Chapter 12 – Unknown World

Chapter 12 – Unknown World

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 12 - Unknown World

Translated by Mecorx and Pixel

A dark blue pickup truck was waiting. It looked pretty old, but it seemed to be well maintained, and the paintwork hadn’t faded either. In the driver’s seat sat Reno, with the red hair. Kyrie sat in the middle holding her backpack, and Rude sat in the passenger seat. I was pushed into a narrow space behind the 3-person bench seat. The passenger side window worked as a backrest, and I stretched my legs to the driver’s side. The back of Rude’s head was right in front of me. He had a bump where Kyrie hit him with the chair. I thought it was funny, and it made me feel a little better.

“Well aren’t you late.”

Reno started the engine. The bodywork creaked.

“I had a little trouble.”

Rude responded.

“We won’t do anything. It’s just a drive. That’s all.”

Reno sounded a little sad.

“Then tell us where we’re going”

The noise of the truck echoed in the night as we drove along the main avenue.

“Oh yeah, we didn’t tell you, did we? We’re goin’ to a place called Healin. Ya know, where your friend, Fabio went to steal.”

Kyrie looked at Reno.

“Don’t make that expression. You’ll ruin that pretty face.”

“Plannin’ to do somethin’ else, are we? Haven’t you done enough?”

“I won’t. Fabio and Throp got their asses kicked, so we’re done.”


Kyrie blurted it out.

“Oh, hey bro”

Reno looked at me in the rear view mirror.

“Sorry ’bout before. I was sure you were Fabio.”

That’s enough. I don’t want to remember back then.

“But, I like that whole ‘I refuse to tell you my friend’s name’ thing. Even though you’re just a scaredy cat.”

The last part was a bit much.

“So, it was also the Turks who did that to Fabio?”

“Yeah. It was just a little misunderstanding. Elena, she’s—”

Reno stopped talking. Before long, the truck started bouncing a lot. When I looked outside, wondering what was happening, the scenery had changed. The dwindling amount of light from the houses had altogether disappeared. We were out in the wastelands. A world of darkness without the headlights. There must be monsters, too. I straightened my posture.

“There are people in the Turks who just don’t change”

“How many people are in the Turks?”

“That’s Shin-Ra Company’s biggest secret. Can’t say.”

“So, there’s 3 people.”

“Can’t say.”


“I’ll leave it at that,” Then, Reno turned around and looked at me. “So, Evan, what’s your mother’s name?”

The truck seemed to veer off. I wanted him to face the front, so I answered honestly.

“Annette Townshend.”

That moment, Kyrie tried to look at me, but stopped. It was the first time I had mentioned my mother’s name in front of her. I had told the guys that my parents had died. It wasn’t just that. I had spoken ill of my mother, that she was a horrible woman who abandoned her son. I thought that kind of a story would fit a guy who lived in the slums.

“Hey, can you look to the front? We’re swervin’ quite a lot.”

“Oh.” Reno turned back to the front. “Well, it’s not exactly a road, yo. Even if I go off a little, there’s no problem.” He said that, and righted the steering wheel.

“Hey, Rude, wake up.”

Rude got up, startled.

“I’m awake”

“Annette Townshend. Sounds legit, but double check.”

Seems they’re not letting the subject of my mother rest.

“Got it.”

Rude took out his cellphone and started calling someone. It seemed whoever was on the other end answered straight away.

“It’s me. About what we were talking about—” Rude started talking in a formal tone, and soon said my mother’s name, then finished the call.

“What’s goin’ on?”

After asking, I realised. The Turks may have news about my mother. My expectation mixed with anxiety, and I lost my composure.

“It’s nothin’ bad, yo. It’s gonna take another 2 hours, so go ahead and sleep if you’re tired. Except Rude.”

There’s nobody who could sleep in this kind of a situation. Other than Rude.

“Is that the purpose of this trip, to take Evan to Healin?”

It was Kyrie who broke the long silence.

“Guess so.”

Reno answered.

“Is this about his mother?”

“That’s not entirely unrelated.”

Kyrie shifted restlessly, turning all the way around in her seat to look at me. Her face was really close.

“Evan, I’m sorry. I thought I’d be taken to Shin-Ra on my own.”

“I’m the one who got you involved.”

I didn’t know it. But, eventually, it comes to that.

“Well, not really.”

Reno butted in.

“Face the front, girlie. I’ve got somethin’ to tell you.”


Kyrie held out her right hand to me.

“Evan, hold my hand. With both hands.”

“Hey! Do that when you’re alone! Want me to stop the car?”

I wrapped my hands around Kyrie’s right hand, like she said. Kyrie’s hand opened, and dropped something into my hands.

“Thank you. I’m calm now.”

Kyrie gave a quick little nod, and faced the front. I took a peek at what Kyrie had passed to me, while the Turks had yet to notice. It was a children’s pocket knife that fit in my palm. Perhaps she had given her concealed weapon to me because she knew it wasn’t her they were after.

“So, what was it you wanted to tell me?”

Kyrie demanded.

“Quit that lifestream readin’ bullshit.”

Reno warned.

“Back off.”

“I can’t do that.” Reno looked at me in the mirror. “I can’t do that, now that I know you’re Evan’s friend” —he said, emphasizing the word “friend.”. For Reno and the Turks, Kyrie was treated as my “friend”. She was someone to be protected. I was relieved. But at the same time, I felt lost. I had a feeling I was being alienated. It was only my situation that wasn’t clear. I lowered my hat again, and hid my face. I was a small person who couldn’t just be happy about Kyrie’s safety. It had to have shown on my face.

“When you talk about readin’ the lifestream, people who know about it think of the Ancients, right? Actually, there was a woman a while ago who was reported to have called herself an Ancient. We investigated her. Well, it was bogus anyway, so we left her alone.

The Ancients… What’s that?

“Shin-Ra had a Science Department. There were research freaks and ambitious spirits in their ranks. To those people, the Ancients was a real juicy subject.”

“I’m not an Ancient. So I’ve got nothing to do with this.”

“Anyway, there were ones who we couldn’t find. No matter how much you say you’re different, or that you’re a fake, those guys will still examine you. By the time they find out that you’re a fake, missy, you’ll be full of holes.”

“—like Aerith?”


“What happened to Aerith?”

“—she died.”

Reno answered, and everyone fell silent. The sound of the engine, and the tires hitting the ground filled the car. The Ancients. Aerith’s death. Aerith was Kyrie’s friend or something, and an Ancient. The Ancients really were able to read the lifestream.


I blurted out unintentionally. Reno and Kyrie looked at me.

“Memories of the dead, their knowledge, they merge with the lifestream. Is that true?”

“We have no way of checkin’. It’s the same either way—”

Reno said in monotone voice.

“The lifestream is the source of life that revolves around the planet. The life of the planet itself.”

Kyrie muttered. I’ve heard that before somewhere. Right. The mako reactor explosion. The Sector 7 collapse. It was the claim of the terrorists who plunged Midgar into fear. Mako is the planet’s life force. The planet will die if we keep using it. Wonder if it’s true?

“Whether it has knowledge or intelligence, I don’t know. But it has a will. That day, didn’t you feel it?”

That terrible day, 2 years ago, when the mako, no, the lifestream surged. I shuddered, not knowing anything.

“That’s what I thought. The lifestream saved the planet from crisis. The will of the people who died obliterated Meteor.”

I lifted the hat from my eyes, and looked out. The wasteland surrounded us, and the air inside the truck felt denser.

“Was Aerith a friend?”

Reno asked.

“Well…” Kyrie replied. “There’s a crumbling church in the slums, where we played together. We did things like pretending to hold wedding ceremonies. Aerith was always in the church, taking care of the flowers on her own. Sometimes we talked about it. One day, Aerith told me to go home quickly. I thought she was being mean, because I stepped on her flowers.”

“Oh, the flowers. She was pretty fussy about those flowers.”

“When I got home in a bad mood, my parent’s bodies were being carried to the house.”


“I heard it from my grandmother. About the lifestream and the Ancients. I thought it was just a fairytale at the time, but after that— I figured Aerith was an ancient.”

“When was this?”

“When I was 10. I think Aerith was a little older. Hey, what do you think I said when I met Aerith after that?”

“I dunno.”

“I said ‘you creep me out.'”

Kyrie pulled her legs up onto the seat, held her knees, and buried her face.


“I stopped going to the church. Then, after a few years had passed… a bit after the Sector 7 collapse. I decided to get flowers for those who had died. It was then that I heard that Aerith had been taken by the Turks.”

“Hey, girlie. Let’s talk about somethin’ else, okay?”

“Evan, are you listening?”


“A year ago. When we had no customers at all. Leslie said that we should just give up, but because I was against that, I brought up the thing about the lifestream. Then we ended up succeeding…”

“That’s right.”

“When I’m alone at night, I remember what Aerith said to me. Even now.”


“Hey, Evan. Maybe it’s time to call it quits.”

“Yeah, sure. I don’t think Leslie and the others would disagree.”

“Breakin’ up, huh?”

“How many people were there? Let’s all go to the square together. Let’s build a monument, a memorial monument.”

“But, Evan. Let’s just finish doing our job for Mr. Arde, okay?”

“I thought you were gonna ignore it.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Seeming like she remembered something, Kyrie began rummaging through her backpack. Then…

“Look at this photo. Front row, on the right.”

“Huh? Gettin’ down to work already?”

Reno stared at the photo in front of him. His gaze had completely deviated from the direction we were headed in.

“Gould Arde. A member of Soldier, he said.”

“Even if he was in Soldier, that’s a second class uniform, right? I didn’t know the seconds—Huh? Hey, Rude, take a look at this photo?”

Kyrie shoved the photo in front of Rude, sitting in the passenger seat. There was no reaction. It seemed like he was asleep. As Kyrie tapped him on the shoulder, he stirred, and after a short silence, he spoke.

“That’s— Nibelheim.”


Kyrie repeated it, and showed me the picture over her shoulder. I took it and looked it over again.


I tried saying it myself, too.

“Yeah!” Reno agreed. “When was the photo taken?”

“Sometime between the Sector 7 collapse, and the night Meteor was destroyed.”

Without much determination or resolution, I murmured.

“Really? Did Mr. Arde say that?


Arde hadn’t said anything.

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