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23 February 2009 @ 08:38 pm
002 - Paranoia  
[Back on Gaia, it wouldn't be strange or unusual to see someone running on the beach in the morning. Some bigwig executive who had a daily exercise routine, and perhaps he was on vacation in Costa Del Sol... (Because, really, the beaches every where else were less then appealing.) But here, on this planet, at midnight and with rain falling so hard it could leave welts, that sight would be unusual, to say the least. And certainly anyone still in their right mind would wonder what there was to be running from...]

[From the past? From the future? Cloud had plenty of experience running from his pain. He even ran away from home, didn't he. Ran away from home, from Tifa... abandoned Aerith, Zack... He was good at running. It so happens that often the physical reflects the mental and so now we see a man on the beach and he's running and running and running. There's no break in this marathon.]

[The open space isn't safe. He's too vulnerable, there are too many angles he can't cover, there's that creepy ship and the water and the rain. Oh, right, can't forget the hovering spacecraft that had abducted that kid, can't forget it. Can't forget Meteor. There's the same aura of foreboding and it's just waiting to plummet down to Gaia and kill them all. Cloud failed. They all failed.]

[The Sphere that's been following him suddenly decides to turn on, apparently bored with his silence and wanting something more exciting to happen. He turns towards the forest and, if it's even possible at this point, speeds up. He can't afford to slow down, not now, not when Sephiroth is right there and nowhere is safe. Nowhere. Something hovers at the very edge of his vision and it's silver and unnatural and him. He reaches for his sword but it. is. not. there. Materia he forgot he had found with the rest of his belongings on the beach appeared in his hand without his recollection.]

[Suddenly the ground begins to shake and a pillar of earth shoots skyward. Quake 3.]


Tifa... Aerith...

[He continues into the forest. Back to shelter.]
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Haruno Sakura [OU]: !!fearlessflower on February 24th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
Cloud Strife [original]: [Angry] ... give them back!onafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
[He's there, right there but he can't be reached. But, no, he can see someone -- not Sephiroth. Where did he go?]

Who is it?


Haruno Sakura [OU]: Worriedfearlessflower on February 24th, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
[She's tapping her left palm with a pencil held in her right. Tap. Tap tap tap. Tap. Tap tap tap.]

My name is Sakura, please, calm down.
Cloud Strife [original]: [Surprised] Ohhhhh no~onafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
[His mind is still racing, but his heart has started to slow down. Not Sephiroth. Maybe he's not here. It wouldn't be the first time something had been all in his head. But it felt so real. He's not convinced.]

It's not safe here.
Haruno Sakura [OU]: Unhappyfearlessflower on February 24th, 2009 03:14 am (UTC)
No, but not for the reasons you think. A lot of people are hallucinating right now. It's a symptom of paranoid schizophrenia.
Cloud Strife [original]: [!Pain] i'll fight it aloneonafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 03:26 am (UTC)
Hallucinations? [He's had experience with that... But not this time. He shakes his head in denial. This time he has control. He can defeat Sephiroth once and for all.]

He's alive, and out there! He will destroy the Planet.
Haruno Sakura [OU]: Uncertainfearlessflower on February 24th, 2009 03:31 am (UTC)
Who...?

No. Please listen to me. I'm sure something is causing this, but don't panic. Whoever you think is there... They aren't.
Cloud Strife [original]: [Fighting] I HAS BIG SWORDonafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 03:56 am (UTC)
It's Sephiroth. I need to defeat him, for the sake of the Planet. It's all my fault.

[He does not trust you. Paranoia is a dangerous thing. But your eyes remind him of someone he's failed, left behind. It begins to calm him down slightly, as Aerith's presence has always done. Nevertheless, he's not out of the woods yet... both literally and figuratively.]
Haruno Sakura [OU]: Worriedfearlessflower on February 24th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC)
I understand. [She's trying to be soothing, as best she can, though the look in his eyes is unsettling.]

But right now you can't do anything. We're all being tricked. Please, if you can calm down... You're welcome to visit the medical tent. I can make you some tea. You can tell me about Sephirtoh, if he's here we'll deal with him, if it's all a hallucination... It's better not to go off on your own in either case, right?
Cloud Strife [original]onafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 11:24 pm (UTC)
No... [He's got a splitting headache now, very similar to the ones Jenova used to give him.]

[But his breathing is more controlled. He can think rationally about this. Sephiroth wants him to come running, unprepared and scared half out of his mind. He's dealt with him before and he can deal with him again. His sword, though...]

I can't involve anyone else. He's waiting. [No one will be hurt because of him again.]
Kadaj: angryformyreunion on February 24th, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
Running, Brother? You should run!

[The last words are practically screamed into the sphere, the one yelling looking nearly hysterical.]
Cloud Strife [original]: [Fighting] I HAS BIG SWORDonafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 11:31 pm (UTC)
Kadaj. [It takes him a minute to realize that Kadaj's voice came from the Sphere, not knowing it had turned on of its own accord.]

You brought him here. You and Jenova! [This change from the usually somewhat collected Kadaj does not register with him. All he knows is that he is here and he has to defeat him and Kadaj has something to do with it and he can't let him kill anyone else.]
Kadaj: purest madnessformyreunion on February 24th, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
[He scoffs, and actually rolls his eyes.] Please. Do you think I willingly had any part in bringing him here? Don't you know what that would mean for me, Brother? If he is here then it is either on his own accord, or...Mother's choice.

[He lowers his head briefly. The calm in his voice is gone, replaced with jealousy and anger.]

I can't stand it if she chooses him, but she'll make sure the job is completed one way or another.
Cloud Strife [original]: [Angry] ... give them back!onafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
You still haven't learned? It would mean what it's always meant -- you are only a remnant, a puppet to his will. Jenova doesn't care for puppets.

[He has no time for Remnants and games. Not when he's out there. Of course he brought Sephiroth here. He couldn't be here without him, without the pieces of his will.] What job?
Kadaj: angryformyreunion on February 25th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
So are you, Brother.

[His voice is laced with hate and venom. Looking into the sphere, he tries to make more sense of Cloud's surroundings. He wants nothing more than to destroy him.] Take what's hers.
Cloud Strife [original]: [!Pain] i'll fight it aloneonafixedpath on February 25th, 2009 12:04 am (UTC)
Not anymore.

[He's not exactly sure where he is at the moment. Everything looks the same. There is a river, could have been a stream at one point before all this rain. He's hasn't been here long, he doesn't know this forest.]

And what makes her think she owns anything?
Kadaj: but you'll always followformyreunion on February 25th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
You're dead.

[He notes the river. It's something to go off of, even though he still doesn't have much.]

Because it's true. We do not lie to ourselves.
Cloud Strife [original]: [BadAssery] i wear sunglasses indoorsonafixedpath on February 25th, 2009 12:11 am (UTC)
That doesn't stop her from lying to you.
Kadaj: determinedformyreunion on February 25th, 2009 12:14 am (UTC)
She wouldn't lie!
Cloud Strife [original]: [Thinking] owww - lens flareonafixedpath on February 25th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
She lied to Sephiroth. What makes you special?
Kadaj: puppeteerformyreunion on February 25th, 2009 12:19 am (UTC)
She never lied to him. Mother is perfect. Everything she does is right.
Cloud Strife [original]: [BadAssery] i wear sunglasses indoorsonafixedpath on February 25th, 2009 12:22 am (UTC)
She told him he'd be a god, and where is he now?

Your mother is a parasite, a calamity from the skies. She's only using you.
Kadaj: combatformyreunion on February 25th, 2009 12:23 am (UTC)
...He came back, didn't he?

She is a god! I don't care.
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Rufus ShinRa [Anomaly]: pensive/thoughtful/nostalgicpharshinra on February 24th, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
You're overreacting, you should calm down.
Cloud Strife [original]: [Angry] GRRARGHonafixedpath on February 24th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
He'll summon Meteor and kill us all, and it's my fault. I have to get back. [He's certainly more talkative than usual.]