SEPHIROTH, A NEW HOPE

AN: yeah, I'm having a little bit of a problem writing again, so forgive me. I haven't had any sort of word processing program for at least a month and it shows. V.v I'm trying to get back in the swing of it, so have patience.

--Discovery--

A scream echoed throughout a wide cavern in the area of what was once known as the north crater. The scream was female in origin and died off quickly, though the echoes pulled sluggishly through the many passageways that were as numerous as holes in a sponge.

The air was still after the scream subsided and dust settled from the rocks that had fallen from the cavern ceiling. The cavern is pitch black except for a dim glow from a cheap flash light that is laying on the ground. The flashlight's light glitters across the light-blue Materia under it. The young woman who'd let loose the scream slowly crouches and picks up her flashlight, having to hit it a few times to make it turn back on completely.

Turning the beam of light toward the floor she scoots closer to what had caused her to scream. Her breathing echoed through the cavern as she let her fingers trace along the features of the body trapped within the Materia that made up the floor. "He's beautiful..." she whispered softly to herself, "he looks almost as if he were alive, just behind colored glass..." The adventurous girl pulled out her notebook in which she'd been mapping the caverns in and scribbled a star on the cavern she was in. "I'll have to tell someone about this when I get out!" she enthused then went to sketching the man trapped in the Materia, forever preserved.

--Examination--

The renowned Doctor Katachi of New Midgar entered his spotless lab to look upon the subject they'd finally managed to cut out of the Materia cavern at the old North Crater. The work had taken almost a year to complete, but finally, he had possession of the beautiful man who'd been discovered by the Amateur Adventurer Jenny Lenning. Of course, Katachi wasn't here just to make scientific notes on his newest project. A herd of media reporters followed him into his lab, clamoring to see the amazing Materia Man.

The man was suspended in a block of slightly blue tinted Materia, clothed only in a pair of ragged black pants with cuts all over his body as if he'd been attacked. His silvery hair was flared out around him as if the Materia he was encased in had reached up and surrounded him in mid motion. He had one arm raised as if to fend off something from his face, his eyes were open but slightly narrowed, his expression... he didn't seem to have an expression, just one someone who was fending off a strong breeze would wear. As if he were expecting to be encased in Materia forever. His skin was pale and his eyes were blue-green with slits for pupils.

The flashes of cameras reflected off the Materia's surface as the media took pictures of the doctor standing next to his new project. "Doctor! What are your opinions on this phenomenon?" one reporter in the front asked hurriedly, microphones of all shapes and sizes were shoved into the tall and rather handsome doctor's face. Lifting a hand, he pushed his thin wire framed glasses back up his nose before answering. His icy blue eyes glowing somewhat from residual Mako Exposure inherited from one of his ancestors. His almost yellow blonde hair fell around his face in a somewhat spiky style.

Slowly Steve Katachi took a breath and answered the question. "I believe that this might be the body of Sephiroth, the Great General who worked for the Shinra company two thousand or so years ago." Silence met his statement then another reporter managed to shout his question out first.

"How can you tell?"

Katachi bowed his head slightly, a smile touching his lips. "As a perk for working on some of the famous projects you all know about, I was given access to some of the older records still stored in the Government Database. I am secretly a history buff." Slowly he moved, putting his hands in the pockets of his lab coat. He well knew that most women who saw him immediately fell for his charm, intelligence, and looks, it was inevitable. He also knew that almost every woman in the world would be clamoring to get caught up on the world's ancient history.

"So you looked up this Sephiroth, Doctor?" one of the female reporters asked, her eyes wide, almost as if she were about to have a heart attack from just being near him.

He smiled calmly in return, suavely answering, "Actually, I'd already gotten information on him years ago, I simply recognized him from the pictures I'd seen." At the tender age of twenty eight, he was one of the most accomplished scientists since Professor Ghast of even before Sephiroth's time. He even knew that Ghast had worked on the project that practically spawned Sephiroth. The Jenova Project.

Katachi gestured at the block of Materia that contained the perfectly preserved body. "My other observations that I've gathered have been that he was possibly in a battle before he died, or perhaps it was a battle that killed him and he simply fell into Lifestream to end up in that position." He continued, his words stopping any further questions from the reporters, "We all know the legend of Meteor and how Sephiroth summoned it with his amazing powers. Perhaps it truly WAS Cloud Strife who killed Sephiroth. That is one of the mysteries I plan on solving with my studying the body."

More questions were fired at him, but Doctor Katachi ignored some of them in favor of others, telling how he planned to use advanced technology to cut the body out of the Materia and study it directly. He smiled often at the cameras and let them take as many pictures of him standing next to the Materia Man as they wished to.

******

Doctor Katachi stood back as his underlings wielded the cutters that cloud slice through the Materia and mostly let them do the work. He was aware that they were the tops of their classes and very intelligent, he wouldn't have taken less. "Just remember, if you nick him it'll come out of you pay." The one who's name was Paul Strife, possibly one of Cloud Strife's descendants, looked at his coworker Kita Welche, rolling his eyes. Thankfully Katachi had turned his back on the two to speak to the media as the two started their work on cutting through the Materia.

Kita sighed and carefully placed her cutter against the Materia and turned her cutter on. A beam of high energy waves caused the Materia to glow red and melt in its path, still, the process would take a while.

*******

In the end, it took a week to completely melt the Materia from the body and even then they singed it in places. Kita stared at the body lain out on the metal table that they'd put it on after completely freeing it from the Materia, Paul was beside her. "Well, maybe it'll be worth it?" Paul suggested to her and she sighed.

"Who knows. I mean, sure it's a great find and all that but what could we possibly get from it?" Paul shrugged in return to Kita's question and they left the lab for the day, turning the light off behind them.

Darkness engulfed the room, but something was glowing. In the center of the room was the dim greenish glow of Mako Exposure coming from the eyes of the body lain on the table.

*******

The lab was clean and disinfectant was the prevalent smell in the room, an attempt to keep the body from decomposing. The floor was of shining metal tiles, the walls white plastic. The room was large with lab equipment set up in shelves and on counters built into the walls. Even a sink and small open shower was in one corner. The ceiling seemed to be nothing but lights, making the room seem almost glowing white. In the center was a metal table upon which was lain the body they'd found.

Kita and Paul, white latex gloves on, were working on removing any last pieces of Materia that still clung to the body. "I swear, this is rather morbid. I kinda feel sorry for this guy," Kita said as she worked with the mini laser. Her light brown hair was tied back in a bun and hidden under the disposable cap she was wearing, a pair of goggles were strapped to her face in front of her deep green eyes. Her face was thin yet rounded, her hands somewhat short and babyish but steady.

"Well, when you get encased in Materia you've just got to expect to get studied sometime later," Paul replied calmly. "I mean, I'd really wouldn't mind getting studied in the future." Paul's hair was black and cut short, though also hidden under a cap. His eyes were a rather drab brown. He wasn't the most beautiful of men, in fact, he wasn't even one of the handsome ones, but he was intelligent and could hold a proper conversation, unlike the prettier men.

"You're a scientist, of course not," Kita replied and they both laughed, their lower faces covered by white masks that muffled their voices somewhat. They both wore identical disposable white gowns, standing on opposite sides of the table from each other. "Is it just me or are its eyes glowing?"

Paul glanced at her. "Maybe it's just the exposure to Mako? Lasts after death?"

Kita eyed him for a long moment, "Two thousand years?"

"We don't know that yet. We still have to carbon date it." Paul came to one of the pockets of the body's pants and paused a moment. "I think there's something..." he worked a moment on melting the Materia sealing the pocket closed and reached in with a pair of tongs Kita had handed to him.

"It's a bank card," Kita stated, staring at the back of it as Paul examined the front.

"Obviously his because it has his picture on it... Dear god... This IS Sephiroth!" He turned the card so Kita could read the archaic writing on it, but it clearly said 'Sephiroth' under the picture of the body's face with a bored but stern expression.

"Looks like a real party animal," Kita stated sarcastically and got an odd look from Paul, but then he laughed.

Katachi had entered the lab only a second before and frowned deeply, one of his dimples showing up despite the fact that he wasn't smiling. "Didn't I warn you not to cut up when working on this project?" he asked, gaining their attention.

"Sir, we found something. You were right, this is Sephiroth." Paul held out the ancient bank card. Katachi carefully read the card and looked up with a misty expression.

"This is wonderful news," he said calmly, though there was a hint of excitement, "I'll go file this away right now," he turned and headed over to a shelf with static bags and placed the card in one of them, carefully labeling it as the first proof of the body being Sephiroth. "Have you two found anything more?"

"Other then lint sir?" Paul suggested and got a smile out of Katachi for the effort, but the smile faded quickly. "Please inform me of anything else you find."

"Yes sir," both Kita and Paul stated in unison and watched as the blonde doctor left. They returned to their work and conversation.