Curse of the Highwind
Cid looked up to the darkened indigo sky amongst the dim clouds of the evening. As the clouds shifted, he saw the first star of the night, in a position right above his eyes. He noted this as the centre of the sky. Tonight, all the stars would turn around this point that was indicated by the shining beacon. The moon pushed back the blankets of clouds and greeted its workplace, where it would try and copy the sun. The centre star was east of the moon by Cid's perspective, and though their sizes and distances varied, they shone brightly as peers.
Cid had been lying on his back for the last hour or so watching the sun bring warmth to others as it did everyday, walking the earth's distance in a day. The evening brought mosquitoes and a slight touch of rain, but Cid didn't really notice. He had his hands behind his head and was resting on the wing of the Tiny Bronco, which was still undergoing repairs.
Cid had seen the blackness of outer space and his dreams had been realised. It was the mere sight of vastness as far as he could see that made him feel like an ant, but also very special and individual. For the ants live among giants and vastness, however, no two ants are exactly the same. Cid was humbled and quiet with awe.
Cid stopped thinking about that moment and realised that he hadn't smoked for the entire day. Primarily because of the danger, but more so that he was concentrated on his baby, the Tiny Bronco. Cid sat up and began to tap his trouser pockets with his hands. He heard a jingle and nothing else. He checked his jacket next. From one pocket he pulled a small, cardboard box, and from another pocket, an even smaller box. From the larger one, he pulled a cigarette and placed it between his hard, dry lips. From the other box, he took a match, which he raced along the wing of the Tiny Bronco. The heat built and the match head became alight. Cid reached the matched to kiss the cigarette with fiery warmth. Cid shook the match until its death, then discarded it. He returned the two boxes to his jacket.
The smoke gushing from Cid's mouth swirled past the moon, and looked like the clouds high above it. Cid had told Cloud he would land the Highwind once Sephiroth had been defeated and he was a man of his word. His true love was the object of aviation, and now his only true way of getting it was through the Tiny Bronco. Cid heard a slight creak of a hinge and out of the corner of his eye saw light. Clouds rushed over the moon and it became pitch black. The woman nearby could only see the tail of the small plane, but could tell Cid was there because of the light of the cigarette, but also because she knew him too well.
"Captain, aren't you coming in for dinner?" She asked, her voice slightly toned with nervousness.
"Not tonight." Cid replied with a soft, understanding voice.
"Yes, sir." The woman replied, and slowly closed the door as she went back in to be as quiet as possible.
The next morning she returned. Shera's attitude towards Cid had still not changed, though he praised her more often these days. Without her, Cid could have died, and Cid still could not choose whether life was more important than to dream. Shera walked to Cid who was still in the same position she had left him in.
"Captain, did you stay up all night out here doing nothing?"
"Couldn't work on the plane. I couldn't even see my own hands."
"This obsession is getting out of control." Shera told Cid, like she was his mother. Cid smiled.
"It's not really any of your concern." Cid said to her. "Besides, I've almost finished! I just need to replace a few more broken parts."
"Please have some breakfast." Shera requested, again with a mother's tone.
"If I don't take a break, I can finish her by sundown." Cid said eagerly, jumping from his perch to the grass of his backyard. As prophesised, Cid replaced the final gear just as the sun was about to retreat. Cid tapped his pockets for the jingle. From this noisy pocket he pulled a bunch of keys attached to a moogle-shaped key ring. He vaulted himself into the driver's seat and smiled. This was the moment of truth. For a moment, the world seemed to sit still and admire in awe to see if the mechanical bird would wake. The atmosphere around him became eerily quiet.
"Captain! Telephone!" Shera was standing outside the back door of the house. Cid, angry at the interruption, turned around.
"Tell them to call back!" He yelled. "I'm busy!"
"It's your friend, Ray!" Shera told him. "He says it's important! Also, he's calling you collect, so I suggest you hurry!"
"Ray!?" Cid asked. "Damn, it'd better be important."
Cid stomped into the house and picked up the phone receiver. He held it to his ear and found it warm, almost like he could feel Ray's breath on his ear.
"This is Cid." He said, expecting anything. A voice entered, the owner seemingly worried.
"Cid, it's Ray!"
"I know that! What is it? Did something happen to the Highwind?"
"The mayor in Junon wants the whole of Upper Junon out of here."
"So?" Cid asked. Shera stood nearby, watching his reactions. Cid's fingers began to twitch.
"That is," Ray said, "All things Shinra there. It's all to be demolished and removed, to bring the town back to its roots..."
"Even the vehicles?" Cid asked.
"The vehicles are on the roads, and the roads need to be demolished. Even the Highwind has a lot of lethal cannons and stuff. They want that one destroyed in particular."
"Damn!" Cid yelled. His hand became a fist. "Do something!"
"I can't!" Ray yelled back. "I can't because I'm not the legal owner of it. He's not alive anymore!"
"Then I'll do something, damn it!"
"You're not the owner! What do you think you can do!?"
"I'm going to steal it." Cid said. "I'm on my way. We can work out the details once I'm there." Cid slammed the phone down, and went outside to the Tiny Bronco.
"Captain?" Shera asked.
"I've got to go." Cid said. He again put himself into the Tiny Bronco. He placed the key into the slot and turned it. The motor roared like a beast and Cid checked everything quickly, activating whatever needed activation. He saw Shera walking towards him.
"What is it?" He asked. Shera held out Cid's spear and a brown bag.
"You'll need this, and these." Shera said. Cid took the spear and Shera placed the bag into Cid's other hand. The bag slumped and Cid heard the clink of materia knocking each other.
"Thank you." Cid said, placing them down.
"I picked out your favourites, Captain." Cid opened the bag and looked at the materia.
"You know me too well." Cid said, then began to take off. As the plane floated through the darkening skies like a bumblebee, Shera watched on.
Once Sephiroth had been killed, Cid had left the Highwind in the care of Ray Masters, who was an ex-Shinra soldier positioned in Upper Junon. Ray was just slightly older than Cid, and they both grew up in the same town. The only reason Cid was able to steal the magnificent airship in the first place was because Ray had secretly sneaked him in. Ray was reliable with a personality similar to Cid's. The only thing Cid didn't like about him was the fact that he was a non-smoker.
Cid was too worried to enjoy the flight. The air caressing him as it blew past didn't matter to him today. He passed over the Nibel mountains and slowly towards Corel. Cid spent his journey doing nothing but think troubled thoughts and memories, which often put him accidentally off course. He did not even notice the central star was shining his way. The night became the morning, but it was still dark by the time he had passed over Costa Del Sol. At this time the radio on the plane buzzed. Cid picked it up and pressed the button.
"This is Cid, over." He said.
"Captain!" Shera's voice was slightly distorted, but Cid could still place it. "Where are you? Over."
"I'm about halfway between Costa Del Sol and Junon, now. So what? Over."
"How full are your tanks? Over." Shera asked. Cid turned on a torch and he became worried. He looked at the meter, and realised that in his rush, he had forgotten to fill the Tiny Bronco with fuel.
"Captain?" Shera asked as Cid began to rummage around.
"Damn it!" Cid yelled, pounding his fist on the control board.
"Captain! You left your spare tank behind! Over!" Cid's eyes filled with worry, so he closed them with anger.
"Damn." Cid said, settling down.
"Don't worry, Captain." Shera said with a reassuring tone. Cid looked to the radio for a rational solution. "You may be able to fly quite close to the next continent. Over."
"Thanks for the advice." Cid said, disappointed with her answer. "Cid out."
The Tiny Bronco began to lower to the sea. By now, the sun had risen. The small plane created a series of small waves along the surface of the vast sea. Cid's sighs were choked with a little anger. He opened the small bag given to him by Shera and spilt all the shining orbs onto the floor of the Bronco. He began to split the green from the red from the yellow from the blue from the purple. He had labelled the materia with a label maker, and singled out the ones that might be able to help him. He used Haste on the rolling waves, and even summoned Typhoon to blow the Tiny Bronco a short distance. He cast Ice to freeze the water before him so he could glide gently across it. He even tried to lower the gravity by using Demi. He used these techniques until his arm became tired and sweat began to roll down his face. He chanted but nothing happened. He had drained himself of his energy.
Cid looked toward the horizon and saw Upper Junon and some large mountains. He placed the head of his spear into the water and began to row. Far into the next afternoon, Cid and the Bronco arrived on the beach adjacent to Junon town. From here, he began to walk towards the town, leaving the Tiny Bronco behind, hidden behind a large area of bush. His walk turned into a run as he saw some sparks flying from the elevated city. Cid arrived at the run down town of Junon and looked around for Ray. A mean wearing a navy blue singlet and black trousers entered. His black hair was beginning to turn the colour of its opposite, and his stubble was collecting towards a beard. He spoke in a voice which, if tested, Cid would probably guess as his own.
"Ray, it's been a while." Cid said.
"So you finally made it." Ray nodded. "What's the plan?"
"I don't know yet." Cid sighed.
"Some leader you are!" Ray laughed.
"Shut up." Cid said. "The elevator?"
"Barricaded." Ray replied at once. "We can't go up there anymore."
"What if we climbed up?"
"They'll see us." Ray said. "Come on, man!"
"I'm not riding any dolphin..." Cid whispered to himself.
"What?" Ray asked.
"Who's up there? A lot of people?"
"Not really. Just those working the explosives and the machinery."
"Where's the mayor?" Cid asked Ray. Ray pointed towards Upper Junon.
"I guess he's up there, supervising or something."
"How'd he get up there?" Cid asked, looking for an answer.
"Helicopter." Ray answered. Cid slouched, disappointed.
"That sucks." He said. "The only way is that lift."
"It's guarded." Ray said. "And it's dangerous."
"Never stopped me before." Cid said. "You ready?" Ray held out a handgun and from his pocket pulled a few assorted materia. He looked at Cid and nodded slowly. The two walked towards the large elevator which was guarded by two men from the town.
"Get lost." One of them said. They both clutched their guns. "This place is off-limits to everyone unauthorised by the mayor!" Without a word, Ray pointed his handgun at one of the two. Cid ran to the other one and tackled him, then held the head of his spear to his neck.
"Who are you guys!?" The guard asked, the point of the spear right against his skin. After a short while, Ray and Cid had managed to tie and gag the two guards and hid them behind a building. Cid kicked away the warning signs and pried off the wooden panels nailed over the elevator door. Cid looked around for some sort of call button.
"Great going, Sherlock." Ray said. "I guess you forgot we need a key- card for this thing."
"Forgot?" Cid asked. "I never knew. Damn it!" Cid's anger forced him to strike the key-card panel with a punch. The doors began to shake and opened slightly, then closed, then opened again, this time a small crack.
"Come on." He said, walking to the small gap.
"We're not 2-dimensional, you know!?" Ray yelled.
"I know that!" Cid said, placing his fingers between the two doors. With them he gripped and began to pull with all his might. Ray joined in and pulled the opposite door. With all their strength, they managed to open the doors wide enough to slip through. Once inside, Cid activated the control panel and the elevator began to rumble and move up the green shaft.
"We're halfway to our goal." Cid said.
"All this for that stupid airship?" Ray asked.
"That's MY stupid airship!" Cid yelled. "Look, you didn't have to come along."
"No way." Ray replied. "I'm coming, too." The ray stuttered and came to a sudden halt and the two men fell over. The lights on the sides of the lift blinked off.
"Damn!" Cid yelled.
"Looks like destiny's against us this time." Ray said. Cid ran to a ladder on the wall and tucked his spear into his belt.
"They use this for emergencies." Cid claimed. "And we will, too." Cid began to climb up. Ray was left behind for a second, thinking how stupid this whole idea was. Then to catch up to Cid, he hurried up the ladder. As the two arrived at upper Junon, they did not hear the usual fanfare that would be there if there were Shinra soldiers. The only noise remaining was an eerie silence.
"It's like a ghost town." Cid stated, looking around for a sign of life. There was not even the buzz of an insect around, just the sound of Cid and Ray's deep breaths.
"The ship's where you left it." Ray said. "Out that door."
"Okay, thanks." Cid said, walking towards the door that would lead to the airport. As Cid opened it, he saw the Highwind, and was relieved to see that it was till okay.
"Yes!" He laughed, running to the cargo elevator. Ray ran behind him. As the both arrived on it, Cid activated it, and they were lifted, creating a large noise. Cid and Ray saw, as the platform rose, many men near the Highwind, which had many wires attached to it.
"Who's there!?" One of them asked, turning to see the source of the noise. They all looked around. One man pushed through the crowd and looked to Cid and Ray, adjusting his glasses.
"What are you doing here!?" He yelled. "This is a restricted area!"
"I'm here to take the Highwind!" Cid yelled. "That there is my ship!"
"It's all set up." The man said, sneering. "I'm sorry. It's too late. Go back home."
"Mister mayor!" Ray yelled.
"You again!?" The man yelled. "I told you, you can't!"
"Can't," Cid said, smiling slyly. "But I will." Cid held out his spear, loaded with materia. The mayor looked surprise. Ray pulled out his gun and grabbed the mayor by the neck. He held the nozzle of his gun to the mayor's head.
"Nobody moves, or he gets it!" Ray yelled. The guards and explosives crew stood still, daring not to breathe.
"He's a liar!" The mayor yelled. "Guards, get him!" The guards still remained in their places. Cid smiled.
"That's right." Cid jeered. "Come on, Ray, Mister mayor." Cid walked towards the Highwind. Ray followed, his back to Cid, still holding the mayor hostage.
"As soon as they're in, blow it up!" The mayor yelled. "They're from the Shinra! They'll do anything!"
"Shut it!" Ray yelled nervously. Cid boarded the Highwind and Ray slowly followed.
"Stay here for a second." Cid said. "As soon as I start her up, kick the jerk out. We don't need him."
"Right." Ray said. "Sorry, Mister mayor."
"Shut up." The mayor sighed.
Cid ran to the bridge of his beloved ship and looked out to the horizon. He saw the sea turned the colour of an orange as the sun tucked itself in. Cid had no time to marvel at it, so he started the engines at once. The Highwind began to shake, giving the signal to Ray. Ray shoved the mayor from the Highwind and closed the doors. Cid began to initiate the lifting procedure.
"Well?" The mayor asked, running towards the crew. "Detonate the suckers!"
"Yes, Mister mayor." The crew said, and began to run the checks needed.
"Come on, you dolts!" The mayor yelled.
"Come on, you idiot!" Ray yelled at Cid.
"Shut up!" Cid yelled. "I'm almost done!"
The propellers began to spin, and the Highwind began to run along the walkway.
"Detonate!" The mayor commanded. As the crew members set the detonators, the Highwind raced along the runway and pulled the wires from the detonators, cancelling the signals. The Highwind took off into the skies and the mayor yelled loud enough for Cid and Ray to hear. The two friends sighed happily. Though they were safe, they could not escape the fact that they were fugitives now. What would Cid say to his friends? Where would he keep the Highwind now? And where was Ray to live?
Day became night, and the airship floated majestically through the skies. It became night, and Cid saw the star again. He wondered why he had been looking at that particular star so often. It seemed to shine brighter than the others in the sky, and was always the first that he saw. Other reasons remained a mystery. Cid looked away from the sky and concentrated on the controls. Ray was sitting nearby and seemed troubled. Cid had no reason to ask why. Ray had always been afraid of authority.
Came the next morning, which added to the total of aimless flying.
"Cid, what are we gonna do next?" Ray asked, looking in Cid's direction.
"I think it's time I went home." Cid replied.
"Oh." Ray looked to his feet.
"Ray...uh..." Cid sighed. "You're welcome to stay at my place...after all, it is my fault that you can't go back."
"That's okay, Cid." Ray said. "I'll find some place."
That afternoon, while the Highwind skimmed across the sea, the radio of the Highwind buzzed. Cid and Ray were both surprised. Cid slowly pulled the radio to his ear.
"This is the mayor of Junon!" The radio yelled. "Give yourselves up!"
"He must be close." Cid said to Ray. "Do your best to take the controls. I'm going to the deck."
"Aw, damn it!" Ray yelled. Cid rushed through the hollow halls of the Highwind and to the upper deck, where he saw a plane running opposite the Highwind. The orange plane raised and then a dozen men wearing life jackets parachuted out towards the Highwind. Cid held his spear ready, tightly so it would not be caught by the wind. Five of the men landed neatly on the Highwind's deck, and the last seven were caught by the sea. Cid looked to the sea below, then concentrated on his five enemies. The five men discarded their parachutes into the water.
"What do you want!?" Cid yelled above the roar of the wind.
"You stole this ship from us!" One of the men yelled. "We'll take it back or blow it up trying!"
"No way!" Cid shouted. One of the men started fixing a bomb to one of the poles along the deck. Cid noticed and tried to get there, but the five men blocked his way. Cid's crew that could understand the signal for Cid's Highwind attack were gone, but he still had Dragon Dive and Big Brawl at his disposal. The anger swelled within him and he dashed forward, raising what little dust was on the deck. With his spear he slashed and slashed, and the results were three of the men falling into the sea. The last two men pulled out their short swords and swore loudly to each other.
Cid rushed toward one of the men and tackled him, knocking him into the railing of the deck. Cid held the spear to the man's neck and the man choked loudly. A push from the last man left knocked Cid and the strangled man over the side of the speeding airship. Cid quickly grasped onto the railing, but dropped his beloved spear into the racing waves of the ocean. The man held up his sword to slice off Cid's fingers. Cid quickly reached up with his right hand and snatched the man's arm, making him drop the sword into the sea.
Cid yanked the man down, and soon he was hanging from the Highwind and the man was hanging from him. Cid was sure this was the day he would die, and he would die taking a life with him. Remembering the Highwind, Ray, Shera, Cloud, Tifa and the others, Cid decided not to let this supposed destiny take place.
"What are you doing, you maniac!?" The man yelled from below, but the air rushing past took his breath from the path to Cid's ears.
"You're got a life jacket...use it!" Cid yelled, then he threw the man towards the sea. The screams were not heard by Cid as he hauled himself back onto the deck. He ripped the cords from the explosive and tossed it towards the open sea. He had evaded the mayor's attempts again. Cid still couldn't see what was so important about destroying the Highwind.
Later that night, Ray heard a beep on the radar. He stood up and looked at what was making the device blip and beep.
"Cid, we've got a plane coming." He said. Cid looked at him.
"You sure?" He asked.
"Coming fast." Ray stated. "It's in radio range now."
Sure enough, the radio buzzed and picked it up, placing it to his ear.
"Captain, this is Shera. Over." The muffled voice said.
"Cid, there's another plane!" Ray yelled.
"Shera, what the hell are you doing here!?" Cid yelled.
"I came to help you, Captain!" Shera yelled. "Please, open the hatch, over!"
"Open the hatch." Cid ordered. Ray left the room. He then pressed the button on the radio. "You're an idiot. I don't see why you came all this way!"
"I...just had to." Shera's voice said. "I...Shera out."
The Tiny Bronco flew into the open door of the Highwind and then Ray closed the doors. Shera got out of the Tiny Bronco and Cid entered the room.
"I guess there's no stopping it now." Cid said. "You're here."
"Another plane followed me, Captain." Shera claimed. "An orange one with a red stripe."
"The mayor again." Ray said.
"So you're Ray." Shera said. "The Captain's told me a lot about you."
"No time for that!" Cid yelled.
"Come on, Shera." Ray said, motioning towards the door. "That is your name, right?"
"Yes." Shera said. The three ran towards the bridge. Cid looked at the radar.
"Same stats as before...he must be at it again." Cid said, pressing some buttons on the side of the radar.
"Not the same weight..." Ray said, standing next to him. "Maybe they've got more men..."
"Or more artillery." Shera argued.
"Either way, what we've got is trouble." Cid said, comparing the facts. The orange plane drew ever closer.
"Mister Mayor, are you sure this is worth it?" The captain of the orange plane asked. "We lost almost all our men last time!"
"We'll be a little bit smarter, this time." The mayor said. "We know we can't do the same as last time...so do it. Open fire!"
"Yes, sir." The man said, pressing some buttons on his control panel. A machine gun opened on the nose on the orange plane and fired at the Highwind. At first, many of the bullets missed, but then they began to strike the side of the airship. The ship rocked and Cid, Shera and Ray turned to panic. A hole began to form as the metal plates ripped from their supports. The tiny bullets were looking to be their downfall. Cid saw the orange plane right alongside the hole. Some men from the plane leapt skilfully from their plane to Cid's. This time they had guns instead of swords. Ray held his gun ready, and Cid had no access to any of his materia, so was basically helpless. Shera was even more worse off. The men held their guns at the ready. Ray fired first, knocking down two men with extreme accuracy. The men quickly retaliated. Cid pushed Shera out of the line of fire, and barely dodged the bullets coming for him. Ray fired again twice, killing two more men. The last three men were getting worried. Ray fired again, killing the fifth man. The last two fired. One struck the radar, and the other struck Ray in the chest. Ray choked loudly, and Shera grabbed the gun of one of the dead men. She shot one of the men until she was out of bullets. She grabbed the next gun and held the last man at its point.
"Ray!" Cid yelled. "Are you okay?"
"A bullet...in the chest..." Ray choked. "And you ask if I'm okay!? Of course not!"
"I'm sorry..." Cid gasped. "I got you into this..."
"No worries man..." Ray laughed weakly. "Never seen a...more exciting time..."
"Don't talk like that!" Cid yelled. He looked up to see Shera with the man's hands up.
"Captain, please! We have to hurry out of here!"
"What's the rush!?" Cid yelled. Suddenly, an explosion rocked the Highwind. Cid, Shera, and the soldier were knocked to their backs. In panic, the man pulled the trigger of his gun, hitting Shera in the shoulder. A second explosion threw Shera towards the controls of the ship and Cid heard a loud breaking sound.
"Shera!" Cid yelled. The Highwind's floor began to fall apart.
"I'm sorry..." Shera wheezed. "I strapped a bomb...to the Bronco..."
"What!?" Cid yelled. The floor cracked open and Ray fell from the Highwind. Cid looked down the gaping hole to the dark canyon below lit only by the night. Cid yelled out the name of his friend, but nothing happened. He looked at Shera.
"Ray!!! Why!?" He yelled. "Why, Shera!?" The soldier and the dead bodies were pulled into the hole.
"I couldn't let you...live as a fugitive...Captain..."
"Shera, you stupid...!" Cid pulled against the force of the air and grabbed a parachute that was strapped to the wall. He attached it to himself and pulled out an emegency door, which was pulled into the vortex of wind. Cid reached out his hand to Shera.
"Grab my hand!" He yelled. Shera could not hear him, but knew what he was trying to say. She shook her head. "You stupid idiot!" Cid yelled loud enough that Shera could hear him over the wind. She still refused. Cid then grabbed her hand and then jumped out of the wrecking Highwind.
The next ten seconds were like ten years. Cid floated in free-fall with Shera in his arms. The skies were black like ash, and the clouds like smoke from factories. The canyon below was dry, Cid knew, but he could not tell now because the moon was not out to play, kept at home by the bullying clouds. He had lost Ray for sure, and Shera was not far behind. Cid looked up, defying the wind, and saw the clouds shift. He then saw his star, shining like the sun, but with only the size of a firefly. Cid pulled his stained goggles over his eyes to stop them getting hurt by the violent winds. Though there were a million thoughts rushing through his head, he was still able to count to ten. After that, he pulled his ripcord and the wind rammed into the open parachute, yanking him up like a marionette. As they floated down, Cid and Shera shared no words. Cid watched the explosion created by the Highwind in the near distance.
Cid soon floated into the canyon, and he pulled his goggles up. The parachute covered he and Shera, and he slowly removed it. He looked at Shera as the moon pulled away from the sheet of clouds. Shera's eyes were closed, her skin was cold, and her clothes were stained with her blood, but Cid could feel that she was still alive.
"Captain...?" She asked in the quietest voice he had ever heard.
"Yeah." Cid answered, in a voice even quieter.
"Captain..." Shera sighed. "I...love you."
Too many thoughts shoved their way into Cid's mind at once and his head pounded. Cid looked down at Shera, her eyes still closed. He then looked to the sky and the moon. His dreams needed not to be discovered further. It was what was reality that Cid had to accept now. As he sat there cross-legged, with Shera lying in his lap, he realised that the last few days had been the most disastrous in his life. He just hoped that he could get Shera some help before anything happened to her. Cid looked up and saw the sky filled with stars, but there seemed to be less than a few nights ago. The centre star was still there, shining triumphantly. A tear rolled down Cid's cheek, a thing that he thought would never happen again. It rolled down and reflected the light of the stars. He faced the ground and closed his eyes. He felt like yelling so loud that his cries and cusses would bounce from the canyon walls and make their way to God. But then he thought that there would be no point. He then thought he should reply to Shera. He looked at her. Her eyes were closed, her skin was cold and her clothes were stained by her blood and his tears. Cid could not feel that his best friend was still alive. Even though he felt grief, he still thought he should reply to Shera.
"...Call me Cid...Dammit Shera...I...love...you, too..."
There was no reply. Cid looked to the sky for comfort from the centre star, to find it gone. He realised that this star he loved was Shera' star, the blaze of her heart and soul, and he looked down to Shera. Then he thought what an idiot he was to pursue such selfish goals to see everything go up in flames.