Cid Wars
by Fritz Fraundorf


There were six of them. And there was soon to be another. But he was not one of them. No, he had been cut! What had he done wrong? Nothing! But he had been cut; he was not one of them. It wasn't right! It was all a conspiracy! They were all plotting against him, all six of them. They thought they were so great. Now it was time for justice to be delivered. They would soon feel his wrath.... the wrath of Evil Cid! Evil Cid

* * *

Part One

Wedge walked into the meeting room of the Highwind, carrying the mail. "Hey, Cid," Wedge said, waving a letter. "You've got mail."

"Can't you see I'm @#$in' busy?" Cid snapped. "Check," he said, moving his knight.

Red XIII examined the chess board. "Are you sure you want to do that?" he asked mildly.

"Of course I'm sure!" Cid replied.

Red XIII sighed and slid his bishop across the board. "Checkmate," he said. "I win."

Cid swore and threw his hands up in the air. "Seven turns!" he shouted. "You're too #$^in' good!"

"Wow, you're almost as bad at chess as Barret is at PaRappa," Cait Sith observed impudently from nearby.

"I heard that, cat," Barret said from across the room.

Wedge stood impatiently in the doorway. "I'll just open it and see if it's anything important." He tore open the letter -- and it exploded. "Not agaiiin!" Wedge's voice trailed off as he was enveloped in the explosion.

There was silence. Cid eventually broke it with a string of curses. "@#$&! That was meant for me!"

"Poor Wedge," Cait Sith said. "How many times has he died now?"

* * *

Cid entered his lab in Baron Castle. His mail was sitting on the table. Out of habit, Cid decided to "Peep" his mail before he opened it. He recoiled in shock as he examined the first letter and stared at its contents.

There was a bomb inside.

Cid gingerly picked up the top letter by its corner and set it aside. He then proceeded to examine the rest of his mail, all of which was harmless, but could not shake the thoughts of the bomb from his mind. Somebody had obviously wanted to kill him... but who?

* * *

Mid opened the Previas' mailbox in Karnak. There was a single letter inside. Mid took it and was heading back towards the house when he heard a loud "WARK!" behind him.

A rabid Chocobo was charging straight towards him. Mid tried to scramble to get out the way, but the Chocobo plowed into him and knocked him down. The letter fell from Mid's hand and was snatched up by the rabid Chocobo, which kept running.

Mid got dizzily to his feet. The rabid Chocobo charged off through Karnak, eating the letter as it went. Suddenly, the Chocobo exploded in a ball of flame and burned up.

"Yikes!" Mid said. "Good thing I didn't open that letter!"

* * *

Evil Cid stood in the so-called Ryukahn Desert; what was really going to be his laboratory. Instead they made it a stupid desert! With an airship buried under the sand that you raised by using a "Floater" stone! What kind of storyline was that? The fools would pay for this outrage!

His letter bombings had apparently failed, but he had a brilliant new plan. He would draw the other false Cids here and deal with them personally. Cackling evilly, he reached over to his newly-constructed radio transmitter and flipped it on...

* * *

"Who could be responsible for this?" Cloud wondered aloud as AVALANCHE gathered in the meeting room of the Highwind.

"Oooh, let's try the Psychic Friends Hotline," Cait Sith said, grabbing the phone off the wall and calling the Psychic Friends Hotline. "Hello?" he asked. "I'd like to know who just sent a letter bomb to Cid Highwind." After a brief pause, Cait said "Thank you" and hung up. He turned to the rest of the group and gave a thumbs-up. "It's the work of the Evil Cid," he reported. "Apparently he wants revenge against all of the Cids."

"I can't believe you actual trust that stuff," Tifa said to him.

"I'm not the one who's paying the phone bill," C.S. shrugged.

"What do you mean, 'all of the Cids?'" Cloud asked Cait.

"Oh no, not those $&*$!in' losers we met in that Guardian Amulet episode," Cid said [note: the Guardian Amulet was another one of my fanfics].

"It stands to reason that those would be the individuals in question," Red XIII said. "And it would seem logical to assume that this Evil Cid would have sent letter bombs to the other Cids as well."

"Tough toasties," Cid said. "Don't think you're draggin' me into another pointless @&#$(in' adventure." Cid crossed his arms and turned away from the group. "I've got things to do. The Highwind needs a tune-up." Lighting a cigarette, Cid turned and marched out of the room. He descended the ladder that led into the Highwind's rarely-seen engine room.

Cid picked up his toolbox from the steel floor of the engine room and set it on a nearby workbench. He then turned to the radio sitting on top of a cabinet and turned it on. As he was turning away, the radio announcer spoke. "You are listening to WCID, the ONLY station dedicated to playing 'MMMBop' 24 hours a day! And now, back to more MMMBop!"

"@#$)(*#$%!" Cid swore. Acting quickly, he spun the dial to a different channel, only to be confronted with exactly the same message. Cid hurriedly slammed the dial to several different channels, but they were all the same. As the song started, Cid tried to turn the radio off, but the on / off switch was stuck on the "on" position. Out of desperation, Cid flung open his toolbox, grabbed a nail gun, and shot the radio. The radio exploded, leaving only a pile of parts with electricity sizzling between them.

"Who @^$%(in' messed with my radio?" Cid said aloud, staring at the broken device.

Cid kicked his toolbox off the bench and stormed back up to the meeting room. "Let's see, I control all of the north continent, so I get three extra guys," Vincent was saying. He picked up the pair of dice from the side of the Risk board and started shaking them. "All right, Barret, I'm attacking the North Corel Area with four guys from the Icicle Area."

"Roll the dice, foo'," Barret said.

Cait Sith looked up. "That was quick," he said, seeing Cid in the doorway.

"Some ^&$%$) messed with my radio," Cid snapped. "Every channel was playing some $%&*! MMMBop crap, and I couldn't turn it off."

"That's terrible!" Cait Sith said. "I'm outraged! I'm going to express my determination with a large-scale letter-writing campaign that will do absolutely no good whatsoever!"

"Are you making fun of me?" Cid demanded.

"I LIKE Hanson," Yuffie protested.

"You would," Barret muttered.

"And not only that... but it was station 'WCID'. What kind of $(&%^ would do that to me?"

"Evil Cid?" Aerith suggested.

"Oh, $%(&$^," Cid swore. "All right, I guess I'm stuck in this, then. Nobody plays Hanson songs on my radio... and lives!"

"So what's the plan?" Cloud asked nonchalantly.

"First, we've got to warn the other Cids," Aerith said. "But how could we possibly do that?"

"I know!" Cait Sith said, jumping off his moogle and onto the table. "We gotta believe!"

"They live on other worlds, right?" Red XIII said. "Couldn't we build a new rocket in Rocket Town and use it to reach the other worlds?"

"Sounds like a plan," Cloud said with a nod.

"It IS a plan," Cait Sith said.

"By the way, it's your turn," Red said to Tifa. "Are you going to go?"

* * *

Rufus sat at his desk in the Shinra Building, doing paperwork. To alleviate the boredom, he reached for the radio on his desk and turned it on.

"You've just been listening to Hanson's MMMBop. And because WCID is the 100% MMMBop station, back to more MMMBop!"

Suddenly, the door to his office flew open as Reno dived in and shot the radio off Rufus's desk. "What was that for?" Rufus asked as Reno picked himself off the ground.

"We've received lots of reports of that happening, Mr. President," Reno said, smoothing his suit. "Apparently something's been scrambling the airwaves with channel WCID and playing nothing but MMMBop. Not only that, but the radios get locked in the 'on' position."

"Who's behind this?" Rufus demanded. "Cid Highwind?"

"That would be the logical assumption, yes," Reno said. "But our intelligence reports that he hates Hanson... then again, our intelligence reports that about almost every human being. Except Yuffie Kisaragi -- but we're not sure if she meets that 'human' requirement anyway."

Rufus's phone rang. The president of Shinra reached for it. "Watch, I bet it has to do with Cid," Reno said to nobody in particular.

"President Rufus of Shinra," Rufus answered the phone.

"This is Cid Highwind," Cid said. "Somebody's messed up my radio. It's only playing Hanson #$%(* now. We think it's some guy called the Evil Cid, who wants revenge against me and the other Cids. So we're trying to warn them about what he's up to, but we need a rocket to get to the other worlds where the Cids live."

"And this is where I come in," Rufus said.

"Right," Cid agreed. "We need you to fund the rocket construction."

"And what's in it for me?" Rufus asked.

"I'm still thinking about that one," Cid said.

"I'll fund the rocket on one condition," Rufus said. "Sephiroth's ghost has taken over Junon and he's turned it into a 'Jenova World' theme park. You were with me on that Guardian Amulet expedition, so you know about that. If you'll testify in Sephiroth's trial for stealing my city, I'll fund the rocket."

"Is that agreement legal?" Cid asked.

"Do you want the rocket or not?" Rufus snapped.

"Oh... right. Okay, that sounds like a fair deal," Cid said.

* * *

Cid and Shera stood on the launching pad in Rocket Town, supervising the construction of the new Shinra-27. Blue-suited Shinra flunkies scurried around the staging area with rocket parts and building supplies. "The rocket's coming along well," Shera observed.

"This time I really am gettin' out into space," Cid said determinedly.

There was silence for a while, until Cid spoke again. "Shera," he said. "There's something I've wanted to ask you for a long time."

"What's that?" Shera asked.

"Why was there #$&%$!in' gravity in the Shinra-26 when it was out in space?"

"Uh... um... I guess... I don't know," Shera stammered, taken aback.

* * *

"Thank the Planet for strategically inserted asterisks," Cait Sith said as the gang stood in front of the completed Shinra-27 rocket. The new rocket was almost identical to the Shinra-26, except, of course, that it said Shinra-27 on the side.

"The rocket's not very big, so we won't all be able to go," Shera explained. "Cid and I will go by ourselves and come back with the other Cids."

"Just out of curiousity, how did you plan to get back?" Red XIII asked.

There was a pause. "Oh, %$%^)@," Cid said. "I knew something was wrong with this plan. Well, we'll worry about that when the time comes. Nothing's going to stop me from launching my rocket."

Cid confidentally strode into the rocket, followed by Shera. "Hey-hey!" a voice behind them called.

Cid and Shera both turned. Palmer was waddling up the steps to the launching pad. "Oh no, it's old fatman Palmer," Cid said.

"Hey-hey!" Palmer said again. "Rufus sent me to monitor the rocket launch!"

Cid glanced at Shera. "Are we going to take this $%&$% along?"

"Do we really have any choice?" Shera asked. "Shinra IS funding the rocket, after all."

"As Barret would say... damn Shinra..." Cid said, lighting a cigarette. "All right, Palmer. You're on."

Cid, Shera, and Palmer boarded the Shinra-27 rocket. "When's the launch?" Palmer asked.

"Any minute now," Shera answered.

"Captain!" a crew member said urgently over the rocket's intercom. "Somebody's in the engine chamber!"

"Not $&%$^)%^*%in' again!" Cid shouted, kicking the wall. "Who is it?"

There was a pause, then the crew member replied, "It's Biggs, sir."

"He's expendable," Cid declared. "Proceed with the launch."

The rocket shook slightly as the girders holding it dropped down. It then shot into the sky, covering the launching pad in a trail of smoke. "Aieeeee!" Biggs screamed as he was incinerated.

* * *

Evil Cid put down the controller to the spy satellite he was using to keep tabs on the other Cids. Everything was working perfectly. Now was the time to activate the next stage of his plan. Evil Cid strode through the sand to his transmitter and pressed a button on the side.

* * *

Windia Castle, Breath of Fire II...

Nina walked into her younger sister Mina's room. After Deathevn had been defeated, the elders of the Dragon Clan had restored Mina into her human form.

Mina was seated on her bed, watching Eichichi's latest creation, a TV. As Nina came into the room, the TV screen suddenly filled up with static. Moments later, the Pocket Monster Pikachu appeared on the screen and flashed its red eyes. Mina instantly toppled over on her bed.

"Mina? Mina? Are you all right?" Nina asked.

Mina sprung to her feet, glowing blue. She started to grow until she was the same height as her sister. Then she shot a bolt of lightning from her hands at Nina that knocked Nina to the ground. "Fool!" she shouted. "I am not Mina! I am... Evil Nina! Mwah ha ha!"

Mina / Evil Nina raised her hands, transformed into the Great Bird, and flew out the window of her room. "Wait!" Nina shouted as she stumbled back to her feet. "Mina! Come back! What are you doing?"

* * *

Cid, Shera, and Palmer stood in the Shinra-27 watching its progress through space on the autopilot display. "The rocket construction sure went quickly," Shera noted.

"We got a lot of the parts used," Palmer explained. "They were from some space station... the Mir, I think it was called."

There was silence.

"This does not bode well," Cid said.

"I guess we could repair the boding device, then," Palmer said, rubbing his bald head.

"Shut up, you $)&$%in' idiot," Cid snapped.

The entire rocket suddenly shook as a large explosion sounded from below. Smoke began to pour up out of the vents from the engine room. Shera scrambled down the ladder to investigate. One of the oxygen tanks had caught fire -- it was old oxygen tank no. 5. Shera struggled to catch her breath as the room filled with smoke, then hurried back up the ladder. "One of the oxygen tanks blew up," she reported.

"$&%^!" Cid swore.

Palmer pressed the button to turn on the intercom that connected the rocket with the control station. "Uh..." he said hesitantly. "Midgar, we have a problem."

* * *

Part Two

Cid Highwind awoke in a bed somewhere with a throbbing headache. As he looked around, he saw he was in a castle. Shera, apparently unconscious, was in another bed on the other side of the room. "Where the spoony am I?" he asked aloud.

"What kind of idiot would ask rhetorical questions?" somebody said.

Cid looked up. Two people were standing over the bed. One was a heavy-set, bearded, man wearing blue clothes, a blue helmet, and goggles. The other was a thinner guy in a white suit.

"You're awake!" the bearded one said. "Remember me? I'm Cid IV." When Cid Highwind, FF4's Cid, and FF6's Cid had met in the Guardian Amulet adventure, they decided to use Roman numerals after their names to distinguish themselves.

"Oh... yeah," Cid VII said, still half unconscious. "What happened to my rocket?"

"It crashed," Cid IV explained. "In the Kaipo Desert. Luckily, you landed on one of your companions -- the fat one. Otherwise you might have been more seriously injured. As it is, you just suffered a minor blow to the head."

"So I did make it to your world," Cid VII said.

"Yup," Cid IV agreed. "Welcome to Baron Castle."

Cid VII grinned in satisfaction. "I did it!" Then a more serious expression crossed his face. "Is the rocket repairable?"

Cid IV shook his head. "It's totalled. The whole thing exploded when it landed."

Cid VII nodded. "One of the oxygen tanks caught fire."

"Nonsense," the thin man in the suit suddenly interrupted in a whiny voice. "It was hit by a missile."

"A missile?" Cid VII snorted. "Don't be ridiculous!"

"It was a missile, all right," the thin man insisted. "I read it on the Internet. It must be true."

"I was spoony there!" Cid VII exploded. "Besides, who would be shooting missiles at small rockets out in the middle of nowhere in space?"

"The aliens," the man said, talking faster and faster. "The same ones who crashed the spaceship at Agart! They've taken over the government! They abducted my best friend! They -" The man suddenly broke off when Cid VII grabbed a book off the bedside table, sat up, and hit him over the head with it.

Cid VII hopped out of bed. "Spoony," he said. He then shook his head. "Huh? Why did I say that?"

"You were probably trying to swear," Cid IV said. "The laws of physics are different here. If you try to swear, it's somehow censored and changed to 'spoony.'"

"What kind of spoony is that?" Cid VII said. "No, I didn't mean that! Oh, spoony!"

"Don't bother trying to fight it," Cid IV advised. "But you haven't told me yet... what did you come all this way for?"

"Cid, you know anything about an 'Evil Cid' fellow?"

"Evil Cid?" Cid IV repeated. "Can't say that I've heard of him. Who is he?"

"He's some fake Cid or something," Cid VII said. "The spoony took over all the radio stations on my planet and turned them into WCID, which plays nothing but MMMBop spoony. Oh yeah, and he sent me a letter bomb."

"I got a letter bomb a few days ago," Cid IV said quickly. "Evil Cid too?"

"Evil Cid's out for revenge against the other Cids," Cid VII said. "I came here to warn you."

"We'd better get to the other Cids quickly," Cid IV said. "Evil Cid may have sent them bombs too. Follow me." Cid IV started for the stairs.

"What about Shera and fatman Palmer?" Cid VII asked with a nod towards the other bed.

"The fat one's had a concussion," Cid IV said. "He'll be out of action for a while." He then looked at Shera. "She should be recovered pretty soon, though."

The thin man shook off his stunned condition and immediately started talking again. "And they built crop circles! The Tower of Bab-il; they built that too! They're the ones who censor everything we say! It's all a conspiracy!"

"We can pick her up on the way back," Cid IV said.

"Back? Where are we going?" Cid VII asked.

"Follow me," Cid IV urged, running down the stairs.

Cid VII followed him, leaving the thin man ranting at the walls. "The face on the moon! The face on the moon!"

Cid IV lead Cid VII through Baron Castle and out the front gates. He then took Cid VII around behind the castle and into a grassy field. Sitting in the middle of the field was a huge mechanical whale.

Cid IV motioned towards it with an extravagant gesture. "Behold the Big Whale, our spaceship."

"A whale?" Cid VII said. "What kind of a spoony spaceship is that?"

"We didn't exactly have any choice," Cid IV said in an injured tone. "It's our only chance, anyways. I'll get this loaded; you go check on Shera."

* * *

Cid IV paced the Big Whale, waiting for Cid VII. The newest Cid eventually arrived with Shera. "I'll pilot," Cid IV said. "Where to first?"

"I guess we'd better go pick up that loser in a raincoat," Cid VII said.

Cid IV walked to the center of the spaceship and touched the Crystal of Flight. The Big Whale started to levitate and rose from the ground until it passed through the atmosphere and out into space.

While the Big Whale plodded through space towards Cid VI's planet, Cid VII and Shera took a look around the ship. A door in the back of the main room led into the Big Whale's sleeping quarters. Cid VII poked his head into a narrow passage in the back. "Hey," he said. "There's a big fat Chocobo back here. Kinda reminds me of Palmer."

"WARK!" the Chocobo bellowed.

The pair then climbed down a ladder into a wide, dark, room. It was hangar in which was stored Cid IV's airship, the Enterprise. "Preparing for landing," Cid IV said from above. "Please return all seats to the upright position and turn off all portable electronic devices."

Cid VII and Shera returned to the main room of the Big Whale as it landed on the Solitary Island. The two Cids ran out and found Cid VI's tiny hut. Cid IV knocked on the door.

Cid VI opened, peered out, and started in surprise. "Who are you?" he asked.

"Remember us?" Cid IV asked. "I'm Cid IV, and this is Cid VII."

"Oh, the other Cids," Cid VI said, recalling the pair. "What brings you here?"

"Evil Cid," Cid VII said. "He's out for revenge against the other Cids. Did you get a letter bomb?"

"No," Cid VI said. "No, I didn't. But then the carrier pigeons take a long time to get out to this little island."

"It's not raining out, and you were indoors anyway," Cid VII blurted. "So why the #@%*$%$ are you wearing a raincoat?"

Cid VI ignored him. "Am I being recruited here?"

"That's the general idea," Cid IV said. "We've brought my spaceship, the Big Whale. Grab your airship and let's go."

Cid VI cringed and started to fidget nervously.

"You forgot," Cid VII said to Cid IV. "This poser doesn't HAVE an airship... and he calls himself a Cid."

"It's not my fault," Cid VI protested. "I'll see what I can do."

"We'll be waiting for you at the Big Whale," Cid IV said.

"$%*!@ poser," Cid muttered under his breath as Cid VI returned to his hut.

* * *

Cid VI charged up the hill to where the Big Whale was parked, riding in a suit of Magitek Armor. Two Imperial soldiers in more armor followed him.

"What's this?" Cid IV asked.

"Magitek Armor," Cid VI explained somewhat apologetically. "It was the best I could come up with. It's a new model, though -- it can fly. I also brought two friends along." He gestured towards the pair trailing along.

"Hi," said one of the soldiers. "I'm Wedge and this is Biggs, but he goes by Vicks."

"I sure hope we don't die again," Vicks said.

"All right, get on," Cid VII said. "We'll put the Magitek Armor down in the hangar."

Wedge and Vicks took the Magitek Armor to the hangar while the Cids and Shera gathered on the bridge. "All right, next we need to pick up Cid V," Shera said.

"Never met him," Cid VII said.

"We should be able to find him," Cid IV said. He walked to the Crystal of Flight and touched it. The Big Whale took off and flew towards the FF5 world.

"We're out in the vaccuum of space, in a spaceship," Cid VII said to Cid VI. "So WHY THE #$*&$% are you wearing a raincoat?"

"We're here," Cid VI announced as the Big Whale landed near the town of Karnak. The three Cids disembarked, leaving Shera, Wedge, and Vicks behind.

After asking around, the three Cids found their way to the Previas' house. Cid IV knocked on the door, and a short blond kid in glasses answered it. "Hello?" the kid said.

"Uh... does Cid live here?" Cid IV asked.

"Yeah, hang on, I'll get him," the kid said. He disappeared inside the house, and shortly Cid V appeared at the door.

"Cid Previa," Cid V introduced himself. "What can I do for you?"

"I'm Cid Highwind," Cid VII said. "Cid VII. These are Cid IV and Cid VI. We're the other Cids. You would be Cid V."

"Pleased to meet you," Cid V said, shaking hands with the other Cids.

"No fair," Cid VI said. "You have a last name."

"Maybe if you took off that raincoat, you'd get one," Cid VII snapped.

"Do you know about Evil Cid?" Cid IV asked. Cid V shook his head. "He's a renegade Cid that's out for revenge against us and the other Cids. We're trying to gather up all the Cids to defeat him."

"All right, count me in," Cid V said. "Can I bring Mid along, too?"

"Mid?" Cid VI asked.

"He's my grandson," Cid V said. "He's a Cid-in-Training."

"All right, bring him along," Cid VII said.

Cid V turned inside the house. "Mid!" he called. The short blonde kid returned to the doorway. "Mid, these are the other Cids -- Cid VII, Cid VI, and Cid IV. They need our help to defeat the Evil Cid."

"All right," Mid said. "Let's go."

"Just who is this Evil Cid guy, anyway?" Cid V asked.

Cid VII scratched his head. "Now that you mention it, I never bothered to find out."

"Hang on," Cid V said. "I'll find out." He ran off and returned several minutes later carrying a turtle tucked under one arm.

"This better be important," Sage Ghido said.

"We just have one question for you," Cid V said. "Who is Evil Cid?"

"He's really Cid I," Sage Ghido said. "Except that there is no Cid I. He got cut, you see, and now he's out for revenge."

* * *

The Big Whale landed near the town of Canaan. The ever-increasing group of Cids disembarked and entered the town. They soon located the residence of Cid III.

"What can I do for you?" Cid III asked.

"We're the other Cids," Cid IV greeted. "I'm Cid IV, these are Cids, V, VI, and VII, and you're Cid III. Cid I's turned evil, and we need your help to stop him."

Cid III paused to digest this information. "Oh. Okay. All right, then."

"You didn't get any suspicious mail, did you?" Cid IV asked.

"No, can't say that I did," Cid III replied.

"Must be the crappy technology they have here," Cid VII said. "You people have cable yet?"

"Huh?" Cid III asked.

"Didn't think so," Cid VII said half to himself. Then another thought occured to him. "You DO have an airship, don't you?"

"Of course," Cid III said indignantly. "All Cids do."

"Hey," Cid VI protested.

"In fact we have several," Cid III said. "The -"

"We?" Cid VII cut in. "Do you have a split personality or something?"

Cid III ignored him. " - Enterprise, the Nautilus, the Invincible.."

"Hey, the Enterprise is MY airship," Cid IV said. "I'm suing."

"You have three airships?" Cid VI asked. "Can I have one? PLEEEEEASE?"

"Stop whining," Cid VII said, pulling the hood of Cid VI's raincoat down over his face. "You don't get an airship until you take off that damn raincoat."

"Stop arguing!" Cid V shouted, holding his head. "I thought we were after Evil Cid! We've got to hurry to make sure Cid II doesn't get a bomb."

"I thought Cid II was dead," Cid III said.

"Hmmm... that's right," Cid IV said.

"Let's go to his world anyway," Cid VII said. "Maybe they've appointed a new Cid."

* * *

The Big Whale landed near the town of Poft. The five Cids got off and entered the town. "This is where the old Cid lived," Cid III said. "Maybe somebody knows something about there being a new Cid."

Cid VII grabbed a passing citizen. "Hey, you!" he said. "You know if there's a new Cid?"

"A new Cid?" the citizen said. "What was wrong with the old one?"

"I thought he was dead," Cid VII said.

"Nope," the citizen said. "He's still alive. He was wounded in the war, but he's still alive."

"Oh," Cid VII said as the citizen passed on. The Cids poked around town until they found Cid II's house.

Cid IV knocked on the door. Cid II peered out. "Yeah?" he asked. "What do you want?"

"Are you Cid?" Cid IV asked.

"That's me," Cid II said. "Wait, I think I know who you are. You're probably the other Cids."

"Uh... yeah, as a matter of fact, we are," Cid VII said, taken aback.

Cid II opened the door fully and stepped onto the doorstep. "Why am I last?" Cid II he snapped. "Is it just 'cause I'm 8-bit? Is that it?"

"I didn't say that, I -" Cid VII started.

"Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinkin'!" Cid II snapped. "You're thinkin' that Cid II ain't a real Cid 'cause he doesn't have those fancy pol-ee-gons. Well, I've got more Cid in my little fingers than all you youngsters do put together!"

"We were just -"

"You probably thought I was dead too, didn't you? Takes more than a bunch of Imperial flunkies to stop the likes of me! Why, one time back in the summer of '42 I -"

"Are you #$%@#$in' coming with us or not?" Cid VII asked irritably.

"Come with you? Why would I come with you when you're swearing like that? Someone should wash your mouth out with soap, young man! That's the problem with kids these days. Got no respect for their elders!"

"But Cid I's gone berserk!" Cid VII protested. "He's turned into Evil Cid, and he's taken over all the radio stations and -"

"Eh? Radio stations?" Cid II said. "What are those? Is that another one of your new-fangled inventions? Limit Breaks, Materia, it's all a load of rubbish! Back in the good old days, all I had was a dagger and a Fire 1 spell, and I was dang pleased to have 'em!"

"We've got to stop him!" Cid VII continued. "And the only way is if all of us Cids unite."

"And we didn't have any call spells either!" Cid II continued. "Knights of the Round... hmph! You kids are just spoiled rotten. In my day, it took actual skill to beat a boss! Actual skill, y'hear?"

Cid IV calmly rapped Cid II on the head with his hammer, knocking #2 out. "I hate to do that, but what other choice did we have?"

"I'll go find his airship," Cid V said. "Meet you back at the Big Whale."

* * *

When the Cids to the Big Whale, they found three similar-looking girls with wings. "Are you the Cids?" one of them asked.

"That's us," Cid VII said. "Uh, except for that #$%*in' fellow in the raincoat."


"We're the Ninas. I'm Nina II, and these are Nina I and Nina III. We're looking for Evil Nina."

"Evil Nina?" Cid VII repeated.

"It seems to be spreading," Cid IV observed.

"Evil Nina has teamed up with a fellow named Evil Cid," Nina III explained. "We thought that since Evil Nina was trying to get revenge on us, Evil Cid might be after you Cids."

"Damn right he is," Cid VII said. "He's replaced all the radio stations with his 24-hour MMMBop $%@&$%."

"Why?" Nina I asked, puzzled.

"Why?" Cid VII repeated. "He's one of those crazed evil maniac type people! He doesn't need a #$)%(*$%in' reason! Unless it was some kind of trap... designed... to.. lure... us... to him..." His voice trailed off and he stared blankly ahead, thinking.

"I smell evil," Cid VI said.

"No, you smell terrible," Cid VII said, cracking up.

"Shut up, Cid VII," Cid III said.

"So now what are we going to do?" Cid IV asked.

"We don't have any choices," Cid VII said. "Trap or not, he's playing Hanson music on the radio. It's a crime against all of humanity. We must stop him."

An airship landed behind the group with Cid V on deck. "I found Cid II's airship," he reported.

"Thanks for pointing that out," Cid VI said.

"Stop trying to be #@$%@ funny," Cid VII said. "And take off that raincoat."

"That's Cid V," Cid IV introduced his fellow Cid. "Cid V, these are the Ninas: Nina I, Nina II, and Nina III. They're in pursuit of Evil Nina, who's teamed up with Evil Cid."

"Oh," Cid V said. "Okay."

"Don't stop to try to understand the storyline," Cid IV said. "It's just a waste of time. C'mon, let's get going. Next stop, Cid I's world!"

* * *

"Cid?" Evil Nina asked Evil Cid. The pair were in Evil Cid's laboratory-under-construction

"Yeah?" Evil Cid asked. "What?"

"We've stunned the greater part of the population of the universe with Pikachu broadcasts," Evil Nina mused. "Why stop with just the Cids and Ninas? Nobody can stop us!"

"Hmmm..." Evil Cid considered the idea. "That's an awfully devious, underhanded, diabolical plot. Sounds good to me!"

Suddenly, a huge mechanical whale descended from the sky. The whale hovered in mid-air and deployed four airships and several flying suits of Magitek Armor. On board the fleet stood the Cids, Mid, the Ninas, Vicks, Wedge, and Shera.

"Stop right there, Evil Cid!" Cid III shouted.

"I've been expecting you," Evil Cid sneered.

"Wouldn't want to disappoint you, then," Mid said as Vicks tried to lock a missile on Evil Cid.

Evil Cid reached behind his radio transmitter and grabbed a bazooka. He fired it at Vicks's hovering Magitek armor. "Oh, no, not again," Vicks muttered. He tried to pilot his armor out of the way, but while he was fiddling with the controls, the bazooka shell struck the front of the armor and exploded, destroying the Magitek Armor and Vicks.

"Pathetic fools!" Evil Cid. "I am the real Cid! Did you really think you could stop me by cutting me from the game! Impostors! I am the real Cid! Now we shall see who really deserves to be a Cid!"

"Not him," Cid VII muttered, jerking a thumb towards Cid VI.

"Don't people like him usually belong in padded cells?" Cid III said.

"Bad guys always explain their plans," Cid IV whispered. "Let's get him while he's talking."

"You're already too late," Evil Cid continued his rant, apparently unaware of the airships that were landing on all sides of him. "My broadcast scramblers have paralyzed the populace of the galaxy! You are powerless to stop me!"

Evil Cid suddenly found Cid VII's spear pointed at his throat. "Yeah?" Cid VII said. "You and whose army?"

"This army!" Evil Nina said, stepping forward. She raised both her hands and cast a spell. Hundreds of purple stars spun out from her hands and settled down over the desert. Where each star landed, a violet-colored Moogle rose from the ground.

"Moogles?" Cid V said in surprise.

One Moogle, who was wearing a Burger King crown, stepped forward. "We are the Evil Moogles," he said in a raspy voice. "We have come to seek vengeance for the eradication of our species by the Chocobos."

The Moogles rushed towards the party of Cids and Ninas. As pike-wielding Moogles swarmed around his feet, Cid VII turned from Evil Cid and cast a Comet 2 spell. Asteroids rained down from the sky, pelting the Evil Moogles, but they continued their attack.

"In my day, only MAGIC USERS could use magic!" Cid II shouted as he kicked an approaching Moogle onto its back. "Yessiree bob, you were darned lucky if you could cast magic when I was a young 'un. If you were a fighter - ha! You couldn't magic a rock down a hill!"

Cid VI fired a barrage of TekMissiles at the Moogles that were attacking him as he tried to wade through the tide of Moogles towards Evil Cid. Nina II cast Typhoon on a band of Evil Moogles, sweeping them away. Meanwhile, Evil Cid and Evil Nina were dragging the broadcast scrambler towards the mountains.

"They're getting away!" Nina I said as she ran a Moogle through with her rapier. She transformed into her bird form and flew over the Moogle hordes after the fleeing duo.

Evil Nina changed into her own bird form and spiraled up to block Nina I. Meanwhile, Evil Cid was pressing some buttons on the broadcast scrambler, which was pointed towards the battle. "Prepare for impact, troops!" he shouted as the device's built-in monitor came on.

The Evil Moogles all shut their eyes tight and turned away from the scrambler. Pikachu appeared on the monitor and flashes his red eyes at the Cids and Ninas. All of them had seizures and collapsed to the ground. "Oops," Evil Cid cackled. "My bad." He pressed another button and the monitor switched off.

The Moogles, all carefully avoiding eye contact with Pikachu, opened their eyes. They picked up the stunned Cids and Ninas and carried them towards the mountains.

* * *

Yuffie slid open the doors of the Highwind's meeting room. "Guys?" she asked. "I'm feeling airsick again. Can I turn on the radio? MMMBop usually makes me feel better."

"Guys?" Yuffie repeated, peering into the meeting room. Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret, Red XIII, Cait Sith, and Vincent were all lying unconscious on the floor in front of the TV. "Guys?"

Yuffie looked around the room. "I guess they won't mind if I turn on the radio, then."

* * *

When Cid VII recovered from his seizure, he found himself hanging upside down from a chain inside a cave. He looked around and saw that the other members of the party were in a similar predicament. More importantly, there was a pool of lava underneath him. By craning his neck, Cid saw Evil Cid, Evil Nina, and some Evil Moogles loading the broadcast scrambler onto Evil Cid's airship.

Cid VII looked up. There was some sort of pulley system on the ceiling that was holding the chains up. It was obviously rigged to drop them in the lava after a certain amount of time, which was being displayed on a LED panel on the side of the pulley device. The clock read 5:00.

Evil Cid laughed, well, evily. "I hope you weren't planning anything for the rest of the afternoon," he chuckled. "It looks like you'll just be hanging around, heh heh. That is, until you're dropped into the lava in five minutes."

"@#$(*$%!" Cid VII swore. "Why not just kill us right now instead of coming up with some $%$@! elaborate plan like this that just gives us a chance to escape?"

Evil Cid produced a worn yellow book from his coat and thumbed through it. "World Conquest for Dummies: A Reference For the Rest of Us, Chapter 13. Under no circumstances should you attempt to kill heroes directly. Always use the most elaborate method possible to kill the heroes, preferably one involving a bomb or other device equipped with a digital readout that counts down the exact amount of time left until the heroes die. Remember, the heroes always need some roundabout way of escaping, but don't let them know -- just laugh evily about it and leave them to their demise."

Evil Cid closed up the book and put it back in his coat. "Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got world domination to attend to. Have a nice day!" He, Evil Nina, and the Moogles boarded the airship, which Evil Cid had converted into a spaceship.

"Back in my day, we only died when we ran out of hit points!" Cid II shouted at him as Evil Cid turned the igntion. "All these new-fangled traps and whatnot, it's too much for me!"

Evil Cid's airship rose up through a hole in the ceiling of the cave, then it turned off and took off into space.

There was a brief silence, until Cid VII spoke. "Cid VI," he addressed his comrade. "We're about to be dunked into a lava pit, and you're still wearing a #%*$&% raincoat! SO JUST #$%&$%IN' TAKE IT OFF! NOW!!!!

"There's got to be some way out of here," Nina III said.

"Better hurry," Mid said, looking up at the clock. "We've only got 4 minutes left."

"Hey, that's still 3 minutes and 59 seconds to spare," Cid III said.

By leaning forward, Shera managed to get her chain to swing in that direction. She then leaned back and the chain swung in the opposite direction. She continued to lean back and forth until the chain was swinging back and forth a good distance.

2 and a half minutes...

As the chain swung towards the wall, Shera grabbed a handhold on it and waited for the chain to stop shaking. She then started to climb up the wall.

2 minutes...

When Shera reached the top of the wall, she grabbed a handhold on the pulley and reached over to the LED panel, which now read 1:45. "I can just reach the controls," she reported.

"Good," Cid VII said. "Now #$%*in' get us down from here."

1 and a half minutes...

Shera examined the pulley controls. There were two wires hanging from the LED panel, one red and one blue. "There's two wires," she reported. "Looks like I'm going to have cut one of them... which one?"

1 minute...

Shera fumbled in her lab coat for a pair of pliers. "Red or blue? Which should I pick?" she wondered.

45 seconds...

"Does anybody ever pick the wrong one?" Cid IV asked rhetorically.

30 seconds...

Shera tried to trace the wires through the device, but they disappeared inside the LED panel. Their function was unknown.

20 seconds...

"I'll try the blue one," Shera said nervously.

15 seconds...

Shera cut the blue wire with the pliers. There was a clinking sound and the chain holding Wedge opened up. With a despairing cry, Wedge plummeted into the lava.

5 seconds...

"I guess there's a first time for everything," Cid IV said with a shrug.

3 seconds...

Shera cut the red wire. A slight rumble emitted from the LED panel, and then the countdown stopped at 0:01. "It's stopped," Shera announced.

"Great," Nina II said. "Now how are we going to get down from here?"

"I think there's a switch up here that will open the chains," Shera said, examining the panel.

"Don't press it!" Cid III shouted. "We'll all just fall into the lava."

"I wasn't going to," Shera said.

"Hold on," Nina I said. She shifted in her chain and began to shimmer. Her form shifted into that of a bird. "All right, let me go, she said."

Shera studied the switches carefully, then flicked the one corresponding to Nina I's chain. The chain opened up and dropped Nina towards the lava. Nina quickly flew back up into the air and positioned herself under Nina II. "All right, drop me," Nina II said. Shera did. Nina II fell onto Nina I's back, and Nina I ferried her out of the cave. She then returned for the next trip.

* * *

When Nina I had transported the whole group outside the cave, the Cids started to look around for any sign of Evil Cid. "He's definitely hit the road," Cid V said.

"And he's taken that #$%&$% scrambler with him," Cid VII said.

"He didn't say where he was going, did he?" Mid asked.

"Nope," Cid III said. "We'd better just take a guess."

"Let's go back to my world first," Cid VII said. "I want to pick up my airship."

* * *

Part Three

Evil Cid, Evil Nina, and the moogles got off the Ropeway at the Gold Saucer. The usual people in Chocobo suits were gone. As they stepped towards the entrance, the receptionist greeted them. "Welcome to the Gold Saucer."

Evil Cid turned to Kustig, the Burger King crown-wearing leader of the Evil Moogles and snapped his fingers. Kustig ran the receptionist through with his pike.

The group continued on into the Gold Saucer. The Station Square was deserted. Evil Cid put his goggles on and hopped down the chute leading to the Battle Square, and the others followed him.

Evil Cid looked around the Battle Square. Everyone was lying unconscious on the floor. Pikachu was flashing his red eyes on the monitors. "Put your goggles on," he said. Evil Nina and the Moogles all put on dark goggles and proceeded into the room.

Evil Cid turned to his moogle troops. "You know the plan, Kustig," he said. "Get moving."

"Yes, sir!" Kustig said, saluting. "Kupo!" He and the other Moogles hurried out of the room.

Evil Cid walked into Dio's showroom and carefully searched the room. He eventually found what he was looking for: a big red button labeled "Please do not press this button. Thank you." Evil Cid grinned evily and pushed it.

* * *

After the 33rd straight iteration of MMMBop, Yuffie was feeling much better. "I wonder what's on TV," she said aloud. Yuffie walked over to the TV and flipped it on. Pikachu popped up and flashed his eyes.

Yuffie stared at it for a while, unaffected by its evil power. "Boring," she said. She changed the channel, but Pikachu was on every channel. Disgusted, she turned off the TV.

Yuffie picked up the TV Guide and looked at it. "What's going on here?" she wondered. "What happened to Chocobo Joe's Cartoon Fun Hour?"

Suddenly, a spear flew across the room, piercing the TV Guide and knocking it out of Yuffie's hands. Yuffie whirled as Cid VII entered the room and raised her hands innocently. "I didn't do anything!" she said. "I don't know what happened!"

"Then what happened to them?" Cid VII asked, looking at the unconscious FF7 characters.

"You call that a party?" Cid II snorted. "What kind of characters are those? A dumb-looking cat on a fat moogle? Some weird dog critter? Count Dracula? Where are the black mages with the pointy yellow hats? Where are -" Cid III clamped his hand over Cid II's mouth to shut him up.

"I don't know," Yuffie said to Cid VII. "Really, I don't! I was in the engine room as usual, and when I walked in here, everybody was just lying on the floor!"

Cid VII bent and examined the PlayStation underneath the TV. It was on. He opened it and looked inside. "Looks like they were playing PaRappa," he observed. "I wonder if Barret's gotten off the first level yet."

Cid VII reached up and flipped the TV on. He suddenly found himself staring at Pikachu. Pikachu flashed his eyes and Cid fell to the ground.

"Cid?" Yuffie asked, looking down. "What happened?"

"Turn it off!" Cid V shouted, looking away from the TV. "TURN IT OFF!"

Yuffie switched the TV off. "What was wrong with that?" she asked, puzzled. "I mean, it's kind of boring, but..."

"It gives you seizures!" Cid VI exclaimed. "It's part of Evil Cid's schemes!"

"Oh," Yuffie said, shrugging. "Yeah, I heard about that. I think it only works on carbon-based lifeforms."

"Cid? Cid? Are you all right?" Shera asked, waving a hand over Cid VII's face. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

Cid VII sat up. "Will somebody shoot that @#$*&#$ radio?" he asked. The radio was still on, playing MMMBop over and over.

"But I LIKE Hanson," Yuffie protested.

Nina II grabbed the radio and pitched it out the window of the Highwind. It fell several miles and landed on a tiny island inhabited by a primitive tribe of Moogles, who thought it was an offering from the gods and built a great shrine in its honor where all the Moogles gathered to listen to MMMBop. This custom persisted until a duck flying overhead was killed in a freak thunderstorm and also fell onto the island, starting a religious war between the Moogles that worshipped the radio and those that worshipped the duck. This problem was eventually solved when a clever Moogle came up with the idea of having the duck sing MMMBop. Unfortunately, the duck soon died from lack of oxygen because the Moogles were making it sing MMMBop non-stop 24 hours a day, and the Moogles all took the duck's death as an omen and all committed ritualistic suicide. It would have made a very tragic story, except nobody knew about the island in the first place.

But on with the story.

"Why doesn't somebody do something about that ##$%$ Pocket Monster?" Cid snapped. He grabbed the phone and pressed the speed-dialer button for Rufus's office. The phone rang several times.

"Hello, you have reached President Shinra's office. Rufus is not able to come to the phone right now. Please leave your message at the sound of the Chocobo wark - click!" Cid VII hung up the phone.

"Nobody was there," he reported. "Pikachu probably got them too."

"Is there anywhere that isn't paralyzed?" Nina I wondered. "This could be trouble."

There was silence, then Shera snapped her fingers. "Gongaga Town!" she exclaimed.

"Huh?" Yuffie asked.

"They don't use electricity," Shera explained. "They won't have any TVs."

"Oh yeah, that place," Yuffie said. "It sucks. They don't have anything worth stealing."

"Maybe they have some idea what to do about this," Cid VII said. "Yuffie, stay here. Don't let anybody on the Highwind."

"Yeah, okay, sure," Yuffie said nonchalantly. "Whatever."

* * *

The Cids, Ninas, Mid, and Shera entered the hut of the elder of Gongaga Town. "Well, hello," the elder said. "We don't get many visitors to this town. What can I do for you?"

"Are you aware that the rest of the world is paralyzed?" Mid asked.

The elder appeared shaken. "No, n-no, can't say that I do."

"It's the work of Evil Cid and Evil Nina," Nina III explained. "They've overrode all the TV broadcasts with the Pocket Monster Pikachu, whose flashing eyes give people seizures."

"Isn't there anything we can do?" Cid III asked.

"I believe I have the solution," the elder said. "I think we kept it after the.... disaster." The elder walked into the adjoining room and started looking for something.

Cid VII ducked as a huge plush elephant flew through the door and almost hit him in the head. The elephant was followed by a pogo stick, a box of ravioli, a toilet, a live seal, and a crate of Smurf figurines. Then the elder emerged from the room, carrying a videotape. "Here it is," he said.

"What is it?" Cid V asked.

"It's a videotape of a Mr. Cool Whip commercial," the elder explained. "I believe if we build our own broadcast scrambler and display this, it will counteract the evil effects of Pikachu. The only question is how to make that scrambler."

"Hey, no problem," Cid IV said. "We're the Cids; we can build just about anything."

"Better count him out," Cid VII said, pointing at Cid VI.

"Oh, knock it off," Cid VI said.

* * *

A short hour later, the Cids stood in front of their completed broadcast scrambler. "Allllrighty then," Cid IV said, putting the Mr. Cool Whip tape in the scrambler. "Let's see if this works."

"We'd better take it outside first," Shera said.

The group hauled the broadcast scrambler outside. Cid IV flipped it on. The scrambler began to hum quietly.

Mid pointed up into the air. "What's that?" he asked.

Cid VII looked up. A large circular gold-colored vehicle was soaring through the sky. "What the @#$@!?" Cid exclaimed. "That looks like part of the Gold Saucer!"

"Not only that, but it's got the Sister Ray strapped to the bottom of it," Shera noted.

"How did that happen?" Cid VII wondered.

"I'll give you three clues, and they're all Evil Cid," Cid III said.

"All this talk of broadcast scramblers and flying saucers; I don't get it," Cid II said. "What happened to the good old days of lost keys 'n' castles, that's what I want to know."

"Oh, just shut up," Cid VII snapped.

"And I bet then we'll have one of those F-M-V clips and whatnot," Cid II snapped. "I won't have any of it! It's games like yours that have made this industry the way it is! Look at me, I'm an 8-bit sprite and I could whup the lot of you before breakfast. You're just spoiled because you have 6000 hit points. In my day, we were lucky to get into triple digits by the end of the game."

"SHUT UP!" Cid VII roared.

"It's flying to the east," Nina II observed of the Saucer.

"I don't know what he's up to, but it can't be good," Cid VII said. "Let's get that #@#%$&%." The Cids, Ninas, Shera, and Mid hurried out of town and back through the jungle to where they had parked the Big Whale.

* * *

Rufus woke up, although he hadn't ever remembered that he was asleep. Looking around, he saw that he was sitting at his desk in his office in the Shinra Building. The TV on his desk was on, showing a Mr. Cool Whip commercial. He must have nodded off momentarily. Rufus checked his watch, only to see that it was earlier than he had fallen asleep. With a start, he pressed the date button on his watch -- it was the next day!

Something very unusual was going on here. Rufus decided to utilize the time-honored bureaucratic tradition and let somebody else deal with it. He pressed a button on his desk to call Reeve. "Reeve, what is going on here?" he demanded. "And why do I have this sudden craving for Cool Whip?"

"I don't know, sir," Reeve said. "I think I fell asleep or something. The last thing I remember was a Pocket Monster appearing on my computer monitor."

"Hmmm..." Rufus said as he hung up. "..a Pocket Monster. Something is fishy here." Rufus recalled the events of the past week: first there was that incident with the radio -- Evil Cid! Cid Highwind claimed that an Evil Cid had scrambled the radio; what if he had scrambled the TV broadcasts? That would explain the Pocket Monster, but why had he fallen asleep?

"Sir!" Reeve's voice cut in on the emergency annoucement system. "Part of the Gold Saucer is flying directly towards Midgar!"

"Part of the Gold Saucer?" Rufus repeated. "Are you sure? What's it doing flying around?"

"I don't know, but it's got some huge weapon on it!" Reeve said.

"Dio would have let me know if he was planning something," Rufus mused. "Fire the Sister Ray!"

There was a brief pause as Reeve scrambled to execute the order, but his voice soon returned. "Uh... sir?" he said nervously. "The Sister Ray's missing!"

* * *

"What happened?" Cecil wondered, shaking his head to clear his mind. "The last thing I remember was some huge yellow critter with red eyes."

"It must be a conspiracy!" the thin man shouted.

"Shut up," Cecil said. He got up to turn off the TV, which was now displaying an endlessly-repeating Mr. Cool Whip commercial.

"Cool Whip," Cecil said dreamily.

"Huh?" Rosa asked.

"We need.... Cool Whip," Cecil said in a distant voice. "Lots and lots of... Cool Whip."

"Cecil? Are you all right?" Rosa asked.

"Cool Whip," Cecil said. "Somebody order some Cool Whip! Buy out the factory! We need Cool Whip!"

"He seems hypnotized," Rosa said.

"Do you want us to get the Cool Whip?" a retainer asked.

Cecil nodded. "Cool Whip," he said. "We need Cool Whip!" The retainer hurried from the room to obey the order.

"Snap out of it, Cecil!" Rosa said. She cast Heal on Cecil.

"Cool Whip..." Cecil said again, then stopped. He looked around. "Cool Whip? Was I talking about Cool Whip?"

"Don't worry about it," Rosa said.

* * *

Cid VII hopped from the Enterprise onto the deck of the Highwind, while the Big Whale hovered overhead. He hurried down inside. Yuffie, for once, had apparently managed to not steal anything (including, but not limited to, the airship itself). When he entered the meeting room, he found a conscious Cloud and the rest of the group awaiting him.

"Hey, Cid," Cloud said. "You're back. How 'bout them Mariners?"

"@#$&*($%$!" Cid shouted at him. "You're doing it agian!"

"What happened?" Aerith asked. "I think we lost consciousness or something."

"Barret must've been rappin' really bad," Cait Sith said, staring at the TV. PaRappa had been replaced by an endlessly-repeating Mr. Cool Whip commercial.

"Oh, just shut up," Barret said.

"I guess it worked, then," Cid said approvingly.

"What worked?" Vincent asked.

"Can somebody bring another radio in here?" Yuffie asked. "I want to listen to MMMBop again."

"The other Cids and I overrode Evil Cid's @#$*% Pikachu with a Mr. Cool Whip commercial," Cid explained.

"Pikachu?" Aerith asked. "What's Pikachu?"

"It's a @$%*&%in' Pocket Monster, or somethin'," Cid said. "Its eyes give you seizures."

"Mr. Cool Whip rules!" Cait Sith said. He began to sing the Mr. Cool Whip song. "I'm Mr. Cool Whip, the hippest in town... what the?" Cait Sith switched into Reeve's voice. "Someone's stolen the Sister Ray!"

"It's Evil Cid!" Cid said urgently. "He's stolen the Gold Saucer! Speaking of which, I need the Highwind. I'll drop you folks off at Gongaga Town -- that's where our broadcast scrambler is. Don't let any @#$#$ mess it up."

* * *

As Cid dropped off the rest of the group at Gongaga Town, he found a small army of Moogles waiting for him, plus one yeti. "Kupo!" Mog exclaimed. "You must be Cid VII."

"That's me," Cid said. "What are you?"

"Uhhhhhh..." Umaro said.

"We're the good Moogles," Mog said. "We've come to stop Kustig and the Evil Moogles. Oh, and that's Umaro the yeti. We're from Cid VI's world."

"That @#$*& in a raincoat?" Cid VII said. "Oh well, the more the merrier. Hop on board." The Moogles climbed onto the Highwind. When they had all boarded, Cid took off. The Highwind rose up into the air towards the docking bay of the Big Whale, located on the rear bottom of the spaceship. The automated double doors of the docking bay slid open and Cid VII parked the Highwind alongside Cid VI's Enterprise, Cid III's Nautilus, Cid VI's Magitek Armor, and Cid II's and Cid V's unnamed airships.

Cid VII and the Moogles hopped off and proceeded up to the bridge of the Big Whale, where the other Cids, the Ninas, Shera, and Mid were waiting.

"Uh, I brought some friends here," Cid VII said, gesturing towards the mass of Moogles.

"Kupo!" Mog exclaimed. "I'm Mog, and we're the good Moogles! We've come to stop Kustig and the Evil Moogles! Kupoppo!"

"The Gold Saucer's almost to Midgar," Mid reported from a radar screen.

"Don't worry, the Big Whale can catch up with it," Cid IV said, running to the helm of the ship. "Hang on, here we go!"

* * *

The Turks burst into Rufus's office, accompanied by Reeve. "Mr. President, sir, the Gold Saucer's directly over the Shirna Building! We've got to evacuate NOW!" Elena said.

"Cool Whip..." Rufus said, staring hypnotized at the TV. "Must buy Cool Whip..."

"Rufus, hurry!" Reeve said. "The Gold Saucer could start shooting at any - WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM, BARRET? ARE YOU TONE-DEAF OR WHAT?"

"Huh?" Rufus said.

"Never mind," Reeve said quickly. "C'mon, let's get out of here."

Reno threw open the door to the roof. "We'll take the fire escape down," he said. The Turks, Reeve, and Rufus hurried out onto the roof and ran to the fire escape on the edge of the building. "A LONG way down," Reno amended.

The five hurried down the fire escape. When they had reached the 55th floor, Reeve was already starting to get tired. "This is taking forever!" he said, wiping his forehead. "Why couldn't we take the elevator?"

"Don't stop now," Rude said. "We're only on the 55th floor."

"Why'd we make this building so tall?" Reeve snapped. Not concentrating because he was getting tired, he accidentally spoke the same sentence as Cait Sith in Gongaga Town. "Oh, shut up," Cait Sith said to Barret, who had broken out laughing. "It's not my fault you took the stairs up."

"Serves you damn Shinra right!" Barret said.

As they were rounding a turn, they almost collided with Mayor Domino, who was running *up* the fire escape. "Pardon me, sir, do you have any Grey Poupon?" Domino asked.

"Get out of our way!" Rufus shouted at Mayor Domino. Rude (rather rudely) shoved Mayor Domino aside and they ran past him.

"You haven't seen the last of me!" Domino shouted after them as they left. "One of these days I'm going to get my own fanfic, and then just you watch out!"

"54th floor," Rufus noted. "Sporting goods."

"We'd better hurry," Reno said, pointing up into the evening sky. "The Gold Saucer looks ready to fire at any moment."

* * *

"@#$%$!" Cid VII exclaimed as he stared out the window of the Big Whale. "The Gold Saucer's already over the Shinra Building. He could fire at any @#$#*$in' moment!"

"By the way, did we have any exact plans in mind for stopping Evil Cid?" Cid III asked.

"I'm workin' on it," Cid VII said, rubbing his head.

"I had an idea," Shera said. "You remember when Cloud and Barret were thrown in the Corel Prison? Dio dropped them down there through a hole in the Battle Square. That means there's a hole on the underside of the Saucer. It might be big enough for the airships to fit up through."

"Good thinkin'," Cid VII said. "You're in rare form today."

"That wasn't very nice," Cid IV said as he piloted the Big Whale towards the Shinra Building.

"It's nothing new," Shera said with a shrug.

"Back in my day, our party members all stuck together!" Cid II snapped. "Not only that, but we had room for FOUR CHARACTERS! Four characters! Not three, that's for wussies and stupid kids! What's in FF8? One character, three different weapons, no armor, and your HP, MP, attack, and defense all rolled into one stat? Heck, my dog could design a better game than you, and I don't even have a dog!"

"SHUT UP!" the other Cids and Mid shouted in unison.

"You're learning well, little fellow," Cid VII said to Mid. "Just try to swear more, and never, ever, wear a raincoat."

"Leave him alone, Cid VII," Cid V said defensively. "You might affect him later in life." Cid VII chuckled in response.

Nina I looked out the window. "There's some people down there on that building," she noted. "Do you want me to go down there and rescue them?"

"All right, you Ninas check it out," Cid IV said. "Take the Moogles with you."

The three Ninas slid open the side door of the Big Whale and flew out. They were joined shortly by the Moogles, who were equipped with parachutes from the Big Whale's equipment lockers.

"To the airships, everybody," Cid IV said as he set the Big Whale into stall.

"Mid, you stay here," Cid V said as he started down the ladder into the hangar.

"I'll guard the Big Whale," Shera volunteered.

The six Cids climbed on board their respective airships (and Cid VI into his Magitek Armor). The hangar doors slid open and the six vehicles shot out into the sky over Midgar. The Gold Saucer was hovering directly over the Shinra Building, charging up the Sister Ray. A vast horde of Moogles was descending like a pink-and-white blanket over the city. In the middle of them flew the three Ninas.

The six lone airships circled up towards the bottom of the hovering Gold Saucer in pursuit of Evil Cid.

* * *

Evil Nina watched the approaching airships on a radar screen in the generator room of the Battle Square, where the Evil duo was controlling the Saucer piece from. "Evil Cid! The Cids have discovered the prison chute. They're on their way!"

"The false Cids, you mean," Evil Cid sneered. "I am the only real Cid! Anything else would be... uncivilized."

"Sir, don't you think we should do something?"

"All right," Evil Cid said. "Deploy the Evil Moogles!"

* * *

"43rd floor," Reeve panted. He stopped when he realized the rest of the Shinra staff was no longer running, and, furthermore, the sky had suddenly gone dark.

Rufus and the Turks were standing on the landing, staring up into the sky. A vast horde of Moogles was descending from the sky, blotting out all the sunlight.

"KUPO!" the Moogles thundered.

A huge red-and-white bird and two winged girls broke through the mass of Moogles and swooped down towards the fire escape. Reno instictively readied his nightstick, but Nina III raised a hand. "Don't worry, we're friends," she said. "We're the Ninas. We're fighting with the Cids against Evil Cid and Evil Nina."

While the Ninas were talking, the Moogles had assumed positions around the city to defend against any possible ground attack by Evil Cid. Their preparations were rewarded when a second tide of Moogles -- this time the violet-furred, black-winged Evil Moogles -- descended over the city.

"This building is going to blow any minute now," Nina II said. She looked towards Nina I, who was in her bird form. "Hop on."

Rufus, Reeve, and the Turks climbed on the back of bird-Nina I. She flew away from the building with the other Ninas flying alongside her. The descending Evil Moogles opened fire on them with crossbows, uzis, and (in the case of one very confused moogle) a glue gun.

"They're firing at us!" Elena shouted.

"What tipped you off?" Reeve said in reply.

Nina II cast a Hail spell on some of the Evil Moogles, freezing them in the air and obstructing the shots of some of the other Moogles. Mog and the good Moogles started dancing, sending rains of stones, blasts of plasma, and the ubiquitous Elf Fire at the Evil Moogles. The Evil Moogles returned fire, while a few kept shooting at the Ninas.

"I have glue in my hair," Rufus complained, trying to rub the offending substance out of his hair.

"This is some sort of new occurence?" Reno asked.

"SHUT UP!" Rufus shouted suddenly. "I don't want to hear any more about my hair!"

"Look out!" Nina III shouted. Three Evil Moogles were parachuting dangerously close to the group. One of the Evil Moogles fired his crossbow at Nina I. The bolt struck Nina I in what would be her shoulder in human form and she tumbled towards the ground. Rufus, Reeve, and the Turks were thrown off her back.

"Nina I!" Nina II exclaimed, diving after the falling bird. Nina III followed close behind her.

The Turks, Rufus, and Reeve bounced off the awning of Big Tiny's Tire Factory and Barbecue and fell in a heap on the ground. Nina I crashed through the awning next to the ground, ripping a hole in it. When she hit the ground, she reverted back to her human form.

The other two Ninas landed next to the group. Rufus picked himself up and looked around. They had landed several blocks away from the Shinra Building, on the fringe of Sector 8.

Wordlessly, Rude pointed up into the sky. Rufus looked up. A large blue circle was forming from the barrel of the Sister Ray, which was pointing directly down from the Gold Saucer to the Shinra Building. Then, in a brilliant flash of light that temporarily blinded Rufus, the Sister Ray fired.

When Rufus regained his vision, the Shinra Building was in the process of exploding outwards. The interior of the building was incinerated in the explosion, and the walls caved outwards, broke, and fell to the ground in fragments. In a few seconds, not a piece of the building was standing.

* * *

Cid VII let out a string of curses several minutes long as he stared at the rubble of the Shinra Building.

"There goes the neighborhood," Cid III said wryly.

"That could have been Rocket Town..." Cid VII muttered as he concluded his outburst.

"It's going to take time to recharge," Cid IV said. "Now's our chance."

"All right, we're going in!" Cid VII said.

"Roger, Cid Leader," Cid V said. The Cids assembled their airships in formation -- the Highwind in the lead, the Enterprise and Nautilus behind that, and Cid II's and Cid V's airships in the rear. In the middle of the formation hovered Cid VI's Magitek Armor.

The formation of airships swooped through the hole in the bottom of the Gold Saucer and into the prison chute.

* * *

"This is longer than I thought," Cid VII said as the airships shot up the narrow prison chute.

"Bogey at six o' clock!" Cid V shouted, looking at the radar screen on his airship.

"That's no problem," Cid II said. "It's only 5:15."

"No, you idiot, that's not -" Cid V was interrupted as three stolen Shinra helicopters piloted by Evil Moogles flew into the chute.

"We'll get them," Cid V volunteered. "Move into attack position, Cid 2."

"Roger, Cid 5," Cid II said. "Moving into attack position." Cid V and Cid II dropped their airships back towards the three helicopters. The Evil Moogles fired the helicopters' machine guns at the airships, but the airships had sturdy armor and were barely damaged.

Cid V fired two missiles back at the helicopters. Two of the helicopters were hit, spiraled down into the bottom of the chute, and exploded. The third zipped between them and started firing at Cid VI's Magitek Armor.

"Help! Help!" Cid VI shouted over the radio on his Magitek Armor. He swerved the Armor back and forth wildly, trying to evade the helicopter. Meanwhile, three more helicopters flew up from behind.

"Stay on target! Stay on target!" Cid VII shouted.

Cid III shot down one of the approaching helicopters from his Nautilus. Cid VI, pounding his controls frantically, managed to fire a Bio Blast at one of the helicopters.

"What the #$%*&$% are you doing, Cid 6?" Cid VII shouted over the radio. "You can't use a @#$#$*&in' Bio Blast on a helicopter."

"Sorry, my bad," Cid VI apologized. He pressed another button, using X-Fer on the nearby helicopter. A blue column of light surrounded it and it vanished.

The remaining two helicopters moved behind the lead airships and started to lock on missiles. "Quick!" Cid VII shouted. "Run Formation B!"

"What's Formation B?" Cid III asked. A missile arced towards his Nautilus. Cid III turned the airship and fired a missile at the incoming missile. The two missile met in the air and exploded. While the helicopter tried to fire again, Cid III shot it down with his machine guns.

Cid IV's Enterprise moved alongside the remaining helicopter. Cid IV reached through the window of the helicopter and smashed the instrument panel with his hammer. The helicopter's airbag deployed, crushing and killing the Evil Moogle pilot. The helicopter dropped to the bottom of the chute and exploded.

The airships (and Magitek Armor) stopped at the end of the chute. There was a small round hole leading up into the Battle Square. "End of the line," Cid VII said. He tossed a grappling hook up through the hole. It caught on something above, and he shimmied up the rope. The other Cids followed him.

* * *

"There goes the Shinra building... again," Rufus said bitterly. "That's, what, the third time this year? First the Diamond Weapon, then that Chocobo incident in the Guardian Amulet adventure, and now this."

"Excuse us," a voice squeaked. Rufus turned. Two Evil Moogles pushed past him, carrying a ping-pong table. The Moogles set it up in the rubble of the Shinra Building. More Evil Moogles were approaching from all corners of the city with ping-pong tables. Other ones were putting up some hastily-constructed wooden fences around the rubble.

"What are they doing?" Elena wondered.

"I don't know, but whatever it is, let's make them stop," Reno said.

One of the Evil Moogles looked up. "We needed the space for our 3rd annual ping-pong invitational tournament," it explained. "Sorry about your building."

"Why you..." Rufus said, at a loss for words. He turned to the Turks. "Get those Moogles off my property!"

"Excuse me," a big (for a moogle) Evil Moogle said, walking up to the group. "If you don't have tickets for the tournament, you'll need to leave."

"Should we shoot him, Mr. President?" Reno asked.

"Hold on," Nina II whispered. "There's too many of those Evil Moogles to fight. I've got a better plan. The Evil Moogles have a leader -- Kustig. Let's buy the tickets and see if we can find him at the tournament. If we take him out, the rest of the Evil Moogles will leave."

"We'll take the tickets," Rufus said to the Evil Moogle.

"If you want the tickets, you'll need to speak with the ticket agent," the Evil Moogle said, pointing to another Evil Moogle standing in a booth in front of the "stadium".

"How much are the tickets?" Reeve asked the ticket agent.

"500 gil a piece," the ticket agent said smugly.

"500 gil for a ping-pong tournament?" Reeve demanded, outraged.

"Look, you're the one who wants to get into the tournament. Nobody's making you."

"Oh, all right." Reeve reached into his pocket, took out his wallet, and handed the Evil Moogle 4000 gil for the Shinra group and the three Ninas.

The Evil Moogle took the money, reached for a roll of green tickets, and tore off six. "Here's your tickets," he said. "The main gate's to your left."

Reeve and the others walked a short distance around the exterior of the court to the main gate. Reeve presented their tickets, and the ticket taker (another Evil Moogle) took them and examined them. "Sorry," he said, handing them back. "These tickets don't have serial numbers. I can't take them."

Reeve stomped back over to the ticket booth. "These tickets you gave us are defective!" he shouted. "They're missing serial numbers!"

"Oh, really?" the ticket agent sneered. "If you'd like to return a defective product, there will be a 200 gil processing fee per ticket."

"200 gil?" Reeve shouted.

"As I said, those are your tickets, not mine," the agent said. "If you want to get into the tournament, you'll need some tickets."

Silently, Reeve handed the ticket agent 1600 more gil. The agent took them and the "defective" tickets. He carefully examined them. "You're right," he noted. "These tickets ARE missing serial numbers. Very curious. I wonder how that happened?"

"Give me some new tickets!" Reeve shouted. Behind him, the Turks drew their weapons.

"Tell you what," the moogle said with an evil grin. "Since I'm such a nice guy, I'll give you some new serial numbers for the low, low, price of 350 gil each."

Reeve no longer bothered to argue. He just handed over the money. Chuckling under his breath, the Evil Moogle took out a rubber stamp and stamped serial numbers on the group's foreheads. "There's your serial numbers," he said. "Now get lost and don't come back."

"What kind of serial number is this?" Rude shouted.

"Don't worry, Rude, you've got plenty of room for it," Reno said.

"Shut up."

"Hey," Reeve said, after finishing some quick calculations. "I could have bought new tickets for less than it cost to get the serial numbers for these."

"Heh, heh, heh," chuckled the Evil Moogle. "Say, that's a nice watch you're wearing. How much will you sell it for?"

"Make me an offer," Reeve said defensively. He did not trust the Evil Moogle.

"How about 8000 gil?" the Evil Moogle suggested.

"Sure," Reeve said. He could buy a new watch for less than that.

"Well, I don't have 8000 gil," the Evil Moogle said. He took 5000 gil out of the ticket office drawer. "But if you give me the amount of money I have here, I'll buy it."

"Sounds fair," Reeve said. He handed 5000 more gil to the Evil Moogle. The Evil Moogle then handed 8000 gil over to him. Reeve took his watch off and gave it to the Evil Moogle.

"Heh, thanks," the Evil Moogle said. "And thanks for the free money." The Evil Moogle waddled out the back door of the booth and into the tournament.

"Hey -!" Reeve shouted. "Come back here!"

"Oh, well, we've got our tickets," Nina III said. "And our, uh, serial numbers. Let's see if we can find Kustig."

* * *

The Cids climbed up through the end of the prison chute and into the Battle Arena. "Here we are," Cid V said.

"You call this a final dungeon?" Cid II snorted. "I've seen more impressive-looking ones in GameBoy games! Where are the insanely powerful monsters? Where are the really great weapons guarded by even more powerful monsters? This is almost as bad as your stupid crater! Back in my day, it took days to beat a final dungeon!"

The Cids cautiously advanced through the Battle Arena to the Battle Square. "Where is he?" Cid IV wondered.

"Let's try Dio's showroom," Cid VII said, walking up the stairs to the showroom. Inside, the room looked normal... except that a grate in the corner of the room was open. Cid VII bent down and peered inside. It was dark inside. He took out his lighter, held it down into the hole as far as he could, and flicked it on. From its dim light he could see a ladder.

"There's a ladder down there," Cid VII said. "Let's check it out."

The six Cids slowly descended the ladder in the dark for about twelve feet until they reached a metal floor. Cid VII stepped off the ladder and turned on his lighter again. They were apparently in the furnace room. The metal floor continued some distance, so they set off. A bright light directly in front of them in the distance grew gradually larger as they approached it.

When the Cids reached a light, they found it to be a door. Cid III peered through. Beyond the door was a narrow tiled metal bridge suspended over a vast chamber of machinery. On the end of the bridge was a heavy steel door.

"Do we get a save point?" Cid VI asked nervously.

The Cids started across the bridge, ready for any appearance of Evil Cid's forces or the renegade Cid himself. They were three-fourths of the way across the bridge when one of the tiles opened up and an orange-and-gray robot rose up on a pressurized platform.

The robot had large feet and jointed legs. On top of the legs was hinged an oblong body with no type of arms. Several tubes ran from tubes on top of the body to valves on the front. Above the valves was a black panel with a single eye.

It was WarMech.

"All right!" Cid II exclaimed exuberantely. "Now we're talking! A traditional enemy! It sure took a while! I remember seein' these when I was a kid! Of course, I could beat them up by the time I was three. That's 'cuz we didn't have any of these new-fangled snowboards and motorcycles, if we wanted entertainment, we had to go out and fight monsters! Why, I remember when -"

Cid II was rudely interrupted when WarMech's front opened up to reveal a row of cannons. The cannons fired a quick burst of blue electric beams that encased the Cids in spherical blue force fields.

The door at the far end of the bridge opened and Evil Cid stepped through. "Looks like you're feeling a little shocked," he sneered. He patted the back of WarMech. "This was another one of my inventions. And what did they do with it? They took it and stuck it on an obscure bridge in some castle! Now at last it serves its true purpose! Prepare to die, Cids!"

Suddenly, a bazooka shell arced across the bridge and hit WarMech. The robot exploded and Evil Cid quickly dived backwards. The force fields disappeared.

Cid VII turned to see where the shell had come from. A shadowy figure armed with a bazooka had entered the room from the door they had come from. "Looks like I showed up just in time," he said. He crossed the bridge to the Cids. "Hi," he introduced himself, shaking Cid VII's hand. "I'm Cid VIII. I'm new."

"Hey," Cid VII said.

"Thanks for saving us there," Cid IV said.

"No problem," Cid VIII said. He looked around. "I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got a lot of work to get done for the new game. Knock Evil Cid around for me, okay?"

Cid VIII turned back down the bridge to leave. "See you guys in '99. Be there and be Square!"

"Don't forget to add some challenge!" Cid II shouted after him as left the chamber.

"I don't think he heard you," Cid V said.

"No," Cid II said darkly. "I think it's a lost cause."

The Cids turned back towards Evil Cid, but he had vanished while the Cids were talking to Cid VIII. "He must be in that room," Cid III said. "Let's get him!"

* * *

"This is getting really boring," Rude complained. "And there's no sign of that Kustig fellow either."

"Kupo nuts!" an Evil Moogle vendor shouted, passing through the stands of the makeshift stadium. "Fresh kupo nuts!" He stopped in front of the Ninas. "Want some kupo nuts?"

"No thanks," Nina I said.

"Here, have a trial package," he said, handing Nina I a small purple package of kupo nuts, about the size of an airplane peanuts package.

"Given the general shoddiness of the rest of this operation, I'm not sure if it would be a wise idea to eat those," Reeve said.

"No," Nina I said. "Especially not when they're ticking. Who has a good arm?"

Rude raised his hand. Nina I handed him the kupo nuts. When the vendor turned to hand a hot dog to another Evil Moogle, Rude tossed the kupo nuts into the vendor's tray of food.

"This could get ugly," Rufus said, reaching for his shotgun, which he had tucked under his seat.

The package of kupo nuts detonated in a small explosion that consumed the food tray. The vendor's fur caught on fire, and he quickly batted it out. He looked back and forth, then his eyes fell on the Ninas. He reached under his wings, procured a Burger King crown, and jammed it on his head. "Get them!" he shouted, pointing at the Ninas.

"That vendor was Kustig!" Nina II exclaimed, jumping to her feet. The Evil Moogles in the crowd had all drawn weapons and were advancing on the party from all directions.

"We seem to be outnumbered," Elena observed.

As the Evil Moogles closed in, there was a commotion from the back of the stadium. A tide of good Moogles had smashed through the walls of the stadium and were fighting their way through the Evil Moogle ranks.

"Over here!" Nina III shouted, standing up on her chair.

The group fended off the Evil Moogle attacks while the Moogles fought their way to them. "Quick!" one of the Moogles said. "Follow me, kupo!" The Ninas, Turks, Reeve, and Rufus followed the Moogle through the battlefield and outside the stadium.

"Kustig's gotten away," the Moogle said. "We've got to get him." He gestured towards a cobalt blue van parked on the street. "Hop in, kupo."

The party piled into the van, where another Moogle was already waiting in the driver's seat. As soon as the group was in the van, the driver Moogle slammed the gas and the van took off down the street.

"Hold on!" Reeve said. "I need to buckle up! Buckling up saves live, you know."

"Shut up, Reeve," Rufus said.

"I'm Kuvicks," the Moogle that had saved them introduced himself as they drove. "This is my buddy Kuwedge."

Kuwedge upshifted and turned a corner. A white Ford Bronco was driving down the street ahead of them. "There!" Kuvicks shouted. "There's Kustig!"

"Are you sure?" Reno said. "That, uh, could be somebody else."

Kustig's head appeared in his window as he looked back towards the van pursuing him. His head disappeared back inside, but then the Evil Moogle riding in the passenger seat pointed an uzi out the window and started shooting at Kuwedge's van. Kuwedge upshifted again in an effort to catch up with Kustig.

Rufus pointed his shotgun out the window and took a few shots at the Evil Moogle's head. The Evil Moogle ducked back inside the vehicle.

"Speed up!" Elena shouted to Kuwedge. The Moogle upshifted his van.

As the vehicles neared an intersection, Kustig's Ford Bronco turned a corner. Kuwedge quickly upshifted and made a sharp turn to pursue. The van's tires squealed as it followed Kustig down a different street towards a street market.

Kustig's Ford Bronco swerved through the stalls of the crowded street market. Kuwedge did his best to pursue and upshifted again, even though the van was already in its highest gear.

"Look out!" Kuvicks shouted. "Fruit cart!"

The van crashed into a fruit cart, knocking the cart over and spilling apples all over the street. An angry vendor raced into the street and shook his fist at the van as it disappeared down the street.

"We're gaining on him!" Reno said, watching Kustig's Bronco carefully.

Kuwedge upshifted yet again as the vehicles near another intersection. Kustig zipped through, but as Kuwedge reached the intersection, cars suddenly pulled up, blocking the van.

By the time the cars had gone, Kustig's vehicle had vanished. "Now we've lost him," Nina I said.

"We know he went down that street," Kuvicks said. "Keep going; we might be able to catch up with him!"

Kuwedge upshifted.

"Just how many gears does this van have?" Reeve wondered as they drove onto the freeway.

"Uh... guys," Rufus said. "This street leads to Sector 7. Led, that is."

Kuwedge turned a corner. The road ended abruptly at the hole in the Plate where Sector 7 used to be. "Uh-oh," he said.

"We're going to have to jump it!" Kuvicks said.

Kuwedge upshifted and drove the van directly towards the end of the street. They hit a bump near the edge and flew into the air. "You know, this is completely impossible in real life," Nina II said as the van sailed over the gap.

The van landed on the other side of the street in Sector 6 and immediately took off down the street. "There!" Elena said, pointing at a building. "An old abandoned warehouse! Kustig's got to be in there!"

Kuwedge drove the van at the brick wall of the warehouse. The van smashed through the wall, sending out a cloud of dust, and rolled into the warehouse. Kuvicks and Kuwedge jumped out of the van, armed with their pikes, and were promptly gunned down.

"Holy @#$!#!" Rufus said. "Where did that come from?"

The others cautiously climbed out of the van. Reeve looked down at the bloody corpses of Kuvicks and Kuwedge. "You know, I'm beginning to think there's only about 25 different people in the world, and everybody else is just a clone."

"A very interesting theory," Kustig sneered from behind them. He put down his sniper rifle and stepped forward. "Perhaps you can explain it to me sometime."

"Stop right there, Kustig!" The doors of the warehouse flew open and Mog and Umaro stepped in.

"Uhhhhhhhhh..." said Umaro.

"Mog!" Kustig shouted.

"And I'm the REAL Mog!" Mog said, pointing his pike at Kustig. "I know what you're up to, Kustig. You're the one who's behind that heinous plot to make all Moogles called 'Mogs'. You can't fool me!"

"Oh yeah?" Kustig said. "It's morphin' time!" Kustig clenched his fist. His body started to vibrate.

Nothing happened. "Okay... maybe it's not," Kustig apologized.

"Yo mama's so stupid it takes her two hours to watch 60 Minutes!" Mog shouted at him.

"Yo mama's so fat she had to be baptized at Sea World!"

"Yeah, well, yo mama's so fat I took a detour around her and ran out of gas!"

"Yo mama's so old her Social Security number is 1!"

"Yo mama's so stupid, if she threw a rock at the ground, she'd miss!" Mog said.

Kustig paused to think. "Hmmm... let me see here," he said, trying to think of another insult.

Before he had a chance, Mog threw his pike at him and ran him through. Kustig hit the ground with a thud. Mog then looked up to the rafters. "You up there!" he shouted (as best he could with his squeaky voice). "I know you're up there! Hear me, Evil Moogles! Kustig is vanquished! You can join the good Moogles or die! And henceforth we shall be known again as Moogles, not Mogs!"

* * *

Evil Cid and Evil Nina stood watching the Battle of Midgar in the control room of the Battle Square. "Kustig's dead!" Evil Nina exclaimed.

"Yeah... and you're next!" a voice said from behind.

Evil Cid turned nonchalantly in his swivel chair. Cid VII was pointing his spear at him, and the other Cids were gathered behind Cid VII. Evil Cid causually got up from his chair and picked up his own spear from the floor.

"If you turn into some angel-looking sort of boss, I'm going to be very disappointed in you," Cid II snapped.

Cid VII and Evil Cid stood with their spears pointed at each other. Nobody moved. Then Evil Cid put his spear down. "We'll do this the civilized way," he said. He opened a drawer to his left and took out two rectangular boxes. "Backgammon or Pictionary?"

There was silence from the Cids.

"Pictionary," Cid III volunteered.

"All right, then," Evil Cid said, putting down the Backgammon box and opening up the Pictionary one. He pulled up some chairs. "Have a seat."

"What kind of a final boss is this?" Cid II was saying. "You kids wouldn't know a final boss if it upped and bit your rear! Back in my day, we spent weeks levelling up before we could beat the final boss! Kids in my day wept with joy when they won! You whippersnappers wouldn't have had a snowball's chance in hell against Chaos!"

The Cids sat down in a row. Evil Cid and Evil Nina sat across from them. "We'll play sudden death. You go first," Evil Cid said.

"Aren't we a little outnumbered?" Evil Nina asked. Evil Cid laughed maniacally in response.

Cid IV took a card and looked at it. It read "carbon monoxide." Cid IV stared at the card for a while. "I can't draw this!" he protested.

Evil Cid laughed again.

Cid IV shrugged, took a pen, and drew a stick figure lying down. "A guy lying down!" Cid III shouted.

Cid IV added X's to the stick figure's head. "A dead guy!" Cid V shouted.

Cid IV then added some wavy lines above the stick figure. "A dead guy underwater!" Cid VI guessed. "I've got it! A drowned guy! Drowning!"

Cid IV drew an arrow pointing at the guy's mouth. "Drowning!" Cid VI said again. Cid IV waved his hands in despair and added clouds around the stick figure.

"A drowned guy flying!" Cid VII shouted. "I don't know! What the @##$%*&$% is it?"

"Time's up!" Evil Cid said. "My turn! Nina, you draw."

Evil Nina took a card and looked at it. She then drew a large letter J.

"The letter J!" Evil Cid guessed.

"Right!" Evil Nina said.

"Hey, this isn't fair!" Cid IV protested.

"Too bad!" Evil Cid said. "Looks like I win! Now get out of my saucer!"

The Cids did not budge.

"I said get out of here!" Evil Cid shouted. "Or am I going to have to play hardball? Nina, deal with them!"

Evil Nina cast a spell and threw a huge fireball at Cid VII. Cid VII quickly cast Reflect and the spell bounced off and exploded harmlessly on the wall.

"Oooh, scary," Evil Nina said sarcastically. "Let's see how you do against some acid rain!" Evil Nina waved her hand and black raindrops start to pour down.

The raindrops splattered over the floor, burning sizzling holes into whatever they touched. The Cids all fled the room in terror.

All except for Cid VI.

Cid VI stood calmly as the raindrops bounced off his raincoat. He reached into the pocket of the coat, procured the remote control for the Cids' broadcast scrambler, and pressed a button to switch it off.

Evil Cid grabbed his spear from the floor. "You and your stupid raincoat!" he shouted. Evil Cid charged towards Cid VI. Cid VI jumped out of the way, rolled across the floor, and grabbed the remote for Evil Cid's big-screen TV.

"What are you doing?" Evil Cid asked, baffled. Cid VI looked away from the TV, pointed the remote at, and pressed the Power button. Then he dashed out of the room.

Evil Cid scratched his head. "Now what was that all about?" He turned to look at the big-screen TV. He did not say anymore. A giant Pikachu flashed its eyes. Evil Cid had a massive seizure and fell to the ground, dead.

* * *

"Well, I'll be," Cid VII said as the Cids were leaving the furnace room. "That @#$$%*&in' raincoat actually came in useful for once."

The Cids started up the ladder. "Wait!" somebody said behind them. Cid VII looked back. Mina was running across the room.

"I'm Mina," Mina explained. "Nina II's sister. I was turned into Evil Nina by Evil Cid -- when I had a seizure from that Pikachu thing. But when it showed up again, I had another seizure, and now I'm back to normal."

"All right," Cid IV said. "Come with us."

"Just what are we going to do with the @$%*$%in' Battle Square, anyway?" Cid VII wondered as they climbed up into Dio's showroom.

"Let's try this," Cid V said, pressing a red button labelled "Please press this button. Thank you."

Instantly, the Battle Square saucer took off at high speeds towards the rest of the Gold Saucer to return to its normal place.

"What kind of an ending is this, anyway?" Cid II complained as they flew. "Just because it's in Full Motion Vid-e-o doesn't make it a good ending! You kids are bunch of lazy slackers! At least we included all the characters in our endings! Not that we had any secret character mumbo-jumbo in our games. We were lucky just to have a full party and some moldly Cure Potions! Why, back when I was a young 'un..."

* * *

"Check," Red XIII said, moving his rook.

"Knight captures rook," Hanpan responded. With some difficulty, the wind rat picked up his rook and moved it across the board.

"That scrambler thingy seems to have stopped," Barret observed. "I wonder if it's broken."

"Hey, guys," Yuffie said, wandering into Gongaga Town. "I finally found a radio." She turned on the radio and actual music started playing. "Hey, what's this?" she said. "What happened to MMMBop?"

Nobody was paying any attention to her. They were all looking up in the sky.

The Big Whale and all the Cid's airships touched down in Gongaga Town. The doors of the Whale slid open. The six Cids, Mid, Shera, the Ninas, Mina, Rufus, Reeve, the Turks, Mog, Umaro, and a vast horde of Moogles stepped out.

"Evil Cid has been defeated!" Cid IV announced. "The universe has its radio and TVs back! And the Moogles are Moogles once again!"

The Moogles all cheered.

"Thank you, thank you," Cid VII said, bowing. "First of all, we'd like to thank all the little people, who didn't help us in the slightest!"

"Humans," Red XIII said in disgust, turning back into his chess game. At last he had found a worthy opponent. "They solve one minor problem and they think they're the greatest thing since mutiple-celled lifeforms. Your move, by the way."

* * *

Palmer woke up in Baron Castle and rubbed his head. "Where am I?" he wondered. "What happened to the rocket?"

Dizzily, he got out of bed and stumbled out of the room. He made his way down the stairs and threw open the first door he came to. It appeared be to a storeroom of some kind. At least, it was being used that way.

The room was packed full of thousands of cans of Cool Whip.

Palmer's eyes lit up. "It's Cool Whip time, baby!" he exclaimed.