Chapter 3: The Truth of the Past

Cloud wearily opened his eyes. "I'm still alive?" He said aloud, quite surprised that he survived a fall from such a great height even through sheer determination. Slowly, he got up to his feet and checked his surroundings. The floor was a web of complex structures of metal plating and air vents and In front of him stood several rows of bipedal machines, each mounted with automatic rifles. " I must be inside some kind of military facility, but how?" As he gazed skyward, he noticed a huge structure, which was very familiar to him. "That huge Cannon, I'm in Junon ... . But ... .that cannon was destroyed by Weapon in Midgar. Yet here it stands now."

"Does that surprise you Cloud?" A gentle female voice inquired. Although he was rarely surprised by the events that transpired around him, the voice seemed strangely recognizable. Cloud's eyes widened as he turned abruptly towards the direction of the voice and there before him stood a petite figure clad in a Shinra soldier's uniform. "And how is it that you know my name?" Cloud questioned the soldier skeptically, while carefully studying her appearance. "I know a lot about you Cloud. I know of the long journey you took and your many encounters with Shinra and of your deep hatred towards Sephiroth."

Cloud jumped back, his hands instantly reaching for the hilt of his sword behind his back. "What? What happened to my sword?" And for a second, his eyes caught a glimpse of his own image reflected on the shiny metal armor of one of Shinra's bipedal monstrosities. He couldn't fathom what he saw, He was clad from the neck and down in the same Shinra uniform as the strange girl in front of him. His eyes were now riveted on his adversary who had drawn an assassin's dagger. With superhuman speed, she ran up towards him. Her knife-hand flashed for an instant and Cloud felt the cold steel of the knife resting against his neck. Never in all his life had he fought against any opponent who could move so fast and defeat him with so little effort even if he was weaponless. If she had been an ordinary soldier she couldn't have possibly succeeded with such a simple attack.

"Hmm ... now perhaps that chased some silly ideas out of your head." The female soldier said to him keeping the knife depressed to his neck which was now bleeding with a slight cut from the blade's sharp edges. "I bet you're a little bit surprised at how I did that ... well ... .you'll find out in due time hee hee hee. All that you need to do now is to trust me and witness the truth with your eyes."

"The truth? And what truth would you have me see?" Cloud asked the young woman. "You may have already realized this but this is your past or at least a part of it and that is why Shinra's symbol of power, that huge cannon the "Sister Ray" still stands. You saw with your own eyes how Weapon destroyed it." As she said this, she sheathed her knife, which she had been aiming at Cloud's neck. "Now perhaps you can trust me better. I could have killed you right there but I didn't. You can think of me as your guide inside this world for now." She removed her Shinra Soldier's helmet and Cloud saw that she was in fact a very beautiful young woman. She had emerald green eyes, golden hair and crimson red lips. Her eyes seemed innocent, sad and distant. At that moment, she looked quite fragile and weak despite the incredible skills she had just displayed. Strangely, she was wearing a tiara on her hair underneath the helmet.

She looked deep into his blue mako-infused eyes and smiled brazenly. "I seem to have injured your neck. Hold still." The young soldier raised her right hand high into the air and gradually closed her eyes as if trying to meditate. The wind suddenly grew stronger and waves of green-colored light gathered around her in a spiral. She chanted some unintelligible words in a peculiar language and pointed her hand at Cloud. Almost instantly, the green waves of energy traveled towards him and he felt a sense of calm and relief. The queer spell immediately closed up his light neck wound, much to his surprise. "How is it that you can use a curative spell without any materia?" Asked Cloud. " I can't tell you right now, it's better if you find out the answer yourself."

Their conversation was cut off by the sound of footsteps heading towards them. "That's Zack I'd better wear this. Just trust me ok?" She swiftly put on her helmet. "Yo Cloud! Get off your lazy ass we're moving out. Sephiroth himself will supervise us on this mission." Cloud immediately recognized Zack's voice. He beheld his friend wearing the proud battle gear of SOLDIER and an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and loss swept over him. He felt that he could break down into tears at that very moment looking at his slain companion standing very much alive before him. Yet, tears were useless right now, he had to find some way to return to the present. "Yes sir! I left my helmet inside my locker. I'll go get it right now."

"That's fine let's go together." Zack turned to the soldier standing next to Cloud. "You there. Come with us. I have to brief you two on the mission." The Soldier nodded. "Yes sir!" Disguising her voice to sound like a young man. As they walked together, Zack discussed the mission at hand. Cloud recognized this scene immediately. This is the time when Sephiroth ruthlessly burned down Nibelheim and slashed Tifa. "You say that I should trust you because you would be my guide here. Yet.. you seem so mysterious. I can't trust someone who won't even give me her name." He whispered to the petite female soldier. "It's Sirea" She whispered back. "Sirea huh? All right then Sirea, I'll play along with your little game. However, bear in mind that I still don't trust you completely." The soldier nodded and they both remained silent for the rest of the way to the locker rooms.

Cloud's thoughts turned to his childhood friend Tifa. "I promised to always come along and protect her whenever she was in trouble. I wonder how you're doing right now Tifa. I seem to have traveled back in time into my own past. Whatever forces led me here, I feel as though I won't be able to come back for awhile. I met a strange girl named Sirea here. She claims to be on my side and that she would be my guide here. I feel no evil intent on her, yet I know better than to trust someone blindly. Perhaps there is still something that I must do here. Some ... mystery that I must uncover. For now, I'll just have to work together with Sirea."

Chapter 4   |   Fanfiction