Darkness Falls Chapter 8

By Gemini83

The Turks were patrolling the streets of Kalm, simply checking how things were going. They were supposed to be on vacation, but it soon turned boring. So they had decided to just walk around instead.

“I can’t believe this is all we are doing!” exclaimed Elena, “We’re the Turks for crying out loud! We should be doing something!”

Rude, as always, remained relatively quiet.

Reno answered Elena, “Oh come on Elena! We all decided to come here just to take in the sights and relax. And now you’re getting restless?”

“Come on Reno,” returned Elena, “Even you know we can be doing something better than this.”

“Elena,” snapped Reno, “shut-”

Elena slapped Reno on his head. He turned to face her, but stopped short when he saw the look in her eyes.

“Don’t even think about it,” said Elena, “I’ve had enough bossing around from you to last a lifetime.”

Rude remained silent, but Reno could see his mouth twitch in a smile.

Reno turned around and grumbled under his breath, “...Women...”

Elena’s eyes flared in anger. Reno was saved further agony when an odd shape came out of the sky. It screamed down at the town of Kalm, then it pulled itself horizontally and hovered just outside the town. The Turks could make it out as a transport craft of some kind, but it was unlike anything they had ever seen. It looked almost dragon like, but very sleek. Its streamlined curves seemed engineered to cut through the air with minimum of resistance.

“Well,” said Rude, “if you guys wanted action, I’d say we’ve found it.”

The Turks walked passed confused townspeople, and headed towards the craft. When they neared, the Turks could see a door open, as a gangplank came down.

A dark figure walked up to them, but remained silent.

The four remained quiet before Elena broke the stillness.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“He’s a friend,” came a voice from inside the ship. A figure in white armor revealed itself as...

“President Reeve!” said Reno.

“What’s going on?” asked Elena.

“I’ll explain on the way,” said Reeve, “come on, let’s go.”

“One thing,” said Reno, “will it be exciting?”

Reeve laughed, “I think you’ll see more action than you can handle. Isn’t that right Kaede?”

The dark figure smiled, “Indeed.”

“Great,” said Reno.

The Turks walked into the wondrous ship. Their reaction was much the same as Cloud and the others, as the Turks allowed themselves to be led to the bridge.

Upon arrival, Elena saw the members of Avalanche. The Turks glared at the group, before finally nodding their greetings to Avalanche. They then took their seats and prepared for take off.

Kaede took the flight controls in his hands. “Okay everyone, ready?”

“Excuse me,” Aeris spoke, “could you go somewhere first?”

“Sure,” said Kaede, “where would you like to go?”

“I...would like to see my mom, Elmyra Gainsborough. She lives in Midgar.”

The others became silent. Barret cursed himself for not remembering about Elmyra and Marlene earlier.

“I don’t see a problem,” answered Kaede, “could you get us air clearance Reeve?”

“Of course,” answered the President of Midgar.

In mere moments, the Kitana gained entrance to Midgar air space, and hovered above the Sector 5 suburbs. The members of Avalanche looked at the newly reconstructed city with wonder. Cid whistled.

“Great job Reeve,” said Cloud.

“Thanks,” said Reeve, “I’ve been trying to fix this place up, make it the best Midgar ever.”

“It is truly spectacular,” said Red.

“Kitana,” said Kaede, “silent running mode, hover over Aeris’s house.”

“Affirmative,” answered the ship’s computer.

Kaede pressed a button, and a hallway opened up.

“Go through that hallway, and you’ll get to an elevator that will take you to ground level.”

“Thanks Kaede,” said Aeris.

“Think nothing of it,” answered the warrior.

Aeris, Cloud, Tifa, and Barret left the room.

“Mom,” whispered Aeris, “I’ve missed you so much...”

Elmyra worked in the garden alone. Aeris had tended this place with great care while she had been alive. Now that Aeris was dead, she took care of it. It was the least she could do to keep her daughter’s memory alive. It pained her, brought back so many memories, but at least it was something to do. Now she filled her barren days by tending the beautiful garden, but for all its beauty, she still felt empty.

Empty...that described her days quite well. She was lost, for she had little to fill her days other than the garden. No longer would she hear her daughter’s laughter, no more would her warm hugs bring joy to her life. She had little Marlene, but it only reminded Elmyra more of Aeris. Now she drew what happiness she could from her fleeting moments with Barret’s daughter, the only times she ever felt alive. She didn’t blame Aeris’ friends, for what could they have done to stop a madman? Still, nothing could ever take away the pain. Oh, how she yearned for one more embrace, if only for the memories. One more moment with Aeris, just one moment, would have given here at least another happy memory, a small consolation to her sea of woes.

She heard a cry, and Elmyra glanced up from her work to see a blonde man waving at her. It was Aeris’ friend. What had his name been? Oh right, Cloud. And with him were Barret and some others. She smiled when Marlene ran up to hug her father, and she gave the group a short wave. Then, Elmyra saw a familiar pink figure that haunted her dreams, she closed her eyes and shook her head.

"Silly woman," she murmured, "Will you ever stop..."


The tools fell to the ground as Elmyra’s hand convulsed. Forgetting the garden, she looked up at the group again. The girl, that beloved ghostly hallucination...she was real. Elmyra collapsed to her knees as her daughter broke away from her friends and began running towards her.

The girl ran towards Elmyra, her arms outstretched, and the joyous cries of "Mom!" sang through the air...she was real. As the figure neared, Elmyra reached out her shaky arms to embrace her daughter. When she felt the warmth of her hands around her, Elmyra cried tears she never knew she had left.

"You're real...oh my Aeris, you're real," she whispered.

Aeris shuddered, unable to speak, and held her mother as if she never wanted to let go.

Elmyra touched her hair, caressing the kind face to assure herself this wasn’t a dream.

"I never thought I’d see you again. Oh, Aeris..."

As Aeris embraced her mother, she was oblivious to her surroundings. Her friends understood, grateful beyond words that she had returned. Tifa had been inseparable from her newly regained friend, feeling a sense of camaraderie with the girl, the only other one who could truly understand her love for Cloud. After their first heartfelt embrace, they bonded like sisters. Aeris had been surprisingly overjoyed to hear of Cloud’s marriage to Tifa.

Having found kindred spirits, the harsh lessons that conflict and strife forced upon the girls receded. Tifa and Aeris had laughed again, rekindling some of the teenage life that they'd been robbed of by chance. And now, Aeris was able to reclaim her old life again. Putting aside all her pains, she simply closed her eyes and let her mother hug her hurts away...

Not long after, Elmyra, Marlene, and the others entered the ship. Deeming it an inappropriate place for a reunion, Kaede decided to lead the small group to a small meeting room, where they could rest. Cid and Shera took charge of flying the ship back to Costa del Sol, using the ‘scenic route,’ so they could get used to the controls. The Turks and several Avalanche members kept them company. Poor Yuffie still hadn’t strayed far from the safety of the bathroom. Seeing her discomfort, when Kaede pressed a button. He said it maintained artificial gravity within the ship, so Cid could maneuver however he wanted, and nobody would feel any different than if they were on the ground. Yuffie sighed her relief, thanking Kaede, who merely grinned. The Planeswalker gestured for Elmyra and her entourage to follow him.

He led the group to a smaller, but impressive chamber. Marlene bounced along on her father’s shoulder, Aeris and Elmyra walked hand in hand, as did Tifa and Cloud. They all took seats within the spacious room, lavishly adorned with velvet couches, various panels for Kaede only knew what, and a large wooden table in the center.

“This ship is incredible,” said Cloud, “how can you pack so much into it and still have fighting capacity?”

“This ship is one of a kind, I built it myself.”

“All by yourself?” asked Tifa, astonished.

“Oh no,” said Kaede, “I used machines to speed up the process, but the design, the features, it’s all my idea. The technology of various cultures allowed me to do much with it. I tried to make a craft large enough to serve as a base, yet still have the functional capabilities of a fighter.”

“It’s da-” started Barret.

“Barett,” interjected Tifa, jerking her head at Marlene and Elmyra.

“Oh, right,” said Barret, remembering the company he was in, “it’s very impressive.”

Cloud chuckled at Barret, who stared back at him icily.

Elmyra spoke to the strange man. “It seems as if I have you to thank for my daughter’s life-”

“It is every bit Cloud’s deed as mine,” answered Kaede.

“I thank you both,” said Elmyra.

She broke into tears, Cloud and Tifa put their hands on her shoulder, as Elmyra hugged Aeris once again.

“Daddy,” said Marlene, “why is Auntie Elmyra crying?”

“She’s happy,” said Barret, holding his daughter in his arms.

Marlene didn’t understand, but still said, “Okay.”

Barret laughed and drew Marlene into one of his bear-hugs.

“You have no idea,” said Elmyra, “how happy it feels for me to finally see her again. She was my only family.”

Kaede simply gave her a sad smile, the others became silent, knowing well how Kaede must feel about lost family. Although he was introverted by nature, never revealing his feelings, the others could tell he didn’t feel happy about it, to say the least.

“Did I say someth-” started Elmyra.

“Don’t worry about it,” said Kaede. He touched a button near the wall, “Cid, Shera, are we at Villa Cloud yet?”

“Nearly there,” answered Shera through an intercom, “just getting used to the controls here.”

“I’m coming up to help you.” returned Kaede.

“Are we in a hurry or somethin’?” asked Cid.

“Not exactly,” said Kaede, “but I would like to get started on your training.”

“Okay, no problem.” answered Cid.

Kaede turned to Elmyra, “I’m sorry to cut your reunion short, but I need the help of Aeris and her friends.”

“What for?” asked Elmyra.

“A new threat is coming to the planet.” said Kaede.

Elmyra’s eyes widened. “A new threat? And you want Aeris to-”

“Don’t worry Ms. Gainsborough,” cut in Kaede, understanding Elmyra’s fear, “We won’t let anything happen to her.”

“Count on it,” said Cloud.

Kaede could still see worry on the poor woman’s face.

“She’s safer with us. Believe me, unless we have her, they will hunt her down, and kill her as well as the planet. I will die before I see that happen to any of you.”

Marlene spoke up, “Mister Kayd,” she asked, “will anything happen to my daddy our Auntie?”

Kaede turned to the young girl, “No child, nothing will happen.”

Barret began to speak, “We’ll be fine. Now Marlene, you know this is dangerous-”

“No Barret,” said Kaede, “you WILL survive, you, Aeris, Cloud, Tifa, all of you. Even if its the last thing I ever do, I’ll make sure of that.”

He walked out, leaving the group to think on his words.

Elmyra turned to question her daughter, “What-”

“Later mom,” said Aeris, “I just want to enjoy this moment.”


Author’s Note: Okay, more happy plot development (audience groans). Don’t worry, I’ve got an interesting plot twist next chapter. As always, write me if you have any comments.


Go To Chapter 9

Return To FF7 Fanfic