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Destiny JENOVA IV-2: Reverse Crisis (Chapter 19: The Kingdom's Enemy)

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  1. Kadaj
    Chapter 19: The Kingdom’s Enemy

    (This part will focus on Cloud as the speaker) After a long flight together, me and Sephiroth began closing in on the JENOVA Foundation HQ. The building was now in sight somewhere ahead, and the entire time I managed to keep my timer on my choker from expiring without making it enter overclock, which nearly had me killed last time. As we continued our flight, I decided to ask Sephiroth some questions “Sephiroth, what’s going on on the Planet? Why is there so much war all the time?” Sephiroth explained “It’s an extremely difficult cycle to break, Spike. And with the Divine Vortex among us, the problem is significantly worse. Even though Shinra and everything connected to them have been obliterated, the scars their crimes left me and Mother with live on in the legacy, sewn into the JENOVA Lifestream residing above our kingdom. Even with the Infinite Reunion active, it will take several years to fully erase the scars Shinra left us with. And with Hojo wreaking havoc across the kingdom, many of my Brothers and Sisters through Mother’s legacy are becoming more and more afraid of the JENOVA Foundation itself. Hojo’s scheming is only worsening the gravity of what’s already at stake.” I asked “Yeah, but why was the JENOVA Foundation created?” Sephiroth answered “The JENOVA Foundation was formed as a protective company that was supposed to be dedicated to protecting Mother’s legacy and defending cetra kind. The former President, Rufus, did an amazing job as the head of the foundation and made Mother very proud with his dedication and careful work to secure the kingdom’s future. However, during the previous war, Rufus fell short trying to escape a mess that he created, and the only choice we had for a replacement was Hojo. But as you probably can see, Hojo has horribly abused this position of power and wont stop targeting family members. Moreover, he has been targeting more notable cetra such as my young Sister and twin, Sephieroth, and now he has tried to get Seffi, the Reunion Prince. We cant trust Hojo given his actions and reckless behavior. So the only choice we have now is to take him out.” I paused for a moment, then said “But if we kill him, who will be left to run the company?” Sephiroth sighed “I’m afraid we’ll just have to sort that out after the mission. Mother gave me direct orders to storm the foundation and defeat Hojo. Therefore, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.” I wanted to argue, but I felt a shockwave in my head that stopped me. Sephiroth continued “Mother’s orders are absolute. If we don’t do what we’re told, it will mean trouble for us both.” I protested “Sephiroth, listen… I know JENOVA is the family boss and the ruler of this world and all, but if you don’t decide what it is you want, maybe the future wont be as good as it should be… Are you really going to suggest killing him? How do you know killing Hojo wont put the entire foundation in shambles?” Sephiroth replied “I don’t, but Mother does. She always knows when the rest of us don’t. After the mess he’s made of the entire town, you’re telling me we should let him go?” I explained “I’m telling you anything except to do what you think is best. How would you feel if you spent the rest of your life following someone else’s orders? Look, I know you love Her… I get it. But don’t forget about your own feelings or judgement just because someone else told you to do something.” Sephiroth turned firm “I follow her orders because I love her, Spike. It’s the family order, and its been that way since the beginning of the legacy. You cant just throw it away.” I persisted “Sephiroth, focus: what is it that you think about killing Hojo? Do you think the consequences are really worth it?” Sephiroth groaned under his breath “Hmph, fine… I’ll tell you what I think about it. I know killing him might cause the remaining staff to disband completely, and since the foundation is a major part of our vast intelligence network, the company disbanding would severely reduce our kingdom’s overall defenses. If there isn’t something to detect an incoming threat early to prevent a crisis from happening, it would mean big trouble for everyone, for the Planet altogether… I don’t like risking this, but an order is an order, first and foremost…” I noticed Sephiroth was crying when he finished answering, and I listened in silence. He kept his weeping below a whisper, but I still knew he was feeling hurt. He went on “So much death, so much destruction brought to me and my Mother… just to create this beautiful kingdom..! I went through death and rebirth so many times, just to protect her and her legacy, risked so much... I did everything I could just to make her happy, and it finally came true… but Hojo, that creature—that mindless thing, he’s doing all he can to take it away from her! For that reason, he must be annihilated! I destroy him to protect my Mother—that I know!” I felt guilty and replied “Sephiroth, I’m sorry… I shouldn’t have put you through that pain all over again. I cant say your theory about him trying to take over the kingdom is wrong either, but I know him well enough that if we pin him down just right, that is probably our best solution. We’ll just fight him without killing him.” Sephiroth calmed down and agreed “I suppose that will do. It’s worth a try. We cant fight him seriously, though. Just go hard enough to make him weak.” I nodded “Alright, that sounds much better. It might take time for the kingdom’s approval rating to go back up when we teach him a lesson, but I feel confident this will work out. If we give him a good scare, he’s sure to get it together. Types like Hojo start out arrogant and end up doing whatever you tell them when they get a good taste of their own medicine. Maybe after this, he wont take risking so many lives too lightly. Especially since youre coming along. He thinks nothing of me by myself, but he knows youre very strong.” Sephiroth seemed lightly curious “Is… that why you picked me?” I nodded “That’s part of it. I’ll tell you the rest another time, though. We’ve reached the target area for the mission. Let’s make our landing.” Then we both flew down, carefully landing beside each other. I glanced up at the building, and Sephiroth said “It’s a long way up. I hope youre ready, Cloud.” I nodded in understanding “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. I hope he wasn’t expecting us, or we’re in for an ugly surprise…” Sephiroth put his hand on my shoulder and smiled at me “Hey, take it easy. We’re Brothers now… Spike. Together, we’re stronger than him. I sure hope you’re as strong as I remember, because youre gonna need it.” I smiled back at him, and realized I was still in my cetra remnant form “Oh, I forgot to how to go back to my human form…” Sephiroth replied “Don’t worry about it. It may be for the better you keep that long silver hair on this mission. If he doesn’t recognize you, its possible he’ll be more frightened. You’ll automatically revert anyway if that timer on your choker runs out, but fear not; I can take care of that for now.” Sephiroth sheathed his masamune and reached for my choker, then placed his hand on it “With the powers of my JENOVA cells, I can easily bypass it’s timer and lock the countdown function. Since the choker reacts to JENOVA cell concentration, its easy for me to trick it so you can stay this way for as long as necessary.” I felt a strong energy surge inside myself, and my arm twitched in reaction. I asked “But how am I supposed to go back later? I don’t wanna be like this forever.” He lowered his hand and said “Worry about that later; I’ll take care of it after we finish the mission. For now, focus on what’s ahead. The minute we step in there, the fight begins. I have a feeling the employees are cranky after dealing with the horrendous powers of the Reunion Prince. And once Hojo knows we’re inside, he will doubtless set off the facility’s alarm and security systems at their maximum strength. He knows he’s in trouble, and I’ll bet he is expecting unwanted company after what he just pulled.” I turned firm and agreed “Right, we’d better stay sharp.” Then we turned back to the building, and got ready to fight what would probably be the most brutal battle so far. After seeing how much pain Sephiroth had gone through, I really didn’t like fighting his family anymore. But I also knew there would be no getting anywhere unless we fought off anyone Hojo threw our way. I began to hate Hojo more than I had hated anyone in years. I had a vision of JEN0VA sitting in her throne atop Mako Peak, relaxed but intently watching over us even through the great distance, and I spoke to her “Don’t worry, JENOVA… I’ll stop that monster. I promise he’ll never hurt another soul…” I heard her voice and sensed her smiling at me “Spike… thank you.”


    To be Continued…