Disclaimer- Once more, this story was not meant for profit and created with no intention of copyright infringement. Final Fantasy VII is the rightful property of Square Enix.
The Hotel- The 7th (And Final day)
Cid was getting into his best piloting outfit upstairs in his room for the competition while everyone waited for him downstairs.
"Come on, Cid!" Aeris called up the stairs. "We're going to be late."
"I'll be right down!" Cid called back.
A few minutes later, Cid came down the stairs in his favorite jacket, scarf and boots, a cigarette in his mouth.
"I'm ready to fly and kick Raptors ass," Cid said proudly.
"That's the spirit," Barret said. "Now let's go before we miss the opening."
The group split into separate cars. Cloud, Tifa, Sephiroth and Barret took one car. Cid, Aeris and Caitsith took another and in the last car were Vincent, Yuffie and Red XIII.
"So Cid," Aeris said as Vincent drove on. "You're confident you're going to win, right?"
"Oh hell yeah," Cid said. "And after I win, I'm gonna use the prize money to build a huge airship to replace the Shera."
"Um Cid…don't you need the money to repair the USS Arizona memorial by tomorrow?" Caitsith asked.
Cid frowned and sighed. "Yeah…" He answered. "But at least I'll build up a reputation here."
After a 20 minute drive, the party arrived at the airfield, got out of their cars and walked to the main airstrip where everything was set up.
In Vincents car, Yuffie had already started chattering.
"What if Cid loses?" Yuffie asked Vincent. "What if he loses and we can't pay the fine. We'll all end up in prison."
"Actually, only you, Cid and Aeris will be thrown into prison since the three of you were at the scene of the crime," Vincent explained.
Yuffie looked even more nervous, her claustrophobia kicked in as she anticipated the small, confined jail cell.
"Well...at least Aeris and I wouldn't have to worry about dropping the soap as much as Cid," Yuffie said insensitively.
"Just shut up and let me drive, Yuffie!" Vincent said angrily.
The airfield had thousands of onlookers watching from seats placed around the airfield. About ten pilots had assembled their planes, lined neatly along the main airstrip. At the front Raptor and Dickie were making some last minute mechanical check on their jet.
"All right Dickie, I think we're ready," Raptor said and noticed Cid approaching. "Oh well look who's here."
Cid scowled at Raptor as he walked up to him.
"Good to see you, Maurice," Cid said sarcastically. "May the best man win."
Raptor smiled at Cid.
"The best man is me Blondie," Raptor said. "But don't worry, I'm sure you'll have…a blast in the competition anyway."
Cid cocked his brow.
"Why did you pause like that…before you said a blast?" Cid asked, suddenly suspicious.
"What do you care Blondie?" Raptor said quickly. "You're gonna lose anyway."
Cid sighed and shook his head and Aeris separated from the group. The rest of the party joined the audience. Cid and Aeris approached their jet positioned at the far end of the line of planes positioned on the runway. Cid climbed into the jet, just as the other pilots did.
"Good luck, Cid," Aeris said with a smile.
From inside the cockpit, Cid gave Aeris a thumbs up as he put his flight helmet and gloves on. A man, apparently the announcer, approached a podium and spoke into a microphone.
"Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the 20th annual Pearl Harbor air competition. This year, once again we have 5 year champion Captain Maurice Raptor."
The crowd cheered loudly.
"And a newcomer, Cid Highwind," The announcer continued.
The crowd cheered again.
"…who is only in this competition because he needs the winning money to repair the USS Arizona memorial…which he accidentally destroyed," The announcer finished awkwardly.
The crowd suddenly became silent and so did the party. A chorus of boos erupted from the crowd, who threw food and drinks and a brick with a note saying "You suck!" on it. Aeris could see Cid looked ashamed inside the jets cockpit. The man behind the podium cleared his throat.
"In this year's competition we have, as usual, ten grueling stunts, all placed around Pearl Harbor. Each of you must complete each stunt and land on the runway. The first one to land will win $40 million. Second will win $15 and third will win $5 million. Each stunt will be addressed to you via your radios so keep your ears open. Gentlemen, start your engines and best of luck to all of you," The announcer finished.
The pilots started their planes and drove into position in front of ten separate runways for each one. Cid suddenly felt nervous but knew it would hinder him so he kept his heart calm. Raptor was as cocky and calm as usual. The other pilots were either confident or nervous.
"Good luck, Cid!" Aeris called as she joined the rest of the party within the audience.
The announcer pulled out a starter gun.
"On your mark! Get set! GO!" The announcer said and the gun went off.
The jets roared, dashed down the runway and glided into the sky. Cid got a good head start, already coming into 3rd place before the first stunt.
"For the first stunt, we will have a barrel roll," The announcer said.
"Ha! That'll be easy!" Cid said.
All of the pilots performed a successful barrel roll, especially Cid and Raptor.
"Well done pilots! Well done!" The announcer said. "Our second stunt will be a loop de loop!"
Once again, the pilots performed well but Cid and Raptor performed the best.
At that moment, Tifa, Cloud and Yuffie each held up a poster. Each poster had a letter on it. Tifas poster had the letter "C". Clouds poster had the letter "I" and Yuffies was also the letter "I".
"Cii?" Tifa said, reading the word the posters spelt. "I told you Yuffie, you were supposed to be the letter E."
"Sorry…" Yuffie said.
Stunt after stunt followed: Barrel rolls, flying through hoops, flying upside down, etc. Cid and Raptor both performed the stunts with relative ease, being by far the two most talented pilots in the competition. About an hour after the gun went off, the final stunt was approaching. Raptor was still in first place but Cid was gaining on him fast.
"Here we are folks! The final stunt!" The announcer said. "The last and hardest stunt will be a loop de loop through each hoop lining the runway. Who will it be? The 5 year veteran or the newcomer?"
Cid became nervous when he heard the announcer's words but he still kept his spirits up. He sped up a bit until he was right alongside Raptor, who was still all too confident. Raptor switched on the headset built into his flight helmet.
"Dickie, set off the bomb and bring this son of a bitch down," Raptor said.
"Okay uncle Maurice," Dickie said.
Down below, within the crowd, Dickie took a small detonator out of his pocket. Raptor had told Dickie to plant the bomb and set it off to make it look like an accident. Raptor even said he didn't care if Cid lived or died, all he said was "anything it takes to win". Dickie didn't like the idea but he knew his uncle wouldn't listen to him.
Dickie breathed deeply, closed his eyes…..and pushed the button.
There was a loud explosion, followed by a big unison of gasps from the crowd…..as, not Cids, but Raptors starboard engine suddenly exploded and burst into flame. The shockwave of the explosion nearly sent Cid out of control but he managed to veer away from Raptors aircraft to avoid being taken down.
"What the hell?!" Raptor cried as his plane began to spin wildly out of control.
"I'm sorry Uncle Maurice…..but I like Mr. Highwind more than you," Dickie said softly.
Cid was dumbstruck when he saw Raptors plane spin out of control. Luckily, Raptor managed to eject himself from the cockpit. His plane crashed to the ground and exploded in a ball of fire. Raptors seat flew into the air and the parachutes sprung out. As he descended to the ground, Raptor cursed Cid and Dickie all the way down.
"I didn't see that coming…" Cid said. "Oh well."
With all of his skill and concentration, Cid successfully performed a loop de loop through every hoop set across the airfield. The crowd went nuts, cheering and screaming wildly for Cid as he landed his plane and stepped out, waving to everyone. The crowd, impressed by Cids flying skills forgave him and instead of food, threw roses and a brick, which Cid caught, that had a note saying "You rock!"
"Ladies and gentlemen," The announcer said. "This year's winner is Cid Highwind! Let's give it up for him!"
"All right, Cid!" Aeris cried happily as she ran to Cid and hugged him, ever so proud of his victory.
The rest of the party gathered around Cid.
"Awesome job, Cid!" Cloud said.
"You did it, Cid!" Tifa added.
"Now we don't have to worry about that fine or getting thrown into jail either!" Yuffie said, almost ruining the moment but the others ignored her.
Raptors seat landed on the ground. The instant he saw the crowd gather around his landed plane, he tore off his flight helmet and smashed in on the ground.
"No! No! Nooooo!" Raptor screamed, stamping his feet furiously on the ground.
The announcer pushed his way through the crowd and approached Cid with a pleased smile on his face.
"Mr. Highwind, for your outstanding performance here today, I hereby present you with first prize, $40 million! Congratulations son!"
Cid smiled and shook the announcers hand as reporters gathered around them and took pictures.
The Hotel- Later that day
Cid smiled as he read the newspaper headline that read. "USS Arizona memorial destroyer wins first place at competition."
"I knew you could do it, Cid," Aeris said as she sat next to him. "I'm so proud of you."
Cid looked at Aeris and smiled warmly.
"We all knew you could do it," Tifa added.
"I didn't," Yuffie said.
Everyone stared at Yuffie, very much annoyed.
"I just…thought something would have gone wrong, that's all," Yuffie reasoned.
Everyone ignored the young ninja.
"Well now that you've payed off that $38 million fine for the memorial damages, what are you going to do with that extra $2 million, Cid?" Vincent asked.
"I'm gonna use it to modify the Shera a little bit," Cid answered. "But that's for when we get home."
Cid and the others immediately went to their rooms, packed their things and checked out of the hotel. After returning their rental cars and a half hour walk to the airport, they boarded their plane and went home…..but not before Yuffie ejected Vincent out of his plane seat again for the anchovy prank.
Authors Note- This was the 16th and final chapter of the story. After three years (due to laziness and delays), it's over. Sorry guys but hey, I'm not quitting this website anytime soon and judging from the 100+ reviews, I can tell you guys really enjoyed this story. That means I'll be working on other projects so look out for me and you'll be in for more. Seeya!