I am the darkness.

Hidden beneath a blanket of obscurity. I stay in shadow, shielding myself from the simplicity of society and its cancerous nature.

I am legend. I am storm.

The wicked chapter of your life. I am in your dreams and more specifically, further corrupting your nightmares, residing deep within the confines of your membrane. I induce paranoia.

Embrace me, accept me and salute me. Bow to me.

You wish to defy my purpose? Misunderstood as I may be, it is you who must appreciate my reasoning.

For I am lost. I am lost and have fallen off my pedestal, no longer capable of holding myself in higher regard. It is thanks to you Strife. All thanks to you, you simple fool.

Without a purpose, without set confines, without duty or an obligatory task, I am nothing.

I am, or was, the definition of control. Religion was my control and I was religion. We were interchangeable and thrived together through a perfect marriage of dispassionate love.

It is I who burned those people. Consciously, I was aware. I was alive and alert, perhaps more so than ever. With a great feeling of ultimate fulfillment, quenching the depths of my thirst, the searing flames tickled and satiated my appetite.

I lust for power. I lust for strength. Above all, I lust for purity. To reach an uncompromised form would be absolute.

I am god or will strive to be soon.

You cannot stop me Strife. You are weak. Simple and frail. A product of today's misconstrued society. A package of bundled normalcy. You are inferior and I am superior. I have always been the greater.

Understand that my feelings and emotions are nonexistent. No longer am I chained down by the burdens of human nature. I strive for a purpose. A certain wanting of absolute knowledge.

I was the public's marvel. Their infatuation, increasing with time at a deadly pace. It was all grand. Overwhelming you could say. Magnificent and beautiful at the same time. Like a superficial wound, one would only be capable of seeing the image presented to them. No dire need to examine it deeper. No dire need to ask questions about the severity of the problem. No dire need to ask questions about me. About whom I am.

About whom Sephiroth is… or was.

A gleaming visual of perfection. All that was necessary. Do you not understand? Do you not see? Are you so shallow as to only be capable of viewing me from one plane? The looking glass works both ways. Was it truly unnecessary to go forth neglecting my shortcomings?

Was it an attribution to my downfall?

Now, as I stand over the canyon, overlooking you and your feeble companions, I stop for moment. Should I pause and reflect on my previous relationships? Is it pertinent that I do this? To conjure up a memory of the past in the form of contentment?

Was that it? Was that what it was? Have I ever experienced such an emotion?

There was of course, one noticeable warrior in particular apart from you. On a level of my own you could say in terms of rank. Is it possible to deem him a former ally? Perhaps, perhaps not. Certainly at one point, we shared a moment of understanding, a mutual perspicacity. Yes, he had been there. Hardships ensued and possibly for the briefest of intervals, there was perchance, a short time of bonding.

To come across me during my quest for knowledge would result in complete disregard on my behalf towards your well-being.

This is where he is at fault. This is where Zack failed. Realize however, that had he succeeded, I would command a far greater deal of respect towards his direction. A waste of my time. Simply a lapse from my familiar progression.

And so, now, what is to be determined of you?

No, you and I may never be classified or associated as being friends. Certainly not comrades nor companions either. We were men with a duty. With an agreeable objective in mind. Professionals dedicated to the task.

This is where I shall unveil a shred of my prized privileged information.

In the recesses of my fractured, disheveled mind, I know now. I know that it is you, above all, whom I respect and hold with a high regard. Forgive my belligerence, the rancor often accompanying my words. Forgive it all if you will for a moment.

Forgive it, for you are my greatest enemy and for that, I will always respect you to a degree. Despite your shortcomings. Despite your intolerable susceptibility. Despite it all.

It was you who stopped me. Never forget that. A voice of reason somewhere within must surely permeate and echo those words from time to time.

You. No one else. Simply you. Not Zack. Nor another from SOLDIER. Not Tseng of the Turks or the entire Shinra army itself. You.

A challenge has been placed. I eagerly await with anticipation, calling forth to you, beckoning as you draw near, only to slip from your grasp and elude you. Why do I do this?

Simple. It is neither the time nor the place. When deemed permissible, you and I will engage in a test of strength, valor, determination and reasoning.

Who will prevail?

I leave the challenge and deciding factor to you, my greatest rival. Although I will never unequivocally admit to this.

Forgot not, that I am the black pit. You are the encompassing light or so you choose to be. Dedicate yourself to this moment and look forward to conjecture from your peers. Will it be the shortcomings they perceive or your accomplishments? Regardless, they are all trivial.

But take it from me. It is unfathomable being a legend. The task itself is foreboding. Be content with your predicament.

Come. Come forth and answer me. Heed my call. But not here.

We will meet in the place of darkness and I await the white challenge.

A/N: This was a two-piece shot and again: sorry for altering the story.