Darkness Falls Chapter 17

By Gemini83

The next morning, Aeris woke up just after dawn. She slowly cracked her eyes open, blinking against the brilliant sun. Then she noticed that she was outside, what’s more she was in...

“Good morning,” said Kaede, tightening his grasp about her.

Aeris slowly got her wits together before backing away from his arms.

“Did I sleep the whole night here?”

Kaede shrugged, “pretty much, you were really tired, so I didn’t wake you.”

Aeris critically looked at Kaede, “Didn’t you get any sleep?”

Kaede smiled, “yes, I don’t need to be lying down to sleep, old traveler’s trick.”

“Hmmm,” said Aeris, then looked at her clothing, “oh my! I’m still in these rags!”

Kaede got up from his seat on the stone wall, “it’s still pretty early, you can probably get changed before the others wake up.”

Aeris turned to go inside, then stopped, “are you coming?”

Kaede shook his head, “have some things to do in the Kitana, I’ll join you later.”

She smiled and then went inside, “they had better not wake up before I’m cleaned up, or I’ll never hear the end of it...”

Kaede took his time walking back to his ship, thinking about the past day’s events. After so many years of darkness, he had finally found something real to hold on to. He had finally found something personal to fight for. Not just to help others, or for honor, he had found something more important. Kaede grinned. He couldn’t believe that the spirited Cetra had managed to kindle a new fire in his ‘cold and dead’ soul, a fire he hadn’t felt since he had forgotten when.

‘And judging from the way she fought me, she’s no pushover either.’

Kaede immediately sobered up. Originally, he had brought back Aeris so the Drahk wouldn’t get her, she was after all, an important being...the Planet’s Guardian. And he couldn’t have her powers used to serve evil ends. But she was so much more than that, she had done so many things. Not only had she saved this planet, but she had been able to save him as well. Kaede shook his head, for someone like her to be able to reach out to his soul...

If she could reach into those depths, what power lay hidden within her? Not only that, but he had heard that Aeris had summoned forth the Cian from the Deep Sleep. It was strange, for Kaede hadn’t even sensed the Cian before their arrival. How had Aeris done it? Kaede sighed, she certainly was special, in more ways than one. He would have to make sure the Drahk never laid their hands on her, she was too important, to others as well as him, and she didn’t deserve that pain.

Kaede quickly washed up and got out his clothes.

“I feel like something different today Kitana, how about the white ones?”

“Affirmative,” voiced the computer.

Soon, Kaede was ready to start the day. He first contacted the Brothers Bahumet, and questioned them on their discovery. What Kaede heard sounded vaguely familiar to a legend he had read, the ones that contained snippets of information about the Cian. They had all been branded as fairy tales by most, but it was clearly no fantasy. The Cetra on this planet had created something, something of great magnitude. It had been referred to as the ‘key to the light’ in Nanaki’s Ancient scrolls. Kaede got a headache just thinking about it all.

“It’s going to be a long day,” he sighed.

Light-years away, Sephiroth was laughing cruelly. Never had he held so much power before. Whatever the Drahk had done, it had made him exponentially more powerful. Sephiroth was enjoying himself in the arena. He had requested a place to exercise, to test his new skills. What he had gotten was a full training gym, complete with hapless soldiers, waiting to die at his hands. At first, he had been contented to torment his enemies one by one. But that soon grew boring, so he began to fought entire battalions of the fighters. Everyday it got easier to kill more and more. The doomed fighters attacked him, only to fall before his demonic sword, the Masamune. He was a raging monster, an unstoppable force of nature, and blood flew through the air as he destroyed his attackers.

A hundred dead soldiers littered the ground, their blood causing the room to be awash in a tide of red; and Sephiroth hadn’t even broken a sweat. This was too easy, Sephiroth shook his head retired to his quarters. He noticed how this entire place was adorned with red and black. Everything had the feel of a vampire’s castle to it, but Sephiroth didn’t care, it appealed to his dark nature. He noticed that the Drahk were quite disciplined. Soldiers of various races snapped to attention as their new general walked through the halls. Sephiroth grinned evilly, they had reason to fear him, for he was the Horseman of Death, and all who got in his way perished.

Sephiroth took a shower before dressing in his traditional black, a favorite, it seemed, among the Drahk.

‘It will almost be a shame to kill the other Horseman,’ thought Sephiroth, ‘but at least I will rule it all when it is over...’

A door opened, interrupting his thoughts. A shrouded figure walked in. He seemed like any normal man, if that man were death. It wasn’t so much his looks as his aura, although his face was so pale as to be almost skeletal. The man’s blood red eyes glared beneath cropped black hair. He bore several scars along his face from God only knew what. His gauntlets ended in sharp talons, and his armor and cloak resembled a giant crow. His tenure with the Drahk had changed him from an ordinary...whatever he was...into this abomination.

‘...that is, if I can get rid of this pest first...’ Sephiroth concluded.

“Greetings Sephiroth,” said the dark figure, “I trust the accommodations are adequate?”

“Quite,” answered Sephiroth sardonically, “and to what do I owe the doubtless honor of your company Methos?”

Methos simply grinned evilly, “I believe it is time you met the emperor.”

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow, he had seen much of the workings of these Drahk, but had yet to see the emperor they feared so.

He allowed himself to be led through the corridors, and was joined by two other dark figures as well.

“It seems as if all the Horsemen have been summoned,” voiced Sephiroth.

“Indeed,” said Methos, “the emperor is interested to see the new Horseman of Death.”

Sephiroth thought on this, “I believe you were the previous one, correct?”

Morbius cursed, “Aye, when that mongrel Kaede ruled over us, Lord Methos was not yet the emperor’s right hand.”

“I fail to see why a single man could anger you so.”

Veletta snarled, “That cur is a traitor to the empire. He had power, riches, he had generalship of the most powerful army in creation.”

‘He had me,’ the Mistress of Evil thought spitefully to herself.

“But he turned it down because of his precious ethics,” concluded Morbius.

“I told the emperor to not trust him,” cursed Methos, “and now I will finally put an end to that damned nuisance.”

“He has always been a thorn in our sides,” continued Veletta, looking at Sephiroth, “much like this ‘Cloud’ character was for you I’d wager...”

Sephiroth glared at Veletta, but remained silent. He noticed the sorceress’ blood red gown, adorned with skulls, talons, and various such artifacts. Her hazel eyes looked past the threaded brown hair that fell across her brows. Some might consider her beautiful, but it was a cold beauty that stirred in her veins, her skin hiding the monster deep inside.

‘Your death will come later wench! I will kill Cloud and his friends first,’ thought Sephiroth, ‘then I will glory in taking all of this away from you and your precious emperor.’

“And what exactly interests you so about this Kaede?” demanded Sephiroth.

The other Horsemen fell silent, and Veletta glared daggers at the swordsman.

“That,” she sneered, “is none of your concern.”

She shrugged off the question as if it were nothing, but inside, she was burning with the fire of hot, unbridled hatred.

‘Kaede will pay for spurning me, for spurning his power,’ thought she, ‘I will not rest until I have made him witness the death of his love...then I will crush his accursed heart in my bare hands...’

Sephiroth and the others came to a great door, like everything else, blood red and black.

‘Don’t they ever get tired of these colors?’ he thought.

He entered and found himself in a great throne room. Flames erupted from trenches dug near the sides of the room. Skeletons and corpses were chained to the walls. A giant marble mosaic depicting bloody war and conquest adorned the floor. Sephiroth looked up, and saw several black figures, like ravens, perched in various places along the outcroppings along the cracked walls. Giant wraiths they were, with fierce glowing eyes, the personal bodyguards of the emperor.

‘I could take them easily,’ grinned Sephiroth, ‘but not now, not yet’

Through the windows, he saw a blood red sky, dark like everything else in this evil place. Sounds of tormented screams could be heard in the distance, alien and chilling enough to send chills down even Sephiroth’s spine.

‘If there is a hell,’ thought he, ‘this would be its outhouse...’

He was jarred from his thoughts as the three other Horsemen quickly kneeled and bowed their heads.

A giant demon walked into the room, a great beast, with black horns and blood red skin. He too wore a great black shroud, covering his features. But still, Sephiroth could see the powerful arms, with great talons. The emperor’s feet looked like that of a wolf’s, except it was devoid of all skin, save for that same blood red that seemed to run through everything else around here.

The emperor seated himself on his throne of thorns. His demonic face glared at the Horsemen, as his glowing eyes raged with fire. The emperor raised his eyebrows at Sephiroth, the only one not lowered in submission.

“You have not yet bowed, child of Jenova,” said a deep chilling voice, like the cry of a million evil souls.

Sephiroth stood his ground, “I bow to no one.”

“You will bow to me,” returned the demon, “or you will die.”

Sephiroth shrugged, for he had ceased to fear death a long time ago, “then you had better kill me now.”

Morbius raised his head, “on your knees boy, if not for him, you would still be dead.”

Sephiroth sneered at Morbius, “He could be the most powerful being in the galaxy, I don’t care-”

“I...AM...THE MOST POWERFUL BEING IN THE GALAXY!!!” roared the demon.

“Yet you still need me,” laughed Sephiroth, “kill me now or get over it.”

The demon simply glared at Sephiroth through his glowing eyes, as the other Horsemen waited in anticipation.

The emperor laughed, “You have spirit in that dark heart. It is the Jenovan blood in you. Pray it does not get the better of you, for your ancestors learned from that mistake first hand.”

Sephiroth shrugged, he couldn’t care less what had happened to the Jenovans.

“Very well,” answered the Emperor, “I will let it pass...this once. Arise.”

The other horsemen rose to their feet, slightly surprised.

“Lord,” said Methos, “the Sleepers have been destroyed by the one they call Aeris.”

“I know,” said the chilling voice, “the Cetra could be a valuable asset if turned.”

“She will not turn lord,” said Morbius, “Xizor himself invaded her mind, but she broke free.”

The demon simply glared, raising an eyebrow, “You assumed your prodigy would be successful? Few of your recent machinations have bore fruit of late!”

Morbius blanched, knowing well that Kaede had been his responsibility. And now, the traitor had not only delayed their plans, but killed their most powerful sleepers as well.

“It-it seems,” stuttered Morbius, “that Kaede invoked the Rite of Blood to free her.”

“And he still lives,” said the emperor, it was a statement, not a question, “obviously, the Cetra is more powerful than we thought.”

Morbius nodded, “Exponentially so since Kaede taught her.”


Sephiroth remained silent. He had, of course, learned of this half-Cetra known as Kaede. It seemed as if he had been the emperor’s most powerful student. But somehow, Kaede had rebelled, and joined the ranks of the Planeswalkers. It was clear that the emperor was still fuming over his loss. True, Kaede had been Morbius’s project (as well as the object of Methos’ revenge), but the emperor himself had overseen the training of the warrior. And few had ever denied the demonic lord and lived to tell about it. Veletta seemed to have some hidden agenda with Kaede as well, but Sephiroth couldn’t care less. Kaede was no concern of his, all that mattered was his plans for conquest.

“Master,” said Veletta, “our preparations are ready. This is but a minor stone in our path.”

Morbius glared at Veletta, “Xizor’s loss, a minor stone? He was our best Sleeper!”

“SILENCE!” yelled the emperor, causing even Sephiroth to flinch, “I will destroy the abomination myself in one fell swoop!”

“Then we are continuing with our plans?” asked Methos.

“Yes, I will invoke the Dark Purge and destroy the planet.”

Sephiroth shuddered involuntarily, remembering the plan. What they intended to do would make his previous efforts seem like child’s play. And the power it involved...if this was successful, the emperor would become horrifyingly powerful.

‘That is why I’ll have to kill them all before it’s too late,’ Sephirth grinned, ‘then I will be all powerful, and THEY will bow to ME...’

“I will gather my powers soon, and become one with the summons,” said the emperor, “and I will need you to act as my powers in this plane of existence.”

Sephiroth reminded himself of the plan. To achieve the Dark Purge, the demon would have to split his energies among them, using the Horsemen as his power base as he summoned the spell of ultimate genocide.

“I will enjoin my powers to you soon, in the meantime, make way to that accursed planet.”

Methos smiled evilly, relishing the idea of finally destroying Kaede.

“Dismissed,” said the emperor, waving his hands in a gesture to leave.

The other Horsemen bowed, all except Sephiroth.

The demon glared at him again, and Sephiroth knew he had no choice this time. Grudgingly, he lowered his head. The emperor sneered triumphantly. Then the four left, to carry out their parts of the attack preparations.

‘They are too powerful for me to take on now,’ thought Sephiroth, ‘I will follow them for the time being. But when the final hour comes at hand, they will all bow to me, or die...’


Author’s Note: Would you believe it? This chapter came to me completely at random. I hadn’t even planned on writing from the bad guy point of view. Now that I have, I am really glad that I did. What did you think of it? The next chapter will have a slightly different flavor to it. This time I took you through the bowels of hell. Next time I will take you through the bowels of...the mall! You’ll just have to read and find out. Anyway, thanks for the support, and keep it coming!

I just realized why everyone thought that I finished the story with Kaede’s death...it was the poorly worded Author’s Note! What I meant was that I had finished writing the actual story, not that I had posted it all up yet. There are a total of 25+ chapters in this story, as of now, plus two alternate endings and epilogues if I feel up to it. Sorry for the mix-up. Thanks for the enthusiasm! It really inspires me that you guys are getting into the story.

Beware, it will take a while between updates, I mean it this time! Oh, and in case you're wondering, the Emperor looks something like Diablo from Diablo II, but if you had something more hideous in mind, feel free to use that image instead. Thanks again.


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