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New Beginnings / Promised Lands

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Cloud Strife
He'd sat with Reeve and Cid for a long time, working over designs and plans. They'd figured out how to build it. It took time - and a lot of chasing around on chocobo to get parts, as well as selling off a couple of the mastered "All" materia they had to cover costs. Now it was finished.

His first ride on Fenrir was true love for Cloud. Racing faster than even the best gold chocobo, on a bike only he could control... this was all his. Nothing of Zack in there, nothing of Sephiroth. It was all Cloud Strife.

Tifa Lockhart
It had been inevitable. She'd known what she wanted, known what she needed, and she'd started setting up the business almost before she knew what was happening. But today, they moved her bar into a custom-built location, with a proper counter-top, proper taps, proper plumbing - not a series of tumbledown shacks with trestle tables, not buckets and basins dipped out of wells.

When Cloud brought her an armful of lilies from Aerith's church, reminding her of a long-ago dream of decorating the whole shop with flowers, she'd almost cried at his thoughtfulness. It was the right touch, she agreed.

Barret Wallace
He'd headed back to Corel, in the end, after Tifa had promised to keep an eye on Marlene for him. Edge would need a power supply, and Barret had a feeling about the old mines. He'd headed into the depths; passed his good hand over the walls, remembering years of previous excavations; kept going until he'd reached the rock face that defeated the miners years ago. Then he drew up his new prosthetic - a hammer drill, strong enough to crack granite.

Finding the seam he just knew was in there was enough to bring a grin to his face.

Cid and Shera Highwind
"Shera! Bring me some godsdamn tea, okay?"

Shera Highwind (married three days ago) smiled, and headed out to the kitchen. Cid had definitely turned a new leaf. He was sitting at his drafting table, drawing up plans for the biggest and fastest airship the world had ever seen. She'd shooed him there herself - she knew Cid well; two days of honeymoon was the most she was going to get out of him. Besides, this work was more play for both of them. He'd handed her the job of designing engines, saying she was the best person to do it.

Nanaki lay with his head on his forepaws, listening to the gabble above him. The question of what was to be used to power Edge was a fraught one. On the one hand, after seeing the Lifestream stretching out to catch and destroy the meteor, people agreed mako power was likely a Bad Idea. On the other... people had a lot of trouble getting their heads around other ideas. Nanaki had said what was used in Cosmo Canyon and the discussion exploded.

He glanced upward at Reeve. "I can ask our engineers to call yours, if you'd like?" Nanaki offered.

Reeve Tuesti
Midgar had been a triumph. But a flawed one, built forever on exploitation and division. Now, with Midgar in ruins (not all of it, and there was a part of him which was somewhat proud about the bits still standing, too) there was a chance to build something new from the ruins - something better. A place which wasn't built on the idea of demonstrating domination over the world, or creating a playground for the wealthy and well-to-do. A city which functioned.

Reeve couldn't wait to get his teeth into some of the problems which were bound to come up.

Yuffie Kisaragi
She'd returned to Wutai after the dust settled. Cloud had given her a gold chocobo - "start a new flock of your own", he'd told her. Everyone had donated the materia they weren't going to be using again - the only one who'd kept any was Cloud. That mastered Enemy Skill materia could be ... borrowed when she next visited. She'd clear out the ones they'd left behind in Del Sol, because finders keepers. All in all, not a bad haul to be returning home with. Now she just had to decide what she was going to do with herself…

Vincent Valentine
He'd returned to Nibelheim, to the crypt below the manor, but the idea of contemplating his sins didn't appeal any more. He was... restless. He'd wound up heading over the mountains to Rocket Town, visiting with Cid, who seemed happy in his marriage to Shera, busy setting up the scaffolding for the construction of his new airship. Down to Corel, where Barret was busy chivvying the populace into being coal miners again; across to Edge, where Cloud was running a delivery business out of Tifa's bar. He considered going to visit Nanaki in Cosmo Canyon. Reeve offered him a job.

Rufus Shinra
Rufus Shinra woke in a hospital bed in Junon. The doctors weren’t overwhelmingly positive about his chances – shattered bones, spinal nerve damage, his right eye lost to a stray shard of concrete, organ failure which meant he would be swallowing a cocktail of medications for the rest of his life, and a long, hard road to rehabilitation in front of him. Oh, and Midgar was gone – the Meteor had crushed it completely - the Shinra Electric Power Company was shattered, and the only one of the board who’d survived was Reeve Tuesti. Some days it didn’t pay to wake up.

Tseng of the Turks
When they’d brought Rufus Shinra in, Tseng had asked to move his bed next to Shinra’s. He was recuperating from the damage caused by Sephiroth (and Strife’s gang’s well-intentioned efforts in patching him up – they’d poured a couple of potions onto him, which fixed the slashing damage from Masamune, but hadn’t prevented septicaemia). As the last remnants of the Turks arrived – Reno, Rude, and Elena had escaped the worst of the damage from Meteor, but the rest had been in the building when the Weapon had fired – he made plans for the future. All was not lost. The Turks survived.

Aerith Gainsborough
She hadn’t expected this, not at all. Living on in the Lifestream was … well, it wasn’t like anything she’d experienced before, that was a fact. She’d learned a lot from her ancestors, and from the Planet itself, some of it surprising. When the Masamune had passed through her, she’d despaired, thinking the Cetra were gone forever. But the Planet told her otherwise. “The Cetra travel the Planet, speak with the Planet, and find their Promised Land, a land of supreme happiness.” Watching from the Lifestream as her friends each find their Promised Lands, Aerith realises she’s found her own.