... ... …
There were a few thoughts running in the forefront of Harry’s head when he finally became cognizant in this world… The first was GREEN. It was pervasive. It drew him in like a whirlpool and refused to let him go.
The second thing that Harry thought was WRONG. Things were… very wrong in this world. His magic rolled under his skin and through the GREEN and was very unhappy. Unfortunately, because his magic was WEAK (Harry could tell he was still… young... ) he couldn’t fight against the WRONG.
The first whole sentence and last sane thing that Harry really thought was WHO THE FUCK IS IN MY HEAD?
Reunion… whispered the voice in his head. And Harry felt... it was… familiar? Had he heard it before…? Where… Where was he?
‘Mother…?’ Harry replied, trying to work his way through the GREEN to reach this voice. This familiar voice. He needed that voice. He needed to get to it.
My son… the voice breathed, tantalizingly close now. Come… Re…un...
Harry struggled. He pushed. He would reach that voice… He would reach MOTHER…. He would… He could.
… … …
They had finally reached the base of the North Crater. Finally. Cloud was exhausted, but he knew that they needed to do now.
But where Cloud and crew expected to see Sephiroth, there was someone else.
“Another clone?!” Tifa gasped, widening her stance and crouching down into her favored fighting position automatically.
Cloud assumed it was a clone, it had all the markings of one. The biggest exception though was the fact that the Clone was the one holding Masamune, not Sephiroth.
That and Sephiroth was very, very clearly dead.
‘Maybe… he’s not a clone?’ Cloud wondered, grasping the handle of his sword, ready to draw it.
The Clone, swathed in a heavy cloak turned to look at them.
“Ah,” the Clone purred, “The Hero of the Dawn.” The title was followed by rich chuckling and the hood of the robes was shaken from his head, revealing…
A black-haired Sephiroth?
“EH?” shouted Yuffie. She even went so far as to point with her giant windmill shuriken. “WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS HAIR!?”
The Clone, because his face was exactly the same as Sephiroth’s, actually pulled a face at that and clicked his tongue. “Rude little girl. Do you realize you are standing in the presence of a god? God?” The Clone ruminated on … something. A slow grin was spreading across his face, so whatever it was it couldn’t be good.
(Big G god or little G god? I’m happy either way, really, because God. God sounds good… But you know what sounds even better? … Master)
(Elsewhere: Death shakes its head at its Master’s antics, waiting for him to come to his senses.)
Cloud drew his sword and held it at the ready. His friends behind him all got into their own ready positions. “It doesn’t matter,” declared the blond merc. “We will kill you and save the Planet.”
The Clone started laughing outright at that, swinging the giant Masamune around and resting it on his shoulder in an eerie mockery of Zack. “The PLANET? This one?” The Clone stomped his foot, sending out a plume of dust and snow. “There is nothing left here for you and your motley crew to save. Your petulant species has already sucked it dry, I’m just playing with the husk left behind now.”
For a moment, Cloud just tilted his head and muttered, “Where did that accent come from?” because The Clone sounded nothing like Sephiroth, even at the man’s sanest, he didn’t sound like this clone.
Cid huffed around his ever present cigarette. “With fucking aliens involved? Who the fuck knows.”
The Clone turned to face the blond pilot and narrowed glowing green eyes. “Impertinence. You,” and he pointed Masamune at him, “Will learn respect for your betters.”
Cid scoffed and Cloud grit his teeth. After a glance to his friends, they went on the attack.
He had killed Clones before, why should this one be any different?
… … …
Cid was the first one to die.
He was attempting a lance dive, his Limit Break that he had done several times before, but The Clone was able to intercept it somehow and literally skewered him on that ridiculous sword of his.
“One down, plenty to go,” The Clone declared after flinging Cid off with the gentlest of flicks of the wrist.
Barret was next, but not before The Clone had cut off his Missing Score. The Clone picked up the gun arm and turned it this way and that. Then he laughed and tossed it in the air, slicing it in half before cutting Barret down.
Cait Sith was next, though it was very little surprise considering he was just a robot.
One by one all of Cloud’s allies fell around him.
Eventually, it was just Cloud and Vincent, who was somehow stuck in his Chaos Limit Break. Those glowing gold eyes were unnerving and actually gave The Clone a pause.
“Oh, now you… you are different,” The Clone mused, tilting his head and causing that curtain of black to shift from his shoulder to behind him. “You aren’t wholly human anymore, are you?” The Clone’s head angled the other way and a child-like expression of glee crossed his face.
Cloud cringed upon seeing it, some part of him naturally repulsed. That just… wasn’t right.
“Well, no matter,” The Clone shot forward with his sword at the ready. Sword clashed with gun, bullets flew wild, and then The Clone’s hand was plunged into Vincent’s chest and the man cried out.
The Clone hissed the word, “Yes…!” as shadows coalesced around his feet and wrapped around his body to reach his hand, diving inside of Vincent’s body as well.
A golden claw tried to pull the fist from his chest but to no avail. Cloud decided to act, the Curaga he had cast on himself finally finished. He went to charge The Clone only to find that he couldn’t move his feet?!
Looking down, Cloud found that shadows were wrapped around his legs and creeping up ever higher. A slow, demented chuckle, bordering on a giggle, escaped The Clone as he finally managed to rip his shadow covered hand from Vincent’s chest.
The Limit Break melted away in a fog of red and black, revealing Vincent kneeling on the ground in front of The Clone, miraculously still alive.
“Wow,” The Clone said in honest surprise, “How are you not dead?”
Just as Vincent reached up to shoot, just one more time, The Clone cut off his head, moving just the half-a-second faster needed to do so.
Cloud actually cried out when he saw his last friend fall. He tried harder to be free of the shadows that kept him grounded, stabbing at them with his sword-- but he found he just managed to stab himself in the leg instead.
“Tsk tsk tsk, little Cloudy,” The Clone taunted, making his way over to the blond as he examined the item in his hand.
The item he had ripped from Vincent’s chest.
“Don’t know. But I knew Mother would want it. And if Mother wants it then I want it.” The Clone smiled, the action somehow more demented than anything that had been on Sephiroth’s face.
The item, which looked like a ball of Materia, was brushed off on Cloud’s shirt-- the shadows now bound his arms in place and he could do nothing but glare at The Clone. Then The Clone actually ate the Materia!?
“Are you crazy!?” Cloud couldn’t stop himself from asking, his head jerking back as he stared at the abomination in front of him.
“Hmm,” The Clone tapped a gloved finger against his chin, “Jury’s out.”
Up close, Cloud could see how The Clone had Sephiroth’s eyes, but now they were beginning to edge with gold, shards of it coming out from near that cat-slit pupil.
“No comeback? Ahh,” The Clone sighed wistfully, “I longed for a better battle than this.” Cloud noticed that The Clone didn’t even look winded while he knew he was drenched in sweat and his clothes stuck to him from all of the blood. Mostly his own, but none of it the Clone’s.
This wasn’t good.
He was going to lose.
“Don’t worry, Cloudy,” a pair of gloved hands reached out and came to rest on Cloud’s cheeks. The shadows held his head in place so he couldn’t jerk away like he wanted. “I’ll take care of your Planet… as I ride it through the stars with Mother.”
Cloud had no response, just grit his teeth.
The Clone let out another wistful sigh, then, with the help of the shadows that surrounded the ex-SOLDIER, ripped off Cloud’s head.
“How boring,” The Clone held the head by the hair for a moment before tossing it off to the side with the other bodies.
As The Clone turned to go deal with the Defective One, he heard a rumble in the distance… and a Cheshire cat grin spread across his face.
“Let’s play,” he declared, reminded for a moment of someone from … Before… but ignored it and let out his single-wing-- which looked decidedly more demonic now-- and took to the skies.
… … …
Fighting OMEGA had been fun, Harry decided, but ultimately the WEAPON was no match for him and Mother, especially after Harry had killed everyone who had been at the crater where he had killed the Defective One.
Mother’s Prodigal Son was no match for him, after all. That’s why Mother favored Harry so much now.
The nice thing about OMEGA was that the WEAPON had already begun what the Defective One’s meteor hadn’t.
That being: destroying all life on the planet.
Harry took great joy in allowing the WEAPON to start with the large city where it had been summoned and once that was demolished, he had defeated it and gone to the towns and dealt out death and destruction on his own.
He reveled in the fact that everything he killed simply remained on the planet’s surface.
There was no more GREEN for them to disappear into anymore.
The GREEN was all gone.
All that remained was MOTHER.
… … …
Harry was bored.
After the planet had been destroyed, he and Mother had rode the giant hunk of rock through the stars like he promised he would. But, honestly, Mother just wouldn’t shut UP.
Every day she nagged at him to find a new planet for them to take over, but gosh, give a guy a break. He’d already completely destroyed an entire planet, couldn’t he rest before they went to the next one?
Find… new …
“You again,” Harry growled, using Masamune to draw the lines for another game of Tic Tac Toe in the dirt. “I told you, I’ll go do it when I’m good and ready.”
Harry sighed through his teeth then drew his O and a shadow came out and drew an X. “I’m trying to appreciate the vastness of the universe and have a fucking moment here and you can’t stop drooling over the next planet you will consume when I am the one who has to do all the work.” He drew another O and his shadow followed with a quick X.
“Hah,” Harry laughed without humor, chin resting in his palm as he somehow managed to lose a game of Tic Tac Toe against his own shadow. “Every day I’m a little more sure, Mother, that you’re not someone worthy of respect.”
The Clone quirked a lopsided smile and then settled himself down in the lotus position.
What… are you doing…!?
“What I should have done years ago when you started nag-nag-nagging me to find another planet to fill that gaping chasm you call a stomach,” replied Harry, closing his eyes and diving down into his own consciousness.
It didn’t take long for him to basically rout out, destroy, and then incorporate (because like hell he would let all that power go to waste), that inside him which had been Mother. When he opened his eyes again, he could tell his eyes were no longer slit like a cat’s-- it really changed your vision when your pupil changed shape like that.
Harry took a long moment to appreciate as the sky around him practically lit up in comparison. Who knew that round pupils had better night vision?
“Woah,” Harry smacked a glove covered hand to his head as the headache of the century-- or two, or five-- started to throb there and rudely interrupted Harry’s moment of awe. “Oh… Oh, fuck.” Massaging his temple, Harry reviewed what he had done now that he was finally clear-headed.
So he was the clone of someone named Sephiroth. He had been put under some kind of intensely crazy enhanced growth process that aged him from a test-tube baby to a fully grown adult in just a few months, and then he’d basically been possessed by the alien horcrux he’d just destroyed.
Then he had gone and killed the man he had been cloned from, killed a group of fighters that had come to kill that man (The Defective One… His vague memories said his name was Sephiroth, but some other memories called him Nii-san of all things, so whatever).
Had he absorbed some weird creature at some point too? He thought he did. He could feel its power inside of him, but there was no consciousness to go with it… Well, he’d effectively absorbed all the power of that planet’s lifeblood, so what’s an entity or two more?
Basically, he had caused the apocalypse and wrecked the entire Planet. He tried to drum up some guilt about it, but really it wasn’t the first apocalypse he’d caused. Wouldn’t be the last. It was the first time he’d taken in the life force of one, though. What a rush!
And now he controlled the planet-rock like some kind of weird spaceship. Though honestly his control of it was less like a spaceship and more like those disc-sleds zooming downhill and trying to stay facing the right way but inevitably spinning around and getting dizzy.
Speaking of, Harry tried to turn his mind towards the part of his brain that monitored the flying planet to see where he was.
Apparently, autopilot had parked him in orbit around some random star.
Well, orbit was good.
… … …
It took a few hours for Harry to really sort everything out inside his head. Or maybe it was a few days? He really had very little concept of TIME now, though being around a star helped. It gave him a Day and Night to measure by. But, being busy inside his own head meant that he didn’t even acknowledge that. If he paid enough attention to it, it’d feel like someone twirling him around in a swivel chair anyway.
He finally, FINALLY, rose to his feet and looked down at the desert wasteland in front of him. Desert in the technical sense, not just the sand sense.
For as far as the eye could see were thousands of Tic Tac Toe games scratched into the ground.
“Oh fuck,” muttered Harry, “I’m all alone on a desert planet and I destroyed the only thing I had to talk to.” He looked to his right, where some of his shadow tendrils were poking out of the ground like seaweed drifting back and forth with the current. They looked at each other. “Can you talk?” He asked it but it wiggled in a mimicry of a head shake.
“I’m so fucked.”
… … …
After about a week of staring at the marred land in front of him, which Harry decided to name Bob, he got sick of looking at it. It took a moment to access that part of his mind that controlled the planet again, but used it to cause a localized earthquake.
It was like turning Bob into a giant Etch-A-Sketch and erasing it.
With that idea in mind, Harry unleashed his wing-- and how fucking cool was THAT? It had been several lifetimes since he’d had those, and usually in PAIRS-- and went flying, Masamune held out like a giant fucking pencil that he used to draw on Bob.
It was actually very useful because Harry was able to relearn the control he had previously had over his Planet-spaceship (he decided it needed a name too… Bob Jr? Bob Sr maybe?) because every mistake he made led to him causing another localized earthquake to shake his Etch-A-Sketch.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t something that would really keep his attention for very long and after several of his new local days (26.2 hours long according to his internal clock) he gave up and flopped back into the sand dunes of Bob.
“I need to figure out something to do...”
Thankfully, something would come to him.
… … …