Aerith let out a startled yelp when she suddenly noticed that it was raining. The droplets beat down on her skin, making her shiver. As she realized that she fell asleep again beside the flower beds because of their intoxicating scent, she rubbed her eyes and stood up.

From the many years she lived under Midgar's plate, rain was a rare thing. The flower petals wilted a bit when the small drops hit them, coming from the slightly torn ceiling. She walked away a few meters, leaving her flower bed unattended for a short while. Her emerald eyes shut tight and a disfiguring frown was plastered on her face when she felt something tearing at her from the inside.

Why ..I feel as if my heart is being pushed through funnels

The frown deepened, and an unwelcome tear trickled down her cheek. In a matter of seconds, more droplets made her soft lips swell. Aerith knew it wasn 't really internal, but it wasn't physical pain either. She missed Zack a lot, in fact, to the point that she would have killed a person during these four years but the feeling today was different. As if everything exploded. More tears trickled down her pained eyes as she entertained a thought in her confused head. She clasped her hands together firmly as she muttered a silent prayer.

Zack ..please be safe

***A few days later in Gongaga***

A petrifying wave of shock, unwelcome, clogged the black-haired woman s heart as she dropped the paper that her shaking hands held. Her tingling fingers went up to cover her mouth, attempting to overcome the unwanted astonishment. At the same time uncontrollable tears burned up at her sky-blue eyes, drenching the letter. "No ..no ..it can t be!"

The letter said:

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Fair, How are you doing today? We hope you are well and safe. We are sorry for informing you so late after the fact and we regret having to tell you that your son, Zack Fair, SOLDIER 1st class, has passed away. He died a real and honorable hero, defending his friend from the army until the very end, and so much more. We sincerely thank you for helping him pursue his dream to join SOLDIER. Without him, the world would have been a very terrible and dangerous place now, and all of us would have been lost forever. No words can excuse us from our failure to defend him from the Shinra army. We do not expect you to forgive us but we sincerely apologize and offer our sincerest condolences.

Sincerely, the Turks