Diverging Paths Chapter 7
Positioning the Pieces
By Link Kokori
Toron contemplated his moves.
An abnormally smart prehistoric man, he still could have trouble thinking.He was still from 65,000,000 BC, after all.But, he had gotten Magus out of the way.Lavos would rid Toron of that nusiance.
But as he understood, the Black Gate he had arrived in had already been used.Two people had been thrown through to another dimension, another timeline, another universe.Toron believed he could use this to his advantage, not like Magus had.Magus used it as a simple portal to rid his opponents.Toron continued to think...
I have it, he thought.
I could reverse the process of the Black Gate's powers, causing an influx of people...now,if I could only figure how to pull a certain timeline and universe's people in...
Toron continued his deep thoughts.
Tifa spent a split second remembering her dream...and she began to scream.
"Tifa!!" Cloud yelled, suddenly at the side of her bed.
The group was still in Wutai, resting up for tommorrow's plot to go into motion.Cloud cupped his hands behind her back and clutched her close to his body.Sobs rang up from Tifa.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"I...dreamed...th-that...you...d-d-die-died..." she said through the tears and sobs.Her face was red, her eyes were filled with tears, and she shook like she was bare naked in Icicle.
"Well, I'm here.I'm alright.I'm alive.Now, you can calm down.I promise...sincerely promise you...that no matter what happens, we'll never leave each other.No matter how far apart, I'll remember you forever, Tifa."
"And I will, too," she replied. "No matter how far apart we are, everytime I close my eyes, I'll think of you..."
"Alright.Goodnight..." Cloud said as he started to get up.
"Oh, Cloud, I almost forgot," Tifa remembered.She reached up and pulled on Cloud's shoulder.
"What did you forget?" he asked.
Tifa gave him a soft, long, emotional kiss.
Hojo sat at his desk, his one eye gleaming with the possibility of genetic experiments on these two young girls. A concept that would not be approved by Reeve, but, who really gave a crap about Reeve?
"Poor girls," he said to himself, "I pity them. They'll soon not be so beautiful..."
Hojo broke into a maniacal, devilish laugh.
Sephiroth sat in the bottom of Crater, his mind at peace with itself.He didn't want that.He wanted to go completely insane, so that his most powerful techniques could be used more completely and more powerfully. Ah, yes, insanity was a wonderful thing... if he could've returned from it, however, he would've...
He was presently in the storage area of the ripped-up Majestic, his mind maintaining on the fact that Marle wasn't here. He wondered what was going on right now back home... what was Mom cooking? How were his friends? He took another deep breath.
Frog cleaned the blade of the Masamune carefully, inspecting the blade. He had heard Cyrus say once, that "a knight would be a fool if he had not the cleanest sword". Frog studied one end of the blade, and seeing it spotless, moved on to the other side of his weapon.
The two had no idea that in the next twenty-four hours of their lives, the world could come to an end.
The group was called together by Godo to explain the plan.
"I have a feeling that we'll need a distraction," Tifa suggested. "Because, frankly, think about it. Sephiroth has his own clone gurarding the Crater itself."
"Speaking of which, how could he have done that? He's powerful, but that would take a lot of power..."
As the plans were going on, deep within the Crater... within a locked scraggle of rocks... a ressurected Aeris Gainsborough sat, weeping.
Sephiroth had brought her back. Her consciousness had been through the Lifestream, therefore making her complete powers hard to find. Sephiroth had taken the chance of purifying himelf to get her, and he expected to have her follow his orders. She remembered everything... Cloud... Tifa... Barret. Everyone, Cid, Red XIII, and even Vincent. She missed them terribly.
Aeris held her head up, and told herself she could get out. And if she didn't...
She would be once again a part of the Lifestream.
A deep clanking of boots far off signalled the approach of her... savior of sorts.
"Dear Aerith," a voice echoed from well far off, "I expected to have killed you, stopped Holy. But no... your friends had to pull it off, and send me spiralling into the Lifestream. However, I got back. I used what was left of my powers and was able to ressurect myself. My sword still laid in this realm, lying, discarded, on a rocky platform that survived the explosion. I witnessed this explosion... it was so great, so powerful... Holy was indeed the strongest Materia, even stopping mine. Meteor was destroyed, along with half of the slummy town you call Midgar. As I floated through the Lifestream, I saw many things of peace and victory... this only angered me."
From a shadow somewhere off in the distance, Sephiroth's figure appeared. A dim outline of his build.
"Yes, and it made me ever the more determined to return myself to the world of the living..."
"Yes, but the Lifestream keeps the Planet alive. You would have been alive, technically..." Aeris quietly spoke.
'Did I ask you to speak?! No. Now be quiet as I continue... after what felt like an eternity, I used the remainders of my powers to rebirth myself, and cause an advanced process of growing. Within a week, I was back to my old self. And I thought of Cloud... that worthless failure, as my father said... and needed strength to protect the Crater while I regianed every last bit of power, every piece of Materia. And that is where you came in, my dear. I remember why I killed you... you had the power to stop my plans. So, using a different version of the technique that brought myself here, I managed to scavenge you in the same way. However, you were as pure as you once were, which I had tried hard to avoid.
" But I did force you, as you must recall. And so, now Safer Sephiroth, an inner version of moi, protects against your petty friends. I would not be suprised if they are already dead, after I destroyed that airship..."
"NO!!!" Aeris cried out, not wanting... not believing... that her friends, the people that had become the ones that she could trust... be dead, be in the Lifestream. Tears started to flow into her eyes, and one by one, drop down a smooth cheek to the stony ground. She put her head in her hands, and quietly sobbed.
"Pathetic..." Sephiroth simply said, and turned back to the chamber work. A twitch of insanity hit him at this time.
Rushing back to Aeris's stony cell, he swiped at it with his sword, speaking gibberish.
"Hojo- he's dead- I swear his life is gone- hurt the bastard-AHHRHERGGHHHH!!!"
A small ship, carrying the symbol of Wutai, sailed in a gracious, smooth motion. The water, interrupted by the passing body of wood, washed over the bottom like hands rubbing clean. A white threaded sail widened out over the group, being swayed forward by the soft winds that pelted at it, making it move.
"We should be arriving at the island within two days or so," Yuffie told the rest.
"Two days? We don't got two ##%^ days!" Barret raised up. "The world could be gone in hours!"
"Yeah, right." Yuffie responded, and turned back to looking out towards the sea.
Deep within Midgar, deep within the ShinRa Tower, sat Hojo.
Hojo was thinking of one thing, and that was how to destroy his son. He could sense that Sephiroth was alive, and... was the Aincent with him?
No. Impossible, he thought. She was dead.
But, so was Sephiroth...
He told himself to stop thinking about that. After all, he had new experiments to work on. Those two young girls would make fine specimens, indeed.
Hojo turned towards a glass cage. Inside was a grotesque creature, obviously riled up and hurt from the experiments.
"Ah, yes, Blue XXX. I had almost forgotten about you when Red XIII - "
Blue XXX raked his claws, grown twice the normal size by a steroid infusement, across the glas, leaving shiny white marks.
"...escaped. But, you'll see him again. I promise you that. But first, I have a little job for you."
Hojo turned towards the door. "Bring her in," he ordered, and the door slid open. Reno, a large smile on his face, pushed Marle in. Bruises had formed under her eyes... a deep brown one had formed on her cheek.
"She wouldn't come willingly," Reno attempted to explain. "So I..."
"GET OUT!" Hojo yelled. "I TOLD YOU, SPECIFICALLY, NO HARM MUST BE DONE TO THESE TWO!"
"Yes... sir," Reno said, before slipping from the room.
"Ah, shit." Hojo cursed, looking down at Marle. "There goes part of the experiment. Now I won't know if cross-breeding..."
Hojo turned back towards Blue XXX, who studied the creature lying in front of him with a cruel curiousity.
"Works as well with perfect health."
Magus was at peace in the void.
His mind had settled into nothingness, a black void of matter. But, something was approaching, with a deep rumbling. It was something big.
Magus concentrated on something... his heart hoped it wouild work. The rumbling grew closer...
And Magus was impaled on a Lavos spike. The creature spurted out it's howl of victory... and heard a calling far off. It began moving forwar, Magus's limp body staying with it.
Toron laughed, as a twinge of thought touched his brain.
Magus was dead.
Flea looked up from her post, chains tying her to the throne.
"What's so funny, toots?" she asked.
"Oh, nothing," Toron waved off. Flea turned back to waiting. Toron whispered quietly to himself...
"Except your leader is dead."
Ozzie burst through the door. "Lavos is heading back, lord," he said. "Good," Toron answered. "Prepare for it's arrival." Ozzie slipped a quick salute, before leaving.
Yes, everything was falling into place... the last element was to be added. The pieces were positioned. It was time.
"Open the Black Gate," Toron told Slash. He ran off.
"It's only a matter of time."