Chapter 18 – Preparing for Departure

Chapter 18 – Preparing for Departure

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 18 - Preparing for Departure

Translated by Mecorx and Pixel

What have I been doing these past 2 years, I thought, berating myself. It shouldn’t have been surprising that what I should do was find my mother. Had I just found a clear reason to escape from all of this? Maybe. Even so, that was fine. If I miss this opportunity, it’ll get put off even more. I’m going to put an end to this issue I’ve been pushing far away, and turning a blind eye to. That way, I can start over. I can do it all over again. Hurry. If I don’t do it right away, I change my mind.

“I’m definitely going.”

I tried saying it out loud, but I could hear no voice that sought to stop me. I had no internal conflicts. I started making preparations right away. But as this moment arrived, I had no idea what to take. For the time being, I packed my shoulder bag with clothes and a variety of daily supplies. With those alone, the bag became full. I turned it upside down, and emptied it out on the bed. I had Rufus’ gun on me, so I took that and put that in first. Then— I looked up at the ceiling. It seemed the time to spend that money had come. I got a three-legged stool and put it in the middle of the room. I stood on it, reached up, pushing on the ceiling board. The ceiling board came out, leaving a gaping hole. As I reached inside with my right hand, and felt around, my fingertips landed on the paper bag. A year’s worth of dust fell as I pulled out the paper bag. I got off the chair, having a coughing fit, and put the paper bag in the kitchen sink. I was going to take out a wad of bills, but I dusted the bag off and just threw it into my shoulder bag. It’s the money that was in my mother’s room, back in the house in Midgar. It wasn’t my money, but my mother will forgive me. So— what’s next? Oh yeah, I need that. I put my hand under my mattress, and pulled out a thin bundle of photos. It wasn’t so I could look at them, to indulge in sentimentality. They were for me to show to people, and get information. Then, I took whatever clothes I could fit in the bag. I could buy more if I needed to. I had the money. I laughed to myself as I thought that. I must be the type of person who could trade things for money. I put the pieces of clothing scattered on the bed back in their rightful places, returned the ceiling board, and finally, put the chair back. I felt satisfied seeing the room back in order.

“I’m going.”

As I left the room and closed the door, I wondered if I would ever come back here. I had no idea. I felt that if I thought too deeply, I wouldn’t be able to go anywhere. I closed the door and locked it.

I opened the door of the car parked on the street, and climbed into the driver’s seat. I inserted the key I got from the Mayor. The body shook for a moment when I turned it, and the engine began to rumble. Maybe it was just playing up in Healin. When I looked at the fuel gauge, it was almost completely empty, but it looked like it could run for a little while. I had never driven a car, but I’d manage somehow. I had seen it being done from the side before, and it looked like an automatic. It would run when I stepped on the accelerator, stop when I stepped on the brakes, and turn when I turned the steering wheel. The engine got louder as I eased on the accelerator, and with that, my anxiety also increased. But the car didn’t start running. Why? I looked over the levers near the steering wheel, but none of them seemed to be related at all. As it occurred to me and I looked down, I noticed a lever labeled B. When I pulled out the B lever and turned it, the car began rolling, slowly. Perfect.


It was Fabio’s voice. I quickly stepped on the brake pedal. But the car lurched forward. I checked below and moved my foot to the brake. This time, I stepped too hard on it, and slammed my chest against the steering wheel. The horn sounded at an exhilarating volume.

“Looks like you’re not having a good start.”

Fabio came over, laughing. Then he stuck his hand through the window. There was a cloth bag in it.

“Hey, this is from all of us. It’s not much, but it’s money.”

Fabio said, looking at the rear. Looking back, I saw the Mayor and Vits; Keough and Throp were standing a short distance away, as well. Vits was waving his hand. So I did too.

“Thank you. I’ll take it. Give my thanks to everyone.”

I didn’t want to make a fuss.

“Sure. Give our regards to Kyrie, too.”


“I mean, to Shin-Ra, Kyrie’s your accomplice, right?”

“Oh, right.” Sorry. Really, the problem with Shin-Ra is no more. But I can’t tell you that, Fabio. “Well, I should go.”

I eased on the accelerator, and sped up. As I looked in the rear view mirror, Fabio and Vits stood, waving their hands. They just kept waving.

I drove the car at a snail’s pace toward the central square. There was a problem. If I went faster, the wind, which the windshield would usually prevent, hit me in the face, so I could hardly open my eyes. The Turks drove from Healin to Doyle Village in this car. How the hell did they do it? I really had to do something about this problem.

I wasn’t able to enjoy the drive at all. It took more energy than expected to avoid hitting the people as they came and went. When I drove into the central square, there were people walking all over the place, shooting annoyed glances at me. As someone who spent most of their life as a pedestrian, I understood how they felt. I do that too when a car goes by. It was all the have-nots could do in resistance. But I couldn’t lose. I returned the same stare to my disapproving opponents. Though, I stopped, because I noticed myself unconsciously changing my expression depending on the appearance of the person, and didn’t like that. It’s best to just wear a mask of indifference. I went halfway around the square, and took the northbound road. There should be a bulletin board around here. I soon found it and parked the car. I found the flyer I was looking for as soon as I got out. It was a flyer that could be seen everywhere, advertising the Strife Delivery Service. I had my hopes set on their long-distance OK clause. As I tore it off and went to shove it in my jacket pocket, I noticed that a balled up piece of paper had been put in there. When I took it out and opened it, it was the same flyer. I searched my memory. It was the flyer I pocketed when I went to the bulletin board at the station, after talking to Tyran Arde. As I looked at the 2 flyers, I thought, what a coincidence. I felt the anxiety I had for the departure diminish slightly, and started driving again. I continued driving further down the street, and parked in front of the alley I passed just this morning. I got out of the car, and headed to Dr. Drake’s clinic.

The doctor was alone in the clinic. He was reading a book on the sofa in the waiting room.

“Oh, Evan. What’s wrong? Is it your head?”

“It’s not that.”

“Better safe than sorry, you know.”

“Yeah. Anyway, doctor. Do you mind if I use your phone?”

“Oh, of course. Please, feel free. But keep it short ‘cause there might be an emergency call.”

After gesturing to the telephone with his chin, the doctor looked away again.

“Okay, I’m borrowing it, then.”

I lifted the mobile handset, which was connected to the wall with an anti-theft chain, and dialed a number, while looking at the flyer. After it rang for quite a while, the person on the other end picked up.

“Strife Delivery Service. You name it, we deliver it.”

The voice that answered with the words printed on the flyer, was clearly that of a child. A boy of around 10 years old. Probably around the same age as Vits?

“Oh, uh—” This confused me for a moment. “How do you deliver stuff?”

“By motorbike.”

The boy answered concisely.

“Cool, that’ll work. There’s something I need delivered, can you pick it up?”

“What is it you need delivered? Also, from where, to where?”

“From one side Edge to the other. The package— is a letter.”

Why did it turn out this way. If I had said what I wanted right off the bat, whether it was okay or not, I would have been able to get to the end right away. Even though I thoughtlessly put things off, when it comes to choices I should avoid, I go for them brashly, without thinking.

“That should be fine. Where can it be picked up?”

“Do you know Dr. Drake’s clinic?” I continued, giving him rough directions. I thought I should apologise and tell the truth, but in the end, I couldn’t.

“I think I know it. But I won’t know when we can be there unless I call the person in charge. Can you call again in about 10 minutes?”

“Got it. Talk to you again in 10. Oh yeah. My name’s Evan Townshend. You are?”

“I’m Denzel.”

Dr. Drake looked at me with a puzzled expression as I hung up the phone.

“Please, I’ll need to borrow it again ten minutes I’ll be right back.”


I heard the doctor’s reply as I went outside. As I stood on the sloping porch of the clinic, I saw the car parked at the entrance of the alley leading up to the clinic. As a young man passed by the car, he stopped and kicked the bodywork. When I was with Fabio and Leslie, I used to do the same thing. By doing that, I felt like I could be the same as people who were brought up in the slums. But as I searched my memories, I couldn’t remember ever seeing those two doing that. It was a bit too late now, but I couldn’t believe how stupid I was. I was going to keep watch until the time came, and make sure the car wasn’t stolen, but I couldn’t bear to stay, so I went back inside the clinic.

“Well, that’s impossible for me to— I might be able to do something about the wound— But, what you told me before— No, wait a minute— He hung up. Wonder if he’s coming here.”

The doctor said the last part to me, then held out the phone to me.

“Don’t you practice internal medicine, too?”

“I do, but I don’t know anything about dogs.”


“Yeah, there was a guy who brought in a snake the other day. They’re just about the same as monsters, right?”

“I suppose.”

“But I guess this means there’s room in the world for stuff like that, now. If people are keeping pets and bringing them to doctors when they get sick, I guess the days of worrying about whether there’s anything to eat or not are over..”


“Maybe I should at least study up on dogs and cats.”


I started dialing buttons on the phone, while responding appropriately.

“No more snakes, though.”


Without being offended by my rude reception, The doctor went back to the sofa, opened a book, and began to read. Well, I say book, but it was more like some documents that had been filed. I casually looked while listening to the call tone, and saw a photograph, which took up a whole page. It was a picture of some sort of grotesque thing. When I looked closer, it was an arm, which had been cut off above the elbow. It was slim, maybe a woman’s arm. It seemed to be dried up, but also fresh in certain places. I couldn’t imagine what kind of process it would take to keep a human body in such a state.

“Are you looking at this?” The Doctor seemed to notice that I was looking over his shoulder “I guess this is what they call a mummy.”

“A mummy?”

“If the correct environmental variables are present after death, the body doesn’t decay or become a skeleton, but instead stays like this.”

I couldn’t take my eyes off the photograph. Before long, I felt sick.

“Strife Delivery Service. Sorry, could you call again later?”

This time it was the voice of a young girl. I was stuck for words, because it wasn’t the voice I was expecting.

“Uh— where’s Denzel?”

I finally said.

“Denzel’s condition’s got worse.”

“Same here.”

“Take care.”

I heard a violent clank, and the phone went dead. I thought it was a voice I had heard somewhere before, but I couldn’t concentrate on figuring it out. I couldn’t take my mind off the photograph.

Next Chapter