Birth of a God
By Serena Lee
Flowing silver streaking across the crimson sky - like the glint of the legendary Masamune piercing the bloodied flesh of the Planet, folds of pitch black flapping furiously against winds conjured by unimaginable forces high above, a man rose ever so slowly, and determinedly, towards his ultimate destination.
Fingers clutching and grappling unsteadily, he pulled himself up to highest pinnacles of the greatest creation of Mankind - a tower reaching infinitely high into the stratosphere, once the pride of civilization, now the bane of all Life; not even its creators were spared. Green Mako eyes blazing with an inhuman glow, lips curled up into a crazed glee, his immense, but powerfully-built frame shook ever so slightly, as the moment of his glory became dangerously near.
Body drenched in perspiration, his breath quickened from anticipation, he finally reached the peak of the almighty Shin-Ra tower. Spreading his arms, face tilted heavenward, his black cape fanned out in all directions, like rivers of darkness trailing behind his shadows.
He was awaiting to receive what was truly his.. and His alone.
Evil laughter filled the air.
Let Cloud and his measly group of misfits battle their way to the center of the Planet. Let them be drowned in a bloodbath with His clones, while he pursues his Destiny.
Not even the powers of the Gods could stop him now.
Angry storms continued to lash out, besieging his mortal form with shrapnel and debris from the crumbling metropolis deep down below. They sliced and tore cruelly at the worn-out leather, exposing the human skin and flesh beneath. Phantom claws continued to assault his body as he began his deathly march towards the edge of the platform resting atop the Shin-Ra Headquarters building.
Never once did he wince in pain, for there was none.
Fiery spouts poured out where the ground could no longer hold, unleashing the anger of the Planet in the form of searing heat waves and hurricanes hell-bent on destruction. Twisted metal liquefied and massive concrete walls crumbled under the immense stress, releasing ash and dust billowing into the chaotic skies, choking the very air Life breathed on. The swirling atmosphere surrounding Midgar was fast reaching boiling point, and it crackled with raw energy where oxygen spontaneously combusted and burst into flames. They burned and scalded, inflicting tremendous damage on everything in its path, vaporizing all which stood in the way.
Yet, the man was untouched.
The elements continued to pound ceaselessly at the intruding entity hovering over the lands, as well as the man who would rendezvous at the point of impact. They brazenly attacked the two, stubbornly resisting the impending doom befalling their precious homeworld.
Still, Meteor continued its descent.
He marveled at the magnificent sight before his very eyes. The burning sky was consumed by the hellish aura of Meteor. There were no clouds, only wisps of water vapour where they once were, in the path of the falling rock. Bits of debris floated and twirled violently, carried by the winds, before diving sharply when the forces of gravity took hold.
Squinting his eyes against the bright scarlet light and the advancing heat, he could make out wide cracks weaving their way on Meteor's surface, interspersed with craters and countless shallow crevices. Toxic fumes flared out, snaking along the outline of the sphere-like rock, entwining intimately with the chaos ravaging the city below. Dark, evil energy exuded from gaping chasms, the tendrils spreading far and wide across the continent, simultaneously burrowing deeply into his body.
He felt it all. A sense of unbridled exhilaration, of ungodly power, and of imminent triumph washed over his form, filling him with utter, twisted delight.
A promise made two thousand years ago was about to be fulfilled.
A soft voice, faint yet persistent, whispered in his mind. Persuasive and pervasive, it commanded for his absolute attention, prying his concentration away from the hauntingly beautiful scenery high above him. He obeyed willingly, like a son to his Mother.
It is time, the voice said.
He stood high and tall at the peak of the tower, sheer exultation showing in his visage - a victorious warrior clad in black staring up the skies, his waist-length hair flowing behind him like a river of quicksilver. One hand extended upward, as though to reach out and caress the surface of his creation, the Meteor. The other was tightly gripping the hilt of his trusty blade, the legendary Masamune.
His lips moved to speak words he never knew of. This time, he was not guided by the voice in his mind, simply because there need not be. Those were the words of the ancient Meteor Ritual, deeply embedded in a distant memory lying in slumber for almost two millennia; each syllable, each meaning intricately carved into every single one of his cells. They waited, quiescent and silent, enduring the test of time, until they were awaken by his Enlightenment a mere few months ago.
"Come, come, O come!
Great calamity from the skies."
The winds picked up in response, and whipped at his sand-blown face fiercely, in a pathetic attempt to distract him from his Calling. Violent tremors shook the ground, surging and heaving, threatening to throw him off-balance from the edge where he stood. Unperturbed, he remained where he was steadfastly, his boots rooted to their spot, his voice ever calm, collected, and steady.
"Bring forth thy fiery destruction,
Burning inside, with violent anger."
All around him, the building was falling apart, as huge chunks of metal and mortar become crushed and fragmented by unseen forces, and finally spiraled downwards when the iron supports gave way. Green Mako eyes stole a quick glance at the expanse sea of ruins stretching almost into the horizon. The deserted city of Midgar was fast dissolving into mounds of rubbles and debris as the forces of Nature fought and defended gallantly against the alien onslaught.
"From the ashes, I shall be avenged,
From the bleeding Wound, the Lifestream cometh."
A moment's lapse in concentration, and he found himself immersed in a temporary reverie. He could almost taste the Planet's energy in his mouth at that moment. Tendrils of pure energy would soon emerged from the bowels of the Planet, enveloping and empowering him, metamorphosing his mortal form into a higher level of existence.
He would be reborn, he would be immortalized, and he would create the Future.
"Let the blood of the Planet gather and merge,
Let it become one."
A section of the Plate fell, followed by another. The crashing and shrieking sounds of concrete grinding against concrete were, however, drowned by the roar of the approaching Meteor. Tornadoes formed as the gravitational pull of the rock began to distort and whirl the air between it, and its final destination.
"Unite, and meld, I call upon thee,
It is I, the Great Sephiroth."
Throbbing sensations suddenly gnawed at his chest, and they grew in ever-increasing intensity. For the first time in many days, his lean face contorted in grimace. The sensations were unpleasant, and were fast rising and spreading like a festering wound. Still, the Ritual proceeded, its pace and rhythm undisturbed.
"I command the Black Materia within me,
Powers of the Planet, obey my words."
The black sphere buried deep inside his heart was awakening once again, stirring to life, and sending fresh waves of pain and nausea radiating from his core. He could feel its malicious powers seeping into his flesh, tenderly enveloping the bones and filtering out through his skin. Like ghosts in the mists, faint shadowy threads of darkness surfaced, and began to surround his body, gently covering as a warm blanket would.
"Bring forth the birth of Mother,
Glorious and Noble One, Jenova."
A foreboding presence touched his mind, benign at first. Phantom fingers slithered and probed his inner consciousness, their intention unexplained, but he was certain it was insidious in nature. He tried ignored them, but he found he could not, for they left pounding headaches in their wake. Pulling and tugging forcefully at his psyche, they tried to wrest control from him. When he blatantly refused to submit, they became demonic claws, which scratched and raked like a berserk, wounded beast. He cried out in anguish as he read the next verses of the Ritual.
"Mother beloved, your Son calls,
The time for Reunion has drawn nigh,
Let us return to the Promised Land."
His body was now aglow with a diabolical luminance, which cast a gloomy hue on his alabaster complexion. Sharp, excruciating pain continued to assault his body and his mind, wrecking his entire quivering frame with horrendous spasms. He silently cried out for his Mother, trying desperately to seek solace and refuge from the physical and mental agony in the sweet, comforting voice.
Yet the voice did not speak. It remained silent, leaving him in a cold, icy isolation.
Alone, he faced the wrath of the malignant presence, which was inflicting terrible lacerations all over him. Strangely, he did not bleed, but he could not escape its cruel maws either. The pain coursing down his entire frame, the hurt he felt in his battered mind, and the frustration boiling in his blood when Mother did not emerge to console him.. they fused into obscurity, becoming one of pure hatred and vengeance.
Yield, the source of the pain commanded. But he could not.
Mother would never allow that.
He felt anger as he could not restrain the inner monster that was trying to tear its way out. He felt drained, unable to counterattack, unable to move. The Ritual must be completed, regardless of any disturbances! Wide eyes glimmered for a moment, as the man suddenly stumbled forward when a torrent of unfamiliar emotions gushed out, breaking the imaginary walls he had built around him for so long.
"Destroy those who betrayed us,
Treacherous descendants - begone!"
He fell onto his knees, and abruptly struggled for air when the anger finally rose up to his throat, causing him to choke. His eyes blurred momentarily as he felt another fang stabbing his racing heart. The predator within continued to slash mercilessly, ripping flesh from bone, crying out for revenge, demanding to be liberated from its cage. The man doubled up, praying the attack would end soon. Part of him attempted to shrug the hurt he felt all over - because, as his blank eyes witnessed, he was not wounded in any way at all.
He willed the rising fury to disperse, but it only worsened his tormented condition. The unending pain continued to sap his diminishing strength, threatening to shatter what frail sanity he still hung on to. Hands clutched at fistfuls of silver, but there was no respite. His voice quivered, and became strained.
"Fate, Monstrous - and Empty
The One-Winged Angel arises."
There were tears in his eyes now, the shine in the emerald green had become dull and glazed, unfocused and vague. Those were the tears not of sadness nor grief, but of desperation and helplessness.
Surrender, the presence demanded.
His body, now wrapped by the glow of darkness, cried for release, his shoulders were shaking and his hands craved for the touch of the Masamune. The instinct to pull the blade out of the sheath, to plunge it straight into his heart, and to end his agony once and for all, was increasingly overwhelming all rational thoughts. The ferocious beast within was struggling for freedom, wanting nothing more than to devour him, to force him to do the unspeakable, to relieve him from all of his miseries and sufferings.
It wanted his death.
But he knew better. He would not be defeated by this illusionary enemy, the so-called beast inside of him, not at the moment of his glorification! It was a monster which plagued him like a parasite since the day of his Enlightenment, forever mocking him of his insanity, calling for a halt on his bloodthirsty desires, pleading him to listen to his conscience rather than the voice of his Mother. And when he disobeyed, more often than once, he suffered its wrath - in the form of delusions of being ravaged and mauled alive, until he was on the brink of committing suicide to release himself from the unreal pain tormenting him.
Madness, it was.
Mother said once that the true enemy, was the enemy within oneself.
Foolish beast, he snarled quietly in resentment, as he tried to concentrate on the final verse of the ancient Ritual. The meddling presence must be ignored, he reminded himself.
He knew what the beast was : Mother said it was the Humanity in him. The weak, mortal side which was manipulated, used, and toyed like a worthless scientific experiment; the fragile soul which cried for sanity, but offered otherwise whenever it resurfaced. It condemned his actions, and cursed him for the sufferings he had caused since the day Nibelheim burnt to the ground.
Mother said that Humanity was nothing more than evil and greed. It must be discarded and eradicated for the rebirth.
A birth in a cradle forged from the flames of burning towns and flowing rivers of blood.
But was the death of hundreds entirely his fault? Was the slaughter necessary in his quest for what was truly his? Must sacrifices be made in order for him to secure his place amongst the heavens?
An image flashed in his mind; one of a girl kneeling in prayer, her face so calm and peaceful, and forever smiling lovingly.
She was only twenty-two.
Guilty, he was, for murdering her in such a cold-blooded manner, the beast accused.
Condemnations, accusations.. is that what the beast was only truly capable of, besides causing imaginary wounds? So as long as the monster resided in him, he was eternally mocked, scolded and blamed. A frail mind could only take so much torture and sleepless nights. Only Mother's sweet voice could soothe the hurt he felt - a voice brimming with hope, promise, of godhood and everything he had never dreamt of.
Mother told him to forget.
Forget your Humanity, dear child, because you were never one. It had brought you nothing but loneliness, sadness, frustration and pain.
He would forgive and forget the past once he achieved his Destiny. He would ensure a new beginning for all. A chance for redemption for those who have sinned, just as he. A chance to right what was wrong. A chance.. for the Future - a future full of Mother's undying love.
Was that not what that Cetra prayed for? A world full of love?
Was that the reason why she willingly sacrificed herself?
That question would remain unanswered for eternity.
Once again, the beast clawed at him with its invisible paws, the searing pain pulling him away from his reverie. Another rumble on the ground forced him back to reality. Ragged breaths escaping from his lips, he realized he needed strength, and more importantly, hope, to overcome the last hurdle of his journey. It was becoming exceedingly difficult to even hold onto any thoughts, and he was slipping dangerously close into unconsciousness. Victory was finally at hand, after five tortuous years of travelling, searching, fighting and bloodshed. The finishing line was at sight.
Looking up, beyond the shroud of dark energy intimately clinging onto his skin, he took a deep breath, and slowly rose to his feet. Mother's destiny had been stalled for nearly two thousand years, and his, for almost three decades. Time no longer held any true meaning, for once he succeeded, it would not matter - ever.
Love did have a meaning. It mattered to her.
She sacrificed herself for love.
Nonsense, Mother scolded. Indeed. The past must be forgotten.
Meteor loomed precariously close, and he thought he could actually touch the fumes blending with the reddish aura surrounding it. The surface wavered and churned like an early morning fog, materializing and diffusing away in rhythmic waves. The heat was becoming unbearable, the ground on which he stood was fast being swallowed and disappearing down the seventy floors.
Now, Mother's voice commanded.
So cold, he thought.
Mother's voice was soft, gentle and comforting. But it was always cold.
For the last time, he spread his arms as though he was welcoming the heavens for an embrace. He let the winds blow, and the bits of debris rain down on him - It did not matter to him anymore. His visage, clouded by a shadowy luminescence, was now one of complete peace and calm, no longer distraught nor anguished. Eyes closed, a smile etched on his gleeful face, the frowns and creases on his forehead had seemingly melted away, the slightly disheveled silver hair slapping lazily against his back, accentuating the blackness of his uniform, he looked almost angelic in appearance. With careful pronunciation, and a smooth flow of words, his lips parted once more. His voice no longer quivered, instead, they rose in tone and intensity, as the moment of truth neared.
"The Great One summons,
Ultimate Destructive Magic, fulfil thy destiny!
The storm above raged on, never showing any signs of abatement. The winds continued to pound at his frame with full fury, allowing waves of heat to bathe and burn every inch of his exposed body. The monster within seemed to have been forgotten for the moment.
So painfully hot, as though the gates of Hell had just opened before him. So chillingly cold, his Mother was. Could there ever be a compromise?
But was there not warmth in the eyes of that Cetra before her death, as she stared through closing eyelids at his gloating form? She was smiling, right till her last breath, wasn't she?
Warmth from her eyes, from her lips, from her soul.
Was that.. love?
"Lead your Master to His ascension to Go-"
A deafening roar suddenly filled the air, the powerful vibrations resounding throughout the continent and beyond. Then silence.
Tornadoes continued to whirl, carrying more chunks of broken mortar and concrete higher into the skies. Earthquake shook the ground, leaving behind spreading cracklines and new fiery spouts. More explosions around him, sending dust, glass and metal fragments plummeting into the chaos below.
But there were no sounds. Only his heartbeat was heard.
His sandblasted skin prickled with unfamiliar sensations. A slightly cooler draft blew against his back, and he felt a sigh emanating from the same direction. His throat suddenly became dry, his breathing came to a halt, his frantic eyes widened in realization as he stared in utter horror at the distant horizon.
It had awakened.
Dread filled him to the very core.
In the next moment, his world became white. Pure, brilliant white blinded everything else, flooding his senses, consuming his consciousness, and devouring his entire being.
But there was no pain, no agony...
The same warmth from her eyes, from her lips, from her soul.
Was that.. love?
Little Rusaki struggled to catch up with the First Elder. Her body was still half-asleep, and the sun had barely just passed over the hilltops beyond. However ancient the Great Nanaki was, his strength never seemed to have left his agile limbs. Even that single one eye, which had become jaded and emotionless over the passing seasons, still bore that youthful, feral glow in it.
"Grandpa.. please wait for me!"
But the Elder ignored the child's pleas, and did not even halt for a moment. He continued his ascent up the rocky slope, nimbly launching himself upwards from unstable, falling stones. Rusaki stumbled and fell, but she gritted her fangs and steeled herself for the nearly-impossible journey to the pinnacle of the hill.
Gasping for air, she finally did reach her destination. Her brother too, was exhausted from the long climb, and was gently licking his blistered paws. He mewled pathetically as the wounds continued to burn and sear his skin.
"Rrrraaaaoooowwwwwuuuu..." was all her younger sibling could growl in amazement and wonder, as they beheld the breathtaking sight in front of them.
A magnificient city lay sprawled before their very eyes. The pearl white walls have withstood the raves of time, and long crumbled into nothingness, its surface marred by cracks and lush overgrowth. It was as though the forests had claimed the entire region as its own, and swallowed the lower half of the whole city. Strange twisted structures protruded in many different angles, and even stranger-looking shapes hung from a huge, broken plate found atop the decaying metropolis.
To Rusaki, the sight was eerily unnatural. It was unlike any villages she had ever seen. There were no homes made of stone, no pavements carved from rock, not even the usual bushes which should be interspersed amongst cavernous buildings. It looked... dead.
She realized her brother felt the same way : awed, but slightly frightened. Her anxious gaze turned to her grandfather, who remained stoic and expressionless as he stood on all fours, proud and tall. A breeze blew, sending his fiery mane trailing behind him like a river of blood. His flaming tail flicked nervously.
A flock of geese flew overhead, creating a cacophony of honking above them. Rusaki flinched and wanted to cover her ears with her paws to block off the deafening noise. But the Elder's voice stopped her from doing so.
"The cycle of Life must never be broken, and we must be grateful to God for the circumstances we were brought here today."
Both children stared questioningly at their grandfather in silence.
Nanaki sighed heavily, perhaps in slight irritation that his descendants were so oblivious to the obvious. He then turned his head towards Rusaki and Rusaka, baring his fangs in a gentle, fatherly smile. They looked so adorable with their large, shining golden eyes, filled with youth and playfulness.
"Once, long ago, this world almost perished in the hands of its inhabitants, and the cycle of Life was fragmented."
Rusaki had learnt well of the Ancient Tome of History, but she was still horrified by the terrors which was once wrought upon their home. She wondered about the heartless, foolish creatures who dared threaten even their own existence. The very thought of a slow, agonizing death of the beloved Mother Planet sent shivers down her spine. It was absolutely insane.
Madness, it was.
"But God was merciful. He sent forth His image to claim back what belonged to Mother Planet..."
"... and fulfilled the prophecy of the Promised Land!" Rusaka chirped in happily, confident that he too, had memorized his lessons well. Nanaki nodded in acknowledgement, secretly relieved that his grandchildren were not as ignorant as he thought them to be.
"Indeed. Now we prevail in His divinely image, and follow His ways - the ways of the undying love of Mother Planet."
Nanaki heaved in a deep breath, and thought his lungs ached with old age. A low chuckle escaped his throat.
"We are the Children of Mother Planet herself, and we must ensure that the cycle of Life would never break again... ever."
Rusaki found herself mumuring in deep thought, "And therefore, we must be grateful to God for what we have today, by taking good care of Mother, and protecting her from any harm."
She suddenly beamed with enlightenment and understanding. "I understand now, Grandpa!"
"M... Me too!" Rusaka shouted back, although the frown on his small furry face showed otherwise.
Nanaki threw his head up high to the heavens and bellowed out a laughter. The echo could be heard for miles. Such was the greatness of the First Elder, whose wisdom spread far and wide across the continents, and whose gentle voice resounded throughout the lands.
"And... this... this must be the place of His Rebirth!" she remarked gleefully, gesturing at the scene below, as she recollected the pictures from the Ancient Tome of Religion. Her memories of past lessons were coming back in leaps and bounds, and she was very pleased. Perhaps her Teacher would give her a First Grade for this revelation.
Excitement brew from within her heart. The place of God's Rebirth! Countless legends spun tales of fierce battles fought over this holy land. The victories and losses, the triumphs and defeats... all in the name of His Rebirth. She could hardly wait to see the remaining of the ancient city, and to saviour the fact that she would be standing humbly before its grand entrance - even if it looked forsaken, and was in ruins.
Nanaki nodded solemnly, and noted that the sun had already risen high above the morning mists. For a moment, he wondered why the sight of passing white clouds brought forth a sudden, poignant emotion from within.
But the calls of the migrating geese awoken him from his reverie. Time had passed almost too quickly on this auspicious day, and he must resume his mission.
"Come now, children. It is time you set foot on his Birthplace, and be reborned in His image," Nanaki growled back as he sped off down the hill. The two cubs yelped out in surprise at their grandfather's sudden exit, and trudged behind willingly, anticipating an adventure of their lifetime.
Spring had come. Life has been renewed. Rejoice is in the hearts of every God's creatures.
Yet there was a special feeling in the air this time, subtle in its effect, but distinctly different than that of other seasons'.
There was warmth.
One could only wonder...
Was that.. love?
Author's Note : Thanks for reading! Feel free to distribute this fanfic, or host in your website if you have one. All I ask in return, is that you give credits to where they are due.
Comments and brickbats are welcomed, just send them to email@example.com Or visit my COLOURLESS DREAMS homepage at http://surf.to/Serena_Lee Warning, the FF-related pages MAY contain YAOI stuff. Viewer discretion is HIGHLY recommended.
Was there the Birth of A God? I leave that to your own interpretation. Anyway, this has been another of Serena's short-but-pretty-pointless-fanfic. Hope you liked it as much as I loved writing about Seph. Btw, the "Meteor Ritual" is a fictitious piece.. just something to fill up the gaps in-between ^_^
Serena Lee's Fanfiction