||* d e u s . e x . m a c h i n a *||

. : / * Author Notes

I don't know when the idea to write this kind of fic sprung into my head. Seriously – I think it's the influence of Megami Kouhousei or it's from playing too much Xenogears.

But anyhoo, this is the result. I sort of strayed from writing FF7 fics for a long time, and I decided to do something about it. I'm not particularly proud of this. Actually, come to think of it, I never did like any of my FF7 fics. :P~~~ Man. Majorly sucks shyt for me.

So yeah. This is AU so don't be expecting anything from the original story-line. I'm trying to write something different and fun. Or at least for moi.

My brain seems to be fried, and I can't really think of anything else to say except that you enjoy this fic, kay? :D

**



"Sir, we're getting another reading."

A man with disarrayed platinum-blonde tresses swung his feet down from the desk where they had been lazily propped up and raised a brow in question at the young girl who had just spoken.

"Another one? But it's only been..."

"Yes, sir. I know, but the radar's never wrong. The enemy has been targeted and has been spotted 3500 kilometers away and is moving like a bullet our way."

"Like a bullet?"

The girl started pushing buttons on the computer and looked at the jargon being displayed on the wide screen before her.

"Yes, sir. According to this, it's approaching at the speed of 230 miles per hour."

"Child's play." He paused to take a deep breath and sighed. "But an enemy's an enemy. The boys are really gonna start to hate this shit."

"Sir?"

"Never mind that, Kisaragi. Do me a favor though, would ya? Locate Tifa and have her run down to the boys' quarters to inform them of another enemy."

"Yes, sir!"

Her swift hands deftly began running across the keyboard while simultaneously speaking into the headset and doing as she was ordered.

The older man just groaned and got up, heading for the docks.

**



"Hey guys! Another enemy's been pinpointed!"

As ordered, Tifa made haste for the pilots' quarters to tell them of another rather insignificant mission. After working with the boys for a year now, she had gotten quite accustomed to just barging in without knocking or permission to be let in. She just slid her identification card into the side slot and allowed herself in to be greeted by four bare-chested young men.

"Another?" A raven-haired youth looked at the young woman with a look of dissatisfaction. "I thought we finished them up on the field 5 minutes ago."

"Yes, but now there's another one approaching. Cid wants you down at the Mecha docks pronto."

The youth just moaned in stressed agony at Tifa's response and was followed up with another young man's exuberant voice.

"YES! Get ready to unleash yourselves, boys! The party's just starting!"

"Is there ever a time when you aren't excited that we're blowing up people?"

Tifa giggled.

"Look at it this way, Vincent. Zax's optimism makes up for your lack thereof. And Cid says..."

"...You're doing it for your country," he mocked, finishing the statement for her. "Yeah. I know."

"Well, guys. Looks like we gotta get back in those Mechs."

The silver haired one of the boys passed through the door without even a blink of an eye.

"You'd think that he'd at least put his shirt back on," Tifa blinked.

"That's Seph for you," responded a spiky-haired blonde. "Besides, I'm not gonna waste my time trying to look for the top half of my clothes in that." He pointed at the messy heap of clothing on the floor.

"Roger that!" Zax cried, and both boys ran out the door.

"Tifa, get someone to clean up our room, kay?" Vincent didn't wait for an answer and exited as well.

"What do I look like? Your maid!?" She shouted indignantly. "Yeah right. The next thing you know, I'll be the one doing their rooms instead of the designated maintenance!"

**



"Took you guys long enough."

Cid walked down the dock and stood before the four young men – still bare-chested.

"And what the hell is this? Where the heck is the other half of your uniforms?"

"Sir, if I may..."

"Shut it, Strife. I don't wanna hear anything come out of your mouth."

The remaining three boys sniggered.

Out of the four, he had always had the sharp tongue and he wasn't afraid to use it – even on good old General Cid Highwind.

"We don't have time to dilly-dally. You boys get in your Mechs; Yuffie will send out info via the RCS and your enemy should be a piece of cake. I'll talk to you all later about this new attitude that sprung out from you boys in the last couple of weeks. Is that understood?"

"Yes, sir!"

"Alright then – dispatch!"

The four young men ran to their corresponding cylinder shaft and punched in their identification codes. As soon as the necessary preliminaries were taken care of, four gigantic angels in the form of machines emerged from the hangars and allowed the boys entrance.

As soon as the four youths were in the Mechs' cockpits, a wide screen before them flashed on with random words flashing by before each of their remote communication systems automatically switched on and Yuffie's voice could be heard.

"Deus," came her swift call for Sephiroth.

"Pilot engaged."

"Affirmed. Mecha – Code Name Deus connecting."

"Roger that. I'm connected."

"Michael."

"Pilot engaged."

"Affirmed. Mecha – Code Name Michael connecting."

"Right back at cha. This angel's connected," Cloud effortlessly punched in a few things to his side before the lights flashed before him indicating that the operational unit was now in gear.

"Gabriel," her petite voice reached Vincent's RCS.

"Pilot engaged."

"Affirmed. Mecha – Code Name Gabriel connecting."

"Roger. Gabriel is connected."

"Raphael."

"... ..."

"Raphael, do you copy?"

"... ... ..."

"Zax?"

"... ... ...Pilot engaged."

"What took you so long?"

"I busted my RCS during the last battle, babe. Send someone in here to repair this thing after this duel."

"Right. And you have been affirmed. Mecha – Code Name Raphael connecting."

"Send me out! This Mecha is ready to get down."

"All four Mechas engaged. Rocket out in 5...4...3...2...1!"

The four Mechas' translucent wings shot out in a blinding light from the backs of them and they were off.

"I don't think those boys are really ready for the battles coming up. These are nothing compared to the real thing."

Yuffie had become quite accustomed to Cid creeping in and out of the control room that she no longer needed to jump when his voice just piped in right behind her.

"Sir?"

"They think it's just a game..."

**



"Excuse me. General?"

"Hmm?" Cid turned around to face the pleasant voice of one of the commanding officers in the base. "Oh, Ms. Rinehart. What can I do for you?"

"It's about Mecha Code Name Seraphim, sir."

"The pilot?"

"Yes. Rude was able to lock onto someone who has the mental and stamina capacity to hold out with her, sir."

"How's his correspondence rate with her?"

"Actually, sir, the pilot isn't male but female."

"A female? And where the hell did Rude find her?"

"Out in one of the civilian vicinities, sir."

"The civilian vicinities!? He might as well have found her in one of the brothels."

"Sir, she had an exceptional Mecha correspondence rate for someone who has never seen or controlled a Mecha before."

"And how would you know this?"

"The Mecha Rude had been in stopped functioning when in close range with the girl, sir."

"That's peculiar."

"Exactly what we had thought too, sir. Reno did some research and ran some tests on one of the Mechas and found out that if a Mecha comes in close range with a being that has a better correspondence rate with it than its current pilot, it's operational system shuts down completely."

"You guys must have been doing your homework."

"Yes, sir."

"And about this potential pilot?"

"We wanted to get your permission to recruit her before doing so on our own accord, sir. We don't know how willing..."

"You have my permission. Do what you can to get her here, Rinehart."

"Yes, sir."

The blonde haired girl stepped out of the control room whilst Cid turned back to the large screen before him and looked on as the Angel Mechs victoriously destroyed yet another enemy.

**



"Another victory. Aren't you getting tired of it, boys?"

Cloud raised a brow in suspicious question.

"Okay. Who are you and what have you done with Cid?"

Cid sighed, holding in the urge to go over and strangle the blonde youth.

"Yeah, Cid. You make it sound as if you don't want us to win or something. Lately you haven't been all that ecstatic that we've been busting ass for our country. Isn't that what we came here for in the first place?"

Sephiroth looked quizzically at Zax for a moment trying to replay his statement. He was the most experienced of the four boys and the only pilot his age to have operated Dues, the second in line to the most powerful of the Angel Mechas.

It became quite clear to him the first time he had met the two cousins, Zax and Cloud, that he was dealing with juveniles, but to a certain point, he had come to enjoy their antics. At least it brightened up the mood when the other remaining pilot, though very intelligent and very powerful, was not very optimistic - quite cynical he was, actually.

"Do you think that piloting is all just fun and games? It's serious stuff, and if only you can see what you actually do on screen, maybe you'd take training and sessions more seriously."

"Sir?" Zax and Cloud exchanged quick glances. They had never seen Cid a little more than serious before.

"I want you all to stop messing around and beating around the bush. Is that understood? At the beginning of the week, I want you all to be ready and prepared for serious training. And during battles, you are to be in appropriate uniform. Not...ugh...bare for your enemies to stare at...it's not as if they'e women anyway. And even if they were, you boys don't have the stuff to make them swoon. Now if you'll excuse me. You have the next few hours to yourselves. Make good use of it."

Cid walked opposite the boys and left the room inhaling yet another cancer stick.

"The cigarettes are getting to him," Cloud commented, blinking.

Zax only nodded his agreement.

"The General has a point. Our battle tactics and formations...are no good."

"Seph?" Both spiky-haired boys turned to face the retreating figure of Sephiroth.

Sephiroth just a waved a nonchalant hand and continued walking away.

Cloud looked at Vincent, who had yet to say anything – if he was going to say anything at all.

"Hn. Don't look at me. I'm neutral when it comes to these things, remember?"

**



Sephiroth exited the Mecha simulator with a heavy sigh and was about to head to the shower stalls had a blonde girl not approached him.

"Miss Rinehart?"

"Sephiroth," she nodded her acknowledgement.

"What brings you here, Yrena?"

"Is this a sudden decision on informalities?"

"Hn. I do what I want."

"Spoiled," she muttered.

"What?"

"Nothing. I'm just here to tell you that the General wants to see you in his office. That is all. Now if you'll excuse me."

Yrena gazed into the taller boy's emerald eyes for a few moments before walking away.

"Yrena..."

Sephiroth shook his head and jogged down the opposite hall towards Cid's office.

**



"Auntie, I'm home."

A slim, fragile-looking young woman lively stepped into the living room where she would normally be greeted by her aunt, who would be having her usual cup of tea and reading the daily paper.

To her surprise and slight form of alarm, she was met with two young men instead of her aunt.

"Miss Gainsborough, I presume?"

The girl stood at the entrance of the living room and narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the red-haired man who had just spoken.

"Who are you? And where's my auntie?"

"Babe, allow me to introduce myself. The name is Reno Li and this," he jerked a thumb at his companion, "is Rude Estrada."

"You've answered one of my questions so answer the next."

"We'd like you to come with us."

She looked at them as if they were crazy.

"If it were that easy to get people to come along with total strangers, kidnappers wouldn't need weapons. Now, where's my auntie and what are you doing here?"

"I'd appreciate it if you just held the sarcasm, babe. And don't worry. I assure you that your aunt's someplace safe. Now, please be willing and come with us."

The girl shook her head and slowly backed away but before she could turn the corner, the auburn haired young man nodded his head and his companion aimed a gun at her. A loud crack was heard before everything around her turned dark.

**



"You called for me, General?" Sephiroth walked up to his commander's desk and looked at the blonde man in the eyes.

"Mm. Have a seat." He pulled out yet another cigarette and offered the boy one, which he politely declined.

"Sir, is this serious?"

Cid inhaled and let out a puff of smoke.

"Mecha Code Name Seraphim."

Sephiroth nearly jumped out of his seat but leaned forward instead, his hands resting on his knees and his eyes as hard as rock.

"A designated pilot has been targeted?"

"Mm-hmm."

"You sound skeptical, sir."

"I am."

"Sir?"

"The designated pilot for the Mecha is female."

"Female? But I thought only..."

"So did I, but apparently that's not the case. Rude locked onto her while on a secondary civilian mission in Midgar and his Mecha responded to her."

"Responded to her? Sir, I don't understand."

"These Angels. We don't completely understand the way they function yet so there are a few things that come as a suprise to us, but we do try and figure them out along the way."

He paused and looked at the boy in front of him trying to read his stoic expression. Nothing. Cid inhaled another puff from his cigarette and then slightly turning his face to the side to exhale.

"With these Mechas, especially the Angels, there's what is called a correspondence rate with the pilot and the Mecha itself. It's some kind of system where the Mecha automatically reads the person and sees if he is fit to pilot her. With the Angels, that rate is very high for most pilots to achieve, and that's why there are so few that qualify to pilot them. Most of this correspondence rate deals with the will of the mind of the individual."

"What about the targeted pilot?"

Cid sensed stress in the youth's voice.

"Well apparently, her correspondence rate with the Mecha Rude was piloting was better than his own. The Mecha's entire operational system shut down when he was near her. That's how the Mechas respond."

"And what is the significance of this?"

Sephiroth's clutching tightly at his knees did not go by unnoticed by his superior.

"Yrena's squad ran some tests and according to the data gathered, that girl has potential to run Seraphim."

"And?"

"And what?" Cid took his cigarette and smashed it into the silver ashtray, not looking at the boy in front of him.

"Well, you wouldn't call me down here just to tell me that, sir."

Cid heaved a sigh and nodded. "No, I wouldn't. Sephiroth, my boy, to put it to you simply, we want you to be her guide for a while."

Sephiroth snorted.

"If supposedly men were the only ones who could pilot the Angels, and a woman was somehow able to correspond with one, then why would she need my help?"

"Don't be pigheaded now, Sephiroth," came Cid's slightly harsh tone.

"Hn."

"Hmm." Cid raised an eyebrow in question and smirked. "Don't tell me that you're jealous of a girl."

"No! Of course not!"

"Then why the sudden change in attitude? You're usually willing to help."

"..."

"Denial won't get you anywhere with me, boy." He began scribbling on a piece of paper. "So, are you game?"

"...Yeah."

Cid handed him the paper that had been sloppily written on.

"That's the section and quarter where she's being held."

Sephiroth stood up to leave but before he could exit the door, Cid called back.

"Seph, watch out. You're going to have a hell of a hard time getting her to get in one. Oh, and Ms. Rinehart will be meeting you along the way."

Sephiroth rolled his eyes and replied ever so sarcastically.

"Oh. I'm looking forward to this."

. : / * Final Notes

Well, comments would be appreciated. Don't care of they're positive or negative.

If anybody cares, I took down My Sweet Chocolate, and revised it. It's currently a Cloud/Aerith ; Cloud/Tifa pairing. All because Cloud took me down major in his appearance in Kingdom Hearts. That boy is on fire! Oh my goodness! Hot sh!t! But anyhoo, enough rambling. If you'd like to see the revised version, it's located on the fanfic section of my webpage. Just look for it. Too lazy to give directions, and I figure that you're all smart to find it anyway. =)

And what else? Oh yeah. I don't know the pairing yet…exactly. I have an idea, but it could change. ^-^;;

I feel like I've forgotten to say something that has to do with the fic or something, but right now, I can't put my finger on it, and it's bugging me like the plague. Fook! Arrgh! I'm on that time of the month!! Bite me! Sorry for the guys. Y'allz probably didn't need to know that. Bwahah~!! X)

Standard disclaimers apply here cuz I don't want Squaresoft coming after my ass suing me till my broke ass is ten times as broke…if that's possible. Besides, I'm saving up for my car! Don't need to be sued. :D