Sephiroth has unleashed Weapon, SHINRA have captured my friends and I'm tripping out at the bottom of a crater. It looks like I'll be there for a while, so perspective shifts to Tifa.
Tifa is having a flashback to the time when she recruited me to AVALANCHE, thinking I was her childhood friend. She's just found out that I wasn't actually her childhood friend after all and that I was just created from her memories, but apparently she suspected something was fishy all along and only recruited me so she could keep an eye on me.
Wow, Tifa, thanks. After I took you on that date.
Tifa recalls that when we were re-united after our years apart, my memories were inconsistant with the experiences we shared together as children. Considering I was actually grown in a tank from alien cells, it's a wonder I managed to convince Tifa (and myself) for as long as I did, but quite frankly the scenrio is completely insane and it's really no wonder I'm having a meltdown.
Back in the real world, and Tifa is jerked out of her daydream by Barret, who takes on exposition duties. It transpires that they've been held captive in the SHINRA base for a week, having been "rescued" from Weapon's nuclear awakening by a SHINRA airship.
Barret opens the shutters (all good prison cells have shutters) so I can get my bearings.
It turns out they're directly underneath Meteor, the apocalyptic weapon (not to be confused with, er, "Weapon", who is a different kind of apocalyptic weapon, do keep up) which Sephiroth is planning to use to injure the planet so he can harvest its power and become a God.
Things do not look good.
Before they have time to freak out, Rufus Shinra, now acting president of SHINRA, enters their cell and casually informs them that the end is most definitely nigh.
Heidigger enters and explains that they need to execute Tifa and Barret because the public want someone to blame for the mess. I'm not sure why they're bothering; if the world is about to be destroyed it's not like they have to worry about re-election.
Also, why are the fugitives being held in a med bay with glass windows and exposed lightbulbs and large metal levers that an enormous man with a gun for an arm could probably break off and use as a melee weapon? For that matter, why didn't they amputate Barret's arm?
Before Barret can put two and two together and devise an escape plan, he Tifa are led through the SHINRA base to meet their ends.
This reminds me of the sexy execution scene in Flash Gordon where Sam J. Jones (whose collar does not match his cuffs, incidentally) is led through Ming's palace wearing a pair of black leather hotpants while dominatrix queen General Kala orders him to be strapped into the S&M torture chair.
Scarlet explains how she would give them a fair trial, but, like, it's easier if she doesn't.
Scarlet orders Tifa to be strapped into a chair in the gas chamber. This is exactly the method General Kala uses to execute Flash.
She leaves the gas chamber and returns to the court room, only to find an emergency on her hands.
Yes, the ever-duplicitous Cait Sith has returned to our side (for the moment) to free Barret and get rid of the SHINRA goons.
Meanwhile, from the safety of their cosy office, Rufus and Heidigger come up with an optimistic plan to destroy Weapon.
The SHINRA base readies its cannon...
Unfortunately, the explosion does not halt Weapon's progression, and the emergency alarm goes off.
SHINRA troops man the base's smaller guns.
They fire on Weapon as it speeds through the water towards the base.
For a while, it looks like they might be able to hold it off.
As the shells fall over the sea outisde, Tifa is struggling to excape her bindings, cursing the fact that her death was not inspired by a cooler movie.
Barret's also upset, and tries to save her, to no avail.
Things aren't looking good outside the base either, as Weapon emerges from the waves.
Cait Sith and Barret try and rescue Tifa by breaking into the gas chamber from the outside, and are accosted by Yuffie, who is disguised as a soldier.
The three of them decide to hijack SHINRA's airship. Everyone waits patiently until Barret has made a passive-aggressive comment about Cait Sith, and then they're away.
Meanwhile, Tifa resorts to a minigame in order to free herself from the gas chamber. The key to the torture chair is between her feet, and she needs to move various limbs around in order to get it into the keyhole.
She doesn't have much time though, because Weapon is preparing tostrike.
Weapon's blast hits Tifa's cell just as she frees herself from the chair, meaning she can escape the base through the hole it leaves in the wall.
For some reason she decides to run in the direction of the open ocean. I hope she has a plan.
Nope, apparently not. She finds herself with no place to escape when Scarlet inevitably catches up with her.
Tifa looks into the sea, regretting her bad life choices. Scarlet slaps her out of it with, erm, a slap.
A QTE bitch fight ensues. It reminds me of Rumble Roses, this ridiculous wrestling game I used to play where all the characters wore leather bikinis and had names like "Cande Cane", "Rowdy Reiko" and "The Mistress".
Scarlet almost suffers a wardrobe malfunciton, and turns around to adjust herself.
Her assistant scurrys up to her bearing double-sided tape.
While Scarlet's minion is helping her avoid becoming the next Janet Jackson, the airship descends, with Barret on the deck.
He throws down a rope.
Tifa grabs it, thanking her lucky stars that she remembered to pack a sports bra before her home was flattened.
The airship ascends in the nick of time.
In a beautiful FMV sequence, the airship speeds away into the sunset.
A good thing too, as it's only inches away from the SHINRA cannon.
Let's hope that SHINRA can't control the airship remotely, or this is going to be a short trip.
Barret, Yuffie, Cait Sith and Tifa slump on the deck. Tifa looks around and decides that given that the alternatives are a stuffed cat, a Mr T. interpreter, a pickpocket, an emo, a pensioner and a hyena that failed his Lion King audition, she'd better assume command.
Look at this sweet office!
She heads to the bridge to assert her authority. Red XIII throws some shade.
Barret, this is an air ship. The train was ages ago. Stop talking about trains.
I have no idea how Red XIII knows this. Must be a hyena thing.
Oh really? Well I guess we'd better head for the ocean!
Will we find Cloud? Will Tifa maintain her authority over the crew? Will Barret ever stop talking about trains?
Find out in the next episode of the Final Fantasy VII playthrough!