Darkness Falls Chapter 40
Cloud ran at Sephiroth, pointedly ignoring any words intended to enrage him.
Cloud hacked his way through Sephiroths defense, despite all the man
could do. Finally, Sephiroth lashed out with a pure wave of energy, flinging
Cloud against one of the various pillars.
The others cried out in dismay, raging against the restraints of Clouds energy shield.
He yelled out to them, stay back! You might break through the barrier, but in his present state, he could kill you all!
Sephiroth nodded, now you begin to understand Cloud.
He sneered as strands of energy began to spring forth from him, almost like the tentacles of some misbegotten beast.
Cloud laughed harshly, you look like Jenova.
Sephiroth grinned smugly, I am what I was created to be...and more...
Cloud laughed, you...are nothing Sephiroth. A self-proclaimed god? Dont make me laugh. What, by the Planet, is a god made by humans?
Sephiroth sneered, I AM a god, and you will all fall!
Slowly, determinedly, Cloud drew raised his sword from behind his back.
What are you? Nothing but a failure, a machine, a project created and discarded by your creators.
I am a man Sephiroth, said Cloud, dont you ever forget that.
A man? spat Sephiroth, as if insulted by the word, a mere man defies me? In the age of gods and demons? All of creation will quiver at my feet. But before that, unfortunately, you will already be dead.
Cloud said nothing...
What? asked Sephiroth, no quirky reply, no last declaration of defiance?
Cloud said nothing...
Sephiroth narrowed his eyes, have you nothing to say before you die?
Cloud said nothing...
Damn you! screamed Sephiroth, answer me!
Cloud still said nothing...
Sephiroth nodded, gathering great strands of energy about his body.
If you will not kneel to me now, stated Sephiroth, then you SHALL kneel...in pieces!
Sephiroth, one of the most feared and powerful men on the Planet, struck forth at Cloud with all his might, bringing his tendrils of energy to bare upon the leader of Avalanche.
And still Cloud said nothing...
He merely rushed the assault, seeming for all the world, to be running towards his death.
His friends cried out in dismay, looking on with fear. But they could do nothing.
Cloud ran faster...faster...pushing the limits of his muscles. And slowly, implacably, he brought his sword out in front, charging at his foe.
Sephiroth felt for a brief moment that something had gone terribly wrong, then Cloud was there...
He sliced through all the tendrils, breaking past Sephiroths defenses, and plunged his sword deep into Sephiroths chest.
Sephiroth was paralyzed with pain, and coughed out blood, his eyes grew blurry. Cloud stared back coldly into Sephiroths glassy eyes, and drew out his sword with a jerk.
Sephiroth staggered back, eyes wide, clutching at the deadly wound in his chest. The Masamune fell from his hand.
What...how..., struggled Sephiroth, not...possible...
Cloud was breathing raggedly, there are...no limits to what a man may do...for those he cares about.
Cloud fell to his knees, exhausted. The energy field around his friends disappeared. Avalanche and the Turks rushed to his side, helping him to stand.
Kaede looked calmly as he saw his death approaching. His only regret was that he could not see Aeris again.
He felt a gentle tugging at his hand. Kaede looked down, and saw Aeris string necklace wrapped around his wrist. And joined to the necklace was...his sword.
He must have subconsciously put his hand through the loop...he had his sword after all.
Renewed hope surged through his veins, a calm, grim determination, and Kaede gripped his sword tightly. He had to time this just right...
Methos soon closed the distance between them, and thrust his sword at Kaede. The Planeswalker spun around, sidestepping the attack. Methos blade sliced through Kaedes back, but it wasnt over yet...
...For Kaede brought his own sword around, and, using the Drahk lords own momentum, struck Methos through the heart...
Kaedes blade ran clean through, emerging from Methos back. The Horsemans sword fell clattering from his hands, and his shoulders slumped. Kaede drew out his sword, and Methos body jerked in pain.
Damn Kaede, said Methos, you killed me...
Kaedes eyes widened, as he heard a...softness in his brothers voice. Methos stumbled backwards, falling to his knees. Kaede stared into his eyes, and saw the blood red haze disappear, leaving a pair of clear blue-green eyes staring right back.
Brother? asked Kaede, not daring to believe.
He ran forth, catching Methos before he fell, cradling his brother in his arms.
Methos coughed painfully, I...didnt think youd actually...thank you...Kaede.
Kaede stared shocked into his brothers eyes, what do you...what are you talking about?
Methos shook his head, Ive been such a fool, such a damn fool. Kaede, I was wrong, I let my thirst for power blind me. I feel it leaving me now, I feel my energy draining bit by bit.
He gripped at Kaedes hand, tightly.
I can tell you now...now that Im no longer drunk with power...I love you...brother.
The Planeswalker could only gape, at a loss for words, but before...you...why now? Why...?
More blood leaked from his mouth, and Methos grimaced from the pain, like you said brother, I let my pursuits...I let them take control.
Kaede tried to say something, anything, but Methos silenced him.
Dont say anything Kaede, just be glad you were able to break the cycle, that you were able to set me free. You killed the beast that has been controlling me all these years.
Kaedes eyes widened in shock, you mean...you, you too?
No Kaede, I was not forced, like you, to become a Drahk. But I did let them change me, turn me into something worse than I had ever intended. But Im back now. I am truly me after such a long time.
Kaede blinked back his tears. Why now, dammit? Why was is that the only was he could have his brother back...was to kill him?
Just hang on, said Kaede, Ill get you help.
No...use...Kaede, grunted Methos.
Dont say that.
Kaede, weve never...harbored...false illusions. Lets not start now. You are a great warrior...perhaps the best of us...you know a death wound when you see one. Under normal circumstances, I would already be dead...
Kaede shook his head, closing his eyes, and knew it was true. In the heat of battle, there had always ever been one choice, kill or be killed. That was his life, that was his legacy.
Methos reached his hands up, and hugged Kaede. Kaede grimly closed his eyes, and hugged back.
For the first time in years, whispered Methos, we are truly brothers.
Brothers... echoed Kaede.
Then Methos felt a strange force, like sparks running through his veins, and he knew there was one thing left to be done...
...Out in space, clouds of energy surged forth from the remnants of the Drahk space forces, and circled above the Planet...
Kaede...help me to my feet.
What is it?
Please, just do it.
Kaede nodded, and helped him up.
Brother, said the Methos, I have something to tell you, about this place...about the emperors plans...
Youre even more stubborn than me Cloud, grimaced Barret.
Cloud looked into his friends eyes, and laughed.
Tifa groaned, slowly opening her eyes, Cloud took her in his arms, running his hand along her hair.
He kissed her forehead, hush Tifa, Im here...
Sephiroth forced his shaking hand to reach for the Black/White Materia.
Fools, he said, you have not beaten me...
Cloud jerked his head up, looking at Sephiroth. The others followed suit.
Sephiroth laughed, raising his hand with the materia in it, I still...have this. And it contains all the power I need...to defeat you all...
That bastard Jenovan, Sephiroth, spat Methos, he has the power to destroy us all.
Kaede nodded, we have to stop him.
You will need the Cetra.
Methos nodded, I know how you feel about her Kaede...hold on to her, for she is this Planets greatest treasure.
Kaede looked askance, ...good...goodbye...?
Without a word Methos ran forward, bursting through the hole in the wall. Kaede yelled at him to stop.
Sephiroth turned as he heard the noise, and saw Methos running at him.
Ah, good. Now we...
Methos silenced Sephiroth by leaping into the menace, reaching for the Black/White Materia.
No you fool! shouted Sephiroth, what do you think youre doing?!
You cannot not have the power of this planet, shouted Methos, I will not allow it!
Methos trapped Sephiroth in a headlock, and prepared for his final attack.
No! Methos! Wait! shouted Kaede.
Too late brother, replied Methos, its been too late for a long time.
Methos stared into the night sky, glaring at the remnants of the Drahk fleet, and cried out, YOU BASTAAAAAARRR-
Methos unleashed his attack. A great halo of fire engulfed him and swallowed his words in a rush of sound, consuming both he and Sephiroth...
When it was over, Sephiroth was lying sprawled on the ground, gasping for breath, his clothing was charred.
...Methos was gone...
The Black/White Materia rolled towards Kaedes feet, and stopped.
He heard a voice in his head, Methos, the rest is up to you brother...farewell.
Kaede grabbed the materia in one hand and raised it to the sky. He closed is eyes and finally let out the anguish that had gathered within him for so long...
Aeris opened her eyes, feeling a strange power surging around her. She looked up, and saw what Kaede was about to do. She screamed in denial.
Sephiroth struggled to his feet, leaning heavily upon his knees, and slowly stepped forward, reaching out a hand, no...you cant...
Kaede gripped the materia in both hands, and raised it above his head. He screamed in rage, as his eyes began to glow with untapped energy.
No! Kaede please! There must be another way! shouted Aeris.
Whats he doing? asked Reeve, shielding his face with his arm.
Vincent felt a strange power surging, a shift in the Lifestream, is that...?
Cloud could feel it as well, what is he doing...?
Aeris staggered over to them, you have to stop Kaede.
Whats he doing? asked Shera.
He is going to split the Materia in half, replied Aeris, make it pure White and pure Black again.
So? asked Reno.
Dont you understand? asked the Cetra, this technology draws on the energies of those who wield it. Kaede has virtually none left to give...
Yuffie gasped, you mean?
Its draining the last of his life away, cried Aeris, hes dying!
Cloud turned to Kaede, shouting at his to stop...
...But it was too late, with a final cry, Kaede let forth a beam of energy from his eyes, which lanced straight through the Black/White Materia. The spheres colors churned furiously, and a crack appeared in the middle. Soon, the Materia broke apart in Kaedes hands, once more two, Black and White.
Kaede lowered his hands, turned wearily to his friends, and smiled.
Aeris, teary-eyed, smiled back. The others looked on with varying looks, of astonishment and smiles...
Then Kaedes eyes closed, and he collapsed.
Aeris screamed, and rushed to Kaedes side, picking him up, trying to get his to say something.
She held him in her arms, yelling past her tears, Kaede! Wake up! Wake up! WAKE UP...please...
Cloud and the others came up from behind, and looked on in silence...
...Kaede wasnt moving...
Authors Note: Yes! Keep reading, I have more surprises left! Hope youre enjoying this as much as I am!
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