Alright, I finally got to it. I'm sorry if you have been waiting but it was difficult to type this between work and school. I also apologize for any grammar mistakes. I proof read it but I have been really busy. I want to thank those who reviewed the last chapter. You all help me keep going. Enjoy Chapter 9.
Disclaimer: I Do not own FFVII.
(ending from chapter 8) - "Well done my faithful puppet. I couldn't have done it without you and your self loathing, depressed behavior. Thanks to you, this world is going to burn..."
Estuans interius ira vehementi
Estuans interius ira vehementi
Distraught over what he had just done, Cloud tried to stand up and summon enough strength to get First Tsurugi. But it was no use. He tried to deflect the blow from Sephiroth's Masamune but the cut sent the sword flying out of Cloud's hands. Sephiroth then stepped in front of Cloud and punched the blonde's face. Cloud flew several feet off the ground and landed on his back, blood flowing from his lips. He was just too weak from Sephiroth draining his energy.
The General walked over to his puppet. "Just lie there Cloud, lie there and give up. You have singlehandedly condemned this world to death. Its better if you just lie down and accept fate," Sephiroth gloated.
As the blonde was on his back, another tear came from his eye. What the hell had he just done and why couldn't he stop. I'm so stupid, completely worthless. I can't resist Sephiroth's call, and now the world has to pay for my mistakes, again. I deserve to die. He thought.
Sephiroth picked Cloud up by his collar in the front, and lifted the blonde with his right hand off the ground to look eye level with him. "Look at me Cloud," he commanded.
Cloud couldn't bare to look at his tormenter. But he felt deep in his soul that he had to.
"Don't you see puppet? Look at what you have done. I am so proud of you. Enjoy being in despair for the rest of your miserable life. Here, I will give you a physical reminder too."
Sephiroth pulled up Masamune's tip to Cloud's exposed left shoulder and slowly pushed the tip against the blonde's skin. Then he carved a symbol slowly into Cloud's right shoulder. Cloud wanted to scream but he lacked the strength. The pain was great and heavy beads of sweat rolled down his forehead. Cloud tried to squirm but Sephiroth's grip was too great. When Sephiroth was done he smiled evilly at his creation and threw Cloud to the ground.
Cloud looked at his shoulder. The bloody scar that was forming had two symbols. 絶望 (despair). He had carved the Japanese kanji for despair right into his shoulder. That bastard. And yet there was nothing Cloud could do.
"And now Cloud, you will serve me. Let's go my puppet, I have much to train you in if your going to be of any worth," Sephiroth said as he began to walk towards Cloud again.
Cloud could do nothing, he felt nothing but pain and despair. He just wanted to die but now his tormenter wouldn't let him. Why did his life suck so much? And where were his friends when he needed them? But then again, he wondered if he really had friends.
"Zack, we have to hurry, something doesn't feel right," Tifa yelled as she and Zack ran through the woods toward the forgotten capital.
Zack didn't need to be told twice. He could sense the ominous presence in the air and the hairs on the back of his neck were standing up. Hang on Cloudy, I'm almost there.
Tifa was worried about Cloud. Why the hell had he run off like this? She wondered. She equipped her materia and was ready for anything to come her way. She also had Zack with her and knew he could handle just about anything.
Just a little further. Zack could see the outline of the Forgotten Capital ahead and reached the other side of the lake. He used the brush to hide his presence and was stunned when he saw Sephiroth get up off the ground in full uniform. The long silver hair still flowed like it had all those years ago and just like in the life stream. Then Zack saw nothing but red and was filled with rage. There was Cloud, on the ground, bleeding and about to be finished off or whisked away by Sephiroth. He would not let that happen.
"Tifa, I'm going in. Get to Cloud and heal him. Sephiroth is mine," he said coldly. His eyes were no longer a complete blue but had a small ring of green in the center as he felt his chest heave in and out with rage and anger. Zack Fair jumped into action, using the bushes to hide himself to make his way as close to Sephiroth as possible before jumping out and brandishing the Buster Sword.
"SEPHIROTH!" he screamed. Sephiroth turned Masamune just at the right moment to block the swing. It was a powerful swing and Sephiroth dug his heels into the ground and was pushed back several feet as Zack pushed the Buster Sword against Masamune.
"Zackary, its so nice to see you. I thought you wouldn't make it in time." Sephiroth said coolly. He spun Masamune around the Buster sword and took a swipe at Zack's neck.
Zack ducked and then swung at the General's legs, but Sephiroth jumped over his swing and back. They stared at each other intensely for a couple of seconds. Then Zack stuck his left hand out, palm facing Sephiroth. "Flare," he shouted.
"Wall," Sephiroth countered. The massive sun like fire ball crashed into an invisible barrier that revealed itself in a flash of white light. Sephiroth had blocked the shot. Then Sephiroth suddenly teleported away from Zack and ascended into the air.
"Oh no you don't. Haste," Zack said and then ran at a super fast pace that left an after image. He brought the Buster sword right at Sephiroth's midsection and drew fresh blood.
"Arrgh. Well done Zackary. I see you haven't lost your edge. Dispel." Sephiroth commanded and Zack lost the power of Haste.
Zack didn't miss a beat however. He quickly struck again with his sword and drove Sephiroth back. Drawing on all of his training from Angeal, he clashed swords with the General for what seemed like an eternity. Sephiroth swiped at his mid-section but Zack parried and countered to Sephiroth's shoulder. That too was deflected. Zack dug in for the long haul. This was going to be a tough fight.
Tifa got over to Cloud and immediately cast a cura spell on him. Cloud woke up from his shock and looked at Tifa.
"Is it true," he asked.
"Is what true Cloud?" she asked back.
"Did you really sleep with Zack? he said with tears in his eyes. Cloud hoped it wasn't true. But he partly did because then he had another excuse. Either way, it was his own fault and he was so worn out, he was too tired to cry anymore.
"No Cloud, I would never do that. I love you. I love you Cloud. And no matter what, I will be here for you," she said and leaned into Cloud, kissing him on those soft lips. She tasted dirt, and then saw the scar on his shoulder. She broke into tears and hugged him, helping him sit up in the process.
"Then Sephiroth was lying to me, but it felt so real Tifa. I...I am sorry for being so weak," Cloud spoke softly. He couldn't bare to look at the woman he called his wife. He didn't deserve her. Hell, he didn't deserve to live.
Tifa helped Cloud get to his feet. "Let's get out of here Cloud. There's no way you can fight or help Zack in this condition."
Swords continued to clash. Sephiroth stabbed at Zack but the raven haired SOLDIER parried the sword and slashed horizontally at the General's midsection. Sephiroth dodged and shot a massive fireball at Zack. Zack countered by summoning a massive Ice Crystal and it blocked the flames. Zack then used Rush Assault, taught to him by Angeal.
"I still remember Angeal, I will prove my honor to you," Zack said as he began glowing. He then charged at Sephiroth and quickly punched and kicked at him. Sephiroth blocked the first few shots but couldn't deflect them all and took several big hits. The General stumbled back, a bit stunned from the attack.
"Damn you. I won't let you spoil my victory. Cloud is mine and he will serve me," Sephiroth cursed. He activated his own limit break and used Octaslash on Zack. Zack knew he couldn't dodge so he cast wall and then took some of the damage from Sephiroth's eight slashes. Blood was dripping from his torso, but he had to go on.
"Zack, lets get out of here!" Tifa yelled. "I've phoned in Reno, he'll be here in sixty seconds."
As if on queue, Zack could hear the whirling blades of the Shinra chopper coming in. But Zack also knew Sephiroth could easily just cut it down. He had to do something or this would all be for naught. Sephiroth was ready to charge him again. He blocked Masamune and dodged, but he too was running out of stamina. Then he realized it. He pulled out a red materia.
"Sorry for putting you through this but we need you right now, Bahamut." The red materia glowed, and Zack felt a huge amount of his remaining magic power leave him to summon the dragon. Glowing symbols and glyphs filled the air and in a flash of light, Bahamut materialized to fight the General, just as Reno dropped the chopper in on the Forgotten Capital.
"Hurry up yo. That dragon's not gonna last forever," Reno yelled above the chopper noise.
Tifa didn't have to be yelled at twice. She helped Cloud into the chopper while Zack was sprinting towards it. In the background, Bahamut launched a megaflare at Sephiroth, who held out Masamune to block the shot. The shockwave hit Zack from behind, knocking him off his feet, just as the chopper was starting to lift off. Zack quickly got up and ran towards the chopper hovering a few feet off the ground. He jumped as hard as he could and grabbed onto one of the rails below the chopper door, legs dangling beneath him as he held on while the chopper flew above the treetops. Tseng quickly grabbed him and pulled him into the chopper, shutting the door behind Zack.
All the Turks were inside the helicopter, they even recovered Rude, who was injured but ok. "Next stop is the Healin Lodge yo," Reno barked out over the noise of the whirling blades.
Down below, Sephiroth deflected another megaflare. How did Zack possess the great Bahamut? He wondered. But no matter. He quickly unleashed several slashes of energy which cut into the dragon. Then he jumped and plunged Masamune right into the back of Bahamut's neck. The dragon roared with pain before phasing out of existence into a bluish energy hue that dissipated.
The General was tired but more angered than anything else. Zackary Fair had disrupted his plan to take Cloud with him and brainwash him. Yes, it was fun that Cloud was in pain, but it would be even more fun once Cloud was his and fought by his side and did his bidding. Sephiroth looked up at the night sky and smiled evilly. Cloud would be his in the end and everyone else would suffer. He then remembered he had a meeting to get to that he had told a young man to be at by mid day. He'd best get going, the Forgotten Capital would always be here for him to use as his base. But Sephiroth had questions that needed to be answered. And so, the General started walking towards the shoreline to the south.
In the Shinra Chopper, amongst all the loud noises, Zack looked at Cloud, who was in Tifa's arms, exhausted at what had happened. The other Turks looked away from Zack, Cloud, and Tifa, trying to mind their own business. Zack scooted closer to Cloud and looked at Tifa, who nodded at him and let go of Cloud. Cloud looked up and then at Zack, who smiled at him.
"Z...Zack. Your really alive," Cloud whispered, barely getting the words out. He was happy and yet ashamed that he was in Zack's presence, ashamed at what he had just done. And though the blonde thought he couldn't shed anymore tears, he did, right as Zack put his big muscular arms around him.
"Hey Cloudy, yeah I'm back. I know everything right now kinda sucks, but I'm glad to see you again Chocobo."
Cloud tried to say something but Zack put a finger to his lips. "Not now Cloud. I want you to rest. We can talk a ton tomorrow. But right now, rest," Zack ordered softly.
Cloud didn't have to be told again. He nuzzled his head into Zack's chest and the tears quickly stopped. He smelled the grime from fighting Sephiroth on Zack but he also smelled the SOLDIER's distinct smell too and it put him at ease. The blonde eventually fell asleep in Zack's arms.
Zack looked down at Cloud and continued to have that soft smile. Although it was painful up to this point with losing Aerith and Angeal in the lifestream, he was really happy to have the Chocobo head back in his arms. Good memories flooded Zack's mind from when they were both a part of Shinra. They were and Zack hoped they always would be, the best of friends.
"Don't worry Cloud," he whispered. "It may have been one of the shittiest days of our lives but tomorrow the sun will shine and everything will be better. I promise."
"Come on, lets go already, we are gonna be late at this rate," Jake said to Matt and I.
I ended up falling asleep later and although I didn't get much sleep that night, I felt better in the morning. The stomach pain was gone. Hopefully what Nanaki was talking about the previous night would turn out to be nothing. But remembering what he had said about the planet and it speaking to him made me nervous.
"So what's the plan Jake, go all the way back to Costa Del Sol to catch a ship to Edge City? That's a long walk," Matt asked.
"Ha, you forget Matt. I am Jake Almasy and I always get what I want. And what I want is a car." As if on queue, Jake looked over and a car drove up.
"Here is the rental you ordered sir, with enough fuel to get to Costa Del Sol like you requested," the driver said.
"Ah, excellent," Jake smiled and handed the guy 5,000 gil.
"Shit, where did you get all that money from Jake?" I asked.
Jake just grinned a sinister grin. "Oh you know, from different areas since I have been here."
"You mean you stole it," Matt chimed in.
"Hey now, lets not throw accusations around here, I got us a car and that's that. We can make it to Costa Del Sol in 6 hours at this rate," Jake said.
"Well, I'm game, I guess lets load up and go," Matt replied.
I looked over at the car and thought to myself. From Cosmo Canyon back to Edge City to start a new life with a good friend and a bastard who tried to kill me. You have got to be kidding me. Before I stepped into the car, I saw in the distance Nanaki, staring at me.
"Hey Matt, do me a favor and load up everything into the car. I will cover for you next time but I gotta do something real quick. I will be right back," I said. He looked over and nodded and I ran to Nanaki. Jake also looked at me but thought nothing of it.
"Your training isn't complete. There is still much more I have to teach you," Nanaki told me.
"Your absolutely right but I have to go with them. You and the two of them are the only ones I know on this planet. I will come back Nanaki, I promise," I said.
"Don't make a promise you can't keep," Nanaki admonished me. "You make the decision. But let me warn you before you leave. Don't trust Jake Almasy. I sense something is not right in his soul. I don't know what but your right when you say not to trust him. Which is all the more reason to not go with him."
I looked back over at Jake then at Nanaki. "Your probably right Nanaki, but If I don't go see whats at Edge City, then I will be stuck here for a while. And I need to get some money to support myself," I replied.
Nanaki let out a long sigh then let me go. "Alright then, I will see you again then if you make it back here."
"I will," I said strongly. With that, I went to Matt and Jake who had the car prepped and we were ready to go.
"Shotgun," Matt yelled and although I was bummed I was riding in the back, it was good to see his spirits high.
"Are you sure this is the way," I asked Jake.
"Of course, we aren't lost."
I looked out and saw nothing but desert. I felt like we went north but I was unsure. Costa Del Sol should have been to the east.
"Um, I don't know Jake, it seems like we are lost," Matt said.
"For the last time, we are not lost. I know where we are, and once we reach the coast, Costa Del Sol will be right to the east of us," Jake said angrily.
Something didn't feel right though. If Costa Del Sol was east now then where the hell were we?
"Hey I smell the ocean," Matt said. "We must be close."
"Oh we are, don't worry," Jake said.
Right after he said that we came over a hill and there it was. The ocean, right in front of us. So Costa Del Sol was to the east of us. Jake kept looking though and heading for the water, which was less than a mile away now.
"Hey Jake I love driving on the ocean but don't take us into the water," I said. Jake turned slightly towards something in the distance but I could not tell what it was.
"Don't worry, I know exactly where we are going now."
As Jake drove closer to the speck which was now becoming human sized, I stood in disbelief. No way, its not possible, I thought.
"James, who is that?" Matt asked me.
"Shit, we have got to get out of here. Jake turn the car around NOW! We will all die if we don't."
"No James, we won't. He is our transportation," Jake said somberly.
Jake pulled the car right up and shut the engine off before getting out of the car. I sat there stunned.
"Get out of the car now and bow down to him. Do it now or I will kill you both," Jake ordered us.
Both Matt and I got out of the car. I knew there was no escaping him. How could he be alive, I thought.
"I brought them here just like you requested, Lord Sephiroth," Jake said as he bowed to the General. "I see you were able to regain physical form."
"So these are your two friends Jake," Sephiroth said in that eerily calm voice, ignoring Jake's comment on his return.
Matt started to reach for his sword. "Matt put the sword away. There is nothing we can do against Sephiroth. He can kill us by just thinking it," I told Matt. Matt let go of his sword.
"A wise decision. I wouldn't want to have to harm you both yet, not when we haven't even gotten to know each other," Sephiroth smirked.
"So your the reason the planet was screaming last night," I accused the General.
"And how would you know what the planet says? You seem to know much about me already but I don't know much about you, James Sully," Sephiroth smoothly said and he stroked my face. I shuddered at his touch and his gaze, those catlike green eyes piercing my very soul.
"He had help from a dog like beast who was red. I don't know what its name was," Jake spoke up.
"Ah, so Red XIII ended up helping you around here. How trivial, it won't matter. But now I advise you to sleep," Sephiroth said. He stuck his hand out to Matt and I, both of us flinching but nothing happened initially.
"James, I feel super tired all of a sudden. What's happening?" Matt asked me.
"Its a sleep spell, there's nothing we...caaahhhh"...and I crashed onto the beach, fast asleep on the sand. Matt followed quickly.
"Well done Jake Almasy. Continue to serve me faithfully and you will be rewarded," Sephiroth said.
"Yes Lord Sephiroth. It is my whole hearted desire to serve you."
Kyyaahhh! Sephy is so evil haha. Hope you all enjoyed the chapter. And yes, Jake Almasy is definitely a traitor. If your wondering about the last name, yes I took it from Seifer in FFVIII. I hated Seifer he was such a bastard. But he was also kinda cool at the same time. Please review and I hope you enjoyed it.