A/N: This is a slightly different retelling of the Nibleheim Incident 5 years before FF7. It is from Cloud's Point of View, and reveals some of his inner feelings. It also will give more detail than the short few scenes of the real Incident.
I couldn't make SOLDIER. 1st Class. The only reason I signed up for this mission was to prove myself. Later, I would discover I was following suit in a theory. The Jenova Reunion Theory.
I remember I was in that hot dusty van. Zack was talking to Sephiroth about his home. He lived in Gongaga, a town with a destroyed Mako Reactor. He was describing the little houses, his parents, and everything about his little town.
Zack had spiky black hair, similar to mine, but black. He had a huge sword he called the Buster Sword. He wore a purple uniform that looked kind of gay to me. It had only one sleeve, and he wore brown combat boots.
I hated Zack. Sure, I pretended to be his friend. But he had everything I wanted. He had a perfect life. I knew someday, I could get to his perfect life of a SOLDIER First Class. I crave that life.
Zack approached me and said, "How are you? You should take off that helmet."
I took off my SOLDIER helmet. I was a little carsick, as I often did. The van was stuffy with little breathing. I set my machine gun down at my feet.
"I'm good." I replied.
"Sephiroth, give us a briefing." Zack said.
"Alright. The Reactor has been malfunctioning. It has been producing monsters that have been terrorizing the people. Shinra has agreed to send in relief, us. We will neutralize the beasts, and shut down the reactor." he explained.
Suddenly, the van stopped. I had just hit something.
"I think we found our monster…" said Sephiroth.
Zack, I, Sephiroth, and the other SOLDIER ran out of the van. A huge black dragon stood in our way. I had heard of their kind before. Dark Dragons were very powerful, and could even use Ultima when in danger.
"Attack it!" shouted Zack.
Sephiroth ran forth, and began combat. His long silver hair was stained with blood from the injuries he gave to the dragon. I stood back and shot my gun at it. It was to no effect. Zack and Sephiroth significantly harmed the beast.
Zack played as a distraction to the dragon. Zack would slash its back, while Sephiroth would do the real damage. His Masamune elegantly pierced into the dragon. Blood was spurting out of its side. Sephiroth jumped up, to deliver the finishing blow. He shoved his sword into the Dark Dragon's brain.
"Good job." said Zack.
"Let's move." Sephiroth responded, gloves red with blood.
We hopped back into the van. I sat back down on a crate. We were still far from Nibleheim. Zack and Sephiroth kept talking on the ride. Zack once said to me that they were never really friends. They were just war buddies. More like gay partners.
Off in distance, I saw Nibleheim. My home was still a quiet town. It had been 3 years since I had seen it. The old car Tifa and I used to play in was still there. The town was the same. Nothing had changed.
"You." shouted Sephiroth to me. "The sheet says you're from Nibleheim."
"Yes sir." I responded.
"Feel free to visit family, friends, and relatives then."
As we walked out of the van, I saw Tifa. She was going into the local shop, probably buying for her poor family. I couldn't let her see me nothing but a grunt of Shinra. I ran back into the van and grabbed my helmet. I put it on and ran back to Sephiroth.
"You know, Sephiroth, who are your parents? Where were you born?" Zack inquired.
"My mother's name is Jenova. My father, well, ha-ha. He is just an ignorant fool of a scientist." he responded. "Furthermore, we head out at dawn tomorrow, so try to get some rest."
Zack and Sephiroth walked into the hotel. They were probably just going to keep their superiority evident. They always thought they were better than everybody else in the world. They seemed to think that nobody was better but them.
I followed into the hotel. I threw off my SOLDIER uniform and threw myself onto the bed. I tried so hard to get to sleep. I could hear next door, Zack and Sephiroth talking about me. My name came up once, but I couldn't hear the rest. I hated them so much. I wanted them to die.
When I awoke, it was just after dawn. Sephiroth and Zack were already outside. I got dressed, and ran out of the hotel. A man with a camera was talking to Zack and Sephiroth. He was probably going to take a picture.
Before he could, a young girl ran out of a house. She wore a cowboy hat, and a white top. She was in raggedy jeans, worn down by time. She had long black hair that fell to her shoulders.
"This is our guide. Her name is Tifa Lockhart." said Sephiroth.
I tried so hard to resist shouting out in surprise. It was torture for me not to be able to talk to her. I wanted to run over and embrace her, yet then she would know. She would know I was a worthless failure who sucked at life.
"Let's get a picture of you three." said the cameraman.
Zack, Sephiroth, and Tifa posed for a group photo. Zack had one hand on his Buster Sword, while Sephiroth stood coolly on the side, preparing to draw his Masamune. Tifa stood in the center with her arms on her hips. The camera flashed, and it was over.
"Thanks. I'll give you each a picture when they are developed." he said.
"Everybody, to the Reactor." Sephiroth said.
He began our hike up Mt. Nibel. We traveled by a series of caves, that wove like an ant farm. They glowed with bright green, a sign of Mako. On our way up, we encountered some smaller monsters, that proved no problem.
As we came to a certain cave, Sephiroth stopped us. There was a glowing green fountain before us.
"What is it?" asked Tifa.
"It's a Mako fountain. They are very rare. The Mako reactors steal these away." explained Sephiroth
"That's horrible!" said Tifa.
"You see these materia orbs in my weapon? They are made out of Mako as well. Mako is a very critical thing in our lives, and in the Planet's."
We continued on up to the top. We came to a large bridge.
"This looks unsteady." said Zack.
"Run across." shouted Sephiroth.
We all ran as fast as we could to cross the bridge. It gave way as expected. The other SOLDIER was gone. As Tifa was about to fall, Zack grabbed onto her hand. He was trying to steal her from me.
"This may sound cold-hearted, but we can't look for him. Move on." said Sephiroth.
We ran just forward to the reactor.
"Stay here and guard the door SOLDIER. This place is full of Shinra industrial secrets, so as a civilian, she may not enter." Sephiroth said.
I stood guard at the door while Tifa sat on the ground. I wanted to go talk to her. In the Reactor, I heard banging noises, and the opening of a capsule. I didn't know what was going on.
Zack came out with Sephiroth. We went down to the town quickly. We checked back into the hotel, and spent another night. When I awoke, Sephiroth was gone. Zack still remained.
We knew where he was. We ran up to the reactor. We found a way around the bridge. When we arrived, the reactor was opened. Sephiroth was in the main room banging on a door labeled 'JENOVA'.
'Let me in mother. It's me, your son. Please Mother, let me in." he pleaded.
The door flew open to his command. Sephiroth ran inside of it.
"I'll take it." Zack said.
He ran in, Buster Sword drawn. No more than twenty seconds later he came flying out, and hit a capsule. He had an open stomach wound. He had various bruises on his body. I wondered why Sephiroth would betray his intimate friend.
Sephiroth came walking out in triumph. I don't know what overcame me, but I attacked. He ran to the bridge of the Reactor. He was praising Jenova as the 'First Cetra' and the 'Calamity from the Skies'.
I thrust Zack's sword into his back. His green eyes went glossy for a second, and then they shut. His body fell off of the bridge. Sephiroth was dead. His bloody corpse fell down 6 stories.
I went over to find Zack dead. I picked him up, but then came up with a better idea. I took his clothes, shoes, and even his sword. I became Zack. I ran out, with a black mask on.
I took an old car, and drove off. I drove to the number one place in the world, Midgar. I knew what I would do. They would know at SOLDIER so I would be a mercenary. I'll convince myself I was Zack in Nibleheim. I'll mix his stroy with mine. It will be perfect. Nothing will get in the way of Cloud Strife, mercenary.