Chapter 9: Return of the Legacy
Cloud made it back to Tifa’s in New Nibelheim, and spent the night there to rest. The next morning they woke up, and they both went upstairs, Tifa getting breakfast ready. Tifa asked “Cloud, what’s wrong? You’ve been out of sorts since yesterday.” Cloud shook his head “I… I’m fine, it’s just that JENOVA… all of them, they’re all back. That thing that crashed behind us two days ago? That was her. She flew away after you left, and she acted like I wasn’t even there.” Tifa asked “Again? But didn’t you kill her several years ago before those silver haired men showed up?” Cloud nodded “I did, but I guess she’s back… and Sephiroth, and the rest of them. They’re all here now. And JENOVA looked different somehow, she was booming with silver radiance… like she was stronger or something. This weird silver ring was also above her head.” Tifa replied “Did she gain a new form again? It sounds different than what we fought before.” Cloud answered “I don’t know, but seems like it. How am I supposed to beat all five of them? There’s no way I can—“ Tifa interrupted “No, Cloud. Only kill Sephiroth and JENOVA—don’t hurt the kids, even if Sephiroth is their father. Remember what we talked about?” Cloud stopped to think, then answered “Ohh, right… but how do we get them away from Sephiroth and JENOVA? They’re the parents of those three. And if they see us kill their parents, there’s no way they’ll want us.” Tifa agreed “Right. We’ll have to set them up to separate them from the parents… I bet Barret might be willing to cooperate and help, even if he is stubborn.” Cloud shrugged “Well, we don’t have many other options, so let’s go find him.” Tifa nodded, and continued cooking breakfast after they finished talking.
(Back to Sephiroth and remnants scenario) I didn’t have any dreams that night, either. However, I heard Sephiroth’s voice in my sleep, and his words were “The Infinite Reunion fixes all, restores the Planet and the Cetra to its beginnings.” I had a faint image of some kind of small stone tablet that looked like a small monument with a language inscribed on it that I didn’t understand or recognize. It looked like some ancient writing, and was glowing a bright blue as if infused with some kind of special power. But I woke up immediately after getting a brief glimpse of it, and saw Sephiroth sitting right in front of me. To my surprise, Kadaj and Loz had also gotten up before I did this time. Sephiroth asked “You ready to go? We cant play around. If we stay too long, the man might leave our target area.” I replied “Yeah, let’s go. I wanna find Mother and finish this.” Sephiroth stood up, and the rest of us got up and followed him through the ruined area. We did a lot of climbing over destroyed train cars and other large smashed objects. The ground was also very unstable, all cracked and had some holes in certain places that were too dark to see the bottom. I couldn’t believe the mess “Geeze… what the heck did they do? This place is a disaster.” Loz added “Yeah, I’m glad I wasn’t here when that happened. Nasty…” I couldn’t get the image of that monument I saw in my dream out of my head. I didn’t understand why. Sephiroth’s words I’d heard during that short dream also kept going through my mind. I suddenly decided to ask “Hey Sephiroth, what’s the Infinite Reunion? I never heard of it.” Sephiroth sighed “So you saw it in a dream, didn’t you?” I kept silent, knowing he was aware of what I experienced. Sephiroth explained “The Infinite Reunion is a very special secret of the legacy, and the only thing capable of directly returning our race and the legacy to its natural state. However, there is only one way it can be activated, and a lot of special things are required for it to work. It’s not like materia, which can be easily used once equipped; it requires a special process in order to work. You saw the inscription on the monument, didn’t you?” I nodded “I did, but I couldn’t read it at all… Sorry.” Sephiroth continued “Don’t worry, it’s alright. I can read it, or I could, anyhow… my Jenovian is a bit rusty after being asleep for so long and only having that brief awakening to fight the man that threatens us. But, I do remember this: that inscription contains the instructions on how to activate the Infinite Reunion. It’s all written on the monument you saw in your dream.” Kadaj asked “But, Big Brother… does that monument and the Infinite Reunion really exist?” Sephiroth replied “I don’t know… I cant remember. All I remember is something happened long before Mother and me were found out, and I sealed away a great family secret long ago in order to save the Cetra from destruction. I’m sorry.” I suggested “So its just a legend?” Sephiroth replied “I don’t know, but worst case scenario, looking for it regardless might save all of us.” Loz agreed “It sure sounds like it would… but why would Yazoo have a dream about if it’s only a legend?” Sephiroth explained “I don’t know if it is or if it isnt, but if Yazoo is having dreams about it, we might find the truth about the matter later on. I have a feeling that truth will be crucial to saving the legacy and Mother. So Yazoo, if you see anything else about it, I need you to tell me as much as you can, ok? This might be something very important.” I agreed “I will… I promise.” We went the rest of the trip in silence, and came to a town that looked similar to the old Nibelheim place we went during the rescue mission for Mother, and found Kadaj. Sephiroth said “This is it… New Nibelheim. Though it’s hardly different from the original town, this is it. But the area is so quiet… I wonder what happened.” We followed Sephiroth deeper into the town, and I saw a dead body somewhere ahead, to my side. I pointed at it “Look, Sephiroth!” Sephiroth approached the body and examined it “Ugh, that wound… no human did this.” Loz asked “Was Mother already here?” Sephiroth stood up and came back to us “I don’t know, but watch for trails of green and black—those are Mother’s cells. But looking at the wound on that man… it matches Mother’s metal stick perfectly… It would be hard to believe anyone else did that, especially given the depth. That was brutal.” Kadaj worried “Is she suffering?” Sephiroth sighed “I hope not… if she went on a rampage demanding answers about my location, we have to find her quickly. I don’t want her to get hurt…” I asked “But isnt Mother too powerful for any human to stand up to alone?” Sephiroth nodded slowly “Normally, yes. But strength isnt what I’m concerned about. If Mother runs wild and fails to contain her rage, worst-case scenario is her fury will release a massive energy burst that will result in a cataclysm; a JENOVA cataclysm—not your average fury of nature by itself. Cataclysms produced by Mother’s fury can tear anything apart—even ruining the toughest of ground.” I asked “Are we immune to that damage?” Sephiroth replied “Unfortunately, no. This one is too great for even me to handle well. Even for our dear Mother, the release is too extreme. She’ll exhaust herself and be forced into a deep slumber if that happens.”Loz cried “No! We have to help her!” Loz took off further into the town, and I shouted “Loz, don’t do it! Wait!” He didn’t listen, and he jabbed the door to a house with his dual hound, bursting inside immediately. Sephiroth sighed and went after him without speaking. I shook my head and turned serious “Man is he dumb! He just went through an unsecure house without thinking! Kadaj, come with me before something happens.” I led the way, and we went inside of the house Loz broke into. I saw the same blonde man we ran into before we jumped the cliff standing ahead of us, holding Loz by his throat. He reached for the big sword over his back, and Sephiroth punched him. He was caught off guard, and dropped Loz, who fell to the floor coughing and gasping for air. Sephiroth drew his masamune and pointed it at the man to keep him down. I hurried to Loz with Kadaj by my side, and asked “Hey, are you alright?” He coughed and nodded “I think so… I can barely breathe…” Kadaj knelt down in front of him to help, and I went behind Sephiroth, drawing my revolver in case the man attacked again. Sephiroth threatened “What do you think you’re doing to my Little Brother? Havent you ever heard the saying never pick on a kid? You of all people in this world… trying to choke a little boy to death. Shame on you.” The man protested “No, it was an accident. I thought he was you when he just broke in like that!” Sephiroth ignored him “Silence! Not another word. I don’t need your excuses. Where was Mother when you saw her land? Where did she go?” The man’s expression hardened “Like I’m gonna tell you! Ask me all you want. I’m not giving you what you want!” Sephiroth laughed under his breath “As I figured… you’re too predictable, Cloud. But that doesn’t change anything. I wont move from this spot until you answer my question.” I said “This guy’s name is Cloud?” I suddenly realized he wasn’t even trying to fight back and grew suspicious “And why is he just sitting there looking at Big Brother instead of putting up a fight? Sephiroth… doesn’t something seem off about that?” He immediately knew what I was talking about and turned angry “You… you want my young siblings who are behind me, don’t you? I wont allow it..! A sick traitor like you will only ruin my precious brothers and sister!” Cloud replied “Me? You think I’d make monsters out of them? Look at you! You’ll teach them its ok to kill people and start a fight with anyone just to get your way! You call that being a good example, Sephiroth? There’s nothing right about that!” Sephiroth angrily snapped at him “You know nothing..!” He kicked Cloud in the stomach, and Cloud winced, spitting out blood. Sephiroth changed the subject quickly “Enough talking! Tell me where Mother went!” Cloud answered “Fine… she landed around the cliff you jumped and flew away. I don’t know anything else, so just leave… get out of here…” Sephiroth lowered his katana and turned back to us after sheathing it “I think he’s telling the truth about that. We’re done here… almost.” He suddenly turned back to Cloud and grabbed him by the neck, squeezing as hard as he could. He held him for a while, and then punched him in the face and kicked him once again before throwing him to the ground. He went back to us and led the way out of the house. I had never seen Sephiroth so angry. He was almost always very calm and kind when he was with us. I had a feeling something happened between the two of them that left him really upset to the point where it was impossible for him to recover. Kadaj asked “Big Brother… what’s wrong? You never act that scary.” He sighed and seemed to feel bad “I’m sorry, Little Sister. I didn’t mean to scare you or my young Brothers when I behaved that way. It’s a long story, and a painful one, but to keep things in your understanding since you’re each still children, that man and myself… we had an accident many years ago. I’ve felt that way towards him ever since then. But why he wants you three is beyond me, especially given me and him are worst enemies. That doesn’t make any sense.” Loz groaned “Ugh! Now we have this scary guy and Shinra after us? No fair!” I shook my head “I have a bad feeling about that man… I don’t know why, but I sense awful danger when I look at him…” Kadaj asked “But why did he just let you beat him up? Isnt it normal to fight back?” Sephiroth shrugged “Another question I cant answer, as much as I’d like to. But I took advantage of that and left him with a mark that time. We cant worry about that fool right now. We’ve gotta find out where Mother went… and find a way to reach the Northern Cave as she ordered. Hopefully that was her voice and not Shinra compromising my abilities to set us up…” I worried “Oh no… are you sure this isnt another trap?” Sephiroth replied “I don’t know, but if it’s really Mother, we have to trust the intel and take the chance. There’s no reward without any risk in this life.” Loz was fearful “Ohh man… I don’t want that to happen all over again! That was awful…” We walked for a very long time after leaving New Nibelheim, and kept going until we reached the cliff where we jumped before. I glanced where the bridge was and shrugged “Looks like we cant get across now… what happened?” Sephiroth approached a large crater where a small, run-down mysterious silver ship resting. It was smoking as if there was an explosion or it had overheated. We followed Sephiroth and studied the silver ship with him. Kadaj said “This was Mother’s… she really did land here.” Sephiroth agreed “Yes, it is true. But it’s too small to fit four… she was probably in a rush.” I asked “But why? Was she being chased?” Sephiroth shook his head “I doubt it. If anything followed her from the cosmos, we’d have a big mess showing a sign of a struggle between opposing great powers. I don’t see anything that shows such a thing here.” Loz grumbled “Well, shouldn’t we at least check the inside to see if she left anything behind?” Sephiroth agreed “That’s a great idea. Loz, can you investigate for me?” He nodded silently and went inside. He came back out shortly after, holding a small stone tablet with familiar inscription on it. I gasped “Hey, that’s…” Sephiroth took it from him kindly, and finished “This is the same monument you saw in your dream?” I answered “Yeah, but smaller than the one I saw… otherwise it looks the same. Can you read it?” Sephiroth studied it for several minutes “Oh dear… I think I need to refresh my memory. I cant remember how to read this…” Kadaj complained “Aww man… I bet it’s something really important, too.” Sephiroth apologized “I’m very sorry, my Sister… I know it’s important. We’ll have to return to the mansion in old Nibelheim and call it a day. I should be able to review this language there.” I understood “Alright, let’s go then. Should we call that our hideout? Hardly anyone lives around there now.” Sephiroth agreed “Excellent suggestion, my Brother. Let’s call that our home for now, even if it is a bit run-down.” Sephiroth led us back to the mansion after that, and that ended up being when he put the three of us to bed and sat in the hallway to study the inscription we found in Mother’s ship. It was a long walk back home, but we managed as usual. I wanted to relax and just drift off to sleep, but I couldn’t get the way Sephiroth treated the man named Cloud out of my mind. I never saw him so angry or lash out at anyone like that. I remembered the first dream I had before our mission began, and realized he was the same person who was holding my dying Sister Kadaj; the same man I desperately tried to finish off before everything went black. I moaned “Ungh… he’s the same guy…” Sephiroth overheard me and came into the bedroom to check on me “What’s wrong?” I realized Kadaj and Loz were already asleep and answered “The guy named Cloud… he’s the same person I saw in my dream before I woke up in that shiny blue forest. He was holding Kadaj, and she was dying… I tried to kill him, but everything went black and that’s when I woke up. Me and Loz keep having dreams about people we ended up seeing in real life later on… I don’t understand why. I just hope that dream doesn’t end up coming true… Mother would be so sad..!” I realized I was crying again, and Sephiroth picked me up to calm me “Just take it easy. I know why it all bothers you, Yazoo… but be strong. You can do it. You can protect Kadaj and the rest of us, I know you can. Just trust yourself and your potential.” I sniffled and calmed down “Right… good night, Big Brother.” He gently laid me back down and smiled sweetly at me “Good night, Little Brother. Just take it easy. You’ll understand it once you get older.” I smiled back, and he went back to the hall to sit down and study the stone tablet Loz discovered. I ended up falling asleep seconds later.
To Be Continued…