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The Fifth Act, Chapter 3

Title: The Fifth Act

Rating:
T for violence.

Summary: FFVII Time-travel.  Gen.  Cloud has an accident with a Time Materia.

Author's Note:  Okay, let's get this ball rolling!

Previous Chapter 
 

 

__________________

The Fifth Act

Chapter 3


__________________

 

The next time Cloud set up camp, he made sure it was a little further away from ShinRa’s base of operations. He didn’t particularly want Genesis, and by extension, Genesis’s questions, to bother him again, and he didn’t want any Wutai ninja prowling around to think him a member of the enemy, either. Months of Yuffie trying to make off with his belongings had him confident that no one could slit his throat in his sleep, but he’d just as soon have nothing disturb his rest at all.

 

That was one of the disadvantages of going on missions solo - there was nobody to take watch for you. Even enhanced, Cloud could go only a week without sleep, and by the end of that week he wouldn’t be of much use to anyone. Which was unfortunate, as he needed to be rested and on his toes, because apparently he’d jumped the gun and arrived in Wutai well before his target.

 

His stupidity didn’t stop there. In a burst of sentimentality, he had cured Genesis! How would curing the commander of the Wutai campaign help in bringing a stop to the war? If anything, he’d just made things worse. And to add to his problems, he now had no idea of when Sephiroth would turn up – if he turned up at all! 

 

Would he be better off waiting here in hope, or heading to Midgar? How long did the Wutai conflict last previously, anyway? He knew once Sephiroth entered the fray in the past, the war came to a swift and brutal end, but had no idea of what preceded that. Everything he heard had been from Zack, who’d only arrived after Genesis’s desertion. A desertion which he may have now very well prevented.

 

He was a failure. Only a couple of weeks in the past, and he was already screwing everything up.

 

Cloud roasted the salvaged thunderbird carcass with his Fire materia, gloomily contemplating the legendary SOLDIER Commander. The memories of his trooper days were still patchy, true, but he was surprised he could have forgotten the man – he had roughed him up more than once, after all. Yet instead of animosity upon recognition, he had found himself filled with sympathy.

 

They were a little alike, after all – both used and abandoned by ShinRa, and degradation was so similar to the slow death of Geostigma… and the Genesis he remembered had never done anything so terrible to him personally that he could recall. Cloud wasn’t so petty as to hold a grudge when he’d realistically just been a trooper in the wrong place at the wrong time, and those memories weren’t terribly clear anyway. It cost nothing to give the man one of the vials of Aeris’s water.

 

Except now he may have doomed Wutai, and had no idea how to tackle his true foe. 

 

Maybe he should kill Genesis? If the Commander died in action, ShinRa would send Sephiroth as they did before.

 

…No. Genesis shouldn’t have to die, not when he’d been given a second chance. He wouldn’t desert ShinRa, but he also wouldn’t get involved in Deep Ground. And while Cloud might have worsened Wutai’s problems, at the very least he’d erased a threat to the planet. In the muddled mess of his consciousness he could recall something of the SOLDIER First planning to bring the world down with him, and while he obviously never came as close as Sephiroth, it would be one less problem he needed to deal with later.

 

He still didn’t know how it all worked, though. The thought was enough to keep him occupied long after his stomach was filled and he settled down to rest for the night.  Wasn't he essentially a walking paradox?  His very presence changed things – he shouldn't exist.  It made his head hurt.  And he didn't want to contemplate the possibility of coming across a younger version of himself, either.  He would be barely twelve years old.  His younger self hadn't even heard of General Sephiroth yet.  That newspaper wouldn't turn up for several months.

 

Sephiroth. Cloud’s eyes narrowed at the thought of the name, and he rolled onto his side, fingers gripping the hilt of First Tsurugi like a security blanket. 

 

He’d considered his options thoroughly on the long journey to Wutai. The easiest way to change everything was to kill the man responsible for Meteor.  And then Hojo, so he couldn't create more clones.  And then Jenova, so no other crazy scientists would get the idea to use her cells creatively.  The threat to the planet with the draining of mako would still be there, but there were ways he could try and stop that.  Aeris was still alive.  She would have ideas, and so would Reeve.

 

Except Sephiroth wasn’t in Wutai. And now, maybe wouldn’t be. But if he wasn’t going to kill Genesis, then he couldn’t do anything other than wait.

 

With a sigh, Cloud sat back up, checked his gear, and headed away from the small clearing he’d made camp in. He wasn’t going to be getting any sleep on that uneven ground with so many dark thoughts whirling in his head. The time would be better spent training, or doing reconnaissance of the area. Sephiroth might still come to Wutai. And when he did, Cloud would be ready. 

 

He wouldn’t fail this time. He wouldn’t add to his sins any longer.

 

 

...................

 

 

ShinRa’s main office was busier than usual – the logistics of running a war, especially one so far away, kept entire departments in overtime. And just because they were running a war didn’t mean they could ignore domestic matters, either. With so many Firsts in Wutai, SOLDIER was especially short-handed.

 

Which made it all the more remarkable that Sephiroth was on stand-by

 

Stand-by! It wasn’t that the Silver General didn’t understand the logic behind the order – it made sense they wanted him available for deployment at the drop of a hat. But that was what a PHS was for, and in the meantime he was stuck in his office, unable to take on any meaningful missions. Every request he made to Heidegger’s staff – because apparently Heidegger was too busy to even see the General - got turned down flat, and then countered with a suggestion that he oversee the Security Department’s training, or put in an appearance to raise the morale of the cadets, or attend a press conference on the progress of the war. All activities that were only slightly worse than doing absolutely nothing at all.

 

He was trying to explain this with what he thought to be exemplary patience to his old friend, and illogically didn’t appear to be making much progress. 

 

“You know not every mission necessarily involves exterminating monsters. There’s more to being a SOLDIER than just fighting,” Angeal pointed out.

 

“Yes. As you’ve drummed into my head,” he responded wryly. “But you do agree that a SOLDIER First Class is overkill for an infestation of-” Here he checked the dispatch. “-razor weed.”

 

“Razor weed?” Angeal had the nerve to look amused. “I imagine it’ll flee at just the sight of you. At least it will be quick.”

 

He threw the dispatch back onto the table in disgust. “What is Heidegger thinking? There is supposed to be a war going on.”

 

“Let Genesis worry about that. It’s our duty to keep things running smoothly at home.”

 

“By doing useless things.”

 

“You could help out with training the cadets or lower ranks for a change,” Angeal suggested. Sephiroth was just frustrated enough to actually consider it, even if he knew the exercise would only involve a bunch of rookies going slack-jawed, stuttering, and generally putting in a more pitiful performance than usual due to nerves. 

 

He was one step away from condemning himself willingly to such a sight when a shrill ring pierced the tranquillity of the office. He nodded once to Angeal, who leaned back in his chair to wait out the call, and fetched the phone from its cradle. “Yes?”

 

"Sephiroth."

"Genesis," he greeted, surprised, though far too trained to show it in his voice. Angeal raised an eyebrow and leaned in again. "Aren't you supposed to be in Wutai?" Regular communications were down – Wutai’s first act had been to knock the towers out.

"I am in Wutai," he drawled.  "I'm back at base, in the communications tent. They finally got the damn thing working."

Sephiroth frowned.  "Is something the matter?  The campaign isn't going well?" The reports had them coming out successful from every skirmish so far.

"Oh, the campaign is fine.  Do you doubt my abilities?"
 

"I'm not sure.  Is quoting Loveless at the enemy an effective tactic?"
 

He could hear Genesis scoff, though half of it was swallowed by static and Angeal’s chuckle in the background.  "You're not the only one capable of being a hero, old friend."
 

"Then why the call?"

A long silence followed - so long that Sephiroth found himself checking that the connection hadn't died.  Eventually, Genesis said, "You should come to Wutai."
 

It was a startling request, at odds with the news of the campaign going smoothly.  "You miss me that much?"
 

Another scoff.  "Hardly."
 

"Then why?"
 

The silence stretched even longer this time.  Whatever it was, it must have bothered Genesis deeply.  "I came across a rogue SOLDIER."

 

“A rogue SOLDIER?” Sephiroth slanted a look at Angeal, who just shrugged. “I don’t recall any outstanding deserters.” There had been a few on the declaration of war, but you couldn’t just quit SOLDIER. They’d been dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly. 

 

“He insists he’s not SOLDIER, but I don’t know what else he could be.” 

 

Interesting. “You fought then?”

 

“In a manner of speaking.” The words were airy and dismissive, implying Genesis had merely played with this mystery SOLDIER, but Sephiroth knew that if his old friend had won easily he would not hesitate to brag. So, the stranger was a match for Genesis.

 

“Wutai is hiring mystery mercenaries then? That information is better suited for the Turks, you know, not my personal phone line.”

 

“He was asking after you.”

 

Angeal sat at full attention now. Sephiroth frowned, swivelling his chair to the side to avoid the look he was sure to be getting. “Description.”

 

“Dresses in black. Blond hair, the most ridiculous style you’ve ever seen. Really, it’s worse than Angeal’s Puppy. And he wears a shoulder guard on his left side only, has a wolf motif going on. Single earring. Rather stylish. You’d probably be jealous.”

 

“Spare me your fashion editorials, please.” Sephiroth pinched the bridge of his nose, but the gesture reminded him too much of those bookkeepers in accounting, so he moved to rest his fingers on the table instead. The description didn’t ring any bells. “What made you think he was SOLDIER?”

 

“Mako eyes.”

 

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow and glanced back at Angeal, knowing he could hear the conversation easily – not much escaped a First Class’s hearing. “A name?”

 

“Strife.”

 

“That’s all?”

 

“Last name. Isn’t that enough for the great General Sephiroth?”

 

Sephiroth rolled his eyes and turned to his computer, tapping through the commands with one hand. His search came up empty. “There’s no one in the database.”

 

“It could be a fake,” Angeal suggested.

 

“It isn’t.” Genesis sounded certain, but then, Genesis always talked like he was the absolute authority on everything right from the best choice of shoes to the artificial creation of materia.

 

Sephiroth narrowed his eyes, possibilities whirling through his head. “Is he dangerous?”

 

“Not to me.” Implying that he was to Sephiroth.  Interesting.

 

“I see. And was there anything else?”

 

A beat. “No.” Nothing he cared to share in that case, which only piqued his curiosity further.

 

“My gratitude for the information, then. Angeal is here – did you want to talk to him?”

 

“If he’s- actually, it appears that will have to wait.” Sephiroth could pick up shouting in the background. “Our friends in Wutai have decided to send another welcoming party. Time to go be a hero.” Gunfire rattled in the distance, and the line abruptly cut out. Sephiroth stared at the phone for a moment, then returned it to its cradle. 

 

“He’ll be fine. He’s taken on armies single-handedly in the simulations,” Angeal assured him.

 

“I’m not worried,” Sephiroth replied. And indeed, his thoughts were resting on another topic altogether.

 

It was a credit to their friendship that Angeal sensed this, and he leant back, the office chair squeaking protestingly under the heavyset SOLDIER. “You’re going, then?”

 

“It sounded like a request for assistance to me,” he offered.

 

Angeal smiled ruefully. “You know that isn’t going to fly with upper management.”

 

“Then I’ll be trusting you to make my excuses.”

 

The other SOLDIER could recognise a lost fight when he saw one, and threw up his arms in defeat. “Fine! We were supposed to send a couple of Seconds to relieve those injured on landing anyway. I’ll move the schedule up to tomorrow. At least that way you’ll have an excuse.”

 

There were times, Sephiroth reflected, that he didn’t appreciate Angeal’s friendship enough. He nodded his thanks, and turned his thoughts to what lay ahead.

 

It was only then he realised he had managed to get through the entire conversation without Genesis once quoting Loveless.

 

Clearly the stranger had left a strong mark. And that made it all the more interesting.

 

...................

 

 

Angeal was good to his word. At daybreak the next morning, Sephiroth accompanied the first delivery of supplies and relief from ShinRa headquarters; well before Heidegger and the other executives shuffled from their oversized four-poster beds.

 

The troops he escorted were made of better stuff, bright-eyed and filled with nervous energy. There was an interesting mix - a small collection of infantry from the engineering corps, uniformly bearing an air of quiet unease; a trio of green Thirds barely able to contain their eagerness to see real conflict, though Sephiroth suspected they’d change their tune quickly enough; a handful of Seconds who were mostly just annoyed at the abrupt change in their scheduled deployment. At least the Seconds didn’t stare at him or wonder aloud what the meaning behind the Silver General’s sudden deployment was. The Thirds obviously hadn’t yet cottoned on to the fact they weren’t the only ones with mako-enhanced hearing.

 

“-must be something big, maybe we’re not doing as well as we thought-”

 

“-special mission, he’s just using this as a ride there, Commander Rhapsodis-”

 

“-would hate to be the Wutai right now, can you imagine trying to avoid that sword-”

 

He was half of a mind to silence them, but green Thirds tended to have more pent-up energy than was good for them, and if they chose to spend it on pointless gossip he could care less. Sephiroth just crossed his arms and stared out the window, watching the ocean waves rage far beneath them. It took a day and a half to travel to Wutai from Midgar on a direct flight – with only a brief stop at Rocket Town to refuel. He’d slept for most of it so far, knowing there might not be much opportunity once they landed, but now only a couple of hours remained until their arrival.

 

He spent that time reviewing his conversation with Genesis in his head. The mere fact that his friend had thought to call, in the middle of an invasion no less, simply to tell him about his encounter spoke volumes. This ‘Strife’ character sounded like a strong opponent, and yet appeared to have no political affiliation? That, Sephiroth had difficulty believing. A warrior on such a level simply wouldn’t be allowed to exist outside of someone’s influence, ShinRa’s or otherwise.

 

The question then remained – was it ShinRa pulling the strings, or someone else? It occurred to him that rather than drawing him to the island, someone might have desired to draw him away from Midgar. If they thought his absence would make ShinRa headquarters an easier target, however, they would be sorely disappointed. Angeal was still there, along with a particularly promising selection of Seconds. No, there was another purpose to this Strife’s actions. One requiring Sephiroth in particular to reveal.

 

Angeal would tell him he was overanalysing, but he called it strategy. His information was limited – he had to get the most out of the resources available.

 

It got him out of the damned office, besides.

 

The co-pilot was making the rounds again. “Sir! We’ll be landing soon.”

 

He nodded once. “Thank you, Private.” The tension in the cabin jumped a notch as the SOLDIERs used to combat started mentally preparing themselves for a possible sortie, and the rookies suffered another attack of nerves. Sephiroth remained unconcerned. Genesis would keep the forward base camp in one piece – they weren’t likely to be fired at upon arrival.

 

True to his prediction, their landing was smooth and uninterrupted. As commanding officer, Sephiroth disembarked first. A familiar face waited for him on the tarmac.

 

When the war of the beasts brings about the world's end

 the goddess descends from the sky.

 

Loveless, Prologue. I’m flattered.”

 

Genesis smirked. “You really did come. Faster than I thought.” He looked pleased.

 

“I’m surprised you aren’t more upset. I thought you wanted all the glory for yourself,” Sephiroth reminded him lightly.

 

Three friends go into battle

One is captured

One flies away

the one that is left becomes a hero 

 

If we were to enact it

would I be the one to play the hero

Or would You?

 

“You’re welcome to it,” Sephiroth said simply. “I’ll just complete my business, and if you don’t have anything else for me to do, I’ll be on my way.”

 

“Oh, I’m sure I can find some way to make use of the great General Sephiroth.” 

 

His first instinct was to reply with a similarly sarcastic barb, but as he properly looked at his friend, the General found himself oddly bothered.

 

“Something’s different,” Sephiroth observed slowly. It was difficult to put his finger on it. The Commander had changed, but not in any immediately obvious way.

 

Genesis smiled, and that was different too – though it still held that mocking tilt to his lips, the bitterness normally accompanying the gesture was absent. He didn’t offer any explanation, however, implying Sephiroth had to figure it out on his own. He held a sense of vigour about him that had been absent since… since that fight in the Training Room. There was more colour to his complexion, and now he was thinking about it, hadn’t that shiny auburn hair been a little dull lately? “There’s an explanation, I trust?”

 

“I may share it with you later, if I’m feeling generous,” came the lofty reply. “But for now, let’s talk somewhere a little more private, shall we?”

 

Sephiroth followed his friend through the camp, observing the layout approvingly. The tents and buildings were uniform, which would afford some measure of protection against sneak attacks aimed at taking out the commanding officers – something eminently necessary if the scorched tent flaps and torn up earth were anything to go by. Fortunate then Heidegger remained in Midgar – his ostentatious manner of travelling was equivalent to flying a helicopter with a giant target painted on the underbelly. 

 

For all of his flair and grandstanding, the reminder that Genesis fought intelligently was comforting. And if his… liveliness – Sephiroth couldn’t think of a better word - were anything to go by, the assignment was doing him a world of good. “How’s the War progressing so far?”

 

“We’ve made good progress the past two days. The southernmost quarter is under our control now.” Genesis waved a trooper out of the way as they headed into the officer’s tent. “I’ll be leading the main force to occupy the village to the north-east at dawn tomorrow. We’ll launch our next wave of attacks from there.”

 

“You’re being quite thorough,” Sephiroth observed. “Surely it would be quicker to strike at the heart in one decisive blow.”

 

Genesis smirked. “And that is precisely what I intend to do- once the Turks provide evidence that Lord Godo is actually in the capital. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt to lull them into complacency, thinking that we intend to crawl our way to the north. It gives us more time to consolidate our resources too – while we remain victorious so far, we have suffered considerable damage in the process.” His grin turned sardonic. “Though I’m sure ShinRa paints it differently.”

 

“They talk as though you are cutting through butter,” Sephiroth confirmed.

 

Genesis scoffed. “Fantasy. Our enemy has the home ground advantage, and I don’t believe we’ve seen their whole hand yet, either. When the Wutai have their backs against the wall, they turn vicious, and they fight dirty.”

 

Amused, Sephiroth commented, “Sounds like someone I know.”

 

“It’s effective. Angeal’s honour wouldn’t last five minutes here.”

 

Another reason why Genesis had been a good choice. Though he doubted appropriateness for the job had ever entered the discussion. Heidegger didn’t operate like that. “So, are you going to tell me why I was summoned?”

 

Genesis draped himself over a chair, throwing his boots up onto the table and crossing his legs leisurely. With a coy smile, he asked, “Summoned you? I did no such thing.”

 

Sephiroth returned his coyness with a dry grin. “Come now. You can’t dangle bait like that and expect me to remain in Midgar, can you?”

 

A lazy shrug. “As you say, then. Though which one is being baited, hmm? Quietly, but surely…

 

As he suspected. Genesis lured him to Wutai for the sole purpose of learning more about this ‘Strife’. Obviously his old friend didn’t think he could solve the mystery of the blond warrior otherwise. Normally, Sephiroth would consider it a trifling distraction they could ill-afford to indulge in the middle of a war, but a rogue warrior of the same calibre as a SOLDIER First was not something they could ignore, not even in the face of possible conspiracy. Such a person, properly utilised, could turn the tide of the conflict.

 

“Are you going to tell me anything more about this man, then?” Genesis’ smirk grew. Sephiroth sighed. “I thought not. At least tell me what you’d have me do, then.”

 

“I’m not sure if you’ll be required to do anything. But you won’t have to wander far to find him. He’s kept pace with us as we’ve moved north. Normally sets up camp about an hour’s walk from the main force. I’ve instructed the patrols not to bother him.”

 

“And the Wutai?”

 

“They don’t seem to know what to do about him either. One patrol witnessed the end of a skirmish, but it appears our Wutai friends have since decided to pretend he doesn’t exist.”

 

“Interesting.” And it was. It lent more credence to his theory of a third party’s interference. He stood. “You said he wanted to see me? It would be bad manners to keep him waiting.”

 

Genesis extended a hand towards the tent flap. “By all means.” He made no move to get up, so Sephiroth left the privacy of the officer’s tent alone.

 

The camp bustled with worn-looking infantry as the relief and the fresh supplies that arrived with the General were distributed. No doubt preparations were being made for the next day’s mission as well. The disadvantage of large numbers. A small squad of Solider Firsts could cover triple the ground in half the time, but Genesis was keeping that tactic up his sleeve, apparently. Wise. It was the riskier manoeuvre, as the charging squad couldn’t rely on reinforcements if things took a bad turn.

 

Sephiroth made his way through the busy throng with ease, troopers and SOLDIERs alike stepping aside and saluting at his passage. He nodded once in acknowledgement to the nervous guard posted at the camp exit, before disappearing into the thick forest. He headed due north until he could no longer hear the barked commands and thud of footsteps, then turned his attention to his surroundings, seeking the tell-tale signs of the patrol paths. Picking one at random, he made his way along it. Birds twittered in the trees – a sign he was unlikely to be interrupted by a Wutai ambush.

 

Genesis told him the stranger always made camp approximately an hour away from the base, but Sephiroth had expected it would take longer than the prescribed time to locate the rogue, simply due to the fact he could be an hour in any direction. Yet he estimated it had only been a forty-two minute walk when he caught sight of a blond head of hair from the corner of his eye. 

 

Genesis was right about the absurd style. It reminded him of a chocobo.

 

He was slightly unnerved to realise the stranger was waiting for him, though - standing at attention in the centre of a clearing, as if he knew Sephiroth was coming. He slowed his steps so he’d have a little longer to observe the blond before leaving the comparative security of the tree line.

 

Though he remembered to critique the stranger’s fashion sense, Genesis had failed to mention this ‘Strife’ character carried a Buster-style sword. He understood now why his comrade originally thought Strife one of their own. It wasn’t just the mako eyes or the oversized sword – the man’s clothing strongly resembled the uniform of a SOLDIER First. 

 

Yet he claimed not to be SOLDIER, and there was no mention of him in their records. A company cover-up? If that were the case, his desire to make contact with Sephiroth and Sephiroth alone could be explained.

 

He stopped once he was within a respectable distance. If he’d read the situation correctly, there was no need for formalities. “Strife, I presume? I was told-”

 

Sephiroth never got the chance to complete his sentence. As it was, he barely drew Masamune in time for the blow.




Next chapter

 

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
firedraygon97
Nov. 8th, 2009 06:21 am (UTC)
*giddy* I checked the date of the last update (Nov 5th) and hoped that today would be another one. I'm so HAPPY right now, hee.

Excellent chapter. Genesis bringing Sephiroth over just so he can learn more about Cloud is so...like him. Fantastic characterization. I hope we get another chapter in the next few days~!
sinnatious
Nov. 8th, 2009 07:46 am (UTC)
Thank you! Genesis's characterisation was the one that worried me the most, so to hear you say that is a big relief.

Next chapter should be out on Wednesday. ^_^
firedraygon97
Nov. 8th, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
Guuuhhh, just reread chapters 2 and 3 again. *__* This is SO AWESOME. Some more things to note:

1. Sephiroth being all friendly-banter with Genesis and Angeal is wonderful to see. I love that he has a personality under the cold exterior. Most fics these days do a pretty good job at making him more human, but sometimes I still come across the ones where he's a little...

2. Genesis seriously is my favourite so far. He's such a...a diva and he's not ashamed of it. In chapter 2, did he have visions of Minerva? I kinda read through that section so fast, I missed it the first time. :O Totally looking forward to more Genesis screen time!

3. Angeal being the mature and level-headed one is great. Perfect characterization, where he's all "tsk tsk" but still comes through for his friends when they need him to bend a few rules. :D

4. Waiting on that 'bouncy Second' to come along. I wonder what Cloud's reaction will be to a 16 year old Zack? XD And Aerith is only 15, hey? So young...

5. YUFFIE. You dropped her name, I am so expecting to see her pop up and steal a little materia. >D

6. Sephiroth noticed that Genesis' hair is shinier now. He's so observant, haha.

ALSO! You mentioned before that this was all un-beta'd. If you haven't found one already, and if you're looking for one, I'd love to offer my services! I haven't seen any glaring grammatical errors or anything like that so far, so it's not like you need one for that, but y'know, for things like bouncing ideas or a second opinion on characterization, I'm game. Give me a shout if you're interested!

If not, I'm looking forward to Wednesday~! ♥
sinnatious
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:22 am (UTC)
Crisis Core went a long way in providing a human edge to Sephiroth, which might account for the improvement in his characterisation in recent times. It actually made his descent into madness scarier. o__o

Yes! Genesis did have a vision of Minerva! You're the only person to have picked up on that. ^_^ It's not particularly relevant to the story, just a reference to the end of Crisis Core.

Ooo, thank you for your offer of a beta! I don't normally use one after I start posting, but the ending is still being worked on, so if I get indecisive about it, I may very well take you up on that later! :D
firedraygon97
Nov. 10th, 2009 01:25 am (UTC)
Darn, my plan to gain access to unreleased chapters has been foiled!! How long are you estimating this fic to be? I know you already have something like 20 chapters written up...

(P.S. The longer the better. :D)
sinnatious
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Mwa ha ha, better luck next time, Gadget!

Probably around the 30 mark, maybe as many as 35.
i_make_rain
Nov. 8th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
Oh wow. It's so exciting. And I really like how you write the characters. Makes them so alive and REAL.

Thanks so much for writing! It really makes my day reading good fics. =D
sinnatious
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
Thank you! The characterisation was an ongoing challenge, so I'm happy to hear it's working for you.
kiriana
Nov. 8th, 2009 04:37 pm (UTC)
*_* Shiny new chapter. I really liked seeing things from Sephiroth's point of view. He hasn't gone off the deep end yet. XD
swyrel
Nov. 9th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
GAH, CLOUD, STOP ATTACKING SEPHIROTH! T_T I knew he wanted to fight him, but still! I guess I didn't really expect him to just attack like that.

Anyway, wonderful chapter! I love that the story is moving quickly, but not too quickly. We didn't have to wait fifteen chapters just for Sephiroth to meet Cloud, which I am very grateful for. I hate long, drawn-out stories.

And I still love your Genesis~

And poor Cloud is never going to stop being compared to a Chocobo unless he shaves his head. lol
sinnatious
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
I hate long, drawn-out stories. And yet you stick around this journal, what? :P But yes, 15 chapters until Sephiroth appears is definitely too long. Hopefully the pace stays satisfactory.

I am now trying to imagine a bald Cloud. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE. He IS the hair.
swyrel
Nov. 9th, 2009 02:51 pm (UTC)
O.O But I don't think your stories are long and drawn-out...I always thought they were pretty straight to the point. lol

Well, he doesn't have to be bald. Just shaved like a military cut. I always kind of figured that Hojo would have shaved him at some point in time during his experimentation, but canon does not support this. D8 Everytime I see him, he has hair...
sinnatious
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
Heh, some readers of Dispossesion of Echizen Ryoma, Caught In A Ladder, and Another Witchmaker would disagree. ^_^ If you think otherwise, then maybe I've finally overcome that problem! \o/

Yeah, it would make sense for Hojo to shave him at some point. Maybe he did! After all, Cloud's hair wasn't super-long, so cutting much have taken place at SOME point!
swyrel
Nov. 10th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
Hmm...I remember Dispossession being long, but not drawn-out, if that makes sense. lol I really enjoyed that story. I don't know if I've read the other two...

I WANT BALD!CLOUD NOW~
(Anonymous)
Nov. 9th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
Genesis' shiny hair, hee~ <3

I thought you were going to update next day, good thing I had my web browser open tabs from last time so I chanced upon this chapter today *dances*

Didn't expect Cloud to attack that fast, though. Thought there was going to be Pre-battle Talk Between Rivals before they go at it.

Can't wait for Wednesday. :DDD
sinnatious
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:29 am (UTC)
'Pre-battle Talk Between Rivals'. XD

Cloud knows how to take advantage of monologging!
amberos
Nov. 9th, 2009 09:35 am (UTC)
NOnonononono. how could cloud doo that? sephiroth isn't the problem its hojo and whatshername, the alien goddess. WHY? sephiroth? is innocent, innocent I tell you. noooooooo, and they're so cute together too. at least have an explanation for poor sephiroth. ToT(sniffs)
sinnatious
Nov. 9th, 2009 10:30 am (UTC)
Jenova? 'Alien Goddess' is a new one, I have to remember that! :D
searisme
Nov. 10th, 2009 07:26 am (UTC)
*breaks out FF icon*
Ok, here comes the mandatory fangirl squeal: *eeeeeee*

Yes. So. Now that's done. This fic is awesome so far. Timetravel is my guilty pleasure as well, so I've read my fair share of them in various fandoms - this is a good one.

There are so many things I like about this fic, but most of it comes back to the characterisation. Your Cloud is good, broken but still capable, still strong even if he doesn't seem to recognise it himself. I love S/C, and I don't know what you've planned for this fic, but if Cloud kills Seph in the next chapter, that's fine by me... because it would make so much more sense than the usual pining and angsting you get in this type of story.

And that leads me to the next strong point. "Looky peeps, it's got plot!" Shock, and surprise, something is happening! I'm so sick of fic where the characters kind of just sit around and angst over the fact that they can't do anything, etc... Your Cloud's like "well, I'm in the past. That sucks. Now lets do something about this whole mess." - - such a relief.
sinnatious
Nov. 10th, 2009 11:24 am (UTC)
Re: *breaks out FF icon*
And what a very fine icon it is! *__*

The story's going to be gen, but if you wear slash goggles, it can really be anything you want. Can't entirely remove those slashy undertones.

I will endeavour to keep pining and angsting and 'sitting around' to a minimum - it bugs me too. If nothing actually happens in a chapter, what's the point of that chapter? Easy trap to fall into, though, so slap me on the wrist if it starts heading that direction!

Edited at 2009-11-10 01:17 pm (UTC)
searisme
Nov. 10th, 2009 02:24 pm (UTC)
Re: *breaks out FF icon*
Ou, yours is very nice as well.

Somehow even that's a relief - that it's going to be gen. Instantly half of the source of stale angst is removed. (Yeah. I've read/skimmed through/encountered a lot of real crappy S/C...)

I was never worried you'd be too heavy on the angst. And from what I've read your stories are usually plotty, so I don't think I'll have to do that.
killiara
Jun. 30th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Just got pointed here from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/FanficRecs/FinalFantasyVII
And really looking forward to spending as much of my day as it takes to read this!
aschenhimmel
Sep. 2nd, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
Your fic is stealing my sleep.

XDDD

First, I would like to say that this chapter made me a Sephiroth fangirl. I absolutely love the way you portrayed him in here, and the banter between him, Angeal and Genesis is priceless. You insert the funny without derailing the characters, therefore you are made of awesome. XD

Moving on~ XD
caterfree10
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Ya know, when I look at the comments, I find it interesting that I'm not the only one who noticed the shift in how Sephiroth is portrayed in fanfiction after Crisis Core was released. It really did give him a more human edge to him, and it was one of the reasons I started caring about him after playing Crisis Core. Neither the original game nor the KH series endeared me to him because he was just another villain to me and, other than his good looks, I didn't really get why so many people were obsessed with him. But when I played CC, I found myself wanting more of pre-Nibelheim!Sephiroth instead of the one with the Mommy issues and Kira complex. Which probably explains why I adore AU fics where Sephiroth doesn't go crazy. |D;

And that ending makes me very happy I found this fic after it was completed instead of in the middle of it being posted. x3
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