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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Feral-verse - Contagion 4/? (FF7 AU) (very VERY rough draft)
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: September 20th, 2007 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
[ continued from above ]

So, could the emotional clash be part of the reason Sephiroth was such easy prey for Jenova's mind-fucking, with the balance tilted the other way for Cloud? Even though their Cetra genes were pretty much dormant back then.

Probably not. As you said, when Sephiroth went crazy at Nibelheim, his (and Cloud's) Cetra genes were essentially inactive. The effect of their Cetra genes won't really kick in until they're switched 'on' by the feral cetra virus. However, certain things (e.g., Jenova cells, other illness, etc.) can interfere with the activation of the Cetra genes. But once the Cetra genes are fully activated, they're permenantly on.

After Nibelheim (or more specifically, the fight in the Nibel Reactor), the feral-Cetra virus was released with Sephiroth, Cloud, and Zack were basically at Ground Zero. However, while released, the virus remained pretty much dormant until being jolted back to activity by the Lifestream during the Meteor incident. But then its effects was partially suppressed by the whole Geostigma plague and the physical stresses it caused. Only after Aeris's purifying rain did the feral-Cetra virus become fully active once again.

In Zack, Sephiroth, and Cloud, the virus was semi-active prior to the Meteor and Lifestream incident -- probably because of all the extra mako exposure (i.e., Hojo's experiments for Cloud and Zack, the dip in the Lifestream for Sephrioth) -- but the virus's effects were suppressed by the presence of the more active Jenova cells. That's why Cloud and Zack show obvious signs of going feral after escaping from Nibelheim.

Makes sense, but it also explains why Sephiroth and Cloud are both so much stronger than other high-level ferals.

That's right, but it's bad news for their mental stability.

At the moment, Zack's the most worried about Cloud -- Sephiroth being safely tucked away in the Lifestream under Aeris's protection. While curing the Geostigma, Aeris's rain had the unfortunate side-effect of alerting Jenova to Aeris as a serious threat, thereby inducing Jenova to exert itself in various ways in an attempt to counter the threat posed by Aeris. Cloud, due to his whopping dose of Jenova cells and mental issues, is still acutely vulnerable to Jenova's influence. And with Sephiroth out of her grasp, Cloud would make a pretty darn good substitute puppet.

The only way to protect Cloud from Jenova is the Change into a feral, which will give Cloud a lot more resistence to Jenova's influence. But it isn't a perfect solution and Zack instinctively knows it. He needs Aeris's help to stabilize Cloud before he gets torn apart by the conflict between his activated feral genes and the Jenova cells inside him.

I didn't think he was consciously aware of Tifa's problems with Zack, no. But she is being a lot more suspicious about Zack than she would be if she liked him.

Cloud's not. And while he's aware that she's very suspicious, he'd be the first to admit that she has some pretty legitimate reasons. I mean, coming back from the dead and shapeshifting? As several people have already noted, it's damn suspicious. ::chuckle::

Cool. Although...I don't think empathy really fits Cloud's background and character. Unless perhaps it's limited to negative emotions for some reason...

That part's still up in the air. But it's almost certain that he will have an empathic (although perhaps not telepathic) connection with his mates. Unfortunately, that empathic bond doens't necessarily makes dealing with a PTSD episode any easier, and might even makes things worse, considering how upset Sephiroth is likely to get. ^_-

jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: September 21st, 2007 09:01 am (UTC) (Link)
I hope you don't mind my long responses. Your comments really help me in working the details of the Feral-verse.

I love your long responses, and I'm glad I can help this way.

Your question could be read two ways, so I'll go ahead and answer it both ways.

I was more interested in the first way. I kind of assumed that a healer who had motivation to help a human or low-level feral like that would make however much time (s)he needed.

So basically, Aeris looks like she'll be the new Cetra queen of the Planet.

Cool.

That's right, but it's bad news for their mental stability.

Especially since neither of them were really that stable to start off with, certainly not compared to Zack or Aeris.

But it's almost certain that he will have an empathic (although perhaps not telepathic) connection with his mates. Unfortunately, that empathic bond doens't necessarily makes dealing with a PTSD episode any easier, and might even makes things worse, considering how upset Sephiroth is likely to get.

An empathic bond being part of what makes them bonded mates, as opposed to just breeding stock? And I suppose there'd be an almost synergistic effect, Sephiroth being upset by Cloud's distress, and his distress feeding into and increasing Cloud's own pain.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: September 22nd, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I was more interested in the first way. I kind of assumed that a healer who had motivation to help a human or low-level feral like that would make however much time (s)he needed.

Gotcha. Although I should have clarified that my earlier statement really applied to a Feral-Cetra-dominated society, which tends to be a combination of pack hierarchy and tribal structure, with a definite 'might makes right' and 'survival of the fittest' sort of flavor. While in constrast, a more nurturer-Cetra-dominated society tends to be more highly structured with a much heavier emphasis on social duties/obligations and 'the greater good'.

Especially since neither of them were really that stable to start off with, certainly not compared to Zack or Aeris.

True enough, especially with Jenova's insidious influence, deliberate or not.

An empathic bond being part of what makes them bonded mates, as opposed to just breeding stock?

That's sort of a 'the chicken or the egg' problem. Does the presence of an empathic bond make them bonded (i.e., true soul) mates, or do they develop the empathic bond because they're bonded mates. It's hard to say. But basically the two almost always go hand in hand, at least for high-level ferals. But high-level ferals are much more prone to manifest psionic abilities anyway.

And I suppose there'd be an almost synergistic effect, Sephiroth being upset by Cloud's distress, and his distress feeding into and increasing Cloud's own pain.

Yup, and in his disoriented state, Cloud basically can't distinguish his own distress from Sephiroth's distress, so he's liable to think that it's all his. It makes for a vicious cycle, especially if because of his earlier trauma, Cloud is more sensitized (i.e., more receptive) to Sephiroht's negative emotions -- similar to how a bone or joint, once damaged, might have a tendency to ache when the weather changes.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: September 22nd, 2007 09:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Although I should have clarified that my earlier statement really applied to a Feral-Cetra-dominated society, which tends to be a combination of pack hierarchy and tribal structure, with a definite 'might makes right' and 'survival of the fittest' sort of flavor.

That makes sense considering their attitudes so far.

While in constrast, a more nurturer-Cetra-dominated society tends to be more highly structured with a much heavier emphasis on social duties/obligations and 'the greater good'.

With some pretty hefty childhood conditioning/brainwashing to 'encourage' the stronger Cetra to go along with this attitude I'd bet.

Yup, and in his disoriented state, Cloud basically can't distinguish his own distress from Sephiroth's distress, so he's liable to think that it's all his. It makes for a vicious cycle, especially if because of his earlier trauma, Cloud is more sensitized (i.e., more receptive) to Sephiroht's negative emotions -- similar to how a bone or joint, once damaged, might have a tendency to ache when the weather changes.

Ouch! But probably that's all too likely.
56 hisses or Hiss in my ear....