Pathways Of Foreboding Epilogue

The Living Planet

By Paul Nathans

499 Years Later

Nanaki, also known as Red XIII, son of the warrior Seto, stood upon the precipice, looking-down at the vegetation that had overgrown Midgar. Behind him were a pair of laughing children chasing each-other around the plateau, their parents eating a picnic nearby.

The young family he'd led here this fine day seemed to be enjoying themselves.

And he had gone ahead with his own pair of twin cubs, finally fulfilling his promise to show them Midgar, or what had been Midgar. His mate had stayed-behind to escort the small Cosmo Canyon family he'd made arrangements to escort here.

She strode-up behind him, and he turned.

"Mom!" The female of the cubs, Lelina, called. "Took you long enough!"

His mate, Eliyela, smiled at all three of them, but especially down at her daughter. "I had some humans to look after, young one. Would you rather that they'd gotten lost, hurt, or both, and it taken me even longer to get here."

"No," she answered, shaking her head.

"She was only joking, Mom!" The male of the twins, Estrifen, laughed.

"I know," she answered, laughing too, tongue lolling-out. "But I still answered!"

He joined all three of them in their laughter.

Estrifen had been named for Cloud Strife, all but the first and last letters of his name, in memory of his friend and comrade.

They had been returned to Artesta, somewhere outside Midgar amidst the snowfields. The spirit of the Universe had indeed done as it said it would. Ramza, Alma, Rafa, Malak, Meliadoul, and Ruass were nowhere to be seen. It was logical that they would've returned home.

Despite delays, Reeve's, Ensalin's, and Domino's plan had worked, clearing the skies at the same time as Reeve, alone in the same room he'd retired to since the launch of the Savior, had lost view of all of Cait Sith 4's surroundings because of the soft white light that had enveloped them all.

They were safe, the Pureland Universe and the Universe existed as they should...thanks to Mayor Domino, Hart, and the newly-rehired assistant Reeve, they'd managed to successfully stabilize Midgar, separating politics from economics, and healing wounds between the people.

The fact that the 'Shinras' were now heroes had helped, in a way, too.

Eventually, Midgar had been made into a beautiful metropolis.

But by now, 500 AM, or After Meteor, it had been deserted.

The humans had eventually deserted the place, evolving as everything had. Even the Midgar Zolom had finally passed away of old age, 172 Years Ago, by then having been tamed and an excellent friend to all creatures.

It would never be over.

Good and evil were constants in the hearts of beings, and would continue to thrive and clash for probably millions, if not billions, more years, before the humans, and if they weren't the only warlike 'fully-sentient' beings, or if more had been born through the years, well, even then it might not end.

But nothing could destroy life in itself. Whether it ever fully ended or not, nothing could destroy life.

He could feel eyes on him, and turned to behold the black-and-blue-haired human boy gazing at him, looking at one of his scars with a childlike, intense, interest. He narrowed his eyes momentarily. Not until now, in this type of Sunlight, had he noticed that the eyes of the boy reflected the single eye of the Universe so well.


It didn't matter.

All his friends were gone now, but had lived happily for the rest of their days. He didn't know for sure if his friends from the past had, but he knew Barret and Reeve had. Barret and Elmyra had eventually married, and had a single son. Reeve had married a girl from the Sector 4 Slums named Alesa, and Cait Sith had been passed down through their children.

In a way, he owed Crysales. It was unknown whether he would have given up hope in searching for others of his kind, something that had occupied his spare time. Perhaps so, perhaps not.

He turned his head to the Sun.

They had been successful.

He wondered if anyone else had seen what he'd seen the day the snow fully disappeared and they took a long walk outside, Marlene with them, in perfect health.

Four shimmering, spiritual forms, standing together and holding hands.

Zack, Sephiroth, Aeris, Tifa, and Cloud.

Together in the Promised Land.


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