Blades of Destiny Chapter 9
Explosion of Anger, Sacrifice, and Reasons for Fighting Questioned
By Brenton Braswell
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or the series of the Final Fantasy series. They all belong to Squaresoft and are being used without permission. All original characters are copyrighted by the author and are not to be used by anybody without my permission. If somebody has a problem with that, all I could say is, tough luck.
I would like to give a special thanks to Selphie Leonhart for letting me use an idea from one of her stories. Also if you didnt beat FF7/ FF8, you might not want to read this story until you beat both of them. There are major spoilers in this story for those games.
I would like to give a very special thanks to Flaire, for being my beta reader. You should also check out her story, Different Beat.
Also, I would really like to give thanks to everyone who reviewed my story so far.
I would really like to thank Ginger Ninja for supplying me with places I could put Diazs castle. You should check out her fics as well.
Also if you want to use any of my characters, please ask me first. My email address is email@example.com
Characters direct thoughts are in parentheses ( )
In the last chapter, Lensey returned to the Balamb Garden after her little trip to the past to assure the comrades and loved ones of Avalanche that everything was okay. Upon speaking to Headmaster Cid, Squall and the others found out that they were going to make a trip to Deling City and Esthar to form a temporary alliance for the final battle against Diaz. Getting Balamb Garden mobile again, things looked like they were finally coming together. Meanwhile, Diaz was preparing his castle for defense and getting more troops. Elsewhere, reaching Deling City, Headmaster Cid, Squall and the others met with general Caraway and a few Galbaldian officials. After telling them about the threat to the world and showing them the footage of the battle two days ago, Galbaldia looked ready to make a temporary alliance with SeeD, but not Esthar. They had to call the rest of the parliament together to make their decision. When the meeting was over, there was an unexpected attack by one of Diazs assassins. With quick thinking from Lensey, she saved everyone in the room, and Cloud, Yuffie and herself pursued the assassin through the streets. Almost escaping by jumping on a car, Cloud and Yuffie chased the assassin some more, but was undermined when the Galbaldian police showed up. Having to let their guards down, the assassin killed himself before Cloud and Yuffie could catch him. With bad news, they all returned back to Balamb Garden.
Taking the Ragnarok, they headed toward Esthar when Lensey felt a familiar power. Being dropped off with Cloud and Tifa, Lensey searched Fishermans Horizon until she found her long time friend and comrade, Hayato. After a little bit of convincing, Hayato decided to join them. In an instant, the little reunion turned into a nightmare as Diaz, Sephiroth and Oriana showed up. After leading Diaz and the others away from Fishermans Horizon on the railroad bridge, a fierce battle ensued. Lensey and Hayato fought Diaz while Cloud and Sephiroth went at it again. Tifa was able to knock Oriana, and Lensey and Hayato were able to hold their own against Diaz. Cloud and Sephiroth fought and Sephiroth got the upper hand in the battle and looked ready to finish off Cloud by shooting a big blast of energy at Cloud. Tifa pushed Cloud out of the way before the blast hit Cloud and was hit herself. Cloud looked on in horror as he saw Tifa on the ground unconscious. Thats where we last left. What will happen now? Find out in chapter nine of Blades of Destiny.
(Authors note: Dont worry, the continuance of the battle at Fishermans Horizon will be after this part.)
When you thought of how the future looked, Esthar city was close to what you think it would look like. Yuffie looked in wonder at fantastic city that they were coming to. After Selphie dropped off Cloud, Tifa and Lensey back at Fishermans Horizon, Yuffie thought they were going somewhere similar to Deling City. Well, she was wrong.
All of Avalanche and some of the people who never been to Esthar marveled at the beauty and size of Esthar City. From what Yuffie saw, it had really tall buildings that looked really beautiful. Roads and highways that were transparent, tubes that went all over the city that took you to different places to the city. (Wow! What an amazing city! I wish I lived here.) Thought Yuffie.
The Ragnarok was preparing to land at the airstation, and Selphie pressed the button for intercom. Well, welcome to Esthar. Right now, were landing at the airstation, I hope the flight was enjoyable. She then turned off the intercom and landed at airstation.
When everybody was out of the Ragnarok, they were greeted by some mechanics. Selphie immediately said, Um, could you guys give the Ragnarok a tune up and refuel it. In the past few days, weve had to push the limit, and I seriously think it needs one.
Yeah sure, it should be back in tip top shape by tonight or tomorrow morning, said one of the mechanics. As they were exiting the airstation, they noticed that about six ships similar to the Ragnarok were being built.
The group walked out of airstation to be confronted by some soldiers in flashy armor covering their whole bodies and two men in robes. The one with dark skin in the white and red robes walked forward and greeted them. Welcome to Esthar Headmaster Cid, Commander Squall and SeeDs and guests. Im presidential advisor Kiros Segull and this is Minister Ward Zabac, said Kiros while gesturing to the big man in the white and green robes and shaking Headmaster Cids hand. When you said you had a lot of people coming with you Headmaster Cid, I didnt think you would have this many with you. I guess Ill have to get a few more cars to accommodate this big party.
After all the introductions were done, Kiros made a call and six more cars were driven to the airstation. When everybody was all in the cars, they headed straight for the presidential palace. On the way to it, Kiros asked a question. I wonder whats so important that you wanted to have a meeting with President Loire? He asked the Headmaster.
Its something of great importance that involves the world being in danger, Headmaster Cid answered. Getting this kind of answer wasnt what Kiros expected. He guessed they would have to wait until the got to the palace to get a better answer. The rest of the trip was driven with little conversations about Esthar and how magnificent it looked.
Once they got there and everybody went up to the presidential floor, they went into the presidents room. They all saw a young woman with brown hair in a sleeveless blue blouse, a long white skirt, and a green shawl. Hey Ellone, said Kiros. Wheres did Laguna go?
Hi Kiros, said Ellone. He went to Odines lab after he got a phone call from Doctor Odine about those power readings again, Ellone explained to Kiros.
Ward then gestured to Kiros as if saying something. Yeah, I know, said Kiros to Ward. He seems to always be doing things like this. Being rude and disappearing when he knows hes supposed to be meeting Headmaster Cid for an important meeting. I hope its important this time. Well everyone, lets get back in the cars and go to Odines lab and see what all the fuss is about this time.
So everyone took the elevator back down to the cars. They all piled back into the cars and went halfway across the city to Odines Lab. On the way there Squall and Ellone talked. Squall, do you know what is going on in the world? Asked Ellone. Ive been feeling a lot of energy from around the world since the last two days. Ever since Ellone found out about her special ability to send people into the past, shes able to sense most of the energy being used lately.
Squall then looked at Headmaster Cid. He nodded. Yeah, said Squall. Its because of this man named . Squall suddenly stopped and looked in the direction that Fishermans Horizon was in. He suddenly felt Lensey, Cloud, Tifa and another power flaring up.
Ellone seemed to sense this too and looked in the same direction too. I feel those powers again, said Ellone. Whats going on?
I dont know Ellone, but we should go into Odines lab to see where it is coming from this time, said Kiros as the cars stopped in front of the lab. Everyone quickly hurried in lab and went took the seat up to Odines lab.
When everybody was in they saw a man with long black hair in an aqua blue beach shirt, red shorts, and some sandals. By him, there was a short man in a purple robe and a ruffle around his neck. He was fiddling around with a control panel and both of the men were looking at the screen.
Hey Laguna, said Kiros. Wheres it coming from this time?
Laguna looked over at all of the people that just entered the room. Shoot! Exclaimed Laguna. I forgot about the meeting! Anyway, Its coming from the railroad bridge by Fishermans Horizon.
Thats where we dropped off Cloud, Tifa, and Lensey! Yuffie exclaimed. Everyone looked at the screen to see a map of the world and saw seven little dots on the screen. Doctor Odine pressed a few buttons and the screen changed to a map of the railroad by Estar and the seven dots stopping. Cant this thing get a picture or something?
Im afraid not, the satellite that is monitoring this cant take a picture with the long range lens because of all the power gathered there, explained Odine.
This is very interesting, Doctor Odine said while looking at the power reading and the numbers that were given by the seven dots. Does anybody know what is going on?
I do, said Squall. Lensey, Cloud, Tifa, and another person are fighting Diaz, Sephiroth, and Oriana. Ill explain it to you later how I know, said Squall while addressing Ellone, Kiros, Ward, Laguna, and Doctor Odine.
After a few minutes, they felt a power level fade as if somebody got knocked out. Look! One of the power levels are going down! said Odine excitedly while looking at the screen.
That was Oriana getting knocked out, said Squall.
After a few more minutes, they saw one of the power levels shooting up. It released some energy toward another. Then they saw one of the dots push another and fly back a few feet.
Everybody looked in shock as they felt another power level dropping. Thats Tifa! Said Barret. Something is going wrong. Damn, I wish Lensey showed us how to do that teleportation magic. I feel so helpless being here and not doing anything!
Everybody just looked at the screen and those who could sense, sensed the battle and waited to know the outcome. If it was one thing that Barret and a few other people hated, it was not being able to do something. (Cloud, you better do something outrageous or else you wont survive.) Barret silently thought.
No, Cloud said quietly. TTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAA! Cloud screamed.
Now seeing this really got a smile from Sephiroth. This was just what he was planning to do at the start. (Now to kill that Lockheart woman, and watch Strife suffer.) Sephiroth charged up again about to unleash the same attack.
This time Cloud was ready for it, but he noticed Sephiroth aiming at Tifa. He concentrated his energy into the Ultima Weapon, when he was finished he saw Sephiroth fire off the same green ball of energy. Cloud stepped into the path of the fireball and batted it away into the sea. A few seconds later there was an explosion and white light filled the area for a few moments.
Lensey and Hayato noticed what happened and rushed over to Cloud and Tifa. They both saw that Tifa was on the ground and unconscious. She really looked hurt. She watched as Cloud sheathed the Ultima Weapon and cradle Tifa in his lap. Lensey then checked her pulse. She still has a pulse, but its very weak. Shes still breathing, and if we hurry her to a hospital, shell make it. The only thing Im worried about is if I use the teleportation magic, Diaz will follow us and try to finish us off.
At hearing those words, Cloud paled a little bit. He looked down and closed his eyes. Lensey watch Tifa for me, said Cloud while gently laying Tifas head down on the ground. Ive got something to take care of. Im going to end this here and now starting with Sephiroth, and then Diaz. Lensey nodded and cradled her in her lap.
Cloud got up and noticed that Hayato kept his sword toward Diaz. He then stepped a few feet away from them and faced Sephiroth. You took away everything that was dear to me, said Cloud with anger in his voice. You took away my hometown, the people in it, my mother and Aeris. He looked down a little bit and started to shake from time to time. With a look of pain and anger, he looked back up. He felt the energy inside of him swelling and increasing along with his anger and rage. In an instant, black storm clouds started to engulf the sky over Fishermans Horizon and lightening and thunder was seen.
Sephiroth looked on at Cloud and wondered was this Strife's work? He sensed the power in Cloud increasing.
Diaz also looked at the scene that he saw unfolding. He also felt Cloud Strifes power increasing gradually. (Now this is an interesting development. Ill get to see first hand how much power Strife unleashes.)
I wont let you take away the one I love! Cloud Yelled. I wont let you take away my Tifa! Clouds body really felt like it was on fire. Now was the time to unleash the power. To unleash all the pain and suffering that Sephiroth caused him and give it back tenfold. Cloud threw his arms to his sides and let out a primal scream. YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! As he did this, a golden fire burst out of his body and encased his being but still showed Cloud. The railroad bridge and Fishermans Horizon shook like an earthquake was happening. Clouds power was increasing really fast and didnt seem like it was stopping in the next few moments.
What the hell! Exclaimed Barret as he felt Clouds power increase very fast. He saw that everyone either sensed this or watched the numbers by the dot that was Cloud go wild and increase like crazy.
Whats happening? Asked Odine.
Clouds unleashing his power, answered Squall.
Lenseys eyes widened at the skill and power that Cloud was displaying in harnessing his power. (Amazing! I would have never thought that anybody else other than myself, Hayato, and Diaz could unleash their power like that.)
After about a minute, Clouds power stopped increasing and the golden fire still radiated around him like an aura. The area around them immediately stopped shaking. Sephiroth powered-up as well while Cloud was powering up. Cloud then unsheathed the Ultima Weapon and stood is his battle stance. His eyebrows were creased downward in anger, but it didnt look like Cloud let the rage take over him. Cloud then charged at Sephiroth the fastest hes ever ran. He slashed furiously at Sephiroth and it seemed the silver-haired foe was having a hard time blocking the slashes. When Sephiroth attacked, Cloud jumped back. He then concentrated on a green materia orb embedded in the sword. When he was done, he threw his hand forward and unleashed a fire3 spell that was so powerful; the explosion threw Sephiroth back a good ten feet.
He then put his sword in a familiar position, and let the red haze that showed when one attempted a limit break flare up. Omnislash! Cloud Yelled. He rushed Sephiroth as he was getting up. Sephiroth had enough time to bring up the masamune as Cloud was in striking distance. Sephiroth was once again able to match Clouds speed and block a few hits of the limit break, but the power put behind those strikes knocked Sephiroth off balance, leaving himself open for a few slashes.
Jumping up, Cloud gathered a tremendous amount of energy into the sword. When enough was collected, he slashed downward and Sephiroth dodged. The energy released after Cloud sword hit the groud flew out in all directions creating a wave that went few feet away from his body. Sephiroth was shocked by this and was hit by the energy wave really hard.
(How can this be happening?!!?) Sephiroth thought as he got up with blood running down his mouth. The few slashed that Cloud got in really hurt him and he was having a hard time standing. This isnt over Strife! Ill be back! Sephiroth Yelled before disappearing.
Now this really angered Cloud. The golden aura around his being subsided, but he still maintained the power and speed that he gained. He then turned around and looked at Diaz. He then looked over at Lensey to see she was casting some healing magic on Tifa. Once she was finished, Tifa still didnt awake. He then quickly rushed over to Lensey, Tifa and Hayato. He knelt down and said, Hang on Tifa, well get you some help soon. He then turned toward Lensey. Lensey, Im going to end this right now.
What! Exclaimed Lensey. Dont be foolish and throw away you life. You wont be able to beat him by yourself.
Without warning, Diaz powered up and it was having the same effect on the area around them. The bridge was shaking so much; it felt like it was going to crumble apart if Diaz didnt stop soon. He stopped after a minute. Now Ill get a real challenge, said Diaz. Come forth Strife, fight me if you dare.
Cloud got up and started walking toward Diaz with the Ultima Weapon. Stop you fool! Hayato yelled. You cant beat Diaz, youre not strong enough yet! Cloud ignored Hayato and kept walking forward. When he was twenty feet away from Diaz, he went into a dash. When he was upon Diaz, he swung his sword in a mighty overhead swing and connected with Diazs sword.
They really started slashing, dodging, parrying, and thrusting both of their swords at each other at a fast and furious pace. They went on for about a minute before both jumped apart panting. Diaz then sheathed his sword and put his hands in front of him and gathered energy.
(So he wants to do it like that eh?) Cloud sheathed the Ultima Weapon on his back and went in the position that Lensey went in when she was showing them how to fire off their power. He was turned slightly to the right with his hands to his sides as if cupping a ball. He bent his knees slightly in this position. He gathered a good amount of energy into a ball.
When both seemed ready, Diaz shot a constant energy beam forward. Cloud saw this threw his hands forward and unleashed a continual energy beam also. When both beams connected there was a slight explosion, but the beams still remained there pushing against one and other. The beams of energy were in a power struggle. Both mens faces were etched in anger and strain. So think you can outmatch my power?!! yelled Diaz. BRING IT ON! After saying that, Diazs beam got stronger and pushed Clouds back slightly.
(Shit!) Cloud thought mentally. YYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH! Cloud yelled while increasing the power of his beam. It pushed Diazs back a little more then Diazs pushed his.
This power struggle was getting desperate. Diaz yelled, This was fun while this lasted, but now its time to end this! Diazs energy beam power increased by ten-fold and was pushing both beams back at Cloud. When it was just a few feet from Cloud, he gave it one last push of power that stopped the progress of the beams for a few seconds. Cloud then felt he could not keep this up and the beams flew fast at him.
Suddenly Cloud was engulfed in the surge of energy and flew back up into the air and landed close to Hayato, Lensey and Tifa. Cloud was really hurt, and got up slowly to his knees panting in exhaustion and pain.
(I cant let it end like this! Cloud was not meant to fight Diaz now! Now theres only one thing to do.) Thought Hayato. Hayato cast some magic on Lensey. Lensey felt what he was doing as was shocked. Im sorry Lensey, said Hayato as he finished casting his magic on her.
Lensey felt her power and magic blocked. What are you doing Hayato?
The only thing I can think of, Hayato answered. Im going to try to kill Diaz myself.
You dont have to do this alone, said Lensey in a worried tone. Dont sacrifice yourself for us.
Im sorry Lensey, stated Hayato. Its the only way that I can think of to give you time to get away. Ill try to injure Diaz enough so that he wont be able to follow you. He then looked down. Goodbye Lensey. I hope you can get Naomi to join your side. Get stronger and finish off Diaz for me, this worlds sake, and the whole universe. He looked back up and cast the teleportation magic. Lensey, Cloud, Tifa, and Oriana instantly disappeared from the battlefield.
In a few seconds, Lensey saw herself in a room with some people she never saw before. Then she instantly saw all of Avalanche, Headmaster Cid, and Squall and everybody else. Oh my god! Youre alright Lensey! yelled Selphie while rushing over to and hugging her. Once she let go, she saw the terrified look on Lenseys face. Whats wrong Lensey?
Lensey then looked in the direction of Fishermans horizon and said quietly, no, why did you do that Hayato?
Cloud immediately rushed over to Tifa. Tifa, please wake up.
Barret and everybody noticed that Tifa was unconscious and looking bad. Tifa! Yelled Barret.
Somebody, help me get Tifa to a hospital! Cloud yelled while picking her up and cradling her in his arms.
Follow me, said Kiros while rushing to the door. Cloud quickly followed along with Barret and Yuffie out the door and outside. The people inside heard a car pull off and speed down the street.
Whats going on Lensey? Asked Xu.
My friend, Hayato is going sacrifice himself to give us to some time prepare ourselves, said Lensey while looking down at the floor.
What the hell is Oriana doing here? Asked Zell.
Lensey the looked around and spotted Oriana on the floor still unconscious. Hayato, must have teleported her with us. I guess we can now find out where Diazs castle is located now. (Why Hayato? Why?) Lensey mentally questioned.
Diaz looked on as he saw Hayato cast the telportation magic. Lensey Kusanagi, Cloud Strife, and Tifa Lockheart had disappeared in front of his eyes. He also noticed that Oriana had disappeared as well. (So, hes willing to fight me alone.) Hayato, that was a foolish move, said Diaz. With Kusanagi gone, your little chance that you had to defeat me is gone.
Yeah, said Hayato. Im not going to die before I pay you back for killing my family. Ill make you suffer and injure you enough to give Lensey and the others some time to get more stronger.
Diaz smirked. So youre willing to sacrifice yourself for people that you dont know and this world. So, you want to be a hero until the end, how noble and foolish. Also, Ive seen that you teleported Oriana as well. He then unsheathed his sword and held it by his side. Oriana was weak, and they wont get a chance to find out where my castle is yet. Once I take care of you, Oriana and some of Kusanagis allies will die.
You disgust me Diaz, said Hayato while frowning. Youre willing to kill one of your elite warriors just because they were defeated? Hayato asked.
Yes, Diaz answered. Ill find and train somebody to replace her. Enough talk, now we fight! Diaz yelled while getting in a fighting position.
Hayato also got in a fighting stance while bringing his katana up. Hayato decided to begin an offensive against Diaz. He charged toward Diaz and brought his sword in a spinning slash. Diaz dodged it and returned his attack by thrusting his sword toward Hayatos midsection. The broadsword grazed Hayatos side and drew blood as he barely dodged. I see that youre getting weaker. That chest wound must be painful.
Hayato knew Diaz was right. (In the past, a wound like this wouldnt have bothered me as much as it does now. I shouldve kept on training even though I stopped fighting.) Hayato put his left hand over the wound on the right side of his stomach while holding his katana up with his right hand.
They circled each other slowly waiting for the other to attack. Then Diaz lashed out with a couple of sword slashes. Hayato blocked these and thrust his sword at Diaz. Diaz quickly dodged it and slashed his sword over Hayatos chest again. AAAAAHHHHHH! Hayato yelled in pain. Once again, he felt that his chest was on fire.
Hayato was now truly hurt. He dropped his katana and knelt down holding his chest. Diaz walked over to Hayato and raised his sword. Now, die weakling!
As Diaz was in his downward swing, Hayato quickly gathered energy in his fist and gut punched Diaz. Even though Diaz had armor on, he felt the blow and it stunned him. In an amazing burst of energy, Hayato jumped up and did a spinning roundhouse kick to Diazs head. As Diaz spun around reeling from the kick, Hayato grabbed and locked his arms around Diaz.
Diaz felt that Hayato had put him in a strong hold. You cant keep this hold forever, said Diaz while struggling.
Hayato tightened his grip. Ill hold you long enough to do what I need to do! Yelled Hayato. Mother, father, little sister, Ill be joining you soon! Goodbye Naomi and Lensey! Get stronger and defeat Diaz! Hayato then concentrated his power in his body until it got too unbearable to handle. As he did this, his whole body glowed yellow.
YOU FOOL! Yelled Diaz while struggling, but to no avail, Hayatos grip didnt loosen.
YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Hayato screamed. Without warning, Hayatos body exploded in yellow energy. Diaz was caught up in the explosion. There was smoke everywhere. When the smoke cleared, Diaz was on the ground panting from pain and exhaustion.
(Damned fool sacrificed himself to greatly injure me.) He looked around and saw not a trace was left of Hayato except his katana blade. (Damn. I only have enough energy to teleport back to the castle. Kusanagi, you may have gotten away this time, but next time we fight, that will be our final battle against one and other.) Diaz then picked his broadsword and sheathed it. He then teleported himself back to his castle.
After sensing Hayato power rise suddenly, flare up, explode and disappear; Lensey paled a little. She looked toward the floor with a saddened look on her face.
What just happened? Asked Quistis.
Hayato jut sacrificed himself to greatly injure Diaz, said Lensey quietly. She then walked out the room. She sunk to her knees and cried.
A few seconds later, Laguna came out, helped Lensey up and hugged her. Let it all out, said Laguna while letting Lensey cry on his shoulder. Im sorry about what happened to your friend. Even though Laguna didnt know the young woman, he comforted her. He knew how it felt to lose someone close. It wasnt a good time for her and he would do anything in his power to get rid the world of this threat.
Elsewhere at Diazs castle somewhere in Centra, Diaz had appeared in the courtyard of his castle. Currently there wasnt that many out in the courtyard at the time, but the shape Diaz was in shocked the ones that were. Naomi, Krelnar, and Maximus were in the yard also.
They immediately ran over to Diaz. Master, what happened? Asked Krelnar. I wasnt surprised when we saw Sephiroth come back in the shape he was in, but this is really surprising.
At Fishermans Horizon, we met with Kusangi, Strife, Lockheart, and Hayato, said Diaz. No one noticed the expression on Naomis face change. It was only for a second, but it surprised her when she heard a name she hasnt heard in a long time. Diaz continued, When Strife showed an impressive amount of power and made short work of Sephiroth, he challenged me and I showed him that he was no match for my power. Hayato transported Strife, Kusanagi, Lockheart and Oriana to wherever their comrades are. He then fought me and ended up sacrificing his life to injure me greatly. Diaz then groaned while clutching his stomach and fell over on his face. He had fainted from the pain of his injuries.
You two, help me get Emperor Diaz to his room, said Maximus to two soldiers. They then promptly carried Diaz into the castle.
During all the time Diaz told them the events that happened at Fishermans Horizon, no noticed the small reactions Naomi made. When Maximus, Krelnar, and some soldiers carried Diaz into the castle, Naomi went to a far corner of the courtyard. (No, this cant be. I thought Hayato would give up after that second defeat and not fight against us again. I guess I was wrong.) She let a single tear fall down her face. She made sure nobody saw that, because she didnt want to look weak in front of anybody. (I guess now hell be with his family.) She then went into the castle. Naomi hoped she could do what she needs to do in the future. If she couldnt, Diaz would denounce her as one of his elite warriors, call her a traitor, and kill her. She really hoped she didnt have to face her sister in a fight. She then walked into the castle to her quarters to be alone with her thoughts.
Meanwhile in a hospital in Esthar close to Odines lab, Cloud, Barret, Yuffie, and Kiros waited for the doctor to come out with news about Tifas condition. Cloud looked like a nervous wreck and didnt say anything since they rushed in the hospital and had her taken away. Barret noticed this and didnt know what to do. He really thought he would never see Cloud in this state ever before. During all the time on their journey to save the world from Sephiroth, the only time Barret saw Cloud close to the state he was in was when Sephiroth murdered Aeris. This was really a bad time for something like this to happen.
The doctor that saw to Tifa walked into the waiting room. Cloud, Barret, and Yuffie immediately noticed and went to him. Yuffie jumped up and grabbed his collar, Is Tifa alright? Please tell me doctor! Barret had to pry a hysterical Yuffie off of the man so he could speak.
I have some good news and I have some bad news, said the doctor. The good news is that Ms. Lockhearts condition is stable. The bad news is that she is in a coma.
At hearing this news Clouds eyes widened. He immediately looked down and let the tears flow freely. Is there anyway we can get her out of the coma doctor? Cloud asked in a grieve-stricken voice.
I dont know Mr. Strife, the doctor answered. This isnt your normal type of coma. The injuries she had werent too bad. We could tell that some type of magic was used prior to you bringing her here. That magic healed her mostly. Its hard to say if she will come out of her coma in the next few days, months or years. Now this news was really depressing and Yuffie let her tears fall as well. Kiros then hugged her to let her cry on his shoulder.
Can we see her doctor? Asked Barret.
Yes, youll be able to see her, said the doctor. If you follow me, Ill show you all to her room.
Cloud, Barret, Yuffie, and Kiros followed the doctor down a hall and around a corner. After they came to a room with the numbers 128 by the door, they followed the doctor in the room. They all saw a nurse standing by Tifa looking over her. The doctor then went close to the nurse and whispered, Lets leave and let them all have some time alone with the young woman. The nurse nodded and followed the doctor out of the room.
They all saw Tifa in the bed with some tubing going up her nose and some band attached to her arm hooked up to a device that monitored her heart rate. She was in a hospital gown and her clothes, fighting gloves, and materia was probably in a closet. To any other person, Tifa would look very peaceful and like she was asleep. But the four alone in the room with the comatose woman knew she was in a coma. Cloud went over to her side, knelt down and grabbed a hold of her left hand and held it with both hands. Tifa, Im so sorry, said Cloud. If I wasnt so weak, you wouldnt be like this. He then softly stroked her hair.
I know this is a bad time to be asking this, said Barret. But what happened out there Cloud.
Kiros then pulled the chairs over to Barret, Yuffie, and Cloud and let them sit down while he stood up. Cloud looked down. You probably all know that we were ambushed by Diaz, Sephiroth, and Oriana. He paused not really wanting to tell them how Tifa ended up in this condition, but he had no choice. Sephiroth and myself once again ended up fighting each other. This time we both fought more furious then we ever had before. After a few minutes of fighting, Sephiroth caught me off guard when I did something stupid. He charged up his energy and shot a blast of energy at me. I was going to get hit by it when Tifa pushed me out the way and took the blow for me. He then looked down and closed his eyes. That should be me instead of her there. Why am I so weak?
Thats not all that happened is it? Asked Kiros waiting for Cloud to continue. From the scanners, we saw something else happened before you appeared in the lab.
No, it isnt, answered Cloud. Once I saw Tifa lying unconscious on the ground, something snapped inside of me. Seeing Tifa in the state she was in made all of my hatred, pain, and suffering that Sephiroth put me through manifest itself. I had gotten really powerful, and I was in control. I was afraid that I would lose control and go into a blind rage any minute, but I didnt. I easily made sport of Sephiroth, but he teleported away before I could finish him off.
I wish I was there to see you give Sephiroth that beating, said Barret trying to lighten up the mood of the people in the room.
They all sat in silence for a few minutes. Please wake up Tifa, said Cloud while holding Tifas hand. I love you and I dont want to lose you. I dont know what I would do if I lost you.
A few moments after saying that, they all heard some commotion out in the hallway. Listening a little more carefully, they heard Cid cursing out somebody and demanded to be let in the room toward the guards posted outside the door. Kiros got up and went out of the room to see Quistis, Cid, Vincent, Lisa and Red XIII outside. You could let them in, Kiros said to the guards. The guards stepped aside and let five inside the room. Now the room really looked like it was getting crowded.
Damn, spike, said Cid. What happened out there?
After saying that, everybody noticed that Cloud looked down. Barret then put an arm around Cid and walked him over to a corner. Hey, Foo, said Barret quietly. Dont ask him that. I already asked him and he told us. It was hard enough for him to tell us what happened. Dont put him in more pain then hes in right now.
After about a half-hour, a nurse came in and said, Im sorry, visiting hours are over, youll all have to leave. Mostly everyone walked out except Cloud and Barret. Im sorry, you two will have to leave. Kiros then walked over to the nurse and whispered something in her ear. She nodded and walked out of the room.
I dont know about you Barret, but Im staying with Tifa, Cloud told Barret. He sat in a chair close to Tifas bed and held her hand and stroked her hair softly.
Well, Im going to get something to eat around here, said Barret. I wont be too far, yell if Tifa starts to wake up. Cloud nodded and watched as Barret walked out of the room. He then turned back to Tifa and watched her hoping for the best. (Please wake up my angel. I wont be able to go on with my life if you died.)
After Lensey was finished crying and things settled down in the lab, everybody decided to split up into two groups. One group was going to the hospital while the other group went to the Presidential Palace. They also took Oriana to the palace with them having to chain her up and restrain her when Oriana woke up. Since then Oriana was tight lipped and didnt say anything to them. That was over an hour ago. She didnt know what Laguna, Squall, Headmaster Cid and the others were talking about in the presidents room, but at the moment she didnt care. She sat on the couch in the waiting room close to the other room with Selphie by her side and Zell not too far away.
Seeing you sad, makes me sad Lensey, said Selphie while sitting next to Lensey and having an arm around her shoulders. I have an idea, why dont you use that resurrection magic you told us about when you first got here?
Theres one little problem Selphie, Lensey said. Hes already has been brought back to life one time before. The magic wont work this time.
Im sorry Lensey, Selphie said with sympathy in her voice.
Thats okay Selphie, replied Lensey. You couldnt have known. She just sat there looking down. Without warning, Lensey felt her magic and powers returning back to her. The magic that Hayato cast on her had finally wore off. She got up off the couch and walked a few feet away from Selphie and Zell. Im sorry Selphie and Zell, Lensey addressed the two SeeDs. I have to go somewhere to be alone. Ill be back in the morning. Lensey then cast her teleportation magic and was gone in an instant.
We have to tell the others about this, said Zell while running toward the door. Selphie followed closely behind him. The guards outside Lagunas office let them pass knowing who they were. Once they were inside Zell immediately said, Lenseys gone. She teleported somewhere and we dont know where.
She said she had to be alone and was going to be back in the morning, added Selphie.
Hmm This is an unexpected turn of events, said Cid. I guess well just have to wait until the morning to see if she comes back.
Selphie looked down. (Please come back soon Lensey. I dont know what well do if you dont)
Lensey had teleported to the part of the railroad bridge that the battle took place earlier. She looked around at the place and was a little surprised that it didnt collapse. It was night and it was hard to see what she was looking for. She immediately found it. It was Hayatos katana and sheath. (Hayato, Ill make sure your sacrifice will not be in vain. Ill get stronger and defeat Diaz and put a stop to his reign of terror.) She then sheathed the sword and cast the teleport magic once again. She was gone from the bridge.
After seeing a map of the world, Lensey knew immediately where she wanted to go. She was in just outside a quaint little town. She already knew this was the town called Winhill. She walked into town and saw that nobody was outside because it was nighttime. She looked around and saw a big house to her right, a few houses just a little to her left and some in front of her just about 40 feet or more away from her. She looked around decided to sit on the bench and just think for a while.
(Hayato, why did you have to be a hero and sacrifice yourself? I hope youve met your family in heaven.) She looked around the darkened town. (Why do I fight? Whats the point of it? Ever since I started, Ive done nothing but experienced pain and suffering.)
A door opened close to where Lensey sat on the bench. She saw an old woman in a green dress saying her last goodbyes to someone and walk out a door. Lensey then looked down once more and went back to her thoughts. She then heard footsteps in her direction and they stopped just a few feet in front of her. Lensey then looked up. Whats a matter honey? Said the old woman. You looked troubled.
Lensey was hesitant to speak but spoke anyway. A lot of things are troubling me, Lensey answered. I feel like Ive lost my way.
Thats too bad, said the old lady. Why dont you come to my house and we could have a bite to eat and talk about it over tea?
I dont want to trouble you with my problems, Lensey replied.
Its no trouble, said the elderly woman. Young people like yourself shouldnt be down like this. You have your whole life ahead of you, and should look toward the future.
Lensey nodded, got up and followed the woman to her house. She took out some soup and heated it up in the microwave of her home. She then served herself and Lensey a helping of it. Lensey gratefully accepted it and ate in silence. After they were finished eating, the old woman made some tea and told Lensey to make herself at home.
So whats name deary? Asked the elderly woman while pouring Lensey some tea.
Lensey, she answered.
Well, you can call me Rosa, answered the old woman. So why are you so down? Asked Rosa.
Lensey looked down. I feel like Ive lost my way. Like what I do right now doesnt matter.
Dont worry Lensey, said Rosa. In life, you may lose your way, but you cant lose sight of your future. She then looked down at her watch. Oh look, the news is on, Lets see whats going on in the world. She then turned on the television and flipped to the news.
In todays top story, there has been an big commotion in Deling City, said the news anchor. From unknown sources, weve found out there has been an assassination attempt against General Caraway and some of Galbaldias top officials while meeting with SeeDs from Balamb Garden.
(How could they find that out? I didnt think they would want something like this going public. I guess one of the guards at the presidential residence must have told the news people.)
After a chase through the city by a few SeeDs, and the Galbaldian police, the assassin committed suicide before being taken into custody, said the anchorwoman. Right now the identity of the assailant is unknown, and the police and the army had no comments when they were questioned. Right here we have a shot of Balamb Garden SeeDs leaving the presidential residence after the incident was taken care off. A scene was then showed of Headmaster Cid, Squall, Cloud, Yuffie, Zell, Xu and herself getting in a transport and driving away. Rosa noticed Lensey but waited until the report was finished before she would start asking questions. Right now, a few people wonder is this incident is related to the attack on Timber, the disappearance of Galbaldian Garden, and the attack on Trabia Garden. Once again, the government had no comments on this. Some speculate that this is another sorceress showing up. Others think something else is going on in the world that may be a threat to our safety. Well keep you updated as more information comes in.
Wasnt that you on television? Asked Rosa. Lensey nodded. So youre a Balamb Garden SeeD.
Not exactly, said Lensey.
Do you know what is going on in the world? Rosa asked Lensey.
Yes, Lensey answered. As a matter of fact, Im right in the middle of it. Ill tell you about it, but you might not believe me. Lensey told Rosa most of what happened since she got there. Rosa listened intently. She was a little hesitant when she got to the part at FH, but Lensey told her anyway.
Thats terrible, said Rosa. Im very sorry to hear about you friend sacrificing himself.
Thats okay, Lensey replied. Right now, Im not that sad, because Hayato wouldnt want me to be. She then looked down. I wonder why do I fight when I know that it will only bring me more pain? I know if I dont fight, this world is doomed, and if I do fight, the world may still be doomed.
I see that youve lost the will to fight, Rosa said. You just need to find something to fight for.
Rosa got up and got a picture off a table. She then sat down on the couch beside Lensey. See this little girl here? Lensey nodded. She saw a cute little girl with brown hair in a ponytail with brown eyes. She was wearing a red dress and was smiling in the picture. Thats my granddaughter, Elizabeth. She cute isnt she?
Yes, very cute, answered Lensey.
If you need something to fight for, why dont you fight for her future? Asked Rosa. If you fight, you could give this world and my granddaughter a chance to live in happiness for another generation.
(I guess if I dont fight, this cute little girl wont have a future. No, I wont deny anybody the chance to live a happy life.) Lensey then looked up to Rosa. Ill fight for Elizabeths future, the people, this planets future, and the whole universe, stated Lensey. Ill have to stop being selfish and think about the others that are involved in all of this. I guess I cant run from my destiny any more. Ill just have to stand up to it and face it with an unwavering resolve. Lensey said. She had her confidence restored and was ready to get stronger and face whatever destiny threw her way.
Thats good to hear honey, said Rosa. Do you have anyplace to stay? Lensey shook her head. Then why dont you stay in the extra room?
Thank you Rosa, said Lensey. You shown to me that I dont only fight for myself, but I fight for others that cant fight. Im going to see this through to the end.
Thats good honey, Rosa commented. Lets get you to bed, you look like youve had a long day. Rosa then escorted Lensey to the extra room in her house and let her go to sleep. Lensey hoped she wouldnt have nightmares.
At the same time, In Esthar hospital, Cloud had fallen asleep while watching over Tifa. Even though the battle that they fought that day was over for a long time, a battle raged inside of Tifas mind.
In Tifas mind, she felt like she was on a battleground and her body didnt want to respond. Tifas psyche was trapped behind a mental wall couldnt get out.
Tifa looked around at the place that she was in. It looked like a desolate desert. She noticed that she was in her white tank top, short leather skirt, and had her steel-toed boots and the premium heart fighting gloves on. She had already walked for a few hours and the end didnt look like it was going to be in sight anytime soon. After going to the top of a sand dune, she saw something off in the distance. It looked like a town but Tifa couldnt tell at the moment. She walked in the direction for about a few minutes and it looked like Nibelheim.
After about ten minutes of walking, she was reached the gates and saw that it was Nibelheim. She walked inside of it and saw that it was deserted. Why am I here? Asked Tifa. Whats the reason that Ive been brought to this place? She asked as if expecting an answer from out of nowhere.
Suddenly, the village burst into flames. This sight surprised Tifa and she wondered why was she seeing this. Why am I seeing this?! Tifa Yelled. What is the purpose of this?
To see if you are worthy of receiving my help in awaking from your coma, said a female voice. The landscape suddenly disappeared and Tifa was left in darkness once more. She then found herself in a grassy field with the moon shining above her. It was really bright and illuminated the landscape with a gentle glow.
Whos there and where are you? Asked Tifa.
I am the voice of the planet, and I have no spiritul form to show you, said the female voice. The voice was very ethereal and soothing. Why did you push Strife out of the way of the attack aimed for him?
I did it because I had to do it, said Tifa. I didnt want to see him get killed or worst. Im willing to sacrifice my life for him.
Why do that? asked the voice. You could have easily stood by and watched as he took the attack.
I did that because I love him and I wont let that much harm come to him, answered Tifa.
That seemed foolish. You are different from others that have been in the same situation, said the planet. Others would have done nothing. Now tell me why do you fight?
Tifa thought about this for a few second before answering. I fight for others that cant fight, answered Tifa. I fight for this planet and its future. I fight for the future of others, and I fight for Cloud! Tifa stated.
You have a good soul, the planet commented. Why not fight for money, fame, and recognition?
Whats the use of fighting for those superficial things? Said Tifa. If I fought for those things alone, my life would be meaningless. I should have a purpose to fight or else all my fighting is in vain.
Well met Tifa Lockheart, the female voice answered. You have passed this test, but there is one more test that you will have to pass in order to receive my help. You must fight the foe that I put before you. You must show me that you have the strength and the skill to receive my help and blessing.
Green and blue spirit energy started to gather a few feet away from Tifa. It took form and revealed a man that Tifa hadnt seen since before the burning down of Nibelheim. I was her martial arts teacher, Zangan. He looked the same from when she last saw him. He had gray hair and a beard. He wore brown tan pants, a black vest, and some black gloves on his hands and a red cape on his back. This may not be the real Zangan, but if you are able to defeat him, Ill help you.
Tifa then got into her fighting stance. She saw the fake Zangan get into a stance too. She then started an offense by rushing toward him and letting loose about four or five lefts and right punches. Fake Zangan blocked all of these and grabbed her arm after about the fifth punch. He then drove a vicious knee to Tifas midsection. Tifa knelt down while gasping for breath. The fake Zangan then tried to do an axe kick to Tifas collarbone. Tifa saw this move in time to put her arms up in and block the move. After blocking move, she then tried to foot sweep his left leg, but he jumped back.
Zangan then charged her and begun his own offense of punches and kicks. (He fights just like the real Zangan.) Tifa was put on the defense from the fast and furious punching and kicking. She looked for an opening but couldnt find one to attack. In a desparate move, Tifa grabbed his right leg. He smirked and jumped up a little and brought his left leg up and around for a kick that connected with the side of Tifas head. She was really hurting from this move and saw as the fake Zangan backed off of her. Dont tell me this is it? said the planets voice. Dont tell me this is the limit of your powers and skills?
No its not, said Tifa as she got up.
Then use your unlocked power and show me, said the female voice.
(Okay, but this copy of Zangan will really be in a world of hurt.) Tifa then powered up with a blue flame surrounding her person like an aura. The area lit up with blue light and the ground shook. When she was finished, Tifa felt that she was stronger and faster. She then charged at the fake Zangan and went into a fury of punches and kicks. Surprisingly, Zangans speed had increased also and he was able to block the blows. Both backed off for a few seconds. Then they started punching and kicking at each other once again. Tifa was caught off guard by a few punches and thrown back. (No! It cant end like this! I wont lose to this fake Zangan! Ill let my love for Cloud push me on and continue fighting!) Tifa then charged faster then she has ever ran before. She then connected with some punches aimed for Zangans stomach. He doubled over and clutched his stomach. Tifa then knelt down a little bit and came up with a hard left uppercut. The fake Zangan was reeling back from this blow but didnt fall. Tifa continued up with her advantage by punching him two times in the face. With increased strength and agility, Tifa did an impressive jump spinning roundhouse kick and floored the fake Zangan.
He didnt get up and he disappeared in a swirl of green and blue spirit energy. Then a blue and green swirl of sprit energy appeared behind her. She turned around and looked on as it took shape. After about a few moments it took a familiar form of a person Tifa thought she would never see again. Right there she saw Aeris. You have done well my child, said the woman.
Aeris? Asked Tifa.
No, the woman answered. Im not Aeris. She had long ago joined the lifestream and found her promised land. I took on this form so you could feel comfortable. Tifa looked at her as she talked. She had Aeriss form, but not her voice. She then walked up to Tifa and put her in a tight hug. You make me proud Tifa Lockheart, daughter of the planet.
Tifa smiled and returned the hug. Does this mean I have your blessing? Asked Tifa.
Yes, said the woman in Aeriss form. Go forth, get stronger, and make me proud as you fight against the evil that threatens this planet. She then cast some magic and the landscape disappeared and she was in darkness once again.
Tifa then felt a little pain as she stirred from being unconscious and in the coma. She opened her eyes a little bit until her eyes adjusted to the light in the room. Tifa felt someone holding her hand. She looked over to her left and saw Cloud was holding it and was asleep. She gave a little squeeze and said, Cloud.
Cloud started to stir as he felt a little pressure on his hand and heard his name called. He opened his eyes and they widened as he saw Tifa looking at him smiling. Tifa! Youre awake! Yelled Cloud. He then sat her up in her bed and hugged her in a tight embrace while letting his tears fall freely. Im so glad youve woken up, this is a miracle.
No, it was a blessing from the planet that allowed me to wake up, Tifa said a little weakly.
Cloud then let her out of the hug and ran out the door. Barret, Yuffie, Quistis, Tifas awake! Cloud yelled down the hall.
Excuse me Mr. Strife would you keep it down, there are patients trying to sleep, said a nurse. Tifa heard this and giggled as she saw Cloud cringe a little bit.
You dont understand, Tifas awake! Cloud explained to the nurse loudly. The nurse took the news and walked off to go find the doctor.
Cloud then ran back in the room and sat down in the chair and held Tifas hand. I dont know how you came out of the coma, and right now it doesnt matter. All that matters that is that youre back, Cloud said while smiling.
Barret, Yuffie and Quistis ran into the room. Cloud stepped out of the way as Barret and then Yuffie hugged Tifa while telling her how glad they were to see her awake. Quistis then hugged Tifa and told her how glad she was see her awake. Even though Quistis didnt know Tifa very well, both had formed a little friendship from the beginning of this conflict and up to this point. After Quistis finished hugging Tifa, a doctor and nurse walked in the room. The doctor looked at Tifa and checked her vitals on the monitor. This probably has to be an unexplained miracle. This is the fastest Ive seen a patient recover from a coma, said the doctor while scribbling something down a clipboard. How are you feeling Ms. Lockheart?
I feel a little weak and tired, said Tifa. Aside from that, I feel fine.
Thats good, said the doctor. You should get some rest now. Tifa nodded and lay back down in the bed. In a few moments, she let the exhaustion and tired feeling take over her body. She fell asleep without that much trouble. Now I insist that you all find some place to rest because you all look tired. All of them nodded and started to file out of the room.
Cloud was the last one to leave, but before he did, he kissed Tifa on the forehead and whispered, Sleep well my angel. He then walked out the room.
Once they were at the front entrance of the hospital, Quistis went to a payphone and put some gil in it and dialed a number. Hello, yes, May I speak to Kiros please, just tell him this is SeeD Quistis Trepe. She waited a few minutes before somebody spoke. Yes, I have some good news Kiros, Tifas out of her coma and right now shes asleep. I dont know if you should wake up your guests. Some like Mr. Highwind wouldnt want to be being woken up at this hour. She then paused and let Kiros speak. Yes, could you send a car to pick us up and take us to the palace? Thanks, well being waiting outside for them. Well give the others the good news in the morning. Okay, bye.
They all went outside and waited for the car. When it got there, the four boarded it and rode in silence as they waited for it to stop at the presidential palace. When they were inside, they were shown to some guest quarters for the night. They couldnt wait to tell the others about the good news in the morning. That was Cloud, Yuffie, Barret and Quistiss last thought before going into a peaceful and relaxing slumber.
In the morning hours in Winhill, Lensey woke up refreshed. She took a nice shower and dressed in her clothes. Once she was dressed, She put her katana sheath around her torso and picked up Hayatos katana. She then walked out of her room and into the kitchen to see Rosa was drinking some coffee. Good Morning Lensey, said the elderly woman. I hope you had nice rest.
I did, said Lensey smiling. Id like to thank you for setting me straight last night. If you didnt, I really dont know what I would have done.
Youre welcome dear, replied Rosa. Will you be joining me for breakfast?
Im sorry, Lensey answered. I have to get to Esthar and inform my friends that Im alright and tell them that Im sorry for leaving them like that.
I understand, said Rosa. Its been a pleasure meeting you. After all of this is finished why dont you come and visit my granddaughter and me. Ill make sure shes here when you come.
Lensey nodded. Rosa talked as if Lensey and the others were going to put a stop to all the madness going on in the world. Lensey smiled at the vote of confidence that she had received from Rosa. I promise that Ill do that after all of this is over. She then walked out of the house. (Who would have thought an old woman like that would restore my confidence and give me another reason to fight.) Lensey silently contemplated. She looked around and saw nobody was out this early in the morning. She didnt want to freak anybody out by doing her magic in front off him or her. She cast her teleportation magic and disappeared from the little country town, Winhill.
Authors Notes: Well, thats another chapter down. I guess things got worst before they got better. Cloud shown a surprising amount of power. How will he handle this later on? Tifa was put in a coma, but was brought out of it with the help of the planet. Lensey has her confidence restored and another reason to fight. Cloud had gotten out of his why am I so weak funk or has he? Its too bad about what happened to Hayato. He sacrificed himself to give Lensey and the others time to get stronger. She wont let his sacrifice be in vain. All in all, I would say things are getting better for our heroes. I know that part with Tifa in her mind might seem corny or silly, but I wanted to do something to get Tifa out of her coma faster. This is getting real close to the end, and I really dont want to end it, but I dont want to drag it out either. Arent you glad I didnt leave a nasty cliffhanger like I did last chapter? Well I worked hard and fast even though this chapter came out very hard to write. Some of the parts I really hesitated in putting in the story because they were truly sad and I really dont like writing sad stuff. The next chapter will be about Galbaldia, Esthar, and SeeD finally agreeing to make an alliance and how our heroes train and get stronger. Also, they get Oriana to talk and tell them where Diazs castle is. Well, hope you enjoyed chapter nine; stay tuned for the next chapter.
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