managed to hide in the TARDIS to avoid any damage but…
The TARDIS! Mr Question Mark swore as he realised that he had left it at the Northern Cave. He knew that he would have to get back towards the Northern Cave. But there was something that he had to do first: stop Sephiroth. Whenever that guy was around, nothing good came out of it. And he had only fought him once. But why had Sephiroth risen? And when Mr Question Mark had scanned him why didn't Sephiroth register as a life form? Come to think of it, why had he ended up in Midgar? He remembered being thrown into the Lifestream and then…nothing. Why was there nothing?
Remembering to focus on one problem at a time, he hobbled towards the gate of Midgar. He didn't need to know what happened next; the wound that Sephiroth had given him would only result in one thing: regeneration. So he needed to find a place where he could do it quietly.
The streets of Midgar were packed as usual, street performers and children packing the sides of the street while parents and teenagers walked up and down them. But somehow, the street had gotten weirder. While he was looking for an abandoned alleyway for his regeneration, some girl dressed in a ninja outfit had approached him and patted his shoulder after seeing him limping. Pretending to help, he could have sworn he felt her hand in his blazer pocket, probably looking for material. Refusing to accept help, he pushed her away slightly, apologising as he did so. She had then given him a strange look and asked him if he was OK.
He had ignored the question and limped away. He had found an alleyway quickly after the encounter and entered it, going to the back of the alleyway, glad when he found that it turned a corner before hitting a dead-end. That way, he could avoid people seeing his regeneration.
Mr Question Mark's regeneration was different from normal Time Lords. Strictly speaking, he wasn't exactly a Time Lord himself. He remembered what Precia had told him that Scar had told her and Samus that he had been 'created'. Mr Question Mark knew where Scar got his information from. 'Iam'. It was the only thing that made sense. After all, the only one who knew positively that Mr Question Mark was a creation of the Time Lords was himself, the Doctor and Iam. Created during the Time War, he had been given a Time Lord's body. Two hearts, regeneration, the whole lot. Named the Prototype of the Experiments of Gallifrey or the True First Experiment he had been 'made'. But since he was a creation, his regeneration process differed from other Time Lords. Instead of his whole appearance changing, the cells inside of his body weren't 'replaced' but rather 'refreshed'. His appearance stayed the same as well as everything else about him and only the wound that he had been given changed. (Can't give too much away about my OC. Although, this is a big development. Of course there are other details and back stories about Mr Question Mark)
His body ached, as it usually did when he was about to regenerate. He felt the bottled up regeneration energy surge through his body and arched his back as it was released. He could feel the energy inside of him repair the wound inside of his body as well as the fact that he could feel the regeneration energy leave his body.
When the whole process was over, Mr Question Mark coughed and leaned over, using the wall as a support for him as he did so. He wiped his mouth and stood up straight, feeling where the wound had previously been, feeling only closed skin. Happy with the result, he took off the tie around his waist and put it in its rightful place around his neck. He looked at the blood on his shirt but he knew that there was nothing to be done about that. Even though his fabric could fix itself, it couldn't wipe away blood.
Letting out a few more coughs, Mr Question Mark headed towards the end of the alleyway. If he was going to fight Sephiroth, he needed advice. Advice who knew the planet better than anyone else. He saw a figure at the end of the alleyway, leaning against one of the walls. He walked past the figure, saying "Excuse me" as he walked past it. He was about to exit the alley when he felt a hand on his shoulder and a gasp from the figure behind him.
He turned look at the face of a 25 year old looking woman with brown hair and wearing a lot of pink. He sighed as he looked at her face. Another weirdo. First a ninja and now…a pink girl?
"You can see me?" she asked.
Mr Question Mark's head filled with thoughts at the question. There were only two conditions in which one could ask that question in such seriousness. It arose when he could not be seen and the only beings that had that ability here in Midgar, here on this planet were invisible beings and ghosts. As far as he knew there were no Gelth on this planet. Judging by the fact that the figure had gasped when it had come into contact with him, that meant…
"Not now!" he moaned as he brushed away the hand and ran into the crowd in front of him. The last thing that he needed right now was a ghost that hadn't past on yet. But even the existence of a ghost in this world was strange. Usually, when people died on this world, thy returned to the Lifestream so why was there one here now?
Mr Question Mark ran as fast as he could, away from the girl. Man, he wished that he was back inside the TARDIS right about now. That way, he could enjoy his holiday the way that he wished, stress free and just enjoying the thrill of travelling.
He stopped in front of a large fountain, gasping for breath, ignoring the stares of the people who were looking at him. He looked around him, at the people around him, but saw that the ghost was nowhere in the crowd. He sat on the edge of the fountain and let out a sigh.
"You can't run you know." Said a voice above him, frightening him so much that he fell into the fountain. The water that he land in was stained red as the blood that was on his shirt seeping into the water of the fountain. He stood up and glared at the ghost who was looking in surprise at him as he stepped out of the fountain, soaking wet. Mr Question Mark knew that he wouldn't get anywhere in the state that his clothes were in, so he wrung them out and admitted defeat.
"I suppose not." He continued to wring out his clothes, waiting for the ghost above him to start talking. The dead always had a lot to say. After all, having no-one to talk to for how many years one had been dead did tend to allow one to think up a lot of interesting conversations.
"How can you see me?" asked the girl. "I'm dead."
"Really?" countered Mr Question Mark. "If you were truly dead, you would have been returned to the Lifestream. It seems to me that you are in between the planes of the living and the dead. But that's just me. What do you think?" He spoke in casual tone, attracting attention if the people around him even more as he spoke to one that they could not see. The ghost, in response, merely stayed silent.
"As for me," Mr Question Mark said, finishing his thought out loud, "I'd have to say that you do have an idea of why you're still here. But you won't tell me."
"What makes you think that?" said the ghost as she floated down to ground level, meeting the eyes of the wet boy. "Why do you think that I know why I haven't passed on?"
"Because, you don't want to leave. If you didn't know, you wouldn't be here in Midgar, you would find out what you could do to make you pass on. But since you have, you just don't want to do it." Mr Question Mark took off his blazer and shook it in the air, spraying water in all directions. "So. Why do you still remain in this world?" he asked her.
The girl crossed her arms. "You're very interesting, you know that? This is not a normal conversation you would have with a ghost."
"What is one?" he asked. "First question that came to mind. Speaking of questions…." Mr Question Mark said as he remembered a question that had come to him while he was regenerating, "you wouldn't happen to know about the Cetra would you?"
The ghost narrowed her eyes and nodded. "Yes. What about them?"
Mr Question Mark put his blazer on, it now less wet than it previously was. "3 years ago, during when the Meteor came down, the last Cetra died. I heard that they were buried in the City of the Ancients. Now, my question is: is that true?"
The ghost smiled, leaned forward and tilted her head. "Why are you asking me?" she asked. "Why don't you go there yourself?"
"Take too long." He replied shaking a leg to get rid of water, spraying water again. Passing people glared at him and walked around the fountain. "Would take a week and the trip would be wasted if the Cetra isn't there."
"How about I tell you where you could find a fast ship. Could get you to the City in less than 2 hours." The ghost replied.
Mr Question Mark raised an eyebrow. "You sure know a lot for being a ghost. Why don't you just tell me?"
The ghost shrugged. "I'd prefer you to go there yourself." She pointed in one direction; the west. "Go along here until you reach a bar on the left. It's called the '7th Heaven'. The people there own an airship that will be useful to you."
"A bar?" he asked. "Are you sure that that's legal? Considering how old I look?"
"Why do you ask? Are you older?" countered the ghost with a sinister smile.
Mr Question Mark snorted "You have no idea." He gave his thanks to the girl and walked in the specified direction, the ghost not following him however, she did call out to him after he had walked a few steps.
"What will you do if you find the Cetra?" she asked.
Mr Question Mark turned back to her. "Revive them." He said simply and walked away, smiling to himself as he caught a glimpse of the shocked face on the ghost's face.
The 7th Heaven was a quite quiet place, apart from the large group at the back of it. When he had walked in, he had attracted glares from them. Mr Question Mark had pretended to ignore them but had gotten a glimpse of them in his peripheral vision. 4 men, a familiar ninja girl as well as two…..'Creatures'. One looked awfully like a stuffed cat and another was a red-dog like creature. On any other occasion, he would have approached them and inspected them thoroughly but not today. He was looking for an airship and that was what he had to focus on.
He walked up to the boy and awaited service, sitting on one of the bar stools. The fall had washed away most of the blood from his shirt so now he didn't have to hide much of it in order to show the blood.
"What would you like sir?" came a voice from the other side of the bar. He looked over to where the voice had come from and saw a small girl working the till efficiently, almost as if she had done it before. He blinked at her. Was letting a girl, who had the appearance of a 7 year old, work the rill of a bar ethical? He shrugged.
"I'll have a milkshake please." He said. "Chocolate."
"A….milkshake?" she asked. "I don't think that he can make those."
"Really?" he asked. "Then I'll just have some milk if you don't mind."
The girl stared at him and he stared at her. "You know there's a shop just across from here right? They sell milk." She said.
"Are you telling me to go to the store?" Mr Question Mark asked with a smile.
The girl frantically waved her arms in front of her. "No sir!" she said hurriedly. "I think it's around here…."
She ran over to a fridge and opened it. Mr Question Mark took the time to observe what type of girl she was. Judging by that she worked the till with familiarity she must have worked here before and for a long time. Teaching something to a 7 year old took time and patience. Also, the girl pranced about the bar with the same familiarity so she must have a close connection to it. So close to the bar or the bar owner. Her clothes were very neat but they didn't seem like something that he would walk out in. So she must live in the establishment. That explained the connection. Mr Question Mark looked over to the right and saw a staircase leading a second level of the bar, probably the living quarters.
The girl poured the milk into a glass and brought it over to him. He took it with a smile and took a sip, feeling the curious eyes of the girl on him. When they had just talked he had seen her gaze not wavering away from his eyes. Same as Precia. She was always attentive to his eyes. He put the glass down and glanced around the bar in front of him.
"What happened to your eyes?" the girl asked.
Mr Question Mark took another sip. "That's a long story. Besides I don't want to scare you."
"I don't get scared easily!" said the girl proudly, puffing out her chest. "I don't think you can scare me!"
"Marlene!" came a voice from the stairs that led up to the second level. "Don't be rude to customers!"
The girl, Marlene, flinched and turned to the stairs. "Sorry Tifa!" she said. "It won't happen again!"
Mr Question Mark saw a woman walk down the stairs into the bar. She was tall and wearing black, one of her fists on her hips (think the outfit from Advent Children. All characters will have those outfits). From a glance, Mr Question Mark guesses that she was in her early 20's, maybe 23 or 24. He took another sip of the milk.
"That's fine Marlene." Said Tifa. "Go play with your dad. I'll take over." Marlene nodded and ran out of the bar, running to the group at the back, running to one of the older, bigger men, tugging on his sleeve.
"Sorry about that." Said Tifa as she walked to the bar. Mr Question Mark turned back to her and he saw her flinch a tiny bit at the sight of his eyes. He waved a hand causally.
"No worries." He said and took another sip, finishing off the milk. He passed the glass to Tifa who took it and took it to the sink. She put it down and walked back over to Mr Question Mark. They both stared at each other, the only sound being the group at the back, Mr Question Mark waiting for Tifa to speak and Tifa unsure of what to say to the mysterious boy.
After a few seconds, Mr Question Mark gave Tifa a hint on what to say next. "Here's where you tell me how much the drink cost." He said.
Tifa blinked at him and then realised that she was still under working hours. "R-right" she said. "Um, I suppose you can have it for free. Milk's not expensive and Marlene was quite rude to you….."
"I said not to worry." Said Mr Question Mark. "But thanks for the drink."
Tifa nodded and looked at the back watching the group before turning to Mr Question Mark and saying in her softest voice. "But your eyes. What's the story?"
"I guess that this is the charge?" Tifa nodded. "Like I told Marlene, it's a long story."
Tifa crossed her arms. 'So? What is it?"
"Long and boring." Said Mr Question Mark, intending to change the subject. "And speaking of long and boring, I'm planning on shortening a long and boring trip to around 2 hours. I heard that a person owning a fast airship was here."
One of the men at the back spoke up, Tifa's eyes turning to the man. "Oi boy. Do I know you?"
'Not at all." Replied Mr Question Mark, not bothering to turn around to face him when talking. "And I don't know you. I suppose you are the airship pilot?"
"Are you with Shinra?" asked the man. The voices that were at the back stopped at the sound of the company.
Mr Question Mark scoffed. "Of course not. How can I be part of an organisation that disbanded?" Mr Question Mark knew that he had come after the incident with the Meteor, so Shinra had in fact disbanded.
"Then how do you know I own an airship boy? I don't tell anyone that I do. And how did you know that I was a pilot?" the man asked.
Mr Question Mark knew the answer immediately. Because a ghost told me. But if he said that…..there would definitely be consequences. So that left one option. Mr Question Mark turned to the man. He had blond hair and stubble on his chin. He was chewing on a toothpick and his jacket was incredibly dirty. Mr Question Mark still sitting began his explanation.
"It's in your jacket." He explained. "There's oil stains on various spots and I can smell the detergent that went into removing them but they're still there. Your hands and the gloves on them look worn but your feet are in almost mint condition. Not a lot of walking or foot movements such as cars. So a job that needs a lot of maintenance and only requires hands? A pilot."
The man took off his jacket and had a look over it, sniffing it to make sure the smell of detergent was there. He put it back on before turning to Mr Question Mark to ask him another question. "Why do you need an airship?"
"To verify something." He said. The group behind the man was whispering and frequently looking at the pilot and Mr Question Mark. It seemed like the ninja chick had recognised him. Behind him, Mr Question Mark heard Tifa washing the glass that he had just drank from.
"Verify something? What's the location? I'll have you know I don't do illegal business kid." The man said chewing on the toothpick.
Mr Question Mark narrowed his eyes. Illegal business? Why did the pilot think that he was in such business? Regardless, and a bit annoyed, Mr Question Mark answered. "Location? The City of the Ancients."
The reaction of the people in the bar was instantaneous. All of the group jumped from their chairs and looked at him and Mr Question Mark heard the sound of Tifa turning off the tap and stop washing the glass.
"Seems like you know it. Saves me from finding directions. So, will you take me?" he asked.
The pilot stepped forward. "Give me one good reason. One reason to go and one not to wring your throat."
"I need to check something." Said Mr Question Mark. Although he wasn't planning to tell them, they wouldn't have knowledge of the importance of the Cetra in the crisis before him. Hell, even he didn't know if talking to the Cetra would produce results. "A report regarding the Cetra. That the last one was buried in the City of the Ancients 3 years ago. So, can you take me?" he asked, standing up and meeting the pilot at eye level.
The pilot glared at him and Mr Question Mark saw his eyes flicker to behind him. Mr Question Mark turned, but not fast enough as Tifa threw the glass that she was holding at his head with all her might. It shattered and Mr Question Mark staggered back, holding a hand to his head and turning around. "What are you-"
He felt the pressure of a full grown man on his turned back and he and the pilot fell to the floor. The pilot grabbed his collar and punched his face twice before holding him up, threatening to punch him again.
"What do you want with Aeris?" he hissed.
Ignoring the warm sensation of blood on both the front and back of his head Mr Question Mark answered. "Is that her name?" He asked only to receive another punch to the face. Mr Question Mark groaned as he was lifted up by the collar and withstood the next assault: his head being smashed against the bar. He was turned back around, Cid right in front of his face.
"I'll ask again. What do you want with Aeris?"
"H-have a discussion." Said Mr Question Mark truthfully.
"She's dead." Came the cold reply.
"How can you be sure?" asked Mr Question Mark.
"Because I saw her die in front of me." Came another voice from the same group. Mr Question Mark turned and saw a man with blond hair like the pilot except the hair was in a spiky hairstyle. He, like Tifa, was wearing mostly black.
"But did she actually die?"
"Cid." Said the man turning to the pilot. Cid nodded and let go of Mr Question Mark, causing him to fall to the bar.
"Thank you sir." Said Mr Question Mark. "Now-"he never finished as the back of his head was smashed against the bar, this time being picked up by the man.
"I carried her body myself. Don't you dare say that she didn't die. I saw Sephiroth stab her in the gut first hand at the City of the Ancients."
With that one sentence, Mr Question Mark smiled. So. It WAS true. The last Cetra. That helped him greatly. "Thank you." He said to the man. "Now, I have somewhere I need to be so can you-Wah!" The man lifted Mr Question Mark higher into the air, his feet dangling.
"How the hell are you!? What do you want with Aeris!?" yelled the man.
This wasn't going anywhere. If Mr Question Mark kept on answering his questions, he would get nowhere. They would keep on going in circles until the man realised that whatever he was dealing with was serious. One last try…
"I want to talk to her. I have a problem and need her assistance. That's all."
The man still kept him in the air. "Tell the truth! You can't speak with the dead! So what do you want with Aeris!?"
Mr Question Mark looked at the man. His eyes told him that he wasn't going to let him down until he received an answer. And no answer was going to satisfy him. That much was obvious. Mr Question Mark didn't know how this blond haired man was or what his connection to the Cetra was but one thing was for sure. He had to use other means.
"I'm sorry Doctor." Mr Question Mark whispered to his mentor who disliked violence. Mr Question Mark felt the bar table and found what he was looking for. A coaster. Although he hadn't used one, all bars had one. So, that meant all bars had a potential weapon. In a fast motion, he picked it up and flung it at the man's head. The man cried out and Mr Question Mark kneed his chest, causing the man to drop him.
Mr Question Mark fell to the ground, everyone reacting in the same way. The only one who didn't react the same was Marlene, who cowered in a corner. Everyone else went loose. The closest one was the pilot, Cid. He ran towards Mr Question Mark. To counter him, Mr Question Mark picked up the bar stool behind him and threw it at the pilot. He batted it aside, only to see another stool flying to him. He fell back.
The next assault that was closest was from the bartender, Tifa. She had picked up the nearest bottle and had thrown it at Mr Question Mark while he was throwing the second chair but he intercepted it, catching it by the neck.
He turned with his new weapon in hand and saw the dog creature leaping towards him, with the cat creature on its head. He smashed the bottle against the dog's head, it leaping away whelping, Mr Question Mark left only with half a bottle. The man that had held him up was groaning and Mr Question Mark stamped on his head causing the man to yell out in pain.
The next thing that he heard was the cocking of a gun. His instincts told him one thing: to run. So, Mr Question Mark flung the bottle in the direction of the clicking and leapt to the side. A gunshot fired through the air, the bottle smashing, sending glass fragments everywhere and the bullet hit the end of the bar, sending more glass and bottles everywhere.
Gaining his balance, Mr Question Mark knew that the only place where there would be cover was the bar. But the bartender was the obstacle. So…..
Mr Question Mark leaped over the bar, sending a kick at the bartender. She caught it with one hand and sent a punch towards Mr Question Mark. He blocked the fast punch, the mere speed from it flying past his ear. Using his spare leg, he let out another kick, one that Tifa jumped out of the way to dodge. Mr Question Mark was let go and he landed on the floor of the bar, Tifa not entirely out of it either.
After she leaped back, she leaped forward without almost animal-like speed, Mr Question Mark reacting as fast as he could. He grabbed a bottle near him, but couldn't react to the punch fast enough as it smashed against his face. He was flung back, still holding the bottle, blood coming from his mouth.
Tifa cracked her knuckles. "Choosing to fight hand to hand against me. Bad choice." She said. Mr Question Mark didn't say anything, his body shielded by the bar from the others in the room. Judging by the fact that no-one had come to attack him after he chose to attack Tifa, he figured that everyone felt that Tifa could handle the rest. "Now. What do you want with Aeris? And don't give me that same excuse as last time."
Mr Question Mark gripped the bottle. They still wouldn't listen. What happened to giving people a chance? He looked at her and she looked at him. No words were needed for the exchange.
"I see. I guess I'll have to beat it out of you." She said. "I have to say though, you aren't really a fighter. Your moves are too ecstatic to be read as a style. It's more rather a mess than a fight" She moved forward, fist clenched while she did so.
"Guess people guessing." Mr Question Mark said in response. "Think fast." He threw the bottle towards Tifa, she reacting faster than he had and catching it. She didn't take her eyes off him as he reached for another bottle and threw it. She caught it with her other free hand.
"What now?" she mocked. Mr Question Mark smiled and reached for his gun, pointing it at her.
"Like I said. Think fast." Replied Mr Question Mark as he fired. There was no way that Tifa could respond except for leaping over the bar table with expert speed as the bullets sailed past her and into the wall. Mr Question Mark put down the gun and picked up another bottle, standing up to throw it and the nearest target. He saw it and didn't like it.
The man that Marlene had run to earlier was pointing his arm at him. He was large and had a bulky figure as well as dark skin and on one arm, there was a gun arm. Unlike Samus's, this one could immediately be seen as powerful. He doubted that his gun's bullets would stand up to such an overpowered weapon. So he hid behind the bar as the gun arm- gun cannon in his opinion- fired, practically blowing out the shelves on top of him.
The bottles and the shelf blew apart, glass and liquid flowing down on Mr Question Mark. He wiped his face with his sleeve as the smell of alcohol filled his nose. He peeked over the bar and looked at his opponents. They had gotten the tables and flipped them over, the wood acting as a shield. They were spread like a large wall preventing him from reaching the entrance.
"Did you get him Barret?" asked a voice.
"Sorry Red XIII" came the reply from the man called Barret. "The coward ducked before I could get in a shot."
Mr Question Mark ducked behind the bar, thinking about his next action. He needed the airship to get to the City. He didn't think that he was going to win over the people here unless a miracle happened. The only way that he was going to reach outside was through the staircase that Tifa had walked down before but that would have him open for a short amount of time but with that hand cannon and the fact that there was a marksman in the group meant that he probably wouldn't come out unscathed.
"Ghosts." He said to himself. "Ask a question and this is what happens."
He looked to the staircase and seeing that it was his only option, crawled towards it. He pocketed his gun in its previous spot. He didn't want to shoot anyone, the only reason that he had done so at Tifa was that he needed this cover desperately. He shifted and more bottles above him blew apart, liquid flowing onto him. Mr Question Mark looked up at where the bottles had previously been and saw a couple of shuriken where they had been.
Right, he thought, there was that ninja chick as well. To check their accuracy, he picked up half a bottle on the floor and raised it over the bar by its neck. The cracked body exploded as a gunshot echoed through the room, glass shattering over him. Mr Question Mark looked at the neck of the bottle with surprise. Three people who had remarkable firing skills. That wasn't good.
"You're trapped you know." Said a voice. Mr Question Mark knew from its tone that it was the spiky bond haired man that had beat him up. "Now tell us what you want with Aeris."
Mr Question Mark shifted towards the staircase as the man spoke. Nothing that he said now would change the man's mind. He was going to beat him hard until he couldn't speak and then he would leave him outside on the street. That was what Mr Question Mark thought the situation was going to go and that was probably how it was going to do as well.
"I told you." Replied Mr Question Mark as he moved. The man had said that he had seen 'Aeris' die, so he may as well see what information that he could get from him. "I have a problem that only this 'Aeris' can fix. And I need a craft that can get me to the City ASAP."
There was silence as he gave the same answer, Mr Question Mark still moving. There was more silence as the other group consulted with each other the repeated response. Mr Question Mark could see the small gap between him and the staircase. As long as he got to at least the fourth step, he should be fine from any fire from the other group. He got as close as he dared to the staircase as he could and readied for his sprint to the staircase.
"You can't reach the stairs." Came another voice. "I know that that's your only escape. That opening that you have, I'll use to blow a hole in one of your legs." A man had spoken, probably the marksman from before. Mr Question Mark merely looked at the staircase, not saying anything, the other group responding by doing the same.
There was silence as both groups waited for the other to make their attempt at a move. The only ones were escape for Mr Question Mark and attack for the other. Mr Question Mark looked at the distance with hesitation. He wasn't sure that he couldn't make that distance anymore. The marksmanship of the shooter before had told him that it was nearly impossible. So he needed to create a target. Mr Question Mark didn't have to look hard for one, a broken bottle among the mountains of them.
He knew that he had to act fast. He threw the bottle over the bar, hearing the shout of
"There!" from the other group. The sound of a gunshot was heard and the bottle shattered but Mr Question Mark had moved even before that. He headed towards the staircase and was about to reach it, when he saw one thing that he didn't need right now.
A small boy around the same age as Marlene came down the stairs and looked blankly at the scene, the shield of tables and the ruined bar, the perfectly normal reaction for anyone coming in. Mr Question Mark knew that his presence would immediately make one of the shooters on the other side attack. Judging by the fact that there was an increased chance for a hit, the cannon guy, Barret, would probably fire.
That meant that the staircase would probably explode in a shatter of wood, the splinters and the bullet itself potential weapons in itself. And that boy was at risk of getting hurt. Seriously hurt. Death was certainly an option. There was nowhere for the boy to have cover. Pushing him up the stairs wouldn't do anything and pushing him down would be the same as throwing him in front of the bullet.
"Barret!" he heard from behind him as well as the click of the gun. The boy looked at Mr Question Mark and he at him. There was no hesitation in Mr Question Mark's mind about what to do next. His regeneration took time to build up for the next one, around 6 hours, and he knew that his regenerations created no residual energy. Whatever wounds he maintained in the next 6 hours would stay there until he regenerated again. That didn't matter at all. There was no way he would die here. He still had a job to do. He reached the boy and pulled him into a tight embrace, shielding him with his body.
"Don't Daddy!" he heard from the small Marlene. "Denzel's-"
BOOM! The cannon fired.
Precia threw up. She hadn't gotten any sleep from the voice inside her head. It had calmed down but it hadn't disappeared completely. She didn't know why it kept on repeating the words 'Cause' and how it 'could not die.'
She wiped her mouth, flushing the toilet as she did so but still leaned over the bowl, hoping that she was done. She breathed heavily over the bowl and put her hand on the wall of the cubicle that she was on so that she could stand up.
She heard whispers outside the bathroom that she was in. Her father had come over to check up on her when one of the maids had heard her groaning from the pain in her chest and head and naturally, like any concerned father, he immediately went to see what was wrong with her.
She had gone to answer but instead she had gone and thrown up. She had then moved to her current spot where she was. She moved to the sink and washed her mouth.
"Are you alright dear?" she heard the voice form outside. Her mother wasn't up yet so her father had to look over her in her absence.
"Yeah." Precia replied weakly looking at herself in the mirror. The voice was still there, louder than it had it had been before. She didn't know what the 'Cause' was or why it couldn't die but she knew that her father would not believe in her. And anything that she told her maids or people she knew, they would tell her father. There was only one person that she knew that would hesitate to tell her father and that was Mr Question Mark.
She had no idea where he was but she knew how to contact him. She had asked for his number before he had left and he had given it to her, although he had said that he didn't know why she needed it. But she had insisted and he had given it to her. She would have to get to her phone sooner or later.
She came out if the bathroom, wiping her mouth. "I'm OK." She told her father. "Just a little sick." She laughed at herself internally at the weak lie. Her father seemed to catch on that it was a lie but didn't say anything.
"I just hope that you're okay." He said, putting a hand on her shoulder. "We'll see how you are tomorrow and then we'll see if we have to call a doctor?" He kissed her forehead and the two moved towards her bedroom.
Precia just hoped that wherever Mr Question Mark was, he wasn't getting into any trouble.
He was still conscious even after the bullet had hit him in the back. Thankfully, it had missed is spine but he felt that a couple, or rather a majority, of his ribs were broken from the blast. The bullet hadn't gone all the way through his body but rather lodged inside. He knew that his clothes would have stitched back up thus closing all visible signs of the wound which was thankful. Now the only traces of the wound that he had received was the large blood spatter over the staircase.
He looked at the boy who he had protected, his grip loosened after the bullet hit, and found that he was looking at him to the blood on the walls and then back again. His mouth was open and Mr Question Mark could tell that he was about to shed tears soon. Too right as well. No kid should be exposed to this violence at such a young age. But it happened anyway.
Mr Question Mark knew that he wasn't going anywhere soon. He heard the steps of the people behind him approach and the boy looked up at them. Mr Question Mark was too tired to turn around and besides, although he couldn't see the wound he knew that it was probably a large one.
"You….you…" stammered the boy as he looked at the group.
"Denzel." Said a voice of the Cid. Somehow, was the voice getting softer? That couldn't be right. Why was it getting softer? "Come over here."
Mr Question Mark saw the tips of fingers stretch out in his vision and the boy, Denzel, took them and was lifted up as Cid lifted him over Mr Question Mark's body.
"Denzel!" Mr Question Mark heard the cry of Marlene behind him as well as the girl breaking into sobs. Another thing that happened at this moment was that Mr Question Mark felt the movement as his clothes as someone, he couldn't tell you, lifted up his shirt and blazer to assess the wound.
"Don't…touch….…the clothes." Mr Question Mark muttered, his face turned to the side as he now had no-one to look at as the boy. He observed the blood on the staircase. Surprisingly, there was very little. Had some of it sprayed onto the wall of the bar?
"Jesus." Said a voice, Barret's. "He's-he's still conscious. Despite the wound." The clothes were put back and Mr Question Mark didn't know what happened but he heard the sound of movement. Mr Question Mark felt what had happened an instant latter as he felt the staircase shake a tiny bit as someone stepped on it. The person, or animal, moved around the staircase until Mr Question Mark saw the person step into his vision. It was the spiky blond-haired man.
"You saved him. The boy. You didn't have to." Said the man. Mr Question Mark knew that he was losing conscious due to the fact that the voice of the man was getting softer and his vision was getting blurry.
"Felt like it." He answered, looking at the man. "So, can you take me to the City?"
The man looked at Mr Question Mark with a hard glare. "Just because you saved Denzel doesn't mean we're going to do you a favour."
Mr Question Mark blinked at the remark. He let out a sigh. He expected as such. Now all he had to do was wait for 6 hours before he could regenerate. Probably when he woke up, the wound would have healed.
"Tell me though." Said the man. "Why do you want to go to the City?"
"My answer is unchanged. Now, get me to the City, sir, so that I feel like I have a reason to have a hole in my back."
The man and Mr Question Mark looked at each other before the man looked up at the group behind him. Some kind of gestures were exchanged resulting in the man nodding before turning to Mr Question Mark and holding out a hand.
"Cloud." He said as he stated his name.
"Good for you." Replied Mr Question Mark as he closed his eyes, losing himself in the darkness that followed.
And that's all she wrote. Don't worry, this only set up the stage for what's to come. And not only will Mr Question Mark have to deal with finding Aeris and ressurecting her but also has to deal with the problem that Precia has. What a workload!
If you read this, you are probably one of the first 100 to read it. Man, compared to my other story, this is just a footnote! Regardless, I will be persistent and keep at this story. Anyway:
Review, if you please.