What Lies Within Chapter 1

By Shenara

I awake to the realization that my head is nearly splitting in half from a migraine.

::Get up you fool!:: The old voice is back and louder than ever.

My body is sore, but not as sore as I feel it should be. Using my hands, I prop myself into a sitting position.

Correction - I try to prop myself into a sitting position. In actuality, I only succed in falling back down and gasping in pain, as my headache worsens to an unbearable level.

::Weakling! You are weak, weak, weak, weak, WEAK!!!:: Silently, I tell the annoying voice to shut up and leave me alone. I open my eyes, and am greeted by blinding, red lights. I promptly shut them again, cursing whatever vengeful God is torturing me.

“I see that you’re finally awake.”

That other voice again… It can’t be...

“Well? Are you gonna talk to me, Sephiroth? Or is the Great General at a loss for words to give his second-in-command?”

I open my eyes again in amazement as I roll onto my side and lean on my elbow. This time I prepare for the pain and can see past the crimson light to shocks of glossy, black spikes.

It IS him. “Z-Zack?”

::Fool! Don't let him see you confused! Confusion is weakness!:: I force my eyes to focus on the man before me.

“The top-ranking Soldier…stuttering? My, my, what is the world coming to?” The handsome young man gives me a winning grin, one of his old trademarks.

“But... you’re dead," I struggle to get the sentence out clearly, and manage to keep my voice firm and strong.

::Hmph! That's better.::

The voice quiets down and I continue, "I... killed you five years ago in—“

“Nibelheim? Wrong Seph. You hurt me pretty bad, but you certainly didn’t kill me. I was still alive, if barely conscious, when you stormed down the steps in the reactor and Cloud took you on. Gotta say, I didn’t know the kid had it in him, although I’m sure glad he did. We couldn’t of had you running around the world in your state now could we?” Zack chuckles quietly as he leans against a wall of red rock. “Ah... five years. Geez. Time sure flies, huh, Seph?”

Five years... If I’d known you were alive...

::Fool! Idiot! Weakling! You did fine without this worthless human!:: I wince as the voice reverberates through my skull.

I glare suspiciously at Zack, “Why are you acting so friendly? I tried to kill you. Aren’t you—“

“Mad? Nah. Sure I was - for a little while. But considering I was the one who attacked you in the first place... well being angry didn’t really seem very constructive. After all - we're friends, right?" Zack's gaze drops to the floor, "I couldn’t let you get away with doing that to all those people, though.” Zack’s voice drops as he finishes, his beautiful baritone lilting sadly.

::He's not your friend! He lies! He will only attack you again if you let him!::

I angrily tell the voice to be quiet and continue to glare at Zack, “Those pathetic humans? They were—“

“Worthless? What makes you say that, Seph? What makes you so different?” Zack’s voice echoes through the room, booming, as it always used to when he got mad.

::See! He is a fool! You are a God! God's need no friends!::

Ignoring the voice, I smile softly. You always did yell about the stupidest things, Zack... I banish the smile angrily and glare at Zack, “What makes us the same? I’m no pathetic human, nor am I a lowly Cetra either.” I sit up completely, my headache finally gone.

“Yeah, yeah I know. The blood of Jenova runs through your veins, right? Look Seph you’re as human as me and every other member of Soldier… well maybe a little bit less. We all had Jenova in us though. It was part of Hojo’s ‘special training,’ remember?” Zack waves his arms ridiculously, emphasizing his statements.

::He lies! You are the child of Jenova! Chosen to rule the Planet!::

“They may have been injected with cells from Mother, but none of them are attuned to the power of Jenova as I am.” I rise to my feet and glare down at Zack. “I can control those fools.” I look around the room and find I am in a cavern of red rock. The bright light jumps from flames that shoot out from the walls with no apparent source. “I don’t remember seeing this place on any of my journeys. Where are we?” I walk up to the flames. They give off no heat and I begin to study them intently.

“That’s a little difficult to explain.” Zack walks up next to me and daringly sticks his hand into the flames and then pulls it back out unscathed.. “See? No burn.”

::He is too close! He has invaded your space! He hasn't the right to stand so close to you!::

Zack chuckles as I look at him, thoroughly unamused.

“An illusion.”

Zack nods his head, his spikes bobbing. “Yeah, basically. The Ancients set this all up.”

“The Cetra? Hmph. How did I get here?” I look at Zack accusingly.

“Hey don’t give me that look! I had nothing to do with it. It was all the Cetra, I swear! If I’d had my way…” Zack trailed off shrugging his shoulders nonchalantly.

“If you’d had your way… you mean you met them—the Cetra?!” My eyes widen slightly in disbelief.

::He is lying! Kill the infidel for showing you this disrespect!:: I growl inwardly at the voice. There is no reason for me to kill Zack.

“Yeah. They’re pretty mean when you don’t speak their language, but I had a translator. You know her, I believe.” Zack’s voice drops dangerously low and his hands clench violently into fists, the knuckles growing white.

::He's going to attack you! Kill him, before he has a chance!:: The muscles in my arms tense quickly, and my fist jumps a few inches, but I catch myself and hold still.

Zack slowly unclenches his fists and looks up at me with a grin. “But there won’t be any more of that now. You’re going to be a good boy as long as I’m around. I’ll make sure of it this time.”

::See how condescending he is! He speaks to you like you are a mutt, and thinks to control you!:: Shut up.

I raise an eyebrow at Zack’s declaration. “And what makes you so sure you can stop me?”

Zack somehow manages to grin wider. “Well if I’m right about you, then I won’t need to.” He starts walking to the exit. “Come on, we should be going. We’ve already spent way too long in this room." His pace quickens at his own words. "If we don’t hurry up it’ll catch us.”

::Don't listen to him! It's a lie!::

I begin to follow Zack down the winding corridor, easily matching his pace, “What’ll catch us?”

Chapter 2

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic