Before Redemption (ch 01 + 02 shortly)

Home Forums Kat + Seferia RolePlay RP Extras Before Redemption (ch 01 + 02 shortly)

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #4731
    Kat Aclysm

    Before Redemption
    Chapter 1 – The End

    by Kat_Aclysm

    This is a more complete ending to the RPG we know and love, and it will also serve as the prelude to my multi-chapter fanfiction. I feel the beginning of it was never strong enough – this will serve to rectify that.

    Please note that this fanfiction was started in December 2000, before Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children had been in production. I am not going to skew the fanfiction to keep FFVII:AC in mind. Instead, this is my own take on what would happen afterwards, and I would probably label it as an A/U now.

    It was Cloud who delivered the killing blow to Safer-Sephiroth in the final battle for the planet’s fate. For months leading up to the event, scenes of Aeris’s death had played in a continuous loop in his mind, over and over again, tormenting him, driving him onward to this single moment…

    Cloud felt nothing but awe as he watched Safer-Sephiroth’s body began to break apart and disintergrate, sending rays of light in every direction as it began to fall apart. The spiky-haired warrior watched with awe as the giant six-winged seraphic form of his arch-nemesis dissipated into tiny particles, which were absorbed into the clouds above, behind him, everywhere. It was somewhat peaceful to watch, and a huge relief to the blonde haired warrior now that it was all over.

    Suddenly, everything around him had gone dark.

    When he woke up again, Cloud back with his group of friends and on the same stone pathway they had followed to get to the bottom of the Great Northern Cave. Cloud had to smile as he saw his friends once again, and despite the fact he was utterly exhausted from the fight, he was content. There was Barret, leaning against the wall furthest away from them, Yuffie was sprawled out on the ground, panting. Cait Sith drooped over his Moogle, and Red XIII was lying on his belly and resting his head on his paws. Vincent stood in his usual pose, arms crossed, a stoic look on his face. Cid sat, leaning forward. And then there was Tifa, who was standing behind him, watching him. They were all exhausted and rightly so, yet they still remained near, ever loyal to their leader, waiting to see what their spiky-haired friend would do now.

    Cloud let out a heavy sigh, knowing full well that his friends were all counting on him to make the next move. He slightly shook his head and thought for a moment, before finally speaking. “We’ve done all that we could do. It’s all up to the planet now, to decide what happens next.”
    “Wait!” Barret snapped as he moved off the wall. “What about Holy? What’s gonna happen to the Planet?”
    Cloud turned to look at the man, and just slowly shooks his head in response. “That… I don’t know. The rest is up to the Planet, I can’t tell you any more.”
    Tifa nodded. “Cloud is right, we really have done all that we could do.”
    Cloud gave Tifa a slight thankful smile, then looked to his group of friends. “All right, everyone. There’s no use thinking about it. We’ll leave all our worries here.” He raised his fist, trying to sound as determined as he could. “Let’s go home proud.”

    The group wearily rose from their positions, and began to trudge back the way they had come. Cloud got to his feet and grinned at Tifa, then began to follow behind his friends.

    Meanwhile, within the Lifestream of the planet, Sephiroth’s subconscious resided. Despite the fact that he had just been utterly defeated, his will and spirit energy lingered on, absolutely refusing to return to the planet, refusing to return to nothingness. He had strived too hard to just die here, even now. Sephiroth felt nothing but animosity and insult towards Cloud, absolutely loathing the fact that he had been slaughtered by his rival’s hand.

    ‘This cannot be…’ Sephiroth mentally stated to himself as he fumed with anger and loathing. ‘I never lose, no matter what the circumstances…’

    The tyrant thought about the current situation. Despite the fact he was dead and had no body, he felt no changes. He sensed that he was still capable of using some of the abilities he was born with, which was only a bonus in the current circumstances.

    ‘I cannot exactly harm him in body any more,’ Sephiroth pondered. ‘But I can still attack him in spirit…’

    Cloud followed his friends through the twisted paths of the Northern Cave for a few moments, before something strange began to happen to him. Everything around him seemed to flicker white for a brief second, and then he found himself on the ground, looking up at the cave ceiling. He wondered if he had collapsed or passed out. Tifa’s panicked voice soon answered that question for him, however.

    “Cloud!” Tifa’s frantic voice cried out, sounding distant to him. “What happened?”
    “I don’t know…” Cloud replied, quickly forcing himself to sit up. He put a hand to his forehead, feeling strangely light-headed.
    “Are you hurt?” Tifa queried, her voice full of worry. “I think you may have hit your head, or something.”
    Cloud lowered his head and was quiet for some time. His head swam with dizziness, and perhaps something else. “…I feel it…”
    “Feel what…?”
    Cloud shook his head quickly as the entire area seemed to flicker white again. “He is still here…”
    “Who is?”
    Cloud quickly leaned forward, no longer able to sit up. He clutched at his head, trying to make the dizzy feeling go away. He began to tremor slightly. “Still… here…”
    “Cloud!?” Tifa cried out, afraid for her friend. “Answer me!”
    “He’s… laughing… at… me…” Cloud began to shake now, as if his body was losing control over itself.

    At that moment, Cloud felt his subconscious part with reality. He felt himself being carried along at great speed, and he lifted his head, wanting to see where he was going. He seemed to be moving rapidly through a spiralling tunnel, filled with colours, light, and blackness. He felt lonely and afraid as he rocketed through, yet he felt strangely calm at the same time.

    After what seemed like hours, he slowed down, coming to a near stop in a black area, only illuminated by delicate flecks of light and strands of the Lifestream. As he looked up, he saw a glowing circular shape in the area – was that Meteor? Was it the moon? Cloud didn’t have time to find out – he continued spiraling downward, blue tendrils of Lifestream lazily wafted past him, also getting in his way. But he just passed straight through them and was dragged towards another light source, then back down the winding tunnel, moving faster, faster faster still. He entered another tunnel, this one of looked like it was made of stone, then another of water, and then one of air. As the tunnel came to an end, Cloud opened his eyes and saw exactly who he had expected.


    He narrowed his eyes at the man and prepared to square off against his archenemy in the depths of his subconscious.

    In the area of nothingness, the two faced each other, swords at the ready. Cloud leaned forward, his sword grip-tight with anticipation. Sephiroth calmly stood there, holding his Masamune at eye level, battle ready, annoyance etched in his facial expression. Their eyes filled with hate as they glared at each other. Cloud felt his inner energy raise to its peak, and before Sephiroth had the time to strike, Cloud moved at lightning speed, attacking before the other, summoning his ultimate limit break – the Omnislash.
    Sephiroth could barely move as Cloud leaped up. The blond came screaming down at him again, his sword dealing one, three, five, ten, twenty blows, fire and anger burning behind each and every one. With the final stroke, Cloud leapt into the air, gathering spiritual energy. Light from everywhere and nowhere at the same time was summoned into his Ultima-weapon sword, focussing at a pinpoint – and Cloud brought it down on Sephiroth as hard as he could, the full force of his wrath bearing down on the other. Sephiroth stumbled back, reeling in pain after the crippling blow, clutching at his chest. He seemed to fight with himself for a moment before stumbling to his knees in defeat, his piercing, hateful eyes continuing to glare at Cloud the entire time, giving him nothing but his scorn and anger. No words were exchanged at all – that single expression told a thousand words of hatred.

    Before Cloud had a chance to react, he once again felt himself part with this new reality.

    After a short amount time, Cloud felt himself being pulled somewhere else entirely. This new place was totally unlike any of the others. Much lighter than the last place he had been in, and much more soothing. However, there was still nothing around him. Suddenly, Sephiroth appeared in front of him, bleeding profusely from his gashes and wounds. An expression of shock and alarm was prominent on his face – he really hadn’t expected to have been defeated at all. Cloud could only watch with awe at what happened next – the body of his nemesis rose into the air as the planet called him back to the place from whence it came, rays of light and his very life-essense emanated from his body, wafting out of him as he began to depart and disintergrate from this world, the light increasing in intensity for a few moments before Sephiroth dissipated entirely in a small shower of glowing red embers. The whole thing seemed somewhat anti-climatic.

    But he was gone for good.

    Cloud just stood there, staring at the empty space where his rival had been, panting slightly. It was truly over and done with, and he was pleased. However, before he could ponder that further, his attention was suddenly turned away as he looked down at his feet – a signular green tendril and embers of lively energy gently curled upwards around his body. He watched with wonder and amazement, raising his hands out in an attempt to touch the gentle energy formations. The green tendril danced around him, trying to carress his form, tickling his face slightly as it touched him. The tendril eminated with a sense of calm and happiness, and Cloud relaxed, no longer seeming worried, lonely, or afraid of what might happen to him now.
    A second tendril soon joined the first, this one pink. It slowly coiled itself around Cloud in much the same way as the green one had, both of them behaving in much the same manner. They were the only lights to be seen in the darkness. Soon enough, more tendrils coiled around Cloud, reeling inwards playfully, soon forming a mass of brightness around the man, seeming to be praising him, thanking him for his efforts, expressing such in the only way they could. Then, they dissipated altogether, leaving only streams of green weaving into a column around him. Cloud watched them as they wafted upward, a smile on his face. They made him feel quite warm and content, and safe – a feeling he had not felt in a long time…


    The few remaining wafting tendrils also drifted upwards and away from him, dissipating, leaving only green embers that gently danced down again around his body. Then, the area around him began to take on a bright green-white glow, and Cloud gazed upwards, smiling as he watched the green embers bounce happily. They began to merge together, creating a green column of light, suddenly pouring down around Cloud from above. A slender hand slowly came down from the bright light, reaching out for him. He smiled broadly with joy and raised his hand above, reaching out for the other, feeling happy to be at last reunited with…


    “Cloud!!” Tifa yelped out to her friend, stretching her hand out towards him, her voice desperate. She was precariously perched on a narrow ledge on the wall of the Northern Crater, trying to reach out for her friend so she could stop him from falling off into the Lifestream entirely. The Crater was now beginning to collapse all around them, massive boulders and debris crumbled from the walls, and an omnious loud rumbling noise boomed from everywhere as the entire area began to fall apart.
    “Cloud!” Tifa cried out again, but Cloud was too far away and he began to fall.

    Just then, Cloud snapped to his senses as the tiny rock ledge he was standing on slipped, cracking beneath his feet, parts of it tumbling into the green-energy ocean at the bottom of the crater. Suddenly, Tifa made a loud yelping noise from above as the platform she was on completely crumbled away, sending her plummeting head first towards the glowing liquid sea at the bottom of the crater. With lightning speed, Cloud rushed towards the wall of the crater, his feet somehow finding a safe path across the crumbling rock. He leaped over to the crater wall, deftly catching Tifa around the waist as she fell past him, then grabbed at the rock ledge, leaving him dangling precariously by one hand. Tifa held onto Cloud tightly around his waist, cuddling him.

    “…I think I’m beginning to understand.” Cloud spoke, quiet.
    Tifa looked up at her friend. “What?” She held on tighter and leaned her head against his chest, smiling, just happy to be with him. Despite the dangerous situation, she would not want to be anywhere else right now.
    “An answer from the Planet…” Cloud stated. “The Promised Land… I think I can meet her… there.”
    Tifa looked up at Cloud, then closed her eyes and leaned her head back down on his chest, listening to his heart beat.
    “Yeah,” She nodded. “Let’s go meet her.”

    Cloud began to pull the two of them up onto the ledge, slowly moving onto the safer parts where the ground was more solid. Cloud and Tifa sat down, both of them exhausted. Meanwhile at the bottom of the crater, the Mako pool began to glow white as it suddenly calmed, shifting colours. Holy was beginning to stir below, no longer being held back by Sephiroth’s will.

    Cloud noticed this fact and deeply frowned, then looked down at Tifa. “Hey, where is everyone?”
    Both Cloud and Tifa looked around the immediate area, then they spotted Cait Sith, Barret, Cid, and Red XIII on another ledge across the other side of the crater. Barret looked up at them and waved. “Heeeey!” He yelled out to them.
    Tifa happily waved back, smiling, calling out to them. “I’m glad you’re all safe!”

    Back across the other side of the crater, Barret turned his head towards Cid. “They seem to be safe, too.” The stocky man muttered. “But… now what’re we going to do?” He sighed as he looked out across the crater, then down at the Lifestream.
    “Holy should be moving soon,” Red XIII announced as he calmly rose to his feet. “And that means this place will…”
    Cid stood up and turned his attention skyward, looking up out of the crater. “Oh, Lady Luck, don’t fail me now.” He stood there for a moment, staring upwards, gaping. His cigarette fell from his mouth, but he didn’t even seem to notice.

    “What the $%&#?…?”

    Cloud, Tifa, and then the rest of the party looked up, curious to see what Cid was looking at. The Highwind was balanced precariously over the edge of the crater, teetering dangerously. After another moment, it came crashing down, nose-first into the crater, it’s wings scraping the wall dislodging more rocks and debris, before finally coming to a stop, wedged between the stone walls. It did not look too damaged however, the painted lady on the side was virtually unscratched, still in her provocative pose, winking and smiling naughtily.

    Cid quickly examined the Highwind from where he was, it still looked quite capable of flying. The pilot thought for a moment, noticing that the plane’s giant turbine engines were facing straight down. That was good, Cid thought, for he could just turn the engines hard on reverse and have the plane fly itself back up and out of the crater. They would still be able to get out of there safely, but with the way Holy was acting down at the bottom, it was very apparent that they didn’t have much time. This meant that he would have to act fast.

    Alright guys!” Cid barked, a sudden sharp demanding tone in his voice. “We need to get outta here – and now. Holy’s gonna erupt any second, and we don’t wanna be here when she finally blows her top. So, everyone on board the Highwind, NOW.”

    Not surprisingly, not a single word of objection was spoken. Everybody clambered off their platforms and climbed, now heading towards the Highwind.

    The group soon scrambled up into the Highwind, being careful not to trip or fall. Within moments of them all being safe on the control deck, the bubbling Lifestream at the bottom of the crater suddenly glowed bright white as it reacted with Holy. It began to rise up and up, faster and faster, pushing the Highwind up with it. Within seconds, the contents finally exploded upwards, the pure liquid energy gushing up from the crater like a violent volcano eruption, sending a perfect ring of bright green shockwave energy outwards as it violently spewed up in a perfect white column. The force of the blast propelled the Highwind high into the air like a toy. It rocketed up out of the crater entirely, then began to spin uncontrollably in the air as it began to tumble out of the sky once more.

    On the deck of the ship, the members of Avalanche were tossed all over the deck, desperately struggling to hold on as the ship continued its dangerous spiral. Up near the controls, Cid caught hold of a steel pipe bolted to the floor and held on for all he was worth.

    Shit!!” He yelled as he pulled himself hard up, struggling with all his might to snatch at a lever above him marked ‘Emergency’. After a great amount of effort on his behalf, he finally managed to grab onto the lever, and pulled it down hard. There was a sudden jerk as the plane corrected itself, quickly transforming into a sleek craft resembling a jet plane. With the extra speed and control, the ship easily rolled out of the Lifestream explosion, and it flew off to safety, then out towards the horizon.

    It seemed they were safe.

    For now.

    Meanwhile in the small village of Kalm, Barret’s adopted daughter, Marlene, was seated at a table and situated in a small room on the top level of the tallest building in the small town. She stared down at her tiny hands, playing with them, nervous and very worried. Her father had been gone for such a long time now, and she began to wonder if he would ever return to her.
    Suddenly, she jerked her head up to look at the closed window, hearing something peculiar.
    “The flower girl?” She queried to nobody in paticular as she rose from her chair and quickly moved over to the shutters, pushing them open. What she saw was not the flower girl at all, rather, the giant red Meteor that everyone was scared of. It had finally come to the planet. It hung dangerously low in the sky, it’s burning red fire beginning to scorch the ground.

    Giant whirling tornadoes of flame and hellfire from the Meteor began to crash down on Midgar, showing it the full might of its wrath. The burning red destructive magic began cutting swathes of destruction through the giant metropolis, fire tornadoes sweeping through the city, mercilessly tearing up massive metal structures like they were nothing. Shinra headquarters was no exception to Meteor’s onslaught, the columns of scorching red fire razed right through the building within a matter of seconds and then moved on, destroying countless filthy slums and upper-class residential zones with no discrimination.

    At that moment, Holy began to arrive. At first, it was a mere pinpoint on the horizon, barely noticeable. Then, it quickly began to grow nearly tenfold in size as the mighty wave of white magic accelerated toward Meteor at light speed. It rushed in, wedging itself in between Meteor and Midgar, clipping the tip off the twisted-metal structure that used to be Shinra headquarters. The clash of opposing magic was so large, it could be seen from the other side of the world in Cosmo Canyon.

    Holy’s arrival didn’t seem to faze Meteor too much however, as it just continued its slow descent towards the ground. It tried to push through Holy’s might, and small embers and flames shot up around the giant surface of Meteor. Holy began to glow pink around its edges in reaction to the opposing force. As Meteor continued its onslaught, a large red spot could be seen on the underside of Holy, the bottom of the giant flaming rock brushing it, trying to burn through. Then all a sudden, Holy began to burn the same colour as the Meteor and opened up to reveal a perfect round shape in it’s middle, its diameter exactly the same size as Midgar. The air burned red and Midgar began to crumble once again as Meteor’s wrath poured through.

    From the sky and safe on the Highwind, the members of AVALANCHE were on the control deck of the plane, their attention glued to the destruction below. Cloud and Tifa stood side by sider near the control panel, leaned over the railing. Barret came over to stand behind them, also watching the scene below.

    “Now wait a damn minute!” Barret suddenly snapped, looking back to the rest of the group. “What’s going to happen to Midgar?”
    Cloud shrugged at Barret’s question, not knowing the answer himself.
    “We can’t let that happen!” The stocky black man roared as he continued, slamming his fist down on the railing.
    Cait Sith quickly shook his head, sounding upset. “I had everyone take refuge in the slums…” The small cat looked down at the floor miserably. “But the way things are now…” He wiped a tear away from his eye on the back of his glove. He may have been a stuffed robotic cat, but he still felt utterly hopeless and saddened by the current events.

    At that moment, Red XIII paced forward in a calm manner, the red glow from below further reddening his coat. “It’s too late for Holy.” He began. “Meteor is approaching the Planet. Holy is having the opposite effect.” The large cat calmly stated, indicating to the scene below, where Meteor and Holy were still decimating Midgar. “Forget Midgar,” The lion growled softly. “We’ve gotta worry about the Planet.”

    An air of tension and worry was in the air after Red XIII’s statement, the group realized how true his words were. Yuffie just sat on the floor, her head lowered. Vincent stood in his normal place on the deck, arms folded, his expression stoic, always the same. Barret began to play with his gun-arm, while Cait Sith just stood there, sadly shaking his head, not knowing what to say or do. Cid began to frantically work at the control panel to take his mind off the situation, and Cloud just sat on the railing, his back to the destruction outside. Meanwhile, Tifa continued to watch, an expression of fear on her face. She really didn’t want the planet to die, she was also amazed at her friends casualness to the whole situation. The world could have been ending for all they knew, and they were just sitting there, calm. She couldn’t understand it. Cloud just looked at Tifa, noting her expression, and sighed. He was just about to say something to her, when she quickly turned her head towards a spot on the ground in the distance. Her eyes widened in surprise as she noticed it.

    “What’s that?”

    On the ground, in a remote mountainous area of the eastern continent, a tiny patch of green-blue light was visible from beneath the soil. The light began to grow and curl gently like a tiny newly-grown plant finding the sun above the ground for the first time. The small tendril of light began to worm its way out of the ground further, growing ever stronger, curling playfully, reaching upwards. Not far away, another playful little stream of light began to curl its way out of the ground as well, following the lead of it’s ‘sibling’, curving gracefully in Midgar’s direction. The two singular energy strands were soon followed by others, and then more after that. Soon enough, there were a great deal of energy strands growing from the soil, their number growing exponentially, each and every one seeming to have the same purpose – moving towards Midgar from all their locations. Back on board the Highwind, Cloud, Tifa, and the others gripped onto the railing, captivated by the phenomenon they were witnessing, watching with awe and wonder as more and more tendrils of light burrowed their way out from the ground.

    Suddenly, Barret spoke up. “What the hell IS that…?”
    Cloud just watched the scene below, a vague expression on his face. “…Lifestream.”

    The Lifestream strands emanated from even more places as the group spoke. The collective energy of souls from all whom had died contined to grow from the ground, strands soon gracefully entwining in each other, united in each other as they moved along the ground in silent determination, all headed for Midgar.

    In nearby Kalm village, a light came on in one window, then another, and another. Within a few moments, every soul in Kalm was quiet and leaning out one window or another, watching. Marlene also watched from her place, leaning on the highest windowsill in the town, her eyes wide.
    “It’s coming….”

    The Lifestream continued to grow from the earth. It streamed from nearly every crack and pore from the ground now, turning the soil and earth into an intense display of light. The tendrils of spirit energy effortlessly weaved into each other, forming larger and larger strands as they continued to unite and move in on Midgar. The larger tendrils of energy rushed in on the city, arms of pure Lifestream swaying in from all directions at once. They came in full force, Lifestream tendrils coming from everywhere in the planet’s surface, a thousand mile wide net of light covered everything and closed in on Midgar, Holy, and the Meteor.

    Barret, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid, Marlene, Tifa, Cloud and every other single soul on the planet that watching the magnificent sight had to shield their eyes, as they were suddenly blinded by the white light – the Lifestream surrounded Meteor and Holy, adhering to them, making everything completely white out…

    Elsewhere… in the middle of nowhere…

    Aeris’s spirit oversaw the giant meteor descend onto the planet, she watched Holy fight back, and then she watched the will of every soul whom had died come in to help. She watched it all to the end. Her friends, everyone, every soul that ever existed, had all united in one cause and had saved the planet from Meteor, from total annihilation and destruction.

    Aeris hovered there in the darkness, amongst the Lifestream, united amongst all those whom she had ever loved.

    And she smiled.

    The End. And the beginning.

    Kat Aclysm

    Chapter 2 – Trial and Punishment

    by Kat_Aclysm

    The planet was safe now – everyone on the surface knew it in their hearts. And he could sense their happiness from where he was. The elevated mood in the Lifestream all around him, and the chattering amongst the collection of souls only proved this further. He could hear them, all of them, talking amongst themselves, to each other, and to the planet itself – blessing the planet’s saviours, the planet itself, the Lifestream, everything that had saved them from annihilation. The souls gave their saviours praise, speaking of them all so highly.

    And then they began to chatter about him. They began to curse him, scorn him, hiss and call him names. And he hated it. He loathed them all with a passion. He hated them, and everything around him.

    Sephiroth was about to retaliate and yell his protests out to them, but before he could object, he felt his very essence being dragged downwards, and a sharp uncomfortable cold feeling washed over his entire being. He was no longer a mass nor a form, nor even alive, now nothing more than just a mere fragment of glowing blood-red spirit energy amongst all the others. He was nothing more than the small spark of life-energy that had inhabited his body when he was alive. Further and further down his essence was dragged, and he heard the mockery of others as he was pulled further away, deeper down towards the planet’s core. It was far from a pleasant feeling. It was almost as if the entity that was dragging him was deliberately doing this to him, taunting him.

    To make him suffer.

    Even further down he was dragged against his will. He tried to yell out, to protest, but he had no voice to speak of, nothing physical to help push him back up and away. He heard soft voices down here now, but they were anything but friendly to him. They were friendly to each other, but as soon as he passed by them, they seemed rigid and cold, they seemed to do nothing more than hiss and ridicule him on his journey to the bottom of the abyss. For what seemed like an eternity he was dragged, and the there was a sudden painful jerk as he came to a sharp halt at the very bottom of it all.




    Was this truly the end?

    Before he could do anything else, he felt his very essence being tightly bound up and restrained, the constricting binds made him feel searing hot all over and he could almost ‘see’ their light, burning. He began to feel himself taking form; being melded and shaped into the creature he was born as. He smirked and was hopeful for a moment – maybe he’d be able to swim back up and escape from here. But his bounds quickly made him think otherwise – they wound around his arms and held them together so tightly that not even he could move them, even with all his strength. His legs were also tied. He was being treated like a prisoner – which is exactly what he was at this point.

    Suddenly, he jumped, startled. There was a loud banging like the sound of a hammer on a gavel and a whole host of Cetra began to form before him, above him, all around him, glowing in the darkness like candle flames, gathering around him in a circle, an entire council host of Cetra raised high above him in a circle, glaring down, giving him harsh and condescending looks. This was his Judgement Day.

    But he was not afraid – whatever intimidating scene they were intending to make, it was totally lost on him. He only hissed aloud and scowled, annoyed with the situation. “Well this is an unfortunate turn of events…” He muttered to himself.

    “Order, order.” Called a harsh voice from everywhere, and yet nowhere at the same time. “We shall now bring to justice the being known as Sephiroth. We shall decide his fate here and now, as we decide the fates of all who have lived and died, just as it has been since the beginning, and how it shall be until the very end.”
    A low angry mutter quickly passed around the area at this statement. Sephiroth could tell they were not going to treat him kindly at all.
    “What?” Sephiroth hissed, finally finding the voice to speak. “I’m being put on trial? For what?”
    “Everyone who lives and dies eventually comes here, child.” The voice boomed, yet it was calm at the same time. “For this is your Judgement Day, and the Cetra High Council shall decide what will happen to you for the entire duration of your future.”
    “Future?” Sephiroth protested. “What future is there for me? I am dead.”
    “We children of the planet do not simply ‘die’ as you so crudely put it, Sephiroth.” A small female Cetra in the crowd began to explain in surprisingly kind voice, sounding a lot quieter and calm than the former. “We simply become what were before we were born, and that is blessed spirit-energy within the planet. Only, we remain aware of our lives, and we carry the knowledge of what we learned during our lives back with us to the planet. We are still spirit energy if you please; but our collected knowledge becomes valuable to all. We are in a higher plane of existence after life. We are in our Promised Land now, so to speak of, and so are you. Or rather, you are at its doors and awaiting decision on your fate.”
    “What? I thought the Promised Land was a physical place,” Sephiroth shook his head. “I was under the impression that it was a fertile land, a place where the Mako is abundant and visible to the naked eye.”
    “That is true and false at the same time.” The Cetra nodded. “This is our Promised Land. And although ‘mako’ is such a crude term, we are made of the very substance that you see. It is a fertile land, although you cannot harvest it for your own personal gain – it belongs to everyone. We wished to live by the planet and serve her for all eternity. And it has been made so. We are part of her Lifestream now, we are the souls that guard and protect her. This is our chosen fate.”
    “Well what about me?”

    “That very question shall be answered now. You will be judged according to your actions in life, just as everyone else who comes here is judged.” The voice overhead boomed, now with a slight angry tone. “The Trial is fair, but harsh. You will sit there patiently and listen to our deliberation. You may interject if you feel it is necessary, but if it becomes inappropriate, you will be silenced.”
    “Wonderful.” Sephiroth hissed, his tone dripping with sarcasm. “A whole council of idiotic narrowminded Cetra. I can tell that this is not going to be biased.”
    His comment was ignored.

    “We shall now call to order the Trial of Sephiroth, also known as the child to The Calamity from the Skies.” A very old and longhaired Cetra in purple and golden robes levitated down towards him, a long wooden rod lightly grasped in his hands. “How long we have waited for this day, oh how we have watched this creature and his ways of tyranny. Oh how we dreamed the day would come, when this vicious murderer would be finally brought to justice.”
    Another Cetra spoke up. “Yes indeed, this shall be the shortest trial we will ever undertake. It is not often that a complete monster comes down for his judgement.”
    “I agree completely, this trial shall be quick.” The first Cetra responded, his attention turning back to Sephiroth. “Justice will prevail.”
    “I care nothing for your incessent rambling.” Sephiroth responded with a loud defensive growl. “Just shut up and get this over with, you stupid old fools.”

    “You have come to trial in the event that someone here may find cause to save your essense from being destroyed. The charges outstanding against you include larceny, mass-arson, absolute countless cases of murder, abuse of the Lifestream for personal gain, manipulation of other beings, being an assistant to an even larger criminal… use of Ultimate Destruction magic with intent to harm, and attempted genocide.”

    Sephiroth simply scowled as the crimes were called out, and he felt no guilt nor remorse over them. He had dealt death as he saw fit – those people had deserved it, at least in his eyes. But one of the crimes perked his interest, and he was compelled to ask about it. He raised an eyebrow at the old one’s speech, not seeming terribly worried or concerned at all. He did not know what these Cetra were planning to do to him, but it could have not been any worse than what he had already been through.
    “Excuse me,” He grunted out, trying to sound polite, despite the fact he was annoyed. “Larceny? I know I may have done a lot of things, but I do not recall being a thief.”
    “You stole the Black Materia from safe storage.”
    “No,” Sephiroth growled in response, becoming more annoyed. He began to have a sinking feeling, wondering if these Cetra would bend their words around to make everything sound like it was all his fault. He hissed in anger and began to explain the situation as he knew it, as if it would help him somehow.
    “I did not steal the Black Materia at any point.” He stated, attempting to sound calm. “The spike-haired one’s friends got it out of the temple, and then I manipulated the idiots later to get it for summoning. It was given to me, it was not stolen at all.”
    “You received it under false pretences, Sephiroth.” The Cetra replied in a gruff tone. “Which is another crime in itself.”
    “It still isn’t theft, you stupid old fool,” Sephiroth loudly hissed in response. “Maybe you should actually do some research on the crimes you claim I committed before tossing stupid accusations in the air. Feh, I had my suspicions that none of you would actually give me a fair trial. This is just a show of power. You are all nothing but a pack of pompous old fools.”

    There was a low angry mumble amongst the council gathering, and then the hammer was banged on the gavel once more.
    “Order.” The Old Cetra in robes called out. “Continue.”
    “The point is,” The accusing Cetra glared at him. “That Black Materia was acquired under false pretences. You lied, you tricked them, and you obtained the Ultimate Destruction Materia. The difference between false pretences and larceny is that it was obtained by deceit. But essentially, they are the same crime. You took another’s property without their permission. That, simply put, is theft.”
    Sephiroth snorted in protest. This pompous old fool just wasn’t going to give up. He growled in frustration for a few moments, and then finally replied. “So what? Theft is a very petty crime.”
    “It is very much frowned on down here!” The Cetra boomed. “And summoning the meteor is an even worse crime in comparison!”
    The second Cetra behind him slowly nodded in agreement. “Murdering so many lives alone would make the planet condemn you to being isolated or destroyed without judgement.”

    Sephiroth went silent at this. He did not think he deserved any of this at all, and secretly wished that these people would just leave him alone. He thought about the past, thinking hard about where he had gone wrong. He thought back to his childhood, finding nothing but the pain that Hojo had caused him. And then he thought of his days in SOLDIER, thinking about his fellow comrades, the only people he could even vaguely consider as his friends. Yes, he had killed people during the Midgar-Wutai war, and he had followed the orders of President Shinra, whom had commanded him to. It had been his job to kill Wutainians during the war, as it was the same job as everyone else around him. He never gave much thought on how that could be considered wrong. He had simply done his job as ordered, and thought nothing more of it.
    Sephiroth continued to think ahead, remembering the brief period of peace after the war. He recalled the orders to check out the malfunctioning reactor at Nibelheim, the thoughts only stirring up the painful memories of finding out that everything he had ever been told was a lie – he remembered finding out that he was just the creation of a mad scientist, a mere science experiment, just a lab rat for them to carry out their experiments on. So upset with this knowledge was he, he had set fire to their town in rage, not caring about the damage he caused. And then he began to hear her voice…


    Sephiroth pondered her for a moment. He thought of when Jenova first began speaking to him, offering only sympathy, her love, and her support. Jenova was his mother, or at least he believed so, having read the ‘truth’ in the documents that lay in the Shinra Mansion’s basement. Jenova had called out to him, promising a better life, and beckoned for him to get his revenge on the ones that had caused him pain.

    And he had listened to her.

    So much did he want revenge that he had helped Jenova, and he had listened to her promises, everything she had to say and offer. He had helped her become free. And then he did what she wanted as best he could, even after his physical body had been pushed into the Lifestream. Sephiroth recalled manipulating the clones of himself, he remembered projecting images of himself around the planet and tricking Cloud and the group with him, leading them on the wild journey that brought them up into the icy tops of the planet where his body had resided before he was free. He tricked them, deceived them, and made them hand the Black Materia over to him. But he didn’t perceive that to be wrong either. He had done it in order to survive.
    He remembered Jenova take over his mind once he was free from his Materia prison. She manipulated his body, and then she used him and the planet’s energy to summon the Meteor. He had helped her, but she ended up using him in the end. He realised that Jenova was responsible for a good many of the accused crimes in question. Not him. He had been greatly influenced and manipulated by her, but ultimately, it was Jenova’s will and plans that he had followed, not his own actual desires.

    Sephiroth thought more about this idea for a few moments, deeply scowling. Yes, he began to see the situation clearly now, more clearly than he had ever been able to see it before. Jenova had lied to him all along, and he had believed her, he had been taken in like a fool. Everything after that, he was not responsible for at all. He had accused Cloud of being a puppet, yet now he saw that he was the ultimate puppet in her game. Now that he thought about the past, about all the events leading up to now, it was Jenova – she had meant to trick and use him all along. The promises she had made were all lies – they had done nothing more than to win him over, and he had put all his faith and hopes in them. He had followed her blindly. But now he realised that the promises were nothing more than more ways to manipulate him, to play with him. She promised him that he would become a God, and to get his revenge…

    It had all been for naught.

    It all seemed so hollow and empty now. And now he was being punished for the crimes of another? The very thought made his very being boil with fury and hatred. He had not even noticed that the Cetra council were still talking amongst themselves, still deciding his fate.

    “Stop,” He snapped sudddenly, quite interrupting them. “I don’t deserve to be here.”

    There was a sudden silence at this statement. Then, the entire council began to laugh. Sephiroth narrowed his eyes, his expression covering up the fact that the laughter upset him to hear. The judgemental Cetra in front of him did not laugh however, he looked positively livid with anger and insult.
    “You don’t deserve to be here!?” He bellowed. “Impudent child, you’re the cause of this entire planet nearly dying! And you say you don’t deserve to be here?! If I had my way, you would have been dead and gone a long time ago! Destroyed and terminated! Why, even the energy that makes up your being would have been disintegrated!!”
    “Then perhaps it is fortunate that you alone do not decide my fate.”
    “What!?” The Cetra snapped back at him.

    Before he could say any more, a high voice rang out from the top area of the Cetra Council gathering. It belonged to a female, and although Sephiroth looked up to her, he could not see her at all. He could not actually see any of the council above him anyway, for they just remained gatherings of coloured energy. He could sense their presence though, and could also feel their emotions as they looked down on him. He did not want to admit it at all, but he felt very small in comparison.

    “Council-man,” The female’s voice spoke out calmly. “You are forgetting yourself here. Is this going to be a trial, or are you just going to keep badgering this defeated and forlorn creature until you grow tired of it?”
    Sephiroth stared in the female’s direction, silent.

    “Back down, youth.” The older male Cetra Councilman retorted, rising up above her. “You are not in a position of power to speak, nor to object.”
    “On the contrary,” Another voice spoke up behind him, in the ring of Cetra high above. The voice belonged to an Elder in the group, also one of the most highly regarded. Nobody dared to interrupt him.
    “Any Cetra has the right to speak their own mind and interject here. Any single member of this gathering today may add their own wisdom and thoughts, for that is what this whole trial is ultimately about – reaching the correct decision.” He spoke in a cold tone. “Do not force your position over others. I don’t care about rank here. You would do well to heed my advice and keep quiet.” He gave a slight nod in the female’s direction. “Now please, youth. Continue.”
    “Thankyou…” The female whispered, sounding quite thankful. “Now, if there are no more accusations to be made on the one that stands trial at this time, I would like to add my own intervention.”

    There was a harsh and low mumble all around the area, but no immediate interjection. The female youth was silent for several moments, waiting for the noise to die down once again. Once it was quiet, she began.
    “Councilmen, I come forth with another factor to consider here.” She said, trying to sound calm as possible. “It is my belief that the one who stands on trial today, this horrible ‘tyrant’ that kneels before you, is innocent of wrongdoing on the majority of crimes that stand against him, and–“
    She never got to finish her sentence. She was drowned out as the entire council fussed in harsh tones, and objective loud voices began to roar out above her.
    “That claim is absolutely outrageous!!
    “Get that silly child out of here!”
    “SILENCE!” The voice of the elder Cetra yelled out above them all. There was immediate silence. He made a tired sigh and nodded down at the female once more. “Continue.”

    “I just want to say that this creature before us today is innocent of most of the crimes he is being accused of, and that he deserves another fate. I say this because I do not think that anybody else in this council will think any other way today. Somehow, I believe that all of you here want to see him dead and gone, just because of what he’s been a part of. You all think of Jenova, the Calamity of the Skies, and you blame him for being her consort.” The young female sighed. “But he is not. He is not the tyrant he seems to be. It’s true, look into this. Have the planet examine his memories if you need to.”
    Sephiroth just remained silent, and listened. He didn’t understand who this Cetra was, or even why they were standing up for him, but he did not care. He just remained where he was, silent, and very curious to keep listening.

    “Where is your evidence, young one?” A harsh voice suddenly hissed.
    The female shook her head and quickly continued. “The evidence is there in his mind, and his heart. Look into his memories. You’ll find it there. I’ve watched over him from here, just as all of you have. I watched over all my friends, I saw many of the events unfold, and I’ve seen many things that maybe none of you had noticed.”
    “We all watched the tyrant commit his crimes, youth. Just as you watched them yourself. To claim he is innocent and then have us check his memories is inaccurate. He is just a human, and they do not remember everything. Sometimes, their memory skews the truth. It is not an accurate form of evidence.”
    “Look, just hear me out,” The female sighed in frustration. “Just look back, and remember. The arson, the theft, the manipulation, that wasn’t his fault. The Calamity From the Skies directly influenced him, and you are intending to convict him to a fate that should be reserved for her. This creature before you today was lied to, and abused and taken over by her. He was not in the right frame of mind to do anything of those things by his own accord, and if anything, I believe that this creature was insane. The crimes were not committed with criminal intent.”

    For the first time in the trial, there was no complaint or objection to the female’s speech. Low mumbles and discussion fell over the council, most of them discontent and unwilling to admit that the female’s claims may actually be right, or at least worth considering.
    “You cannot use The Calamity From The Skies as a scapegoat for all of the accused’s crimes. In fact, he willingly accepted what she said, and allowed himself to be used as a tool for her bidding.” A deep voice called out from the back after several minutes. “And even if we do accept that he was indeed manipulated by the Calamity From the Skies for most of the latter half of his life, it does not cancel out the wrongdoing before he even came in contact with her.”

    “If you are talking about the murders during my time as a Soldier, I was ordered to do that.” Sephiroth finally spoke up. “If I did not follow orders, I do not know what would have happened to me. I am more than sure you have judged soldiers whom have killed. And I killed people in the Shinra building because they honestly deserved it.”
    “Listen to how casually he speaks of his murders.” One of the higher Cetra growled. “One should not take matters into his own hands as you have.”
    “Alright, so he committed some crimes, he is willing to admit that. And I do not deny that either. But he’s not the same as us – he’s a human. He’s not motivated to do things right, nor for his planet.” The female sighed. “He has faults like all of us, and he made a mistake by trusting The Calamity from the Skies. But he’s not a big tyrant like you’re all making him out to be – can’t you see that?”

    The elder Cetra loudly cleared his throat and levitated down towards the bottom level of the area.
    “That will be all, youth.”
    The young female quietly sighed and drifted back to her place.

    There was another period of silence amongst the Council of Cetra. Sephiroth remained silent with them, thinking about the only Cetra that had stood up for him. All he wanted to know was who she was, and even why she had bothered. He did not know what to make of it – but he was thankful that she had spoken.
    Before he could ponder further, the Cetra began talking amongst themselves again, and the high councilman spoke once more.

    “We have decided to take all the factors of this trial today in consideration,” He stated. “And for now, I am going to have to say that we reserve our judgement. You shall be spared for the time being – but do not think you are safe.”
    Sephiroth seemed irritated, but said nothing.
    “Furthermore,” The Cetra continued. “We are going to critically review the past events of your entire life and discuss the evidence we have. Only after then will we have another trial session, and then your fate shall be decided for once and for all. The truth shall reign, and the correct decision shall be reached.”
    “Indeed, I hope it does.” Sephiroth muttered, his voice bitter and irritated.
    The Councilman ignored him. “You should be grateful for the events today – your essense has been spared. But until another trial occurs, you are going to be held away from all of existence, away from others, away from the Lifestream itself. You shall have no contact with other Cetra or anyone, and you shall be cut off completely until we decide your fate for once and for all.”
    Sephiroth looked up at them. “What does that mean, exactly?”

    But he heard no answer.

    For he was about to find out the very answer to his question.

    To Be Continued.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.