Darkness Falls Chapter 23

By Gemini83

It had been nearly a week since the Fortress of the Ancients had been “unlocked” by Aeris. All that time, Reeve and the others had been busy preparing for the battle to come. Yuffie had contacted her father, and secured the support of the Wutainian forces. Together with the newly recalled armies of Midgar, and the Cian, the planet had never seen such a military force. However, plans had to be made, so Reeve called a meeting at the Highwind, the new flagship of the planetary forces.

Red had not seen the others for quite some time, but controlled his eagerness to meet with his friends. Instead, he let his father Seto go on into the meeting room, while he talked with Kaede and Aeris on the deck.

Aeris was frowning in concentration, “tell me again Red, what was it you found?”

Red nodded, “I searched through the records in Cosmo Canyon, trying to find any scrap of evidence as to the purpose of the Fortress of the Ancients.”

“And what did the records say?” asked Kaede.

“There seemed to be vague records of some kind of alien device. It had something to do with the Cetra...a power generator of sorts. I could not find much about it, but I did find one important piece of information.”

“What was that?” posed Aeris.

Red shook his head, “certain...elements...have to be brought together, but what will happen once they are is beyond me.”

“What kind of elements?” wondered Kaede.

“I’m not sure,” replied Red, “however, I do have some educated guesses. I believe these elements, whatever they are, contain, in short, the elemental powers of this planet.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” asked Aeris, “like my White Materia or something?”

“That could be,” conceded Red, “but I cannot be sure, for what powers on this planet contain all the world’s elements?”

“And what is this...BASTION OF THE HEAVENS?” wondered Kaede.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” answered Red, “but something tells me that the Drahk are coming because of it.”

“So can I,” agreed Kaede, “I can feel it in my bones...but any foresight we could have had as to their plans went up in smoke when I destroyed that communique of Xizor’s”

“You had no choice,” reasoned Aeris.

“True,” said Kaede, “but still-”

“Hey you guys,” shouted Yuffie, “you comin’ or do we hafta’ start without ya?”

“Be right there,” answered Aeris.

Reeve had called all of Avalanche to the meeting. Seto and the Turks were present as well as several military designates. Godo, Yuffie’s father, was mounting his forces, and could not be present. Thus, Yuffie had been made the Wutainian delegate to the meeting, which had caused a few laughs among her friends.

“What’s so funny?” demanded the ninja.

“Ah...you’re not exactly political type,” smirked Red.

“Quite the opposite in fact,” smiled Vincent.

Yuffie gave him a wry grin, “well, if politicians are supposed to be crooks and thieves, I’d think you guys would consider me perfect for the job!”

They laughed at the joke. Rarely did Yuffie acknowledge her past pursuits in “profiteering” for what they really were.

“Okay guys,” laughed Reeve, “enough.”

“Let’s get down to business,” agreed Rude.

Aeris began to feel dizzy as Kaede began to discuss the plans with Reeve. Shera saw this and came to the Cetra.

“Dear,” she asked, “are you alright?”

“I’m fine Shera,” said Aeris, “just air-sickness I guess.”

“How well are planetary forces spread out?” asked Kaede.

Reeve’s aides brought up a holographic schematic of the planet. Red dots appeared all over the map.

“We tried to mix our armies together,” said Reeve, “Each of these red units contains infantry from Wutai and Midgar.”

Seto continued, “my brethren and I have also added our forces. However, we have concentrated ourselves into these task forces.”

He indicated several larger dots along the shores of Midgar, Cosmo Canyon, and Gongaga.

“We have several legions of our forces backing them up,” added Yuffie.

“What about artillery and drop ships?” asked Kaede, “and we may need those solar/mako cannons to weaken Drahk forces before they make planet-fall.”

Reno pressed another button, and scores of blue dots appeared all over the schematic.

Vincent began to feel a strange tingling in the back of his neck. It was always like this when danger was near. But why? Was the talk of war really scaring him this much?

“We have plenty of them placed all around the planet,” answered the Turk, “wherever they attack from, we should be able to hit them. However, we have concentrated more firepower towards these areas.”

Another press of a button brought forth a tide of blue along the coasts of Mideel, Gongaga, and Junon.

“How about ships,” continued Kaede, “how many were you able to make from the plans I gave you?”

“We made quite a few,” answered Reeve, “however, other than the Kitana and the Highwind, only a couple of others can get space-borne.”

“The others will be used as air-support and drop ships as needed,” continued Elena.

Cloud backed away from the table, rubbing his temples.

“What’s wrong Cloud?” asked Tifa.

He felt a familiar ache in his head, but replied bravely, “nothing, I’m fine.”

Elena looked away from Cloud and back to Kaede. She found him leaning against the wall, his face covered by sweat as his shoulder and head drooped.

“What’s wrong man?” asked Cid.

Kaede tried feebly to push himself away from the wall, but quickly collapsed to his knees as his head reeled in pain.

“Kaede!” shouted Red, “Kaede, what is it?”

The young Cian looked at his other friends, and saw that Aeris and Cloud were also in pain. Vincent stared at nothing as if he had been stuck by lighting.

“Hey guys,” said Yuffie nervously, “you all are really starting to scare me, what-”

She was cut short as a darkness filled the room. It only lasted a second, but for a few moments, it completely blinded her.

“Did you feel that?” asked Tifa.

Elena was gasping for breathe, “what...was that?”

The aides in the room looked on with curiosity. Why were their leaders acting so strange?

The darkness subsided, and everyone’s pain was gone...leaving phantoms of the darkness fluttering in their minds.

Seto turned to his son, “Nanaki, I felt something...like a disturbance in the Lifestream, but obviously not as strongly as you and your friends. What is it?”

Kaede slowly got to his feet, as did the others.

The Planeswalker answered Seto’s question, “the Planetary seal has broken.”

“What?” demanded Barret.

“Remember the seal?” asked Kaede, “the one I placed around the planet to give us warning? It has been destroyed.”

Aeris was the first to recover from shock, “but the means.”

Kaede let out a deep breathe, “yes, they have finally come. The Drahk are near.”

“Shit,” cursed Cid.

“There is more,” continued Kaede, “the emperor himself is here...but it feels different. I can feel his power, even from this distance...like a cancer in my mind.”

The others stared at him in silence.

“And where the emperor goes,” he continued, “the Horsemen are not far behind.”

Barret broke the quiet, “I’ll be goddamned.”

“I hope not Barret,” answered Vincent, “for all our sakes.”

“How much time do we have?” asked Reeve.

“A few days,” replied Kaede, “a week at the most...and that is stretching it.”

“Hell,” cursed Reno, “that isn’t much time.”

“It will have to be enough,” said Rude.

More silence.

Aeris looked pleadingly at Kaede, wishing it was not so.

“So,” breathed Cloud, “it has finally begun.”

“Yes,” answered Kaede, “the endgame is upon us.”

Author’s Note: You know why it’s so hard for me to flesh in these last few chapters? Because I keep thinking about what I’m going to write next! I’m getting fairly excited and falling over myself to get this done!!! After this fic, I have some more planned. In fact, the other day I caught myself mulling over the car chase and fight scenes in another fic I am doing. Well, no more of that! Got to get working on this one so I can move on to the others!

Anyway, I still got a few chapters left in me, actually, more than a few. We have yet to see the WEAPONS and all the stuff that will happen when “Darkness Falls.” You know, I’m planning on using that quote in the story, but I might not if it sounds too corny (i.e. “The World is not Enough” quote in James Bond. I like JB, but it was really a waste to name the whole movie after one phrase which has little to do with the actual plot, evil plans, etc.....AARRGGHH....stop rambling! I’m going slow enough as it is!).

Getting back on track, I still plan to write two endings if I can, got everything ready to go, just a question of detail and more details. I had a rather large epiphany while writing this, and have had to change aspects of more than a few chapters. Anyway, thanks for all your support, it’s readers like you that keep me inspired to write!

Note to self: Make A/N section shorter in the future, must not bore readers.


Chapter 24

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic