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Convolutions of an Evil Mind
madamhydra
madamhydra
Feral-verse: Contagion 5/? (FF7 AU, Feral-verse)
61 hisses or Hiss in my ear....
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jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 22nd, 2008 10:52 am (UTC) (Link)
The words were quiet, perfectly clear, and perfectly adamant. In other words, except for the slightly snarly undertone, it sounded exactly like typical Rufus. Actually, it sounded like typical Rufus in a moderately pissy mood. Which was fine with Reno. Pissy Rufus, he could deal with. Frankly, at this point, Reno was willing to take any sort of rationally thinking Rufus

Good to see he's thinking rationally, that both of them are thinking rationally at the moment in fact, and it's nice to see how well Reno knows Rufus. You do Rufus' relationship with his Turks really well.

As long as the boss's brain was tracking properly, they could deal with whatever weird physical shit was going on.

Reno absently wondered if he dared to cop a feel of Rufus's butt, seeing it was so conveniently at hand, then remembered those damn claws.


Good grasp of priorities here from Reno, and of course he wouldn't be Reno if he didn't think about taking advantage with a(n ex-)lover.

Because even as his physical condition had improved, his mental condition had slowly, but inexorably deteriorated. Getting rid of a fatal disease was all well and good. But if given a choice between physical pain and losing his mind, he'd take the physical pain every time.


Even better grasp of priorities here, and very typical for Rufus I'd think.

The onset had been subtle.

And I'll bet that he's one of the very few ferals who actually noticed the onset right at the beginning.

Still, with considerable effort, Rufus had managed to hide the problem.

This has to mean that he's really good at hiding things, or I'm certain the Turks would have noticed it. So...a childhood where he had to hide things, from his parents/carers?

But the exact location of the approaching threat eluded Rufus. There was simply too much sensory information to deal with. His nervous system felt raw as it struggled to sort through so much input.

And you did a really good job of showing that in this section. I liked it that Reno's presence is what made the sub-feral/low-level feral into an active, rather than potential, threat.

So Reno held his ground, well aware that he would probably pay big time for that decision. But that was fine, because there was no way in hell he was about to allow that monster a clean shot at Rufus.

And any of the Turks would probably do the same. The ironic thing is if he let go of Rufus there wouldn't really be a problem, because Rufus could almost certainly deal with it himself.

For nearly as long as he could remember, Rufus had been the one to stand back while others did the dirty work. Those in charge gave the orders and subordinates carried those orders out. That was simply the way of things as his father had taught him.

Or maybe not, maybe he needed to see/smell Reno being hurt before he got past his father's teachings.

It seemed that the rest of the guys had finally arrived and hopefully in time. But what the fuck had Mac and Tasha used to take down those monsters so fast? Because if it was a weapon, he couldn't wait to get his hands on it.

And even Reno can't imagine Rufus defending him so successfully. Don't worry Reno, you're certainly going to get your hands on this 'weapon', even if it isn't how you're expecting it.

And with the exception of Cloud and some of his buddies, Reno didn't know of anyone else strong enough to use anything more powerful than a high-level Cure. What Rufus was doing with his tail was much more than that. He wasn't merely stabilizing Reno's condition -- he was really fixing stuff and doing it with hardly any effort.

So...Rufus is going to be a healer as well, that's interesting. And a nice reflection on how powerful Cloud and some of AVALANCHE are even as humans.

Rufus chuckled softly. "Don't worry. After all, you're mine. And I take care of what's mine."

Feral instincts coming out, with a big dose of Rufus' normal personality here from how Reno reacts. And I loved how calm he was about it all, including the whole tail thing, as well as Reno's reaction. Nice contrast to the way Cloud keeps on worrying about things.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 23rd, 2008 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
You do Rufus' relationship with his Turks really well.

Thanks! I pictured their relationship as being low key and very discreet. Rufus is a very secretive, highly controlled sort of person (rather like Sephiroth), so although his feelings run deep, he very rarely shows it. In the cutthroat social and corporate environment Rufus grew up and lived in, it's usually a bad idea to let others know that you care a lot about someone or something because those others have no scruples about using that information against you. The Turks closest to Rufus understand this, so they play the game his way.

Good grasp of priorities here from Reno

You wouldn't think it from the way he generally behaves, right? Reno is obviously much more concerned about Rufus's mental and emotional well-being than his mere physical appearance, although he really tries to pretend otherwise.

and of course he wouldn't be Reno if he didn't think about taking advantage with a(n ex-)lover.

Oh, naturally. Once he feels reassured about Rufus' mental condition, Reno happily resumes his usual horny behavior. ^_-

Even better grasp of priorities here, and very typical for Rufus I'd think.

Rufus strikes me as being a very intellectually oriented sort of person, even though he certainly doesn't lack for physical skills or courage. Rufus obviously considers his mind his most valuable asset, so for him, the ability to think clearly is much more important than mere physical comfort.

This has to mean that he's really good at hiding things, or I'm certain the Turks would have noticed it. So...a childhood where he had to hide things, from his parents/carers?

That's right. As I mentioned above, I picture Rufus growing up in a rather hostile environment, surrounded by lots of scheming, backstabbing, and people (especially his father) constantly trying to manipulate him. It's no wonder that Rufus quickly learns to manipulate everyone right back, and he does it mostly with information. To Rufus, information is a commodity, a tool, and a weapon, and he's very cautious about what he reveals, especially about himself.

So that's why Rufus tends to be so secretive about everything. And it's no surprise that he puts extra effort in hiding both his deeper feelings and his problems -- he's learned that it's dangerous to appear weak and vulnerable. So even though he trusts the Turks closest to him, Rufus still prefers to hide the fact that there's something wrong with him if he can.

And you did a really good job of showing that in this section. I liked it that Reno's presence is what made the sub-feral/low-level feral into an active, rather than potential, threat.

Actually the monsters are not sub-ferals, but Jenova-spawn (i.e., mutated monsters containing Jenova cells) -- that's why they feel so 'wrong' to Rufus.

Rufus wasn't worried about himself because he instinctively knows that they're not strong enough to be a threat to him. However, the Jenova-spawn represent a serious threat to a still human-Reno for two main reasons: (1) Reno's not strong enough to handle an entire pack of the monsters; and (2) while it's hard for a Jenova-spawn to find a high-level feral like Rufus (especially in his home territory), the monsters have no problem hunting down a mere human. So as soon Reno appeared in the vicinity, the Jenova-spawn headed right for him.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 23rd, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I pictured their relationship as being low key and very discreet.

That too, but you also show that they know him in a way no one else does, in a way I'm not sure most bodyguards would.

In the cutthroat social and corporate environment Rufus grew up and lived in, it's usually a bad idea to let others know that you care a lot about someone or something because those others have no scruples about using that information against you. The Turks closest to Rufus understand this, so they play the game his way.

Makes sense. They might be 'outside' of corporate politics in a way, but they also happen to be Rufus' 'tools' to implement his own moves, and they see the politics more clearly than a lot of insiders would.

You wouldn't think it from the way he generally behaves, right? Reno is obviously much more concerned about Rufus's mental and emotional well-being than his mere physical appearance, although he really tries to pretend otherwise.

True, and he usually does a great job of that.

Rufus strikes me as being a very intellectually oriented sort of person, even though he certainly doesn't lack for physical skills or courage. Rufus obviously considers his mind his most valuable asset, so for him, the ability to think clearly is much more important than mere physical comfort.

As long as the pain isn't so bad it stops him thinking, right? And he only lacks for physical skills compared to a SOLDIER or a Turk, someone who trains a lot more than he can afford the time to.

So that's why Rufus tends to be so secretive about everything. And it's no surprise that he puts extra effort in hiding both his deeper feelings and his problems -- he's learned that it's dangerous to appear weak and vulnerable. So even though he trusts the Turks closest to him, Rufus still prefers to hide the fact that there's something wrong with him if he can.

Makes sense. And he might not want to worry them if he can avoid it, especially since they might not be quite as good at hiding their feelingas as he is. I mean, if he's learned to deduce thigns about other people from the smallest clue he could prefer to operate as if everyone else had that capability, even if he knows they don't.

Rufus wasn't worried about himself because he instinctively knows that they're not strong enough to be a threat to him. However, the Jenova-spawn represent a serious threat to a still human-Reno for two main reasons: (1) Reno's not strong enough to handle an entire pack of the monsters; and (2) while it's hard for a Jenova-spawn to find a high-level feral like Rufus (especially in his home territory), the monsters have no problem hunting down a mere human. So as soon Reno appeared in the vicinity, the Jenova-spawn headed right for him.

In other words Reno turned himself into bait, without meaning it, and at the moment Rufus is more worried about his bodyguard, because Reno's still human.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 25th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you -- the wearisome and neverending demands of Real Life(tm). ::sigh::

Makes sense. They might be 'outside' of corporate politics in a way, but they also happen to be Rufus' 'tools' to implement his own moves, and they see the politics more clearly than a lot of insiders would.

Keeping a professional distance -- or at least the appearance thereof -- is just one of the ways the Turks used to protect Rufus. That way, it's much easier for Rufus to keep up the facade of not caring about what happens to them (the Turks).

And he only lacks for physical skills compared to a SOLDIER or a Turk, someone who trains a lot more than he can afford the time to.

The Turks and SOLDIERs are professionals and specialists in combat and fieldwork, so naturally Rufus's combat abilities aren't up to their level. However, I would consider him to be a very talented 'amateur' and quite capable of taking care of himself against non-enhanced opponents.

Makes sense. And he might not want to worry them if he can avoid it, especially since they might not be quite as good at hiding their feelingas as he is. I mean, if he's learned to deduce thigns about other people from the smallest clue he could prefer to operate as if everyone else had that capability, even if he knows they don't.

I don't think Rufus is too worried about the Turks letting stuff slip -- they're pros in handling dirty work and keeping their mouths shut about it. But if Rufus thinks that someone -- Turk or not -- doesn't need to know a sensitive piece of information, he's not going to tell them. Better safe than sorry -- it's as simple as that.

In other words Reno turned himself into bait, without meaning it, and at the moment Rufus is more worried about his bodyguard, because Reno's still human.

That's exactly right. The Jenova-spawn were pretty much wandering around aimlessly until Reno showed up in the vicinity. And since 'human=food/prey' in their piggy, Jenova-warped brains, they immediately homed in on Reno. That's why Rufus kept telling Reno to leave the area, except that Rufus wasn't coherent enough to why or where he wanted Reno to go.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 25th, 2008 12:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Keeping a professional distance -- or at least the appearance thereof -- is just one of the ways the Turks used to protect Rufus. That way, it's much easier for Rufus to keep up the facade of not caring about what happens to them (the Turks).

Yes, but personally I doubt that Rufus cares about all of the Turks as people rather than as Turks. What I mean is that he cares about Reno because he's Reno, or Tseng because he's Tseng, but he only cares about the Turks he doesn't encounter as often because they're Turks, and as such they're his. Did that make sense?

And you made perfect sense in explaining how Rufus operates with regard to information and his combat capabilities pre-Change.

That's why Rufus kept telling Reno to leave the area, except that Rufus wasn't coherent enough to why or where he wanted Reno to go.

And his arguments/protests kept on slowing Reno down, besides which carrying Rufus couldn't have helped the speed.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 26th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but personally I doubt that Rufus cares about all of the Turks as people rather than as Turks. What I mean is that he cares about Reno because he's Reno, or Tseng because he's Tseng, but he only cares about the Turks he doesn't encounter as often because they're Turks, and as such they're his. Did that make sense?

When I talk about the Turks, I generally mean the core group of those closest to Rufus (e.g., Tseng, Reno, etc.), while also recognizing that there are other Turks that are not in the 'inner circle' so to speak. So when I said that the Turks keep the appearance of a professional distance with Rufus as a means of protecting him, I was referring specifically to the subgroup we're familiar with This 'distance' would help protect Rufus from everyone else, including other Turks who perhaps are not so personally loyal to Rufus.

You're right in that Rufus extends his trust and care to only a very limited group. So yes, there are plenty of other Turks that he views merely as useful subordinates. But he does value those other Turks, if in a somewhat proprietary way, like a hunter values his pack of hounds. They're his property, so to speak, and since his well-being and success depends substantially on their performance, he takes care of them accordingly.

Hmmmm... I guess it's my turn to as if that makes sense?

And his arguments/protests kept on slowing Reno down, besides which carrying Rufus couldn't have helped the speed.

I don't think that the physical burden of carrying Rufus would've slowed Reno down much -- I tend to consider the Turks to be peak human or slightly enhanced to that level -- so it was probably more his concern and distraction about Rufus's condition that bogged things down.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 28th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
But he does value those other Turks, if in a somewhat proprietary way, like a hunter values his pack of hounds. They're his property, so to speak, and since his well-being and success depends substantially on their performance, he takes care of them accordingly.

Hmmmm... I guess it's my turn to as if that makes sense?


Yes, and it's what I was trying to get at.

I don't think that the physical burden of carrying Rufus would've slowed Reno down much -- I tend to consider the Turks to be peak human or slightly enhanced to that level -- so it was probably more his concern and distraction about Rufus's condition that bogged things down.

Makes sense.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 23rd, 2008 12:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
[ continued from above ]

And any of the Turks would probably do the same. The ironic thing is if he let go of Rufus there wouldn't really be a problem, because Rufus could almost certainly deal with it himself.

Unfortunately, Reno didn't know that Rufus was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Rufus tried to tell him, but he was too confused at the time to explain properly.

Or maybe not, maybe he needed to see/smell Reno being hurt before he got past his father's teachings.

Actually, Rufus got past his father's teachings and started caring about the Turks years ago, perhaps even before the whole Nibelheim incident. ^_^

The sight/smell/feel of Reno getting hurt was the trigger that made Rufus fully embrace the Change. Up until that point, a part of him had resisted going feral.

And even Reno can't imagine Rufus defending him so successfully. Don't worry Reno, you're certainly going to get your hands on this 'weapon', even if it isn't how you're expecting it.

Ha! Feral-foxy-xeno-smex for the win!

So...Rufus is going to be a healer as well, that's interesting.

All of the high-level ferals can cast healing spells without the apparent use of materia, for reasons to be explained later (remember how Zack cast that barrier when they were at the Shinra Mansion?). So in that respect, high-level ferals can be be considered healers. However, Aeris is THE healer, because she can do much more than repair 'normal' physical injuries (i.e., complicated manipulation on the cellular and genetic level, etc.)

And a nice reflection on how powerful Cloud and some of AVALANCHE are even as humans.

I decided that the use of materia a big deal and fairly difficult in Feral-verse -- dangerous, too, if you don't know what you're doing. Otherwise, if it was too easy and/or common to use powerful healing materia, there wouldn't be much need for normal doctors and medical services.

So in Feral-verse, not everyone has the ability and power to use materia. Of those who can use materia, most people only use very low level materia to produce trivial effects (e.g., changing colors, producing glowing lights, etc.). A relatively small portion of the population can use materia to cause significant effects like elemental attacks, healing spells, etc. And only a very limited number of people (e.g., Cloud, Sephiroth, Zack, elite SOLDIERs, other members of AVALANCHE, etc.) can use the really powerful materia and summons.

Feral instincts coming out, with a big dose of Rufus' normal personality here from how Reno reacts. And I loved how calm he was about it all, including the whole tail thing, as well as Reno's reaction. Nice contrast to the way Cloud keeps on worrying about things.

Rufus is a rather pragmatic sort of person -- instead of worrying or fretting about his situation, he's more interested in making the most of it. So what if he's got tails, as long as they're useful?

As for Rufus's nomral personality, there's no question that he tends to be arrogant, devious, manipulative and highly possessive. ^_^; But Reno and the Turks know that and they accept it in their chosen leader.


Edited at 2008-01-23 12:23 pm (UTC)
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 23rd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Unfortunately, Reno didn't know that Rufus was perfectly capable of taking care of himself. Rufus tried to tell him, but he was too confused at the time to explain properly.

Yes, that's what makes it ironic, for me. And considering how disorientated Rufus obviously is just now Reno has reason not to think he can take care of himself.

Actually, Rufus got past his father's teachings and started caring about the Turks years ago, perhaps even before the whole Nibelheim incident.

I was talking about the one where he's supposed to be 'above' actually fighting physically.

The sight/smell/feel of Reno getting hurt was the trigger that made Rufus fully embrace the Change. Up until that point, a part of him had resisted going feral.

And without embracing the Change would he have been as effective, or would he have needed to work with Reno to kill the Jenova-spawn?

All of the high-level ferals can cast healing spells without the apparent use of materia, for reasons to be explained later (remember how Zack cast that barrier when they were at the Shinra Mansion?).

I hadn't realised they could all cast healing spells, and I kind of saw the barrier as 'crude' lifeforce manipulation, compared to the fine control needed for healing.

However, Aeris is THE healer, because she can do much more than repair 'normal' physical injuries (i.e., complicated manipulation on the cellular and genetic level, etc.)

I didn't mean to compare him to Aeris, I mean, Aeris more or less 'specialises' in healing, her other powers, as I understand it, are applications of healing to other things.

I decided that the use of materia a big deal and fairly difficult in Feral-verse -- dangerous, too, if you don't know what you're doing. Otherwise, if it was too easy and/or common to use powerful healing materia, there wouldn't be much need for normal doctors and medical services.

Makes sense.

Rufus is a rather pragmatic sort of person -- instead of worrying or fretting about his situation, he's more interested in making the most of it. So what if he's got tails, as long as they're useful?

And that's a pretty healthy attitude to have, a lot more healthy than Cloud's questioning everything in a way.

As for Rufus's nomral personality, there's no question that he tends to be arrogant, devious, manipulative and highly possessive. ^_^; But Reno and the Turks know that and they accept it in their chosen leader.

Yes, but what I meant was if his attitude had been anything other than mostly normal Reno wouldn't have been comfortable enough to tease him in response to the 'you're mine' statement.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 25th, 2008 07:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, that's what makes it ironic, for me. And considering how disorientated Rufus obviously is just now Reno has reason not to think he can take care of himself.

Rufus would've had a hard time persuading Reno (or another Turk) under normal circumstances with Rufus completely lucid -- after all, one of the Turks' primary jobs is to protect Rufus. An obviously mentally confused Rufus didn't have a hope in hell of convincing Reno to leave him behind.

I was talking about the one where he's supposed to be 'above' actually fighting physically.

Ah, I see. But again, I think Rufus was already discontented with the 'not dirtying one's own hands' fairly early on. Remember, Rufus did take it upon himself to personally confront Cloud and his team early in the game.

And without embracing the Change would he have been as effective, or would he have needed to work with Reno to kill the Jenova-spawn?

Without fully embracing the Change, Rufus probably would have remained confused and disoriented. However, that confused mental state wouldn't have made Rufus any less dangerous. He would have still killed the Jenova-spawn with relative ease, but he would have been operating on blind instinct and probably berserk rage so the kills would have been much messier and excessively violent.

Either way -- Rufus embracing the Change or not -- Reno is a non-factor in the fight because he was taken down almost immediately by the first monster (i.e., Reno was practically disemboweled, poor guy).

I hadn't realised they could all cast healing spells, and I kind of saw the barrier as 'crude' lifeforce manipulation, compared to the fine control needed for healing.

High-level ferals can use a wide variety of 'magic' such as those typically associated with materia -- only now, they don't need use materia at all and can cast magic directly. Also, they're much more efficient in using magic than humans, and so can create much greater effects with much less power.

The barrier Zack created in Nibelheim is basically an enhanced feral variant of the conventional magical barrier-type spells cast with materia. Yes, he could've created a barrier with 'crude' lifeforce manipulation, but when you think about it, it's a clumsy and pretty inefficient use of power. For example, you can enter a house by smashing down a wall, but it's much easier to just go through the open doorway.

I didn't mean to compare him to Aeris, I mean, Aeris more or less 'specialises' in healing, her other powers, as I understand it, are applications of healing to other things.

With respect to healing capabilities, you can consider the high-level ferals to be like EMTs or paramedics, while Aeris is more like a board-certified neurosurgeon. ^_^

And that's a pretty healthy attitude to have, a lot more healthy than Cloud's questioning everything in a way.

Actually, I see Cloud as really second-guessing himself only when it comes to his emotions and feelings (especially with respect to Sephiroth, of course), but not with regard to most other things, especially his physical and combat abilities. He -knows- he's damn good at fighting and I can't recall an instance in which he questioned himself about that, even in the midst of the worst of Sephiroth's mindfuckery. So I can see Cloud taking things like shapeshifting or developing new abilities with a surprisingly pragmatic sort of calm, even disregarding the effect of going feral.

Yes, but what I meant was if his attitude had been anything other than mostly normal Reno wouldn't have been comfortable enough to tease him in response to the 'you're mine' statement.

Oh, definitely. If Rufus had continued behaving out of normal character, Reno would have been a lot more restrained and cautious in his manner.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 25th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Rufus would've had a hard time persuading Reno (or another Turk) under normal circumstances with Rufus completely lucid -- after all, one of the Turks' primary jobs is to protect Rufus. An obviously mentally confused Rufus didn't have a hope in hell of convincing Reno to leave him behind.

Agreed, but if he'd been thinking normally Reno would probably have put him down, and trusted him to stay out of the way and let Reno do his job, or at least that's my read on it.

But again, I think Rufus was already discontented with the 'not dirtying one's own hands' fairly early on. Remember, Rufus did take it upon himself to personally confront Cloud and his team early in the game.

I'd forgotten about that.

Either way -- Rufus embracing the Change or not -- Reno is a non-factor in the fight because he was taken down almost immediately by the first monster (i.e., Reno was practically disemboweled, poor guy).

Ouch, yes, I can see that.

The barrier Zack created in Nibelheim is basically an enhanced feral variant of the conventional magical barrier-type spells cast with materia. Yes, he could've created a barrier with 'crude' lifeforce manipulation, but when you think about it, it's a clumsy and pretty inefficient use of power.

Yes it is, but I was assuming ferals, except for healers, still needed to 'focus' magic through materia except for 'crude' effects.

Actually, I see Cloud as really second-guessing himself only when it comes to his emotions and feelings (especially with respect to
Sephiroth, of course), but not with regard to most other things, especially his physical and combat abilities. He -knows- he's damn good at fighting and I can't recall an instance in which he questioned himself about that, even in the midst of the worst of Sephiroth's mindfuckery. So I can see Cloud taking things like shapeshifting or developing new abilities with a surprisingly pragmatic sort of calm, even disregarding the effect of going feral.


I see where you're coming from here, but I was expecting that he'd associate the mental/emotional aspects of the Change so strongly with the
physical aspects that he'd let his emotional second-guessing affect that as well. Also, the last time someone developed new abilities like this it was because of Jenova, and I thought he might have the same sort of issues regarding that as Sephiroth.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 26th, 2008 10:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed, but if he'd been thinking normally Reno would probably have put him down, and trusted him to stay out of the way and let Reno do his job, or at least that's my read on it.

That's highly probable.

Yes it is, but I was assuming ferals, except for healers, still needed to 'focus' magic through materia except for 'crude' effects.

That's a perfectly understandable assumption, because that little fact (that ferals don't need to use materia) hasn't become an issue in the story just yet. However, it won't be long until Cloud or Cid start chucking around magic without materia.

I see where you're coming from here, but I was expecting that he'd associate the mental/emotional aspects of the Change so strongly with the physical aspects that he'd let his emotional second-guessing affect that as well. Also, the last time someone developed new abilities like this it was because of Jenova, and I thought he might have the same sort of issues regarding that as Sephiroth.

Well, not exactly. I see Cloud as being far less prone to his usual angst about any new abilities he develops simply because Zack's presence. And after the conversation with Cid, Cloud has pretty much made -- at least subconsciously -- the decision to trust Zack. But more importantly, the concerns that Cloud might have about the changes he's undergoing being 'Jenova-tainted' are going to be mostly relieved by Aeris, when Cloud and Zack go and talk to her in the church (in spirit). Aeris might not know exactly what's going on with Zack and Cloud, but she definitely senses that it's not 'bad', especially when the Lifestream overwhelmingly agrees with her hunches.

Unlike other times Cloud has dealt with Sephiroth (post-Nibelheim), Cloud doesn't have to struggle alone. I think Cloud will be much less prone to his customary emotional uncertainty, even with respect to Sephiroth-related issues, when he knows that both Zack and Aeris are at his back. Not only do they provide support because they fully understand both him and the situation, but also they also give him a sense of security no one else can.

Cloud's trust in Aeris and Zack is vital to getting Cloud to fully remember and accept Sephiroth's true place in his heart. Yes, he will freak out a bit and naturally be anxious, but it's going to be much easier to assimilate the concept with Zack (physically present) and Aeris (in spirit, for now) there to hold his hands through the process.
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 28th, 2008 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
However, it won't be long until Cloud or Cid start chucking around magic without materia.

Sounds like that will be...interesting. Can't wait.

But more importantly, the concerns that Cloud might have about the changes he's undergoing being 'Jenova-tainted' are going to be mostly relieved by Aeris, when Cloud and Zack go and talk to her in the church (in spirit).

I hadn't thought about that.

Cloud's trust in Aeris and Zack is vital to getting Cloud to fully remember and accept Sephiroth's true place in his heart. Yes, he will freak out a bit and naturally be anxious, but it's going to be much easier to assimilate the concept with Zack (physically present) and Aeris (in spirit, for now) there to hold his hands through the process.

Yes, I can see how he'll start considering it because they assure him that it will be alright more than anything else.
madamhydra From: madamhydra Date: January 23rd, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just wanted to add one last comment.... ^_^;

Yes, Rufus probably learned to hide things out of necessity. But at this point, I think he really enjoys keeping secrets, playing mind games with people, and manipulating them into doing what you want. It's his way of displaying power and dominance, I suppose. :D
jessara40k From: jessara40k Date: January 23rd, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes, Rufus probably learned to hide things out of necessity. But at this point, I think he really enjoys keeping secrets, playing mind games with people, and manipulating them into doing what you want. It's his way of displaying power and dominance, I suppose.

Necessity made him learn, and his enjoyment of the techniques made him good at it sort of thing. Fits with my read on him in AC.
61 hisses or Hiss in my ear....