Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 8 > Misfire

First Day Free

by Larathia 1 review

Rinoa's not what you'd call a Princess Leia.

Category: Final Fantasy 8 - Rating: R - Genres: Drama - Characters: Irvine, Rinoa - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2005-05-17 - Updated: 2005-05-18 - 1473 words

Irvine's steps were shaky and uncertain as they left the hospital, but he didn't need more than a cane for support. He thoroughly intended to make full use of the junction, now that there were no witnesses, to get him back on his feet.

Deling was a much more sullen city than he ever remembered it being. Sullen and quiet, the citizens rushing to their business without ever once glancing up. Irvine tried not to let his jaw drop; Deling City had a (deserved) reputation in the world as the most corrupt and outright villainous city on the planet - as a consequence, the citizens had always had a fierce, bulldog-with-a-mailman's-leg sort of fuck-you mentality and an independent spirit that let them cope with the hopeless corruption of their government and political system. Deling had had revolutions on the order of every decade or so, but the belief among the people that there was no such thing as an uncorrupt government tended to mean only that a new set of scoundrels held the reins of power.

But now the city was afraid, walking hunched over to hide its face. Deling knew it was the capital city for Edea, and even for a city of rats this was beyond the pale. Irvine turned to look at Rinoa - more to look away from the city's air of defeat than anything else.

"We'll get rid of her somehow," was Rinoa's softly-spoken verdict.

Irvine bit his lip on Fat chance. She's already gotten - "Squall?" he asked. If anyone survived, it'd be him. "Quisty?" /Please let there be some word, some sign/...

Rinoa looked alarmed. "Not here!" she hissed quietly, and Irvine blinked. That wasn't Rinoa's "conspiratorial" whisper - or what she seemed to think was conspiratorial. She was really afraid of being overheard. That was enough for him. "We've got a -"

"Then we go there now," he said firmly. "Don't mind my legs, they'll get the idea eventually. Just lazy." Hell, he'd crawl if it meant getting some answers.

Rinoa nodded and led him away from the hospital. Irvine forced himself to go as fast as he could manage on legs that hadn't supported his weight for more than half a year, relying on his cane as little as possible. At least it's done wonders for my posture, but I am so not thinking of Matron telling me to sit up straight. Not now. No. Focus on his guide, on the route. Rinoa kept an eye out for the possibility of being tracked, but Irvine knew they weren't. Junctioned senses aside, the city was too dispirited to take an interest in the doings of a young couple. She led him down a small side street, then to an old garage in an alley. Moving aside some debris, she revealed a manhole. "Down here," she said. "Are you sure-?"

"Guns would be nice," Irvine sighed. "But I've still got a guest upstairs and some spells. I'll manage."

"Oh!" Rinoa chirped, and grinned. "You do have guns. I'm sorry - I forgot." She took off her backpack and pulled out a gun belt - with guns in the holsters.

Irvine stared at it. It looked like something from an autumn-fest costume, shiny and gaudy. To wrap his head around the truth of Rinoa's actions, he sat on a broken table and took the guns, looking them over. The sights were crooked, they were slightly less powerful than air guns, and all in all he wouldn't trust them to accurately fire a plastic dart. "Let me just say, up front right, that I deeply appreciate the gesture. Okay? Very nice of you to try, it'ss very touching. But Rinoa, if you ever buy me guns again, I'm gonna have to make you eat them." He tossed the guns back to her. "I don't know what the salesmen told you, but the only thing those'd do to a monster is annoy it. If it noticed you shooting it at all." Rinoa looked deflated. "You paid a lot for these?"

She nodded. "It's what you're good at," she said sheepishly. "And we need everyone we can get."

"Don't toss 'em, then," said Irvine, getting back on his feet. "They won't hurt a monster, but at point blank range they should do reasonable damage to a person. I'll get a refund on them and use that to get some guns I can use." He eyed the manhole. "Long way down?"

"Not really," said Rinoa, climbing down. "How will you get down here?"

"Carefully." Wobbly legs sucked major ass, and Irvine swore under his breath as he carefully levered himself down to the ground and sat on the edge of the manhole. He tossed Rinoa his cane. "I'll stay down there," he said. "Until I can handle shit like walking and running without a cane." His legs could take his weight, he'd had the physical therapy. It was the coordination he'd temporarily lost, and stamina. Without the junction he'd be in a wheelchair still, so thank Hyne for small blessings. Wedging his feet onto the lowest rung he could, he bent until he got the top rung in his hands - then let his legs fall free. /Spindly-armed beanpole twit/, he swore at himself. He'd never been great at pull-ups. Junctions had advantages, he conceded as he carefully lowered himself to the ground, using only his hands and arms.

Rinoa had taken her disc-blaster out of her backpack and fitted it to her wrist. She handed him his cane and a flashlight without a word, and put her backpack back on. "It's not much farther." Quickly, she darted back up the ladder and pulled the manhole cover back into place before dropping back into the darkness. "I thought you'd want a light - I don't need one anymore. I know the way."

Irvine wondered how many times you had to run through the upper sewers before you had your route memorized. At least it was the upper sewers - the waterways the city had designed to handle the occasional Lunar tides from the coast, and the runoff from storms. The lower sewers would kill your sense of smell inside a day. He followed her down the various stone walways, no breath to spare for talking. Of course, if there had been, he would have been swearing at himself. Getting winded just walking around - particularly with a junction - was just /nuts/.

Of course, so was Rinoa's idea of a resistance movement. He'd heard about her crackpot ideas from Squall, but when she opened a thick, reinforced-steel door and showed him in...

It was an undercellar. By the look of it, to a bakery. Irvine's mental map of Deling was pretty good; he ran over the route they'd taken, overlaid it on the mental map, and realized they had to be under the Dolletian bakery on 35th. The view, though, did not inspire any desire for non-hospital food. In the room, scattered on bags of flour and meal, were a few dozen people who clearly had nowhere else to go. Some wore suits, some workclothes, but all looked dispirited and worn out.

"Hi guys," said Rinoa cheerfully. "This is -" she changed gears quickly as Irvine kicked her ankle- "Sergius Green. He'll be working with us for a while."

Irvine did not want these people knowing his name. Definitely not these people. They had all the fight of newborn kittens, by the look of them. If any were captured, they'd probably sell his identity in a heartbeat to save their own hides. Sergius Green was fine, but he deeply regretted the loss of his hat. He touched his fingers to his forehead instead, where the brim of it would have been. "I'm a little useless at the moment," he admitted, "But I'll work on it."

"Pick a sack," one man waved. "You look like you need a breather."

It rankled that the stranger was absolutely right. Ifrit growled in response to Irvine's agitation, offered to fry the man. /No, no frying/. Can't afford the risk. Edea would feel the magic, if he did something so huge as to summon a GF in her own capital city. No summoning. Irvine said, "Don't mind if I do," and settled onto a huge bag of meal. If the city was ever under seige, Irvine decided the very best place to hide would be a bakery. By the look of things they had goods enough to withstand an army. Or feed one.

Casually, as if just flexing his fingers now that they no longer held a cane, Irvine made a few handsigns. No one commented, no one responded. No gang members, that's good. No SeeDs, either, and that'll get us killed.

And Rinoa cheerfully oblivious that she didn't have a rebel force here - she had a homeless shelter.

Irvine really wished he had his hat. To hide under.
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