Search for a Soul
The large cat; a dark nation; padded swiftly up the stairs, not making a sound. It pushed open the already half open door, ignoring the awful screeching sound, while the young man at his desk jumped off his seat. His eyes scanned the room to try and find what had made the noise. He jumped again when he felt something brush against his leg. He sighed when he saw his pet winding around his limbs.
"Hey," he said, "Kuroi, you scared the absolute shit outta me." He laughed and shook his head. "So what do you want huh?" he purred, "You hungry?"
Kuroi jumped onto his lap and curled into a ball. "Craving for attention, maybe?" Kuroi looked up and purred, and the young man could’ve sworn that the dark nation smiled. He stroked the enormous cat and continued with his paperwork. He eventually forgot all about his pet, and concentrated on his work.
Kuroi noticed this and jumped onto the man’s desk. He laughed as he patted Kuroi, "You sure have a way of getting what you what, don’t you? Come on, move, I want to get this finished before midnight." The young man looked at his clock and realised that was too late; the time was 1:30. He nudged Kuroi off the centre of his desk, leaving the cat on the side. Kuroi pushed all the papers off the desk, and stood defiantly in front of his master. The tired man sighed as stood up, "Ugh, I suppose your right, I better get some sleep."
He was about to leave when he heard a familiar voice at the door, "Damn Rufus, do you ever sleep?"
Rufus watched the man step out of the shadows, and grinned when he saw who it was. "Reno, you can’t talk, your always up at all hours of the night," he said, picking his papers up off the floor.
"Yes, but I spend my time doing something constructive," Reno shot back, smiling wickedly.
"What? Drinking, going to parties and having sex?" Rufus snorted.
Reno nodded, "And let me tell you, its a *lot* better than staying up all night doing paperwork," he said, walking towards Rufus’ desk, but tripping over Kuroi on his way. Rufus tried to hold in a laugh, but it was in vain. He fell on the floor laughing while Reno picked himself up and brushed himself off. "That was *not* funny!" he said, glaring at Rufus, as he in turn picked himself up as well, and wiped tears from his eyes.
Rufus beckoned to Kuroi to come. "Good boy," he crooned. Rufus turned to Reno, "I never said that spending half my life doing paperwork was fun, but it has to be done."
"Can’t you just make your dad do it or something?" Reno queried.
"I think he has enough of his own," Rufus replied, "I was just about to go to bed now anyway, even Kuroi was hinting that I should. Besides, I can finish all this tomorrow." With that Rufus and Reno left the room both heading towards their quarters.
Rufus dreamt that night about a woman dressed in a black cloak. She held out her hand and Rufus reached for it, but the moment they should’ve touched, Rufus awoke to find himself hanging half off his bed. He rubbed his eyes and sat up, wondering who this woman was. He turned to look at his clock. It read 4:37. Rufus decided there was no point in trying to get anymore sleep, he had to get up and get ready for work soon anyway. He lay back down for a while, his mind leaping from thought to thought, mainly about the mysterious woman in black. He skimmed ideas of who it could’ve been, each conclusion wilder than the next. His final thought was his mother, and that was enough for him. He turned to check the time again; 4:58. He thought he may as well get up and get ready for work. Rufus rose from his bed and grabbed his clothes, heading for the shower.
Rufus exited his room at a quarter to 6 and made for his office. He walked to the elevator and walked in. When he entered, he saw Professor Hojo and cringed. Rufus found Hojo absolutely forbidding.
"Morning Mr. Vice President," he said arrogantly.
"Morning Professor Hojo," Rufus responded.
They rode the rest of the way in silence, the air as tense as ever. The elevator pinged and stopped, the doors opening. Hojo left with out a word, and as soon as the doors closed again, Rufus relaxed. He spent the rest of his trip wondering about his dream.....what did it mean? Did it mean anything? He eventually shook his head and gave up. The elevator gave its annoying noise, and Rufus left. He turned the corner sharply to find himself bumping into Scarlet, the head of the Weapons Development. They were both knocked to the ground, Rufus picking himself up first, then offering a hand to Scarlet. She grunted and picked herself up.
"Next time, watch where your.........Rufus?" Scarlet’s tone changed dramatically when she saw who it was., "Well, how are you this morning?" she asked in her usual tone when she was sucking up to someone.
"Fine," Rufus replied.
"That’s good," Scarlet nodded.
"Well, I really have to get going, I have a ton of paperwork to do," Rufus said quickly, before he practically ran off, not waiting for and answer from Scarlet. As soon as he was out of sight, Rufus shivered. Scarlet gave him the creeps.
He eventually came to his office door, pushed it open and entered. He was greeted by what he’d left the night before; a stack of papers, a half drunk cup of coffee; to sum it all up, a mess. He sighed and began to clean up. Half an hour later he began on his work.
***An Hour Later***
Rufus dropped his pen and massaged his hand. He groaned at the pain of having a cramp, scowling as he tried to rid himself of it. It was the second time in half an hour that he’d had to do this. He eventually gave up and banged his head on his desk, leaving it there. Rufus was just drifting off to sleep when a knock on the door shattered any chance he had to fully make it.
"Come in," he groaned. Rufus lifted his head to see his secretary walk through the door.
"Are you alright Mr. Vice President?" she queried.
His only reply was a slight nod and, "You think you could grab me a coffee?"
"Yes sir," the secretary stuttered and she left without any further notice. A couple of minutes later, the young secretary re-entered his office and placed a mug of coffee on Rufus’ desk. He thanked her and went back to his work.
It was over 2 hours before Rufus was disturbed again. This time it was more a slight rapping on the door than a knock. Rufus mumbled something and the door opened. He was faced by a bald, well built man in a Turk’s uniform. It could only be one man. Rude moved his head in the direction of the door. He was a man of little words. Rufus got out of his seat and headed out of his office. He let Rude in front of him so he could lead. About ten minutes later, Rufus found himself in his father’s office, being told that he was being sent to Junon. He couldn’t argue either, so he stood there, taking it all in silently. Rufus was then ushered out.
"Your things have already been packed......son," Rufus heard his father say. He growled under his breath.
***Three Hours Later***
Rufus was sitting in his new room, staring blankly at the wall. He heard what his father said over and over echoing in his head. ‘It’s for your own good’, ‘You’ll get lots of experience’ Rufus scowled and threw a glass of water from his bedside table and it shattered into the wall. ‘What kind of experience do I need, or can I get, here in Junon at the age of 17!?’ he silently wondered. He gazed out of a window to find a group of kids; his age; playing soccer on the streets. Rufus never had much of a social life; he had always been cramped up in his office doing one thing or another for as long as he cared to remember. He shifted his gaze back into his room. Rufus got off his bed and headed into the office, where he sat at his chair. He heard a slight purr and found his only companion at the time; his dark nation. Rufus smiled. Kuroi always made him happy for some reason, and he never knew why. Rufus’ smile faded quickly when he saw the amount of paperwork that had already piled up on his desk. He shook his head; he knew he was in for another long night.
***Six Years Later***
A now older Rufus sat at his desk with nothing on it, a definite rarity. He put his feet up on his desk and relaxed. He’d stayed up the whole night before, just so he could just that; relax. He laughed when Kuroi jumped on his lap and decided to relax as well. Rufus picked up his pen and began chewing on it. He was bored. He never once thought that having the free time to do something would leave him with nothing to do. When the phone rang, both he and Kuroi nearly jumped out of their skins.
Rufus picked up the phone hastily and answered. "Hello?"
"Ru.....Rufus?" the voice on the line stammered.
"Yes, this is Rufus Shin-Ra. Can I help you?"
"I...It’s me.....Reno......Rufus you have to get to Midgar......straight away!"
"Why’s that Reno? What’s up?"
"What!?" Rufus exclaimed.
"You heard, he’s back."
Rufus thought for a while before answering. "I’ll be there as soon as I can." Rufus called for his secretary to get a helicopter. Within five minutes Rufus found himself in the air on his way to Midgar. He got his first sights of his hometown about half an hour later. He saw a fat man standing on a small balcony waving his arms around like a maniac. It was Palmer. Rufus ordered the pilot to drop the helicopter so Rufus could get off on the ledge. He hopped out of the helicopter as soon as it was safely possible.
"Sephiroth’s back!" the pudgy man stressed.
Rufus flicked his bangs out of his face before he answered. "I have already been informed," he replied coolly, "Get on the helicopter Palmer."
"S....sir? I just thought I might tell you.......Sephiroth killed your father!" Palmer blurted.
Rufus leaned to the side a little where he could plainly see the massive sword sticking out of his father’s back; blood spilt all over the desk. He nodded and urged Palmer onto the hovering aircraft. The next thing Rufus knew, a small group of people no older than himself came running out.
"And who do we have here?" he queried with a hint of cheekiness.
The young man at the front stepped forward and said, "Cloud; Former SOLDIER 1st class," and the rest of the troop followed.
By the time they had finished, Rufus could only think of one thing to say, "Quite a crew." With that he flicked his bangs out of his line of vision. "As the new president of Shin-Ra inc. I intend to do things a little differently around here."
The well built black man stepped forward and said, "You only President cause you old man died!"
Rufus blatantly ignored this comment. "So Sephiroth is searching for the Promised Land. I’ll be spoiling his fun then," Rufus sniggered.
"Not if I can help it!" Cloud shouted, "Guys, get out of here!" His small troop ran off behind him.
"So you want to fight me?" Rufus sneered. "You and Sephiroth are both searching for the Promised Land, I’m afraid I can’t let either of you have it!"
The young man drew his sword and prepared for battle, so Rufus pulled his gun, shooting straight away and getting Cloud in the shoulder before he had a chance to react. Cloud screamed and fell to his knees, but managed to mutter a spell. "I..Ice2!" he yelled.
Rufus felt a stabbing pain and he too, was soon enough on his knees. Rufus couldn’t really move, and he thought that Cloud would finish him off as soon as he got up; which is what he was in the middle of doing. Rufus looked up to find Cloud charging at him with his sword raised. At the last moment, Kuroi jumped in front of Rufus, casting a powerful spell. Cloud burst into flames and Kuroi jumped onto the helicopter, urging his master to follow. Rufus had little energy left and the only thing he found he could do was hold onto the legs of the helicopter while it flew away.
***The Next Day***
It was a beautiful day, one you would spend down on the beach or out with friends or family. Rufus was staring blankly at the floor as they carried his father away in a body bag. He closed his eyes and shook his head slowly. He now had no-one; no family left. He’d never known his mother, and now his father was dead. He would now be sitting in the very chair that his father was murdered on; working on the very same desk that his father’s blood was spilt across. He sighed long and slow. Today was the day he had his independence; his freedom; his life. Tomorrow, everything would be normal again; he would be part of a whole; trapped in his office with never-ending mounds of paperwork; and only a memory of how things were and his only remaining parent would also be a memory. He sighed again. he was so glad no-one talked to him, he thought he wouldn’t be able to talk anyway. Besides, he had too much to think about.
Rufus spent the day wondering around the Shin-Ra building he used to know like the back of his hand, but was now having trouble finding his way to the bathroom. He had strangers coming up to him, remembering him. He then saw faces he swore he knew, but they all turned out to be people who had only been with Shin-Ra for half a year. Rufus stood stunned after being told to "fuck off" by a woman whom he had only asked directions from when he heard a very familiar, spine chilling voice he could *never* forget. He twirled around to find himself facing the one man he dreaded most; Hojo.
Hojo looked him over and pulled a very disapproving face as though he was not happy with Rufus one bit. "Welcome back," he scowled, Rufus cringing at his older, rougher and colder voice. Rufus gave thanks and hurried off as soon as he could. He gave up on trying to find everything; he figured it would click in his head soon enough. He made for his office and his old bed; the one thing he actually remembered how to get to. He decided he would stick with all his old rooms; besides the new office. He looked at his watch and rubbed his eyes. He headed towards his old room, only just realising how tired he was. He slumped onto his bed without bothering to get changed. He eventually drifted off into a restless sleep.
Rufus dreamt of the same woman he did six years ago, and the same thing happened; she offered Rufus her hand but as soon as he reached for it he awoke, sweat dripping down his face. It was only now that he’d had this dream again that he remembered it. He wiped the sweat off his forehead and the rest of his face. This woman......who was she? Rufus was too tired to ponder this so he just rolled over and went back to sleep.
***At About Midday***
Rufus was once again stuck in his office once again doing paperwork. He rubbed his aching head and looked for something to take for it. Rufus began to rummage around the draws searching for anything that would aid him in his little dilemma. But instead of finding that, he found something else. Rufus pulled out a massive book from the bottom drawer and opened it cautiously. He settled down when he saw it was nothing magical but was ‘knocked for six’ when he saw what it actually was. He flipped through the pages gently as he didn’t want to ruin anything. They were photos. Photos of his mother and father on their wedding day. One picture in particular caught Rufus’ eye. It was of his mother standing alone in front of a glamorous oak tree. He’d never seen his mother before. She was beautiful. Rufus pulled the photo out and took a closer look at it. She was small; short and skinny; and had fiery red hair. She stood almost defiantly in a long white dress that complimented her body. He folded the photo and put it in his pocket just as someone knocked on the door. Rufus gently placed the book back in his draw as Tseng walked in.
"Sephiroth has been sighted at Junon sir," Tseng informed. Rufus nodded and looked out the window.
"Would we be able to make it before sundown?" he asked.
Tseng shook his head. "Then we leave first light," Rufus said.
"Are you sure that’s for the best Mr. President?" Tseng asked.
Rufus nodded, "I have matters to attend to. Now Tseng, if you wouldn’t mind leaving...." Tseng didn’t need to be told twice. Rufus slumped into his chair, but didn’t stay there long. He got up and headed towards the elevator. Once he was at the bottom floor he hurried out of the building and jumped into his convertible. He threw his gun in the back and sped out of Midgar as fast as he could.
As soon as he was gone he began to laugh. He felt free, free from everything that had ever burdened him. He had no idea what he was doing or where he was going; and he loved it. H drove until the dirt road finished. Rufus then did something he’d never dreamt of doing; he closed his eyes and walked. He wondered dangerously close to death more times than I care to count, although he had no idea of this. When Rufus heard the sound of water he halted. He opened his eyes and found himself on a beach. Even in the dull light of the moon, he could see straight through the water.
He smiled to himself when he realized he had absolutely no way of getting home, he had no idea what-so-ever where he even was. Rufus gave in to the weakness that wracked at his legs and let himself drop onto the hard sand. He picked up a handful of sand and slowly let it drop out of his hands, the wind catching it and blowing it away. He continued to smile. His first time at a beach was when he was 18, when he took a trip to Costa Del Sol, where he learned to surf. It was then he realised that being away from Midgar had been the best thing that had happened to him. He’d had freedom, no-one to push him around. His friends had given him a cute new nick-name; Lil’ Pres. He laughed at the thought. But now he was back in Midgar, his father was dead, he’d been taken away from his friends, only to be greeted by friends he never knew he had. Reno, Rude, Reeve, and now, Elena. His smile returned, though not as strong as before. He through a handful of sand into the air, but the only thing he succeeded on doing was getting sand in his eyes.
Rufus heard a noise; the sound of someone breaking a twig. He bounded to his feet and pulled out his gun; his eyes scanning every area of the beach. Rufus slowly moved his eyes to a small cliff and up the ledge. He saw a young woman, knife in hand. He ran as fast as he could to the bottom of the cliff. The woman drove the knife into her abdomen and fell off the edge, right into Rufus’ arms. By the time he caught her she was unconscious, though still alive. His happiness of not knowing where he was now haunted him. Thousands of thoughts ran through his mind. How was he going to get her back? Would she live? Rufus placed her gently down on the sand and thought as hard as he could. His thoughts where interrupted when he heard the shrill sound of his mobile phone. He rummaged around his pocket and pulled the phone out, answering it as fast as he could. The voice on the other end of the line was Reno’s.
"Man, where are you!?" Reno stressed.
"I’m not too sure, but I’m on a beach and it only took me an hour to get here," Rufus replied, hoping this information would help.
He heard Reno talking to someone else before coming back, "Are you ok?" he asked.
"Yeah," Rufus answered, "But someone I have with me isn’t."
"Ok, we’re gonna search the beaches around Midgar for ya buddy. Who’ve you got with you?"
"I’m not sure; a young girl. Look, she needs help so just get out here as fast as you can!"
"Righteo, see ya.." Rufus heard Reno hang up, so he focused his attention on the girl. He searched her pockets for her license, her id, any form of information that would tell him who she was. He found nothing. The only thing she was carrying was a sword, a small bag and a small leather string with a feather on it around her neck. He checked her pulse again before sitting back in frustration. About half an hour later he heard the sounds of a helicopter above him. He leapt to his feet and waved his arms around like a mad-man.
The helicopter lowered and Reno and Reeve jumped out, Reeve heading straight for the girl, Reno heading for Rufus. Reno tried to say something but Rufus couldn’t hear a thing over the helicopter, so Reno just beckoned for Rufus to get on. He climbed into the helicopter and took a seat next to Reno. Rufus shook his head.
"What did you think you were doing?" Reno asked firmly.
Rufus lowered his eyes, "I was being a fool. I was trying to escape from it all. Trying to lose this stress that haunts me," he shook his head again and looked at the girl, "It all spelt disaster; I didn’t take any materia, I didn’t know where I was going, and because of this, she’ll probably die." Rufus pointed towards the girl. Reno nodded. They rode the rest of the way in silence.
Rufus stared at the place that he called home for 6 years. Nothing had changed. Junon was still the boring, bleak dirty town he remembered.
Heidegger came blundering in the room. "Gya ha ha ha! Mr. President, the preparations for the ceremony are complete! Gya ha ha ha!"
"I still don’t know why we have to have this stupid thing in the first place, and *stop* that *stupid* horse laugh!"
Heidegger stopped immediately and answered the Presidents question. "The people want to see the new President of Shin-Ra, and so they will! Gya ha ha ha!"
Rufus lost his temper. "I thought I told you to stop that stupid laugh!"
Heidegger left the President to himself, figuring he needed time to cool down. Rufus sat in his chair and pulled out the picture of his mother he still had in his pocket. He’d never known his mother; he didn’t even know whether she was alive or not. He folded the photo and put it back in his pocket. He leant forward and flipped through the files his secretary found him. Rani Tona. The girl he’d saved. She had been released from the hospital in Midgar and made her way home. She had a pretty bad record. She murdered three people in 1992 and had been caught stealing once before. Heaven knows what else she’s done Rufus thought.
He threw the files back on his desk and leant backwards. Rufus closed his eyes and indulged in his thoughts, only to have them shattered when Heidegger again came blundering in.
" Sir! The parade is ready! The only thing missing now is you so lets go!"
Rufus stared out the glass windows at the water that blanketed the ground beneath it. He closed his eyes and leant his head down. His eardrums were lucky to be intact when he heard the blaring noise of them alarm. Reno came running in, closely followed by Elena and Rude.
"Common, somethin’s in the engine room, we gotta go sort it out," Reno said, still calm as anything.
Rufus followed the Turks down the staircase and into the engine room to find Cloud, Yuffie and Barret.
"Fuck! Whata these guys doin here?" Barret shouted.
"Where here to save your ass," Rufus replied cooly as he pulled his shot-gun out of his jacket.
He watched closely as Sephiroth came floating out of the floor.
"After a long sleep.......the time is now...." Sephiroth flew out of the roof and left a small present behind him. The seemingly harmless piece of flesh wriggled and writhed on the floor, a couple of seconds later taking the massive form of Jenova.
Jenova screamed piercingly, the screeching sound ricocheting of every wall, making it sound louder. Rufus ignored the pounding in his ears and aimed his gun for the beast’s head. ***Tail Laser*** Rufus had to jump to the side to avoid being hit. Jenova’s move gave time for Yuffie to run up and slash it in the back to leave a thick green glue like substance dripped slowly down it’s body. Jenova screeched again and shot another Tail Laser. A successful hit to Yuffie and she fell to the ground, blood seeping out from between her fingers. Rufus shot and hit Jenova square in the chest, leaving another hole for it’s blood to escape from.
Reno ran up and stabbed it with his nightstick. Jenova screeched again.....and again and again and again, leaving the horrible sound imprinted on everyone’s brain. That was when Rufus heard exactly what he didn’t want to hear. ***W Laser*** Rufus felt a stinging pain in his left arm. He screamed and fell to his knees, holding his hand over the spot that had been hit. He lifted his hand slowly to find his flesh mangled and torn to reveal his yellow-stained bone. He payed no heed to what was happening around him; all that was on his mind was the gaping hole in his left limb. He just sat there, staring at the numb piece of meat that was his arm. *Was*. He found it disgusting, absolutely disgusting, and yet, he couldn’t take his eyes off it. He pulled his eyes away to find all his companions on ground heaving. He looked around the room. It was a blood-bath. Red was spilt across the walls like a badly done paint-job. And in the middle of it all; Jenova.
We’re all dead, Rufus thought, dead, gone, no more life, nada. What a great thought. Jenova moved towards a lump on the ground that Rufus later specified as Rude. It lifted it’s great arms and prepared to kill him. A great screeching was heard from behind, and all heads turned towards the door. Rufus could barely make out the face of a woman. Rani. Rani Tona. She smiled wickedly as she threw a single materia up and caught it again. She threw it again. Rufus squinted to see the materia. He made it out to be red.......she was going to summon. She caught the materia one last time and shouted, "Bahamut!"
:) its still going.....and it will have sex in it ^_^ «¤DårkÑåtïóñ¤»