The Maiden Who Travels the Planet

In the world of Mako – Aerith knew that the concept of time and distance here was different from the surface. Time seemed to flow by slowly and if she wanted, it could also flash by in the blink of an eye. The passing of time in the Mako held no meaning in the first place. The Planet’s history was made up of accumulated memories, all merged together and were always by her side. There were memories of the present and also of the past. There was no way that Aerith could have seen all of them but, the events that were inscribed into the memories had surpassed time and were all linked together as a whole. It hinted that time was moving into the future in the world of the living. As those new memories from the surface merge together with the Planet, new life would be brought into the world as the energy from the Planet is delivered. That cycle told her how time flowed by one period after another.

Everything was linked to the insides of the Planet through the Lifestream. Even on the surface, in the most distant places, the flow of conscious energy would be delivered. On the other hand, there were places that were so close but yet, the energy couldn’t reach. There were areas that existed where even the winding flow of Mako can’t get to. Aerith thought it must be the fault of all the Mako reactors. The energy was never meant to be used that way and if they continued to draw it out by force, it will eventually upset the balance. If the Planet could help humans live a easier life then it probably would have done so. But Shinra Inc. was going too far. If their greed was to continue, then the equilibrium of the Planet’s life would collapse… Aerith remembered how flowers would only bloom in the church and how the city of Midgar was drenched in Mako.

“And that’s why the people of Shinra wanted to know where the Promised Land was. A land abundant in Mako energy, where only the Cetra knew how to get to… But that place was here. It’s the place where everyone would reach in the end as they returned to the Planet. The land where the Shinra could obtain all the energy they wanted didn’t really exist, did it? It was all just a mistake.”

She murmured as she let herself drift with the Lifestream. She gazed at the moving Mako world that had very little change.

“The Promised Land that Sephiroth had in mind was much different. He was trying to create it all by force. He was going to wound the Planet on purpose so that almost all the energy would gather in one place. So that he himself could control it all alone. That was the Promised Land Sephiroth wanted…”

Aerith shivered as she imagined what the Planet would be like if that happened.
“I wonder if Cloud and the others are all right… I hope Tifa and Cloud aren’t pushing themselves too hard going after Sephiroth…”

“…Cloud? Tifa? Barret?”

The waves of one of the consciousnesses right beside her expanded as it reacted to her words. She rushed to leave the current she was in because it was the first time she came across another firm conscious other than herself. When she reached the place where it came from, a shadow rose from the Mako. It wasn’t as clear an image as Aerith but she knew it was the remnant of a female.

“You know them? Who are you?”


It seemed her memory was muddled. It was probably because most of her soul had already merged with the Mako. But her core hadn’t decomposed and was still drifting there as a whole.

“Oh, I have to introduce myself first. I’m Aerith. Could you be one of Avalanche’s members?”

“Avalanche… Yes, yes that’s right.”

The memories she had was being reconstructed from the Sea of Mako. Realizing who she was once again, her transparent figure rapidly returned to the form she had when she was on the surface. As if Aerith had some influence on her, the colours also came back to her.

Compared to Aerith, she still looked faint but she looked human now and the clothing she had worn also reappeared. Her hair was tied back in a pony tail so that it wouldn’t get in her way and her clothing looked like that of a soldier. She too had arrived here too early and she was about Aerith’s age.

“How stupid of me to forget… I’m Jessie from Avalanche. Hey… Are you Miss Aerith?”

“You can just call me Aerith.”

“Thanks, Aerith. You know Cloud, Tifa and Barret don’t you? How is everyone? Are they still fighting Shinra? Oh…”

Jessie shook her head as if to apologize. “You must be like me now that you’ve come here.”

“Don’t worry. I’m sure they’re all fine.”

She changed her thoughts as she tried not to think about Cloud. Here, she couldn’t lie so she had to not think about it.

“There was something that bothered Barret for a long time. So you died that time… You were one of the people who were trying to protect the Sector Seven pillar as a member of Avalanche back then. I’ve only met Mr. Wedge so far…”


Jessie’s eyes widened. “Yes, Biggs too! All three of us arrived here together but lost sight of each other… Yes, until just a moment ago, I couldn’t remember anything. Until I met you, Aerith.”

As if guided by Jessie’s memories, two more figures appeared. The forms of a man with a thin beard and another that was stout bodied rapidly formed together.
“Wo- Woah.”

The bearded man, Biggs stared at the palms of his hands. “I’m still me. I thought I was going to disappear.”

“I’m so happy I can see the two of you again. And… You’re the one that nursed me that time, Miss… Aerith? Did you die too?”

Instead of giving the obvious answer, Aerith nodded with a smile.

“It’s been a long time, Mr. Wedge. It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Biggs. After that time, I became a member of Avalance too so that kind of makes me a junior to all of you, doesn’t it?”

“Hmmm, that kind of shows how dangerously high the death rate for Avalanche is, doesn’t it?”

“Is Barret still the swagger of a guy he is? Well, he is quite a likeable guy.”

“Junior? I’m too happy! It’s always been my aspirations to be a senior!”

After that, Aerith told all three of them what Avalanche was fighting for now. It wasn’t just Shinra Inc. anymore but also with the much more dangerous existence known as Sephiroth… They had left Midgar to stop his evil ambitions of making the Planet his.

“So Cloud’s become one of us now… I’m so happy.”

“Heheh… He’s a cold guy but I knew he would join us.”

“Does that mean Mr. Cloud is a junior too? He’s going to be tough to deal with.”

There was a lot of commotion among the phantoms of the Avalanche members as they laughed and smiled. But in the end, Aerith noticed their sadness. Some deep remorse bound the three of them together.

“What’s wrong? All of you look like you’re in pain…”

“Well… It’s because of the way our lives ended. We can’t redeem ourselves now.”
Jessie looked down sadly as Biggs continued.

“We fought with Avalanche because we had the same sympathy and thoughts. We thought that it couldn’t be helped to have a few sacrifices if we were to stop Shinra. But we were completely wrong. We understood that when we came here… You know about it too don’t you, Aerith? About the explosion of the First Sector Mako Reactor.”

“Yes… The First Sector was a little distance opposite from the slums I lived in. We weren’t told much about it but, we heard quite a lot of people died…”

“At that time, we only thought that they were getting what they deserved if they got caught in the explosion, since they were all people that worked for Shinra on the upper plate. But in the end, all of us ended up here whether we worked for Shinra or not. So we’ve been thinking about why we did it. All we were really doing was raising our voices and shouting out our opinions like drunks. We were just over-exaggerating about how we were saving the Planet…”

“…I too didn’t think about it that much. I didn’t want a minor role in life. I wanted to shine. So I thought by joining Avalanche, I could be a hero who could save the future of the Planet and that’s all I thought about… I never imagined that it would get others involved. It’s just so foolish…”

Wedge lowered his head in embarassment.

“The whole plan was actually drafted by the old Avalanche which no longer exists anymore.”

Jessie went on regretfully, “There were many more members in Avalanche and they were a much more extreme group. We only inherited the name of their resistance group, “Avalanche” from those people who are no longer around. But details of how to make a bomb and the plans of where to set it were left on a computer. Since I was good with machinery and bombs, I decided to try it… But I’m sure that plan was never intended to be used to just disable Mako Reactor One. The people that came up with the horrific plan hated the Shinra. They hated them so much that they would go as far as sacrificing lots of people… I should have realized it. Barret knew nothing about it.”

“That’s why we…”

Dejected, Biggs looked up to the sky. “Why we wanted to merge with the Planet right away. We wanted to disappear. I remember now. But it was impossible. Barret’s fighting to save even more people. We can’t do any of that to atone for our sins. We can only be here and continue to suffer.”

“In the end, it was all too easy for us to forget who we were because we wanted to be at ease here.”

“It just didn’t work. When we had the chance, we would revert the way we were. Even then we’re not as clear an entity as you are. It’s somewhat like a curse.”

They all laughed with self-derision until it all ended with a sigh.

“But… But.”

Aerith tried to comfort them with her words.

“Everyone’s been wrong before. Even I have been selling flowers thoughtlessly for money…”

“Hmmm… I really can’t compare my stupidity to that.”

“But all of you have been suffering all this time…”

“Thanks, Aerith. But as a senior in Avalanche, it’s such a shameful story. All that big talk feels like it’s backfired on me.”

“I really can’t forgive myself. That’s why this is the only way I can be here.”

“Someday, the day may come when we can return to the Planet but right now, we can’t. Now go, Aerith. You must be in that form because there’s a role you must fulfil. We’re worried our sinful memories will transfer over to you.”


“And then we’ll suffer even more. So go, please?”

Jessie was lying. Aerith knew that she was trying to get far away from her so that she wouldn’t have to share their pain.

The phantoms of the three people were fading. Aerith bit her bottom lip as tears welled up.

“Please let me say this at least. That day, many people managed to escape because the three of you worked hard to protect the Seventh Sector pillar. I’m sure the number of people that managed to escape was more than the people who died in Sector One… And I also managed to save Marlene because of that. Maybe that isn’t enough to free you all… I know that people’s lives aren’t something you add and subtract with but… Please remember that it’s not only sins that you carry.”

“…Thank you. Thank you, Aerith.”

The voice of someone that no longer knew who they were echoed and they were taken back to the prison that they had decided for themselves. They sank into the sea of memories.

Aerith wiped away her tears and started walking again. She prayed that the souls of the Avalance members would be able to rest in peace soon.

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