Vincent looked at the figure in front of them. They didn’t need this, not right now… this was just beyond bad news and in to a new realm of unhappily received welcomes. Rufus seemed to be wearing a similar expression, the sight of the vampire holding one of his best Turks did little to hold his fears in check but if he was going to go down it would be with a fight!
“Thanks for the welcome but honestly, we are only passing.” Rufus ShinRa stood eyes locked with Sephiroth’s then heard Rude cough gently behind him and nudge the gun.
“That will not save you.” Sephiroth’s deep voice covered the dark night. “Then again nothing will.” He laughed and black feathers from his one wing scattered around the area as he disappeared.
Rude looked to Tseng who looked blankly back towards him. There was no need to say it, to voice the utter sense of failure that came to their expressions. They were dead if he decided to fight, without Cloud…
“Tseng, Vincent I have to admit you are our best hope right now.” Rufus told them. “I don’t care what he says, I don’t fail.”
“Easier said for you ShinRa.” Vincent muttered. “But are you prepared to let everyone else die for your success?” He pointedly held out the semi-conscious redhead.
“No one will die.”
“Someone already did.” Elena snapped ending the conversation as she stalked off down the street. “And more to the point if we don’t leave soon someone will.”
“I’m good.” Reno muttered. “It’s all good.” He whispered struggling to keep with them but refusing to give in.
If anyone was looking they didn’t mention the softest touch from the head Turk as he passed Rufus, the President hated being out of control in many things and Tseng knew it. They had worked and breathed together so long that it was second nature. When the group followed Elena moments later it was only Reno that looked like he had been defeated and even then if you had asked the redhead the chances were he’d have lied.
Elena was fuming, this place was taking them on a hideous grand tour and if the designer was Sephiroth then she wanted out even more. She spotted the Grand Hotel and looked back to the others. At least they could properly assess the redhead there. She nodded to Rude who politely gave a nod back. It was better to take stock of the situation before taking a gruelling walk towards the cemetery and to reach the church.
The place looked like it would once have held some fantastic dinner parties, wedding receptions, so many things that all would have been joyous and now it stood as another reminder that the town was pretty much deserted. The few people that they had seen were either crazy or suicidal and the monsters they were meeting were like nothing they had encountered before.
“Sofa over there should be okay.” Rufus said picking through the debris on the floor until he got to the object of his desire, a large sofa with some cushions. They turned the cushions around in a vain attempt at cleanliness and lay the Turk down. Rufus looked around the hallway and they tried to get an idea of what they could or could not use.
“I’ll check for some supplies.” Elena said and Tseng followed her. It was decided that going alone anywhere was a bad thing so at all time they ended to shadow around one another contently. She walked in to the large kitchen with a smile and saw a first aid box on the wall. “It’s not much I know but at least we can get him to relax and maybe we can bandage the worst of it.”
Reno meanwhile was just about to relax and close his eyes when he felt something sticking in his back right next to a gash where a scalpel had tore through his pale flesh. Vincent saw him moving around and leant over to retrieve the annoyance, he was mildly surprised they hadn’t noticed it. The brochure for the hotel had missed by everyone who had turned the cushions. He sat on the sofa at the side of Reno and read through it.
“Tell me a story then man.” Reno told him watching the others checking the room out and securing what they could.
“It says here that the Grand Hotel was just that,” Vincent said his eyes skimming the finer points, “there’s a newspaper clipping of more interest.” He told the redhead unfolding it. Rufus stood watching and Rude kept quietly behind him. “The Hotel was built in the 1920’s or something.”
“Is that the house make? The year?” Rufus asked him.
“I have no idea.” Vincent shrugged. “I would guess it was the date since the top of the paper reads 1982 and is dated with a month of September. Also I would guess that they are talking about this as a more historical event judging by the clipping.”
“Well it’s fits with the information we have so far.” Rufus nodded.
“Okay well,” Vincent continued, “it sounds like they had a coal mine that was used up until the point at which the underground fires started. There’s some speculation here about how it happened. Some say it was careless rubbish burning and it caught fire, some say that it was a catastrophe when they tried to burn someone alive in a cult ritual.” He turned the paper over. “Some kid called Alex was caught up in some fire there and they say that his ghost has been spotted wandering around.”
“Alex…” Rufus nodded and looked to Rude and then Reno. “Wait…”
“What?” Rude looked at him.
“He looked just like Rude right?” Rufus took the paper up and looked at the picture. Taking a few years off and making Rude around eighteen the whole thing was looking too damned similar to ignore.
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