Final Fantasy 7 Episode 1: The Great War Chapter 1
Crises in the Sky
Katrina woke from her sleep with a start. Everyone was rushing outside the
encampment to the clearing.
"Whats going on?" she asked as she slipped out of her bed.
"The sky!" Called Duncan as he headed towards the crowd. "The sky is on fire!"
Quickly, Katrina donned a robe and followed her friend. Even before she saw the open air above, she could see the flare of red against the treetops. Katrina stopped at the clearing just behind Duncan and gasped. The heavens themselves seemed to be ablaze. A fearsome red light shone forth from a violet sun, bringing daylights glare in the middle of the night.
"What can it be?" She whispered to herself.
"Who knows?" Duncans sharp ears heard much they werent meant to, but the impetuous young Cetra had no jokes this night.
The red light was steadily increasing; Katrina had to shield her eyes from the direct rays it sent forth. Suddenly, a thunderclap of sound split the still night air. A great roar followed as the object became still larger. The entire congregation of Cetra turned away from the sight, as the object headed on a collision course with the planet.
And then the light went out. Startled, Katrina and a few others looked about. A stream of smoke led their eyes to the horizon where a gigantic fireball had formed. A rumble came from that distant place. Steadily increasing, the sound forced the Cetra to put their hands over their ears. Even this couldnt shut out the sheer magnitude of the sound waves, which shook the ground itself. Gradually the racket subsided, only to be replaced with something worse.
"The planet! Such pain!" Katrina was knocked off her feet, the pain overcame her and she passed out.
Katrina groaned. What a nightmare she had last night. She felt the planets cries and knew at once it had been no nightmare. Katrina attempted to leap out of bet, but was restrained by a comforting hand.
"Easy child, you are not ready to get up just yet."
"Im not a child," Katrina said defenseivly. "Im sixteen and I know when Im ready to get out of bed!"
She brushed the hand away and sat up. Her vision began to clear and she saw the man next to her was none other than Farrem, the head of the Cetra.
"Oh! I didnt mean it like that!" Katrina was dumbfounded to see the leader of her people and felt terribly embarrassed to have just yelled at him.
"Relax," Farrem smiled grimly "I have had worse remarks directed towards me."
"The planets pain, its not a dream is it?" Katrina needed to hear the truth from someone else.
"No." Farrem was no longer smiling. "I was told you were closely in tuned with the planet. You should know without asking."
"I hoped maybe maybe I was feeling something else."
Farrem got up and began to walk away.
"Wait! What happened?"
"We dont know," The man looked at her with pity in his eyes. "But were going to find out."
Katrina struggled out of bed and followed Farrem outside. She found the village council talking to him in grave tones.
"You cant be serious, taking a young girl on a trek that far to find who knows what waiting for you." Katrina frowned to herself. Would her mother ever stop treating her like a baby? Did Farrem truly need her help to find out what had happened? She had always felt so close to the planet, but surely the Cetra leader could feel it too.
"Katrina is gifted," Farrem answered. "I sensed it while speaking with her. She can surely help me find what I am looking for."
"But you just cant take her away from her home."
"The choice is hers. She must decide without influence from either you or me. But I already know what shell say."
"Shell say yes!" Katrina called out as she came out of hiding.
Her mother sighed. "If thats truly what you want "
"You bet it is! Come on Farrem, when do we leave?"
She looked around her to find only the dead looking back.
"Someone let me out! Let me out of here!"
No one answered. No sounds save her own voice.
"Damn it! I cant stand this! Ill go insane! Let! Me! Out!"
Farrem watched the youth walk unerringly towards the site of the devastation. He could only feel a fraction of what Katrina must, but already the planets pain was a burden to bear. Each step closer was a step towards the suffering.
"It must be just over this ridge," The young woman said to him.
"Stay back," He cautioned her. "Ill find out whats happened.
Farrem trekked up the ridge and stood agape at the top. The wound was massive. Several times larger than anything he had imagined. The Life Stream was already in full force, trying to heal the crater. The energy needed would drain the life out of the entire land. Grass and bush would be replaced with a frozen expanse of death.
But what had caused it? Farrem looked closely at the center of the crater. A small metallic object glinted in the sunlight. Farrem realized that the impact must have eradicated nearly the entire device, whatever it was.
"I dont believe it " Katrina had followed him up. "This cant be real."
"I told you to stay back," Farrem answered gruffly. "Im going to find out what caused this disaster. You cant go into the crater, the pain would be too much."
"No worries there, I dont ever want to see this again." Katrina stumbled away and back down the side of the rift.
Farrem descended towards the remains of the ship.
The door creaked, pulled from outside. Someone had come. Someone had come to set her free. The man looked inside. He sees her. He fiddles with the lock and opens the door.
"Oh thank God! I didnt think Id ever get out! Thank you, thank you "
Farrem spoke comfortingly to her. His language was unlike anything shed ever heard.
"It was so awful. The engines were damaged and we crash landed. Im the only one that survived. Ive been stuck in whats left of the bridge for what seems like eternity." She was verging on hysteria.
Farrem plainly couldnt understand a word she said. He helped her exit the ship.
Katrina sat looking at the strange woman, sleeping quietly.
"So shes all that you could find?" Katrina whirled about to see Duncan had snuck up behind her.
"Yeah, Farrem said there were others but they were dead."
"Dead?" Duncan seems surprised.
"You expected them to all be alive?" Katrina retorted. "Its a miracle anyone survived a crash like that. The machine they came in was all but destroyed."
"Im not talking about that," Duncan never liked being showed up. "But where did they go when they died?"
"They returned to " Katrina spoke automatically, without thinking.
"They cant return to the planet," Duncan drove his point home. "Because they didnt come from the planet to begin with."
The woman stirred, moaning to herself.
"Id better go tell Farrem shes awake," Katrina got up and Duncan left with her.
"Its bad enough you risked Katrinas life, not to mention your own, going to that place. You found a survivor and brought her here."
Farrem was used to his judgement being questioned. It was only the fact that his actions came through in the end that he retained leadership of the Cetra.
"What would you have me do?" He asked. "Leave her there? We are more compassionate than that. She didnt want to crash here anymore then we wanted her to."
"Theres something about her, how could she have survived the impact?"
Farrem himself had wondered about that. The impact was enough to wipe out nearly all life in the vicinity, yet the woman at the epicenter of it all had held onto life for over a day. Added to that, she had made it through the trip back to village.
"I dont know how," he admitted. "I think it must have been the Life Stream. Its ambiance covered the entire ship. If she was alive for the briefest moment after the crash, it could have kept her from death."
"Shes awake." Farrem turned to Katrina and Duncan.
"Wait here," He ordered the council. "Ill see what I can find out."
Farrem walked into the hut. The woman was still lying in bed, but her eyes searched the room, finally resting on his approaching figure.
"Dont be alarmed," He knew it was useless to speak, she couldnt comprehend him anymore then he could understand her. He pointed to himself. "Farrem,"
She pointed to him as well. "Farrem," then, pointing at herself now. "Jenova."
The woman understood what he meant. Maybe communication could be achieved. But what next? Hand gestures would help, yet Farrem couldnt think of one to convey origin.
"Farrem, from planet." He pointed to himself and moved his hand down to the ground.
"Jenova, from " She caught on quickly, but was similarly constrained by the inability to speak her own language. She simply pointed up. That wasnt much help. Of course she had come from above, but Farrem hadnt expected a very informative answer. The ability to understand one another was the important factor.
"Jenova," he began, gesturing to her. "Welcome here." He held out his hands as if to embrace her, and folded them to his chest. She smiled; it seemed they were making progress.
"That man will ruin us all," Katrina rolled her eyes. Was there anything her mother didnt complain about?
"Mom, hes doing what needs to be done. Im sure Jenova could be a great help to us. She must know so much, having flown around in her ship. Think of all the sights she must have seen."
"Shes not a Cetra," Her mother was adamant. "She should go back with her own kind."
"She cant go back with a broken ship, weve just got to-" Katrina was interrupted by the sound of yelling outside. She raced out and saw many people running out of the village.
"Again?" She wondered to herself. She saw Duncan and ran to catch up with him. "Whats going on?"
"Its Jenova," The boy was breathless with excitement. "Shes going to the Life Stream."
"What? Why would she do that?"
"No one knows. Farrem was telling her about returning to the planet and she just took off."
Katrina ran faster and passed the rest of the crowd. Sure enough, there was Jenova heading towards the resting-place of returned Cetra. Jenova reached into the ground and suddenly hands came out of the earth. Everyone stood in shock as the bodies of their friends and family came out of the ground.
"Stay back!" Farrem was on the scene. "They are not the people we once loved. Their souls have returned to the planet. Those are empty bodies."
"Mom!" Duncan ran from the crowd towards his departed mother.
"Duncan! Its not her anymore!" Katrina tried to hold him back, but he broke free and embraced the corpse. Others had also broken away and rushed to their comrades.
Jenova stood in full glory, seeming to no longer touch the ground. When the living Cetra came into range, she quickly stuck something into their bodies. As one voice, the dead Cetra turned to face those still living.
"Now we can communicate Farrem. Now I understand all about your Life Stream and your people."
"Jenova, what have you done?" Farrem was deep in shock. "This is not the way."
"I dont want to be alone." Came the reply. "I couldnt stand the emptiness, the silence. I will never be alone again. Well be one big family. I can infuse you all with my cells. You will become a part of me."
"We wont let you do this." Farrem walked between Jenova and his people. "You must stop this now."
"If you wont join me, you will be destroyed." Jenova left, as her new family marched towards the remaining Cetra.
"Katrina " Duncan looked the same, but he was changed inside. "We can become one "
"Duncan, snap out of it!"
"Theres nothing we can do for them now," Farrem began casting a spell. "They are no longer Cetra."
He completed his spell, calling forth a sheet of flames engulfing Jenovas spawn. Many cried out in dismay, even knowing the bodies no longer contained souls. However, as the smoke rose, the enemies still stood. Bits of them remained on fire, but they didnt even notice. They continued to advance.
"Katrina, youve got to stop Jenova. Without her, they will have no will to fight."
"How can I stop her? Im no fighter."
"The planet will guide you. Contact the Life Stre- ARGHHH!" One of the zombies leapt atop Farrem, then another. "GO!" he commanded as he struggled to get them off.
The other Cetra began casting spells to distract the rest of the living dead. Katrina was able to dodge past them and pick up the trail of Jenova. It turned out that Jenova was headed back to the crash site. Katrina reached the crater in time to see Jenova pass over the ridge. The young Cetra increased her pace, sprinting up the slope. She reached the crest and looked down. Jenova now stood in the gathering Life Stream, her arms out-flung as if to encompass it all.
"No it is time for you, my dear captives." Jenova laughed to herself as Katrina hurried down the rocky terrain. "You truly believed that you could trap me? I wasnt about to go to prison, even if it meant destroying the ship while aboard it. Such a pity none of you survived the crash, I would have enjoyed dismembering you myself."
Jenova gestured and the spacecraft disintegrated.
"Look at the power this planet has to offer! So many new species to eliminate. This world will serve me well."
"I dont think so!" Katrina tackled Jenova further into the Life Streams ambiance.
"Foolish child," Jenova got up and grabbed Katrina by the throat. "Dont you realize what youre passing up? You could become one with me, one with the planet itself."
"You arent part of the planet," Katrina gasped for breath. "You dont belong!"
Katrina felt something in the back of her mind. The planet called out to her. She realized what she had to do. Katrina summoned the Life Streams full power. The waves of energy flowed through the planet and were channeled into her body. With a flick of her wrist, Katrina broke Jenovas grasp.
"What?" Jenova was in disbelief. "You cant stop me. Im so much more then you, primitive."
"You will no longer harm this planet, Jenova." Katrina felt the will of the planet building inside of her. "You will be sealed away, forever."
The Life Stream solidified around Jenova, encasing her in a crystal casket. The Mako formed object then lowered into the earth. Buried under the Life Stream itself.
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