My endeavors to protect my sweet love had been to no avail. And as a result, I appear where I am today. This coffin. This cramped, stagnant home of mine. I feel dead; and perhaps that was the way he meant it to be. This body of mine... this empty husk of which I cannot escape hides not the cruel intentions of that killer.

Hojo. A man I once admit to respecting. He and Professor Gast were geniuses. And I...I was simply a Turk...On security for a certain experiment thirty-one years ago. I was oblivious of course, only a lowly Turk amongst the greats, and among Lucrecia. Of the experiment I knew very little. Only that it was crucial to each and every one of the scientists, so crucial that the damnable Hojo would be driven mad with his work, and events would lead to be very twisted.

I was assigned in Nibelheim, a quiet town on the western continent. Quiet, but eerie and foreboding nonetheless. Perhaps I should have taken note of that before I had gotten involved. I arrived in Nibelheim with my fellow teammates, and was to report to the Nibel Mansion, where I was to guard the library, as a sentry. Turks were different back then, as a matter of course. Kidnapping and headhunting were certainly not part of the contract or the order of the day as they are now. But I've digressed...

So the scientists met and gathered cordially, and of course I was always to be on the opposite side of the door, watching and waiting for a threat that in fact never came until much, much later, thirty years later, to be specific. Information was strictly confidential. Of course that does not mean that I did not hear plenty of their conversations over what would be the next year. But the first point in time that stands out clearly amongst my memories was the fateful day, when I indeed met with Professor Hojo.

My first month as sentry to the scientists had passed slowly. I was paid well, not that it was much consolation to the drab, tedious hours of my day. However, it was one day that I happened to be on break for a half hour, when a man I had seen frequently during the past weeks approached me in passing.

"Have you seen Lucrecia?" Hojo, who was around my age, perhaps one or two years older inquired.

"Lucrecia?" I had no inclination of who this woman was.

"Yes, Lucrecia. She is,” a pause, “an acquaintance of mine. And one of the lead geneticists."

"I'm sorry, sir. But I've not seen anyone for quite some time. My apologies."

"Very well." With that, the lean, strangely intense looking man dispersed from my presence, never looking any which way but straight ahead, as if eager to leave.

My next encounter, though not with Hojo, was the beginning of what I thought was to be the best time of my life, but in actuality, was indeed the nightmare's beginning. As I was one day standing guard, oblivious to the horrors that were being performed on the other side of the mansion's lab door, I stumbled across a young woman...or rather, she stumbled upon me. She was turning round one of the cold, stone walls, when her path met with my body, sending her much smaller figure to the musty, damp ground. I was most certainly surprised, and offered my hand to her, and to that she seemed most grateful.

"My apologies, sir...I didn't see you!" She seemed exasperated. Acknowledging that I had certainly given her a fright, it was quite understandable. You see, the basement of the mansion is dreary, with echoes and creatures that are frightening and unimaginable. I was surprised that she was walking alone in the first place.

"Please, forgive me. I don't believe I know your name, miss" I surprised myself when a flare of desire to know rose up inside of me. I had never been 'good' so to speak with the opposite sex, and cared little prior to meeting this woman.

"Lucrecia. Nice to meet you?" She seemed to wish to know my name as well, and her emerald eyes seemed to lock to my own, staring coolly and sending an unfamiliar chill upon my spine, though she did smile. Yes. A pretty smile.

"Vincent. Vincent Valentine."

"Well, Vincent, it's been a pleasure to meet you." Her eyes twinkled beneath the lenses of her glasses.

"And you." I hesitated for a brief moment before answering, not wanting to sound as it I were desperate, confused as to why I cared during the same moment.

"Well, Mr. Valentine, I must be going to the lab now. I have to assist...and acquaintance."

I nodded, hardly knowing what to say.

And so I retired to my room for the night, off the monotonous duty with a sense of pleasure and relief. I removed my jacket and tie, feeling strangely content for once, the past month having been one of the most stressful in my few years of 'Turkhood'. Perhaps it had been because of my chance encounter with Lucrecia. She had had a strange effect upon my mind, one that left me with an unsettling feeling, along with another of happiness, and a small wisp of a kind of daze. Meeting her had taken away any and all of my lingering regrets and doubts of being involved with Professor Hojo, and Professor Gast. A strong effect, indeed, considering how many strange occurrences had been taking place shortly after our arrival into Nibelheim.

On the day when I had met Professor Hojo, I heard a conversation between him and Professor Gast. It can claim to be a conversation that neither surprised, nor unnerved me, while giving me reason to believe that something out of character had begun to occur. Just as I had begun to retreat from my shift, out of the silence on the other side of the door, I heard a long, annoyed sigh. I snapped my head back, quite surprised that someone had in actuality been in the room. For five hours I had stood sentry, and not a word. Even though I had been separated by a large wooden door from anyone that resided on the opposite side, I swear upon my life, I heard not a word.

"Professor Gast, where did you place Sample A?"

A pause.

"You needn't call it that any longer, Hojo."

"Oh?" Hojo sounded inquisitive.

"I have named it. I have named it Jenova."

"Very well. But that is of little matter to me, anyhow. Where did you place...Jenova Sample A?"

I heard a shuffle, and then Gast's voice. "Over here."

"Thank you. Have you begun the injections upon...." There was a pause, as if Hojo was thinking. "Recipient A?"

"You mean your -- "

"No! Not in the lab. In the lab, it exists only as Recipient A."

"Do you think that this is right?"


"What we are doing. Our expirimentation? Our calculations? Jenova? All of it."

"My dear Gast! We are scientists. We live to create. We have found what we have so desperately searching for. We have found what we could only hope for in a million years! An Ancient. Cetra. Jenova. What we are doing is not wrong. The geological stratum was waiting to be found. Two thousand years of mystery has been uncovered."

"I know, I know... But...Recipient A..."

"Recipient A agreed to this. Therefore there was no force, as you know, Gast." His tone sounded bitter and cold while saying that sentence, as if the Professor was trying his patience.


And then it was over. Of course I understood very little of what was going on. I guessed that a large discovery had taken place with the scientists, and that they were simply experimenting with the deceased remains of whatever had been discovered. From what they had concurred upon, the being, as I guessed, was over two thousand years of age, and found in a sort of cave. Nothing seemed odd, or out of character at the least, until I remembered the name....'Recipient A'...It left a bad taste upon my mouth, to say the least. Little did I know that both the thing being experimented upon, and the recipient of the being's cell injections, were far, far from deceased.

But I believe that I'm 'getting ahead of myself'. Much happened prior to my enlightenment of the truth of these events. Allow me to explain.

One night, some days later, I had heard a hauntingly beautiful voice singing softly from a distance, outside my window. I awoke, and found the air to be very chill. I hugged my bare chest, realizing that I had indeed forgotten to change into my night's clothes, having fallen asleep upon my bed as soon as I had removed my work shirt. I quickly gathered an alternate shirt from where I had stored it upon my bureau. I slipped it over my head, careful not to make much noise, as I did not wish to cause whomever was singing a fright, though the mere thought, looking back, was quite illogical, seeing as I was a distance from the person. Anyhow, I paced down the spiral stairs, careful to avoid certain steps, which creaked terribly, and with no rest, despite my intentions. I arrived in the main foyer, where I heard the mysterious voice continue its singing, hearing it a bit louder and clearer, as I seemed to be drawing nearer.

I walked briskly through the pathway of the mansion, briefly glancing up at the evening sky, in all its glory. It was always my favorite time of day...Free from so many people, quiet and peaceful. The stars were particularly clear that night, and the air, I realized, was even colder outside than it had been in my room. I could see my breath as I walked over the cobblestones, and I followed the voice still, for some time, until I at last reached its owner.


Her eyes were shut softly, her hair loose from the tie that I had occasionally seen her using. It flowed over her shoulders, framing her face nicely, and I noticed she was free from her lab coat, as well. I inhaled sharply, to my dismay, causing her to snap her emerald eyes wide open in alarm in response. She seemed to attempt screaming, but then came the realization that it was simply I, simply Vincent, that had come to listen.

She stared at me for a moment, regaining her composure, then sighed and gave a small smile, much to my relief. "Vincent, what are you doing out here?"

"I could ask the same of you..." Indeed I was curious as to why she was out alone, not to mention at that hour...

"I like the evening. It's so peaceful...and relaxing." She sighed once more.

"I understand." Just seconds before I was thinking almost the exact thoughts as she.

She stared at me a moment, as if analyzing my thoughts and intentions, before looking down. "This place...Nibelheim...I don't like it at all. It's frightening. As if, as if the town itself can think. Sometimes I hear it whispering to me while I'm asleep."

I stared at her. I noticed, with no surprise, that I had felt similar in the past few months. I was about to respond, when she quickly changed the subject.

"I like you, Vincent. And I wish to show you something. That is, if you would like to see it."

"Yes." I briefly hoped that I didn't sound too eager. "I would like that."

"Follow me, then." She gave me a small smile.

And so I did. For two hours I did. Out of Nibelheim, and into the grassy plains surrounding the mountains of Nibel, past moonlit forests, and never once did I question her intentions. I trusted her, and I secretly wished that she felt the same as I.

"We're almost here." She smiled at me, her face lit by the moon. Yes. A pretty smile.

I smiled back, of course, my stomach fluttering with foreign feelings. Foreign, but pleasant nonetheless. I was attracted to her. I had certainly never felt an attraction quite like this before. It confused me, and left me unsure of what to do...

Focus your thoughts, Vincent. You are being quite foolish. She certainly does not feel the same.

We ascended a large hill, lit by the rays of moonlight, and continued until we at last reached a downward slope, as if the place was the remains of a large crater's impact. However, lit by the illustrious moon, was not simply a slope. The downward hill led into a small beach, and shimmering water trickled in a small river and pond. A waterfall complemented the setting, adding to the effect of a secretive, surreal place. It was beautiful, and I had never before had such a respect for this nature of the planet.

"I came across this place one day haphazardly. Isn't it beautiful?" A ray of light caught her eyes, emitting the illusion of a green glow. I tried to ignore the feelings stirring inside of me, but as soon as I abandoned them, they shifted themselves into my thoughts.


"There is more, Vincent, behind the waterfall. I think that it was once a praying place."

She jogged over to the waterfall, and walked through the side, disappearing behind the foam that was emitted by the spitting stream of cascading water.

I followed her, of course, and I was amazed at what met with my vision. It was a circular room, with walls, which were clear, as if made of ice. But in the back of the room, in the center, was what appeared to be an ancient altar. Rays of light of an unknown source were emitted in a weird glow, adding to the aura of the cavern.

When I turned to look at Lucrecia, I found with surprise that she was staring at me, the same intention gauging look written upon her face. This time she cautiously stepped forward, looking down shyly at her feet. I stepped closer as well, mirroring her motions. My heart was pounding, a feeling that I could never recall in quite this same fashion, and I desperately wished that she could not hear it as I could. She swept away a strand of my hair from my eyes, and kissed me once upon the cheek before cautiously stepping away before I could react.

"We should head back soon, Vincent." I found that she was blushing, batting her pretty eyelashes together, and smiling at me.

I despised the thought of any departure at that moment, but I of course agreed.

The next months went by fairly quickly. I saw Lucrecia more and more, almost daily, though trying to keep our relationship secretive. I feared for my job, and for the thought of never seeing her if we were caught together on one of our evenings out. And another thing startled me... A few nights proceeding this particular evening, I had seen a shadowy figure behind a wall of one of the houses in the center of town, while we were meeting under the well. It startled me, and Lucrecia had apparently seen the figure also. Immediately upon noticing, she had fled, without a word, except for a single look of concern written across her face. The shadow dispersed from the pool of light that I had seen it under, though I had heard no footsteps.

As I lay sleeping that night, I heard a loud knocking on the heavy oak door of my room. The window was open, next to my bed, and the room was chill. I could clearly see my breath as I grabbed a shirt and paced across the creaking, moaning boards of hard wood. I first shut the window, before proceeding to find who was knocking at the hour of night. In fact, by gazing at my clock I came to the realization that it was no longer night anymore. It was exactly 3:00 in the morning. I opened the door steadily and cautiously, my eyes still not having adjusted to the darkness that had enveloped my room. I rubbed them, causing those silly flashings of imaginary light to spring across my vision. I then looked down the hallway, confusedly, not seeing any source of the knock. As I was shutting the door, a figure pounced out of the adjacent hallway, sending me sprawling backwards upon my spine, and leaving me to struggle to maintain my composure. The figure stood over me, waiting f! or my next move.

"Who the hell are you?" My voice was gravel like, in my only then half conscious state of mind.

"Get up." The voice sounded familiar.

I shakily rose to my feet, stepping backwards. I had barely risen when a fist met with my face, sending a trickle of blood from my nose to my mouth. I licked the blood. By then my eyes had adjusted. It was Hojo, and he was very, very angry.

"You've been seeing her, you bastard."

I shook my head, confused.

He spat at me, "Stay out of our lives. I didn't hire you to have you meddle in our affairs. My life! My research is contained in her, as well as in myself! How dare you try to invade that!"

I had no idea what he spoke of. I could only mutter a confused sort of mumble.

Another punch in my face brought me to realization. He lifted his hand. There was a ring...

"Have you seen Lucrecia?" Hojo, who was around my age, perhaps one or two years older, inquired.

"...Lucrecia?" I had no inclination of who this woman was.

"Yes, Lucrecia. She is an acquaintance of mine."

"I have to assist an acquaintance" her voice rang hollowly in my ears

A flashback occured to me, and suddenly it came to me that she was affiliated with Hojo. Perhaps more than affiliated. I felt so stupid, never having noticed the unsettling relationship prior to this...

"Have you seen Lucrecia?" Hojo's voice.

"Yes, Lucrecia. She is an acquaintance of mine."

An aspect of both of their speeches seemed similar, in synchronicity, as if practiced, and strangely out of place to me. "Acquaintance" seemed to be what they considered themselves in a mutual fashion. Such a cold and careless word for such a deep relationship, I thought as I came to a realization.

That word seemed to be such an utter fabrication as I put the pieces together. And I, oblivious to the end. I knew now that the two, my love and my hatred, were more. Much more.

My jaw twitched absently as my blood boiled inside of my body. (Oh how I miss that body!) It was then that another realization hit me.

"Thank you. Have you begun the injections upon...? There was a pause, as if Hojo was thinking. "Recipient A?"

"Your -- "

"No! Not in the lab. In the lab, it exists only as Recipient A."

Recipient A... I didn't want to believe what I was remembering.

"I know, I know... But...Recipient A..."

"Recipient A agreed to this. Therefore there was no force, as you know, Gast." I remember at the time that my thoughts were completely incoherent. It is that feeling that we all experience at times. It was the feeling of a dream, and for a time I thought that indeed it was. But as minutes passed, I found otherwise.

I quickly dressed and rushed off to Lucrecia's quarters, which were strangely across town, intent on finding the truth of the events taking place, and to save her at any cost. I ran stealthily across the wind beaten cobblestones under the night sky, my chest heaving vehemently as I continued this pace until I reached my destination. I found that the door to the house was locked, and subsequently broke though the window, and crawled through to the other side, meticulously attempting to quiet my ragged breathing. When I reached her quarters, however, it was empty. No trace of anything was to be found. I was shocked, of course, and incensed at the thought of Hojo taking her to perform some genetically altering experiment upon the woman that had grown so precious to me over these past months. When I returned to the laboratory, I was surprised by the open door, curiously and cautiously stepping inside, watching my back as well for any sort of potential setup. No one was to be found within the rooms, and so I took the liberty of bolting the door behind me. That was my first mistake. I came to a bookshelf, vast sweeping rows of dusty volumes lined carefully across its shelves. Strangely, I found a book of Hojo's notes. I took it. Hojo took care in always labeling his notes, though I cannot remember its name, which is odd, considering that I remember everything else so clearly.

I looked to its table of contents, and flipped to a page that I had heard Hojo speak of. The page stated that an 'Ancient was found in a geological stratum of 5000 years', and that he and Gast had named it 'Jenova'.

"I have named it...I have named it Jenova."

"Very well. But that is of little matter to me, anyhow. Where did you place...Jenova Sample A?"

There was a shuffle, and then Gast's voice. "Over here."

"Thank you. Have you begun the injections upon... "A pause, as if Hojo was thinking. "Recipient A?"

What in God's name was recipient A? I wondered, inquisitive as to what they were injecting upon. Then I remembered.

"Recipient A?"

"You mean your -- "

"No! Not in the lab. In the lab, it exists only as Recipient A."

So, I realized, this 'recipient' had another name besides the one mentioned...

"I know, I know... But...Recipient A..."

"Recipient A agreed to this. Therefore there was no force, as you know, Gast."

Hojo seemed to have been clarifying something...Perhaps that recipient A was a person? I tried to remember more instances that manifested evidence. Ah..yes!

"Stay out of our lives. I didn't hire you to have you meddle in our affairs. My life! My research is contained in her, as well as in myself! How dare you try to invade that!?"

"My research is contained in her"

Lucrecia. He had been injecting his own wife with...ancient genes? I tried to put the pieces together...But nothing seemed to make sense...What I wanted to know were his true intentions...And I was about to find out.

I knocked over a metal crate as a firm hand gripped my neck and sent me flying over dozens of trays and medical instruments, a violent clanging resulting from the attack. Hojo had come in...But I had bolted the door...?

"Mr. Valentine...I thought I warned you...Did I not?" His voice was dripping with anger I knew not existed until that very moment.

"What...what the hell are you doing to Lucrecia, you miserable bastard!"

"If I recall," he stepped closer, and paced backward "I hired you! You don't ask the questions, Valentine. And you sure as hell won't get the answers."

"You're injecting her with foreign substances! What the hell are you trying to do? You're going to kill her you son of a bitch!" I was enraged beyond my wildest dreams.

"It appears that someone has done their research! Good boy, Vincent. But no, I wouldn't try to kill my wife. Certainly not while she is pregnant with our son!" He grinned maniacally at the look of absolute shock written upon my face. I could not believe what I was hearing. Lucrecia... pregnant? Hojo's child?

"But I can give you answers. Oh yes...but I'd also have to make sure that there wasn't a soul that you could tell. Would you like me to tell you the answers, Vincent?" He seemed to signal to someone behind me, but I was positive that when I had come in, there had been no one there! How foolish of me not to have checked every crevice of the perimeter...The odds were getting worse by the minute....

I spun around, knocking a syringe off of a tray. A member of a separate security faction that certainly had not been present simply moments before, jabbed my arm with a large needle, before I was conscious to react. I swung at him with my full force, knocking him to the ground and temporarily stunning him. A trickle of blood ran slowly down his face. I then spun back to Hojo, my senses at full alert. But something began to bother me. Hojo was laughing at me... he was laughing...shaking with humor that was unbeknownst to me...I felt my eyelids grow heavier, my body began to strain simply by standing up. It felt as though a wall had struck my limbs...and I found myself wobbling unsteadily, and gradually slumping to the floor.

"Feeling tired, Vincent?" He cocked his head to the side, throwing me a mock pity face, before smiling again.

"You...you bast..." My speech was slurred, and try as I might, I could not finish the sentence. The world seemed to be moving so slowly, and though I was not in motion myself, I felt as though I was attempting to run through waste deep water. He had obviously injected me with a sedative, and a strong one at that.

"It's all right. The effects will only last a few hours. And that's plenty of time for me to carry out my plans, and explain to you just what's 'going on here.'" He punctuated every word with a slow, steady pronunciation. Grinning, he and the newly conscious guard dragged me to a table, pinning my limbs with metal clasps to the sides of the table as I lay helpless, struggling in my alternate world of stunted motion and time.

I lifted my head, trying to speak understandably, "What -- Hnuh?" However he simply pushed my head down and silenced me with a slap across the face. I could feel my cheek grow hot and tinted.

"You see, Vincent...the thing is... Lucrecia is going to bring into this world a Human/Jenova hybrid. Think of the possibilities! The experiments... the revival of a race that once dominated the planet!"

I could only struggle to keep my eyes open, attempting my hardest to focus on his words.

"Yes...It will be a boy. We've already named him. Sephiroth. Lovely name, is it not? Oh, and I've already sent her away to isolation until he is born...Then I'll have my way with her." I was devastated, obscenely angry with myself for not having been able to save her when I could have... when I began to notice that things were getting eerie and out of hand.

"Now that you've gotten your answers," He continued, dragging out a large saw like implement, "Its time for the fun I promised you earlier. Remember when I told you that you wouldn't be able to share this information with a soul?"

I struggled to break free of the bonds.

"You remember?" He repeated.

I tried to nod.

"Well, I was serious. Ready for the time of your life, Vincent?" He laughed like a maniac, and I was helpless as he began to point the saw to my arm. I screamed despite my restraints and muddled thoughts, the thought of my limb being cut off sobering me instantly. The saw hit my flesh with a searing rip, and the most mind blowing, excruciating pain that one may dare to imagine, resulted. The sound, the buzzing as my arm was being erased from my body drove me insane, my entire frame jerking vehemently, absolutely hideous shrieks of terror and unbearable, incurable pain ravaging my whole body. I do not remember clearly the look upon his face, but I imagine it would have been one of satisfaction to say the least. I did not make it a moment more, as my world faded away into oblivion and the beginning of the darkness that would envelop the rest of life from that point on. When I next woke up was some time later...thirty years later to be exact, though I did not know at the time. I had been interrupted by my later comrades, woken from the nightmare that had consumed my mind for three decades of sleep. When I awoke, I found to my dismay and confusion that my former arm was merely a golden prosthetic claw, though I could move it as I could my other hand. My senses were distorted, amplified rather, so that my vision and sensation of sound are much greater than that of any normal human. I think that perhaps I died...sometime along the way, and when he took my arm that fateful night, I believe that he took something with it also...My happiness...my soul, and my hopes of ever being the same, or truly alive.

My endeavors to protect my sweet love had been to no avail. And as a result, I appear where I am today. This coffin. This cramped, stagnant home of mine. I feel dead; and perhaps that was the way he meant it to be. This body of mine... this empty husk of which I cannot escape hides not the cruel intentions of that killer.