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  -Part 1 :: [02.13.02]
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"Ryudo closes this exciting discussion with the suggestion that they get the fuck out of town first thing in the morning. So it looks like he forgot the part about Selene closing off the exit. I guess that's okay, since I forgot, too -- yay for refreshing my memory via recaps! Or maybe Ryudo remembers and just thinks he's man enough to take on the well-endowed Cockthedral Knights. And another fanfiction is born!"
     -Jeanne, Grandia II Part 6

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Final Fantasy VII : Part 4
By Jeanne
Posted 12.08.02
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
Bitch suddenly loses all his short term memory. He asks why Shinra is after Airhead. Elmyra tells us what we already know: "Airhead is an Ancient. The sole survivor." Suddenly Mr. T becomes psychic. Despite never being told that Elmyra is Airhead's mother, he says, "But, aren't you her mother?" Apparently he's not psychic enough to figure out that Airhead is adopted.

Elmyra launches into a story about 15 years ago. That would make Airhead 7 years old, for those of you who can't do the math. We go into full flashback mode, complete with white screen intro. At the time, there was a war going on, and Elmyra's husband was at the front, at someplace called Wutai. One day, Elmyra got a letter that said he was coming home on leave, so she went to the train station. For the next ten minutes, we see a bunch of happily reunited people, laughing and swinging each other around to emphasize how happy they are. One by one, each couple has its reunion scene. All right, we get it. Elmyra's husband never shows up. Just in case we didn't understand that he never showed up from the fact that the train door closes and Elmyra is still standing there alone, we see her walk up to the conductor, he shakes his head, and Elmyra leaves, looking sad. But wait -- there's more. "My husband never came back," she says. No, really?

Elmyra says that she visited the station every day, just in case. Surprisingly, we don't see each visit. One day, she shows up to find a dying woman and a little girl. Elmyra kneels next to the woman as the little girl (Airhead, duh) sobs for about 30 seconds. On with it, already. "You used to see this sort of thing a lot during the war," she says, explaining why no one else seems to be the least bit concerned. "Her last words were 'Please take Airhead somewhere safe.'," Elmyra continues. She decides to take Airhead home with her because she's lonely. I didn't know Elmyra was a pedophile.

She says that she and Airhead became "close," so my suspicions may be confirmed. "That child loved to talk. She used to talk to me about everything," Elmyra reminisces. "She told me she escaped from some kind of research laboratory somewhere." Elmyra doesn't seem to think there was anything odd about that. Also, Airhead used to talk about her mother returning to the planet. "She was a mysterious child in many ways," Elmyra makes the biggest understatement ever.

One day, Airhead randomly tells Elmyra not to cry and that one of her loved ones just died. "His spirit was coming to see you, but he already returned to the planet," Airhead says. Gee, I wonder who that could be? Yup, it's Elmyra's husband. We see a brief shot of Elmyra bawling at the kitchen table, and her present self says, "...and that's how it was."

But wait! The annoyingly long backstory isn't over yet. In the next flashback scene, Tseng shows up at Airhead's house. "We want you to return Airhead to us. We've been searching for her for a long time," he says. Despite the Crappy Blockiness of Tseng, he looks exactly like he looks in the present, whereas Airhead is still a little girl in the flashback. How old is this dude supposed to be? When Airhead refuses to go with him, he explains what we all remember from not five minutes ago -- Airhead is the last Ancient. Please, game designers, this repetition is not good for my head or my desk, considering that I keep banging the former into the latter. Tseng explains more of the cryptic plot. "The Ancients will lead us to a land of supreme happiness." Okay. He's trying to make himself seem like the good guy here, but we know better. Airhead denies her heritage, and Tseng says something about her hearing voices in her head. So she's crazy, too. Airhead also denies this and runs out the door. Tseng just kind of leaves, I guess. I mean, even though he would presumably have no trouble kidnapping a child, for some reason he never does.

Elmyra reiterates that Airhead has special powers. "She tried so hard to hide it, so I acted as though I never noticed," she says. Bitch says what I was thinking. "It's amazing how she's avoided the Shinra for all these years..." Yeah, especially since they know where she lives. Tita wonders why they chose this moment to kidnap Airhead. "She brought a little girl here with her," Elmyra says by way of explanation. Wait, how does that explain anything? "On the way here, Tseng found them. She couldn't get away fast enough." Wait, but don't they already know where she....oh never mind. This makes no fucking sense. I'm just not going to try anymore.

"Must be Marlene," says Bitch, Mr. Obvious. Now Mr. T feels even guiltier, thinking that Airhead was captured because of Marlene. Dear God. Mr. T apologizes and says that Marlene is his daughter. Elmyra gets all in his face because he left Marlene alone. Oh, good. Make the guy feel even guiltier so he can whine more. Thanks, Elmyra. Mr. T goes into this big monologue about how he wants to be with Marlene, but he also has to fight to save the planet. He reiterates both these sentiments three or four times. "See? I'm goin' in circles, now," he says, as if to excuse the inane dialogue.

I don't even want to know what's going on here.

Finally, I get control of Bitch again after Mr. T goes upstairs to see Marlene. He talks to Tita, who is beating herself up over Airhead's capture. Oh, please. These people are all whiny martyrs. Bitch heads upstairs to spy on Mr. T. He's having a moment with his daughter, and there's no point in me recapping the dialogue. Mr. T spots Bitch, and starts talking about rescuing Airhead again. Yes, we know. Marlene takes this opportunity to tell Bitch all about the questions Airhead asked about him. Nice how she uses a little kid to help scope out her man. "I bet she likes you, Bitch!" Marlene chirps. I make Bitch say, "I don't know," because it's the more negative of the two choices. "Stupid!" Marlene says. I wonder why Marlene would give two shits, especially since she knows Tita better, and Tita likes Bitch, too. Oh, these complicated love triangles. Did I say "complicated"? I meant "stupid".

If I recapped enough of this dialogue...I'll lose all of my English skills.

Bitch heads back downstairs and it takes me a couple of minutes to figure out how to advance the scene. So I leave the house and find out that's what I was supposed to do. Tita asks if Bitch is going to save Airhead. Jeebus Cripes. No, he's going to go jack off with that guy in the sewer pipe. What do you think, you twit? She says she's coming along, as if that's some huge plot twist. "We're going right into Shinra Headquarters," Bitch says. "...You gotta be prepared for the worst." Really? Tita says, "Right now, I feel like I have to push myself to the limit." Where did that come from? Ten minutes ago, she didn't know what her feelings were. Well, whatever.

What the hell?

A rhythmic pounding sound announces that Mr. T is clomping down the stairs. He asks Elmyra to watch after Marlene because he, too, is going to save Airhead. He tells Elmyra to go someplace safe. Where the hell is safe? Outside, Tita asks where Shinra HQ is. Mr. T says there aren't any trains that go there, and Bitch doesn't say anything, even though he's the most likely person to know. So Tita, the least likely person to know, decides that they should go to Wall Market. Goody. I really wanted to head back through the previous area again.

In Wall Market, someone mentions that the guy from the weapon shop took something from the debris that came down. I magically deduce that my first visit is to the weapon shop. Sure enough, some asshole in the shop sells Bitch some batteries he found on the ground. Thanks, bud. The next stop is the Wall of Graffiti and Hopelessness. Bitch and party follow some kids to the base of the wall, where there just happens to be a climbable wire. Mr. T is all gung-ho about climbing, but Bitch isn't so sure. Mr. T asks what Bitch sees when he looks at the wire. "Just a normal wire," Bitch replies. "Oh yeah? Well to me it looks like a golden shiny wire of hope," Mr. T says. Someone's been dipping into the hallucinogenic drug stash. Even so, they decide to climb the wire, because it's their only option. They don't even bother to try to find any other way of getting there, so I'm not sure why they decided they had no choice.

The Music of Determination plays as they climb the wire past a bunch of graffiti. It takes about ten minutes to climb the stupid wire. At the top of the wire, there's a bunch of debris such as train tracks, tubes, wires, propellers, and all sorts of other shit with three strategically placed battery slots. Now, what might I put there -- surely not my three batteries? Yes, this is another puzzle of the train graveyard variety. I'm so happy when I have to solve weird-ass puzzles to get from point A to point B. I'm also really happy when there's a swinging bar that makes the most annoying sound since Tidus's screeching.

Now he's concerned about wasting time.

Finally, Bitch, Tita, and Mr. T reach the top. The Shinra Theme of Evil starts playing as we see some imposing views of the Shinra building. A helicopter flies overhead, and there are searchlights. Because lights are really freaking scary. The camera pans down to show our shitty-looking heroes staring up at the building. They look at each other and then run toward it. At the front entrance, Mr. T says something about Bitch being familiar with the building. Bitch says he isn't. "Now that I think about it...This's the first time I've ever been to the Headquarters." What, he just realized that now? What a moron. Luckily, it's Mr. T's turn to wear the Exposition Hat. He says he's heard that all the floors above the 60th require special permission to enter. Gee, I wonder if this will come into play at any point? Indeed, Mr. T says that Airhead is probably there.

Mr. T is all ready to bust through the front doors, but Tita stops him. She says that they need to find another way. Bitch gets to make the decision because he's the big strong manly man. Well, Mr. T is bigger and stronger and manlier, but for some reason Bitch gets to make the decision, okay? Bitch decides to go with Tita's plan and find an alternate route. I just don't feel like fucking around with battles. With that important decision made, I finally get to save.

Will our heroes be able to break into the Shinra building and rescue Airhead? Will they get out safely? Will they just happen to find a new buddy for their quest and learn more about what the hell is going on? I won't keep you in suspense -- the answer is yes. But you'll have to wait till the next installment to actually read about it. You can hardly wait.

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