Once, long ago, gods lived here, they taught their cubs.
But wasn't this a bad place, a place that raped and poisoned the Planet? they would ask.
Yes, their elders would say, pawing at the rustling bones of the once great city. It was a horrible place of abomination and evil and corruption and despair. That's why the gods lived here.
Their pups stared wide-eyed, perfectly still except for the wind through their red fur, as they waited to hear more of the story.
The Crisis from the Sky took control of those who controlled the city that was.
It could do that? their pups always wanted to know.
They had opened their hearts to darkness, so it was easy for the corruption to sink in. The Crisis had slipped free of the bonds place by the Ancients long before, and had the mad tyrants of the city create a son.
How did they do that? How could the Crisis have a son?
The Crisis cells were put into the pup and he grew in the image of the Crisis. Those who created him called him Sephiroth.
The demon Sephiroth?
Their parents assured them they'd get to that. So the Planet sent down the souls of its most beloved children. And those who lived on the Planet at that time called the human Zack Fair and the Ancient Aeris Gainsborough.
Zack… Aeris… their pups tested out the names.
But, you see, the Planet had given its children free will, so things began going in a manner that had not been planned.
Well, first of all, Lord Zack joined the forces of the enemy.
He did? Why?
Because he didn't know what he was, they assured. He was just a cub when he joined, the youngest ever admitted. Except one.
Except Sephiroth, who had been raised in the hands of the enemy who stole the lifeblood of the Planet.
Did they meet? Did they fight?
They met. And they should have killed each other. They should have wanted to kill each other.
They didn't? the pups would ask in confusion. But they were made to be enemies.
They were made to be mortals, or close enough. They fell in love.
They did? they'd say. And some generations the pups would add Eww and their elders would shush them.
And they also met the Lady Aeris, who grew the most magnificent garden in the world, in the belly of the sunless city. They loved her too.
Yes. And… there was another. Another human they loved, called Cloud Strife.
Cloud the Chosen One?
Cloud was nothing. He was just a little chocobo from the mountains.
He was a chocobo?
Metaphorically. He was a gold who thought he was a misfit yellow, they explained. And they took him into the pack, because they were like that.
Did they hunt together?
Yes, Now Sephiroth, Zack, and Cloud went hunting in the mountains, where the Crisis was imprisoned. Sephiroth was possessed by the Crisis, through the Jenova cells inside him. He burned the town where Cloud was whelped, hence the phrase "Going Sephiroth on your Niebelheim."
What did Zack and Cloud do?
They confronted him at the Well of the Crisis. They renounced their mortal hearts and killed him.
But didn't he—
Shh. That will come. They were grievously wounded in the battle, so they were captured by the dark priest of the Crisis who created Sephiroth. Zack escaped, with Cloud. He could have escaped free, he could have made it back to Aeris, but he died so Cloud might live.
Because he was a hero. Now Cloud was only a mere mortal and couldn't survive the blood of the Lifestream and the cells of the Crisis. So he took Zack's soul to repair the holes in his own and so took on his destiny.
He could do that?
He had as many holes in his soul as a worm eaten apple and Zack's only wish was to heal him. So, Cloud walked in the paw prints of Zack.
Was he good at it?
Some of it. Things didn't always work out, and there were the Crisis and the corrupt people who built the city running around everywhere. Now Aeris—
Where was she?
She was with Cloud. She left the pack to call down the power of the Lifestream to stop the Second Crisis from the Sky. The Crisis killed her in Sephiroth's form.
Sephiroth killed her? their pups wondered.
No. The Crisis took Sephiroth's image and shadow, but not him. Of course, Aeris couldn't be killed and she became infinitely more powerful in her ascended form as the Maiden of the Planet. And she and her consort Zack sent the Lifestream to stop the Second Crisis, while Cloud defeated the image of the Crisis as Sephiroth at the Northern Wastes where the Crisis first struck.
Is that it? their pups wondered.
No. Sephiroth had been created to be powerful, so he refused to remain just a memory and was ascendant.
When the Maiden sent the healing water from the sky, he burned the Crisis out of the Lifestream and rejoined Cloud the Chosen One and Aeris the Maiden Who Traverses the Planet and Zack in the Lifestream as gods.
But isn't he the demon called on when someone dies?
He is the god of winter, of death, but also of sleep, not a kind god but a necessary one.
So he really is a god?
Yes. Aeris is the goddess of spring and all its flowers, Cloud is the god of the vitality of summer, and Zack is the god of the majesty and acceptance of autumn.
Knowing that death is not the end nor will winter be everlasting. Maturity. Faith.
Oh, the pups say, not understanding, not yet.
So in the end they were all happily ever after, together.