Author's Note:

Before you continue onto this story, I'd like for you to take the time to read this short note.

I was in college when I decided to try out writing for the first time. Bored with the typical fan fictions on the internet and unsatisfied with the slim amount of stories featuring Zack/Aerith at the time, I decided to try writing my own. I was not expecting the amount of followers and reviewers that I had! It was amazing! It was a blast writing these stories for you all, and some of you truly loved them. It was inspiring to me. Some of you had even mentioned that I should write my own stories, and then an idea formed. I was getting ready to graduate from college, and I had my grad show coming up. I decided to re-invent some of my own characters and from there, I went on to formulate and plan my own sci-fi/fantasy novel. It's been years since I wrote these fan fictions, and I know there are multiple errors grammatically, etc. that I hope you can overlook as I am now far more knowledgeable on the subject. But I just wanted to let all of my fans and future readers know that I have finally published my own book. It's coupled with illustrations in every chapter and has a special section in the back with character bios, bestiary, weapons, and more! What was originally planned to be developed into a video game was transferred into a novel series for you all to enjoy. I did it because of you. If it weren't for all of your inspiring reviews, I probably never would have gathered the courage to follow my dreams. Thank you, all of you! I hope you can enjoy my own characters as much as you enjoy those interpreted in my fan fictions. Please go to www. ARCrebs .com for more information about my own novel series.

(You'll have to retype the link since the doc reader won't let me put a link in...)

-A. R. Crebs (3/1/14)

Hello. This is the first time I ever wrote a fanfiction. It's kind of a short chapter.

Disclaimer: I do not own final fantasy Vii, any of the characters, and all that stuff. Squaresoft does.

The Decision Between Life or Death

Chapter One

The only thing Zack felt was the cold and damp pools around him.

'What has happened?' Zack tried to move but found himself paralyzed.

'Why can't I move?' In a panic all of the SOLDIER's thoughts quickly ran through his brain in an attempt to pull everything back together and make sense of his situation. The last thing he remembered was running into the old reactor to reach Sephiroth and figure out what all the chaos was about. Trying to make sense out of his current situation was failing due to the lack of making sense out of his original intentions. Suddenly, a voice was heard.

"Zack? Oh shit! What has he done? I won't let him get away with this! SEPHIROTH!"

'Cloud? Is that cloud? What's he talkin' about? What the hell is goin' on?' A burst of pain filled Zack's senses followed by a rush of interrupted memories: running into the reactor, finding Sephiroth in a delusional state, trying his best to console the man and get him to calm down, the screaming children, blood, and the blank look on Sephiroth's face as he drove his sword through Zack's body. The pain and the feeling of falling...down the stairs and landing on the hard, cold cement of the reactor's floor.

'That's it...Sephiroth went crazy and killed everyone...destroyed everything...why?' Everything faded into darkness. Zack could not hold his thoughts. 'Am I gonna die? I...I don't wanna die...' This was his last thought as his mind numbed. Despite the fact that he thought his eyes were not closed he could not see a thing. They shot wide open in a glaze. A loud ringing screamed into his ears.

'Poor child...come to me. Come to your creator.' It was a menacing voice.

'What am I hearing? Who's voice is that? I can barely make out what it's saying.' Zack tried to decipher the words. Another voice replied to the chilling statement made before.

"Mother? Is that really you?" a male voice replied.

'Sephiroth?...mother?' Zack recognized one of the voices as the great general himself. Why was he calling it mother?

"Yes, my puppet, my son! Come to me now! I'll make everything better! You did such a wonderful job. Now...let us continue our parade! Listen only to me and let your mind remain open." The frightening voice, which faintly sounded female but alien in nature, called out to the general.

Sephiroth looked around himself and for the first time the effects of his actions hit him.

"What have I done?"The silver haired soldier's eyes forever glazed over.

"Quiet! No thinking like that! You're mine now!" the voice hesitated. "...Someone is listening! And another is coming! Kill him!"

"Yes Jenova...mother." Sephiroth obeyed.

All was quiet. Then Zack heard a struggle. 'Must be Cloud...hope he lives...who was listening? Did she mean Cloud was listening...also?' the dark haired man was thoroughly confused. He couldn't move, couldn't see, all he was capable of doing was listen.

"Naive human! You shall fall victim to my reign and death will fall upon your race!" the strange voice screamed into Zack's mind.

All went quiet. 'Was she talking to me?' the ringing continued in his ears and got louder and louder, his eyes raising more with each pitch. Zack felt as if his brain were going to explode and that his eyes would soon pop out of their sockets. 'So much pain! GAWD! What is this? AHHHH!' Then, everything stopped.

Slowly, the pain went away and everything was numb. Zack could feel himself being moved...or dragged. There was no sound. Eventually, the movements stopped and he felt gentle touches on his skin. Then, like the finale of a show of fireworks, sound exploded into his senses. There seemed to be a struggle of some kind and a shout which vaguely sounded familiar.

'Cloud! He did survive! And what happened to Sephiroth?' A cry of pain was heard and then mumbling. Very few words were audible.



"Hojo?...heh, fun with experiments..."


Once again everything fell silent. The last thing he heard was a moan and the sound of something heavy being lifted.

Blue eyes opened slowly. Zack was expecting to find himself staring at the familiar ceiling of his apartment but was greatly disappointed to find that was not the case.

'Where am I? What happened?' Zack was unaware that he was currently in the Shinra mansion's basement laboratory. The smell of Mako and other chemicals flooded his senses. The smell was horrendous, adding to the pain of his headache. He closed his eyes tightly, trying to subdue the pain but to no avail. The SOLDIER opened one eye, trying to get a look at his new surroundings. An eerie voice suddenly chimed in.

"Oh yes! Perfect specimens, indeed! I'll have to start work immediately!"

Zack listened to the voice as the fuzziness of his vision cleared. The image of professor Hojo came into view, along with the dreadful surroundings of the lab.

'So this is the great Professor Hojo...I've heard many things about him but never would've thought that I'd be stuck in this situation. Where's Cloud?' Suddenly feeling very drowsy, as if tranquilized, his vision suddenly began to fade along with his concern for Cloud. The last image seen was the ghastly face of Hojo and his spider-like fingers as he pressed a needle filled with a thick green substance into the tube that was feeding Zack's veins.

Hey all! I decided to edit this chapter after getting the time to re-read it and thinking it was a tad bit too confusing! Sorry about that! I know it still is a bit confusing, but it's supposed to be that way in order to match the man's own confusion. Keep reading, the future chapters are much better. –Annubis 12/22/07