We were back in our cell, but without handcuffs. Tifa watched me cry until I calmed down.
"You okay Mysty?" she asked. I looked up at her. She was so innocent. She didn't deserve anything like this. I didn't either.
"Oh, Tifa." I sniffed "I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to drag you into this. Please don't hate me."
"I don't hate you." she said softly "It's not your fault. It's his."
I agreed and felt suddenly tired. I laid back on the bed and my eye lids were very heavy. Soon I was asleep and dreaming again:
"Ahh, my precious specimens." smirked Hojo as he looked at all the poor creatures huddling in their cages. I was hiding behind a few empty cages watching and waiting. After a while I heard the familiar sounds of him leaving and locking to door behind him. I snuck out from my hiding place and ran to the place where I came everyday.
"Are you okay, miss?" I asked. The woman shook her head but smiled at me. I handed her the food that I'd gotten from the cook.
"Oh, you don't have to do this for me. It's alright." she said. I never asked much about her. I knew that if my dad found out that I knew about her, he'd beat me again until he'd get it.
"But you and your baby will die if you don't get enough food. It's okay. I hate being around my Daddy anyway."
She gave me a sympathetic look. I knew from the look on her face she'd met him before.
"I'm going to die very soon, no matter how much food I get." she sighed. "Hojo has tired the life in my body. The only wish I now have is for my daughter's saftey."
"You should leave, then." I said "Take your daughter and go." I looked at her daughter, she was maybe around my age, which wasn't very old. Aeris looked back at me through the bars and seemed unfazed. These two always seemed pretty strange, but I never really met average people. I've lived in the Shinra building for 90% of my life, so most people I've met were SOLDIERS or managment.
"Is there any way out?" asked Infalnia. I described one of the many exits that she could take. So far I've been the only one who knew of the secret passageways all over the building. I spent most of my time hiding from people until they cooled down and didn't feel like beating me. I was the building's punch bag, and I wasn't going to take it anymore.
"Thank you, Mystria." smiled Infalnia. "I wish I could repay you, but I have nothing. Wait, I have a story to tell you. Somewhere within the story is what many people look for. This information is really important, so I want you to remember it and not let it slip in the wrong hands."
I sat back and listened, unaware of the dangers the information would later bring. It felt wonderful, having a story read to me, as if I was just a regular little girl, not the President's daughter.
"Mystria?" asked Tifa and I snapped out of my daydream.
"Yeah?" I asked.
"What's going to happen to us?"
I looked over at her. All the color had faded from her face except for the redness around her eyes. I wanted to cry again, but I wasn't going to. I'm not crying anymore. This has ruined my life long enough.
"I don't know, but if we get out of here, WHEN we get out of her," I corrected myself "I want you to forget all of this. Nobody needs a memory like this, especially not anyone like you, ok?"
Tifa nodded quietly and looked out of the window while I looked at a faded section on the wall right behind her back. That's where one passageway was, the very route I took when I escaped from this wretched place last time. I wouldn't use it yet, for they were sure to keep a closer eye on me this time. When the time was right, when nobody was listening, watching, or caring, Tifa and I would be through the trap door, out of the building, and away.
The door swung open, and Reno walked in. Tifa backed away in fear but I backed away in revulsion.
"What are you doing here?" I asked.
"Just wanted to talk." said Reno as he sat in the chair in the corner. I turned my head away. I didn't feel like talking to the man who'd turned me in. "So I heard you know something important that we don't."
He seemed a little shocked at my reply. Well buster, I thought, you're responsible for locking us up, you better get used to my attitude.
"Now that's not any way to talk to a Turk." he said, as charming as possible. "If you're planning to get out of here, I suggest you'd tell us what we want to know, alright?"
"Why don't you leave her alone?" shot Tifa and Reno's eyes fell apon her. Until then nobody but me had paid attention to her, even when she was dragged where ever I was. Reno stood up and walked over to her, towering over the shivering little girl. He bent down and a hand slapped across her face so hard she cried out and a red mark remained.
"Leave her out of this!" I commanded, aware that my orders were no longer welcome her. Reno smiled and walked out of the room, satisfied. I jumped off the bed and sat beside Tifa.
"I hate it here," she said so quietly "I want to go home."
I couldn't decide what she called her home now, with me in the underground home, or with her family, as if nothing had happened. It didn't matter that much, because we were far from home right now. Locked up in a buildimg run by a bunch of self-serving whackos.
"We'll go home very soon." I said and looked at the trap door again. "Just wait till the right moment."
She gave me a confuzed look but didn't push me for anymore. We were served our meal and I saved a small slice of meat and a chunk of cheese when nobody was looking. I asked for clean clothing to wear instead of our old rags and received them imediately. When we got them, I noticed a wire within the material. They had put trackers on our clothes just in case I got away again. Well, it wasn't going to work.
I pulled the sheet off the bed and asked Tifa to hold it up the the corner for me while I went behind to change. I didn't change right away, because there was a knock on the door, just like I thought. I came out from behind the sheet to answer the door. It was a security guard.
"May I ask why you're hiding behind the sheet?" he asked. Obviously they spent every minute watching us.
"I was going to change into my new clothes." I explained with my usual rudeness. "And I'm not planning to change in front the camera."
I glared at him until he accepted my answer. I went back behind the curtain after he left with both my clothes and Tifa's. Once out of the camera's sight, I pulled the wires out and slipped them into my pocket. Also, I took the meat and cheese that I saved from earlier and smeared them against the cord that ran up the wall behind the trap door. After I was finished, I changed into the new clothing and traded places with Tifa so that she could change, still unaware of what I've done. She'll know later, after the time is right.
So we both sat down on the bed and waited. For what, I wasn't sure, or so I told Tifa. There was still a few hours until "Operation Flee From Shinra" began. Until that moment I have no clue what would happen. I looked at the camera. I knew from experience that it didn't record sounmd, cause that would require more energy, and what a cycle that causes since I know where to get more energy.
My train of thoughts were interrupted when I heard a knock on the door and my head swung in the direction of the noise, worried. Tseng walked in and my heart began racing. Not now! This could mess everything up!
"Your Father requests your presence." he said and I nodded. As Tifa and I stood up, I put one of the wires in her pocket and avoided her eye.
"Ahh, Mystria." smiled my father. I didn't reply. "You know, you could at least say hi to me too."
"Hullo President Shinra." I said slowly, empasizing his name. I didn't care what his reaction would be. I felt like I wasn't even there anyway. My mind was far off, wandering around and thinking of where I lived before all this mess had happened.
He gave me a look that signalled he'd given up. Well, at least of getting along with me. I knew he'd never let up on trying to get me to talk. Of course, the key word is trying. That's as far as he'll get and that's how it's going to stay.
I suddenly realized that he wasn't going to be his usual friendly self this time. He gave a wave to Tseng who pulled Tifa to him and held a dagger by her throat.
"That's not fair!" I shouted.
"Now we're getting somewhere." my father laughed with a grin. "And the only thing that's not fair is keeping things from your father."
"Yeah," I shouted "only about things like getting in fights with other kids or stealing stuff!"
I could see in the corner of my eye that there was light reflecting off the dagger next to Tifa's throat. I forced myself to calm down. If I got my father angry, then I'd lose the second friend I'd ever had because of him. Besides, when it was time, Tifa and I have better be back in our cell.
"Now," he said "Are you gonna tell us, or will there be bloodshed on the carpet?"
I looked over at Tifa. Her face was ghostly white with fear as she could barely see the dagger that threatened her life. I looked back at my father and sighed.
"Can I talk to Tifa alone?" I asked, though I pretty much knew the answer.
"Hmmmm.." my father scratched his head. "No, I don't think so. Anything you say to her will be said in front of us."
"Alright," I said, trying to sound sad "Tifa, I'm going to have to LET YOU GO."
Everyone gave me a confused look as if they were wondering what I was saying, and Tifa took about a minute to understand. She nodded her head slowly, but her eyes told me she understood.
"I suppose that from that display you still haven't changed your mind." suggested my father and I glared at him. Is he joking or something? He's up to something. Otherwise Tifa would be long past dead. I gave up figuring it out and decided that he just didn't want to take any chances with me.
"And I never will. You'll always be in the dark about what she told me" I said, and as if on cue, the lights went out and there was a mess of yelling in the room. I heard Tseng grunt and suddenly cry out in pain. Tifa was beating the crap out of him. All those years in the darkness of the slum had finally paid off. There was a gun shot, and before I knew it, a bullet had pierced my arm. I cried out in pain and then darted to the side. The gaurd who had hit me was trying to aim in Tifa's direction, but I took it instead. He was looking around trying to see in the dark but didn't see anything.
"Mystria where are you?" hollered my father. Angrily, I picked up a chair and wailed it in his direction, smiling in satisfaction when I heard him fall back in pain. Within seconds, I ran by Tifa and pulled her along with my good arm. I pulled the wire out of her pocket, got mine too, and put them in the security guards' pockets. I pushed on the wall nearby, and shoved Tifa through the trap door. I glanced back before I darted after her. The room was in total chaos. People were fighting each other for they thought their opponent was either Tifa or I.
I closed the trap door behind me and we sat back against the wall until our heart rates slowed. Tifa looked over at me.
"I'm sorry." she whispered, and I patted her hand. I had long ago accepted what my life was. I just wished it wasn't like the way it was.
"It's ok." I whispered back "Let's go home."
We crawled through the secret tunnels silently. Through the walls we could hear the guards shout commands in search of us, but still couldn't find their ways through the darkness. I knew we'd have to get out of the tunnels right away before they figured out what was wrong.
I smiled as I pictured rats and whatnot eating through those wires that I covered in meat and cheese. I took a big chance on that part. I wasn't exactly sure what wires they were, but they wouldn't have been there if they weren't important.
(to be continued)
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