ONE BORN OF A DRAGON -- by Kharivas
Part One: Descendant of Kain

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I am the author formerly known as Raptorian1. This is my first attempt at writing a truly serious fanfic. Now don't get me wrong here, but I often have anal-retentive standards for my own writing, thus when I think a fanfic I've written is a masterpiece, it HAS to be pretty damned good. That was the case when I finished writing this.

BACKGROUND INFO: When I read a character profile of FFIV's Kain on, I immediately took notice of his surname -- his full name, according to aforementioned profile, was Kain Highwind. This was far too odd to go unrecognized and thus I wrote this fic to explain what possibly could have been the genetic origin of our favorite potty-mouthed pilot. This is Part One of a four-part series.

Cid Highwind sat in a relatively vacant cargo bay of his self-named airship, pondering his own origins. "Do I know where I came from?" he mused. Hesitating, he added, "Does anyone?" Unknown to him at that time, an answer would soon come.

The proud warrior Nanaki had not left his old comrade's side. And thus the yet-undefined crimson feline stepped into that cargo bay -- his reasons for doing so unknown even to himself -- and observed the pilot. "Cid," he uttered, "I can see that something is troubling you. What is it?"

Cid reeled back at the familiar voice. "Goddamn dog! I told you not to come in h--... oh, what the hell." He muffled a sigh of sorrow, instead puffing idly on a cigarette. "I dunno who the hell to call my 'family' anymore. Anyone who was actually related to me is dead now and I know absolutely nothin' about them..."

Red XIII nodded in understanding. "Hmm, yes. That would be quite troubling. Alright then, Cid. Please, allow me to tell you this story that took place on a distant world. My Grandpa told it to me once."

"This @#$% better be good."

The Clan of Dragon Warriors had a proud tradition. Even before the rise of the Kingdoms, before the call to power that was bestowed upon Baron, upon Mysidia, upon Fabul or Damcyan.. the Dragon Warriors were there, strong and vigilant. They were a mysterious lot, and little is known about them -- but here is what is known..

They were originally dragon slayers. To bring down the mighty fire-breathing beasts, they put themselves through greatly strenuous training -- physical and mental alike -- to achieve greater strength, greater agility, greater endurance and knowledge.

To be a Dragon Warrior required many things, and one of these -- the one thing for which most people now recognize these elusive lancers -- was the ability to reach great heights with a single jump. This skill was absolutely mandatory for every man, woman, or child who trained to become a Dragoon. The training for this technique was especially hard, and it is rumored by those who speak of it that one must nearly starve oneself to accomplish such things. The ultimate payoff for this training, however, was well worth the self-sacrifice required to achieve it. The Universe's greatest Dragon Warriors have even been rumored to have the ability to fly.

Why, though, was such a great feat required of these warriors? It was -- of course -- because of the great winged beasts against which they fought. More often than not, a badly-injured dragon would retreat from battle, knowing a petty armor-clad human could not follow it into the sky. When the Dragoons mastered their potential, these dragons found themselves quite mistaken -- and often dead.

Just before the rise of the first great kingdom, There was a time of turmoil in the world where the dragons threatened the rise of human civilization itself. Where the building of cities began, the great reptiles would destroy everyone and everything in their path, preventing kingdoms from coming to power.

The Dragon Warriors, however, had been taught the virtue of patience. They would remain dormant, honing their power until the Great Battle itself came. Then would be the time to emerge from the shadows and destroy the threat. One valiant warrior who knew it would be far too late by then stepped forward and opposed the collective hive mentality of his Clanmates. This man, whose name is now lost in the mists of time, singlehandedly defeated the evil dragons and helped rebuild that which had been destroyed.

The phrase 'Dragoon' was coined by a villager who related the word itself to a great and powerful sky god, suggesting that the Dragon Warriors should henceforth be called by that name.

When the heroic 'Dragoon', who had most likely saved the future of humanity, returned to his clan, he was shunned and cast out for his lack of patience and common sense. After aiding in the construction of a new capitol city called Baron, he settled there and found a wife -- her name equally forgotten -- with whom he lived the rest of his life. The Clan of Dragon Warriors eventually came to accept the first Dragoon as the savior he was, and built a monument in his likeness. His name is not mentioned anywhere on the monument itself.

Many generations later, an honorable and valiant Dragoon named Logan became the first member of the Clan of Dragon Warriors to voluntarily leave the clan. Thereafter, he joined the Royal Army of the Kingdom of Baron and met a beautiful young woman with whom he sired a single son -- Kain Highwind was the child's name.

"Wait just a damn second," Cid interrupted, tapping his foot against the ground impatiently. "What does this have to do with anything!? Didn't you say this @#$%&*# story took place on another planet?"

"Yes," Nanaki replied. "It did. But you are not letting me finish the story -- then you will understand."

Yet another generation passed, and Kain had grown to become a Dragoon just like his father had been. An internal turmoil was abound in the kingdom of Baron at that time -- the whole story is long, and quite irrelevant, but suffice it to say their King went mad with power, using the kingdom's air force to gather the world's Elemental Crystals. There was a great evil behind all of this, an evil being known as Zemus who planned to destroy the world. Before he could, a group
of brave heroes defeated him and restored order. Amongst these heroes was Kain Highwind himself.

"I still don't get it," Cid grumbled.

"Perhaps that's because you interrupt me so often. Please, just let me finish."

After the final battle had been fought, the heroes had little to do other than return to their homes and continue with their lives as usual. The Holy Knight, Cecil Harvey, married a White Mage named Rosa and took control of Baron Kingdom. Edge, a ninja from Eblan, was a member of the royal family himself and returned home to claim his father's throne. Kain Highwind and Rydia, however, had nowhere to truly call home -- the former a wanderer by nature, the second simply because her home village had been destroyed.

Their civilization was at quite an advanced stage by then. Interstellar travel was not considered unrealistic -- and by the time Rydia matured, it had actually become a reality. Seeking to begin new lives on another world, Kain and Rydia married and escaped to this Planet, and the two of them settled in a secluded mountainous area near what is now Rocket Town.

"Okay," Cid grunted. "So the Dragoon and his beautiful Summoner wife settled down and lived happily ever after. I still don't get what the @#$% it has to do with me!"

"It cannot simply be a coincidence," Nanaki stated, "that your surname -- like theirs -- is Highwind. It would also fit to serve that one of your very weapons was once used by your father. Do you remember the Dragoon Lance we found in Wutai?"

"Yeah," Cid answered. "What about it?"

"That very weapon was used by your father in the fight against evil." Nanaki looked up at his old friend. "..Or at least I am inclined to believe he was your father. Your lineage has been unknown to you for the entire span of your life thus far. Now that you know of it, I am eager to ask what path you choose."

Cid's cigarette fell out of his mouth. "What the @#$% do you mean by that!? You damn well know I'm a pilot and that's what @#$%*# path I choose!"

"You already accomplished your dream," Red XIII pointed out. "You took the ShinRa 26 up into space. That was what you wanted all along. Now that this goal is complete, would it not be wise to consider a change of profession?"

Cid hesitated.

"What do you choose? What legacy will you carry on? That of Cid Highwind, the lowly and disgruntled pilot... or that of Cid Highwind, descendant of Kain?"

And then there was silence. Cid's quest for answers had ended, but now he had a greater quest: to decide his own future.

The quest had just begun.