Vincent had never been this deep into Junon Base. Back during the Jenova War, with Meteor hanging over their heads, he’d been here twice. The first he barely remembered, and didn’t care to. Any time spent in Hojo’s care was best forgotten, and he was lucky his teammates — friends, he corrected himself, they had proven themselves his friends that day — had come for him. They could have left him to rot in Hojo’s laboratory like any other specimen, but they’d risked themselves to retrieve him.
He had been a weaker man then, consumed with guilt and the horrors his transformations inflicted upon him. Vincent didn’t consider himself particularly strong now, but he had begun to let things go in the past four years. He would never be the man he was before the coffin, but that was all right. That man had died a long time ago.
The second time had been for the Huge Materia at the Underwater Reactor, and Vincent felt as if he was going just as deep as he descended into the base now. He had never understood just how Shinra had managed to build an underwater reactor in the first place. At the time, he had simply marvelled, and chalked it up to one of the technical advancements that had come during his slumber, but he could barely fathom the amount of manpower it must have taken to build such an installation on the seafloor, let alone how they’d survived.
It was the kind of thing he’d have to ask Cid, he thought, and it made him quicken his pace.
The clone’s trail hadn’t faded, even this far beneath the city. If anything it had just gotten stronger. This wasn’t the first clone to have emerged, Vincent knew, but he hadn’t realized just how many clones he might be dealing with down here. Tatsumi obviously had extensive resources at his disposal, and he had to be prepared for anything.
He gripped his gun tighter. It was a good thing he was at full power. Even his demons knew better than to fight him when it came to something like this. This wasn’t the same Hojo who had bound them to this human vessel, but it didn’t matter. It was all the same to them.
In which shit goes down. This is one of my favorite chapters.
nearing the end, whoo.