Diverging Paths Chapter 3
Explanations And Plans
By Link Kokori
"Alright, let me get this straight.You died, came back to life, and destroyed a universal- sized leech that controlled time?" Cloud asked, his eyes decievingly wide.He was playing along to this kid's story.After all, how the heck could a fourteen year old do something like that?
"Basically, yes..." Crono trailed off, sensing the fact that this group of people were going to burst out laughing any second.
"%@#@#..." Cid cursed, his mind dizzy from the story.
"You realize that this tale has so many holes in it, it wouldn't keep in this world?" Nanaki, his brazen tail end sticking up in the air.Vincent simply stood there and took this in one part at a time.
This assembly was taking place just outside of Midgar, near the Mid-Forest...the only part (actually, Midgar #5) that hadn't been cut down for re-building.Apparently Reeve wanted it to be a reminder of where The Ancients, and ultimately they, came from...
"Yes, but thy Crono doth not weave such a travesty," Frog croaked up. "Such folk as thee must have a tapestry of a tale to weave?"
And so, with that, Cloud broke into the story of Shinra, Sephiroth, the Black Materia, and the final battle.As he closed to finishing, he let out an embarrasing secret, that he wish he had put back into his subconsciousness:
"After the love of my life, Tifa, fell-whoops!" he blurted.The rest of the crew gave him a short, simple stare.
"Is...that true?" Tifa slowly drew out, afraid that that was a lie.
"Hoo-boy...I'll get back to you at that," Cloud.His face was a deep crimson red."This story is over," he finished, before running off and away.
Cloud slept uneasy that night...
"Cloud...can you hear me?"
"Yes, who are you?"
"Cloud, you've forgotten so quickly?!"
"Cloud, you're my bodyguard, remember?"
"No, I'm part of the Planet, now, Cloud.I'm the Planet."
"I'm sorry, Cloud..."
A giggling sound pierces Cloud's subconscious.
"Do you love me, Cloud?"
"Give me a second.I have to take that in."
"...I don't know."
"How can you not know who you love?!It's your heart that's speaking, Cloud."
"But it's torn."
"I understand...it was like me and him."
"My first boyfriend."
"He loved you, you know."
"How do you know?"
"He told me on my first day in SOLIDER."
"You knew him?"
"Yeah, he and I were tight buddies."
"I knew I had recognized your name somewhere."
"The Lifestream's moving again, Cloud.I can't talk anymore."
Crono laid on the deck of Majestic, next to a snoring(yes, snoring) amphibian.His eyes were as open as much as they could be.He was too worried about Marle.Had Magus gotten to them?Had the Black Omen gotten to them?What happened?And why was he in a place with meteors, talking cats on Moogles(whatever those where), and where a warlord maniac that attempted to control the planet by destroying it living?
"Crono must have died."Gaspar simply said.There had been no forewarning.Gaspar's echoing voice had rung out from nothingness, here in the End Of Time.Marle looked up, tears starting to swell in her eyes.Wa it true?Could it be that Crono had met an untimely fate, again?
"This time, there can't be any ressurections." Gaspar blankly said again.He was not himself.
"Well, I'm not going to sit here, and wait to see if you're correct..." Marle trailed off, walking towards the hallway to where Epoch would be if she called to it.
A rumbling sound began...
Two doves took off from the top of the Majestic's shiny metallic hull.Just as they left, a long spear smacked with a resounding clang where they had roosted.
"Friggin' &^($( ##!!!" Cid cursed, his cigarette almost falling from the corner of his mouth. "These %^**&$# pigeons..." Cid misidentified.His airship-climbing equipment, usually meant for cleaning all parts of the ship, rattled with the strikes.
"Actually, those are doves," a voice yelled to him from below.Cid almost lost his footing.
"Who the $%^%# did that?!" he demanded.
"Oh, sorry," a sarcastic voice yelled up to him.
"You'd best be sorry!" Cid yelled back.Wait a damn second...
He knew that voice.
"Cait Sith?" he yelled down, his mind picking up on this.
"You were expecting maybe Rufus?" the mechanical cat taunted.
"You %$&($( $*$*$*!!!" Cid cursed(again), and he slid down the side of the hull. "Good to see ya!How you been doing?"
"I'm a robot," Cait Sith answered blankly. "What do you think I was doing?"
Cid had to ponder at this...this was a mechanical cat on top of a giant stuffed Mog.
Sith shook it's head.
"Working for Reeve?"
Sith once again denied the answer.
"Getting a new heart?" It was a long shot, but it could be true...if he had a heart in the first place.
"Close..." it taunted.
Cait shook it's head in disbelief.What a moron.
"A new brain.Got that?" it told Cid.
"That was my next guess."Cid claimed.
Cait scoffed at this. "You were going to say I adopted a dog and named it Toto." it said with a hearty laugh.
Inside the ship, Tifa sat looking at out at the landscape.The bright sun gleamed beautifully in the off-blue sky, and with her chocalate-brown eyes studying the Mid-Forest.Muti- colored birds made short flights to new trees, new branches.Tifa shifted off her seat, and walked out towards the door.As she arrived, the door swung open sudddenly, making her gasp.Cloud's tall, well-built frame stood in the doorway.
"There's something that I have to tell you," Cloud simply said.He stepped forward, and the door snapped shut behind him.
"This can't be good," Lucca exclaimed.A loud rumbling had started up.Marle, whipping her head around so quickly that her bronze locks spread over her face, pulled out her crossbow.Lucca unholstered her gun, and prepared to fire at whatever was coming out...Ayla pounced to position.
As the rumbling got louder, a single purple, sharp spike drove out in front of Gaspar.
"Wow," Tifa muttered.It had been hours since Cloud had pushed her back into the cockpit. "So, you're stuck in you love; it's me, and Aeris..." she trailed off, beginning to ponder about this fact.
"Yes, that's the truth..." Cloud trailed off."It's almost like love has overrun my thinking, and now, I can't even tell a story without screwing it up."
"Well, either way, you're still my best friend, and I won't hold anything against you," Tifa reassured him.She quietly shifted herself next to Cloud.She rested her head softly on his shoulder...she could hear him murmuring, and feel heavy breathing.He obviously hadn't been in many situations like this before.He grew tense.His muscles strained not to push his body up and out the door.His heart held him down...
"Cloud..." Tifa said, softly, her eyelids covering her chocolate-brown eyes.
"What?"Cloud asked, his voice straining under his pressure.
"There's something I've got to tell you..." she whispered.
Gaspar did not move.
As the spike drove harder and higher up through the stone bricks, more appeared.Some long, some short.As more and more of the bricks began to launch through the air, Ayla, having sat in a corner, pounced.Launching herself upon the back of the thing, she ran her claws down the hard exoskeleton...nothing.Not a mark appeared on the beast.A familiar rumbling vibrated the remaining parts of the End Of Time.
"It's..." Lucca cried just as the rest of Lavos burst through the opening.
Magus sat on his throne, the fire circle in front of him projecting an image of the End Of Time's destruction.Ozzie, in his flabby glory, sat next to the throne, laughing hysterically.
"It's...hahaheeehahee!!"He roared, his body rippling with each and every deep-bellied laugh.
"Shut up," Magus simply, quietly snapped.Ozzie stopped his laughing immediately.
After a few deep and long breaths, Ozzie managed to get out with momentary giggles:
"How...(hehee)...did you manage...(hee)...to conjure another Lavos?(Hee hee ha)"
"Simple, dear Ozzie.I didn't."Magus blankly stated.The look on Ozzie's face asked for more information, so, after a deep breath, Magus broke into his story.
"You know of Lavos's collision with the planet in 65,000,000 BC, right?" he started out.Ozzie shook his head yes. "Well, you see, as Crono and that half-witted amphibian, Glenn, searched their surroundings, I went off to that era.There, I discovered a "witch doctor" named Toron, who I promptly enlisted to help me strengthen up Lavos.From there, I simply headed back to 12,000 BC, and boarded the Black Omen, which is where we are now."
"I thought you hated Lavos," Ozzie pointed out.
"I only hated Lavos because Queen Zeal brought him up and took Schala away..." Magus trailed off. "But enough about that.Lavos is now under my command, and-"
"I think not," a primitive voice rocked throughout the Black Omen.Magus hopped out of his throne and landed in a fighting position on the floor.Ozzie shut himself up in his crystal block. "Weakling," Magus whispered to himself about Ozzie, and pulled his scythe from his belt. "Who dares tread on my fortress?" he questioned out to the darkness beyond the throne room's staircase.
"Me powerful...me conquer Reptites," the primitive voice boomed out again. "Me conquer you."
Crono sat on the deck of Majestic, staring at the now-setting sun, the beautiful streaks of brazen gold and cherry-red surrounding the white ball of a sun.Frog sat off in the field below, studying the mountains and fields.They were now near Cosmo Canyon, and Nanaki was off in- town talking to his Grandfather, Bugenhagen.Crono's thoughts were lost in what had happened to his friends since he had left.Were they alright? was the question that plagued his mind more than any others.He had a strange premoniton that something had happened...
"Sir Crono, what doth pondering?"Frog ribbited up from below the ship.
"I'm just thinking of the others," Crono called back down.
"Lady Marle?" Frog asked.
"Yes, especially Marle," Crono whispered.
"Ah...a love?" a voice loudly whispered behind Crono's back.He spun around, only to see a long-haired man with a red cape swirling behind him.On the holster that connected to the man's completely midnight-black outfit, laid a rifle.
"Yes," Crono admitted.
"I had a love, once," the man began as he moved up to the railing.
"Wait.Before you start into a story, why not tell me your name?"
"Okay...Vincent.That is all I'll tell you...for now," Vincent replied. "I remember her name specifically...Lucrestia.A beautiful woman...a ShinRa scientist.I was a Turk at the time, I believe," Vincent said, his mind blurred. "I met her in Nibelheim, and we fell in love...then Hojo entered the scene..." Vincent continued, saying the last words with a deep, furious anger. "He took her away, impregnated her...and biologically twisted me," Vincent said.His head hung down between his shoulders..."I didn't hear of her for a long time."
"Man...talk about a sad ending."Crono offered as a cushion for the pain.
"That's not all.The son that came from Lucrestia...his name was Sephiroth."Vincent explained.
"Wait...wasn't Jenova the mother of Sephiroth?" Crono asked, now seeing holes in the story appearing.
"Sephiroth was injected with an extremely high amount of Jenova cells, and that apparently made him feel more like a son to her than anyone else," Vincent said."I must go.Goodbye." And with that, Vincent Valentine disappeared.
Marle hung on for dear life.Lavos had come from nowhere, just hours after his death, and had totalled the place.Gaspar had disappeared...he hadn't moved at all during the strike.Lucca was spotted holding on to a remaining part of Epoch's wing, which had been destroyed with no mercy during the attack.Ayla had disappeared, having held onto a spike during the ordeal, vanishing into a gate with Lavos.
"We're finished," Marle stated.
Meanwhile, at the center of the Planet, a lifeform started to sprout.Silver hair came from the pure energy that Holy and the Cetra, after having revived the planet, had left, followed by a perfectly figured face.As the eyes opened, the jade green eyes gleamed with thoughts of revenge.Following that came the perfectly-built chest, and finally, the one wing that sprouted from his back...as his claw-like bottom half, cloud-white, stretched out, the man gave a small, evil smile.
The One Winged Angel was back...and the Planet would be his.
(Author's Notes:WHEW!!!!I'm finally done with chapter three.Now that a few villans have been placed(as you can tell, Magus has turned to his roots, and as it looks, Safer Sephiroth has taken Holy and Cetra power to recreate himself.Remember the Horror Movies:If it's good, the villan will be back for a sequel.Also, someone wants to get rid of Magus...still no sign of Aeris(except in Cloud's subconscious).Oh yeah, we don't want to forget that Lavos is back.Something tells me he won't be under Magus's control for much longer...)