Final Fantasy VII

Another Simple Mission

By LuckyLadybug

Notes: Sephiroth and Zack are not mine, but the other characters and the story are! This is a direct sequel to Just a Simple Mission, so it would be helpful to have read that first. As per Lisa's suggestions, and my own realization of a possible plot hole, I have added a few lines near the end.

Zack Fair sighed and yawned, stretching his arms before propping himself up on the table. Once again, he and his comrade Sephiroth were on a train---this time en route to the airport that would take them from the Western continent back to the Eastern continent. And this time, they had a passenger with them. They were escorting the child Maryn to her new home in Kalm, where she would hopefully have a much better life than she had experienced in the desert village of Dismal.

The silver-haired man was sitting across from him, looking over the local newspaper as he absently pushed his reading glasses up with one finger. His left arm was in a sling, which he insisted that he no longer needed. After all, it had been three weeks since the fight that had left him with a bad injury to his collarbone and the flesh below it. He was not planning to engage in any strenuous activity, he had assured the other, and the sling was pointless. But Zack had prevailed, at least for now.

He shuddered slightly. Seph was lucky to be alive. The original injury had not been enough to be potentially fatal, but the one who had administered it had definitely wanted to kill Seph. And with all the blood loss, combined with the long time it had taken Zack to find him, it had been more than enough to send his body into shock. He had actually died in Zack's arms, and his friend had struggled in vain for several long moments to revive him before Seph had at last drawn breath again. Zack hated to remember that time, but every time he saw the sling, or helped the stubborn man change the dressing on his wound, the memories returned with full force.

He looked away, glancing to Maryn. The redhead was wide awake, happily glancing around at the other passengers in the car. It must seem incredible to her, Zack thought, that she was finally getting away from an existence that had only brought her sorrow. In the village Dismal, she had been raised by the prison warden Dalton, who had never wanted the responsibility and had generally neglected her. But it could have been much worse. At least she had never suffered abuse. She had, however, seen many things that a young child should never have to witness---including harsh battles.

He glanced back to the older man. "Hey, Seph," he asked, as he batted away a sagging piece of black hair, "anything interesting happening?"

Sephiroth shrugged. "Dismal is officially a ghost town," he grunted. "Dalton's maids have vacated their quarters as of this morning. After the last one gave her testimony of what she knew about the tunnel under the servants' home, as well as the goings-on in Dismal, they were all cleared to leave."

"I guess they're glad that's over," Zack commented.

Sephiroth nodded vaguely. "I'm sure."

As much as possible, Zack had tried to keep certain things from Maryn's knowledge, including the fact that he and Seph were still investigating the mysteries Dalton, Rakesh, and the other residents of Dismal had left behind. They still did not know how Dalton had managed to gather enough money to keep his luxurious house in shape, let alone to be able to purchase so many weapons. He was certainly not willing to tell anything to "Shinra dogs", nor were any of the other prisoners. It was frustrating, but expected.

Once Seph had regained enough of his strength to be able to get up and walk around, he had insisted on accompanying Zack for one final search of Dalton's home, as well as the servants' quarters---though they had not discovered anything new. Other SOLDIERs had been investigating, but before the buildings were dismissed, Seph had wanted another look himself. That was the way he was---always believing that to fully get something done right, he had to do it.

Maybe that factor of his personality was one of the very reasons why Zack felt so honored to have gained the other's trust. Seph often left important details of their missions up to Zack, believing that he would get them accomplished correctly.

Again the brunet pushed away a stubborn lock that was suddenly in his eyes again. This time Seph noticed.

"Bad hair day?" he commented, the amusement obvious in his green eyes.

"Nah," Zack answered, though it was indeed getting to be slightly irritating. Instead of going in all other directions, as his hair should be, it was drooping forward into his face. And it had been doing this all morning. Maybe the new shampoo was not as good as it claimed.

He abruptly started, perking up as the train went around a sharp mountain curve. The motion of the vehicle jostled him toward the window, then in Maryn's direction. She giggled, swaying with the movement. Sephiroth seemed unaffected.

And at the precise moment that the train's path straightened out, several men burst into the car, each one holding a deadly machine gun. The passengers all seemed to turn and look at the same moment, as if they were all being robotically controlled. Someone screamed upon seeing the entrants.

"Alright, all of you!" snapped the man in the front as he gestured with his weapon. "Hands into the air, where we can see them!" A long scar ran down the length of his ruddy face, and a dark moustache and goatee framed his angry mouth. Other than that facial hair, he was completely bald, and his thick, brawny build warned everyone present that his gun was not the only danger he carried.

Zack narrowed his eyes, looking into the newcomer's piercing, fiery orbs. It was obvious that he meant business. But why were they hijacking the train? How had they gotten aboard, and when?

Maryn cried out in fright. More guns, and more angry men! She had thought that she had left all of this behind in Dismal. But now, here it was again. What if Zack or Mr. Sephiroth ended up hurt?

"What do we do, Zack?" she burst out, looking up at him.

Zack was already getting to his feet. "For right now, we'll do what he says," he answered in a reassuring tone. All around the car, the passengers were shakily standing and extending their hands into the air. He and Maryn followed suit.

Sephiroth stood as well, his green eyes narrowed at the spectacle. "What is the meaning of this?" he asked coldly, lifting his one good arm. He had not heard of any important people whom hijackers might wish to take hostage, unless this was another anti-Shinra demonstration and he and Zack were the people in question. Or maybe they simply wanted to take all of the passengers hostage while commandeering the train for themselves. Maybe they had a specific destination in mind that they wanted to gain.

"Get your other arm up!" the disrupter barked instantly.

"He can't," Zack broke in then. "He hurt his collarbone, and if he raises his left arm like that, he'll probably hurt it worse."

The hijacker's second-in-command leaned in, whispering something. The bald man's eyes widened, then glinted, and his lips parted in a nasty smirk. "So," he leered, "you two are SOLDIERs, aren't you? I heard something about their precious Sephiroth having been injured in a conflict. And now that I get a closer look at you, I see that you do look like him."

Sephiroth fixed him with a stare of ice that most likely would have frozen anyone else. "Why are you here?" he demanded, ignoring the SOLDIER comments. So, he and Zack were not the targets. But would their enemies try to use them now that their occupation had been guessed?

"Why are we here?" the leader repeated. "Well, it could be any number of reasons! Maybe we want something this train is carrying. Maybe we just want the train itself." He brought his gun level with Sephiroth's chest in a threatening manner. "Maybe we'll blow everyone to kingdom come if they don't cooperate with us!"

Sephiroth watched him coldly, unmoved by the barrel pointed directly at him. "Maybe you will," he grunted.

Were the hijackers only in this car, or had they invaded the engine car as well? If not, it seemed that they would need to make contact soon with the conductor.

At that moment, a ringing sound came from a device that one of the others was carrying. He grabbed it up, flicking it on while continuing to train his gun on the others. "Yeah?" he barked, and then was silent as he listened. A wicked grin spread across his features. "You took it over? That's great news, boss. So, how long do we gotta stay here?"

As he spoke, Zack tried to inch himself closer, enough so that he could hear what was being said. Most of the men's attention was on the guy with the phone, while their leader was still keeping his weapon held on Seph. The famous general was no doubt more interesting to them than the SOLDIER with the wild and drooping hair. Maybe they did not think Zack could even be taken seriously.

Now he had managed to move so that he was standing right in front of the target. Would he be able to hear from this angle? Man, he hoped so. If he just knew what it was that their boss had taken over, then maybe he and Seph could form some kind of a silent plan.

"No, we ain't seen it. Maybe it ain't here." Another pause, and as Zack strained, he could hear the faint, annoyed tones on the other end of the phone.

"It's there, you morons. It's probably in the cargo hold. Just keep holding everyone hostage while I interrogate the conductor. We can't get it out of here unless we have the train. We need to convince them that we mean business, so they'll let us use it. Shoot somebody as a warning, if I tell you to."

Conductor, huh? Then he must be in the engine room. And what was it they wanted? Whatever it was, he and Seph had to stop them from enacting their plan! He clenched a fist. No one should have to get hurt.

Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw movement. Was someone trying to get out of the room? He turned his head just slightly, not enough to be noticeable. Yeah . . . an older guy was trying to slink to an emergency exit at the back of the car. Would the hijackers see him too, or would they just focus on the passengers up front?

A shot rang out, followed by a sickening scream of pain. Other gasps and shrieks filled the car, and as Zack turned fully to see, he swallowed hard. The man was now crumpled on the floor, grabbing at his leg in agony.

"Hey!" Zack cried indignantly. No one was even going over to help the poor guy. They were all frozen in their seats. He took a step forward.

A cold and hard barrel was now held on his back. "Not so fast," growled its owner. "Just let him lay there and squeal for a few minutes. Put the point across."

"You've already put your point across!" Zack retorted, the anger seeping into his voice. "I'm not going to let him bleed to death! And he'll go into shock if he isn't helped!" That was even more of a concern to him after witnessing what had happened to Seph. A few more minutes, and Seph might not still be alive now.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Seph give a vague nod of approval. Seph was planning something. Was he going to try to slip out the other exit, the one these guys were standing in front of? Yeah, that must be it. If Zack could distract them long enough, maybe Seph would be able to get away. They might find him interesting, but with his dominant arm in a sling, they probably would not find him much of a threat.

"No one is going to help him," Zack continued. "You've got them all freaked out now!"

"But it's a lot harder to 'freak out' a Shinra SOLDIER, eh?" the hijacker smirked. "Look, more people are gonna end up hurt if the staff here don't cooperate. And worse."

"I'll just go up there and help him so he doesn't go into shock," Zack said. "You can use me as an example if you want. Just leave the passengers out of it."

The leader sneered at him. "You've got spunk. You wanna go up and help the idiot? Go ahead, and we'll keep all our guns trained at this bed of spikes while you work." He flicked a raven lock with the tip of his weapon. "I'm sure we can get the conductor to listen to reason, especially with a SOLDIER in danger of being blown to kingdom come."

Zack started to walk forward. The tension was so thick it almost seemed possible to reach out and touch it. So now his life was on the line. He could not let anything happen to him, if he could help it. He needed to stay alive to help Seph deal with this threat. And also, it might be irreparably traumatic for Maryn, if she saw him being killed in a graphic way.

At least their attention had been taken away from Seph. A flash of long silver hair was disappearing from view. Zack smirked to himself.

Good luck, pal, he said silently.

Sephiroth paused for a moment as he gave the door behind him a noiseless close. Then he slipped to the side, out of view of anyone who would chance to look out the window. Now he was standing on the platform between cars. It was unguarded, but that may or may not be a good thing. He could climb over the railing and cut through the car in front of him, but maybe other hijackers were in there, with those passengers. Or maybe not, but his escape might be noticed and someone would be sent after him into the next car, putting other innocent people in danger. The best course of action would be to climb onto the roof of the car ahead, and run across them all until the engine was gained.

The question was, Would he be able to do that with the sole use of his right arm? It would be difficult. He needed both arms for balance, and anyway, even though he had been training himself to better use his right arm, it was still harder then it would be to do the same things with his left arm. But he would have to chance it. And he would have to go now. There was no time to waste.

He moved forward, still keeping to the side as he reached the metal railings. Reaching up, he caught hold of the curved bar at the edge of the next car, and used it to hold himself steady as he raised his right foot onto the top of the railing. That was not too torturous, so far. He gripped tighter at the bar as he began to swing his left foot up from behind him. If any of the hijackers saw him, it was over. They would gun him down in an instant, and in his current vulnerable state, he would not be able to do anything to prevent it.

Now it was time to attempt standing. Carefully, yet quickly, he began to straighten up. At his full height, on the railing, he was tall enough that the roof was level with his chest. Taking the elbow of his left arm, he placed it on the hard surface as a temporary means of hold himself in place. It was necessary, because when he let go of the bar with his right hand, there would otherwise be nothing to stop him from tumbling backwards. Hopefully it would not put too much of a strain on his left shoulder.

The bar was released. With an immediate action, he brought his right hand up to grip at the edge of the roof. Now he could hoist himself up. He eased his body forward on the moving surface, until he could get his knees under him. But he paused for only a moment when this was accomplished. This was only the beginning. The more difficult part of the task was now in front of him. Somehow he had to stand up and run across the cars, jumping from one to the next, with only one arm to balance himself. If the train went over a harsh bump, it would be that much easier for him to be thrown off. It might be safer to crawl, but he would still have to stand and jump from car to car. And it might be harder to do that if he had not already been standing.

Slowly he eased his body upright, the wind whipping his bangs with fury and blowing them into his face. Now he would run.

His boots hit the roof hard as he dashed ahead. The passengers in the next car would likely hear the noise, but if he was lucky, there would not be any hijackers to overhear as well. Not that he believed in luck.

It was not long before he reached the edge of the car. Acting almost on instinct, he leaped into the air, landing on his feet on the next car. There was not that much space between them, but while the vehicles were moving underneath him, and while he could only utilize one arm, it added to the awkwardness and the danger of the situation. He was thrown forward by the force of the impact, but not by much, and he leaned into the wind, not allowing the jump to cease his run.

It was not long before he came to the edge of the car right before the engine. Now it was time to lower himself down. He stopped, sitting down on the roof with his legs dangling over the side. With his right hand, he reached down and took hold of another bar. Then he began to push himself off, easing his feet onto the railing below. It would have been simpler to have just jumped, of course, but that would have made noise that he could not afford to make. He had to be as quiet as possible, and take the chance that his escape had not been witnessed or reported.

As he brought himself down to the platform, he kept to the side and watched the window of the engine car. Someone, the hijacker most likely, had his back facing the opening. He was talking in a low, menacing voice, and another answered him in anger, but actual words could not be distinguished.

He drew his sword as he crept closer, slipping inside the doorway. Then he brought it up, abruptly pressing it against the startled hijacker's neck as he came up behind the other.

"You should be more careful," he growled, feeling the body stiffen against the blade.

The conductor stared at him in shock. "Who are you?" he gasped.

"Never mind that," Sephiroth said. "Have you already tried to call for help?"

The conductor shook his head. "I haven't had the chance. This . . . madman's been keeping me hostage!" He pointed in emphasis at the person being restrained.

"Take the chance now." Sephiroth looked down at his prisoner. The man was almost seething in rage.

"Call off your men," he directed.

"Fool!" was the contemptuous retort. "Do you think that I'm afraid of you? You can't kill me because you need me alive. Stand here and hold your sword at my throat all you like, it won't change anything."

Sephiroth was unmoved. "Within several moments, SOLDIERs will be converging on this location, and they will outnumber you and your men. It would be wisest to surrender now. In a fierce battle, there's no guarantee that you would come out alive."

A dark chuckle rumbled in the thick neck. "No one will come. Communications are down."

Green eyes narrowed in frustration. He had considered the possibility, but he had hoped that it would not be so. That left him and Zack alone to try to fight them. The numbers might be less, but it was still too much like Dismal. And he only had one dependable arm.

"He's right," moaned the conductor from the console. "I can't get any answer!" He made a fist, banging it into the table.

Sephiroth gripped more firmly at the hilt. "What is it you want?" he asked the criminal.

"Ask him." A slight gesture to the conductor's worried form.

The older man shook his head helplessly, bewildered. "They want the coffin of a man who died suddenly in Gladsheim," he reported. "The body was being brought back to Kalm for the funeral."

Sephiroth frowned. "Whose body is it?" he asked. Thinking back over what he had read the last day or so, he did not recall anything about a sudden death in Gladsheim. Had he overlooked it? Or had it been supposedly kept secret?

The conductor shrugged. "According to the identification found on him, his name was Rakesh."

Now Sephiroth stared. What? That was impossible. Rakesh had killed himself in Dismal. It was not a very common name, and it seemed a strange coincidence that it would turn up again so soon.

"He was a businessman, supposedly," the conductor went on. "Worked at Broken Circle."

Sephiroth frowned. Why did that name sound familiar? He could not place it, but he knew he had heard it somewhere of late.

Without warning a gun clanged into the edge of the Masamune, forcing it back from the hijacker's throat. Sephiroth grunted, stumbling back at the sudden action as his opponent whirled, weapon bared.

"We're taking the coffin and commandeering this train to the airport," he announced, "and not even SOLDIER is gonna stop us!" A wicked smirk came over his features. "All I have to do is give the signal, and my men'll start shooting. It doesn't matter who ends up dead, as long as we get the casket!"

Sephiroth glowered, clutching the sword. He would have to hope that it was not obvious that this was not his dominant arm. Though in any case, it was clear that he only had one arm to use, and the hijacker would probably feel that he had the advantage.

"Actually . . ." A smirk. "I've already given the signal." He held up his other hand, revealing the phone he was holding. "The car should be getting torn up now. Wanna listen?" Without waiting for an answer, he pressed the speakerphone button. The sounds of gunfire and screams filled the room.

Abruptly the phone was tossed at Sephiroth's face, and he had to step back before he could be struck. Then the man brought up his gun, firing several rounds on all sides of the SOLDIER to confuse him.

So, it was going to be a battle, then. Sephiroth looked up through his bangs. The next bullet was coming straight towards him. He brought up the sword, deflecting the lead just in time. It drilled into the opposite wall.

Undaunted, the gunner fired again, and again, his mouth still curled into an ugly sneer. Each shot moved closer to the mark, and by the time one actually clipped the open collar of the black coat, he was becoming quite confident. But Sephiroth was still bobbing, weaving, and deflecting, moving almost in a dance.

The man was growing overly assured. The next shot was aimed right at the partially crippled limb. Sephiroth barely had time to bring the blade sideways in front of his left arm while backing up. It was hard to say how many more bullets were in the magazine clip. He could not drag this out, hoping that the other would run out of ammunition. The conflict had to be ceased. Zack must have his hands full right now. He would need assistance.

Abruptly Sephiroth lunged, catching the other off-guard. He swung out with the Masamune, striking the gun harshly. It soared out of the grubby paws, crashing on the floor with a resounding burst of gunfire. Catching the edge of the man's vest with the sword, Sephiroth soon had him pinned to the wall.

"Now," he said, "let's try this again. Call off your men."

He was regarded with a look of sheer hate, something he was quite used to after all this time. But then his opponent kicked out, painfully making contact. Grabbing the sword, he ripped it away from him and dashed for the door. Was he going to join the others? Or was he heading for the cargo hold? Either way, he was not going to get far.

Sephiroth recovered quickly, chasing after him. There were not many places to run. But instead of going into the next car, he was heading onto the roof. Did he think it would be more difficult for Sephiroth to follow him up there? Well, in his current condition, it would be.

Frustrated, he sheathed his sword and grabbed for the bar as he hoisted his body onto the railing. Hauling himself up in record time, he found that the other was already leaping to the next car. He ran forward, making the jump as well as he pursued his quarry across the top of the train.

In this way, they proceeded across at least half of the cars. But then the hijacker turned, drawing a small revolver out of his pocket. He fired, aiming at Sephiroth's feet. It should be an easy task, to make the SOLDIER tumble off to his death---especially if he was not expecting the assault.

Sephiroth glared at the ammunition, barely succeeding in sidestepping. At the same time, a second round came closer, much too close. A bullet zipped past his boot, clipping the edge of it. And then he found himself slipping. Out of reflex, his left arm flew out of the sling as he pitched sideways, still fighting for balance. He could not fall! He would be killed one way or another, either from the length of the descent or by what he would hit upon landing. Desperately he reached out for something, anything . . .

. . . And caught hold of the bar just over the edge of the roof.

He clung to it with both hands, his hair blowing all around him. This was outrageous. He could not be defeated here, like this. It was his lack of equilibrium that was making it so hard to fight. Ordinarily he would not have tumbled off the roof. But it was not an acceptable excuse.

Was that a sound inside the car he was clinging to? He frowned, moving closer to the door as he attempted to peer through both his wildly flying locks and the window. Yes, this was the cargo hold. A dark figure had just entered from the other end and was pushing crates aside in its quest for the coffin.

Sephiroth lowered himself to the platform. He would catch the other by surprise. It was probably believed that he had fallen to his death just now, so no one would be expected to appear. He grasped the hilt of his sword as he burst through the doors.

The figure's head jerked up as a grunt of surprise and annoyance escaped the thin lips. One bullet, then another, was attempted to be fired from the handgun, but they were easily deflected. The weapon flew to the floor as the blade cut into the wrist. A scream of pain went up as the hijacker fell back, gripping at the torn flesh. A stream of curses immediately followed.

Sephiroth regarded the other coldly. "It's over," he said, before bringing the hilt down hard on the cowering man's head. He dropped to the floor, unconscious.

It did not take long before the wounded wrist was treated and bound, and the hijacker's arms and legs were tied. It should hold him until they arrived at the airport, at any rate. Not that he was likely to say any more about his odd mission. He would instead probably be dead weight. Sephiroth was all too familiar with the type.

Abandoning the cargo hold, and making certain the doors were secure, he began to pass through the cars normally. Now it would have to be chanced that the other hijackers were only in the one car. After all of that, he was not about to run across the roofs again.

The other passenger cars were filled with confused people, who stared at the disheveled, armored man as he walked the aisles. He carried himself with dignity, in spite of his windblown hair, torn collar, and injured arm. Once reaching the other end of one car, he walked out with a slight nod to the passengers before repeating the process.

Then he was coming upon the car where the fighting had begun. His eyes narrowed as he approaching the window. What would he find inside? Would anyone else be wounded? Dead? What about Zack? And the girl? He had tried to keep such thoughts out of his mind during the last moments, but now they were creeping back to the forefront of his mind. Would Zack even be able to deal with it, if something happened to the child? Would Sephiroth be able to deal with it if something happened to Zack?

He would have to. Death was something they had both accepted upon joining SOLDIER. Zack would not be the first comrade to perish. But . . . he was the one to whom Sephiroth was the closest. It would be hard, and painful, to deal with such a death. Hopefully he would not have to.

He peered through the glass. Everything was in an uproar. People were sitting in their seats, some weeping, some too numb to make a sound. Bodies were strewn on the floor, crimson spilling from various wounds. Some made weak movements, or moaned, while others were still. And not all the forms belonged to the hijackers.

Grasping the door handle, Sephiroth pushed it open and stepped inside. Every open eye in the room was promptly fixed upon him, the fear and apprehension evident. Then, recognizing him as the other SOLDIER, some relaxed. Another gasped, worried, her eyes widening.

"Look out!" she cried, just as one last hijacker emerged from the shadows, ready to fatally shoot the entrant.

Gripping the sword firmly in his right hand, Sephiroth felled his opponent. The body crashed to the floor, new red trails beginning their exploration of the carpet. The conflict was over.

The warrior took a deep breath, lowering his weapon. Bending down, he picked up the gun by the handle. He never had liked them. It was a coward's tool, easily manipulated. To use a sword, much skill was required, as well as patience. He flicked on the safety before setting the gun on a nearby shelf.

"Hey! Good work, Seph!"

"Mr. Sephiroth!"

He looked up, relief flooding over him as Zack approached, Maryn clinging to the edge of his shirt. Zack was winded, but unhurt save for a scratch on his cheek. And Maryn was hugging him, burying her face in the cloth so as not to have to look at the carnage strewn on the floor. She peeked up, trying to smile at Sephiroth.

He nodded to her in return. This was not a scene she should have to see. It never should have happened in the first place.

Zack shook his head, idly brushing a thick spike out of his face. "That was some fight," he remarked, his voice sobering as he placed his other hand comfortingly on Maryn's back. "Some of the passengers got up and helped me. A couple of them are police officers." He sighed. "I couldn't have beaten all those guys on my own.

"So!" he said, changing the subject. "How'd things go on your end, Seph?" As he spoke, he was looking his friend up and down, making certain that he was alright. Of course, he knew that if he asked that question, he would be told that Seph was "fine"---whether he happened to be or not.

"Interesting," Sephiroth grunted. "I subdued the leader and found out that they want the coffin of a man named Rakesh."

Zack blinked, surprised. "Okay," he said. "That's just weird."

"I know." Sephiroth crossed his arms. Once they reached the airport, and the men were taken into custody, he wanted to investigate further. And it would be better if Maryn did not have to be involved. She had experienced enough excitement.

Now Sephiroth's attention was directed to the scene around them in the car---the stunned and traumatized people as well as the bodies on the floor. "How many of the passengers were injured?" he asked, lowering his voice. Or worse, he added to himself.

Zack sighed, following Seph's gaze. "Several," he admitted, "but a lot of them were able to take cover under and behind the seats. A couple of them are dead. . . ." He did not like to say much about it in front of Maryn, but it needed to be discussed. Maybe after they arrived in Kalm, or even while at the airport, it could be talked about in more detail.

Actually, the train was starting to slow down now. Zack blinked, turning to look out the window. They were coming up to a station, beyond which were several buildings and large runways. He gave a low whistle. "The airport already? Man. . . ." It seemed strange, that they were already there. All of the disasters had eaten up the time.

"We've arrived soon enough," Sephiroth grunted, wondering exactly what could be done with Maryn while they looked into things before their flight. Maybe there would not actually be much they could do here, beyond looking in the coffin. It seemed that the mysteries were all converging on Kalm. That was where the Broken Circle company was located, the business which still seemed so familiar.

Now the train came to a halt. A murmur immediately went up as the passengers discussed the arrival with each other. Some were relieved, others still apprehensive. Some hesitated to even move, with all the bodies in their path. This was not like anything they had ever before seen. And it was not pleasant at all. It was likely to leave a lasting affect in many, if not all, of their minds.

Sephiroth sighed to himself. It was time that they should disembark as well. Probably they should take the time to guide the passengers safely out.

He looked over, watching as the brunet again wrestled with the stubborn piece of hair. "Zack?"

"Yeah?" Zack pulled his hand back from the spike, and it immediately landed over his eye again.

Seph was giving him a very serious look. "From now on," he said, "you are no longer allowed to make jokes about my hair."