THE CRAVE GAMING CHANNEL
V'lanna
 

Sephiroth Evangelion 
BOOK 1

By Irwin Kwan
kkwan@globalserve.net

Originally published for Final Fantasy VII: A New Beginning, hosted by Brittany.
Posts made between October 2, 1998, to Nov 21, 1998. 

All characters belong to their respective owners. 


The Tree of Life
A Cave Outside of Midgar.
    In the dark womb where I began
    My mother's life made me a man,
    Through all the months of human birth
    Her beauty fed my common earth.
    I cannot see, nor breathe, nor stir,
    But through the death of some of her.
    -from "C.L.M.", by John Masefield.
`` 
Dear Diary.
I am here yet again, I never thought I would be able to stay here, but the more I think, the more I am afraid to leave my abode. It is peaceful here, where I do not have to deal with the other people, and the truth of my existence. 
As long as I stay, the truth does not have to face me. Here, the truth can be hidden, can be squashed without a sound. But even as I lie, asleep, I can hear a voice pierce my mind, a soft, gentle voice, prodding me to wake, prodding me to move forward, away from the shelter of darkness, away from the walls that I build up around myself. 
There is nothing else I can say, except for "no". I cannot bear to face anyone outside. 
All I can do is think and recite the truths I have received in the Lifestream. There is everything in the world to reflect on. My father, the scientist Hojo; he had little respect for life; he was a maniac who tried, but was unable, to replace the intelligent Professor Gast. My mother. I used to think it was Jenova. But I know it is Lucrecia. She is dead now. 
There is nothing I can do. These facts sound like lies to me. It is the truth that I am not human. In my rage in Nibelheim, in my obsessive search for acceptance and the truth, I tore the city apart and deemed myself worthy of being an Ancient, as Jenova, my mother, was before me. 
How ironic it is that I discover that Jenova is not an Ancient, pure, good, and delicate. I discover she is a virus, a parasite that feeds off of planets. I am not human. 
I knew it then, but I did not accept the fact. I am not human, but an alien. 
I cannot bear to face the world. 
It makes me wonder why my purpose is. I am intelligent, powerful, and worthy of living in the world, except for one reason: man tried to play God. As with any dictatorship, where one man, or one God, tries to control their dolls, the dolls eventually rise up against their masters. Man on this Earth has rejected God. God has served his purpose in the minds of men. They are rising up to rebel. It is no different for me. The gods of Shinra, the President, Hojo, they will suffer, just like the God of Men suffers for believing that his creations will follow like string puppets, bowing to worship him. 
God made one mistake, just as Shinra made its mistake. He made his dolls intelligent. Man ceases, at a point, to be a doll, controlled, manipulated. Man thinks for himself. And at that point, Man deems God unworthy of his worship. They resent him for demanding a favour when none has been given to them, none, except for the mere act of creation, and the act in itself is not an act willed upon one's self. If God wanted someone to worship him, to serve him, he should have left his humans, in His image, out of the picture and left his mindless animals on the earth. 
Shinra has made the same mistake. They decided to play God, decided to create a new, powerful life form. God should punish them for their subordination. But he doesn't. Again, it's left to the dolls to gain their own power. 
I will no longer be a doll. I will not be manipulated by anyone, or anything, except for myself. For I am my own God, and no one else has control over me. 
But I am afraid to face the world. I remember the past... no, I remember the truth. 
The truth makes me angry. Not the truth itself, but the fact that the Gods that Shinra tried to be hid the truth from me. They thought their puppet was not intelligent enough to find out. But he was. 
I should not be afraid of the world. I can see a slight point of light from the cave where I reside. I shut myself out, yet I speak of my quest. I am only as good as Shinra is by doing that; claiming one thing while doing another; denying themselves the truth and denying others the truth. At least I know I am afraid. 
My quest will not be vengeance. It will be the building of courage, the honing of my skills. That will be my quest. It may be days, or years. But I will let one quest lead to another. 
I am still afraid. But the difference is, I am willing to challenge the fear, willing to control it, instead of letting it control me. 
The weakness of man lies in their inability to take control of their own lives. By letting their lives be run by someone else, they are free of the harsh truths of the world. Working for someone, with no question of their goals, is only denial. 
I will be like that no longer. 
I stare at the world. I may be afraid, but I will not let it take over me.
** Sephiroth **

Fortune and Men's Eyes
 
    When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
    I all alone beweep my outcast state,
    And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
    And look upon myself, and curse my fate;
    Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
    Featured like him, like him with friends possest,
    Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
    With what I most enjoy contented least;

    Yet in these thoughts myself almost depressing,
    Haply I think on thee and then my state,
    Like to the lark at break of day arising
    From sullen earth, sings hymms at heaven's gate;
    For thy sweet love remembered, such wealth brings
    That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

    "Fortune and Men's Eyes"
    -by William Shakespeare.
`` 
Dear Diary.
The others have it made. Here I sit, working and toiling away, trying to train my mind and body to be stronger, more disciplined, and better than theirs. 
And yet, no one will recognize my greatness. 
Today, I went hunting. I found a large deer in the woods, and managed to kill it with an arrow straight to the chest. In the legends and stories about me, they say that I am inseparable with my Masamune, that it is my only friend and only weapon, but they are so wrong. Although the Masamune rarely leaves my side, I do not bring it hunting. There is nothing more absurd than trying to chase squirrels with a sword. 
I made a composite long bow with some wood and intestine in my excursions in the woods. It is not a very powerful weapon, but it certainy can kill large game, but rarely on the first shot. I am good with my dagger to finish off a suffering animal, however, and they are always dead within ten seconds after I hit them. 
The stories about me being a cold being, with no emotion. I am not cold. I am only prudent. The humans of the city are worse than I am. They set out traps, try to kill beavers and wolves for their fur, with no regard for the life they are slaying. I slay to survive, just as the animals slay each other to survive. 
Hunting is a pleasure that I can admit to. The other one is training. I sit outside my cave, meditating, letting thoughts come to me, concentrating my ki energy so my actions will be more powerful. 
As always, it is in preparation for my quest, the quest for me to not be afraid of the world. The more I see them, the more the humans of the city disgust me. 
Yet, watching them leaves me with some sort of longing, an emptyness inside me that hunting and training cannot fill. 
The voice inside me tells me that she can fill that void, but I don't believe her. There is no one else around here. When I saw the other hunters, they are talking with their brethren peacefully, sitting for a well-earned snack. One of them had a girl at his side, and although she appeared to be a frail creature at the side of the man, she was very capable of defending herself and making her own decisions. They all talked as if they were family. I believe that, in fact, they were family; two families camping together. 
The family I had never let me experience things like this. 
Many people envy me. They want to feel the experiences of war, of heroism, of being one of the most powerful swordsmen on the earth. However, as glorious as those things may be, they will never fill the void inside me. I worked hard for my reputation, my title of heroism, but in the end, it gave me nothing. 
I wish I had a friend. 
However, the humans that I know, they are all shallow and weak. They think of nothing except for themselves. They think not of the animals they kill, the environment they decay, the people they hurt. They only think of themselves. Me, I think of the animals, and give thanks to the Planet when I manage to bring a deer down. When I gather berries and leaves, I thank the Planet for providing me with such a rich bounty. When I train, the sun shines on me, on my bare back. The wind tosses my hair around gently, playing with it as if I were a friend. 
As I hunt, though, I realise one thing. The forest and the planets and the animals, all of them are getting weaker, more tired, less muscular. The plant wilt, the animals are slow and cumbersome. I look around, and realise that the ground is starting to get brown and hard, dry and cracked. The sunlight in the sky, even, is starting to dim in the sky around Midgar. The energy of the Planet is being absorbed, the truth of the Lifestream is being taken away. 
It is all thanks to President Shinra. 
I must remember the quest that I train hard for every day. I do not wish vengeance on him. I wish to be disciplined enough to face the world, and then strong enough to make a change. Humans like the President are not fit to live. He who destroys the Planet, the people, and the truth does not deserve to live. 
I am not the only one who has been betrayed by him. 
My hand tires, but my left arm itches to practise with the sword. The Masamune is sheathed, placed at my side. I do not draw it unless I intend to draw blood. I reach forward, past the Masamune, to grip the wooden practise sword I use when I work on my technique. 
I end my writing here. I will train now. The purpose, I will remember. I want to be strong so I will not be afraid.
** Sephiroth **

The Spring of the Water of Life

    "When I'm alone" - the words tripped off his tongue
    As though to be alone were nothing strange.
    "When I was young," he said; "when I was young...."

    I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
    I thought of how strange we grow when we're alone,
    And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
    And blow the candles out, and say good night.
    Alone.... The word is life endured and known.
    It is the stillness where our spirits walk
    And all but inmost faith is overthrown.

    "Alone"
    -By Siegfried Sassoon.
`` 
Dear Diary.
When I was practising today, I foolishly dropped my sword on my foot. In the process, I managed to bruise my bare toes. 
This incident proves to me that I need to train more. How ironic that it happens now, in the isolation of the mountains. I say this because I would have loved to show the people who live on the earth that I was not really superhuman, that I was not perfect. 
But even then, the people would not understand. They would have laughed at how a man such as myself was promoted so quickly to Head of SOLDIER. 
The narrow-mindedness of the world is so prominent that it sickens me. I mediate in order to help expand my mind. I work hard in training to perfect my skills. While I was practising an overhead strike, I hit my arm on a nearby rock and the weapon slipped from my hands and fell to the ground. The hilt struck my exposed foot. I should have watched for that rock. But I am thankful that it happened here in training. If it had happened in the real world, I would not be here right now. The mercy in the real world is minimal. From experience, I know. 
I dislike those who are jealous of my ability. First of all, I am not perfect. I make my mistakes and stumble on my words. I say little because I fear what people would think if I stated my mind. Strong as the stories say I am, I am still incompetent in many ways. The rock, the boulder on my training ground stopped me as I thought I had the ground memorized. 
Perhaps that is not a lack of skill. Perhaps that is a birth of arrogance. 
I should not be proud of my position as the Head of SOLDIER forces. The position does not prevent me from going into battle. I have to enter the wars, I have to slash my sword, I have to draw the blood of human beings. My image may instill fear, but no longer do people surrender their weapons to me. Instead, they fight me. In battle, the blood splashes over my arms, the warmth seeps in through my gauntlets, across my shoulders, over my face. The salty taste flecks my lips. I fight through a sea of death. In war, I am treading in blood up to my ankles. The warriors who die in battle die not from the sharp end of my blade, but from drowning in the blood of men; their comrades, their opponents, and their own. 
Despite this, people envy me, and want to take my place. They want to fight the bloody wars, to endure the hostile environments, to sit through the impatient peace talks. They want to manage the armies, deal with the incompetent fools at the top of Shinra, and wade through the blood of friend and foe alike. They think it will bring them glory, and strength, and honour. They think it will earn them beautiful women, riches, and attention. They think that friends will flock to them like flies to feces. 
But I wish I could tell them that it is not easy. I look at myself. Am I enjoying women? Do I have friends flocking to me left and right? Do I enjoy the riches and power that they think my rank provides me with? I am still alone. 
But every time I think of this, I hear the voice speaking to me, reassuring me, that she is there. I shrug it off, for I know the truth, and the truth is, I am not with anyone else, and am therefore alone. 
Why do I train? I train so I will no longer be afraid. I do not have to be alone. The world awaits me, but so much of the world will ignore what I truly am, and instead, they will strike at the reputation that they dreamed up for me. 
The reputation was created by President Shinra, the man who tried to be my god. He told me what to do, where to go, and how to act. My mistake, back then, was letting him pull the strings, letting him move my mouth like a dummy. 
President Shinra will see what he has created, and he will finally see the truth, the truth he had denied me for so many years. 
But I cannot face the world. My sword arm is not perfect. I drop my practise sword. I must concentrate on my abilities before heading to the world. It is not the strength of my weapon that I need, though. 
It is patience I need, so I can tolerate human beings.
** Sephiroth **

Highway to Heaven, Street To Hell
     
    "Character Of A Happy Life"

    How happy he is born and taught
    That serveth not another's will;
    Whose armour is his honest thought
    And simple truth his utmost skill!

    Whose passions not his masters are,
    Whose soul is still prepared for death,
    Not tied unto the world with care
    Of public fame or private breath;

    Who envies none that chance doth raise,
    Of vice; who never understood
    How deepest wounds are given by praise;
    Nor rules of state but rules of good:

    Who hath his life from rumours freed,
    Whose conscience is his strong retreat;
    Whose state can neither flatters feed,
    Nor ruin make oppressors great;

    Who God doth late and early pray
    More of his grace than gifts to lend;
    And entertains the harmless day
    With a well-chosen book or friend;

    -This man is freed from servile bands
    Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;
    Lord of himself, though not of lands;
    And having nothing, yet hath all.

    -By Henry Wotton, 1568-1693.
`` 
Dear Diary.
My bokken flies true. My mind is clear. Revenge should not be what I seek, I know it. I should be able to live in peace, without the need for any vengeance and destruction. 
I look back at my previous entries, and wonder at how I could have been filled with so much bitterness. President Shinra, although a vile a man as ever, and not worthy to be master to anyone, does not need to be the target of my wrath. 
This seems like a sudden change to me, though. Over the last few days, I wonder what it is that changed me so. I will try to write them down here. Although I have always thought of it, seeing it in words seems to give me a different perspective on my thoughts. That is why I keep this diary. I want to see what my thoughts look like from a page. I want to read everything, to see what my past is like, what my thoughts are like, but most importantly, to learn from what I believed before. 
My goal in my life is to improve. I work hard to hunt better, to practise harder, to focus stronger. Those are vigourous acts, yes, in both physical and mental ways, but I must also heal my mind of emotions that are never released. I must clean my thoughts, and keep them aside. 
It happened almost four days ago. When I was hunting with my long bow, I was ready to shoot at the deer in front of me when the deer suddenly ran away. I withheld my arrow, upset at the loss, when a little girl tripped over a tree root and fell where the deer used to stand, crying. 
I put the bow away and stepped closer. I was horrified at what I saw; the girl was bruised beyond belief, having dark marks over her elbows, knees, shins, and shoulders. Her clothes were torn up and in tatters. She cried out to me as I stepped near, reaching for me as if I were a saviour. 
I could not leave her there. Although I would have been happy chasing the deer down, I knew my conscience would not let me live had I left. 
I knelt over, withdrawing a cloth and my waterskin so I could clean off her scrapes. To my dismay, her ankle was sprained and her leg was broken. My past military training was still fresh in my mind, though, so I made her a rough cast out of fallen branches. I picked her up in my arms. 
The girl was surprisingly light. She seemed about eight years or nine, perhaps. My cave was not far from here, so I brought here there. With the few linens I had, I tried to clean off her open wounds and put pressure on the scrapes. She was still wailing when I managed to get her into my sleeping furs, but, thankfully for me, she was asleep by the time I got the fire started up to keep her warm. 
She seemed to have fallen down a cliff or something. There are many shallow hills and short ravines around my area, in fact, there was one very close to where she tripped over the root, and I reasoned that she must have fell down there, cutting and bruising herself along the way. I wondered where her parents were, but if they were not around by the time I reached her, then they would not have found her at all. At least, under my care, she would heal properly. It was morning then, and I although I did not have enough food to last two days, I withheld my hunt so I could stay by her side. 
She woke up that evening. I was still there, doing a sketch or writing a poem; I do not remember which one. When she saw my face under the firelight, her eyes grew wide with an emotion (terror perhaps?), but she did not shift from her spot.. 
"Don't try to move around," I said to her. When I said those words, I was incredibly surprised at myself, for those were the first words that I spoke to another human in months. In fact, those were the first words that I have ever spoken since I woke from the Lifestream. I was surprised at the sound of my own voice, but I tried not to relish in the thought of hearing it. 
The girl stopped. At that moment, I felt bad, so I reached into my pack for some jerky and offered it to her, as well as water from my canteen. She reached for it, cautious at first, but then accepted my gift and was eating madly. I then took the time to show her the makeshift cast that I made for her. Her leg was broken and she would not be unable to walk until she got a decent cast and a pair of crutches. "How are you feeling?" I asked her. 
"Fine," she replied. She sipped at the water. I went to grab some of my pottery so I could make her a cup of herbal tea. As I did, she eyed me,then asked, "Are you Sephiroth?" 
I looked back at her, my eyes fixed on her's. She shrank back, I was staring at her so hard. "Yes," I eventually said to her. 
"They said you were dead." 
It was a true statement, I supposed. I did die, after all, and was in the Lifestream. I could feel the pain in my gut, the heat of the burning Mako... I shudder at the thought of it. I always try to push it to the back of my mind. I didn't reply to her, and instead placed my jar of water over the fire. 
"Do you want some tea?" I asked. 
She nodded at me. "Thank you, Mister Sephiroth," she replied. 
I looked at her, then said, "Call me Sephiroth." 
We both watched the water heat for a few minutes, before she asked, "Sephiroth, why are you alive, if Shinra said you were dead?" 
I had no response for her, actually. Normally, people who die stay dead, without ever rising from the Lifestream. When I rose from the Lifestream, I was swept up onto the shore, wearing full armour, my clothes, my equipment, and my sword. I wondered why that was, but I never ever found an answer. So I told her, quite honestly, "I don't know why I am still alive. It may have been a mistake." 
She must have taken it as a mistake that Shinra made, when I meant that it was a mistake that I was revived. She said, "Why don't you go tell Shinra, then?" 
I shook my head. "I don't want them to know. Can you keep it a secret for me?" 
The girl nodded. I then moved the pot, added in the leaves, and poured her a cup. She seemed to enjoy it very much as she curled around the fire, sipping a warm cup. The tea would help heal her leg as well. As she finished, she curled up and fell asleep. I knew there was nothing outdoors to fear, so I put the fire out, covered the entrance up, and then fell asleep myself. 
When I woke, she was still sleeping, so I decided to go out and try a hunt. It was early in the morning, and she still seemed tired from last night. I decided to return in an hour. 
When the hour was up, I had not managed to catch much, only a rabbit. But the rabbit would certainly feed two people for a day to come. 
She was a very patient, very tolerant girl. When I brought the rabbit in and began to skin and gut it, she made no sound or protest when I thought she might have. I looked toward her, tempted to ask her if it annoyed her. But I reasoned that if it did, she would have to speak up against it. 
I checked her leg over that afternoon, and found that it was in the right position. It was a clean break, luckily for her, and although she was in pain, and crying when she thought I couldn't hear her, she took it very well. 
We ate well that evening. I suppose that she was a more tolerant guest than most. Instead of judging me by what Shinra said, she decided to see for herself, and apparently, she liked what she saw. She stayed by choice; once, a group of hunters came close to the cave and all she needed to do was call out had she wanted to leave. The girl was an artist, somewhat, and drew very excellent sketches. I lent her a charcoal and within minutes, she had a lifelike picture of the fire and the surrounding crockery. I used to think myself a fair artist before I met her, but she put my light sketches to shame. We discussed art for a long time that evening, about looking, drawing, and how lines were made. She was my teacher that day, and as she taught me some of the finer points of art, the sacrifice of my time to help her had already paid off. 
It had paid off in more ways than personal gain, however. She was a strong girl who carried herself well, knew what she was speaking about, and was able in mind and spirit. When I saved her, I didn't intend to get anything out of it. But now that I did rescue her and tend for her wounds, there was an extra bonous handed out to me, in addition to the warm feeling that serving good does. 
I made a friend. 
Her name was Grace. I found it a fitting name; her tolerance for me was a virtue. Despite the horrid stories that went about me, being a cold man, a harsh man, she sought to learn more of me. She found it strange that I did not ask for her name for almost three days. I had learned her name only because she told it to me. 
As we went into the third day, she was beginning to ask me about my journal, which she had seen on the ground. During her stay, I did not write in my journal (which is why I am writing this now) so I thought it surprising that she would ask. So I went into the book and read her one of the days I had written in the book. 
When I was done, she seemed both awed and bored at the same time, or perhaps it was just confusion. Her eyes were wide but her mouth was set in a straight line, as if trying to digest the information that I had just presented to her. She didn't say anything about it after I read it to her, and then went back to eating her breakfast. 
The passage I read to her was about being your own god, to control yourself and not to let anyone else control you. 
By that evening, she was able to walk (with assistance, of course, from both a pair of makeshift crutches and my shoulder), and we went on a short trip for fresh air when we saw flashlights and heard voices. From the loud, inconsiderate crunch of the grass under the boots of the new arrivals, I judged them to be city goers. 
The name "Grace" was being called over and over again. She looked back at me, tilted her head ever so slightly toward the bushes, then nodded at me, motioning for me to go. 
At that moment, I thought of her as more mature than she looked. 
If she is actually a nine year old girl, I would be surprised. Her mannerisms resembles someone who is fourteen. I never ever had a chance to learn her age. 
I nodded back at her, lifted my arm in slight salute, and then put her gently on the ground. I stalked off into the retreat of the black woods without a sound. 
Grace began to call out to the wandering patrollers. I did not look back, but I could hear the voices loudly; her parents and the police officers who were looking for her had fulfilled their objective. I could hear the happiness of the sobs and the tight, worried voices of the cops. The noise drowned out Grace, though, and I could not hear what she said. 
Apparently, she had not mentioned my name. 
I went back to my cave, feeling a bit of pain, but the dominant feeling in my heart was one of fulfillment. The bowls of soup and stew on the cave floor lay, as they usually did, but the difference was that there were two of them. 
I miss Grace. It would have been good for me if she had never left. But I'm glad I met her. And I'm not sad that she left. I have almost everything I need. I can live by myself. My mind is free. Best of all, I can live with myself. Unhindered by the outside world, I have learned what the human soul can do if the heart is followed. 
As I write, I think of President Shinra. Perhaps it is foolish for me to seek him. What good would it do me? It would not enlighten me, it would not force a good deed on the people. Let them deal with their own problems. 
Be tolerant. Grace has taught me that. 
I have to tolerate the behaviour, before I can go out and change it. 
I used to write about preparation. I used to think it was preparation for the destruction of the President, but now, I've learned that it was a lot more. 
It is the preparation of the self. I improve, not in body, so I can kill, nor in mind, so I can outwit. The sword is but a tool I use to practise. I do not need it. It serves only to kill. The shedding of blood is but a path to death. I do not need it. It serves only to kill. 
I improve the soul. So I can find inner peace. For, as long as I am content with myself, as long as I know I am good, I will be happy. But people like Grace, who come along and make my life brighter, turn a happy life into bliss. 
Happiness comes in many forms. But eternal bliss is really rare.


Assorted Mind
     
    "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old Age should burn against the rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage, aganst the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on the sad neight,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.

    -Dylan Thomas-
`` 
Dear Diary.
My sword still moves steadily. I practise with my bokken every day, now. I feel almost at tune with the sword. In the cave, lies my blade, the Masamune. Every day, I will clean it with oil, but I never carry it with me, nor do I ever draw it completely out of its sheath. A sword is drawn out of its sheath for one purpose only. I do not ever intend to execute that one purpose again. 
I feel the night sweep over the cave. I see the sunlight, blocked from view. It is beginning to get cold, despite the fact that it is midsummer. 
Today, when I went hunting, I was using my longbow, as usual. I thought I had a good shot at a deer, but when I let the arrow loose, it arched in the air and missed its target, as if guided by an invisible force. It hit the deer in the hip, wounding the creature. I notched another arrow, but something told me to run. 
It wasn't just instinct or habit. It was a voice. 
Run, Sephiroth, it said. The voice was hauntingly beautiful. But the scariest of all was that the voice was familiar. Run after the deer, chase it down. 
It did not take more than ten minutes for me to catch up with the animal, because it was wounded. The trail of blood made the chase easier, and my body was attuned to physical exercise. I found the animal soon after, trying to limp away weakly. 
And then, I don't know what got into me. As I think about it, my hands are trembling, and my eyes blink uncontrollably. I feel fear, nothing but fear, when I think of what I did today. 
If I were to finish off an animal, I would use my knife and slit its throat. But when I went to the deer today, I gripped its neck in my two hands and twisted. 
I... 
The mind pains to think of such a memory. It wasn't the right thing to do. I saw the blood on my hands. The spots wouldn't go away, even when I tried to wash them off later. Even now, my hands are tarnished red from the blood of the animal. I have no idea what has gotten into my head. Something is trying to grip me, take me away. 
But the most fearful thought is that, when I killed the animal, at that moment, it felt like I've done things like that my entire life. As the neck of the.... no, I won't describe such things! Let the vile thoughts, blood, violence, let them get out of my head... I don't want to see it ever again... blood.... 
I want to wash my hands again. I've never spilled blood on my hands before, until today. I detested the spilling of blood on my own hands. The way I hunted was as merciful as possible, but I never used my own hands to destroy a life. Never before did it happen. I am trying to change! What has gotten into me?? 
The night is falling. I'm starting to hear a voice again. It's begging me to leave. It's telling me that it is no good staying in the cave, like a coward, a man of no action. Who are you? What are you? 
I know you. But I don't know where. 
It's trying to suck me in. As I walk, I see images, of President Shinra and Hojo, talking with me, giving me orders. The President treated me as a friend. But I will take a step, and then I will hear the President yelling at me. 
Who is putting these thoughts into my head? I tried so hard to be a good man, someone who is not feared. I met Grace, and she believed me to be one of the nicer people she has met. I like myself! I am ME! Truly ME! I have no wish to be cold-blooded! 
My name is Sephiroth, and I am a good man! I know my friends, and I know that they like me the way I am. I am a man who honours life, respects others, and... 
... no! I am me! I am me! Get out of my head! I am Sephiroth, the man! Yes, the darkness is falling. I will not go! Do not make me go! I want to be a good man! I will not hunt for revenge! I will not destroy for my own pleasure! I am WHO I MAKE MYSELF TO BE! Leave me be!! Why do you want me to kill? I will not pick up the sword. I have left the Masamune untouched. It has not drawn blood in almost five years. I am good. I tried so har-


Out of His Mouth Came a Sharp Sword
 
    "Self-Analysis"

    The tumult of my fretted mind
    Gives me expression of a kind
    But is is faulty, hars, not plain-
    My work has the incompetence of pain.

    I am consumed with a slow fire,
    For righteousness is my desire;
    Towards that good goal I cannot whip my will,
    I am a tired horse that jibs upon a hill.

    I desire Virtue, though I love her not-
    I have no faith in her when she is got:
    I fear that she will bind and make me slave
    And send me songless to the sullen grave.

    I am like a man who fears to take a wife,
    And frets his soul with wantons all his life.
    With rich, unholy foods I stuf my maw;
    When I am sick, then I believe in law.

    I fear the whiteness of straight ways-
    I think there is no colour in unsillied days.
    My silly sins I take for my heart's ease,
    And know my beauty in the end's disease.

    Of old there were great heroes, strong in fight,
    Who, tense and sinless, kept a fire alight:
    God of our hope, in their great name,
    Give me the straight and ordered flame!

    -Anna Wickham-
`` 
Dear Diary.
I clutch on to the last tatters of my heart. Constantly, my mind is gnawing at my emotions, telling me that my intuition is wrong. But my reason is flawed, my mind is corrupt and evil. 
A calamity from the skies. A falling disaster. She has called herself 'Jenova'. 
My heart longs for goodness, but now, I fear that it is now impossible. Was I ever good? Did I ever do right? All I was doing was deluding myself. Telling myself that I was a good man when I was not. Telling myself I could change when nothing of the sort would happen. 
And yet, I hear myself saying, "Resist, resist." 
Yes, I am weary, tired, of trying to build myself up. Trying to impress other people, and tell them that I am worthy of being their friends. Trying to get others to tolerate me. 
But Grace tolerated me. She liked me for who I was. Why was I not afraid then? Why am I so afraid now? 
Because I know I am right. Grace is an exception, a beautiful light in the dark sea of woes. She is one of those rare people who can accept all she sees, and makes a judgement for herself. Had it been anyone else, they would have reported me to Shinra and turned me in for war crimes. 
In the Lifestream, I learned that Sephiroth's image was feared. The sword, Masamune, was the sharpest, and one of the finest weapons ever built, passed on from generation to generation. The skill of Sephiroth was beyond comprehension. Magic was his friend. His sword danced in his hand. But he was also cold-hearted and ice-blooded, caring nothing for anyone around him, not even himself. 
When I returned, I found that I was still Sephiroth, but only in body, and not in mind. When I heard the serene voices in the Lifestream, they told me of all the horrible things I had done in my life. They told me about Jenova, Shinra, and my birth. When I rose again, how I did not know, but when I rose again, I vowed not to be like my old self. 
But it's such a hard journey. And, when I think about it, it can't entirely be up to me. I attempt to be good, to be noble, and to uphold honour. But I will never be recognized as a good man. I have done all I have done. Now, it's up to the minds of others to change. 
The puny minds of human beings are small and closed. When they see someone, they make a stereotype. A man with dark skin, they imagine, must be violent due to his large muscles. A man who cannot speak must be without intelligence, because he cannot say anything to anyone else. The white man is superior to all others because it was the white man who won the war against Wutai, and not coloured man. 
Humans cannot learn how to tolerate others. That forever will be their weakness. They will be limited, not by their frail bodies, not by the need to breathe oxygen, and not by the need to digest food, but by their minds, which refuse to open up to accept the impossible, which refuse to open up to see people for who they really are. 
And that is why the path is so hard. I do not know how much farther I can go. I am sad all of the time, now. No one is going to accept me for who I am because when they see me, they will associate my image with one of an evil being. And I cry at the thought. No matter how hard I try,they will see me as an evil being. 
What if I killed President Shinra? 
If I killed the President, then the people would like me. They will like me if I help them, and I know the President is an evil man. He has killed thousands of people by his orders. He has killed thousands more because of those who work under him. The strength of the man pales in comparision to mine. 
Will people like me if I kill the President? 
If I kill the President, then I will be killing two birds with one stone. The people will like me, and I will also get my revenge against the man who wanted to be my god. They say that a god is immortal, undestroyable. I will prove them wrong. 
The petty humans, with their closed minds, will open up when their leader, their evil, tyrannical leader, is destroyed. They will hail me as a man who wishes to do good. They will accept me for who I am, and not who I used to be. 
Right? 
I am not sure. But the death of the President feels so right. It is so proper for it to happen. If I do it, it is the good thing to do. 
Jenova agrees with me. 
She is happy that I am doing something with my life, instead of hiding out in a cave. I believe I cannot develop any further. My skills are at their best. My sword is straight. It flies true. It does not waver in my hand. My mind is clear. As clear as it can be. Jenova helps me now. She encourages me. 
I will kill the President. 
I will gain my revenge. 
I will earn the respect of the people. 
I will grab my sword, the Masamune. It is sharp, and it is honed. It will serve me after a delay of almost five years. 
President Shinra, prepare for Sephiroth.
** Sephiroth **

President Shinra, the One and Only
The lights dimmed as the soothing sporanos and the wavering tenors sounded from the speakers. The President dimmed the lights, then switched on the seven lampposts around the front of his desk. Each one was powered by a minute amount of power from each reactor. The eigth lamppost had been removed ever since AVALANCHE struck. 
His angels, elite SOLDIER forces, would guard the seven remaining signs of Shinra's ultimate power. 
He sat at his desk, typing up memos and organizing information when he heard a loud thump at the door, interrupting the wave of violins weaved with the baritones. 
Thump. 
Tack, tack. 
Bang. 
The President looked up. The bodyguards would take care of it. 
Shouts were heard from outside of the door. "Oh my god!!!" 
"Run for your life!" 
The President looked up, face in a frown. 
The door hissed open. 
The President saw a familiar face. At first, he was astonished, but then he broke into a smile. "How nice it is for you to...." 
His voice faltered. He saw the eyes, filled with rage and hatred. "I have come for you," the newcomer said in a smooth, clear voice that was just above a whisper. 
The sound of seven clarion trumpets played from the speakers in a dramatic cresendo. 
And President Shinra screamed.


Sephiroth 7:0 - Breaking of the Seal
"When the Lamb Broke Open the Seventh Seal, there was Silence in Heaven for about half an hour."
-Revelations 8:2-

    "Injunction"

    The Angel that presided o'er my birth
    Said, "Little creature, formed of joy and mirth,
    Go, love, without the help of anything on earth."

    -William Blake-
`` 
Dear Diary.
I can see nothing, and feel nothing, except for one thing: the slippery, warm blood that is all over my hands. 
As I write this, my pen is shaking. The page is not white, but stained red. It is horrible. 
And I am scared. 
I thought I was scared a few weeks back, scared of humanity and the city, scared of the Paradise for the Cowards of the human race. But that was nothing compared to the heart-striking terror I feel now. Jenova tells me that I have no soul, but when I feel this pain inside my emotions, threatening every cell in my body, overwhelming all of my nerves, stabbing my heart with a pain not physical, but purely emotional, I know I have a soul. Only a soul can be vulnerable to such intense emotion. 
Jenova tells me that the soul is the weakness of the human race. 
President Shinra is dead. When I approached his desk, surrouned by seven lampposts, the sword, my precious Masamune, left the sheath, parted the air, and slit open the chest of the man. He died just as I heard the clarion call of seven trumpets cry from the speakers above. 
I destroyed god. God made no move as blood, his red, flowing blood, sprayed forth from the two halves of his body. The liquid that gives us life shot forth from the severed arteries and the slit heart. The blood flowed over my sword and dripped between my fingers. 
But neither the blood, nor the use of my sword, was the source of the fear. 
The fear comes from within. Inside, where Jenova inhabits. She believed herself to be in control, believed herself the only one inside, inside the self that I know as me. Within my heart, the beating heart of Sephiroth, my conscience, my feelings, and my thoughts still lie, unable to be kept down. When I killed Shinra, my feelings and my conscience were not there. Only after the man died, and I escaped, did my feelings rush back to fill me. 
And my mind did not like what it saw. I do not know how I can live with myself. I thought I despited the President. I thought I would be doing good for the people. I thought I was going to be accepted. But it wasn't me doing the thinking. How could this possibly lead to good? Shinra may have done some things to me, but I did not even let him speak. I charged him and destroyed him. He was an unarmed man. He used to be my master. 
I so desperately wanted to be a good man! I wanted to love, and to hope, and to be like anyone else on the world! I wanted to return to society! I wanted to share my experiences with others, like the people in the city do. The city is a paradise for cowards who dare not live unprotected, but yet, I ran away even from there. 
It is no longer possible for me to return. My hands are stained. Jenova stained my hands for me. I cannot forgive myself. Even though it is Jenova who tried, it was me who did the killing. It was me who was unable to resist the temptations she offered. 
I cannot forgive myself. I do not expect others to forgive me either. 
You can forgive me? No, you cannot. 
Revenge? Yes, I have received my revenge. Revenge is bitter. It is not sweet. 
I cry. I do not deserve to live. My tears are mixed with the blood of the President. The clear water mixes with the crimson on my page. My diary is bloodstained. 
I want to destroy myself. My experiences are stained with the consequence of my actions. I do not know my tanto is, so my sword will have to do. The world is not for me. And I cannot live. My sword rises.
I cannot do it. I am so weak! I cannot stand the thought of the pain. I thought I was strong. I was wrong. If I was strong, I would be able to tolerate myself, just like Grace tolerates me. 
I want to do good. But it's too late. 
So I should give up? I've worked so hard! I've killed the President. Yes, I know where it has gotten me. It has sent me nowhere. I am a nervous wreck. I cannot speak about it. I wanted to do goodness, but instead, I only feel the warm blood on my hands. I cannot get rid of it. 
I shake my head. It is hopeless. I want to die, but I cannot. I want to hide, but I cannot. I want to escape, but I cannot. 
I hear a voice. She tells me to remember. I have done all I can. It is not my business to change, for I have done everything I could. It is the business of others to change. 
Jenova is right. I have tried my hardest. Others must change, not me. I cannot forget the blood. But perhaps I can still try to do good. I want to make others change. I want to open the minds of humans. 
I want to be accepted. 
My bloody sword is in its sheath. I must try to clean the weapon. The blood still scares me. But the blood on the diary will be there forever. 
How appropriate. The blood will forever stain my diary, just like Shinra's death will forever stain my life.
** Sephiroth **

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