AN: I am so sorry for the late update, a lot has happened in my life, and no I am not dead! anyway I am still looking for a beta if anyone is interested, Pm me. Any way please review, I have a good idea for the next chapter, and I will try to get it up within soon, I promise!

I do not own final fantasy,

Enjoy. :)


That was the only thing he felt. Cloud was defenceless. His body was not yet at the right level of fitness to face the monster. It was to soon, as this time he would not stand a chance.

The stain of blood lingered on the creature, the scent of it hung in the air. The sound of a cadet's heart growing louder and louder as the being begun to close the distance between them.

Hero and monster, had found each other yet again.

It was like time had slowed down as the monster took his time to reach it's prey.

Cloud still hung on the wire among the rubble, he knew that Sephiroth could not see him, but that would soon change if he did not act quickly.

He was left with a choice, fight or flee and he did not stand a chance either way.

At this moment Cloud had a lot to lose, as he had not just his own life on the line but the happiness and the survival of his friends, his mother and the rest of the world.

The mako in his eyes began to brighten. He would not go down easily.

As he could fight better scared then anyone who fought with rage.

So if Sephiroth wanted to hunt, he would give him one.

The little being in the rubble had not yet moved. Sephiroth could not see it neither hear it but he knew it was there.

Soft and sweet whispers had begun to appear in the back of his mind, telling him to finish the job. The voices were like a parent telling their child what to do. And for some reason Sephiroth found this strangely pleasant, he always though that his mother would have spoken to him like that if she had lived.

Sephiroth begun to walk towards his prey. The whispers were pleased with this choice. There were encouraging him to do what he wanted. No one let him do what he wanted. He was always doing what others wanted. First Gast, then Hojo and now it was President Shinra. Sometimes it seemed he did more dirty work then the Turks. But now he wanted to slaughter, he wanted to end sure a feeble existence, which the being was hanging on to. The power Sephiroth felt over sure organisms, was divine. He was above sure creatures, he was almost godlike.


And it felt good.

From the shadows amongst the rubble, Sephiroth could tell that the being was small and posed no threat to him by physical size. However this one was still here, it was still alive. And for some reason this concerned him.

Thinking on this Sephiroth came to the conclusion that, nothing should survive him. No matter how weak it was.

Sephiroth was taking his time to make his way other to the being, he could hear its heart beat, he could sense its fear. And that gave him a new found level of joy. Whatever this thing was, he would hunt more often.

The presence was different from the others. The light scent of mako mixed with the blood of the deceased monsters dusted the air. It was easy for Sephiroth to pick up, around him. This resulted in the smirk that appeared on his lips.

The little one had mako, as the rush of adrenalin running through its body was giving off the scent. His prey was well aware of his intentions.

Sephiroth was coming close to his target, and he had found with disappointment that his prey had not moved.

However after taking one more step, he got what he wanted.

The figure sprang into live and vanished below the rubble. The sound of its feet jumping and dodging to get to the ground though the wreckage of the lower plate and as far away from the general as possible came to his ears.

The hunt had begun.

Allowing himself one last smirk, Sephiroth decided it was finally time to begin the pursuit.

The lower plate did not offer a flat terrain. Cloud had already dodged countless piles of garbage among the rubble, and it did not look like that was going to change anytime soon.

The darkness of the plate and the thick debris was the only thing between him and his pursuer, it would help him to hide who he is, and as cadet he would have a lot to explain if found in this situation. Another hopeful aspect would be if Sephiroth had not noticed that he was chasing a human, as it would be hard to explain how a human could keep pace with a first class.

So Cloud was left with one option. To lose Sephiroth as soon as possible.

The mako in his blood begun to boil making him run faster and faster, to passes bye he would have been nothing more than a blur.

Not slowing down Cloud hesitates for a fleeting instant, before peering over his shoulder, only to be greeted by the figure of his pursuer.

Refocusing his attention, Cloud turned to look ahead. In the distance he saw a barrier that loomed just above him, and without a moment of hesitation, Cloud leaped up in the air, and just managing to reach the top of the barrier. Clouds reached out both hands and collide with the intertwined wires that hung from the plate. Cloud then stiffens his arms and swings himself over effortlessly, making an impossible landing look easy.

Sephiroth followed swiftly, while not losing any speed, and not showing any sign of slowing down any time soon.

Cloud looked ahead and swore under is breath but kept running.

Ahead there was only one path that he could take as the rubble around him was getting thicker. Cloud quickly examined it, the path was straight with no side exits, twists or turns. It would give him a good chance to build up speed and lose Sephiroth, however with his endured eye sign he saw the last thing he wanted, Cloud gasped.

Cloud must have been running longer then he thought. As it appears this sector was coming to an end.

A dead end.

If Cloud had still had his older body, climbing the wall would have been easy, but he was not physically fit to do so, and the chase was taking its effect on his body. Sweat was dripping from his fore head, his muscles in his legs were beginning to tire. He would now last much longer.

Behind him, the sounds of footsteps and light breathing echoed among the rubble.

Cloud was flushed and out of breath, while Sephiroth's breathing rate remained normal. If he got out of this alive he would have to increase his fitness vastly.

Cloud came to a hold, when he reached the end.

Having no choice, he turned to face the demon.

Cloud only had one idea, and hoped he still maintained that ability, that the Goddess of harmony grated him.

She owed him that much.

Making sure he was surrounded by darkness , So that Sephiroth could not Identify his clothing nor his helmet.

Cloud was about to do something he had not done in a long time.

Ask for help.

"Cosmos, give me strength." He whispered, hoping that the monster hunting him would not hear.

As soon as the words left his lips, he knew for a fact that somewhere out there the Warrior of light was laughing him.

Sephiroth had slowed his speed, the being had stopped running.

Had the creature come to a dead end? Sephiroth chooses to walk slowly towards, the monster. Its behaviour was not like it should have been. It should have already lashed out if it had hit a dead end.

However Sephiroth never got the chance to study his finding. As, he had just drew Masamune in time for a hash blow from the monster.

From a sword.

This was no mere creature. To Sephiroth's knowledge no monster used such equipment.

The clash of swords rang through the slums. In-between the exchange of blows Sephiroth did his best to get a good look at the unidentified being. However the only light available was from the clashing of metal, and the glow from his own eyes. This did not give the general a good look at the being. But from what he could see, it was a man.

This man was too short to be one of his soldiers, to intelligent to be a monster. This man was something else,

With a large sword the man cut an arc in the air, and Sephiroth retreated with his famous grace Cloud had admired as a child. Cloud soon followed, and to Sephiroth even with years of experience he was nothing but a blur as that strange Buster like sword continued to crash into Masamune, again and again.

He then twisted and struck for yet another blow. And Cloud realized that this long forgotten dance that was quickly growing too familiar.

Sephiroth used Masamune to meet each blow not as easily as the great SOLDIER, wanted to admit. His appointment was skilled, better than most SOLDIERs he had come across. But he was growing tired, it seem that his opponent was not as fit as he made out to be. but despite that, this man was strong, fast and well prepare.

Who was this warrior?

Why was he just crossing blades with this man now?

His lust for battle had faded. The whispers grow loader, there were demanding him to destroy this man. But he no longer wanted to. He shut the voice out. No longing thinking it was comfort but an annoyance that got in his way.

Sephiroth was enjoying the battle; he had not found sure enjoyment with fighting just one person in a long time.

Weaving First Tsurugi through the air Cloud sidestepped, struck with his sword, and jumped away to put some more distance between himself and Sephiroth. Cloud knew Sephiroth's style, he knew his moves and tactics. But one thing he knew more than anything was the extent of his strength, and to his surprise the Cloud found that Sephiroth was holding back.

Cloud did not want to dwell on it, he did not want to see Sephiroth as anything else but a monster. Why would Sephiroth want to prolong the battle by holding back? Was he weaker without Jenova? Was he having a bad day? Was he messing with him?

Taking this to his advantage, Cloud stole a look at his weapon. Looks like cosmos did care for him a least a little bit. Cloud quickly checked his surrounding; the darkness was still in place. He hoped that Sephiroth had not seen his uniform.

Cloud was pulled away from that line of thought when Sephiroth began to talk to him.

"You are very talented Stanger, May I ask your name?"

Cloud did not know what to say, that was not an order but a question. He would have to choose his words carefully.

"You may not." Cloud replied

Sephiroth paused, he was not expecting that answer.

"If that is your wish then I will respect it, however you will grand me one answer. If you refused, then I will fight you to the death. Understand?"

Cloud, could only answer in one way.

"Very well"

Sephiroth nodded, even thought he could not see this fighter. He would get what he wanted.

"You are powerful, so I ask you this. What are you?" Sephiroth questioned.

The question hung in the air, both men were unsure what was going to be said next.

Cloud was faced with a question he had never had the guts to ask himself. He had always been afraid of the answer, yet had spent so long looking for it. He was no hero, he was something else, something that would always seek the light but remained in the darkness.

Deep down he had always known what he was, but had never said it out loud. Never admitted it to anyone, he had always hoped to discover he was something else. But he was tired of the lies.

He needed to accept himself.

"I am nothing more than puppet."

It was true, he was a puppet to Sephiroth, to the planet, to Cosmos and now to Shinra, his whole life had been nothing more than following orders set out by people who were always above him, they were never his equal. He was a tool, a vessel, a pawn. He was never in control.

That response left Sephiroth speechless. And before he could react, he could hear fading footsteps in the distance. And soon Sephiroth was alone among the rubble, left with more question then answers.

As the sun rose and the light changed from orange to yellow to the clear white of day that swept thought there camp. Vincent found himself distracted. Inserted for finding the quickest route to Midgar he had found himself as a mentor to the young girl, who had followed him.

It had been a long days walk, by himself Vincent would have had reached hisdestination by now. But he could not push Tifa to much, after all she was only human.

It was strange meeting someone who knew him, but had never met him before. He allowed himself a small smile, as he counted to analyse their situation. The demon had been no help what so ever since there had left the village behind.

Vincent had chosen to travel to Rocket town, where he would be able to get recent information about Shinra. If luck was no his side he might find some more evidence about why the demon wants him to go to Midgar, or trick him to tell him more information about his so called friend.

His eyes wandered to Tifa, who had claimed the other side of the camp fire to keep warm while she slept.

It was distracting, having the girl with him for the journey, he had gone so long without talking to someone, and yet he already found himself calling Tifa his friend. It was sad that he had almost forgotten what it was like to travel with a true companion, and no the demon did not count. That thing was more like a living nightmare then an acquaintance.

Certainly it was somewhat pleasant, to have someone like Tifa to talk to, but they knew so little. The red eyed man was not used to doing anything blind.

Tifa knew next to nothing about Shinra, Vincent had asked every question as possible. Tifa seem to know something thought, a new general for the SOLDIER program, that had raised thought the ranks at a young age. who was always making headlines. It seemed that Shinra had found a new poster boy.

Vincent had consider the fact that Lucrecia's child might be the one the demon was leading him to, he might even be the famous SOLDIER Tifa had told him about, but he could not make that conclusion, his knowledge was limited and his main source for information was a teenager. He hated not knowing, knowledge was power.

He considered leaving the child to do some recon, about the current state of Shinra. Rocket town was not far from their camp, Vincent estimated it would take an hours walk for the average human, while it would take Vincent 20 minutes. Tifa would now wake for some time. For someone so little she has proven her strength, and pushed herself to keep up with him. He had found that she had lied about the level of training she had received from her former master in her home town, Vincent could see that now. But she was strong and would grow to be a respectable warrior one day.

Despite this, Vincent chose not to leave the girl. He did not want to chance a monster sure as a dragon or a wolf to see her as a suitable meal. She may be strong, but she had a lot to accomplish before she would be able to stand by his side in a battle.

Vincent roused her from her sleep, if they wanted to get to Midgar fast then he could not grand her any longer. In moments she was ready to continue to Rocket town, and the two of them set off.

"So, why is this place called Rocket town anyway? I mean it's not very country like, considering it's location." Tifa asked.

Vincent signed. With the long night of rest before, he had almost forgotten how much Tifa talked.

"Rocket Town was built around the launch site of the Shinra No. 26 rocket, part of Shinra's space program."

"Shinra has a space prgrame?" Tifa asked with exciment.

"No, I blieve it failed, there were considing the project when I was working for them. and if you have not heard of it then it would have been elimanated before the public gained knowledge of sure a thing."

"Oh, so what happen to Rocket Town?"Tifa asked yet another qeastion.

"The workers that were the cause of the failure would have been fired and abanded in the town, phaphs some have remained there and made the site home? With no other place for them to go it would be an approperate assumption. And a good place to gather intel on the company's current state."and maybe Lucrecia's baby. He continued in his mind. But he kept that to himself.

The questions continued to follow one after the other, Tifa wanted to know everything, not just about rocket town, but about Midgar. Vincent answered each one to the best of his knowledge. He would be a liar if he said he did not take some enjoyment teaching Tifa about the outside world.

If seemed that her home town, was truly unaware of the world outside their village.

Time passed and evenly they reached the town, which to Vincent discovery had a bigger population then he first thought.

"What now?" Tifa asked looking ask the red eyed man for directions.

"Go into the village see what you can find out, tell then you are traveling and wish to know any current situations that has risen." Vincent replied

"And you?"

"I will do my own research, now go child." Vincent replied and turned to find a a place he cannot be seen by human eyes. However he had to stop to catch a small rock that had been aimed at his face, with his claw. He glared at Tifa.

"I am not a child!" Tifa said while snarling at the red eyed man.

"Then stop acting like one." Vincent replied and vanished into the shadows to avoid another small rock.

Tifa turned to walk into the village, she was still mad at Vincent, but she had a job to do.

When she got to the middle of the town she found a lot more people then there were in her village.

She was unsure of who to talk to, the town was so different but familiar at the same time, and then she heard the most colourful sentence in her live.

Cid was not happy. As today was the day that the one thing he had ever wanted had been shut down by Shinra, It was the anniversary of the death of his dream to go in to out of space. And now his baby, Shinra No. 26 rocket that he help build, was reduced to being nothing but a torist attraction.

All the people in rocket town knew to leave Cid the "hell alone" as he put it, on that day. Even his assist Shera, would not try to talk to him today. It was a bad day for Cid.

Cid sat in the town square looking at his rocket, he would spend the rest of the day looking at her, and swearing and cursing at the Shinra name, while smoking. It became his yearly routine. And no one, not even the tourists came near him.

Until now.

"You!" a girl yelled at him.

Cid was not in the right mood to talk, he was angry. "What the hell do you want!" He shouted without looking at the girl.

"I know you!" she replied

"No you don't. Go away." He replied still looking at his baby. He could not be bothered to deal with someone else right now.

"Yes, I do I have heard you curse like that before! I know you like I know Vincent."

"Piss off!" he shouted as he turned to look at the kid, and his jaw dropped. "You! I bloody know you!" she said as he looked into her eyes. She was young. Too young a voice said in the back of his mind. Maybe he knows her mother or something.

Tifa rolled her eyes, "Yes you do!" she shouted to the not so complete stranger. "By any chance, do you know a Cloud?" she asked.

"Cloud? I think I do, I mean the name rings a bell." Cid replied, the rage he felt for the date was fading now, he did not know why, but something was not right.

"Me and Vincent are going to find him, he my friend. And Vincent said he take me to Midgar, I am not sure what Vincent is going to do, when we get there but I trust him, and I feel like I know him, like I know you." Tifa said with a smile.

"I don't know what you're on about, but don't bother be with whatever you're doing kid. Now go away." Cid did not want to get involved with anything to with Midgar. Midgar was the capital of the Shinra empire, he wanted to be as far away from Shinra as possible.

"You're coming with us!" Tifa said happily "You're going to fly a plane there or something right? Tifa had no idea where that came from, but for some reason she felt smug.

"What?" Cid replied, how did she know that he could fly? This girl was not one of the villages, he knew that much.

"You have to come, your names Cid right? I mean you're a friend and we need your help!" Tifa had no idea what his name was, she only hoped that she guessed it right.

"Wait! I don't know who the hell you think I am bu-"

"Please. Cid it would mean a lot to me! Please?" Tifa asked, using her big puppy dog eyes which she had perfected form living with her father over the years.

Cid could not say no to her, for some reason it would be like saying no to a little sister or something.

Damn country life had made him soft

"FINE" he shouted to her.

He was still having a bad day, he had just lost an augment to a teenager.

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