Shinra Reborn Chapter 8

By Dan Schmidt

Cloud, Tifa, Barret, Cid, Reeve, Yuffie, and Vincent sat eating dinner at the Cosmo Canyon diner. Red had spent the whole day examining Waylon’s lab journal.

"I wonder what Red found in that journal," Yuffie said, taking a bite of her favorite meal, filet mignon.

"It must be important," Cid said, "He’s been up there all day reading that thing!" Cid took a bite of his corn dog.

Suddenly the doors opened, and Red came charging through. Red had an excited look on his face, but it was hard to tell what Red’s true emotions were.

"I’ve got good news!" Red exclaimed, "I learned how Waylon intends to bring back Sephiroth, where he has to do it, and what he needs to do it!"

"That’s great," Tifa said, "Tell us!"

"Well," Red began, "After his departure from Shinra, Waylon began to experiment on the lifestream. He took some plant and water samples from Mideel, things like that. Then, he made a startling discovery. The souls of the Ancient that coursed through the lifestream were like the leaders of the rest of the souls. The Ancients were the spiritual leaders, so to speak. They weren’t like how Rufus is a leader, but gentle and guiding. But, unlike the normal people and animals, the Ancients went into the lifestream soul and body. Waylon theorized that if could be possible to bring Ancients out of the lifestream into the real world. Now, evil people, like Sephiroth, were also in the lifestream, but banished to the outer regions of the lifestream, where they could not influence other souls. Such places were away from populated areas of the real world. The more people in an area, the more souls there would be in the lifestream in that area.

"Waylon researched his theory, and went through many records of the Ancients, some of which he needed to hack into Shinra files. Shinra kept many documents on the Ancients. Waylon discovered an old file on the Ancients buried near the basement of the Shinra building. This document gave a very detailed explanation about the history of the black materia. Apparently, the Ancients who lived here manufactured the black materia. The black materia was supposed to have many qualities. It could create an energy shield around a large area, cure sick or dying people, or even open portals into the lifestream. Unfortunately, the materia was so powerful that it gave of an "evil residue", so to speak. This is what enabled Sephiroth to summon Meteor with the black materia. Meteor sensed this "evil residue" and attempted to crash into our planet.

"When Jenova came to this planet," Red continued, "It was searching for the black materia. With this materia, Jenova could be infinitely powerful. When the Ancients learned why Jenova had come here, they placed the black materia inside the Temple of the Ancients. There was only one Jenova creature on this planet, so Jenova couldn’t get the black materia because, as we all know, the Temple of the Ancients would crush the person, or thing, for that matter, trying to take it out.

"Now, to open a portal to the lifestream and revive someone, you must do a few things. Waylon had listed them in his journal. First, you must find the area were the Ancient you are looking for's soul resides. As you might have guessed, Waylon discovered Sephiroth’s presence in the North Cave. Secondly, you must have the black materia in your possession. Thirdly, you must repeat a chant in the Ancient’s language. At the end of the chant, you say the person’s name that you wish to revive. In theory, that would open a portal to the lifestream and transport the Ancient you wished to revive into the real world. Now, Waylon discovered something else. Guarding every evil presence in the lifestream was a kind presence. It just so happened, as Waylon states, that the Ancient guarding Sephiroth is our departed friend Aeris. Waylon also discovered that the portal into the lifestream would remain open for about four seconds. This would be enough time, again, in theory, for more than one person to slip through. And here portrays our problem if we wish to revive Aeris. If we do revive Aeris, we may accidentally revive Sephiroth as well. We will discuss that matter later, as I have more to say.

"You might be thinking why Waylon hasn’t revived Sephiroth already because he has all the information he needs," Red continued, "But he missing one thing. The Ancient chat to revive someone was the one thing he was unable to locate.. He has stated several places where he has looked for this chant, namely Nibelheim, Junon, and the City of the Ancients. It was not located in either of these places. Waylon has stated one place he has yet to check for this chant. That place is Midgar.

"Also," Red went on, "Using the black materia may have hazardous effects. In the past, when Ancients have used it, it accidentally awoke Weapons. We fought Weapon before, and it is not something I’d wish to face again. And that’s what Waylon has accomplished so far," Red ended.

"Hmm…" Cloud said thoughtfully, "We should go to Midgar and try to recover this chant."

"Yo Cloud," Cid said angrily, "You want to go back to Midgar? Into the lion’s den? Shinra’s gonna execute us if they find us."

"Speaking of Shinra," Red interrupted, "I have some very disturbing news concerning them. They wish to build Neo-Midgar, and they recently asked to borrow Cid’s rocket."

"Yeah, and I turned them down," Cid said triumphantly, "It was just completed a week ago, and I want to be the first one to fly it."

"Well, Shinra is building there own rocket," Red stated, "I was recently informed by Canyon patrol that Shinra wishes to build Neo-Midgar on Solack."

"SOLACK!" Barret roared in anger, "They’ve already screwed up this planet with their Mako reactors, and now they want to ruin Solack! We’ve got to stop them!"

"Yes, we do," Cloud stated, slamming his fist on the table, "But, Sephiroth is more dangerous than Shinra."

"One more thing," Red interrupted, "Waylon also stated that they’re may be a process to reverse the lifestream revival and send someone into the Void, the space between our world and the lifestream. The Void is a never-ending realm of blackness. Waylon stated that to reverse it, you must repeat the chant backwards, saying the person’s name first, while holding the black materia.. This can only be done, though, during the first five minutes that the person has back in this world. After five minutes, the reverse spell becomes ineffective."

"Thank you Red," Cloud said. "Now, we should plan about getting into Midgar before Waylon. Waylon probably knows where the holes are in Shinra’s Defense System because he used to work there. That gives him an advantage."

"I suggest we get into Midgar as soon as possible," Red commented, "We should leave first thing tomorrow."

"Agreed," Cloud said, nodding his head, "Get a good night’s sleep everyone.. Tomorrow, we’ll take the Highwind and head for Midgar!"

* * *

Heidegger stepped into Rufus’s office to give his weekly report. The Shinra rocket No. 27 had recently been completed and launched in private. The public would not know about the space station and Neo-Midgar plans until the space station was completed. Work on the space station had already begun.

Rufus was sitting at his desk when Heidegger entered. Rufus put down the papers he was looking at and turned his attention to Heidegger.

"Here to report your latest news?" Rufus said calmly.

"Yes sir!" Heidegger said, "I have good news to report!"

"Let’s here it."

"The rocket has reached the building site for the Shinra space station," Heidegger began. "The space station is expected to be completed with the next few months. No problems were reported. Our satellite rover sent to Solack has also found a suitable building site for Neo-Midgar. It is nearly twenty miles of fertile and Mako filled soil. We couldn’t have asked for a better place.. On a bad note, Waylon has recovered the black materia due to the incompetence of Cloud and the others. I’ve sent the Turks after Waylon, so the black materia should be back in our hands soon. Unfortunately, they’ve had to give up the mission to destroy Avalanche. I have instructed them to neutralize Avalanche should they try to interfere."

"Sounds like a very good report to me," Rufus said with a nod, "Good work Heidegger. I’ll expect the same results next time."

"I’ll certainly do my best, sir!" Heidegger said smiling. He then turned, and proudly marched out of Rufus’s office.

"You had better do more than your best," Rufus said quietly. He then turned his attention back to his papers.

* * *

Cloud was the first to wake up the next morning. He silently crawled out of bed and dressed. He slipped out of his room at the inn to get some breakfast.. When he got to the inn’s café, he was surprised to see Shera sitting at one of the tables. Cloud pulled up and chair and sat down next to Shera.

"Hi Cloud," Shera said smiling, "Is anyone else awake?"

"No yet," Cloud said, "What are you doing here in Cosmo Canyon? Does Cid know you’re here?"

"No, I wanted to surprise him." Shera smiled. "I want to join you when you revive Aeris."

"If," Cloud corrected, "If we revive her. Nothing’s for sure yet. But we sure as heck will try."

A waiter came over and took both Cloud and Shera’s orders. Once the waiter was gone, Cloud filled Shera in on what had happened recently. As he finished, the door to one of the rooms opened, and Cid walked out groggily. Cid walked down the stairs and spotted Shera. He stopped and his jaw dropped..

"Shera!" he exclaimed, "What are you doing here?"

"I want to help you on…" she started.

Once Cid heard the word "help" he shook his head furiously. "No, no, no, no!" he cried. "You’re not gonna help! You’re just gonna get yourself hurt!"

"I could be a big help to you guys!" Shera argued. "If something goes wrong with the Highwind, I could help you fix it."

"Forget it!" Cid said stubbornly, "You’re going back to Rocket Town as soon as you can!"

"But Cid…"

"No buts, Shera! You’re not coming with us!"

"Cid," Cloud said, entering the argument. "Maybe she could help us. You can’t be sure what to expect on this mission."

Cid grunted. "Fine!" he said angrily, "But you won’t get any sympathy from me if something happens. None whatsoever!" Cid stormed back up to his room.

Shera sighed. "Sometimes that man gets too set in his ways. You think that I could help, don’t you, Cloud?"

"Well, I…I," Cloud stammered.

Shera frowned. "Thanks for your approval," she said sarcastically. She then got up and left the inn.

"Oh boy," Cloud said to himself. He and Shera’s meals then arrived, and Cloud ate them both himself.

* * *

Cloud stood at the bridge of the Highwind waiting for Cid and Shera to finish preparation for takeoff. Cid was fiddling over the controls about something, as usual. Shera was working down the engine room trying to fix some small problem as fast as she could. But Cloud knew how slow Shera worked. At least she was careful.

Cid muttered some curses under his breath as he worked over the controls. He then slammed his fist on the controls and yelled something very obscene. The controls hummed to life as Cid slammed his fist onto them.

"Well how about that," Cid said to himself rather loudly. He muttered something and began to fiddle with them some more.

Tifa ran into the bridge. "Everyone’s waiting in the Operation’s Room," she said. "You guys should come over now."

Cloud nodded and followed Tifa out of the room. Cid muttered something and followed slowly.

In the Operation’s Room, the members of Avalanche were seated at the table..

"I’m sure you’re all aware of our current mission," he began. "Right now, we are on a quest to stop Waylon from bringing back the most evil creature to ever plague this planet. But, in this quest is also a golden opportunity. An opportunity to bring back one of our closest but departed friends. Aeris could be revived the same way Waylon intends to revive Sephiroth. Waylon has one of the two vital pieces to this mission. The other vital piece in Midgar, right under the nose of another enemy, the Shinra. If Waylon recovers the Ancient’s chant, we must stop him from entering the North Crater at all costs. We will be heading to Midgar, and then, chant or no chant, back to the Northern Crater. I’m sure Shinra will be involved in this somehow. If we stop Waylon, our next mission would be to stop Shinra’s new Neo-Midgar plan. I have recently heard that Rufus and Heidegger themselves will be flying up to the Shinra space station in a few days. Should we accomplish our first mission, we will then attempt to destroy this space station." Cloud ended with a nod.

"Well," Barret said, "Let’s go kick the crap out of Waylon." That got a cheer out of everyone as they all jumped out of their seats and ran to the bridge, except for Yuffie, who was already getting ready to throw up.

Cloud was the last to make it to the bridge. Shera had just signaled that the engines were go, and Cid began to activate the Highwind. He started up the engines and slammed his hand down on the controls. The Highwind shot off towards Midgar.

Cloud sighed. He had no idea what to expect in Midgar. It was quite possible they’d run into the Turks. Cloud knew the Turks were after Waylon, but that in no way put the Turks on Avalanche’s side. The Turks wanted Avalanche eliminated more than anyone.

The Highwind shook as Cid hit a little turbulence. He hit more, rougher turbulence.

"Looks like a storm," Cid said, "This is good for us. Shinra will have a hard time detecting us now."

The Highwind continued to fly towards Midgar.

About an hour later, the Highwind set down outside of Midgar. They entered through Sector 5, and quickly made their way to Wall Market.

"Now what?" Barret asked, "Head up to the Shinra building?"

"I guess," Cloud stated, "But we should go to the basement when we get there.."

Avalanche made their climb up the wire and to the Shinra building without incident. They snuck around to the stairs and got off on the 3rd floor. On the 3rd floor, they took the elevator to the floor marked ‘B’ for basement.

"Well," Barret sighed, "That was easy enough."

"Nobody ever guards those stairs," Red commented, "And it’s Sunday, most Shinra employees has off today."

The elevator "dinged" as they reached the basement.

The basement was one place Shinra had not gotten around to fixing. It was a complete wreck, with broken pieces of concrete and shards of metal and debris everywhere. The room itself was about ten feet high and about as long as the Highwind’s Operations Room. But, except for the debris, the room was completely empty.

"Uh-oh," Barret said. "This isn’t good."

"There’s…nothing here," Reeve commented disappointedly, "No books, no chants, nothing."

Barret walked over to the far wall and slumped down next to it. "Argh!" he said as a slammed his fist into the wall. The wall dented a little.

"Hey," Cloud called out, suddenly filled with a new hope, "That sounds like a false wall to me!"

Barret turned around and slammed his fist into the wall as hard as he could. He broke completely through it. The wall was nothing more than a thin sheet of steel.

"All right!" Barret said triumphantly. He kicked out more of the wall, making a hole big enough for a person to fit through. "Let’s go!" he called to the others as he entered the hole.

"Here we go again," Cid mumbled as Avalanche slipped into the hole.

The other side of the false wall looked pre-Shinra.

"Wow," Cloud said as he coughed. The air was musty and full of dust. "This place doesn’t look like it’s been touched for years."

"Look at this!" Red called out. He pointed to a tunnel, about five feet high, on the far side of the room they had just entered.

"Does anyone know anything about this building?" Barret asked

"Well," Reeve said, "It was a smaller building that housed the old governmental heads back before Shinra. Shinra built onto it and made it their headquarters after the fall of the old company that used to be the head of this planet. When Shinra took over, all records of that company were destroyed. Not even the name of it remains. This is all long before I joined, back when President Shinra had just founded the company. It looks like Shinra didn’t find everything the old company had to hide."

They began to follow the tunnel. The tunnel become progressively higher as they went and eventually led into a large library filled with books.

"Jackpot!" Barret exclaimed, "Let’s look for books that have to do with the Ancients or the black materia!"

They began to search the library. The library itself was a small room, about fifteen feet long, and fifteen feet wide. Along each wall was a bookshelf as long as the room, plus one large bookshelf in the middle of the room.

"This mostly looks like old records of the company you talked about, Reeve," Cloud commented as he pulled books off the shelf.

"Hey," Vincent called out, "I think I found something."

Everyone ran over to Vincent. He was holding a book called "The Ancients: Biographies".

"Hey, this may be useful," Cloud commented. He flipped through the pages. But, it was only biographies of Ancients that the old company had found and/or experimented on. "Red, this would probably fit well into the hall of records.

"You are most correct," Red commented, "I’ve love to have a book this one in our inventory."

Cloud handed the book to Yuffie who slipped it into her materia pouch. They continued looking.

After about fifteen minutes of searching, Barret became irritated. "Nothing but crap here! Stuff about animals near Midgar, scientific stuff, Mako energy, but nothing on the Ancients!" He slammed his fist into a bookshelf. Several books tumbled out, revealing a book placed sideways behind them. Barret pulled out the book and blew some dust off the cover. The title read: "The Black Materia". Barret’s eyes lit up as he opened the book. He skimmed the table on contents. The last chapter of the book was called "The Ancient’s Revival Process".

"Hey guys," Barret called out, "I found it!" Barret held the book high in the air as everyone came running over to him.

"Barret’s dumb luck pays off again," Cloud said as he opened the book. He flipped to the last chapter and searched for the chant.

"Portal to lifestream, black materia, place where presence resides," Cloud mumbled as he skimmed the chapter. "Aha!" he said finally, "Here it is! The Ancient’s chant! It’s in the Ancient’s language, but it’s written in our alphabet."

"Great work Barret!" Tifa said patting him on the shoulder.

"Yeah, you guys would be lost without me!" he said with a big smile on his face.

"Here’s the chant," Cloud said, "Lochre sanibar karsaya unoch. After the chant your say the person’s name, and that’s it!"

"Thank you very much for finding me another useful bit of information," a familiar voice came from just outside the library.

"Not him again!" Yuffie wailed.

Waylon stepped into the room surrounded by his usual brigade of men.

"Now that I know the chant, I can successfully revive Sephiroth!" he exclaimed. "Now, I know you will try to interfere, so I brought a little friend for you to play with! It’s the last surviving piece of Jenova. Have fun!"

Waylon’s guards raised their guns and took the book from Cloud’s hands. Waylon held of a glass jar and through it into the room. It was an arm of Jenova.

"Good riddance," he called as he raced out of the library.

The Jenova creature transformed from the arm into a large Jenova creature. It was the same kind of Jenova creature they fought in the Whirlwind Maze, just beyond the Gaea Cliffs.

"Let’s kick its butt," Cid cried as he lunged for the creature with his spear. The creature attacked with an ice spell, which sent a cold blast of freezing rain and wind at the team. The team struggled against the howling wind to get close to the creature.

"It’s an ice creature," Red called out over the mini-storm, "Use fire!"

Heeding Red’s advice, Yuffie braced herself against the wall and pulled out a red orb. She concentrated on it and then called out: "Hellfire!"

The ground burst open as Ifrit burst up surrounded by fire. He eyed Jenova and then shot at it, sending a ball of fire through Jenova. Jenova seemed unfazed by the attack.

"No good, Yuffie," Cloud called out, "Try something more powerful!"

Jenova stopped its rain and wind attack. It rose in the air and spun around furiously. It came to a halt and cast Silence on Yuffie. Yuffie fell to the ground. She got up unharmed. Then, she tried to cast a fire spell on Jenova. The materia did nothing.

"Cloud, I can’t cast spells!" she screamed. She then tossed the orb to Cloud, and Cloud focused on the orb. A blazing inferno formed around Jenova and then a fireball exploded. Jenova was momentarily stunned by the attacked, but quickly regained its poise. Jenova cast an ice spell on the team that hit them with a wall of ice, throwing them all back against the bookshelves. Book tumbled around them as they slowly recovered.

Cloud got up and ran forward with his sword. He delivered a clean slice to Jenova’s lower body, drawing some sort of purple liquid, which he assumed was blood. Jenova swept him off his feet with a swat from a large arm. Cloud hit the ground as the arm dissolved back into Jenova. The monster cast the freezing rain and wind spell on the team again.

Tifa struggled against the wind to get to Jenova. Tifa marched through the rain until she was within striking distance of it. She then focused all her energies, thoughts, and powers into her fist. Her fist glowed brightly as she wound her arm back. She then delivered an incredible blow into the Jenova’s lower body. Energy exploded as Tifa struck Jenova. The creature was stunned for a few moments from the attack.

"All right you Jenova trash," Barret said angrily, "It’s curtain time!" Barret unloaded massive amounts of ammunitions at the creature. Each hit drew purple blood. Jenova howled in agony and cast another ice spell on the team. They were thrown back against the bookshelf again.

"This is getting ridiculous," Reeve called out as he fired away with the Outsider. His hits were no longer drawing blood.

Vincent growled an inhuman growl. His body began to transform. He grew wings, and lifted off the ground. The Chaos beats roared and hurled several flaming skulls at Jenova. Jenova was definitely weakening.

Cloud pulled out a red orb. He focused his energies into the orb. The orb began to glow a bright red. Cloud smiled and called out: "Terra Flare!"

The room darkened as a huge dragon flew overhead. The dragon roared and spread its six enormous wings. The dragon looked almost metallic as it eyed Jenova. The dragon began to absorb vast amounts of energy into its mouth. With a shriek, it released the energy, and was gone as fast as it had appeared. The energy hit the ground beneath Jenova and exploded into a yellow ball of extremely bright light. When the light faded, Jenova had collapsed onto the floor and was struggling to get back up.

"Take this, ya dirty $#@&!" Cid cried. He raised his spear and drove it down into the head of Jenova. Jenova cried out in agony one last time, and then dissolved away into the ground.

For the first time, Cloud noticed how badly Jenova’s purple blood reeked. It smelled like hundreds of decaying corpses. Cloud scowled as Jenova melted away giving off even more of the reeking smell.

"That is nasty!" Reeve exclaimed, pinching his nose. "Is everyone all right?"

"I’ll be fine after as few Advil and a couple of days in bed," Barret said.. He groaned as he stood up. "That was one nasty pile of crap."

"Sorry to say, but we can’t rest now," Cloud said. "We have to stop Waylon from using the chant."

"Jeez, can’t this guy give us a break," Yuffie moaned as she slowly walked for the door to the library.

"Great, just great," Cid said, "I’m beat, and now we have to go back to the North Cave? I’m taking seven years off as soon as we’re done." He exited the library.

"We need to hurry, Cloud," Vincent said, "If Waylon revives Sephiroth, it could very well mean the end of the world." He turned and left.

"This is not good," Red commented as the remaining members of Avalanche left the library, "Not good at all."


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