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Limited Wish

Chapter 3

Audrea opened her eyes, to darkness. She was conscious of being awake, and looked around to find herself in a dim room, lit by emergency lighting. She realized she was wearing her military uniform, and her sword and armor were in a heap just out of her reach. Her hands were cuffed behind her back, and she was tethered to something. Where am I? "Sephiroth?" She called out. There was no answer.

After a while, a door opened on the far side of the room, and a figure in a white lab coat entered. "Well," it said. "I see you’re finally awake."

Audrea remembered that voice all too well. "Hojo. You’re supposed to be dead."

"I had heard the same about both of you," the scientist replied.

"What is this?"

"And where’s Sephiroth, I’m sure you want to know." Hojo smiled. "In answer to your second question, he’s right here." As Hojo turned on the lights in the lab, she could see him, strapped to a lab table, also in his military outfit, still out cold.

"And as for what I want with you. Well. You’re here for two reasons. I need you to finish my experiment, and then Scarlett wants to talk to both of you."

"Experiments? Haven’t you done enough damage already?" Audrea spat.

Hojo regarded her. "You never wondered? Why you can’t remember? I created you, Audrea, from a shell. Your friends were just practice runs, to see how the de-freezing process would work. You, I created to be the perfect woman for my son." He laughed. "I can finally finish what I started. Yours and Sephiroth’s child, the culmination of my life’s work!" He laughed.

Audrea smirked. "You’ve got another think coming, Hojo. I just found out, I’m sterile." It was the first time she’d actually said the words aloud and they left a bitter taste in her mouth.

Hojo laughed again. "I can fix that. I did that for a reason. You were destined to carry my son’s baby. I wanted to protect that investment, so to speak."

Audrea lunged at him, "You monster!" She yelped as the chains dug into her wrists, forced her back down to the floor. "You beast!"

"Thank you." The conversation was interrupted by another figure entering the lab. "Hojo. Are they awake yet?" Scarlett’s voice carried across the room.

"She is." Hojo answered. "You can talk to her."

Scarlett approached the chained woman. "Well. Welcome to the new Shinra Headquarters, Commander." She laughed. "Welcome back."

Audrea looked at her. "I’ll never work with you."

Scarlett nodded. "It’s not you I’m really after, you know. Hojo insisted on me bringing you along. It’s your dear Sephiroth that I am the most interested in." She stalked over to the lab table, where Sephiroth was starting to come around.

Sephiroth awoke to the realization that he was strapped to a table. He could hear Hojo and Audrea’s exchange.

Scarlett approached him. "He’s awake." She sat on the edge of the table, leaning over so that Sephiroth had a good view down her red dress. "Hello, general. We’ve missed you. I’ve missed you." Scarlett reached out and caressed his face.

Sephiroth shuddered and recoiled from her touch, as much as he could. "What’s the matter?" She purred. "You know you want me. You always have."

Hojo stormed over. "Enough. Scarlett, tell him what’s going on."

Scarlett sighed. "I need you, General. I need you to take command of my army once again. We’ll raise Shinra back to its former glory. You’ll be the most feared man on the planet once again. I’d like you to agree, but I warn you, I won’t take no for an answer. I have my ways of making you agree." She stood. "Hojo, come with me." The scientist followed her out the door.

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