Prequel/Sequel to Void 1

Summary: In the strange world of the FFVII characters, the past and present merge. Life continues to twist itself around the mistakes of the past after an unexpected discovery is made in the Northern Continent and a story is told from beyond the grave. From the bittersweet form of nostalgia to the desire for freedom, hopes and dreams unwind through the trials and errors that can no longer be ignored.

Characters: are based on the FFVII Games (The Original FFVII, Dirge of Cerberus, and Crisis Core) in an attempt to bring them together and complete a story that I've been wanting to complete for some time.

Headnote: After a year of my own trials and tribulations, I've finally managed to put this idea together after several attempts that just didn't seem right. In the end, this appeared to be the only POV that worked for me and this will be the last Fanfic I'm planning on writing. Updates may not be as frequent as they've been for the stories I've written in the past due to the odd hours I now work, but I'm hoping the timeframe will remaiin reasonable enough to keep the momentum going.

Hopefully, this story will continue to entertain those that my others have entertained in the past, and as always, any feedback is appreciated.

Disclaimer: Square owns the characters and worlds and the opening excerpt is taken from Crisis Core/Loveless (word for word).


Prologue

Infinite in mystery is the gift of the Goddess

We seek it thus, and take to the sky

Ripples form on the water's surface

The wandering soul knows no rest

My friend, do you fly away now?

To a world that abhors you and I?

All that awaits you is a sombre morrow

No matter where the winds may blow

Even if the morrow is barren of promises

Nothing shall forestall my return

o

There is no hate, only joy

For you are beloved by the Goddess

Hero of the dawn, Healer of worlds

My friend, the fates are cruel

There are no dreams, no honour remains

The arrow has left the bow of the Goddess

o

My soul, corrupted by vengeance

Hath endured torment, to find the end of the journey in my own salvation

And your eternal slumber

Dreams of the morrow hath the shattered soul

Pride is lost

Wings stripped away, the end is nigh

o

My friend, your desire

Is the bringer of life, the gift of the goddess

Legend shall speak

Of sacrifice at world's end

o

The wind sails over the water's surface

Quietly, but surely

o

When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end

The Goddess descends from the sky

Wings of light and dark spread afar

She guides us to bliss,

Her gift everlasting

o

…To become the dew that quenches the land,

To spare the sands, the seas, the skies

I offer thee, this silent sacrifice

—Loveless


Monsters…

It was what we viewed ourselves as; what we thought we were to become, and maybe, it was what we always were.

Maybe it's why we were burdened with our fates as undesirable as they were, and maybe it was why Genesis turned to Loveless in order to seek answers hidden within its words. They were words that made no sense to us. Yet to Genesis, they meant everything.

He thought he found the answer in the lifestream—the water's surface—when a young soldier named Zack nearly defeated him. Somewhere along the lines, he even thought he found the Goddess and that he'd finally found his answer.

As with Loveless, fate was cruel. Zack, having been experimented on in the same manner as we were had a change of heart in the end and took pity on Genesis.

However, he had his own dilemma and left Genesis alone in a weakened state as he took the young infantryman—Cloud Strife—and walked away, leaving Genesis alone and vulnerable to the cruel fates he unknowingly prophesied, and he was taken when he had no more will to fight.

For years, Genesis' cells were grafted onto other beings in a private sector of Shinra, known only to the Elite as a group called Deepground. They were separate and unknown from the newer generation, be it Rufus, the Turks, or any other sector that the President deemed as unnecessary for such projects, and when a rebellion broke loose within the depths of a world no one was aware of, he was asked to join those that inevitably became a part of him.

Genesis declined, stating that he wanted nothing to do with it and locked himself in a flooded cavern where he was believed to have stayed until the 'time' came for him to follow in mine and Angeal's stead. All of this, of course, remained unknown to Rufus and the new breed of Turks.

The majority of those that knew of the experiments and Genesis' legacy were killed during my second coming when I returned to destroy the world.

During this time, Genesis began to degrade again and Tseng became the replacement for the texts of Loveless that Genesis had turned into Gospel. Something that was real and puzzling pulled Genesis from his chosen slumber and he emerged. In the middle of the night, he fled unnoticed, silently leaving the 'Underground' and the merciful silence that had become his solace.

With his summon Materia equipped, Genesis began his journey to find the same man that I found myself standing behind at the Temple of the Ancients.

Tseng had changed, a part of me thought. He no longer wore his hair in a ponytail and it had grown. He appeared older, more in stance than appearance, and he was reading the Ancient texts that were scribbled on a wall.

Part of me felt that he had to be destroyed.

He'll stop us, a voice said to me, He's becoming more of a threat to us by the second.

And we couldn't have that.

Yet another part of me yearned to touch him again. I wanted to run my fingers through that beautiful black hair of his and stare into those deep brown eyes again. I wanted to hear that voice of his, so soft and calming, and I listened as he chattered away to himself.

Then I remembered what he was, what I, Genesis, and Hojo had turned him into without ever meaning to, and that voice that was telling me to kill him suddenly struck home.

She was right. My mother—Jenova—was right. It didn't matter that her reasons differed from mine. My reason was not to simply destroy something so precious to me, but to protect him from what he'd inevitably find out about himself, be it through the reality of a nightmare or through other means.

He was a monster, like us yet different, and like us, he would have chosen to forsake his path. So I did the only humane thing that was left of me. I unsheathed my sword and stabbed him in the back, and like the monster that I was, I never honoured him with the truth that he deserved as to why.

Perhaps it was better that way—that he'd never know, or perhaps it simply fed the embittered state that I was in to see those questioning eyes regard me one last time with a spiralling depth of confusion.

That's right, Tonberry, I thought as I watched him gasp and fall to his knees, your 'lover' has become your destroyer.

If I were to have my way, he'd die quickly and never know the truth.

However, I was overconfident and I walked away without ensuring my desire to make it final, and he managed to crawl to the entrance which left me with a sense of doubt. He stubbornly kept himself alive long enough to warn Avalanche of my presence when they arrived and they coldly left him to die on his own after he fell to the floor.

Foolish tonberry...

Only one of them—an ex-Turk that joined Avalanche on their quest after they awoke him from a long slumber in the depths of the Shinra mansion—paused long enough to offer a brief and silent respect before he quietly followed the others while keeping his distance from them at the same time.

It was at that moment that I decided to follow them as well, leaving Tseng alone while on what I assumed was his last breath.

However, when the temple began to crumble, I returned to find him still breathing and I dragged him away. All I knew was that it didn't seem right somehow, and I pulled him to safety only to finish him off with one last pierce of my sword through the abdomen, twisting the blade to ensure that his end would come swiftly and surely this time.

Then I left and never looked back.

In hindsight, it was one of my many mistakes. Rufus had caught up to find Tseng staring lifelessly into the thick canopy of trees as the leaves rustled from a slight breeze above them. He wasn't prepared for what he was staring at.

Tseng had called him before the incident and Rufus told him he'd see him shortly, never expecting exactly how he'd be 'seeing' him, and he was devastated.

Genesis, on the other hand, finally came to believe that there was more to the reason he originally left his cavern. He was beholding an epitome of the path he was to take as he quietly stepped out from the shadows before making his presence known.

"I can help you," he told Rufus, ignoring the gun and recognising the sense of loss from the young President. He chose to utilize the opportunity while making it seem like there was more to his agenda rather than simple survival when he added, "For a price, of course," and a deal was made.

That was the second time Tseng had been experimented on in that manner, so Rufus believed.


For years, Genesis watched over Tseng as per his agreement with Rufus. He used his Summon materia as a means to transfer the energy between him and Tseng. For Genesis, it was a temporary solution to what ailed them both, and he continued in secret to find something more permanent.

However, when Tseng finally discovered a way to bring an ex-turk—Vincent Valentine—out of his shell, both Rufus' and Genesis' plans changed. As Tseng strayed farther away from them and closer to the truth, the situation escalated to a point that no one would have imagined.

Genesis finally made an appearance and dragged Vincent into the tangled web we'd weaved. Tseng finally found the facility where Rufus and Genesis had been experimenting on him with the help of incomplete records from Hojo, and he was finally faced with the truth that he didn't want to know.

It didn't end there though. There was a rebellion at the time and all parties wound up at the same facility as if they were drawn there, including the rest of the Turks that Tseng had grown close to over the years.

When Reno figured he'd sneak around to find a vantage point, he wound up finding something else that he wasn't expecting to find.

He found Rufus dragging Tseng down the hall towards one of the rooms, and he noticed that Tseng had been shot. When he followed and attempted to find out what was going on, he and Rufus wound up at a stand-off and both of their guns went off.

Rufus shot Reno in the chest above the heart, and Reno shot Rufus between the eyes. Speculation leads me to believe that Rufus didn't really want to fatally wound the redhead. However, Reno didn't seem to care about that after he felt he'd seen enough.

After that, Tseng stumbled towards Reno while covering his gut and dropped his ID and the keys to his home into the other man's hand.

"My mother..." he said, struggling as if he was out of breath while hanging onto the redhead's shoulder for support, "Don't tell her anything more... than she needs... to know..."

Reno dumbly nodded while staring into space and Tseng stumbled away and found his way outside as if he suddenly decided that he'd rather die alone where no one could find him.

It was what Tseng feared, dying. Unfortunately for him, there was something that he feared even more, and that was the fact that he was nothing less than what Genesis, Vincent, and I were—monsters.

During that time, Vincent was fighting his own battle with Genesis, or at the very least, he was trying to run away from him, and by the time he finally found Tseng, it was too late.

Tseng had given up and asked him not to help him, and Vincent, despite his inner struggles, decided to honour the man's wishes.

Only he couldn't leave him alone as Tseng requested. Instead, he stayed with him to the very end and lowered his head when Tseng tried to tell him that he loved him.

It didn't come out the way that he wanted it to though, before Tseng had the chance to utter Vincent's name one last time, he saw me through the bridge of life and death.

He saw me standing there, watching him; waiting, and he reached out to me as I stepped closer with the hope that I could finally touch him again, and he completely forgot what it was that he was trying to tell Vincent when he asked as if he didn't really believe that I was standing there, "Sephiroth…?"

However, to Vincent, it didn't sound like it was a question as much as it sounded like a statement, and I merely smiled at the irony.

That's right, Tonberry… Fate is ours now.


Be it irony or justice, destiny had other plans. Tseng's essence vanished before I had the chance to say anything to him. It was as if he simply never was and it took me some time to figure out why.

As Vincent returned to Kalm to try and make sense out of his life, the members of Deepground emerged and started to wreak havoc and he wound up with another battle on his hands. In the end, he defeated them all with the help of his old friends from Avalanche and by merging with the powers of Chaos.

The battle wasn't completely won however. Weiss, 'the Immaculate', who was the leader of the Tsviets, spliced with Genesis' genes, and controlled by Hojo's will survived. He was the original instigator that persuaded the others to turn against Deepground and those known as the 'Restrictors', and he fell into Genesis' cave after he was defeated by Vincent.

By that time, Genesis had returned to his cavern in hopes that he could find a new way to rejuvenate his cells and inevitably fell asleep, only to be awakened by the sudden disruption caused by Weiss' fall.

When Genesis discovered him, he gathered him up and told him that, "We still have much work to do." Then he flew away with Weiss in tow.

That was almost six months ago.

Since then, Genesis convinced Weiss that Vincent—the man responsible for the death of his brother, Nero 'the Sable' who was also spliced with Genesis' genes—was still alive and that the merge Weiss and Nero attempted at the end wasn't complete.

"He murdered your brother," he convinced him, leaving it at that before he left the man to exact his vengeance on the ex-turk known as Vincent Valentine.

After that, he returned to the Northern Continent and found the last resting place of Tseng and was suddenly puzzled when he found the Turk's resting place had been recently disturbed and that Tseng was nowhere to be found.

For several days, he set out on a journey to find the man that he was inevitably tied to before he returned to the facility where he last saw Tseng before he wandered to his death.

He was passed out near the table that Genesis and Rufus had used to bring Tseng back to life on in the past as if he was attempting to do something but never got to finish it. Genesis had no idea how long Tseng had been lying there or even why, and when he went to pick him up, he discovered that he was still alive.

On top of that, he also discovered something else about Tseng.