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The Fifth Act, Chapter 27

Title: The Fifth Act

T for violence.

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

Author's Note:  Big chapter, this one.  I angsted over it a lot, so let me know what you think (and as always, please point out any typos or mistakes you see.)  Oh, and Happy Year of the Tiger/Valentine's Day!

Previous Chapter  




The Fifth Act
Chapter 27


Much to Sephiroth’s displeasure, Genesis made him wait for an explanation until they were back in Midgar, and then until Zack could join them as well. Angeal’s apprentice deserved to know, and he didn’t want to go through this conversation more than once.


They had gathered in Angeal’s office, figuring that since it was in disuse, no one was likely to eavesdrop or interrupt. Zack bounded to his seat and threw himself into it like it was a couch instead of an office chair. “Should we wait for Kunsel? ‘Cause he’s out on a mission right now, but he’s supposed to get back tonight.”


“No. This is more about Angeal than it is about Cloud,” Genesis cut in. The bouncy Second should consider himself privileged Angeal counted him in his circle of closest confidants. Genesis, on the other hand, preferred to keep the rank and file behind velvet ropes, where they could admire but not infringe on his personal life.


Sephiroth folded his arms as though to say, ‘We’re all here now, and you can’t avoid the topic any longer’.


Genesis took a deep breath. Sugarcoating would make no difference.  "Angeal is dying."


Silence. Sephiroth remained unperturbed – he would have already guessed, from their discussion in Banora. Zack, it appeared, was having difficulty processing the notion, and stared at him with wide eyes.


Finally, the General suggested, “Perhaps you should start at the beginning, Genesis.”


He glared. “This is my story to tell,” he grumbled, but he supposed there was no getting out of it. Now things had turned upside down, it might get dangerous, and he couldn’t risk his allies operating with incomplete information. “Fine. Sephiroth will recall that I received a shallow cut during a spar several weeks before I was dispatched to Wutai.” He gripped his shoulder, almost expecting the unending ache to still be present. “A small matter for a SOLDIER First Class, normally. Except the wound did not heal.”


“How did it happen?” Zack asked. He looked serious for the first time Genesis could remember. Good to know that Angeal’s Puppy could be more than a class clown.


“There was no unusual materia involved, if that’s what you are thinking,” Genesis corrected him. “It was an ordinary injury in every way. When it failed to mend on its own, I sought out Hollander.” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.


“And his prognosis?” Sephiroth prompted.


Wings stripped away, the end is nigh
Such is... the fate of a monster.

“I don’t recognise that verse. Loveless?”


His eyes snapped open and fixed on the Silver General. “It’s because of the enhancements. It’s a disease. You cease to heal, you begin to age, you… mutate.” He could not keep the twist of distaste from his expression. “Though I did not originally know what Hollander meant by that. I suppose now we do.” He shook his head. “Monsters making monsters.”


“Angeal’s wing,” Sephiroth nodded, then turned to explain to Zack, “Angeal also suffered an injury recently that refused to heal. And now, the illness has progressed to a state where he’s grown a white wing.”


“A… wing? Like an angel?” Zack’s voice quavered with disbelief. Genesis didn’t blame him. Poor little Second, discovering the dark nature of their twisted world this way. 


“I’m not sure if he’d appreciate the comparison, but it’s an accurate description,” Sephiroth agreed. “It appears that this may be the reason why he’s vanished on indefinite leave and isn’t answering his PHS.”


“But…” Zack ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t think I’m getting all of this, but you’re saying he’s going to die because of it? We have to help him! With this- this-”

"It's called degradation.  It's a result of the process of creating a SOLDIER," Genesis provided.

"Wait, you mean all of the SOLDIERs are going to eventually get this? Don’t mess with me!" Zack all but growled.

With a sideways glance at the General, Genesis replied, "No.  Angeal and I went through a... different method.  SOLDIERs made the normal way-" Was there anything truly normal about SOLDIER? "-should be fine."

Sephiroth's frown deepened. “A different method?”


Genesis didn’t want to walk down this path. He could already see the wheels in Sephiroth’s head turning as he contemplated the implications of his own enhancements. “Hollander worked with us as children. It was a trial method. We received the enhancements prior to birth. Of course, we were never made aware. It only came to light under these developments.”


"That's messed up.  ShinRa experimented on you guys as kids?" Zack shook his head.  "Not cool."


Sephiroth crossed his arms and pinned him with a sharp gaze. "You've neglected to explain how you recovered from this ‘degradation’."

Trust the great General Sephiroth to pick up that small detail.

"Hey, yeah!" Zack agreed.  "You said you had it too! Why did you get better?"

Gritting his teeth, he admitted, "Cloud."


It was supposed to stay his secret.  Would have remained so, if they'd found a cure earlier and the blond hadn't vanished.  "He had a cure."

Zack bolted upright in his seat.  "Then Angeal can-"

Genesis shook his head, fingers curling into fists.  "He didn't have any more.  He had someone trying to replicate it, but I don't know who."

"And you trusted him?" Sephiroth asked.

"He saved my life!" Genesis snapped.  "In my position, wouldn't you?"

His two comrades fell silent.

He cut the air with his hand, and snarled, “And now he’s missing too! With Hollander dead, he’s our last chance to save Angeal!”


“Hollander’s dead?” Zack repeated, stunned. Neither of them paid him any attention.


“Calm yourself,” Sephiroth ordered. “There is still hope. We need only find Cloud.”


“And how do you propose we do that?” Genesis snapped. “We don’t even know if he’s alive or not at this stage. He wouldn’t leave his sword and materia behind!”


“You forget what Angeal said.”


Genesis paused, rewinding the exchange through his head. He’d been so startled by the sight of the wing he’d barely paid attention to anything else. “‘You’re the best bet for finding him’,” he murmured. “What does that mean?”


“Wait, Cloud was there too?” Zack interjected.


“I believe Hollander and Angeal thought they could find a cure by studying him,” Sephiroth explained. “After all, his enhancements are on-par, yet he does not suffer the same affliction. Though, for that matter, neither do I.” He held Genesis’s gaze for a long moment. “I’m disappointed neither of you thought to share this with me. I might have been of some help.”


Genesis looked away. How could he explain it? The burning jealousy, the fear that had gripped him, the shame at his weakness, the disgust at his gangrenous flesh. To show such an ugly side to the ever-so-perfect Sephiroth… 


“What I don’t get, is why Cloud didn’t tell them if he had a cure all along,” Zack mused, folding his arms and staring at the table in contemplation.


“It is difficult as always to guess what drives him,” Sephiroth remarked. “Perhaps he is protecting someone. And we also cannot forget his dislike of scientists. No doubt he considered it a hostile situation, and treated it as such.”


“That doesn’t matter,” Genesis interrupted. “What matters is finding him now. Since Angeal has flown off-” One flies away. “-without giving us any useful information, we have to figure out who killed Hollander and where Cloud is ourselves.”


“Which brings us back to the previous point,” Sephiroth agreed. “Angeal seems to think I possess some means of finding Cloud.”


“Don’t you?” Zack asked. “I mean, everyone in SOLDIER knows, sir.”


“I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean.”


“You know! Everyone knows that if you want to find one, you ask the other.”


“…That’s why everyone ambushed me asking about Cloud when I came back from Junon?”


“Yeah! You were the last port of call. Though that didn’t work either.” Zack deflated. “Seriously, how do you do it? Luxiere figured there was some kind of trick to it.”


“There’s no…” Sephiroth faltered. “…Except that time. I knew he was in the gym, but I hadn’t seen him all day.”


“Yeah, see? Cloud can do it too. Honestly, sir, nobody ever knows where you are, but Cloud would be right every single time.”


Genesis suddenly recalled that time he and Angeal had abducted Cloud for that spar. He’d known Sephiroth was hidden in the van, even though there had been nothing to give his presence away. “How?”


Sephiroth shook his head. “I honestly don’t know. The thought simply popped into my head. Rather like having an extra sense. I could just know where he was.”


“Okay, kind of weird, but I’ll roll with that,” Zack announced. “So… what, can you just concentrate or something?”


Frowning, the General replied, “No. There was a certain sort of… feeling, that time. I remember being surprised at its absence when you first asked me after the Junon inspection.” He cupped his forehead, shielding his eyes, in a gesture Genesis recognised him using whenever the matter of his forgotten childhood arose. “Perhaps it does require a level of proximity… but I still don’t see how such a thing should be possible.”


Genesis couldn’t either. Why Sephiroth?  What was so special about him that could help him pinpoint Cloud so easily? What connection did they have that he wasn’t privy to? “So it’s essentially useless, then, isn’t it?” he sneered. “Unless you want to cover the entire Continent, hoping for some unexplainable sixth Cloud-sense to kick in.”


The intended insult missed its mark, as Sephiroth replied, “Unless we can figure out what Angeal meant, we might not have any other choice.”


“Are you serious, sir? Because that would take forever,” Zack commented. “Um, not that it’s a bad thing you want to try, but it’s not very efficient.”


“Of course I’m not serious, Zack. As Genesis so eloquently pointed out, that would be an exercise in futility. But it’s a clue.”


“Oh. Then what does it mean?”


“That, I do not yet know.” He folded his arms. “And for it to be of any use could depend entirely on what happened while Angeal was unconscious, and who killed Hollander.”


Zack nodded. “What are the scenarios? Assuming Cloud is alive.” His voice hitched briefly on the last sentence, but like a good SOLDIER he didn’t let it stop him.


Sephiroth held aloft four fingers. “Firstly, that when Cloud escaped, he killed Hollander. He didn’t have his sword, and may have resorted to a gun instead. In this case, we can assume he’s on the run and hiding from ShinRa. Second, Angeal killed Hollander to let Cloud escape and is covering for him.” Genesis opened his mouth to argue, but Sephiroth stayed his protests with a sharp look. “I know you disagree, Genesis, but Angeal is clearly not acting normally. We can’t rely on our experiences to guess what he might be thinking.”


“That wouldn’t be so bad, though, right? Angeal might stop us from finding Cloud, but that means he’d be in contact, and maybe he could get the cure?” Zack asked.


Genesis considered that. It was a desirable scenario, but he thought it the most unlikely one. No matter how degradation might have changed Angeal, he doubted his old friend could suddenly lie convincingly enough to fool him. Even if his honour had become warped, such ingrained honesty couldn’t be unlearned overnight.


“It could cause problems with ShinRa if they found out about Hollander, but we’ve already taken the steps to cover those tracks, providing, of course, that ShinRa is not already aware.” Sephiroth’s brow dipped in a frown. “That brings us to the third possible scenario. ShinRa is involved. We know that Lazard, at the very least, was aware of Hollander’s actions prior to his death. If there is internal treachery afoot, Cloud could either be in custody or fleeing custody. That’s the most dangerous scenario, as it means the Turks are involved, and the company would likely consider Cloud and Angeal traitors.”


Zack shook his head in disbelief, but Genesis growled under his breath. He wouldn’t put it past upper management to leave his friends to rot. He might have decided to stay with ShinRa after being cured, but any illusions he held about the company had long been shattered.


“And the last scenario?” Genesis prompted, a touch snidely. He already knew, but his sense of theatre demanded it.


“…That a third party is involved, and ShinRa isn’t talking about it. Possibly one of the remaining rebel factions from Wutai, or one of the other anti-ShinRa groups.”


The three SOLDIERs fell silent.  


When Genesis had made his suggestion originally, he’d been confident they would succeed. The very best and the brightest ShinRa had to offer – the great General himself, two of the most promising Seconds, not to mention the mastermind who’d won the Wutai war – how could they fail? Yet now, a sense of foreboding had settled over him. 


Finding Cloud somewhere in the vast wide world would be difficult enough normally – there were plenty of parts of the map with a great deal of nothing on them. Trying to find Cloud if ShinRa or some other force were actively hiding him, however… it made the task seem nearly insurmountable. 


My Friend, the fates are cruel
There are no dreams, no honour remains.
The arrow has left the bow of the goddess,
” Genesis murmured to himself.


Loveless, fourth act,” Sephiroth answered, to his surprise. His mako-green eyes glittered with intent. “Appropriate. In a world without honour, we’re left only with monsters.”


“Sir?” Zack asked, confused.


Sephiroth raised Masamune, and let the dim lighting play off the edge of the blade. “Fortunate, then, that SOLDIER specialises in such things.”






The same off-white ceiling. The same stench of mako. The same tanks. 


The same nightmare.


“So you’re finally awake.” That hated, hated voice grated against his ears. Hojo loomed over him, shoulders bent as though he’d been staring in his face for hours, waiting for the slightest flicker of movement. 


With Hojo, such actions were not out of the question. 


“It’s a… pleasure, to finally meet you. I’ve been curious about you for some time. That anybody should be able to challenge my greatest creation, especially someone from outside ShinRa… Very interesting.”


Cloud kept his gaze fixed on the ceiling, and focused on breathing. He couldn’t panic, couldn’t show him how scared he was right then. The scientist could use his fear, twist it and wield it against him.


Hojo’s eyes narrowed. “You’re not going to ask where you are?”


His shoulders tensed, but he managed to stay composed. “I already know where we are.” He’d killed this man, once. He shouldn’t be so terrified. He should be over this. He’d moved on.


Who was he kidding? You never got over being a human experiment. You just learned to forget about it, until an accident with a Time materia shoved it back in your face.


“Interesting. This lab has been abandoned for some time – took quite a few days to get it into working order again, in fact.” Hojo’s stare felt like roaches crawling across his skin. “It lends more credence to my theory.”


“Good for you.” 


The scientist adjusted his glasses, as though to see him better. Those dark, beady eyes – fiercely intelligent, but Cloud could see the underlying madness now – regarded him with curiosity. “Certainly an interesting specimen.” The word itself sent tremors running down his spine. "I should thank you, really,” the scientist continued, tone almost conversational. “I’d been waiting for an opportunity to take out my predecessor once and for all. Yes, the circumstances turned out rather favourably in the end.”


“What did you do?” Cloud demanded. “Is Angeal-”


Hojo scoffed. “I have no interest in that man’s failures. You, on the other hand, proved quite the fascinating puzzle. Oh yes. One surprise after another.” A reedy chuckle. “Tell me, SOLDIER First Class Strife, did you come to ShinRa out of familial loyalty?”


“I’m not related to Sephiroth. You should know that,” he spat. 


Hojo blinked, and Cloud felt a brief surge of victory at stymieing the doctor. It didn’t last - his face then relaxed into a leering grin. “You poor, silly boy… you really don’t know, do you?”


“Know what?”


“I ran some DNA tests against my database. Of course, your genetic information had become warped – marvellous work, truly marvellous – but imagine my surprise when I found a second match!”


A second match?


Hojo chuckled. “I shouldn’t have been so surprised – you had the right colouring, after all, and the ShinRa family is quite large.”


Cloud choked. The scientist wasn’t suggesting… 


His disbelief did not go unnoticed. With relish, Hojo continued, “You think the President grew the company entirely on his own? No, something of ShinRa’s scope requires connections, and ones far firmer than merely business ties. Why else would a teenager be serving as the vice-president? And you don’t believe Scarlett became head of the Weapons Department purely due to wiles, do you?” The chuckle turned into a wheezing, coughing laugh.


Cloud could do nothing more than stare, horror mounting. 


“Oh, but don’t go thinking this makes you special. The President’s bastards are a different matter. Director Lazard is hardly the only one running around.”


No… it couldn’t…


"Do you take me for an idiot?  Your family – You people!"  His mother shook, white with rage.


Hojo continued talking as he puttered around the lab, selecting various apparatuses with deliberate care and placing them onto a metal tray. “He isn’t much to look at now, you understand, but ten, fifteen years ago… yes, the President was quite a strapping young man back in the day. Money, power, good looks… plenty of young unemployed women thought a ShinRa bastard would offer riches and security. Weren’t they disappointed.”


The bindings rattled. “Don’t talk about my mother that way,” he hissed.


Hojo just sent him a disinterested glance, as though he’d forgotten he had an audience. “Of course, that was merely a point of curiosity. In the greater scheme, it hardly matters at all.”


Hardly mattered? All this time, Rufus ShinRa had been his half-brother. What had his mother thought, when he announced he wanted to join the company that had ruined her life? She’d never said a word – simply sent him on his way with a sad, resigned smile.


How? How had it happened? Why would the President have ever come to…


Sephiroth grew up in ShinRa mansion.


At some point after the remnants’ attack on Edge, he’d stopped hating ShinRa so much. Now, the anger and resentment came rushing back full strength, as intense as it had been the moment the Sector 7 plate fell.


“Amusing though it is, the real question, of course, wasn’t your parentage at all.” Cloud started, having almost forgotten that he was trapped in a lab with his worst nightmare, and that now was not the time to be ruminating on his twisted heritage. "That idiot Hollander was blind to the true discovery.  So jealous was he over S-cells, he didn't once stop to consider the greater implications.” Hojo laughed to himself. “Of course, he wasn’t aware that I’ve made no Sephiroth clones…. yet.”


Cloud held his breath. Hojo couldn’t have… it wasn’t possible, how, with just that one clue…?


“Tell me, SOLDIER.” Hojo’s glasses glinted eerily under the flickering fluorescent lights. “Was Project JENOVA a success?”


“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” The words escaped him in a breathless rush.


Hojo’s grin widened. “You are a poor liar, Specimen.”


No, he refused to believe it, refused to accept that the only person to have figured out his secret was Hojo of all people. He glared, as though the force of his stare alone might burn the scientist away.


Unaffected, Hojo picked up a clipboard and leafed through his notes. “Of course, I didn’t arrive at this conclusion by mere fantasy. ShinRa’s Science Department deals with a wide variety of topics. Trans-dimensional summoning spaces, magic without materia… There’s even Project P, dedicated to the ‘untapped potential of the human brain’.” He settled on a page, running a bony finger down it. “And across my desk have arrived several rather intriguing essays regarding the principles of Time materia in relation to time travel.”


Cloud nearly bit through his tongue.


“This is quite a lucky breakthrough. There have been theories regarding this phenomenon for years, but when testing it, we could never collect any concrete evidence of our success. Tell me - your very presence changes everything, but have your memories altered to match?"  Hojo tapped the pen to his clipboard.  "I suppose you could be insignificant enough to have made no difference so far."

No, he hadn't made much of a difference.  Hardly any difference at all.  Except...


“I want to join SOLDIER one day. I’ll be strong, and nobody will ever think about messing with me. Like Commander Rhapsodos!” 

His expression must have given him away, as Hojo peered at him, fascinated.  "I see... you did manage to have an affect something, at least.  What minor detail have you managed to change in your time here, SOLDIER?"

"As if I'd tell you!" he spat.

Hojo frowned.  He rummaged through his tray of tools for a moment, selected a scalpel with deliberate care, and then in one swift, precise motion, stabbed it through the back of the blond’s hand.


The pain didn’t register immediately – instead flaring as Hojo yanked the scalpel back out. Cloud winced, but didn’t make a sound, even as blood trickled between his fingers.


“Do you remember this pain?”


Hojo’s little games didn’t hurt as much as Sephiroth’s. He wouldn’t give the scientist the pleasure of rattling him.


“It’s in your interest to cooperate, SOLDIER.” The scientist watched the blood pool under his hand with mild interest, before the mako kicked in and slowly began to knit the wound closed. “Advanced regeneration. Higher than average mako percentage,” he observed, then fingered the pale white line intersecting his eyebrow. Cloud flinched away from the contact. “It’s always frustrated me that we are not able to perfectly replicate the effects of a Regen spell in SOLDIERs. Cure materia leaves no scars, but mako only greatly increases the body’s natural healing rates. More in line with a Haste spell, really.”


He made a quick mark on his clipboard, and returned to topic. "No matter – it’s irrelevant to the question at hand.  The important part is that your memories have remained intact, despite changes you've inflicted on your environment.  This confirms my hypothesis.”


“Hypothesis?” The question escaped his lips without thought. His palm itched as the blood clotted.


Thankfully, Hojo was distracted enough by his discovery to indulge him. “It was postulated that in sending objects to the past, we alter the timeline, and as a result a new timeline is formed, one separate from our own.  Your existence is proof of this. None of the experiments yielded results because each subject sent back created a new world!”


Cloud felt ill, and for once it had nothing to do with Hojo. 

That meant then that he wasn't undoing the future, but that he'd actually left behind a world that would continue on without him?  He’d never worried about it, because he thought he would be changing the world so that it wouldn’t matter! Had Tifa tried to call him when he didn't return after the delivery?  Did his friends go into the wastes to find an injured zolom and an abandoned Fenrir?

"Then send me back!" he demanded.

Hojo just regarded him over his glasses as one might a misbehaving puppy.  "Foolish boy.  That's simply not possible.  Moving forwards in time will only shift you along this timeline.  Moving backwards will just create a world anew."


Cloud struggled against the restraints, but they weren’t like the ones Hollander used. Hojo obviously knew a thing or two about restraining First Class SOLDIERs.  Of course he did.  He held Zack for four years, didn't he?


His efforts went ignored as Hojo began pacing. "But now that the theory has been proven and human travel is possible, we can at last begin to explore a new possibility - going forward!  Properly harnessed, practical applications would be enormous.  Imagine, when storming an enemy base, if half of your army appeared at their back, after moving into position the day before!  During a shortage of beds at medical facilities, patients could simply jump forward to a time when the resources were available!”

"As if you care about any of that," Cloud spat.

Hojo chuckled darkly. “Imagine, then, if it were stable enough for a scientist to jump forward in time, to see if his experiments were a success. And should they fail, jump back in time as many times as necessary to try again.”


He was talking about Jenova. “Do it then,” Cloud challenged. Hojo could jump to the future, and Cloud would use the time to make certain he failed. 


“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m not about to haphazardly test unproven technology on myself. First, we need to create the necessary apparatus to interface with the Time materia to send things forward. And it will be necessary to document the effects of time travel on the human body.” Hojo gave him a wide, demented smile. “That is where you will come in, SOLDIER, as the only known survivor of this procedure.”


His mouth turned dry. He knew what to expect when waking up in this lab, but hearing it said aloud made it real. "I'm a SOLDIER First Class.  You can't just steal me away and hope no one will notice."

A feeble threat, and he knew it.  Zack had been a First when Hojo locked them up after Nibelheim.  He was probably already reported as dead.

"Steal you, Specimen?" Hojo laughed.  "But you were already mine, were you not?  I'm just continuing the experiment!"

Cloud snarled, rattling his restraints once more.  "I killed you!"  He jerked back as a jolt of electricity arced along his spine, setting his nerves on fire and sending his muscles into spasms. His eyes rolled, seeking the source. 

"An interesting story. I’ll have you relay it to me later,” Hojo remarked, and flicked the switch on the gurney back off. “Nobody will be coming to look for you, Specimen. The President doesn’t care about his bastards, and I was careful to wait until the exact moment you’d been missing long enough to be listed as a deserter.” His dark eyes glittered with cruelty. “Cloud Strife is no longer on the company payroll.”


Next chapter 



( 71 comments — Leave a comment )
Page 1 of 2
<<[1] [2] >>
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:22 am (UTC)
FIRST COMMENT (I never get these)

will reply with a real comment once I've read it...
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:44 am (UTC)
I knew it! I knew Hojo killed Hollander! Poor Genesis-and-gang...they got the third party right...but failed to think it could be anyone inside...

!!! Could, one of the President's children? le gasp! I didn't see that coming!

and woah, Hojo's figured it out. wonder what'll happen when the others find that out, too. if they find out at all.

heh. Hojo's forgotten to take Lazarus into account. I know the Director likes Cloud, and probably wouldn't list him as a deserter, especially if he knew about Hollander taking him. He might be off the payroll, but I don't think it's as simple as that...
I'm kinda looking forward to the Turks coming in, on Cloud's side, this time.

all-in-all, yaay update =D and already I wish it was next week so I could read the next chapter ^^;
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yukitsukihana - Feb. 14th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:33 am (UTC)
Oh OH, this chapter is brilliant. What a perfect way to end it before I go into fic-withdrawal. ♥

I like how you address Cloud's family and time-travel both in this chapter. I always liked the idea of Cloud as one of ShinRa's bastard sons, though that he's one of many loses its unique appeal...:/ Poor mama-Strife, sending her only son off like that. It's no wonder she took a shotgun to Cloud. :O

And the time-travel thing -- it's creepy that Hojo's the first to recognize the signs. The explanation of timelines is great. Very DBZ-esque and avoids the "Back to the Future" problem of destroying your own existence. But there's no time machine to get mirai-Cloud back to the future. D: I wonder what the heck's going to happen now?? Will Cloud stay back and remain BFFs with Seph and Gen?! And yeah, poor Tifa. If time goes on, no doubt she's got a search party scouring the world for him now...

Seph and his tingling Cloud-senses!! Hee, it's too bad he can't point to a map and scry out Cloud's position. I can't remember if Cloud mentioned his hometown being Nibelheim to anyone...but if that's the case, I hope the RT gets on it, stat! Cloud's waiting~~

Happy Year of the Tiger! ♥
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 11:09 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:37 am (UTC)

So you spring a surprise like that when we least expect it, huh. We should have, too, given that hint with his mother's reaction. So genius of you, of course. I didn't bother thinking about it at all until Hojo mentioned it and then you confirmed it but man, Rufus and Lazard and Cloud, aww. Most screwed up family ever. Okay, Sephiroth's is. But, akjshg aaaw. ;;


AND AND LITTLE CLOUD I REALLY WISH HE STUMBLES UPON THE MANSION. BESTOW UPON HIM LITTLE CLOUD SENSES TOO? I kind of entertained the idea that years and years are gonna pass until younger cloud goes to Shinra BUT THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IS IT BECAUSE THAT MEANS CLOUD WOUDL BE STUCK WITH HOJO FOR A LONGER TIME THAN EVEN YOU WOULD PUT HIM THROUGH RIGHT ;___; Oh god all through that last part I was just making D8 faces. The father comment did not even detract from CREEPY HOJO WHY DOES HE HAVE TO KNOW SO MUCH GDI. Butbut if he does die now that means that little cloudy won't be captured and neither will zack and maybe they'll meet someday? *__*?

I also have a terrible thought that if Sephiroth does find Cloud, things are just going to go batshit anyway. :|


PERPLEXED SEPHIROTH! ♥ Don't make him a tragedy. Though if you do I doubt I'd be averse to it as much as I wail about it ahaha :|

Feb. 14th, 2010 08:37 am (UTC)
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 08:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaorismash - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 08:55 am (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
lol anon
Feb. 14th, 2010 09:06 am (UTC)

Zack's reaction pretty much equals mine atm.


:dead, on ground:

I think that my brain just imploded. Or exploded. Or something.

And Hojo's being a little creepy fuck as always. Reading his bit literally sent shivers down my spine. He's creepy in a thriller/horror villain way. IT CREEPS ME OUT AND NOW I HAVE TO GO AND WATCH SOMETHING HAPPY TO CHEER ME UP. Like, the first series of Pokemon or something. Because, seriously, Hojo's so twisted and sick and blergh, there are no words. I can picture everything happening to absolutely clearly, and with Hojo that's not always something that you want to happen.

:spazzes again:

What I love most about your writing is that ... I don't know how to explain it properly .... but it's as though you use just the right mixture od adjectival language and imagery that I can see everything perfectly in my mind's eye, but at the same time it's not enough so as to actually be noticeable. I remember a book that I was reading years ago, and I looked up from reading it at one moment and was surprised that I wasn't in the middle of a stormy autumn's afternoon. Your story as the same effect on me, I half expect to be looking at cold, metal walls when I look up instead of the fake pine of my computer desk.

Your style is simple in a way, but I don't mean that it is childish or unsophisticated. It conveys exactly what you want it to without using any extra words or sounding pretentious. You know exactly which words you want to use and you use them. And that is so incredibly rare to see in writing (I'm looking at you, J.K Rowling, and the entire 5th book of Harry Potter). What would take some people a paragraph or a page to say, you say in one sentence, or sometimes even in a word, or a particular turn of phrase.

And now professor Dae hands back over to spazzy fangirl Dae, who's pretty much running around in circles screaming.

Fic will come! And you'll get the next bit when I get the next chapter, haha.
Feb. 14th, 2010 09:10 am (UTC)
Re: :spasmswildly:

:foams at the mouth, passes out:

SEE? This is what happens to your audience when there's too much awesome in one story.
Ficcy~ - daemoninwhite - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Ficcy~ - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 10:55 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :spasmswildly: - sinnatious - Feb. 14th, 2010 09:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :spasmswildly: - laleira_granite - Feb. 16th, 2010 08:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: :spasmswildly: - sinnatious - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: :spasmswildly: - laleira_granite - Feb. 17th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 10:21 am (UTC)
OH GOD FAT SHINRAMAN AS CLOUD'S FATHER I DON'T EVEN-- *proceeds to bleach out her brain clean to rid it of the mental images*

This is like, the best Vincent Valentine's day gift ever.

Hojo, why must you be so smart. I sense that this longfic will not have a happy ending.

For some reason, your writing style reminds me of J.K. Rowling's. XD
Feb. 14th, 2010 11:13 am (UTC)
Fat ShinRaMan was also Rufus and Lazard's father, you know! XD And they are damn fine. (And don't get the spikes because Rufus slicks his back and Lazard's hair is long! :D)

Ummm, thanks? :D Which book are we talking about? JKR's style changed so much throughout. Honestly, I still haven't read the last two Harry Potter books.
(no subject) - ixtey - Feb. 14th, 2010 12:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - searisme - Feb. 17th, 2010 10:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
How lucky is that? Stumble across the story just as you post another chapter. :D Sweetness.

You know, I thought it would be really bad if Hojo deserted Sephiroth ('cause he's weaker than Cloud at this point) and tried to make him the main "son" for the reunion. I mean, Cloud would never do that, but imagine the torture he'd have to go through, and probably would be in close proximity to Janova and thus susceptible and all that stuff.

However, this really sucks too. Fabulous twists. Just...ouch. Excellently done. :D Looking forward to the update next week! :D
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:49 am (UTC)
Re: Booyah! - laleira_granite - Feb. 16th, 2010 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 14th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
You know, will Aeris try to contact Cloud through Zack in any way soon? Because...

Or Vincent. Maybe they'll run into him on their search.

Great chapter!

I request permission to take a nailbat to your version of Hojo when you're done with him.
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:50 am (UTC)
XD Permission granted. (Although really, I've never read a not-nailbat-worthy version of Hojo).
Feb. 14th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
wow i think my brain just melted...

Scarlet, Lazard, Rufus, BigCloud and LittleCloud are all half siblings?!?


Poor Clouds!
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:52 am (UTC)
Well, I was intending to imply that Scarlet was differently related, since she's not lumped in with the illegitimates and and we know that Rufus is the only 'official' son. But the ShinRa family is so full of mystery, who knows! :D
(no subject) - laleira_granite - Feb. 16th, 2010 09:02 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 03:04 am (UTC)
O_o I want you to know... that you have just driven a scalpel into my brain.

This chapter made me laugh-- Genesis, Seph, and Zack-- then feel confused-- Cloud's family-theory-- then cry-- most of the rest.

Oh man. How to make me freak out a little for the rest.

Oh, and happy Valentine's Day
Feb. 15th, 2010 11:53 am (UTC)
Happy V-day to you also. I apologise for the brain-scalpeling. I understand it to be an unpleasant process.
(no subject) - demon_vampirate - Feb. 15th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:20 pm (UTC)
Argh! I had no internet connection for the past few days, and I had to suffer last Sunday, knowing that the next chapter is already out, and I wasn't reading it! :-(

So I had to read the chapter in school, where there's free internet :P

All I can say is...

This chapter is just so EPIC and AWESOME to the 1,000,000th power

Everything just seemed to click, its almost canon!!!

Maaaan, I read the chapter during English class (We were supposed to be working on our paper, so we were allowed to bring out our laptops) and I kept gasping and banging my head on my desk 'cuz of the level of awesome of this chapter.

(My teacher thought I was hyperventilating 'cuz of the paper XP)

Keep it up with the twists! (revealing Cloud and Rufus and Lazard and Scarlet as half-siblings made me nearly scream (I would've screamed if I wasn't in class) It didn't register the first time I read it so I had to read it over and over again XD)

Oh! And I'm glad and scared that Genesis is finally spilling everything to Sephy. I mean, yeah, they're honest with each other now, but how is Sephiroth taking it? He can go all insane again :-(
Feb. 15th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
XD In your English class! That's a great mental image.

Glad you're liking it. I am not even close to done with the twists, I promise. :D
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 16th, 2010 09:05 am (UTC)
I am picturing a Phaleonopsis paradox Hojo. Hojo with white hair. A Hojo Ghost. Twelve feet tall and naked. NOOO brain bleach please!

But yeah.
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(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - laleira_granite - Feb. 17th, 2010 12:40 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - laleira_granite - Feb. 18th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 16th, 2010 04:59 am (UTC)
Firstly: *bleaches brain from mental image of the president with Cloud's mom*

Secondly: Seffy, may you find Cloud soon and may you rip Hojo to pieces.

Thirdly: Hojo, I have arranged for a special place in hell for you.

It's right next to Naraku and a few other resident mad scientists that everybody wants dead.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:01 pm (UTC)
Seems kind of dangerous, all those mad scientists in one place. What if they found a way out? :O
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 16th, 2010 09:14 am (UTC)
This is WAY off-topic, but
I just realized something.

Something awesome.

Lucrec/zia, an attractive married woman with a penchant for (mad) science and a cold demeanor, has a child of doubtful parentage (and at least one of the possible fathers appears to have had a run-in with death). A SPECIAL child with powers that are decidedly outside of the ordinary. Lucrec/zia then dies. Mostly.

And that child is later put under some sort of possession or compulsion by their 'Mother' and wreak havoc, destroying at least one human settlement.

And then the child dies and comes back to life AT LEAST once.


Accident? Coincidence? ... Or interdimensional conspiracy?

Wild Mass Guessing states that Lucrecia is the true mastermind behind Hojo. Or that she shares a hive-mind with Jenova. Or heck, both.

... Where does that put Vincent? Aw well.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
Re: This is WAY off-topic, but
I don't quite follow the relevance of the link, but it's a cool scenario! Has someone written a fic like this yet? And if not, someone needs to do so, stat!
Re: This is WAY off-topic, but - laleira_granite - Feb. 17th, 2010 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 17th, 2010 09:30 am (UTC)
Waah! Hojo! I think he is the creepiest, most evil, most genuinely scary villain ever. I hate him and he should die 10 000 fiery deaths. …also, I wondered when/where he would creep out of the woodwork.

And – lokkie, I didn’t die, nor did I fall off the face of the earth. I merely went home for break, and well, that was insane. Internet time in the minus of the scales… Anywho, I’ve reread the whole of 5th Act now, and it’s magnificent. I mean, reading it chapter by chapter is so much fun too, it’s anticipation and feeling almost like one has a personal writer – but reading longfic in one go? Awesome. It’s so much smoother.

And then when I’d just caught up, and incidentally went back to Beijing, my internet just DIED and it’s the stupid Spring Festival and my internet guy’s somewhere in the Chinese countryside eating himself silly on jiaozi and EVERYTHING IS CLOSED argh! S’yeah, I’m annoyed at the Chinese right now, sitting somewhere like, halfway across Beijing from my place in some internet café… since, well, everything is closed.

…so, that is why I didn’t comment. And… urgh. I’m far to spazzy from everything right now to really write anything constructive, or even half-way sane at that. Imma write you a nicer review of everything once my internet is not!dead, and I find the Important Paper on which I wrote down stuff I wanted to comment on again. So for now I’ll give you this – HOJO!! EEEK!! And, for a bonus: C’mon Sephy, make your spidey-sense work! Cloud’s waiting for you. (Or maybe, more likely, for Zack.)
Feb. 17th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
XD I did wonder where you were. (Though really, you're under no obligation to comment, especially under such circumstances! No internet! D:) Sounds like you've been having adventures, though!

I wonder if, in the cumulated FFVII fanfiction library, if Hojo has been killed 10,000 times yet.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - searisme - Feb. 20th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 20th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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