Final Fantasy: Solid 2 Part 4
Squall ducked, dodged, and hid naked around the guards that were patrolling the lower floor. When he reached the stairs, though, a VERY wierd call came through from Steiner.
(begin codec conversasion)
Steiner: Squall, turn the gaming console off now!
Steiner: The mission is a failure! Abort immediately!
Squall: What the hell are you saying?!
Rinoa: Playing for too long is bad for your eyes. You'd better stop.
Steiner: I was driving home one night. Suddenly, I saw these strange lights in the sky. When I came to, I was back at home.
Squall: That's it! This conversasion is over!
(end codec conversasion)
Squall continued his dodging game through Arsenal, while Steiner continued to give strange and inane codec calls. Finally, he reached an unguarded hallway, but the door locked behind him, and the other two were sealed. Just as things seemed at their worst, Rinoa called.
(begin codec conversasion)
Squall: Rinoa, what the fucking hell is going on here?
Rinoa: I don't know. Something is seriously wrong with Steiner.
Squall: No shit.
Rinoa: Squall...I have a confession to make.
Rinoa: Our meeting...you know? The one big act of coincidence...
Rinoa:...it wasn't so coincidental. The Patriots have been watching you for years, Squall. They sent me in as their undercover agent. They changed everything about me, even my eye color, just to suit your preferences.
Rinoa: It was an act, Squall.
Squall: So the times you slept with me was an act, too?
Rinoa: But I eventually grew to love you-
Squall: SHUT UP, BITCH! I've been used by everyone, damnit!
Rinoa: Squall, please calm down!
Squall: That's it! I'm finding Snake and bringing the Patriots down! I can't stand this anymore!
Rinoa: Listen, I found out something about Terra. She was taken to a Russian hospital after the Tanker incident, where she gave birth. The hospital was controlled by the Patriots. They took her child, and have been using it to blackmail her.
Squall: Oh, great, another trick!
Rinoa: They've placed nanomachines inside that child. They're on the same frequency as yours, and if you die, then so will he! That's why Terra's been helping you! You have to stay alive!
Squall: I wasn't planning otherwise.
Rinoa: I can't ask you to forgive me...
Squall: Good, because I don't know if I can.
Squall: Rinoa! What's going on!
Cloud: Hey, kid! Snap out of it!
(end codec conversasion)
Cloud emerged from the shadows, holding Squall's sneaking suit. "You aren't planning on fighting the guards like that, are you?" he asked, tossing Squall the suit.
After getting dressed, Squall found that his equipment had been completely reloaded! Also, Cloud handed him a sword. "Terra told you to have this," he said. "I'd rather use a gun at the moment."
Squall drew the sword from the scabbard, and found that it was the ninja's sword! After performing a few pratice swings and thrusts, he sheathed the sword. The two heroes walked out through the unlocked door and back into Arsneal's rectum.
Naturally, Butz called at completely the wrong moment.
(begin codec conversasion)
Butz: Cloud, Squall, I'm alright, and so are all the hostages.
Cloud: That's good to hear.
Squall: Butz, can you check in on something for me?
Butz: Sure. What is it?
Squall: Steiner's last transmission was...strange...
Butz: Strange? How?
Squall: I don't know. It was just...bizarre...
Butz: Where is Steiner, anyway?
Squall: I don't know. I never actually met the guy.
Butz: I'll check all the logs from your codec conversasions. Maybe I can find something.
Cloud: Come on, kid. Let's go.
(end codec conversasion)
Just then, an alarm went off. Hundreds of guards began to dash into the room. Cloud shot at those that were coming down from the roof, while Squall sliced the ones that made their way on the ground. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of slugging it out, the combat finally ended. Tired and bloodied, they entered the next room; a round, Star Trek-esque place with a glass floor. Just then, Butz called back.
(begin codec conversasion)
Butz: Squall, I found where the transmission was coming from.
Butz: Inside Arsenal.
Butz: I know, but it all traces back to Arsenal. And it's not a relay point; it's the origin of the signal.
Squall: What the hell are you saying?
Butz: You've been talking to an AI, Squall. Ever since this whole thing began.
Butz: The bizarre communications are because the Arsenal AI is breaking down. The virus is finally destroying it.
Steiner: Squall, they have Rinoa!
Cloud: Listen, kid! Steiner isn't real, so he couldn't have grabbed Rinoa!
Squall: What is she isn't real, either?
Squall: What if I never really met her?
Cloud: Shut up, kid! I know that you're real, I'm real, and she's probably real. Just keep your head straight and let's finish this.
(end codec conversasion)
Suddenly, a bunch of ninjas jumped down from the roof. Then guards came in. Once again, a hectic battle began. And after a while, it was once again silent.
Just as they were climbing the ladder leading to the next area, though, Quistis entered, armed with her big-ass rail gun.
"Finally," she said, "we meet at last, Cloud. Kill me, like you killed my father!"
"Get the hell out of here, kid!" said Cloud. "I'll hold her off!"
"Are you crazy," said Squall. "She can't even get hit!"
"I'll think of something! Now go! Remember that you still have a job to do!"
Finally, Squall understood and climbed up the ladder.
"I don't know who you are," said Cloud, "but I didn't kill your father."
"LIAR!" shouted Quistis.
The sound of the battle reached Squall's ears, but soon fell silent when he saw an even greater threat.
Squall saw...nothing! And this was quite literal! The floor looked like something out of a VR simulation, there was no roof or walls, a black void as far as the eye can see, and when the trap door slammed shut behind him, it dissapeared into the floor, as if it had never existed.
Soon Sephiroth's voice boomed into the room. He went off about some crap, mentioning only one important thing. Apparantly the Patriots were working on something called the C3 Program, an attempt to artificially create another Cloud. Squall, it seemed, was their lab rat in the whole experiment, and thus was sent to elminiate the terrorists in a perfectly Cloud-esque fashion.
Finally, the big bad guy showed himself. He still had on those damn tentacles, but he finally had a real gun; a M4, to be exact. "So, my son at last shows himself. Prepared to die?" He then vanished, just as Terra appeared.
"Are you all right?" she asked. "We have to stop this thing now, before the defense program goes active!" Just then, though, Sephiroth's voice boomed again, out of nowhere.
"The traitor! You sold out your own comrades for the Patriots! All those people, your friends, died believing you!"
"Not just friends!" responded Terra. "Family!"
Of course, Sephiroth showed up again. "Now you'll see what happens to traitors!" A tentacle shot out, grabbing Terra around the neck and forcing her to drop her gun. Sephiroth twirled the gun around in his fingers before aiming it straight at her forehead.
"My child," was all Terra could mutter before Sephiroth pulled the trigger.
Suddenly, they dissapeared again, leaving Squall alone in the room. However, he wasn't alone for long, because the defence system DID go active!
And in fact, it was the deadliest defence system of all. An entire army of Metal Gears approached Squall. He counted 25 of them in all. Arming the Stinger, he prepared for the battle of a lifetime.
(boss: 20 Metal Gears)
Squall immediately rolled out of the way of about seven hundred missles and returned fire. The stinger missle hit a Metal Gear in the leg, sending it falling over. Quickly, Squall fired another missle at the exposed brain of the machine. It connected, knocking the giant robot back, but to his surprise, it stood back up and walked forward again.
A barrage of machine gun fire forced Squall to leave where he was currently standing. However, the Metal Gear he had just shot was now right in front of him. A laser emerged from the bottom of the robot and attempted to slice the hero in two, but he dodged at the last possible second and returned fire again.
Finally, the first Metal Gear collapsed and exploded. However, it still had plenty of backup. Squall dodged another barrage of missles and fired the Stinger again. However, the attack barely fazed the Metal Gear it was aimed at.
Realizing the pattern, Squall shot at a leg, then at a head, then dodged, then repeated until twenty of the Metal Gears had fallen. At that point, though, the worst possible thing happened.
He ran out of ammo.
(end boss battle)
Squall collapsed, the weight of failure weighing heavily on him. The Metal Gears closed in, while Sephiroth appeared, tauntingly. "Is that the best you have, Squall? Now die!"
However, the very moment those words left his lips, the Metal Gears began to shake violently and move randomly. Soon they were attacking each other, then Sephiroth. "What the hell's happening, Irvine?"
"I don't know," rang out Irvine's voice. "The entire Arsenal program is out of control! The damn virus must have broken through! We've lost control of the Metal Gears!"
In an act of pure rage, Sephiroth swung out his tentacles, ripping the head clean off one and another one completely in half. A third was blown apart through a precise burst of gunfire. The last two were destroyed when their "brains" were torn out by Sephiroth's tentacles.
And then, to finish everything off, Sephiroth ran behind Squall and knocked him out with the butt of his gun. Just before he passed out, Squall could her Quistis say one thing:
"Sir, I've captured Cloud."
Do You Wish to Save?
Sephiroth's voice was the first thing to greet Squall as he regained conciousness. "Thanks to you, Arsenal's programming is completely wiped out, and with that, all of the information I was looking for." He finally turned towards his hated enemy.
"I'll squeeze the answers out of you instead, my son!" Suddenly, one of Sephiroth's tentacles began to strangle Squall yet again! Fortunately, Quistis butted in this time. "Why are you bothering him? He doesn't know anything."
"It's not him that I want the answers from," said Sephiroth.
When the tentacle finally drew back, Squall got a good look at where he was. He was quite literally on top of Arsenal!
Sephiroth stood in front of him, his back turned. Quistis was farther back, her Rail Gun pointing at Cloud's head. Cloud himself was handcuffed and cornered, and Squall soon saw that he was the same. Irvine was simply in the background.
"Are you telling me that you don't want Arsenal?" asked Quistis.
"Leave us," said Sephiroth, "I have some business to attend to."
"Very well. I have some business of my own, as well." As she was leaving, though, Sephiroth's voice stopped her dead in her tracks. "Are you planning to hijack Arsenal? You were going to screw me over, weren't you?"
"Who talked?" asked Quistis. "Irvine?"
"I was the one that made Irvine give you the idea in the first place," said Sephiroth. "I was planning to give you Arsenal to begin with."
Quistis looked distrustfully. "Why the uncharacteristic generosity?"
"Come now!" said Sephiroth. "Arsenal Gear is far from impenetrable. It needs other Metal Gears as guards, as well as complete land and air defence. Without the Gears, and against an attack from land, air, and sea, Arsenal Gear is nothing more than a gigantic coffin. It was never the real objective to begin with."
"Then what the hell was?!" screamed Quistis, very pissed at what was going on.
"A list of names," said Sephiroth, while striking a heroic-looking pose, "of the Patriots!"
"Arsenal's computer," continued Sephiroth, "contained instructions to deleting any mention of the Patriots, along with everything else they wanted destroyed. Therefore, their names would have had to be placed inside the computer somewhere."
"So you were going to eliminate them, one-by-one," said Quistis, "while we and our useless Arsenal drew their fire. You were using us from the beginning."
"Were you any different?"
"Anyway," continued Quistis, "the nuke should be ready by now."
"A nuke isn't going to stop them, Quistis," said Sephiroth.
"It will damage their power source: the mindless masses they control."
"Very well. I won't stop you. Good luck."
"Thanks, but I have quite enough of that."
Suddenly, Irvine's laughter broke through the tension. "What do you find so funny?" asked Quistis.
"Charades usually are humerous," said Irvine. "Did you really think that the Patriots were going to give you a nuke?"
"Irvine, what the hell's going on here?" shouted Sephiroth.
"Do you think," said Irvine, "that this little terrorist operation was your own work, Sephiroth? No, it was a brilliant simulation, set up by the Patriots to artificially create and train another Cloud. This was a complete simulation of the Frozen Continent. Squall stood in for Cloud, with Arsenal's AI standing in for Steiner. Sephiroth, you were chosen because your relationship with the boy is similar to the one between Cloud and Big Boss. Quistis, your group stood in for the MOG-CHOCO squad. You folks are the biggest collection of freaks outside of MOG-CHOCO.
"We used Tseng's own nanomachines to shut down his pacemaker. As for the President, even though he realized what was going on, he played out his part perfectly. Palmer was a different story. He was one of our own agents, sent in to test the boy before entering the exercise proper. Quistis, I made sure you had nothing but revenge on your mind. That's why I sunk that tanker. Throwing your husband into the brig was part of the plan, too. You thought Cloud was your enemy, and you opted for vengence, just like we planned."
"This...this was all faked?" asked Quistis, obviously shaken.
"Everything, that is, except for the appearance of the real Cloud."
"All our suffering," continued Quistis as she raised the Rail Gun, "was just a part of your project?"
Irvine flipped out his pistol and fired. However, the real shocked was what happened next. The bullet went straight through Quistis's left breast.
She looked at the wound in complete surprise, then slumped to the ground. "How- how could?"
"You're no lady luck," said Irvine. "You have nothing that we didn't give you."
"Do you know why no bullet could hit you?" asked Irvine, mockingly. "It wasn't magic, or some new-age mumbo jumbo, or even your psychic talents. It was all an act, staged by the Patriots!"
Quistis's eyes lit up. "Staged?"
"We had an electromagnetic device planted onto your uniform. It made it so nothing could ever hit you. You were never able to die, even though that's all you wanted. You were playing out the part of the tragic heroine. You couldn't get enough of the drama."
Quistis soon became increasingly angered. "I could die...whenever I wanted to?" To everyone's surprise, she began to get right back up.
"That's funny," said Irvine. "I thought I got her in the heart!" Quistis fired off a Rail shot at him, but to everyone's surprise, it dissipitated the moment it touched Irvine. "Oh, now I remember," he continued, "your heart's on the left." Quistis fired another shot, but the result was the same. "A waste of metal, my dear, because your luck's run out. I took the liberty of taking our device from you."
Quistis squeezed out the word, "Damn," before going down again. Irvine walked calmly to the back of Arsenal, where something the fog had hidden before was revealed: the last of the Metal Gears. "And now," he said, "to finish my mission. I'm to take Metal Gear back to its riteful owners, along with the data from Arsenal and the exercise. But first, a little 'cleaning up' must be done." He jumped up onto the top of the robot.
Sephiroth grabbed onto two of the tentacles and, after letting out a vengeful scream, fired off a bunch of rockets out of the tentacles. However, they all swerved to avoid Irvine as he calmly waved good-bye and climbed into Metal Gear. The robot went active and readied its machine guns.
Sephiroth quickly readied a pair of katanas as the gun went off. Letting out the same scream from before, he casually swatted away the entire rain of bullets in a frenzy of sword strokes. One bullet, however, bounced off and went through Cloud's handcuffs. He struggled to get the weakened cuffs off, but not before Irvine stopped firing.
"How's this then?" shouted Irvine as the missle ports opened up. Suddenly, Quistis was back on her feet and right in front of Metal Gear. "You idiot!" shouted Sephiroth. "Get the hell away from there!"
"Like I said before," said Irvine, "your luck's run out. Here's a little fairwell present. It's all the payload Emerald has. Die!"
Several missles fired straight into the air, then broke into scatter missles and headed back towards Arsenal. Cloud barely got off a warning to get down before the havoc began.
Then the impossible happened. Every single missle swerved away upon reaching within twenty feet of Quistis. It was too far for the device Irvine had to work, and even then, he was inside Metal Gear. He shouted, "What the? Impossible!" before firing off every single missle Metal Gear had left. They all missed horribly. Cloud looked up and said, "She is Lady Luck."
Quistis struggled to keep standing. "I can finally...see my family...again..." Then at last, she fell to the ground for the last time.
"Damn!" shouted Irvine, still safe inside Metal Gear. "How's this then?"
Suddeny, a whole bunch of weapons appeared. There was no way Cloud, Squall, and Sephiroth could survive this next barrage. Irvine and the Patriots had one.
Irvine was about to press the fire button when a familiar sensation crept over him. His entire arm, the one that had once belonged to Kuja, began to twitch uncontrollably. "No," muttered Irvine, barely able to hold back Kuja's control, "no, not now."
His scream was heard from miles away. Finally, he stepped out of Metal Gear, only now, he was a different person. Kuja was in control once again. "Brothers!" he shouted, almost mockingly.
"Kuja," said Cloud, completely shocked by this turn of events. Squall and Sephiroth just looked on in bewilderment.
"You have no idea how long I've waited for this," said Kuja. "My dear two brothers, the superior ones, in one spot. I hope you're ready for the end! And after this, I'll go take care of your enemy, the Patriots."
"You know where they are?" asked Sephiroth. "How?"
"Why do you think I chose Irvine as my host?" responded Kuja, in a completely mocking tone. "But first, I have some family issues to deal with. There can only be one Big Boss!"
He jumped back into the Metal Gear and preceded to go towards the water. Cloud followed him, finally breaking the handcuffs about halfway across Arsenal.
"Coming, dear brother?" asked Irvine sarcastically. Metal Gear jumped into the river.
"You won't escape this time, Kuja!" shouted Cloud as he jumped in after him. Suddenly, an explosion rocked the back of Arsenal. The entire thing began to rocket down the river, with Squall and Sephiroth still on top. It was headed for downtown Galbadia.
Arsenal stopped when it slammed into the side of a large building. Squall and Sephiroth leaped off the giant machine and surveyed their surroundings. Suddenly, Sephiroth began to laugh.
"Do you know where this is?" he asked. "The Presidential Building, where the first President of Galbadia took the oath of office hundreds of years ago. Since that time, the Patriots have been in control of the country, masterminding its every move. Today was the day that we were going to end that. It was at this very spot that we were to found a new country, one based on things like freedom, civil rights, justice, things that the Patriots stand against. We would be known as the Sons of Liberty!"
Suddenly, Squall recieved a codec call.
(Okay, I am NOT going to post a transcript or parody of this next codec scene. I must preserve some semblance of sanity. So here's a summary:)
The AI Steiner calls in. Squall is surprised that he's still around, but an AI Rinoa tells him that they cannot be destroyed. Steiner tells some crap about the Patriots and their existance, blah blah blah, and we move on.
"Squall," said Sephiroth, "my brothers and I are called monsters, victims of cursed genes. You are different, unique, but still a monster, born from a dark and secret history. It's time to see which monster shall live and die today." He tossed Squall the katana Cloud had given him. It landed blade-down right on the handcuffs, shattering them.
"Oh, and Squall," continued Sephiroth, "I was the one that killed your parents." Squall's face became a mask of shock, but quickly changed to one of pure rage.
"Cloud and Kuja," continued Sephiroth, "both hated and despised their father, Big Boss. And as my son, you, too must despise me."
"I have other reasons for wanting you dead. Arsenal's AI is wiped out, but there is another way to find the Patriots: inside you. The information's carried through the nanomachines in your cerebral cortex."
Squall drew the katana and entered a fighting stance. Sephiroth drew his two katanas and readied his tentacles. "Let's go!"
(Final Boss: Sephiroth)