Evolution of Innocence Chapter 12

By Janet Monstwillo

Everyone jumped up from where they were seated and took on a defensive stance.

“What’s the problem?” Cloud looked bewildered.

“That’s the person who attacked me last night!” shouted Tifa.

Cloud glanced at his companion, who had folded her arms across her chest, sneering at the brunette’s accusations.

Derin stepped forward, wielding his Buster sword. “Hey man, no biggie, you saved us the trouble of finding the bitch.”

Kayley raised an eyebrow. “Do you really think I am so easy to kill, Protector?”

“No. Then again, neither was I, Calamity from the Skies.”

A light went on in Vincent’s eyes. “Jenova.” A glare hardened his features and he lifted his Death Penalty to place a well-aimed shot.

Yuffie darted forward. “Stupid alien!” She delivered a startlingly quick set of slices to Kayley’s body with her Conformer.

Kayley raised an arm and sent the ninja flying with a blow to the stomach.

“Oww! You’re mean!”

“And you’re annoying.” She effortlessly cast a spell upon Yuffie. “Toad.” The girl turned into a small, chattering amphibian, still ready to charge until Red XIII scooped her up into his mouth.

“What th’ hell is the point of this shit?” asked a confused Barret.

Tossing her head back to give out a good laugh, Kayley addressed the group. “The fear factor, of course. See how powerful I am in a mere human body? Just wait until I regain my old powers...and install my plans into being.”

“How do you intend to do that?” Reeve leveled his Masamune, waiting for the first open shot at her heart.

“The same way I always do.” She smirked and held up a yellow Command Materia. “Controlling Cloud.” She slipped it into a bracelet and paused, letting the energy flow inside her.

“Oh no, she’s got a Manipulate Materia!” Daphne ran to Cloud.

“Oh yes.” Kayley gave the raven-haired girl a devilish grin. “Cloud, get rid of that annoying wretch.”

Cloud sent the girl flying across the room with a toss of his arm.

“Good boy.” She turned to the group. “I’ll see you guys later. I have some cells of mine to find.” She winked and prepared another spell. Raising her arms, she announced “Exit–All,” making both her and Cloud vanish from the room.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

“So Derin, you’re our insurance, huh? Well unless that’s all bullshit, I think you owe us. We paid our deductible, that damn Strife again.” Cid looked at Red XIII. “I can smoke, right?” He lit up before he received an answer. “Mmm...menthols.”

“Zack?” asked Daphne softly.

“Okay, okay.” Derin leaned forward. “The Masters are good...well, can’t call them people, they’re more like entities. They’re old souls. They’re so old that they don’t have to go be human and learn things anymore. They are here to guide us young souls and help us along our way, both in life and between lives.”

“I could have said that Derin,” she muttered, “tell us something new and original.”

(So you switch to my name in this life when you don’t need something from me, interesting.) Derin gave Daphne a searching look before continuing. “Anyway, after they sent Aeris back here, they took a promise of mine into account, and decided that you guys needed help. They felt a disturbance in the life-death barrier, and that’s the reason why they let Rissy return. By the time they got around to dealing with me bitching about her going back all alone, they figured out something big.”

“What could be bigger than the return of Jenova to the Planet?” Vincent spit out his comment bitterly.

“The return of Jenova with a plan. The problem here is that Jenova can’t completely die until all of her cells are dead. And since I don’t plan to go and execute everyone who had Jenova injections, she will never die until the descendents of those people die out. If she could force her way back, she would just need to find a small collection of those cells, fuse them into her new body, and recapture her old abilities.”

“How could anyone force their way back though?” asked Red XIII. “As far as I know, even our Revive spells only initiate respiration and heart rate, doing nothing for blood loss or brain death.”

“Good souls go to the Promised Land. Totally lost, vile souls are dispersed into the Lifestream, which is used in the creation of new souls. Most cases, the person goes to the Promised Land and is reincarnated. So even Sephiroth and President Shinra are awaiting their returns. Their next lives will put them in the situations of the people whom they hurt. Hojo’s energy was dispersed, as his soul had basically its last chance in Hojo’s life.”

“Talk about complete failure,” whispered Vincent.

Tifa glanced at him. In spite of her own worry for Cloud, she couldn’t help but feel a pang of sympathy for Vincent as all these hurtful people from his past were brought up.

“Jenova had a very powerful life force within her. I say her, because to her people she was female. It came from her chronological age and also because of the fact she was an extraterrestrial. She was far from being consumed into the Lifestream, and she was fighting the process and looking for a way out. She found it where there was a weak place in the cloth between life and death. Her strength helped her so much here, all she had to do was wait for someone with Jenova in them to die in a controversial way.”


“Ribbit!” The small Yuffie-toad hopped up and down impatiently.

The group looked at Red XIII. “What, my duty was to change her back? I at least kept her from dying!”

“Red,” said Daphne gently.

“Oh fine.” He looked at them all. “Well someone at least hand me a Transform materia.”

“She had the only one,” said Vincent softly.

The Yuffie-toad blushed. It hopped one last time and shouted “Toad!” Yuffie was standing before them. “Sorry guys.”

“Derin.” Vincent looked up. “What would be a controversial death?”

“Oh anything with murder involved. A mysterious accident. Or suicide.” Derin shook his head. “Jenova escaped the Lifestream after a woman decapitated herself.”

Yuffie looked at him in shock. “Decap–herself?”

“The woman had attempted suicide countless times, but the Jenova within her caused the attempts to fail every time but this one. Her name was Lucrecia.”


Tifa expected Vincent to jump up in rage, exclaim how it couldn’t be, run off to go check for himself...just to do something. Not to sit there and look at his hands. She hadn’t expected anything like that. (I can sense the emotion running through him from here. But do I dare...do I try...?) She reached over and took his good hand in her own.

He looked up slightly, barely catching her eye. But he had caught it. Usually blazing, whether in disgust at the world, with hatred for Hojo, or in amusement at some silly member of the human race, it now seemed slightly dull. It looked like someone had not just kicked him where it hurt, but cut it off too.

Tifa looked down and moved her hand. (How stupid to think that I could even make him feel better. I don’t know what it’s like to have someone I love that much die.) She thought of Cloud in the clutches of Jenova. (At least...not yet.) She did not catch the small flash in his eye as she looked away.

It was a flash of agony.


Derin, who had no idea of Lucrecia’s connection with any of the party members, continued on. “She used that slight opening to break herself out. Because of the cells in the woman, Jenova knew the precise moment and location of her death. She forced a woman named Kayley Nova from her body, but she did not realize one very important thing.”

“Which is...?” Red XIII began.

“The reason why a soul has to go down to the Planet to learn things is that mortal existence is very cloudy. Any soul going back to a life here could make all sorts of plans, but become distracted and forgetful and relish the experience and not learn a thing. If it was easy, the Masters would not think it necessary for us all. When Jenova returned here, at first she did not remember who she was.”

“She obviously knows now!” snorted Cid.

“Of course. All she needed were enough images from her past. That’s why reincarnation isn’t allowed until a few centuries after your last life. So you can’t remember. But you start out not knowing. And I bet if Rissy had never met Cloud a couple weeks ago, she might never have remembered her past unless I came along or she went to that convention.”

“How’d you remember your past, Zack?” asked Daphne eagerly.

“I was just about to come to that. The reason why I have to be careful with what I reveal to you is...I never forgot. I did take over someone’s life, but the Masters were very worried with Jenova’s return. They sent me back as an avatar. I am my pure soul, in a mortal body.”

“Now don’t say this sounds silly,” exclaimed Yuffie, “but why aren’t you all godlike and stuff then?”

“It’s not a silly question. The answer is simple, though. I’m a very young soul, so I act young even when I’m all ‘godlike and stuff.’”

Vincent turned dull eyes to Derin. “What is Jenova’s plan?”

“I don’t know exactly how she attempts to do this, because the Masters did not know yet, but she has a very very bad plan. Essentially, it’s to open the gates of hell.”

“Hey now,” said Barret, “you never said nothing about no hell!”

“It’s her plan in essence, even if there is no hell. She has the idea to regurgitate souls back from the Lifestream, and that would not be pretty. Anyone with a shot of saving themselves gets another chance, and winds up in the Promised Land, you see.”

“So my theories were right.” Red XIII looked dismal. “If we fail to stop her, we will see the return of an ancient enemy. And all the other enemies that ever existed on this Planet.”


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