Chapter 14

By Lyralina Sanzennine

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 7 is property of Square Enix.

X – X – X – X – X

He was floating, alone, in a sea of color.

He was Creation, the godhood he aspired to claim for himself.

But here in this lullaby valley, with the universe at his fingertips, all the knowledge of the cosmos on his lips, it felt nothing at all like his power over the Geostigma-tainted lifestream. It felt nothing at all like the surge of triumph when spirit energy gathered in his palm, when the world fell to its knees before him, when it crumbled, preparing to submit itself to his being.

It felt nothing at all like the ecstasy of domination.

It felt like peace.



But Sephiroth had no knowledge of love.

So he held himself still in that river of time, in that current of space, and surrendered his soul to the Truth, whatever that may be.

X – X – X – X – X

He was ten years old.

Not as a memory, but in actuality. For all existence is simultaneous. All existence is eternal.

He looked into the green eyes of a woman almost old enough to be his mother. Her eyes were the color of the earth.

She sat on the operating table, unrestrained, her expression sad and faraway.

"Why do you let them use you?" he asked her.

"Because they have my daughter," she answered.

"Is that so important?" he asked.

"It's the most important thing in the world," she answered.

He thought that strange. Hojo was his father, as this woman was her child's mother. He didn't think these adults' perspectives on life would see eye to eye.

"Why do you let them use you?" she asked him.

"Because I have no choice," he answered.

She shook her head. Her chestnut hair rippled down her back. Her eyes alight with life.

"Never believe that," she said. "Never let them tell you that. Choice is the one thing you will always have - your right as a human being. You may not always have good choices to make, but they're always yours to command."

He stared at her.

She smiled at him, tiny crow's feet crinkling at the edges of her eyes.

He thought they were beautiful.

"My name is Ifalna," she said. "What's yours?"

She slipped away as a thousand golden fireflies blown apart by the wind.

X – X – X – X – X

He was thirteen years old.

Hojo wanted him to masturbate into a cup.

"You're plenty old enough, boy," the scientist sneered. "Now get on with it."

He took the cup from the man's hands. He hated the man.

He hated himself.

The man left the room. The boy obeyed.

He handed the filled cup over.

"What are you going to do with that?" he asked.

The scientist grinned wickedly. "I'm going to impregnate the Cetra woman."

He wanted to die. He wanted to be a stronger person.

A few weeks later, Hojo ordered him to do it again.

"It didn't work," the man explained. "I need another sample."

The man held the cup out to him. The boy knocked it out of his hands.

"You impudent little-"

He barely felt the slap across his face, he was too absorbed in her words.

Choice is the one thing you will always have - your right as a human being.

He stared at the man, unblinking. He didn't give one whit about the angry pink handprint on his face. What are you going to do about it? His demeanor asked. What power do you have over me?

The man stormed off without another word. He never asked for a semen sample again.

The laboratory vanished like a flame snuffed out.

X – X – X – X – X

He was fifteen years old and Hojo had become afraid of him.

"I'm going to get you out of here," he told her.

The woman had aged far more than she should have. Her hair was peppered gray, her skin dull in the florescent light of the lab. She sat on the same operating table that she always did when he saw her.

"How?" she asked. "Won't it be dangerous for you?"

He nodded his agreement. "But it doesn't matter. Hojo can't touch me now. I'm too valuable to the army. I'm much stronger than him and his assistants. And he doesn't have anything on me to make me behave."

She nodded and smiled at him through the glass that separated them.

"What will you do afterwards?" she asked.

"I don't know," he said. "Maybe I'll become a hero. But either way, it will be my choice."

Her smile was his heaven. He would have slaughtered a nation to preserve it.

"When you've become a hero then, come and find us. We'll wait for you." she said.

He nodded his promise.

And she melted away in a waterfall of blue. The world dissolved beneath him.

X – X – X – X – X

He lay in the cradle of life, his every heartbeat marking the birth of a star. He wanted to stay here forever, this place where the universe was in perfect order, where he was united with all existence, where everything was logic and beauty.

But the talons of the world reached for him, inky black against the gold tapestry of this nebula. The flames of Nibelheim licked at his feet. The blood of Wutai spilled upon his arms. The voice of his mother called to him. My child, my child, come back to me.

He looked one last time upon the skyscape of creation, drinking his fill. He inhaled the stardust of galaxies and exhaled the anguish of his soul.

As he let the darkness take him, he asked, Why?

Because even Judas is a necessity, the cosmos whispered.

She whispered, whispered, whispered.

X – X – X – X – X

He was sleeping.

And his mother wanted to know what in hell's name had gotten into him.

Had he lost his mind? Lost focus? What games was he playing at with the Ancient girl?

He batted her consciousness away with vague irritation. Her fury swept over him in waves, refusing to be ignored.

What are you doing?

Resting. Sleeping. Leave me be.

Wasting time. Strike now.

No. It was too early. Haste would not serve them. Godhood surely awaited them at the end of this path. It was not going anywhere. It would not slip past his fingers.


Yes, the want. Wanting to replicate. To consume. To propagate.

So what are you doing? With her?

He was…enslaving her soul. Binding her. He wanted, above all but his apotheosis, to crush the puppet with her absolute submission. To look into the puppet's eyes as he realized that the holy martyr was now desperate for the touch of her murderer. What could be more poetic? What could be more perfect?

Affection for the girl? Losing your head?

No. What he did, he did to condition. He would be there to catch her when she fell. To feed her when she hungered. But she would have no delusions about who or what he was. He would not allow her to pretend that he was some misunderstood antihero.

No, he wanted her to cling to him, to want him, in spite of her revulsion for him, for his desires. In spite of her own character and pride.

He wanted her to know that she was a toy in his hand, a petal he could crush. Just as humans were ants compared to his greatness.

We are the infinite, you and I.

Yes, they were raw power, consuming everything in their path. They would be God. They would be everything, sailing the darkness of the cosmos with Gaia as their ship. They would create a new land, new life, their new utopia, limited only by his mind, his genius.

But from somewhere far away, a memory knocked upon the door of his soul; so soft, he barely heard her pleas against the stone.

Choice is the one thing you will always have…

But he was no longer human. Had never been human.

No, this was his choice. This was his path. He would never forget that. Dancing lights and floating peace be damned.

We won't let ourselves be tricked by her petty magic.

No, we won't…

We won't…

You should wake up.

Sephiroth stirred, his eyes fluttered open with effort. His body felt languid and he had to fight to regain control of his senses. He pulled his strength to him and sat up to find himself dressed the same way he had been last night. His torso bare, pants on but undone, boots still encased his feet.

The Cetra girl was nowhere in sight.