Author's Note: Hello all! This is a collection of side stories from my fic The Path We Choose. Not all the characters will get a one shot, but a fair number will. So what better way to start these one-shots then Sephiroth's nightmare. There was a shorter version of this in The Path We Choose, but I decided to expand on it. Hope you enjoy it!
As always, thank you to my beta Sephiroth Owa13!
Disclaimer: I don't own any FFVII characters or places (super sadface guys!). All FFVII characters and places belong to Square Enix.
Finding The Path
Chapter One: Let It Burn
It's your duty to free me and, in doing so, free yourself.
Who imprisoned you?
The same men who have used you all your life. They seek to harness our power. They think they can control us, but they can't…and they never will.
Where are you?
Take the path the girl has shown you and you will find me…but first, make them pay.
A smirk curled around his lips. He left the study, through the lab, and numbly navigated the caverns beneath the ShinRa mansion. The monsters that roamed the caverns didn't approach him. They wisely stayed in the shadows as he passed them. He climbed the ladder up to the basement and made his way to the concealed staircase. The stairs would lead him out of the abandoned manor to the town that had hidden mother from him. He would make them pay for what they had done to her. Not one building would be left standing. Not one man, woman or child would live. They would all perish in his flames.
Sephiroth unleashed his rage on the houses just outside the town. They would feel the burning agony his Mother had endured at Hojo's hands while he raped her of her cells in the name of science. With a wave of his hand, the locks on the doors and windows in the houses engaged, trapping the perpetrators in their homes. No one should be given the chance to survive.
He turned his gaze to the town and slowly made his way there. One of his own infantrymen ran toward him.
"Sir! There are fires back there! Shouldn't we help them?"
Sephiroth ignored him. However, when the infantryman had the audacity to grab his arm, Sephiroth quickly slashed him across the chest. The man fell to the ground and twitched slightly. Sephiroth coldly walked away. He was of little consequence. They all were. He lifted his hand and the buildings in the town centre quickly became engulfed in flames. Soon the square was full of people, scrambling to save their pathetic homes from his retribution. He couldn't have that. He tightened his grip on the hilt of Masamune and smiled serenely. Those not consumed in his flames would die with a taste of his blade on their tongues.
The screams he left in his wake heralded his approach to Mother while he climbed the stairs that would lead him to her. One glance over his shoulder confirmed that the town would be ashes by morning and the rest of Gaia would know the destruction his coming would bring.
The cry of humans gave way to the calls of the monsters that stood between him and Mother. They were nothing, less than humans even. He could cut them down even more easily than the townspeople…and cut them down he did. He left an impressive trail of bodies behind him and reached the reactor quickly. It loomed over him menacingly, but all he could think of was mother. She was here…waiting for him.
"Stop right there, you murderer!"
Sephiroth glared at the man behind him. Who did he think he was, chasing after him? He was the Chosen One and the man accosting him was nothing! He would learn to bow in the presence of the son of Jenova!
The man balled his fists and refused to tremble when Sephiroth tightened his grip on Masamune. "We trusted you! My daughter…I trusted you with my daughter and this is how you repay us? We have always been loyal to ShinRa!"
"That was your mistake." Sephiroth raised his blade and pierced the man's chest before lifting him and throwing him to the side. He approached the fallen man and watched him struggle for breath. In the distance he saw the glow of the burning town. "You will all serve as an example of what will happen to all those who oppose me."
He forcefully pushed Masamune into the ground beside the fallen man before turning once more toward the reactor. He was so close to Mother now and nothing could stop him from finding her. He slowly ascended the stairs and entered the reactor, reaching out with his mind to find her.
I'm here, mother.
I know. I can feel you drawing closer to me.
Soon, we'll be together. I will exact vengeance upon those who have imprisoned you and continue to torture you. Where are you?
Where you were today. We were so close, yet still so far away. You couldn't hear my calls. Your mind was still too closed to accept what you truly are. Now, you can embrace your destiny. You are my Chosen One.
I am the Chosen One.
You have been chosen to rule this planet.
I have been chosen to rule this planet.
He stepped into the room he vaguely remembered. Most of his thoughts from his life before were lost in a fog. Nothing from his time as slave to the humans who had imprisoned his mother mattered to him anymore. Nothing of his life prior to his epiphany was of any importance. Finding Mother was all that mattered to him; it was his only reason for living.
Sephiroth approached the staircase and slowly ascended them. Each step was a step closer to Mother and the journey to find her was one to be cherished. The humans could no longer keep them apart. They could no longer use them for their own gains. He would free Mother and together they would take revenge on the planet.
He stopped in front of the door and stared at it. "Mother, I came to see you." He slowly reached out with his left and touched the metal door that separated him and his Mother.
He turned his head at the sound of a female voice and footsteps behind him. He said nothing as the young brunette continued her charge up the stairs toward him.
Her eyes flashed with hate and anger. "How could you do that to my father? How could you do that to everyone in the village?"
Sephiroth considered the girl as she rushed toward him, wielding his Masamune. The strength it took to carry his blade proved she was no ordinary girl. She had a strength that her youth effectively kept hidden. She would be a perfect choice to rule beside him. It was a shame that she was so young…and human.
He reached out and gabbed her wrists in one hand, lifting her from the ground. He stared at her for a moment, allowing her to dangle in the air above the stairs. She showed him no fear, only her hatred for him. Yes, it was a shame that she was just a human. However, her ability to wield his blade and her audacity to attack him with it impressed him. He decided to be merciful and end her life as quickly as possible. He took Masamune from her hands and swung it up in a deadly arc. The girl gasped in surprise when his blade split her flesh and at the same time, he released his hold on her. Her body tumbled violently down the stairs before landing in crumpled heap at the bottom. He stared at her for a moment and watched her hands twitch in an attempt to move. If she was still alive after he found Mother, he may have to reconsider her place in his new world order.
Sephiroth sat up with a gasp and grasped his chest. He found he was covered in a fine layer of sweat and his heart was beating rapidly, his breaths coming in short gasps. His eyes darted around his darkened room, proving that it had all been a dream. He reached out and turned on the light beside him. He put his head in his hands and pushed his bangs out of his face. What did it all mean? Who was that girl? And who was Mother? He had never known his mother. Did his dream mean his mother was still alive somewhere? And if she was, why did she abandon him to ShinRa? Was it a dream his mind had created, or was it a vision, a warning of a future that could occur?
He shook his head to clear his thoughts, but his eye caught the shine of Masamune resting in its stand. He had seen his blade bathed in blood before, but it had always been the blood of his enemies, not the blood of innocents. He had never killed civilians before, but in his dream, he had laid waste to entire families: men, women…and children.
No…he would never do such a thing. He would never slaughter children for any reason. He would never have a reason to do such a thing. It couldn't be a vision. He had too much honor to become a monster seeking revenge on the planet as a whole.
He looked at the clock and saw that it was barely three in the morning. He could still obtain the optimal number of hours of sleep he required before he was due to awaken. Sephiroth leaned over and turned off the light, settling on his side once more before closing his eyes. The room was silent, except for an incessant buzzing. He couldn't identify the source, but it almost sounded like someone whispering in his ear. He ignored the noise putting it off as a remnant of his nightmare. If it were more than just a remnant that would mean he was hearing voices and that would mean he was losing his mind.