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Alright, one thing before we get started.  The pictures are so bad in quality that all they do is take up space.  And, this isn't exactly a top-quality document (I did this story in the mid-to-late 1990s, and my story typing wasn't as good); when I put this up, I had to make changes to about three spots in the story.  If any of you want to continue, go ahead.  Just keep in mind: YOU WERE WARNED.  And, anyone who wants to MiST this probably should.

This story was co-authored by my good friend, Cid Highwind, and based on "The Game", an RPG that he and I came up with some years ago.  You will see some guys appearing out of Final Fantasy VII, and some moves out of DBZ, and some stuff out of Star Wars and other places; this stuff is mostly for effect, but it shows what these guys are capable of.  The stuff written by Cid will show up on your monitor in a different color than everything else.  This story also features an appearance by Catbert, of "Dilbert" fame.  He was put in without permission, and keep in mind that he is another foreign element that appears in this story AND The Game, like some of the other stuff in here.  Everything that we do here, frankly, is for our personal entertainment.

Alright, you all set?  Either enjoy it, or don't.  Makes no difference to me.

             


"All right now," Curtis said from inside his flagship, the Saturn Assault Craft Wild Saturn.  "You got a bunch of reactors.  Now, combine those reactors with a power-hungry Admiral Rufus.  What do you get?"

"Total Annilhation," Blip Crasher snarled.

"Correct, Blip," Curtis answered.  "Now, we've got a mission to accomplish.  I've convinced the Emerald weapon to help us, but the reactors are going to explode in a matter of days.  We have to shut down or destroy those reactors, and we've got to do the job now."

"So, what's our plan of action going to be?" asked Saturn.  

"To get inside those reactors," Curtis said.  "Me, you, Blip, Aldonza, Zipflash, and Ryder Rambo are going to combine the Sun Crusher's quantum armor to Josh's 2 new creations.  That way, we can combine speed with armor and get inside O'Con's--or should I say, Rufus's--territory without getting damaged.  The Emerald weapon and the Pentagon ships will then blast the other reactors from long range, assisted by the Dark Archon and the Shockwave."

"So what you're saying," Aldonza said slowly, "is that once inside each of the reactors, we're going to have to use our Superpowers to shut down each reactor?"

"That's right," Curtis replied.  "Then all 6 will have to get back to Josh's ships--provided they aren't destroyed--and get back to SID territory."

"Hold on one second," Admiral Rufus interrupted over the communications dais.  "I can't just let you in and shut down the reactors.  That would be cheating."

"You'd rather that we die?" Curtis hissed.  "If those things blow, everyone gets destroyed--Hojo, Hindenburg, even you and me."

"You get on board those reactors, tough guy, you're going to have to fight through me."  Rufus had a wicked smile on his face.  "And I've never lost a lightsaber battle."

Curtis answered with a low voice, "Bring it on.  There are more ways to beat a lightsaber than just a lightsaber, you know."  

"I've got a few friends," Rufus added.

"I don't care if you got 1 friend or a hundred," Curtis hissed.  Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, "You can't beat me.  I'll take you all alone!"  He slapped the switch that switched off communications and stood there for a second, fuming.  Then he flicked the switch back on and called the Mansion.


Down on Earth, Dagher was pacing back and forth.  "I never get to go on board Curtis's ship," she whined.

"You'll get your chance someday," said Red Wing Pulsar.  

Just then, he turned his head back in Fireball's direction; the fiery cat's flame had turned from red to blue in an instant as he got angry.  "I just can't believe it," he growled.  "Stuck down here, while, in the meantime, the Sister Ray (or whatever it is called) is going to be launching itself at Earth."

"I believe I know what to do," said Timer.  "I had in mind freezing time, and while it's frozen, Fireball, toss the longest, most powerful flamethrower you've ever launched, and aim it--right at the front of the Sister Ray."

"I don't think so," Fireball snarled.  "When time gets unfrozen, Rufus will be after my head."

"It's a risk we're going to have to take!" Timer shouted.  "If we don't destroy it--"

"We're going to be alive," Dagher interrupted.  Immediately she laughed and added, "unless, of course, you want to go head-to-head against the likes of Admiral Hojo."

"Nah."  Just then, Red Wing Pulsar turned to Dagher and said, "Where do you get all this information?  You're just a kid."

"I have my sources," Dagher said.  "My brother Super Bomber, for example.  Before he joined SID, he used to be an infamous pirate.  Then Curtis contacted him, and the offer he presented was to tempting to pass up."

"$80,000 dollars and 3 chocolate pies each week is definitely too tempting," Fireball said.  "Anyway, what are we supposed to do?"

"You just sit tight," someone said on the communication center.

Everyone turned around and saw Curtis on the screen of the Mansion's high-powered Supercomputer.  "You want us to sit tight?" Timer said.  "I mean, after what Rufus is putting you through?"

"I can take care of myself, thanks," Curtis said.  "You hold on.  If any of us doesn't destroy a reactor, Fireball, give it everything you got.  Give it your long-range firepower."

"My flame only shoots up 300,000 miles," Fireball said, trying to excuse himself from the battle.  He ignored the hissing of a young ferret behind him, who was #209 in the Mansion.

"Try shooting it through the Omega Cannon, dork," Dagher snapped suddenly.

"Cool your jets, kid," Curtis said.  "I have a plan, and if we're going to survive Rufus's outburst, we've got to do it.  Only a matter of time before those reactors blow."


Back at Shinra Headquarters....

"Hmm.....it has been a long time and I haven't seen an attack from Curtis, Weapon, or any of them," Rufus said.

"Give them time.  They will attack, and when they do, we will be ready for them,"  said Hojo.

"Mwwaahaa!" Scarlet burst out.  "We should have the Sister Ray ready soon.  Then we will be able to get rid of Earth once and for all."

"I think we have a problem with the Sister Ray," Said Hojo.

"Everything is fine with it.  For your information, smart guy, it has begun charging."

"But, you see, a weapon of that strength will be trouble.  The seven Midgar reactors alone couldn't fire the cannon and provide power to the rest of the territory.  If my estimations are corect, the power to all of Shinra will shut down for 15 seconds.  In that time, we are extremely vulnerable."

"Quit arguing you two.  Yours truly, the Highwind, the strongest ship known, will be able to stop all the threats," said Rufus.

"Not neccessarily," said Hojo.  "Yeah, she is strong, fast and packs a lot of punch, but do not underestimate Curtis.  He has the Sun Crusher, and although it won't do much to the Highwind with it's quantum shields, I have a feeling that we will be down a couple of reactors if it comes into our space.  Not to mention that Curtis is well capable of setting up an extreme attack force that can destroy the Mako reactors from the inside out."

"Look, wimps.  You are both wrong,"  Sephiroth said as he was walking into the room.

"Who asked for him?" asked Admiral Mako.

"No one asked, Mako.  I can tell you one thing, you can leave them to me." Sephiroth threw back his head and laughed.

"Look, we do things my way.  Not only did O'Con make me in charge, but he also got rid of Ultima Weapon, tested out the Sister Ray, and got rid of that huge shield that was surrounding SID territory," said Rufus.

"You only became leader because Ultima Weapon fired the Ultima Beam.  If that had not happened, it would be O'Con here giving the orders and not you,"  Admiral Scarlet argued.

"Well, I am the leader now, and we do things my way now.  So, get the Sister Ray and the Highwind ready, along with the U.S.S. Excelsior, and U.S.S. Jenova.  And let's be on the alert.  This meeting is dismissed."  Rufus smiled as the Admirals departed to their posts.

Little did they know that a Stealth Scouter, Curtis's prime information machine, had dropped in on the meeting through a long range sensor from outside Shinra territory.  Almost immediately, it turned tail, jumped to hyperspace, and hurried back to deliver the news to Curtis.


"Thank you," Curtis said to the captain of the Stealth Scouter, reading the information.  As the captain walked away briskly, he turned to the Super Stryker force.  "So, Rufus and his gang got the Jenova, Excelsior, the Highwind, and the Sister Ray guarding the reactors?  Time to set my brain to work."  He sat down on 4 paws and started pacing.

"Hold on a second."  Aldonza pranced over to a viewport and indicated with a claw a long rectangular ship that was just off the Beast at Play's upper starboard side.  "See the duplicate you made of Josh's U.S.S. Lunar Destroyer 2?  We use it as a distraction to power down Shinra, and then we make a dash for the reactors in the Sun Crusher."  Then, under her breath, she grumbled: "Unless Rufus isn't as dumb as I think he is."

"See, that's why I call you a fox," Curtis said.  He rose up on two legs.  "You're extremely smart."

"Why, thank you," Aldonza said, smiling.  "I just got a lot of straight A's in school, that's all."

"Okay, gang," Curtis snapped.  "All 6 of us: get into the Sun Crusher.  We take off, and wait for the signal.  LD2: head towards the Sister Ray."


"Sooooo," Rufus smiled.  "He thinks he can destroy us with that thing?  Well, I have a better idea.  Don't fire the Sister Ray."

Just then, the LD2 launched a missile at the Sister Ray: it wasn't weak, but it didn't put the Ray out of commission.  "On second thought, destroy it."  Rufus was not very happy.

The Sister Ray, fully charged, jerked slightly as the ray was fired.  The LD2 ran right into it and detonated on impact.


"Okay," Curtis yelled.  "Go, go, go!"

Immediately, the Sun Crusher leaped to hyperspace--and was out in the gravity field of the reactors, 14 seconds later.  On orders from Curtis, all 6 cats--and dogs--split up and headed for their destinations.


That was not good, Rufus thought to himself.  Well, at least the Midgar reactors are safe.  Rufus heard a humming sound.  "What is it?" said Rufus.

"I am recharging the Sister Ray again," said Hojo.

"Aren't you firing that a little too much?"

"No.  As long as you keep firing times seperated by a three minute interval, everything will be fine.  I also got repair crews working on the Sister Ray.  It should be as good as new in an hour or so.  The missle did not do that much damage, and besides, I am the universe's smartest creature alive."

"Do not give yourself too big of a head."

"I don't.  I just know that I am always right and you are always wrong.  And in fact, if I wanted too, I could have led Shinra.  But I am too smart for that."

I am glad he left the room, thought Rufus a second later.  Now what am I going to do.  I do not know whether I.....  

"Sir.  The ship known as the Sun Crusher just sped out of our territory at a tremendous speed."  

"Ok, I got it taken care of."

"Sir, we have a ready Sister Ray," said Scarlet.

"Fire it directly at Earth."


Back at Earth, onboard the Star Frigate Supernova, Brain Kitten was watching the monitors and she saw an unusual energy reading right where the Sister Ray was.  "All right, now I'm mad!  All ships, launch everything you got at this thing.  At least try to deflect it."


"They're never going to manage," Fireball said to himself.  "Now's the time to throw in that little extra firepower that you were talking about, Timer."

Timer jabbed a button on his Time-Pack 5000.  "Okay, time is temporaily frozen.  Launch!"

Fireball leaned back and shot a long Flame Beam that hurtled out of the window.  2 seconds later, Timer's Freeze-Power wore off.

The heat beam collided with the Sister Ray blast.  For a couple of minutes they fought against each other.  


Just as it looked like the Sister Ray was about to win, the Beast at War's Dozen-Item Salvo Hard Knuckle Torpedo rammed into the Ray.  The impact blasted the Ray onto a different course--one that led straight into the Kretons' universe.


"All right," Brain Kitten said.  But she wasn't satisfied yet.  She nodded to Damager Cat's image on the communications system.


On board his ship, the Assault Destroyer Big Blast, Damager Cat turned to his comm system.  "All ships, it's party time.  ENGAGE!"

The Pentagon ships started blazing in a hailstorm of turbolasers and torpedoes, including their Pentagon Beam, catching a patrol squadron of Arrowwings by surprise.  

Reacting to the attack, the Black Fleet raced towards them.

There were a dozen series of thuds as the S.I.D. starfighters left their respective hangar bays.  Arrowwings moved to the attack.  5 minutes later, the fleets belonging to Rice Cat and the Wolveriene Defense Initative entered the fight at the opposite end of the territory.  Emerald Weapon escorted the Dark Archon and the Shockwave to the western side of the territory and started taking out the other Mako reactors long range.  Explosions insued.  Space kept on getting crowded with ships until the only ships not getting involved were the S.I.D. space tugs.  The Cosmetic Moonlight Blaster, the official Super-Cats' Infinite Defense satellite, started pounding away at other targets, triggering a response from the U.S.S. Jenova.


Ryder Rambo raced down the corridors of Midgar Reactor #6, his heavy artillery blaster in his paw.  He turned a corner...and ran into a group of officers who were loyal to Rufus.  "Stop it right there!" one of them shouted.

"I don't see a stop sign," Ryder answered.  "Give me a clear sign in 3 seconds, and I'll leave.  If you don't, I'm going on through."

"Who are you, anyway?" asked the officer.

"The name's Ryder Rambo, lead commando of the S.I.D. Special Squad.  You know, the one that destroyed the positron bomb that the Kretons had fired at us?"  He checked his wristwatch.  "Time's up!"  He fired his blaster.  The beam missed but the officers got downright scared and scampered off.

After 10 more minutes, he reached the main control panels.  He fired his blaster into a panel.  Instantly, monitors flickered and went dark.  The lights went off, and the sirens turned red.  "Oops.  I must have set this to self-destruct.  I'll just set my Blaster to NEUTRALIZE, and BOOM!..."  The sirens switched from red to yellow, and a countdown that was blinking on one of the screens disappeared.  "....voila!  A disabled reactor!"  Smiling, Ryder headed toward one of the other reactors.


"WHAT!?"  Rufus practically screamed his head off when he heard the news.  "How did the Sister Ray get deflected?!"

Just then, a screen flickered, and the image of a red cat spread over the screen.  "Oh, it's quite simple, actually.  The weapons that Brain Kitten fired only weakened the ray, but didn't get rid of it.  My pal Fireball fired a heat beam through the Omega Cannon, and that knocked the ray off course."  

"Who are you?" Rufus asked angrily.

"The name's Catbert, the evil director of human resources at Flash Software," said the cat.  "I saw what happened and I wanted to relay the news to you."  He snickered.

"You have no need to belong in this affair," Rufus said, seething.

Catbert said, "My contract says I now must laugh in your face."  He threw back his head and laughed.

"Why, I'll get you for this!" Rufus shouted.  He turned and shouted, "Fire the Ma--"

"Don't bother doing that, either," Catbert said, smiling.  "One of the Mako Reactors has just been put out of commission.  You're all downsized.  Shoo!"

"You're being evil," Rufus said.  "Just admit it."  He glared at Catbert for a second, then said, "and could you please just shake your head instead of spinning it around?"

Catbert smiled.

His image disappeared.

Hojo, who was walking by, heard Rufus shout something that echoed throughout the room: "CRUD!"

"The 6th reactor has just been--" Hojo began.

"Don't bother," Rufus snarled.  "I know what happened.  Put all security on alert.  Warn Sephiroth.  Now!"


Aldonza heard the order blare over the intercom from where she was: Mako Reactor #5.  She jumped up and let her spinning tail carry her.  Switching to Mach 6, she zoomed over the fire of the security officers scattered over the Reactor.  Sonic booms flared in her wake, shattering viewscreens and monitors.  "Yeah, try and get me!"  At one point, she flipped and let her Laser Eyes hit her spinning tail.  An orange beam flew out of the tailstorm and blasted several hapless officers that had been too slow to get out of the way.  She increased her speed several thousand miles and continued onward.

Something stepped in her path: Admiral Scarlet.  "Slow down, kid," she said.

Aldonza slowed down and stopped.  She hovered in mid-air for a moment before coming down to land on her hind legs.  "What do you want?"

"I want you to get off this reactor.  While you still can."

"Yeah?  You and what army?"  Aldonza placed her paws on her hips and smirked.  Her eyes, as a warning, started flashing.

"This army," Scarlet said, and she smiled.  Aldonza drew in a sharp gasp as an army of blackish-gray monsters appeared from behind the admiral.  Then, instead of just gasping, she let her eyes bug out as she stared upward at the beasts.  "Where did you get those?"

"A little gift that the people on the planet Tero give me."  She shoved Aldonza backward--hard-- and Aldonza tripped over her own feet and fell, scraping a knee against the hard metallic floor.  However, she picked herself back up as she remembered something.

Aldonza was familiar with the system; the monsters that rampaged there had destroyed a number of cities before Curtis stopped them, back when S.I.D. was known as S.D.I., the Starfleet Defense Initative, and some time after the Brain Cat's short X-wing vs. Arrowing fight.  Her eyes relaxed, and she smiled.  "Obviously, you've never known that I was on the planet Tero at one time, and I found a number of interesting things about them."  Energy built up within her.

"Yeah?  Like what?"  Scarlet folded her arms.

"Like their only weakness....an energy attack to the heart!"  Her muscles doubled in size; the energy reached it's maximum point.  Admiral Scarlet's eyes widened as she realized what Aldonza was going to do.  From two fingers on her right paw shot a horrifying spiral, an electrifying pulse of energy.  The normal Cannon Driller blast was yellow with a much thicker red spiral, but enhanced by the Kaio-Kien attack, it looked like this:


The pulse, which had a power-rating of 40,000, drove right into the monsters, and explosions ensued.  The sirens turned to yellow, signifying that the blast intended for the monsters had also knocked out the main controls for the reactor.

Aldonza's energy level returned to normal, and her muscles, which had bulged when she started to power up, settled down.  The dust settled as well a few seconds later, and Admiral Scarlet stood alone.  Behind her were the hundred hides of what used to be the Coal Monsters of Tero.  Aldonza grinned, said, "Bye," spun around, flipped her speed up to Mach 7, and was gone.  More sonic booms took their effect, knocking Scarlet off her feet.  Shaking a fist, she ran off to tell Rufus.


Zipflash, in the meantime, was jamming inside Reactor #4.  While the rock music on her Walkman kept her with her groove, she started Triple-Knocking monitors, control panels, everything.

Finally she shattered a panel with a series of dark buttons, and the yellow sirens blared.  With a smirk, she started to leave....

...but banged right into Reno, an old adversary.  

Reno was a Turk, and he was an important officer in Shinra---not as important as Hojo or Rufus, but important nonetheless.  And now, Reno stared at her, his eyes and smile chilling.  "You may have disabled this reactor, but you're not about to leave alive.....will you please listen to me?"

Zipflash switched down the music on her Walkman, then stopped it.  "I'm sorry, I wasn't listening.  Did you say something, my prince?" she asked in a sarcastic tone.

"I SAID YOU'RE NOT ABOUT TO LEAVE ALIVE!" Reno roared.  He fired a beam of energy that enveloped Zipflash....

....for no longer than one second.  Reno watched in shock as the energy disappeared....and Zipflash as well!  The Turk looked about in shock.

A second later, Zipflash ambushed him.  Fighting with the fierce ferocity with which she had been trained, she whacked the Turk with an Energy Blast.  Next was a purple sheet of flame from her fire ring.


Finally, she grabbed the Turk, swung him around and around, and tossed him SMACK into a horde of officers who were coming to Reno's assistance....all within 6 seconds.

"I'll get you, Zipflash," Reno said as he struggled to get up.  "How'd you do that?"

"You've never heard of the Saiyen warrior's Cancellation manuever?" Zipflash answered.  She added, "Call me Zapana."  She gripped her iceinator even though the fight was finished.  "That's my Japanese name.  And I have another Japanese word for you: Sayonara!"  She turbo-charged her paws up to the speed of 400,000 mph, then vanished.


Zipflash's cousin, Blip Crasher, was also having a good time.  Ignoring the laser blasts that bounced off his invincible Crash Shield, he made his way towards the center of Reactor #3.

Blip Crasher was hyper, and he had good reason to: He had drank down an entire bottle of Orange Soda.  He knew it would make him hyper, but he had no choice; his Crash Shield would flicker off each time he blinked or got tired.  If he closed his eyes for 8 seconds, his shield would be off for 8 seconds, so he had drank the entire bottle so that the caffeine would help force him to stay awake.

He walked quickly without exerting himself.  The laser blasts increased in intensity, then suddenly stopped.

And he found out why: standing 10 meters in front of him was Elene, another Turk.  "Gobble-gobble-gobble!" Blip Crasher clucked, doing an imitation of a turkey.

"That's not funny," Elene snarled.  "I know your weakness.  So over the last few weeks, Hojo and I developed an interesting weapon: a sleeping gas ray.  When you fall asleep, so will your shield, and I'll be free to pound on you."

"And I have something to fight against the sleeping gas: this!" Blip Crasher shot back, gripping a can of Coca-Cola.

"Don't drink too much of that...not like I care," said Elene.  "The high blood pressure isn't good for you."

"The high blood pressure goes into making my Crash Bombs," Blip explained.  "Also, so does my metabolism."  He pulled out a Crash Bomb.  It glimmered and shined in the light.  "And the caffeine in the soda helps me keep awake and resist the urge to sleep.  It all explains why my cheeks don't turn red when I have H.B.P."


"You're supposed to be both young and weak, you loser!"  In a sudden fit of rage, Elene zapped the sleeping gas ray.  The ray blasted Blip several feet and threatened to shut him down.

In a last, desperate moment, Blip cracked open the Crash Bomb, swallowed one half, and then the other.  He also swallowed the can of Coke.  "You calling me a loser?  How about I bash in your brains, and who's the loser, me or you?" he barked.

The high-intensity blood pressure knocked the sleep ray out cold, not to mention popping his eyes open.  The sleep ray bounced off and hit Elene, sending him into a deep sleep.

"Thanks," said Blip.  He hurled another Crash Bomb, one that the swallowed one had created, at the control panel that was right beyond Elene, and it detonated.  The yellow siren flashed, and another reactor was disabled.  Blip hit Reno's head with a swipe of his claws, spun around, and made a mad dash back to the Sun Crusher.


"All right," Rufus said.  "The Sister Ray should be charged again by now."

"No can do," Hojo said as Scarlet raced in.

The officer breathlessly shouted: "4 of the reactors have been shut down!"

Rufus screamed as loud as he could.  Then he turned his head toward Reactor #1, the biggest reactor in the Midgar area, and also the one that Curtis was trying to shut down.  "CURTIS, YOU WILL PAY!"

"He will be my target," growled Sephiroth, who was standing next to him.  "He is the only one that stands between our success and his."

"Go get him," Rufus growled.  "I don't care what you do to him.  Just get rid of him!"


On Reactor #2, Saturn knew no fear.  As he strolled through the reactors, blocking laser shots with his lightsaber, he knew only of the presence that was directly ahead.

At first, he had ignored it.  But then, as he progressed into the reactor, it grew stronger.  Saturn gazed at the chronometer strapped to his robe: 8:00pm.  Only 5 days to go.

Finally, at the very core of the reactor, Saturn saw him.  He was the leader of the 3 Turks, possibly stronger than himself.

Tseng.

"Nice to meet you," Tseng said, grinning.  "Want to have some coffee?"

"I don't drink coffee," Saturn said, brandishing his lightsaber.  "I've never liked the taste of any coffee, especially decaf.  That's why I drink chocolate milk instead."

"You'll like this coffee," Tseng replied.  "It's my own personal creation!"  Suddenly he cast a wicked summon, intending to tear Saturn apart.

Just then, Saturn focused through the Force and reversed the summon.  It hit Tseng instead, removing a considerable amount of hit points from him, along with some magic.  "I am one with the Force," Saturn whispered.  "I am the Jedi Master Saturn Units, the only remaining Jedi Master in this universe."

"Jedi or no Jedi," Tseng yelled, "you are not going to stop me!"  The Turk launched himself at him....

...and bashed into a control panel as Saturn ducked out of the way.  The momentum and force shattered the panel, and the yellow sirens came on.  "That's all I needed to do," Saturn said.  Going back to his roots on the planet Corellia, he added, "And don't tell me the odds of me doing this again!"  He turbo-charged, then was gone.


Back at the Main HQ of Shinra, Rufus was raging.  "All right!  I have had it!  It's time to deal with Curtis and his gang with my own two hands!"  He snatched his lightsaber and headed for the teleporter.

Hojo, who saw him go, contacted Reactor #1, where Curtis was.  "Curtis?" he shouted over the noise of battle.  In the distance, the Genestealers on the Space Hulk: Sin of Elimination, their second most powerful Space Hulk next to the Sidewinder, blasted another Mako Reactor from long-range.

"Yes, Hojo?" Curtis answered.  "I'm kind of busy here."

"Curtis, just thought I'd warn you," Hojo said sternly.  "Sephiroth and Rufus are headed towards you on Reactor #1."

"So what Rufus said about meeting me was true," Curtis said.  "But switch the view-screen to the Full Image setting for one second."

Hojo did--and the sight of Curtis's handheld weaponry almost blew him away, although he did his best not to show it.

In his holsters were his Disintegration Gun and Iceinator.  In his hand was a brand of weapon that Hojo had never seen before: a Storm Bolter.  They had unlimited ammo, even though they had a tendency to jam.  A fighter with a Storm Bolter was rumored to be unstoppable.  In his other paw with a lightsaber, with an orange lightsaber blade that stretched out to almost 2 meters.  "Nice," Hojo said.  "But those weapons aren't going to stop Sephiroth."

"I know," Curtis said.  "But I told Rufus that I was going to take him on alone.  This may sound like overconfidence, but it isn't.  I know what Rufus is capable of.......Hojo, you might as well get out the popcorn.  This is going to be one tough battle."  He shifted nervously.  "Are you sure you wanted us to do this to the reactors?"

"Don't worry about it," Hojo said reassuringly.  "I'll rewire the reactors so that they will only come on when the Sister Ray is fired, and then they'll shut off again."

"Good.  If I survive this attack, I'll be seeing you."  His image moved to the right, and he vanished.


In space, outside of the reactors, a tough battle was being fought inside Shinra territory.  The Highwind was taking on all 5 Pentagon ships, while the Emerald Weapon, (who had agreed to help S.I.D. in the fight) the Shockwave, and the Dark Archon destroyed the other reactors.

The lead commander of the Beast at Play fired a pair of Tesla Coils at the Highwind, doing minimum damage.  The Beast at War charged it's Fusion Cannon, then fired.  The blast only damaged the Highwind 110%, however.  (Yes, 110%.  In the game, damage points take on new and odd meanings, ones that don't always equate to the rhetorical norm.  In this case, it took on more than a ship usually should, and survived it.) The Wild Saturn, under Gamma Cat's control, was pounding away at the shields with the Mean Green Beam, while sliding constantly out of the line of fire.  The Genestealers on the Space Hulk: Sidewinder were giving it everything they got, albeit not aimlessly (being that Genestealers are sneaky aliens), and the Final Fireball was launching a horde of Fire Bombs, Matchhead Missiles, and Magma Missiles in an attempt to knock down the shields early.  In the meantime, every 15 minutes, the Cosmetic Moonlight Blaster obliterated an Obelisk of Light, while the Tesla Coils, Super Teslas, and Towers of Destruction surrounding S.I.D. territory were doing the same.  The U.S.S. Jenova's attempts to destroy the satellite kept meeting with failure as the distortion screens on the CMB filtered out the energy into the endless reaches of space.  The U.S.S. Enterprise was surrounded by Blast Flash's Lance Team and Damager Cat's legion of Assault Destroyers, even though the ship itself was holding them off pretty well.  Arrowwings, J-wings, C-wings, X-wings, and all of Curtis's other starfighters gyrated in a deadly dance.

Rice Cat's fleet and the Wolverene Defense Initative were scattered around, blasting whatever they could without getting blasted back.  A Fire Ion Cannon shot hit the Highwind as Gamma Cat welcomed them in.  By the dozen, all of their ships converged on the Highwind.

A pilot in Aldonza's V-wing squadron, Blue 10, swerved by the Midgar area.  She noticed repeated flashings inside the Sun Crusher and decided to investigate.  When she approached, 5 cats, foxes, and wolves--first Ryder Rambo, then Aldonza, then Zipflash, then Blip Crasher, then Saturn--kept on teleporting first into the Sun Crusher, then into Reactor #1!

The pilot was trained well, and she had the common sense not to signal everybody.  Instead, she focused on the dogfights that were closest to the Midgar area and started to turn ferocious.  No one else wondered what was up with that; they thought she was just doing her job.


Saturn and the others followed Curtis into Reactor #1.  Saturn, sensing something, motioned for the other Stryker members to hide with him.

Admiral Rufus charged by, his ignited lightsaber in his hand.  Blip Crasher suddenly bounded out in front of him.

"You destroyed a Mako reactor," Rufus snarled.  "MY Mako reactor!"

"Don't overlook the whole situation, tough guy," Blip Crasher taunted.  "In about 240 minutes, they won't be your reactors anymore."

"And what do you mean by that?" Rufus asked, eyes narrowing.

"When I got back to the Sun Crusher, I gave the command to clone Admiral O'Con.  By my estimate, he's going to be coming back to Shinra in about 4 hours."

"I hate your cloning tanks," Rufus said.

"So does O'Con," Ryder Rambo laughed.  "When we do away with you, don't expect us to clone you."

The rest of the Super Strykers converged in on him.  Rufus shook his lightsaber warningly, but Saturn drew in the Force and snatched the lightsaber out of his hand.  He grabbed it and put it inside his robe.

A frantic officer shouted over the intercom, "Admiral Rufus!  The combined forces of S.I.D., Rice Cat, and W.D.I. have just disabled the Highwind!"

"What a battle this is turning out to be!" Aldonza howled joyfully.  "Having a bad day, Rufus?  First, 6 of your Reactors gets destroyed or disabled--one by Emerald Weapon--and now, your most powerful ship in Shinra is disabled?  Shame."

"NO!" Rufus yelled.  "This can't be!"

"I'm afraid so," Zipflash said.  Everyone converged on him.  Aldonza powered up, shouted, "Triple Kaio-Kien....Energy Blast!", then the last thing Rufus saw before unconsciousness overcame him was a brilliant white light.


Curtis charged into the core of the final reactor.  Reaching the main controls, he started to slice them in half with his lightsaber, but a sweeping motion caught his eye.

Sephiroth walked straight toward him, having an evil gleem in his eye.  "You're not going to take us down that easy."

"Where's Rufus?" Curtis snarled.

"That's the same question I was going to ask you," Sephiroth said.  "Rufus was supposed to help me surround you."

"Maybe he had to purchase a treadmill," Curtis spat.  "He's so big, he could practically squash Earth!"

In a rage now, Sephiroth cast Falling Angel.  "No one insults Shinra!"

After the cast, Sephiroth looked.  Curtis was no longer there.  He smiled, thinking of a mission well done.

"You missed," hissed someone.

"...What!?" Sephiroth shouted as he spun around.  "No one can avoid Falling Angel!"

"You're forgetting something," Curtis explained, smiling.  "I can run at the speed of light, and when I use the Kaio-Kien attack, I can go 2 or even 3 times as fast."

The intercom blared.  "Sephiroth, the Highwind has been disabled!"

Sephiroth was mad.  "HOW!?"

"The combined forces of S.I.D., Rice Cat, and W.D.I  knocked down the shields, losing only 60,000 ships--and no losses to the Pentagon Force.  A Destructo Disc and a pair of shots from a Y-wing ion cannon, and the rest is history."

"Bad day?" Curtis said.

"You're telling me!" Sephiroth readied another summon, this time Fallen Heaven.  "Lightspeed or not, you're not escaping this time!"

After a few minutes, it was set, and first he attempted the paralyizing part of it.

Curtis concentrated with all his might to put up the Cancellation Barrier.  The paralyzing attack enveloped him.  After it was gone, he stood for a few seconds, faking paralysis.  Then, as Sephiroth swung his sword he flipped behind him and knocked him to the floor with a vicious kick.

"Now why doesn't Fallen Heaven work on you, either?!" Sephiroth shouted, blood pressure rising.  He picked himself up.

"The Cancellation Barrier can cancel out any summon," Curtis explained.  "The only thing that can knock it down would be an extremely strong Energy Attack."

Sephiroth smiled.  Immediately he started charging as Curtis slapped his face as he realized his mistake.  "Blast it, blast it, crud, blast it, blast it, crud!"

Suddenly an explosion knocked Sephiroth off balance.  The following shockwave flattened him even though he still powered up.  "You wanna bet, Angel-ica?" Zipflash shouted as Blip Crasher kept up the Crash Bomb attack.

"Sephiroth isn't done charging," Curtis warned, not the least bit surprised that the rest of the Stryker Force had shown up to help him.

Something blinked on a monitor 20 meters behind Ryder Rambo.  "There's not much left that can save us now....except...."

Aldonza drew in a gasp, followed a split second later by Sephiroth, then by Zipflash, and then everyone else.  "THE SISTER RAY?!"

Curtis pulled everyone aside and whispered furiously, "You hold him off as long as you can.  I'll charge up enough energy for the Spear Bomb."

"Right."  Aldonza's faith in him had never wavered. (Hint hint)

"Nothing can save you now!"  Sephiroth fired.

At the last second, Blip Crasher stepped in front, not blinking.  The beam hit Blip's shield and bounced away....but Blip was sent to the floor, the shockwave knocking him flat off his feet.  Zipflash offered her tail, and he pulled himself up.

Sephiroth growled.  "You got lucky."

"As Obi-Wan Kenobi said, 'In my experience, there is no such thing as luck.'  I wouldn't underestimate us if I were you."  Saturn extended the length of his lightsaber up to it's highest point, at 3 full meters.

It went on like this for an hour.  Suddenly there was a nearby echo.  It was followed a second later by Curtis's hissing.  "Take this, Sephiroth!"  He zoomed at lightspeed behind him, and threw the Spear Bomb faster than any speed Nolan Ryan could manage.

The blast from the Sister Ray, even though it was only at 10% power, was enough to damage Sephiroth--and to send the yellow sirens wailing.  The Spear Bomb took a full 1.1 million hit points off of Sephiroth.  The once-mighty warrior, sulking, dragged himself out, and there was no doubt now that the Super-Cats had prevailed once again.


"Sorry about that," Curtis said as everyone piled into the Sun Crusher.

"No problem," Hojo said.  "I rewired the Reactors the way I told you earlier, and it was enough for a 10% blast."  (It would take a 20% blast to destroy a reactor.) He turned serious.  "Where's Rufus?"

"We ordered him sent to the other side of the Reactor."  Curtis, for the first time in hours, smiled.  "No doubt he won't be trying to pull a fast one on us for a while."

He surveyed the wreckage; hundreds of Arrowwings damaged or destroyed; the Highwind and the U.S.S. Jenova (which had crept too far towards Earth and got it's main weapons destroyed by the CMB) disabled; most of the other reactors, those not in Midgar, damaged or destroyed as well.  For once, all 3 fleets had worked together to win.

And S.I.D. only lost 200,000 ships in the overall fight.

"We'll get those ships repaired.  I understand why your fleet did that," Hojo said.  "Bye."

In the background, Curtis heard Sephiroth mutter: "What a bunch of leadership...." Curtis smiled and signed off.


Back at Earth, a couple of days later, Aldonza and Zipflash were out in the snow, shoveling it.  "Even tackling Sephiroth head-on was easier than this."

"Race ya," Zipflash responded, tagging her on the shoulder.  They dropped their shovels and chased each other through the snow, giggling like Shenzi, Banzai, and Ed at a showing of Abbot and Costello's "Who's on First" routine.

Curtis, who was watching this, just stood there.  I know that Rufus is going to be after me, Curtis said, but for now, let's just have some fun.  He set his iceinator on SNOW and charged after the fleeing dogs, piling some snow into the open chute on his iceinator.  "Hey, big girls!  Come back here and let me snowball you!"  He stopped shouting and set up an ambush.

Well, what did you think?  Was it stupid, or wasn't it?  It was stupid, you say?  So what?  This story was stupid, and we're proud of it!  Hey, Cid!  What's that one line you use?

I get no respect, no respect at all.  In fact, when my car broke down, AAA put me on hold....

We get the point, Cid.

Yeah, we get the point, all right.