Nanaki POV. AC (this was written long before AC was released) has put this idea to rest now, but I still like it. This is my version of what happened when Holy was cast.
Author's note: Just to let you know, this is set at the very, very end of FF7. The bit that's 500 years later, after the credits. Everyone know what bit I'm talking about? Good. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy or any of the characters. This is for fun, not profit.
Nanaki looked back at the cubs for a moment, before turning his gaze back to what had once been the city of Midgar. Overgrown and in pieces, it was almost beyond recognition. Vines twisted around what were once the pitiful buildings of the slums, and trees grew in haphazard patterns along the streets. Any metal structures had long ago rusted and those made of stone had crumbled into poor reflections of their original shapes.
There were no human inhabitants left in the once proud city. What had once stood as a testimony to all that the human race could achieve was now nothing but a home for the creatures of the forest. Beetles crawled in the rotting, empty beds.
Nanaki grimaced slightly. Human achievement... What was it really? Midgar was a witness to how much destruction the human race could achieve, if left unchecked. Their whims and reckless curiosity had nearly doomed a world. That was what Midgar stood for. That was what it was: the sum of all the wrongs that humanity had inflicted on the world. It was an opening of hell on earth. Even those that lived there had hated it.
Yet now it was a symbol for something different. It was a reminder that humans had existed at all. For those species intelligent enough to realise, Midgar was the only thing left from that era.
The cubs at his side eventually lost interest and bounded away to play their games of mock fighting. Sighing, Nanaki contemplated the extinct race further. It was undoubtedly a good thing. After all, ultimately it had been the planet that had decided, and the planet must surely know what was good for the continuation of life. The world was a better place for the loss of that species. That fact was beyond dispute. But... there had been some that had been different. Not all humans were past caring what damage they caused.
There were some... Some who were my friends. I miss them.
He cast his mind back to the last moments he had shared with them. They had stood on the deck of the Highwind, watching as Meteor and Holy ripped the planet apart between them. The cries that had echoed up from the planet itself were piercing, drilling into Nanaki's sensitive ears like a hot knife through butter. It was unbearably. The abnormal winds buffeted the airship and they slipped and fell. Someone had inadvertently stepped on his tail, making him yelp. He thought now that it was Barret, but he couldn't be sure.
Abruptly, the winds had stopped and Tifa pointed something out below. Lifestream. It had been Cloud who had identified the strange, green mist. Nanaki smiled wryly. Of course, Cloud should have known. He had fallen in it enough times, he thought, with a rare touch of humour.
He remembered well the sight of the Lifestream as it emerged and pulsed over the land, covering the entire surface of the planet. Indeed, it was a sight that it would be impossible to forget. It was the most amazing thing he'd ever experienced in his long lifetime.
The green light had flared up tremendously, and everyone had covered their eyes, except Cid, who stubbornly squinted into the luminosity, guiding the Highwind down to the ground as best he could. Despite his efforts, the airship hit the ground forcefully, knocking everyone off their feet.
As the light flared brighter still, becoming white, instead of the green it had been before, Nanaki had looked around at his colleagues... His friends... Cloud had cradled Tifa in his arms, trying to protect her from the force of the landing. With her eyes shut tight and her skin glowing radiantly from the light, Tifa clung to him. In the corner of the deck, Vincent had slumped to his knees, but Cid was still standing, gripping the control panel tightly, his face drawn and white. Cait Sith had fallen, as had Yuffie. The young ninja was curled on her side, her face was contorted horribly as she fought with her airsickness. Barret had hit his head on one of the railings as he fell and was out cold in the centre of the deck.
They had all looked so weary, so completely drained.
A single drop of moisture traced its way down through his red fur. The light had become completely blinding and he'd finally had to shut his eyes. When he found he could open them again, they were gone. He had searched the entire area where they had landed but there was nothing. His friends had literally vanished, as had the entire human population.
It had been their own decision in the end. They had unleashed Holy in an attempt to save the planet from Meteor and Holy gave the planet the power to decide what it wanted to keep and what it wanted to be rid of. No one had been sure what it would do. Evidently, humanity was not on its list of beneficial species.
Nanaki sighed again, his sharp eyes once again studying the wreck of Midgar. It was a lesson to every other living thing on the planet. Such destructive behaviour would no longer be tolerated. The planet would not allow Life to be so endangered again.
But it was sad. He missed his friends, even Barret, who had irritated him enormously through what seemed stupidity so profound that it must surely have been deliberate. They had tried their very best to preserve Life and to help the planet. And in some ways they had succeeded. Unfortunately, in the end, it just hadn't been enough to save themselves. There were just too many mistakes that had been made by the human race over time, and that one small group hadn't been enough to make up for the past wounds that had been caused.