I met him, SOLDIER First Class Zack Fair, just outside Modeoheim while out on a routine mission. I was just an Infantryman… not even of notable rank, but he didn’t seem to care. When we spoke, it was as though we had known each other for years. We became close friends after that. I’d have other missions with him and we’d goof around off duty, wiling away the long hours on overnight missions… Then came Nibelheim. Everything fell apart after that. My life, everything I aspired to be. It all went up in flames with my hometown. Zack and I confronted the Hero— I thought I… but it wasn’t over. After that, we became labrats. Four years passed, but it felt an eternity… When I woke from an endless Nightmare— all I heard were gunshots and— then I found Zack. …I will never forget…
not a second time. Don’t let me.
My memories— scattered and jumbled— I didn’t even feel like myself, it felt like— I was still trapped in that Nightmare… that Nightmare from which I never seemed to wake. Sephiroth, he returned for the first time. He perpetuated the Nightmare, drew it out— used it to his advantage. I know now that I was just a plaything to him, a pawn in all that I did, in all that I thought. Even the way I met her, the Cetra Aerith— I wonder now… if that, too, was somehow a part in all this.
But, Zack— I… I loved her, and no— not because… No, she had this warmth, I’m sure you felt it, too— it made me feel whole again— When Sephiroth killed her, the tears— I thought I’d burst— I couldn’t do anything, I felt so useless— But, I couldn’t let it end. I went on; Tifa and the others— I wasn’t alone, I’m grateful for that— I shouldn’t have forgotten. We defeated Sephiroth in the end— I did. I ended it. But it was Aerith who saved everyone…
I was finally at peace. It was… over. Finally over. Or, I thought it was— only, then, everyone began to fall sick— we called it Geostigma. Except, it wasn’t from the Planet, it came from her, the Calamity. The one Sephiroth referred to as “Mother.” When I became infected, I felt the Nightmare slowly unfold again. But it was worse.
Visions, voices. The memories I struggled to reorganize— that I tried so hard to piece together again— shattered. It shook me. I couldn’t— I couldn’t even face her and especially not the children. Tifa… I’m sorry. …I sought for a way to cure it, instead; months wasted on it. I just didn’t want Denzel to suffer anymore; he was too young— how could someone so small, so innocent, lose so much—? I lost hope for myself, of being able to save anyone, but I… I had to see it to the end. Then, when they appeared in search of their “Mother,” I knew then— it was all because of him. Sephiroth… He returned for a second time— but I ended it, for a third. Finally, the Nightmare— it was truly over. What was there ever to forgive?
Deepground. Only a few actually knew of their existence— top secret information— even Reeve didn’t know a whole lot about them. But now— they began to surface. Somehow, when we defeated Hojo, he copied himself into the Network— but I still don’t understand how— Vincent did a lot of the major footwork this time; myself and the others— we supported him where he needed it. For him… it was deeply personal. Just as… I had to defeat Sephiroth, Vincent had his own battle to finish…
his own “sins”… to forgive.