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Feral-verse - Contagion 2/? (FF7 AU, Feral-verse) - Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Feral-verse - Contagion 2/? (FF7 AU, Feral-verse)
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
Comments
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 24th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Mmmm...delicious. One of the things I really like is how Cid's willing to give in the 'the other' once he's sure it won't hurt Vincent, as well as how his perspective changes and he recognises what Zack is to Cloud without even seeing them together. Also I love how Cloud's body remembers being with Zack, even if his mind doesn't.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 25th, 2007 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, Cid's pretty much given up the fight by now. But he's playing it cool at the moment because Vincent is skittish and has Issues(tm), especially with respect to his other forms.

Also I love how Cloud's body remembers being with Zack, even if his mind doesn't.

His mind will be catching up fast, at least with respect to Zack and Aeris.

But Sephiroth... well, that's going to be a lot trickier (and Zack knows it). insane!Seph did one hell of a job on Cloud's psyche, poor boy.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 25th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
His mind will be catching up fast, at least with respect to Zack and Aeris.

Cool. And will we get to see any more of Aeris' efforts to warn warn Cloud via Marlene?

But Sephiroth... well, that's going to be a lot trickier (and Zack knows it). insane!Seph did one hell of a job on Cloud's psyche, poor boy.

So Zack's going to have to convince Cloud that Sephiroth's sane again, and that he's not going to hurt Cloud before he can get Cloud to start trying to bring Sephiroth back? I can imagine just how frantic he'd be if Cloud and Zack brought Aeris back and infected her, leaving Sephiroth trapped helpless in the Lifestream.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 25th, 2007 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool. And will we get to see any more of Aeris' efforts to warn warn Cloud via Marlene?

Well, bits and pieces of it. Needless to say, with Zack there, things don't go quite as planned. ^_-

So Zack's going to have to convince Cloud that Sephiroth's sane again, and that he's not going to hurt Cloud before he can get Cloud to start trying to bring Sephiroth back?

Not exactly. Cloud probably wouldn't be that resistant to the idea of a sane Sephiroth, or even his resurrection if Zack or someone can give him a good enough reason. Cloud can deal with Sephiroth as long as he thinks of Sephiroth in a relatively impersonal context (i.e., Cloud and Sephiroth essentially being strangers before Nibelheim).

However, Cloud has serious issues with the concept that Sephiroth and he were once in an intimate, loving relationship. It isn't a matter of merely holding a grudge or being suspicious, but more like a form of hysterical blindness or amnesia. ^_^;;

The mindfuckery insane!Sephiroth put Cloud through was so traumatizing, Cloud's mind is now actively surpressing the good memories of OT4-Seph, simply because the contrast that Seph and insane!Sephiroth was so horribly jarring. It's also a particular side-effect of how insane!Sephiroth tortured Cloud and how he used those good memories against Cloud in a particularly nasty way. There's a hint in the way that Cloud keeps remembering insane!Sephiroth's line about despair. ^_-

A steady diet of suffering is bad enough, but a person can adjust to that. But yo-yoing between two radically different emotional states, to have hopes and dreams of happiness, and then have those hopes and dreams cruelly, deliberately, and systematically torn away over and over again is much worse, I think. As you might imagine, this sort of treatment would wreak absolute havoc with anyone's sense of reality, much less someone who's already seriously mentally unstable.

So Zack is going to be rather cautious about discussing Seph, because he senses the severity of Cloud's problem and doesn't want to push things too hard too fast. It's not that Cloud doesn't want to remember the other person in their foursome, he literally can't at the moment.

This is why Zack's going to focused on getting Aeris back first. With both Zack and Aeris there, hopefully Cloud will feel sufficiently emotionally secure to start remembering what he and Sephiroth really meant to each other.

I can imagine just how frantic he'd be if Cloud and Zack brought Aeris back and infected her, leaving Sephiroth trapped helpless in the Lifestream.

Oh yes. Seph ain't going to be happy at all. ::evil grin::
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 25th, 2007 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Needless to say, with Zack there, things don't go quite as planned. ^_-


That's what's going to make it so much fun to read though.

However, Cloud has serious issues with the concept that Sephiroth and he were once in an intimate, loving relationship. It isn't a matter of merely holding a grudge or being suspicious, but more like a form of hysterical blindness or amnesia. ^_^;;

Ah, I see. Hadn't thought of that.

But yo-yoing between two radically different emotional states, to have hopes and dreams of happiness, and then have those hopes and dreams cruelly, deliberately, and systematically torn away over and over again is much worse, I think.

And I agree. I hadn't realised quite how sadistic Jenova-controlled Sephiroth was in this AU.

So Zack is going to be rather cautious about discussing Seph, because he senses the severity of Cloud's problem and doesn't want to push things too hard too fast.

And who could blame him? Not me.

Oh yes. Seph ain't going to be happy at all. ::evil grin::

Is it wrong of me to say I'm looking forward to seeing that? Especially since you've made it clear that Aeris is the best of the three at using the Lifestream, and Sephiroth is the least skilled.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 25th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
And I agree. I hadn't realised quite how sadistic Jenova-controlled Sephiroth was in this AU.

In Feral-verse, insane!Sephiroth doesn't physically abuse Cloud at all -- the emotional/mental abuse is more than enough. He has fundamentally damaged Cloud's ability to feel secure and safe, and it's a problem that's not about to go away even if the OT4 get back together.

You can see how this whole "is this real or a dream or a nightmare?" issue would have started during those torturous years in Nibelheim. Insane!Sephiroth merely builds on that, then refines it to sadistic perfection.

And it's not a problem that will ever entirely go away, because no matter how happy Cloud becomes, there will always be a corner of his mind waiting for the other shoe to drop, who's terrified that all this love and happiness is just an cruel illusion and that any moment he's going to wake up back at the non-mercy of an insane!Sephiroth.

And the happier Cloud is, the worse the fear, however deeply buried it is in his subconscious. Cloud won't allow that fear to drive him away from his mates, but it will definitely be an ongoing issue (in a post traumatic stress syndrome sort of away) that the feral OT4 will have to deal with. I think Seph will have a harder time dealing with what he's done to his lover/mate than Cloud does.

Needless to say, if Tifa ever witnesses Cloud in a PTSD episode, it's only going to reinforce her conviction that Sephiroth's manipulating or controlling Cloud. ^_-

Is it wrong of me to say I'm looking forward to seeing that? Especially since you've made it clear that Aeris is the best of the three at using the Lifestream, and Sephiroth is the least skilled.

Actually, the order of skill is Aeris -> Sephiroth -> Zack.

I don't think Sephiroth will be stuck in the Lifestream that long. When it becomes obvious that the strongest (and ergo, the most dangerous) people on the Planet have gone feral -- Zack, Cloud, Aeris, not to mention Cid and Vincent, Rufus and his Turks, etc.) -- the normal humans are going to panick and get the bright idea that resurrecting Sephiroth is the only way to fend off the feral threat to humanity.

Which will make things... interesting, to say the least.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 26th, 2007 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
In Feral-verse, insane!Sephiroth doesn't physically abuse Cloud at all -- the emotional/mental abuse is more than enough.

IMO, when it's take to the extreme mental/emotional abuse is a lot worse than physical abuse. I mean, what would be worse for you, seeing a loved one killed and having the killer tell you it was your fault, or someone breaking your arm?

He has fundamentally damaged Cloud's ability to feel secure and safe, and it's a problem that's not about to go away even if the OT4 get back together.


Ouch. But honestly, now that you've explained just what sort of damage he did I'd be disappointed in you if it did.

You can see how this whole "is this real or a dream or a nightmare?" issue would have started during those torturous years in Nibelheim. Insane!Sephiroth merely builds on that, then refines it to sadistic perfection.

Yeah, I can see that all too clearly. He'd have wanted Nibelheim to be a dream or nightmare, and then Sephiroth manages to convince him that whenever he's happy it's a dream...

there will always be a corner of his mind waiting for the other shoe to drop, who's terrified that all this love and happiness is just an cruel illusion and that any moment he's going to wake up back at the non-mercy of an insane!Sephiroth.

Even though the whole situation is so outright weird that Cloud couldn't have imagined it under noraml circumstances, he doesn't know what sort of imagination Sephiroth has, especially when he's insane, and insane!Sephiroth has already shown one hell of an imagination.

I think Seph will have a harder time dealing with what he's done to his lover/mate than Cloud does.

And so he should. Although I'd think Sephiroth's pain at seeing Cloud so...traumatised might actually help, adding a slightly discordant note?

Needless to say, if Tifa ever witnesses Cloud in a PTSD episode, it's only going to reinforce her conviction that Sephiroth's manipulating or controlling Cloud. ^_-

Of course it would, and especially if she sees Sephiroth trying to help Cloud after one.

Actually, the order of skill is Aeris -> Sephiroth -> Zack.

Ah, my misunderstanding. But I'd expect there to ba a much bigger difference in Aeris' and Sephiroth's respective levels of skill than between Sephiroth's and Zack's. I mean Aeris was more or less a mystic in the Game in a lot of ways.

the normal humans are going to panick and get the bright idea that resurrecting Sephiroth is the only way to fend off the feral threat to humanity.

Oh, the irony!

Which will make things... interesting, to say the least.

Since the way Sephiroth is brought back will more or less label him as 'enemy' in Cloud's mind, at least at first?
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 26th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Even though the whole situation is so outright weird that Cloud couldn't have imagined it under noraml circumstances, he doesn't know what sort of imagination Sephiroth has, especially when he's insane, and insane!Sephiroth has already shown one hell of an imagination.

Exactly. I mean, how's this for a nightmare? He 'wakes up' only to find out that everything after Aeris's death was just a nice dream, and Zack's still dead, Aeris is still dead, he's still Sephiroth's prisoner, and Sephiroth is still stark raving mad.

Cloud's PTSD episodes are quite rare -- they almost never happen when Zack and/or Aeris is with Sephiroth and Cloud. I haven't quite decided on specific triggers, but I suspect a contributing factor is when Cloud and Sephiroth are alone and Cloud is feeling particularly happy and/or aroused.

Yes, this is evil. ^_-

And so he should. Although I'd think Sephiroth's pain at seeing Cloud so...traumatised might actually help, adding a slightly discordant note?

Sephiroth's own distress probably does help 'break' the PTSD episode, but it will take some time to sink in, because in the initital stages of the episode, Cloud is probably so terrified that very little gets through.

It also probably helps if Sephiroth goes fully feline due to his own emotional stress because it adds yet another discordant note. Zack and/or Aeris's presence definitely helps, too.

While Sephiroth certainly wouldn't leave his mate alone in such a vulnerable state, once Zack and/or Aeris show up, I think Sephiroth's instinct will be to flee the scene because he's the primary source of Cloud's distress. However, Zack and Aeris is not about to let that happen, even if they have to tackle Sephiroth and haul him back by his tail. ^_-

Ah, my misunderstanding. But I'd expect there to ba a much bigger difference in Aeris' and Sephiroth's respective levels of skill than between Sephiroth's and Zack's. I mean Aeris was more or less a mystic in the Game in a lot of ways.

Yes, she's definitely much more skilled than Sephiroth. Aeris, now that she knows how to purge and/or semi-control Jenova cells (as seen from the curing of the Geostigma), she's an incredible threat to Jenova itself. And Jenova senses it.

Sephiroth's powers are much more basic -- he can glean information from the Lifestream and use it for more brute force offensive applications.

Zack's use of the Lifestream is mostly of a support nature, so he can assist Aeris and Sephiroth in whatever their doing, but he really can't do much himself. Although now he's fully feral, he can do quite a bit more, like hiding himself from Aeris's detection, enhancing barriers, etc.

(continued below - damn character limit)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 26th, 2007 11:33 am (UTC) (Link)
(continued from above)

[the normal humans are going to panick and get the bright idea that resurrecting Sephiroth is the only way to fend off the feral threat to humanity.]

Oh, the irony!


Indeed. Some normal human extremists become convinced that between Jenova and the ferals, Jenova is the lesser evil of the two evils. So they decide to resurrect Sephiroth, expecting him to still be Jenova's puppet. Of course the extremist humans have some half-assed scheme to keep Sephiroth in line and destroy him once his usefulness is over.

Unfortunately, when Sephiroth's spirit pulled out of the Lifestream and dumped back into a physical body full of Jenova Cells, there are complications (i.e., he still vulnerable to Jenova's influence). He's not nearly as insane as he was before, but he's not quite his lovable sane OT4 self, either.

Now, Aeris and the other ferals would have known that they needed to deal with the Jenova cells in Sephiroth's body -first- before bringing Sephiroth's spirit back, but humans can be such idiots....

Since the way Sephiroth is brought back will more or less label him as 'enemy' in Cloud's mind, at least at first?

Nope, not at all. Sephiroth is their -mate-, he's in trouble, and they just want to rescue him and be together once more. Which isn't going to be that easy, between Jenova's nasty influence and Sephiroth's own wariness about this feral virus thing. Given the circumstances of Zack, Cloud, and Aeris's transformation, Sephiroth has a perfectly understandable concern that they might be under the influence of something sinister and you can bet that Jenova will be playing on those fears.

So the feral trio only wants what they perceive as the best for Sephiroth, Sephiroth only wants what he perceives as the best for the trio, and neither side wants to hurt the other, and everyone simply just wants to be together again.

Oh, and everyone agrees that humans are a pain in the ass.

And it's STILL going to be a horrible complicated mess! Fortunately, Sephiroth is outnumbered three-to-one, and high level Cetra ferals are nearly as powerful as he is. Yay! Go ferals!
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 27th, 2007 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. I mean, how's this for a nightmare? He 'wakes up' only to find out that everything after Aeris's death was just a nice dream, and Zack's still dead, Aeris is still dead, he's still Sephiroth's prisoner, and Sephiroth is still stark raving mad.

You're a lot more inventive than I would be. And it sounds like a good approximation of hell.

Cloud's PTSD episodes are quite rare -- they almost never happen when Zack and/or Aeris is with Sephiroth and Cloud. I haven't quite decided on specific triggers, but I suspect a contributing factor is when Cloud and Sephiroth are alone and Cloud is feeling particularly happy and/or aroused.

How long would it take before things got to the point where Sephiroth would never do anything sexual with Cloud unless Aeris and/or Zack were there? Or do Cloud's PTSD episodes happen often enough with non-sexual happiness that Sephiroth doesn't make that particular connection?

However, Zack and Aeris is not about to let that happen, even if they have to tackle Sephiroth and haul him back by his tail. ^_-

Oh, I definitely want to see that. Plus possibly some face-licking on Sephiroth's behalf?

Zack's use of the Lifestream is mostly of a support nature, so he can assist Aeris and Sephiroth in whatever their doing, but he really can't do much himself.

And that would fit in with Advent Children, since Zack almost always appeared with Aeris in the Lifestream, which might partly be where I got the idea he could use it better than Sephiroth could. Oh, and can Cloud use the Lifestream at all, and how does he compare?

Indeed. Some normal human extremists become convinced that between Jenova and the ferals, Jenova is the lesser evil of the two evils. So they decide to resurrect Sephiroth, expecting him to still be Jenova's puppet. Of course the extremist humans have some half-assed scheme to keep Sephiroth in line and destroy him once his usefulness is over.

Let's see, ferals who basically see humans as livestock, but who want to keep the Planet alive and healthy, versus Jenova whose only desire is to destroy the Planet to use its energy to travel the stars. They're not thinking at all are they? And of course a lot of people have been stupid enough to think they could control Sephiroth.

Now, Aeris and the other ferals would have known that they needed to deal with the Jenova cells in Sephiroth's body -first- before bringing Sephiroth's spirit back, but humans can be such idiots....

Darwin award time I think.

Nope, not at all. Sephiroth is their -mate-, he's in trouble, and they just want to rescue him and be together once more.

Ah, I was thinking that at first Cloud would still be resistant to accepting Sephiroth as a mate because of the whole mental issues from when Sephiroth was insane.

And it's STILL going to be a horrible complicated mess! Fortunately, Sephiroth is outnumbered three-to-one, and high level Cetra ferals are nearly as powerful as he is. Yay! Go ferals!

Only nearly as powerful? I mean Cloud's defeated Sephiroth on his own at least twice now, and that was before the Cetra virus woke up in him. And depending on what it takes for Aeris to cleanse the Jenova cells from someone...I mean if she can do a partial cleanse with some sort of distance weapon as opposed to actually being right beside them and focusing exclusively on that person. Perhaps it would disorientate Sephiroth to feel Aeris removing a fair proportion of his Jenova cells with this theoretical distance weapon, giving Cloud and Zack the chance to overpower him physcally for long enough that Aeris can get rid of the rest of Jenova's influence? But yes. Go ferals!
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 27th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
You're a lot more inventive than I would be. And it sounds like a good approximation of hell.

Thank you, thank you! ::flamboyant bow::

How long would it take before things got to the point where Sephiroth would never do anything sexual with Cloud unless Aeris and/or Zack were there? Or do Cloud's PTSD episodes happen often enough with non-sexual happiness that Sephiroth doesn't make that particular connection?

Well, I think after the first few episodes, Sephiroth would be somewhat cautious about being alone with Cloud, period, much less engaging in anything remotely sexual. However, not only will Zack and Aeris try to persuade Sephiroth that avoidance isn't the best way to handle things, I don't think Cloud himself will accept Sephiroth's avoidance, either.

Cloud's PTSD are actually quite rare. But unlike a phobia which occurs nearly every time a particular trigger is present, Cloud's episodes are highly unpredictable. For example, they don't always happen even when Cloud and Sephiroth are alone AND sexually engaged. There are certain situations that increase the probability of an episode, but his PTSD episode might occur in only 1 out of 20, or even 1 out of 50 occasions. That's what makes it so hard to deal with, because on those other 19 (or 49) occasions, things will be just fine.

Cloud really and truly loves Sephiroth. Cloud wants to be able to hug and be hugged, kiss or be kissed, etc. by Sephiroth, even if Aeris and Zack aren't there. Unfortunately, there's a unruly part of Cloud's mind that reacts on its own, regardless of what Cloud himself wants. Just as Sephiroth is much harder on himself for causing Cloud's trauma, Cloud is also much harder on himself for not being able to overcome his PTSD by sheer common sense and willpower, and viewing that failure as a sign of weakness. And we know how the thought of being weak tends to tie Cloud up in emotional knots. ^_-

So Sephiroth doesn't want to avoid being alone with Cloud, but almost feels obligated to do so for Cloud's own good. Cloud doesn't want Sephiroth to avoid being alone with him, but he also hates the idea of hurting Sephiroth if something does happen.

Oh, I definitely want to see that. Plus possibly some face-licking on Sephiroth's behalf?

feline!Sephiroth: (claws digging into the floor) YOWL!!!
Aeris: (pulling on Seph's tail) Get back in that bedroom and love Cloud, damn it!

Seriously, though, I can see Sephiroth going decidedly more feline (fur, ears, tail, etc.) in appearance when he's alone with Cloud, just to help heighten the contrast between the past and the present. And naturally, Zack, Aeris, and Cloud will notice him doing it.

Oh, and can Cloud use the Lifestream at all, and how does he compare?

Hmmm. I would say that after he goes fully feral, Cloud will be somewhere between Zack and Sephiroth. He probably do the defensive things Zack can (e.g., concealment, barriers, etc.) and some of the offensive things that Sephiroth can do with the Lifestream.

So as for ability to use the Lifestream:

Aeris ->->->->-> Sephiroth -> Cloud -> Zack

(continued below)
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 27th, 2007 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
(continued from above)

And of course a lot of people have been stupid enough to think they could control Sephiroth.

Well, the human extremists are going to try to control Sephiroth, and naturally only make things much worse. Sephiroth is going to have enough trouble trying to stay semi-sane and fend off Jenova's influence. He doesn't need the added stress of damn human idiots playing around with implanted bombs, shock collars, drugs, and whatever stupid control devices the morons might think up.

Reeve, Yuffie, and Nanaki (having a more moderate pro-human stance) are definitely not in favor of this approach, having much better knowledge of all the parties involved. On the other hand, Tifa and Barret, while not exactly liking the situation, have more of a 'the end justifies the means' sort of view.

As you can imagine, Aeris, Zack, and Cloud are going to be very VERY unhappy when they find out what's the humans are doing to their Sephiroth. ^_-

Only nearly as powerful? I mean Cloud's defeated Sephiroth on his own at least twice now, and that was before the Cetra virus woke up in him.

Oops, you're right! Although the first defeat of Sephiroth in the game was more of a team effort, and in the case of Advent Children, it could be argued that the AC-Sephiroth wasn't at full strength because only Kadaj (and not all three Clones) were used as the host body. And Cloud is in a class of his own.

So how about this? People like Cid or Yuffie, who are clearly superb fighters, can't tackle insane!Sephiroth one-on-one under normal conditions. However, when they go feral, they will definitely be able to fight individually on pretty much an equal basis with insane!Sephiroth.

So here's a VERY rough preliminary power scale (combat-wise):
(1) feral-Sephiroth; feral-Cloud
(2) feral-Zack; feral-Vincent
(3) feral-Aeris; other high-level ferals (Cid, Yuffie, Rufus, etc.)
(4) AC-Cloud; insane!Sephiroth
(5) pre-Nibelheim Sephiroth; high-level Jenova spawn
(6) mid-level ferals (Reno, Tseng, etc.);
(7) immature high-level ferals (Marlene)
(7) mid-level Jenova spawn
(8) normal Zack; SOLDIERs

And depending on what it takes for Aeris to cleanse the Jenova cells from someone...I mean if she can do a partial cleanse with some sort of distance weapon as opposed to actually being right beside them and focusing exclusively on that person. Perhaps it would disorientate Sephiroth to feel Aeris removing a fair proportion of his Jenova cells with this theoretical distance weapon, giving Cloud and Zack the chance to overpower him physcally for long enough that Aeris can get rid of the rest of Jenova's influence?

Aeris's ability to cleanse Jenova cells depends a lot on how tightly integrated those cells are with the person's cellular structure. For normal humans with Geostigma, the Jenova cells are basically just floating around and can be purged long distance with the Lifestream-infused water.

Unfortunately, with SOLDIERs, Cloud, and Sephiroth, the Jenova cells are much more tightly integrated into their bodies, and actually can't be removed without irreparable damage. However, there are things Aeris CAN do to suppress the Jenova cells and therefore provide protection and/or immunity from Jenova's influence. Unfortunately, this has to be done at close range, over time, and on an individual basis to be really effective. Jenova cells are nasty stuff.

As for physically overpowering Sephiroth and stealing him away from the humans (and Jenova)... I think I've give Aeris that honor. She might look like a dainty slip of a young woman, but as a full Cetra feral, she'll be able to pick up and throw a large truck with no problem, not to mention all those nifty plant-based powers she now has. So even if Jenova manages to force Sephiroth into attacking Aeris, he's really going to have to work for it.

Which is lucky for everyone involved. ^_-
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 29th, 2007 08:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I think after the first few episodes, Sephiroth would be somewhat cautious about being alone with Cloud, period, much less engaging in anything remotely sexual.

Sort of overprotective, but really sweet.

However, not only will Zack and Aeris try to persuade Sephiroth that avoidance isn't the best way to handle things, I don't think Cloud himself will accept Sephiroth's avoidance, either.

No, I guess he wouldn't.

But unlike a phobia which occurs nearly every time a particular trigger is present, Cloud's episodes are highly unpredictable. For example, they don't always happen even when Cloud and Sephiroth are alone AND sexually engaged.

I'm not sure to be grateful for that, or to wish that they were that predictable. And I guess that sometimes the PTSD epsodes happen with triggers that seem almost random?

Just as Sephiroth is much harder on himself for causing Cloud's trauma, Cloud is also much harder on himself for not being able to overcome his PTSD by sheer common sense and willpower, and viewing that failure as a sign of weakness. And we know how the thought of being weak tends to tie Cloud up in emotional knots. ^_-

Oh yes. Two out of three of the best people on the Planet at blaming themselves for everything that goes wrong around them are part of the same pack. I'll bet Aeris and Zack have their hands full keeping those two from dwelling on their sense of guilt.

Seriously, though, I can see Sephiroth going decidedly more feline (fur, ears, tail, etc.) in appearance when he's alone with Cloud, just to help heighten the contrast between the past and the present. And naturally, Zack, Aeris, and Cloud will notice him doing it.

The only question is what do they think his reasons are? Does Cloud feel guilty about Sephiroth obviously 'having' to 'indulge' his weakness? Do Aeris and Zack find it sweet and caring?

So as for ability to use the Lifestream:

Aeris ->->->->-> Sephiroth -> Cloud -> Zack


Cool.

Sephiroth is going to have enough trouble trying to stay semi-sane and fend off Jenova's influence. He doesn't need the added stress of damn human idiots playing around with implanted bombs, shock collars, drugs, and whatever stupid control devices the morons might think up.

No, no he really doesn't.

As you can imagine, Aeris, Zack, and Cloud are going to be very VERY unhappy when they find out what's the humans are doing to their Sephiroth. ^_-

Changing the core of the most powerful pack on the Planet from possibly treating humans as potential, albeit lesser, allies to considering the majority of them dangerous wild animals? Real smart move on the extremists' part.

(7) immature high-level ferals (Marlene)

I hadn't quite realised Marlene would be a high-level feral.

(8) normal Zack; SOLDIERs

Probably my own prejudices influencing me, but I thought Zack was a bit better than the general run of SOLDIERs, even SOLDIERs 1st class, even before he got infected with the Cetra virus? And...you don't seem to have low-level ferals on that list. Also, is Shera a mid-level or a low-level feral?

She might look like a dainty slip of a young woman, but as a full Cetra feral, she'll be able to pick up and throw a large truck with no problem, not to mention all those nifty plant-based powers she now has. So even if Jenova manages to force Sephiroth into attacking Aeris, he's really going to have to work for it.

Great. And that's a delicious visual, as well as a good way to shock Jenova and for the OT4 pack to get their hands on Sephiroth.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: May 29th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not sure to be grateful for that, or to wish that they were that predictable. And I guess that sometimes the PTSD epsodes happen with triggers that seem almost random?

Yes, occasionally the PTSD episodes are the result of cumulative triggers -- the wrong smell combined with the wrong words combined with the wrong sights, etc. -- and yes, the unpredictability does make things difficult.

Two out of three of the best people on the Planet at blaming themselves for everything that goes wrong around them are part of the same pack.

Well, Sephiroth's guilt is very focused on his lovers, so while he doesn't feel much (if any guilt) with respect to what he did to humanity in general while insane, he definitely feels the guilt when it comes to Aeris, Zack, and Cloud (especially Cloud, of course).

I'll bet Aeris and Zack have their hands full keeping those two from dwelling on their sense of guilt.

Yup. Cloud and Sephiroth are definitely high-maintenence in the emotional sense. Not because they want to be, but they're the products of their environment (Sephiroth) and their experiences (Cloud). Sephiroth can't escape his sense of being somehow tainted, and Cloud is constantly dealing with issues of insecurity and failure.

Fortunately, I think Aeris and Zack are up for the job. That's why I think this OT4 works so well, because dealing with Sephiroth and Cloud would be rather hard for Aeris or Zack alone. With both of them there, Aeris and Zack can support each other when things get tough.

The only question is what do they think his reasons [for going feline] are? Does Cloud feel guilty about Sephiroth obviously 'having' to 'indulge' his weakness? Do Aeris and Zack find it sweet and caring?

Aeris and Zack definitely would find it endearing. And they probably would have hard time keeping their hands off semi-feline!Sephiroth. If Aeris likes playing with Sephiroth's hair, can you imagine what she could do with furry ears and tail? ^_- But yes, Cloud probably would feel guilty about it. But that's Cloud. ::eye-roll::

[(7) immature high-level ferals (Marlene)]

I hadn't quite realised Marlene would be a high-level feral.


I'm thinking abou making her a mid-level feral. I haven't decided yet.

[(8) normal Zack; SOLDIERs]

Probably my own prejudices influencing me, but I thought Zack was a bit better than the general run of SOLDIERs, even SOLDIERs 1st class, even before he got infected with the Cetra virus?


There's a fair bit of variability within the various rankings, as well as some overlap between rankings, depending on circumstances. But yes, Zack is definitely among the best of the SOLDIERs so he probably should move up a bit.

And...you don't seem to have low-level ferals on that list. Also, is Shera a mid-level or a low-level feral?

Shera probably is a mid-level feral, especially if she's going to mate with Cid and Vincent. Large differences in power levels can make breeding difficult and dangerous.

Here's a slightly revised power scale (combat-wise):
(1) feral-Sephiroth; feral-Cloud
(2) feral-Zack; feral-Vincent
(3) feral-Aeris; other high-level ferals (Cid, Yuffie, Rufus, etc.)
(4) AC-Cloud; insane!Sephiroth
(5) pre-Nibelheim Sephiroth; high-level Jenova spawn
(6) mid-level ferals (Reno, Tseng, Shera, etc.); normal-Vincent
(7) normal-Zack; mid-level Jenova spawn
(8) immature mid-level ferals (Marlene)
(9) First Class SOLDIERs
(10) normal-Yuffie, normal-Nanaki, Tifa, Barret
(11) Second and Third Class SOLDIERS; low-level ferals; low-level Jenova spawn
(12) sub-ferals
(13) normal humans

Sub-ferals refers to individuals who survive the physical Change, but do not successfully make the mental Change -- they have moderately enhanced physical abilities, but lose most of their higher cognitive abilities.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: May 30th, 2007 10:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, Sephiroth's guilt is very focused on his lovers, so while he doesn't feel much (if any guilt) with respect to what he did to humanity in general while insane, he definitely feels the guilt when it comes to Aeris, Zack, and Cloud (especially Cloud, of course).

Yes, but it's those three he's around most. And I wonder if he might feel a bit mroe guilt about SOLDIERs than about bog-standard humanity?

Fortunately, I think Aeris and Zack are up for the job. That's why I think this OT4 works so well, because dealing with Sephiroth and Cloud would be rather hard for Aeris or Zack alone. With both of them there, Aeris and Zack can support each other when things get tough.

Yes, they do work really well together, although I suspect two close pairings with a high-maintainence/low-maintenence set-up and a strong friendship would have similar benefits. But the OT4's a lot more fun to read about.

But yes, Cloud probably would feel guilty about it. But that's Cloud. ::eye-roll::

And it's one of the things Zack and Aeris love about him, right?

Sub-ferals refers to individuals who survive the physical Change, but do not successfully make the mental Change -- they have moderately enhanced physical abilities, but lose most of their higher cognitive abilities.

Cool. I'd half wondered if those were going to end up as low-level ferals, but this works much better.
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....