So here I am..
Alone, cold, and miserable in this bottomless abyss which leads
to the heart of the Planet.
Why me? I thought.
Of the millions of inhabitants on this flourishing and fertile
world teeming with life, why had it been me? Why was I chosen
to lead the path of destruction, and mindless insanity?
Why was I born with this accursed destiny which had led me to
nothing but pain and sorrow?
But I do not mourn. No, not anymore. That time has passed,
and it is all behind me now.
I had held back the tears when the truth was revealed. Those
tears stung my Mako eyes - tears from a fallen warrior, and
of a fallen angel – but I bravely suppressed my emotions, which
threatened to choke my own soul with unfamiliar feelings and
pain I had never experienced in my lifetime. Those were the
tears of betrayal, frustration and anguish.. and those were
the tears of a mortal.
Yes, I am only a mortal.
I watched with utter amazement and horror, as the swirling
flowing green, as green as my own eyes, parted like a curtain.
It was not so much as the moving Lifestream which shocked me.
It was the blinding light which pierced my vision, and indeed,
deep into my soul. A moment of pure brilliance, stabbing through
my broken body, my mind, and the cloud of vengeance which had
so intimately wrapped its tendrils around my once-sane thoughts.
It was a flash of enlightenment..
.. It was my life which flashed before me, from the time I
was conceived, until the moment of my defeat under the bloodied
sword of my rival.
No.. he is not my rival anymore. The resentment and loathing
I had for him, was gone. The gaping void left was filled with
sadness, frustration, disappointment, and ultimately the realisation
of my true origins.
Five years.. five years of lies, and nothing else. I had immersed
myself with my own delusions, fueled by the sweet, perverse
voices which overtook my conscience the moment I yielded myself
to her promises.
But it does not matter any longer. She is destroyed.
Jenova is dead.
I could feel the burning tears starting to form from the corners
of my eyes. I pull my black cape closer to my huddled form,
to conserve whatever warmth there was left in me.
.. and so is Mother.
She had returned to the Lifestream without me, and against
my wishes. I had no choice. That was the way of the Planet :
the deceased would be reincarnated elsewhere, so the cycle of
Life would never be broken. What precious moments I spent with
her in the blood of the Planet, I shall cherish them forever.
I can still remember the loving and gentle embrace Mother gave
to me, the comforting words she whispered to my ears which I
yearned to hear, and the way she stroked my silver mane, as
a mother to a long-lost child. I could still recall those agonising
moments when we had to finally part – forever. But as she turned
towards the tunnel of light behind her ethereal image, I smiled.
It was not a wistful smile, rather, it was one of contentment
and joy. Her time to be reincarnated had been delayed for almost
thirty years, and I would never cause her more grief and guilt
than she already had in her. The pain she must have suffered,
hanging between life and death, a mere spectre of the haunting
past.. I could understand how she must have felt, for I too,
drifted between sanity and madness once. The emergence of Holy
had cleansed her, and broken the metaphysical chains which bound
her to the living world. To be released from the burdens and
sins, to have the opportunity to redeem oneself with a new life..
that was what I desired, I realised, as she disappeared from
my moist eyes.
A desire which the Planet had blatantly refused. I was doomed
to eternal isolation instead. But I accepted without protest,
for that was the punishment deemed befitting an evil entity
such as I. My heart no longer harbors the foolish intentions
of destroying the world, nor the lunatic quest for godhood.
I curse again, the name of the being which consumed me once.
Selfish indeed, the creature was. For if I had destroyed everything,
I would be sealing my own fate. Without the air to breathe,
without the water to flow, without the life which sustained
the lands, I would have nothing to rule over, except my own
death. She promised immortality, but for what reason? For what
purpose would I continue to exist?
I dismissed such dark, unwelcoming memories. Shoving away five
years of torment was not easy, but I had forced myself to overcome
this obstacle, with the aid of the self-discipline I attained
from my early years. Throughout my three decades in the living
world, I had gained many invaluable benefits which a normal
man would not have the chance to. I was different.. special,
in some way. It is ironic that I am grateful for my years in
laboratories and SOLDIER training, without which I would not
have become what I am today – in some strange ways. They shaped,
sculptered, and morphed an innocent child into a monster near
perfection. But they were oblivious to a glaring error in their
quest for the perfect SOLDIER : the child was flawed.
I am not perfect, for I am only a mortal.
But still, I am grateful. I was the General of the greatest
army ever built, I was the idol in every man’s envious eyes,
and the desire in every women’s hearts. I had the strength and
abilities which were unparalleled even by the legendary heroes
of the past. Wherever I stood, the ground beneath my boots became
humbled by my presence. People respected, admired, and feared
me. Such was my influence, and such was the power I was capable
of. I looked up the clear blue skies with pride in my face,
and not of disgust or loathing, even towards my employers, the
ShinRa Inc. I was proud of who I am. I was, in a way, becoming
a legend myself – destined to be immortalised.
A cruel twist in Fate, and the foreboding darkness descended
stealthily. Merciless, and quick.. that would be the words I
use to describe the day I found that accursed alien. It would
be the day where the relentless fires would burn.. and burn,
for the next five years.
Why me? I thought. But no reply came.
Were it not for the unusual circumstances I was borned and
raised with, I would have diffused into the Lifestream long
ago.. five years to be exact, in the small town of Nibelheim.
However, the flames continued to lick and burn, rekindling my
own will to live, the scorching madness which slowly ate my
sanity away, and igniting the hatred of others. It was this
fiery heat which spread around the world like a wildfire, would
finally consume me, in the form of a blade in the hands of a
man I once knew.
This man.. were it not for my now-enlightened state, I would
have unsheathed the Masamune, and stalk him as a predator does,
and trail his footsteps to all corners of this planet. I would
have cried out for vengeance, and desired nothing more than
his blood flowing down my arms. I shudder at such insidious
thoughts which reigned supreme once in my mentally-fragile condition.
I was weak, and I believed everything I saw or heard. I believed
I was unstoppable. It was perhaps another irony that it was
this man who sought out vengeance, and he desired nothing more
than my blood flowing down his sword.
And it was then, the moment of defeat, the moment when the
final blow was to be dealt, the Ultimate Sword fast descending
from the heavens above me, I realised my own folly. I bled.
I was afraid, for the first time in many years since I claimed
the wretched alien to be my parent. I could still hear his shrill
warcry ringing in my ears, as he viciously thrusted the razor-sharp
tip directly between my eyes. His triumph meant the death of
me, the link between us severed forever. He was no longer in
my control, I realised in horror. Without a mind or body to
dwell in, I was doomed.
A gust of chilly wind blew seemingly from nowhere, and I pressed
myself closer against the wall, away from the advancing frost
and the memories which haunt me now. Unfortunately, I found
no consolation in doing so, for the walls were equally cold
In our minds, linked by the powers of Je— I refuse to mention
that name – I exploded, literally. Shafts of light pierced my
body, and then, in a second, all that he saw with astonished
eyes were small spheres of Lifestream. That was the end of me,
in his eyes. His ties with Her, or me, for that matter, had
been permanently cut. Or so he thought.
Beckoned by the soft, inviting green light, I was guided to
the Lifestream, as all souls of the dead are. It was there,
where I discovered the painful truth, reunited with my Mother,
and, in my relief, watched the fate which befell my creation
– the Meteor. I thanked whatever Gods, myself not included of
course, that the world I once despised and wanted to annihilate,
was saved by its own powers. But at the same time, I could not
help feeling despair as Holy entwined itself with the tendrils
of Lifestream, the synergy of all that was good and pure radiating
with ever-increasing intensity, until the whole of the living
world became encased, for a few moments, in a sphere of white
My mother’s time was up.
My cause had been defeated.
Je— She was eradicated.
Cloud Strife, and the humans of this Planet, were victorious.
And I was, for the first time, thankful towards this man.. for
the good he had done, and the evil he had.. undone.
The flames in the small makeshift fireplace I had constructed
with my bare hands flickered, when the winds picked up once
again. A small cauldron of stew frothed earnestly above the
fire, in it were the remains of an unfortunate animal careless
enough to stumble into this domain.. my domain.
I remained where I was, entranced by the shadows dancing on
the coarse walls of the cave. I glanced around, frowning slightly
as I observed several flakes of snow collecting at the entrance
of my rather empty abode. I live here now, at the floor of the
Northern Crater, in one of the numerous caves amongst the dank
A shiver ran up my spine when the freezing winter winds caressed
my skin, and I had to clasp my hands tightly to prevent them
from becoming numb. The warm Lifestream which once flowed here
like endless rivers had long dissipated, returning the womb
from whence they came from. All that was left was a cold, dark
crater, a wound inflicted by the calamity from the skies aeons
ago, its depths forever shrouded by inky blackness and lifelessness.
Nothing lives here now, not even the monsters I once summoned
using the malicious influence of that wretched alien. Only death
and decay accompanies me in my newfound home.
I once laughed bitterly when the Planet decided not to destroy
nor reincarnate me. I was denied the privilege of redemption
as enjoyed by other criminals of my time. Even the most heinous
and bloodthirsty creatures were given the chance to reborn.
Even the bane of the human race, Rufus ShinRa, had been allowed
through the tunnel of light in which my Mother stepped into.
Even Hojo, the father whom I defiantly refuse to admit as my
own, seemed to saunter straight into the gateway with hopeful
glee etched on his twisted face.
But I do not weep, because I knew the reason for this diabolical
I was the abomination in the Planet’s eyes. No, it was not
because what I had done, trying so gallantly to erase it from
the solar system.. rather, it is because of what I am.
I carry her legacy with me.
I am tainted by the evil of Jenova (I loathe myself for bringing
up this name), and it is a part of me. I cannot deny its now-harmless
existence, nor can I separate myself from her cells.. my cells.
I am, in essence, a spawn of Jenova. Not a human, or at least,
not human enough to pass through the those gates of reincarnation.
Bluntly put, I was simply hauled back to the living world,
and that prospect frightened me. A world of isolation, of people
shunning away, a world who hated me beyond words, a world without
Mother’s love which I had become so dependent on, a world to
which I have sinned beyond forgiveness, a world of loneliness
My thoughts were interrupted when I heard soft footsteps echoing
down the passageways. I cocked an eyebrow, and rose to my feet.
Yet, as if in response, I felt another blast of icy wind grazing
against my cheeks. I chuckled.
The elements of the Planet seem to mock me, like a bully would
do to a distressed child. But I refuse to submit to the misery
it has caused. This winter - the first since the day of my awakening
– was obviously harsher than any northern winters ever experienced.
From the ceaseless rumbles of the overhead skies so high above
my abode, I could imagine violent blizzards ripping towns into
shreds, and hailstones raining down on the ground which would
already be covered by a few feet of snow.
Perhaps there was a change in the climate, perhaps this was
due to Holy’s cleansing, or perhaps it was the work of some
crazed human.. I would never know. I never deserted this place
since I woke, and I had never ventured into the outside world
hundreds of feet above me, temptingly welcoming me into its
openness. I had a reason to..
“Aeris?” I called out, when a hand drew aside the fur-curtain
which separated the entrance of my home from the maze of twisting
tunnels outside. Her green eyes peeked in, and then her entire
angelic face came into view. Long, tumbling locks of hazel-brown
hair fell down her back, and it was unbraided, as usual. Her
cheeks had become rosy from the cold, and yet her smile was
as warm as ever. She was wearing a fur-lined winter dress, which
was annoyingly pink, and a black shawl draped over her shoulders.
Aeris brushed the few lumps of snow from her shoulder and hair,
walked into the cave. She had a basket in her right hand, and
a package wrapped with cloth in the other, both of which she
gently placed on the wooden table next to me. She grinned childishly
when she noticed my arms were folded across my chest – it was
one of the few habits which I carried with me since time beginning,
and she didn’t quite like it. It made me look fearsome and arrogant,
she had remarked once. Aeris then placed her hands onto mine
to pull them down to my sides.
“Sephiroth.. your hands.. they’re cold, “ she stammered when
she touched me. Indeed, her body radiated with warmth, which
contrasted so greatly with the chill I felt inside me.
“It’s.. just the wind,” I replied flatly, shrugging her concern
away, and hoping she would not notice what I was doing for the
past few minutes.
But she did. She always does. Perhaps it was of the mysterious
Cetra blood in her, or perhaps she was just an incredibly perceptive
person.. she could see the truth around her with amazing clarity.
And perhaps it was this ability to gaze beyond the surface of
a person, which set the events leading to my awakening.
I was lost indeed, when I learnt of what was to become of me.
A mere soul floating eternally between life and death, similar
to what happened to my Mother. But this time, it would be painfully
worse.. it would be a nightmare I could never awaken from. At
least my Mother had a body, and I had none – it was destroyed
when the One Winged Angel was slain and sent back into the void
from which Jenova had summoned. I was destined to become a slave
of my own, perpetually craving for release, and yet bound by
the laws of the Planet, which deemed me unfit for the passage
to my rebirth.
I can still remember those moments of bewilderment when I found
myself lying amongst shattered shards of crystallised Mako.
Something had happened, I could not describe nor explain what
it was.. but something had happened. And I was terrified, to
my dismay towards my feeble show, when I gazed straight into
the eyes of the Cetra I had slain a few weeks before. Both hands
were clasped in a prayer, with a Phoenix Summon materia between
her palms. She knelt before my recumbent form, and smiled.
My mind was throbbing with pain, and the pounding would not
stop. I was totally disorientated, confused, gasping for breath,
and completely exhausted. Unfamiliar sensations of sight, sounds
and touch flooded my battered head, and I blacked out.
“It’s.. the past, isn’t it?” Aeris asked softly, hands already
clasping with mine. I could feel the warmth seeping through
my skin, bringing the blood surging back to my limbs.
I nodded hesitantly, trying to look as stoic as ever, but it
was all in vain. She knew me too well. There was no point in
hiding the truth from her probing green eyes.
She suddenly lowered her gaze and frowned. Her hands released
from their grasp, dropping almost limply onto her sides. My
heart ached, and I regretted having to reveal my troubles, for
I knew it would hurt her as well. Instinctively, I pulled her
gently towards me, so her head rested against my chest. I wanted
to comfort her with my heartbeat, and more importantly, I wanted
to share her warmth.. our warmth. Both of my arms wrapped around
her protectively, and I could feel her hair swaying slightly
against the leather fabric of my cape, as she nestled into my
“I’m sorry..” I murmured close to her ears, and could feel
my breath caressing the curve of her pale neck. I felt her long
sleeves brushing against my back, as she returned the embrace.
My fingers involuntarily smoothed the fur on the neckline, and
down into her hair, where they finally rested on the small of
her back. How I wanted to console her, to bring her out of her
sorrow. But I could not.. for I myself am drowning in my own
The floral scent on her hair was pleasant, but it made me reminiscence
back to some.. more unpleasant times before. This particular
scent.. was the first thing my mind registered, when I was roused
from my unconsciousness by a wet towel on my feverish forehead.
I could only stare back in disbelief, as I lay here, in this
very cave, while the Cetra girl wiped the sweat from my face..
almost lovingly and meticulously, like a mother to a sick child.
The days that followed were a haze, and even now I could not
recall the exact details. Aeris nursed me back to health. I
remained that way, bedridden, and unmoving, both from the bodily
pain which sapped my strength, and the fear of provoking her.
Yes, it was foolish of me, to have assumed she was a threat.
But who would not, if one had murdered her cold-bloodedly? Was
I expecting forgiveness, after what I had done to the Planet
and more importantly, to her?
“I forgive you, Sephiroth..” those were the first words she
spoke to me. Four words, and yet the sincerity touched the very
core of my heart. Surprised, and quiet as a mouse – that was
how I reacted.
I was delirious, sinking into unconsciousness as the fever
took hold, and resurfacing into wakefulness when horrible nightmares
of my past left me drenched in cold sweat. My muscles spasmed
when I tried to move, sending electricity running up my back..
but I could not curl up to relieve the pain. I was forced to
experience the full effects of Mako poisoning.. but at least
I was not alone.
Aeris talked to me, soothing my frayed nerves with her words
of comfort and forgiveness. Her voice was sweet and pure, radiating
with innocence and goodness, which was unlike those of my false
mother. Her touch on my clammy skin somewhat relieved part of
the excruciating pain which wrecked my body. I actually found
myself enjoying listening to her. She was talkative, and gentle
in her care for me. I could not help but to feel eternally indebted
to her, for what she saw in me, and for what she was doing.
She told me many things, all of which I listened in my usual
silence. I wasn’t surprised when she admitted having seen me
in the Lifestream, horrified by the truth of my origins, saddened
by my separation with my Mother, and finally the frustration
when I was denied a rebirth. She was, after all, a traveller
of the Lifestream, just as I once was. In short, she knew me
in my short afterlife.
She proceeded to tell me of my awakening. I did not lose a
body, as I had thought. In fact, it was waiting for its owner,
deep within the crater. Yes, it was the same body the ShinRa
had found, and it was the same body which received the Black
Materia. The truth was rather a shock to me, and it took me
days to finally accept it all. I had been completely overwhelmed
by the sinister powers and promises of the Black Materia, that
I did not realise myself summoning the Bizzare and Seraph forms
for my personal use. My will for vengeance and immortality became
so strong, I became obsessed with these two transformations
to lead me to my triumph, and somehow, I had drifted into them,
thereby transferring the living soul into these bodies made
from vibrant Jenova cells and Black Materia magic. My actual
body, the one I have with me now, was actually safely stowed
away, deep in the recesses of the crater and still encased with
Mako. How Aeris knew this all, I dare not ask, but I did not
doubt the truth in her words.
Aeris shifted slightly in my arms, and I snapped out from my
daydreaming. Her fingers were twirling with one of my silver
bangs, as I was too, with her long, flowing hair. Shining green
eyes gazed into mine with a smile on her pink lips.
“I’m alright..” she whispered into my chest, still held in
The delicious smell from the bubbling cauldron gave me an idea.
“Aeris, let’s have some dinner, then you go get some sleep.
I’m sure you had a long walk out there,” I said, referring to
her daily evening walks. She loved going out and exploring the
tunnels, even though she knew them all by heart now. No matter
how inhospitable or hostile this place was, she still loved
it all. It was part of her home, she declared once. I could
not suppress the urge to grin at her childish naiveness in perceiving
this part of the world, but I agreed with her nevertheless.
Having grown accustomed to my constant authoritative attitude,
she playfully smacked at the part of my chest which was not
covered by the black cape.
“Oh, Seph.. I’m fine, and you know that!” she grinned mischievously.
My lips curled into a smile, knowing that I had diverted her
attention away from her own troubled past. “You sound just like
Suddenly, her grin was gone, and so was mine. Inside, I was
mentally slapping myself for being so tactless and I was fast
thinking for a way out.
Inadvertently, my mind slipped back into time. It was almost
two weeks since I had awakened, and I was feeling much better.
My strength had returned, and the slight dull headache became
the remnant of the poisoning episode I had suffered. Aeris and
I had a rather.. unsettling friendship. We were once sworn enemies,
but now we were together for reasons I did not understand, deep
in the bowels of the Planet. I spoke little, usually a few words,
or none at all. The fact that she seemed to have completely
forgotten what I had done disturbed me, but I had no intention
of bringing up my own past either. The violence, hatred and
insanity which once gripped me had entirely dissipated. I had
silently swore to myself never to harm another innocent life,
so as long as blood flowed in my veins. Perhaps this was a punishment
for my sins – to be thrown back into a world who hates me for
my evil, although I do not bear the same sentiments otherwise.
The very least I could do, while I lived, was to repent, and
never to take another life away.
I was a changed person, so to speak.. but what about her? Why
was she treating me as an acquaintance, and not running away,
shrieking as everybody should? Questions, and questions..
I could have picked up the Masamune, equipped with the various
mastered materias, which was found beside me, and left her in
the Crater. I could have steeled myself and attempted the trek
into the outer world, braving the storms of the winter which
had just begun then. But I felt compelled not to, partly because
I was indebted to her for saving my life – although I would
prefer if I was simply reborned, but the circumstances would
never permit that. I would have asked if she wanted to leave
this gloomy, foreboding place, but yet I could not muster the
courage to do so. She seemed to have adopted this part of the
crater, of all the places in the world, as her new home. Although
she does not speak, I could tell she would insist on remaining
had I asked her.
Something was not right, and this uneasy feeling gnawed at
me for days. I stayed with her, similarly pretending to be unaware
of my past. I started to help out in the daily chores of our
lives : hunting for the creatures which found their way into
the Crater, and building a simple, but cozy home in this cave
for the both of us. My Masamune served well as a useful tool,
and there were enough fallen trees, cavernous undergrowth and
loose rocks to be used as building materials. Small underground
streams flowed nearby into one of the pits which once held Lifestream,
forming a clear, peaceful lake. Aeris seemed to be silently
thankful as I used whatever survival skills I learnt during
my SOLDIER training years to make this place a more hospitable
We seemed to be playing a strange game of ignorance with one
another, acting as distant friends, and pretending not to remember
how close the Planet came to its untimely death by my own preposterous
I found myself liking this game we were playing. Indeed, I
was beginning to trust her, not only in the various work that
had to be done on our new home, but I was beginning to trust
her as a person. Still, I have my suspicions, for obvious reasons.
Our distant, cold friendship slowly gave way to a closer one.
We talked and chatted like old friends, usually about the weather,
or the latest events happening in the crater, but never a mention
of our pasts. Surprisingly, there was much to be discovered
in this dark, inner sanctum which reeked of evil. Aeris, forever
curious and adventurous (against my wishes, of course), would
go off early in the day, and return with stories of beautiful
rock formations, and wondrous cavernous structures she encountered.
Sometimes, she would proudly show me the few, rare materia she
had found lying in the tunnels in which Lifestream once flowed.
And I would flash her a knowing smile too, mostly because I
was glad to see her again. And after that, I would promptly
return to my work of building our home. I was usually too preoccupied
with my daily tasks for such silly explorations.
When she was not busy journeying deep into the crater, she
would be tending a garden not far from our cave. There were
some wide patches of ground where the dim sunlight could reach,
and she made good use of them. Initially, I dismissed this as
some young girl’s dream of the ideal home, complete with a garden
of roses and daises, a bubbling fountain in one corner, and
perhaps a dainty-looking pebbled walkway to the door. In time,
I came to realise how close we came to achieving her dream.
From a distance, I could see our humble home, a garden of flowers,
vegetables and other cavernous plants by its side, and a calm
lake at the other end. She had even taken the trouble to pave
a walkway to the cave entrance, lined by smooth, polished rocks
she had found during her escapades.
We were soon sharing the same platter of food, the same seat
as we watched the dying embers of our fireplace, and the same
view as we gazed up the opening of the Crater into the nightsky
high above us. The stars would twinkle as if in acknowledgement,
the dark clouds would part, allowing the pale moonlight to bathe
over our silent forms sitting on the rock platform beside the
crystal clear lake. No words were spoken, no glances were exchanged
– there need not be. We simply enjoyed each other’s company
in the stillness of the night.
Suddenly Aeris squirmed, and I loosened my grip in alarm. She
must have sensed the distress in me, for she smiled knowingly
immediately, melting away the feelings of concern before
they rose up my throat. I observed, partly enchanted by our
intimate closeness, and by her beauty, as she tiptoed and reached
for the basket.
“I met the merchant again today, “ she spoke calmly, as her
fingers worked the lid of the basket off.
“Oh? So what did you buy this time?” I asked inquisitively
as I turned towards the table. I could imagine her spending
a generous proportion of the gils I stockpiled, for unnecessary
accessories and knickknacks. Gils were aplenty, I assured myself.
The creatures which either fell or crawled into the crater were
dangerous and immensely powerful, and they carried with them
a large amount of gil, probably plundered from unlucky travelers.
More significantly, there seemed to be an endless stream of
creatures arriving here although their numbers have dwindled
somewhat. I assumed they were scavengers, drawn towards the
stench of death and decay which permeated the air surrounded
by the towering circular walls of this crater. Not only
their presence helped me maintain my swordfighting and magic-using
skills, they provided an ample supply of food and materials
for our daily lives.
I watched as Aeris gestured towards the wrapped package. “I
got us some blankets, some tools you ordered, some food from
Icicle Inn.. and an overcoat for you too.” I could have sworn
she was winking at me.
“But Aeris, I already have three!” I protested weakly.
She turned towards me, and put a finger on my lips, effective
silencing whatever words I wanted to blurt out. I sighed. Such
was the power of a woman. In reality, I do not actually mind
her squandering away our wealth.. perhaps it was her overly
motherly figure which annoyed me somehow. She becomes
concerned – perhaps too concerned – when it comes to my health
However, whatever she had purchased, I would accept them as
gifts from her. Quietly, I muttered a word of thanks to the
friendly merchant for stopping by in this crater once in a while.
His appearance in our lives had greatly eased the burdens and
difficulties we faced. And, if I might add, he did bring some
cheer into Aeris’ life.
I could recall the day when I met with this man, who looked
to be well into his forties. He was a travelling merchant, constantly
moving to and fro from Bone Village to Icicle Inn to peddle
his goods. One fateful day, his caravan became lost in a violent
snowstorm which was so common in the world above us, and he
later found himself at the edge of the crater after climbing
up the steep slopes he thought belonged to the region around
Icicle Inn. Exhausted, he decided to stop for a rest. According
to him, as he was leaning against his caravan, the ground beneath
him suddenly crumbled, and he tumbled his way down straight
into the lake.
At that time, I was slicing uprooted tree stumps with my Masamune
into the legs for a table I was working on, while Aeris watched
patiently. The splash of water certainly caught me unaware,
and I remember how tensed I was, Masamune raised at eye level
at the new presence. Intruders usually meant danger, in
the form of the creatures which dared approach this forsaken
place. Surprise turned into hope when I saw a hand waving desperately
above the water surface, followed by the bobbing head of a man.
Immediately I went to his rescue, and pulled him out of
the water. An equally surprised Aeris did her part by casting
a Cure spell, and the wounds and gashes he sustained during
his fall disappeared.
The man did not know who we were, but he had, for some unknown
reason, assumed us to be refugees from the war above us. War?
That was the first piece of news I received concerning the outside
world ever. Indeed, after the fall of ShinRa, the nations of
Wutai, Junon and the newly rebuilt Midgar were fighting one
another for the control of the Planet. Shocked as we were, we
remained calm and cool, never showing a hint of our identity
to this man.
He thanked us for saving his life, and promptly asked if we
wanted to take a look at his wares. And that, was how our secretive
friendship with this man began. We let him believe in his own
tales, and allowed him think we were escapees from the war.
He promised “not to tell the other goddamn governments of your
presence”, and he insisted he would be back once every so often
to check if we need anything from him. That was, in my opinion,
more than what I could ask for. In his opinion, of course, we
were merely new customers for his booming business. He would
bring news from the world above us, of the latest events which
transcended on the war or any happenings worth mentioning. Strangely,
Aeris and I seemed rather disinterested, but we listened politely
nonetheless. After all, our world was here, at the bottom of
the Northern Crater.
“No, Seph. This time, it’s different. It’s for Spring, “ she
paused with a smile, waiting for my reaction.
Spring? Had time fly so quickly? It seemed days.. no.. weeks..
or was it months.. when I first opened my eyes. Time had a vague
definition here. The sunlight which managed to reach the crater
floor was dim, and from an untrained eye, it looked no different
from dusk or dawn. We did not rely on the sun for our light,
rather, it was the flames from our Fire materia, or the glowing
mosses on the cavern walls, which lit up our world.
Aeris reached for her basket again, and carefully picked a
flower from it. She then held it in front of my green Mako eyes
with a wide grin on her young face.
“Your garden grows well today,” I responded impassively.
She inched closer, and I could feel her breath against my neck.
“No, take a closer look.”
I took the flower from her fingers, and studied it disinterestedly.
A small thing with five pink petals with a tinge of blue on
the edges. Then my eyes widened in amazement. I had seen this
type of plant before.. during my lifetime..
“It’s an Crater Bloom, and it blossoms in spring!” She took
the words straight out from my mouth.
“But.. this flower is only found on the area.. around the mouth
of the Cra—“ I glared at her suddenly, my Mako eyes flashing.
“You went up there, didn’t you?” I spoke with a scolding voice,
and my eyes narrowed. How many times had I reminded her not
to venture up there alone?! The unforgiving winds would have
either thrown her off-balance, or left her with a severe flu!
She giggled, oblivious to my displeasure. “Oh come on, Seph..
I wasn’t even this close to the middle ledges when I found it!”
She bent her thumb and forefinger, showing me a microscopic
distance between them.
Aeris then beamed with a satisfied grin. “Life is returning
to this part of the Planet.. and when the snow finally melts,
you’ll have to keep your promise of..”
I interrupted her with my own mischievous smile, “.. taking
you to Professor Gast’s house, and then to the Gold Saucer..
I know, I know..” I sighed in mock tiredness, as I placed the
flower back onto the table. Aeris was such a dear little girl.
She made me promise a thousand things – things she had not been
able to do while she was alive – and I was happy to oblige her,
even though she does irritate me at times with her zesty enthusiasm.
She caught me unaware when she threw her arms around me, with
her bubbly laughter breaking the calm which surrounded us all,
and echoing off the walls of our cave – it was music to my ears.
Once again, my mind drifted away, as I stroke her back and
held her tightly in our embrace. I could still remember the
first time she held me this way.. or rather, the time I held
her this way.
It was almost a month after I found my consciousness when I
could no longer hold back the question. I had to know, and I
direly hoped her answer would explain mine as well. I was risking
our friendship, and perhaps my one and only companion in this
dark world we dwell in.
I took a deep breath, willing my racing heart to slow down,
silently praying the stars above for strength and courage. I
turned my head and took in the sight breathlessly – how beautiful
she looked as she sat beside me, her pale skin glowing faintly
with moonlight, her waist-length brown hair flowing as a breeze
blew, her eyes shining with wonder as she fixed her gaze on
the nightsky with a smile on her lips. The coat on her back
wrinkled slightly when she pulled it closer to her as the breeze
picked up. There was, in some indescribable way, an air of magic
around us. Quiet, peaceful, and enchanting.
“Why did you return?” I blurted out, breaking the spell instantly.
She stared at me, surprised. It took her a full minute to understand
what I had just asked, and her shoulders started to tremble.
Regret filled my heart for having done such a rash thing.
She looked away, with a profound sadness on her distraught
face. I had broken her heart, I realised. But why? What was
the reason she remained in the living world with me? Surely
the truth does not hurt, at least not as much as mine did?
How wrong I was that night.
“I.. had no.. choice, Sephiroth. I’m just.. like.. you..” her
forlorn voice faltered at that moment, and I thought I heard
a soft whimper. But I could not see what she was going through,
or if there were tears in her eyes, as her face was hidden under
locks of brown hair. I reached out protectively for her arm,
hoping to soothe whatever despair which now troubled her.
“What do you mean?” I pressed on, although I knew well I was
causing her more grief than I already should.
She told me that night, of the reason for her being with me,
here in the Northern Crater. In between sobs and tears, with
a voice which quivered with sorrow, she revealed her story..
and it left me in utter shock of her helplessness – more so
than my own.
Her dream of reuniting with her kind in the Promised Land had
been rudely shattered. After her soul finally found peace in
the victory of her companions against Meteor, she sought for
the Promised Land which she knew by heart of its location. She
was filled with the promise of seeing her people, and spending
an eternity of happiness with her mother. She knew her father
was long gone, and perhaps already reborn elsewhere on the Planet
– she accepted that long ago. Aeris had hoped to finally find
her place in that sacred ground with her remaining true Cetra
But all was gone when she stood at the Archway to the Promised
Land. Her mother cried, her people wept, and the Land seemed
to bleeding with their tears. Those were the tears of anguish
and frustration, and they flowed down Aeris’ cheeks as she knelt
before the grand Arch – the boundary which separates her Cetra
land from the rest of the Planet. She begged, she pleaded, and
yet the gates refused to open, not even for her, who clearly
belonged to the lands beyond it.
She wept that day, because she knew the reason for this diabolical
She was the abomination in the Archway’s eyes. It was not because
of what she had done – she had committed no crimes for a punishment
of this magnitude -.. rather, it was because of what she was.
She carried the legacy with her.
She was tainted by the blood of the Cetra’s descendants – the
very race which now populated the world and ruled with greed
and evil, the very race which survived when the Cetra had been
wiped out – and it was a part of her. She could not deny its
existence, nor could she separate herself from the very cells
which sealed her fate before the Archway.. her own cells. She
was, in essence, part human, and part Cetra. Not a true Cetra,
or at least, not Cetra enough to pass through those glorious
gates to eternal happiness.
Bluntly put, she was simply hauled back to the living world.
A world of isolation, a world which was not meant for her, a
world who had long forgotten her kind, a world without her mother’s
love which she had hoped so much for, a world of loneliness
She woke up beside the lake where Cloud had laid her in her
final resting place, her Ultimate Weapon by her side just as
Cloud had left there months ago, as a parting memory. Drenched,
cold, and alone, she knew she could not return to her friends.
She had seen them through the Lifestream, the contented lives
they now lead in her absence. To emerge from the dead would
mean to disrupt their lives, and that was the ultimate sin.
She had a glimpse of the future through her Cetra eyes, and
she knew the consequences should she return. She was living
in a world in which she was supposed to have passed away.
It was then, she heard her mother’s voice for the last time.
Ifalna spoke to her, telling her she should find one who suffered
the same fate as she did, so that she would not have to face
life alone, in this harsh, unforgiving world. A red materia
materialised in her palms – a parting gift from her mother.
Ifalna bid her final farewell to her daughter whom she never
had the chance to raise, forever severing the bond Aeris had
for her people and her mother. Tears streaking down her cheeks,
Princess Guard in her hands, she journeyed to the Northern Crater,
Once, she would have been brave enough to face any challenges
or adventures thrown at her – one of which she had experienced
when she left her companions for the City of the Ancients. But
she could make such a dangerous and exhausting journey, only
because she held the dream of reuniting with her people should
she face death. In a way, she boldly confronted the dangers
hurled at her, knowing that she would have still a future no
matter what the outcome was.
But now, it was different. The voices of the Planet had faded,
the guidance she received in her dreams no longer accompanied
her in her sleep. Her future was bleak, and full of uncertainties..
the prospects were frightening. And when she reached her destination,
she knew she would finally be with someone who understood her
predicaments and the cruel twist of fate which befell upon her.
Her story told, she collapsed onto me. I could feel tears forming
in my very own eyes, the tears of a mortal. We shared a common
tragedy, I realised. And I knew she needed me more than ever
at that moment. Whilst I had reluctantly accepted my own fate
as a part of my punishment for my wrongdoings, Aeris could not.
She had done no wrong, committed no sins, and she truly did
not deserve this kind of life here, in a world she yearned to
leave. She had no one to turn to, no one to depend on, and she
could do nothing about it.
I embraced her that night, and held her tightly against me.
Whether my actions comforted her, or not, I would never know.
What was done to us, could not be undone.. no, not even the
powers of Holy could save us. Our crime was our births. The
day we were brought into this world, we had sealed our own destinies
I returned to the present when I heard a soft sigh. My eyes
blinked once and I realised I had been cradling her embracing
form for quite a long time. My other hand brushed a silver hair
which had gotten into my eyes. I moved slightly, hoping she
would stop hugging me so tightly and take her seat at the dining
I patted her shoulder once, but she did not respond. I shook
her gently, and she remained the way she was, her arms around
my neck, her body leaning against mine.
I smiled, knowing the reason for her sudden quietness.
With a swift yet gentle move, I swept her off her feet, and
carried her to the double bed which I had proudly made for ourselves.
Her eyes remained shut, and her face was a peaceful one. For
a moment, as I laid her on the bed, and slowly pulling the covers
over her figure, I contemplated my next course of action.
“The dinner can wait, “ I murmured to no one in particular.
I wasn’t hungry, and in fact, I found myself stifling a yawn.
It had been a long day, indeed, from the hunt, and from building
a veranda in front of the entrance. The latter was Aeris’ idea,
and as always, I obliged without any hesitation. Besides, a
cute little extension on our home would certainly brighten up
things around here, I thought.
As I climbed onto our bed, I wondered about our relationship.
We had become more than mere friends since the day she revealed
her story. There was an unspoken understanding between us, something
no one else in this world could comprehend. It was a kind of
link, an association, which one feels with another who had undergone
similar traumatic experiences.
Suffice to say, from that day onward, I became her best friend
during the day, sharing her joy and her happiness in that we
have found each other. And during the cold, lonely nights, I
was there with her, cradling her in her sleep, warding away
the bitter nightmares of her separation, and bringing in dreams
of flowers and smiles. Whenever one of us drifted back to our
past, the other would comfort and soothe. Whenever one of us
felt lonely, the other would be there to console the anguished
She may not know it, but I felt I had to protect her from any
harm which could befall her.. physically, mentally or emotionally.
I was her bodyguard, guarding her against the loneliness which
I bore during my childhood years. I vowed to shield her from
the dangers of the Planet, the Cetra girl I had once murdered,
the person who rescued me from my doom, and now, the woman whom
I think I’m falling deeply in love with. Yes, I confess from
the bottom of my heart, I have feelings for her.
After all, I am now a mortal with human emotions..
.. and a lucky one too, if I might add, to have found such a
lovely and beautiful woman by my side.
As I adjusted the pillow beneath my waist-length silver hair,
cautious not to awake the sleeping angel beside me, I could
not help but to think of the irony of it all. Here was the greatest
General ever, the man who summoned the death of his homeworld,
the same person who sought the glory of godhood.. and now he
was simply content in living with a Cetra girl he had once loathed
I sighed wearily, as my own exhaustion overtook me without
much resistance. Carefully and gently, I leaned closer and wrapped
my arms around her small form, relishing the warmth I felt against
my skin. I placed a soft, loving kiss on her forehead, and I
thought I heard her sigh as well, probably from a dream of Springtime,
of blooming fields of flowers, and of the much-anticipated trip
to the outside world. It beckons for us, and soon, we will be
there. This time, we had nothing to fear, because we had each
As my vision darkens, another breeze blew, cooling the air
inside our home, and sending me off into a blissful slumber.
So here we are..
Together in each others’ arms, our own warmth driving away
the bitter cold, and our beating hearts comforting one another
with the reality that we were alive.. although this bottomless
abyss radiated nothing but death - for the moment. The path
to the heart of the Planet, the same path leading to the tunnel
of light and the Archway, lies so close, yet it was beyond our
But I do not mind.
Because I, the Great Sephiroth, have Aeris with me.
Forever, by my side.
Author’s note : This is my second FF7 fanfic, and I hoped you
enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing this short,
but heartwarming piece. Feel free to distribute this fanfic,
or host it in your website if you have one. All I ask in return,
is that you GIVE CREDITS TO WHERE THEY ARE DUE!!!
Comments and brickbats are welcomed, just send ‘em to firstname.lastname@example.org
Or visit my homepage at Colourless
Dreams (.rtf and .doc version available here, together with
some technical notes you might not wanna read about ^_^)
Warning, the FF-related pages MAY contain YAOI stuff. Viewer
discretion is HIGHLY recommended.