Step 28: Mystery
Step 28: Mystery
Lazard was more aware of certain things than I imagined, and more confused about others than anyone noticed. Albeit he was uncertain of what he needed to do, he had a lot of faith in us, Genesis, Angeal, Zack and I. He kept that faith even after all the things that happened with Genesis and Angeal, though he was unsure of what part he should be playing, which led to certain actions, that ultimately brought forth his end.
Back then I was the hero, I was admired and respected, but so many things were happening. I remember I didn't know what it was but I felt frustration and perhaps fear. Fear of not being able to help, fear to face the hidden truth, fear for their well being. Maybe my state was more fragile than I cared to realize and that's why I fell apart at Nibelheim back then.
I close the journal, which was left unfinished, but everyone knows the general way the story ended, though the specifics are lost. Lazard held on to one thing when everything was lost, hope for the future, even if he didn't expect to live to see it.
One would think he would be bitter towards Rufus, but though they were never close, Lazard was hopeful of the day Rufus would become president. He was hopeful that despite everything, I would remain a hero in everyone's eyes, until I found the path to become a true hero.
I hand the book back to Rufus who had been patiently waiting for me to finish reading it. He holds it like a precious treasure; something to be cherished, Lazard's wishes, his legacy, proof that he existed. "What happened?" I inquire.
"We're not sure," Tseng replies, then looks at Rude.
The usually quiet man finally speaks, "a fake," though he doesn't say much.
"Rude was attacked by a copy of you," Tseng elaborates.
"A copy?" This is alarming news, but I try not to show it, "a remnant?"
"Possibly," Tseng admits.
"How could I lose control of my own body of thoughts? I don't feel them, those parts of me, I should sense them." This is too complicated, it doesn't make sense.
"Right now we know very little, it could be someone else entirely, a Sephiroth clone, we don't know who. One thing is certain; they were trying to frame you. If you had gone ahead to the reactor, the scene would have been incriminating," Tseng revealed.
I nodded, still confused and lost in thought, "what now?"
Elena comes in with a tray of food, which she sets quietly on the nightstand. "Rest," Tseng insists, but I shake my head. "Eat," I shake my head again, "Sephiroth, if you're not strong, the enemy will take control of you again; that is what we believe will happen."
"Alright, I'll eat something, but I can't sleep like this," albeit Elena wasn't here during the latest portion of the conversation, having left to prepare some food, she seems well informed, without a single hint in her expression of wondering what we're talking about.
Maybe it was my impatient glances, or the need to seek more information, but as I ate the chicken soup Elena had made, Tseng spoke again, after receiving a nod from Rufus, a silent approval. "Why do you think you came back to this world?"
The question caught me off guard, "for redemption?"
"How did you gather the strength to appear as you are, rather than as a body of thoughts?" Tseng continued.
"I don't know," I have to admit; the specifics are still a mystery to me. "I thought that somehow Aeris brought me back."
"If Aeris has such a power, why didn't she stop you from coming back the first time? Why isn't she bringing back anyone else? Why doesn't she come back herself?" Rufus continues with the questions.
"I don't know..." Could it be that Aeris didn't bring me back? "If not her, then who? Somehow, I feel that this is not something I did by myself."
"That's what we need to know," Tseng continues, "if we gain that piece of information, we could find a lot of answers."
"The voice," I almost regret mentioning it, but I can't take it back, everyone is looking at me expectantly.
"If you have any clues..." Elena gently encourages.
"It's just that I heard a voice, telling me to take revenge and to not let Shinra turn me into a weapon. The voice was, it was pretending to be Jenova, or maybe I just imagined it," I feel foolish for mentioning it, but it seems the Turks and Rufus see it as valuable information.
"It's possible that someone may be communicating with you, trying to control you," Tseng theorizes, but it's more than just a theory, someone or something did control me. "Stay strong, you were able to fight it, you ran so that you wouldn't be a danger, right?" I nod and Tseng looks reassuring, "that means you can fight it, don't let your guard down."
A moment of silence passes, Blaze must have been bored with our conversation because he fell asleep in Reno's arms, leaving it up to the redhead to break the silence, "so gloomy."
"I don't think you've been quiet for this long ever before," I had almost forgotten Reno was in the room.
"I don't like it when things are gloomy, let's cheer up!" Reno's energetic loudness wakes Blaze, who starts chirping contently, blissfully unaware of the current situation.
Rufus massages his temples in exasperation, Blaze's constant chirps must be adding to his stress. "Tseng, you may proceed with your investigation."
"Yes, sir," Tseng exits the room with determination; it makes me wonder what his mission really is.
Rude gets up, "are you well enough?" Rufus asks when he sees this.
"Yes," Rude's response is short and to the point, as usual, I'm surprised he didn't just nod.
"Alright, you're on guard duty; make sure no one suspicious approaches the inn, alert us if you see anything," Rufus assigns Rude's mission then looks at Reno with impatience, "you are on patrol duty, go out for a walk, now."
"Yessir!" Reno bounces away along with his pet, silence taking over the room once they're gone. I'm not going to say anything, but I kind of miss Blaze, his incessant chirping was annoying, but it was better than this choking silence and Rude isn't one for conversation as he stands looking out the window like a statue.
"We'll be downstairs, reading," Elena nods, not too eager with the mission, though Rufus himself doesn't look very enthusiastic about joining the investigation.
"Too much reading is bad for you," I speak before I can stop myself; I'm the living example of that.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. What's the real explanation behind Sephiroth's return? What is Tseng's mission? You'll find out soon!