Sephiroth was all alone in his small quarters, on one of the privileged upper levels of the towering Midgar corporate building. For a man of such emerging stature, his living quarters certainly didn't represent it... With just two rooms, his living room also served as his bedroom, and the only furniture was his bed, a large oak desk, and a bulky dresser drawer. The only other room was the tiny bathroom... Surprisingly cramped for a newly appointed captain.
He sprawled out on his bed, stretching his tired limbs, and blinking his enchanting emerald eyes at the steel ceiling above... He was bored... And in the one thing that he loved, training with the martial arts, he had not one challenge or rival.

His thoughts were shattered when the door flew open and an out-of-breath messenger trampled in. Sephiroth leapt to his feet and met the man with a glare...

The young man's eyes went wide, and he stammered, "S-Sir, Sephiroth?"

Sephiroth clenched his jaw in annoyance, "Yes, I am Sephiroth, what is it?!"

"P-President Shinra," the man gasped, "needs y-you immediately, u-urgent news from Wutai!"

Wutai, he should have known... He had heard through select channels that the Shinra commanders had planned a sneak attack, set for last night. This news probably had something to do with the results of that attack, most likely a Shinra defeat, he guessed. The leaders enlisted there were bumbling fools.

"Thank you," Sephiroth said firmly, "You may go!"

The messenger stood idle for a second, gazing at the silver haired fighting prodigy standing before him, but then caught himself and made a hasty exit.

Sephiroth scanned the room, making sure everything was in order, and then also exited. With silent grace he strode through the winding halls of the enormous skyscraper and made it to the main elevators. He tapped the button absently and waited for the lift to come...

Had those Wutains actually managed to push back the surprise assault? Sephiroth shook his head, marvelling at the thought... If they had, it was only because their foe was brainless...

The elevator arrived with a cheery ding, and the doors slid open. He glided in and activated the button for the top floor...

Or... Maybe the Shinra forces had actually been victorious... No, he quickly perished the thought. The people in charge there were ignorant politicians, not battle hardened warriors, and the dragon cannot live without its head.
With another ding, the elevator opened. Sephiroth stepped out and swiftly made his way to the staircase that led to the President's office... As he climbed the steep, carpeted set of stairs, he recalled how much he hated the boorish President, and his smug little attitudes...

 

"Ah, Sephiroth! There you are!" the short, stocky President Shinra bellowed from behind his gigantic high-tech desk. His pudgy, orange hair-topped head, was as crude looking as ever.

Sephiroth reluctantly finished the last few steps and took a position in front of his superior's desk, "Mr. Shinra..." he began, never addressing the President by anything more respectful, "what is the news from Wutai?"

The President, clad in a tight fitting, flamboyant red suit, stared directly into Sephiroth's eyes, which few people could do without flinching, "The news isn't good captain, the strike force that we sent out last night was ambushed and completely wiped out!"

Sephiroth said nothing...

"That was 200 of our best men Sephiroth!"

The President was fuming, huffing and puffing loudly.

"Well damn man! Aren't you even going to say anything?!" the flustered Shinra growled.

Sephiroth glared at the man, his eyes ablaze like two burning coals, "And what would you like me to say? Would you like me to say that it was just a small mistake and that we shall soon recover and crush them? Or would you like me to state the truth, that this was yet another blunder by an incompetent leadership, and that they're foolishly letting this war slip away?"

The President studied Sephiroth's emotionless face for a good thirty seconds, and then responded softly, "Sephiroth... I want to appoint you as my new commanding general to the war in Wutai."

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow, but neither celebrated nor jeered... "Really?"

The President scoffed, obviously irritated by Sephiroth's little games, and stood up. With a weary sigh, he calmly strolled around the perimeter of his desk and toward the other man...

"Sephiroth, I know that you and I don't always get along... But, I am no fool. I know that you're extremely powerful, and I know that you know how to fight."

The President stopped directly before Sephiroth, he was at least a foot shorter, but met him stare for stare, "Win this war for me..."

Sephiroth examined the President's eyes intently, took a deep breath, and come out with his surprising response, "I will win this war for you Mr. Shinra... But in return, you will allow me to personally lead my troops into battle... I would do no less..."

"What?! That's nonsense! You're a general now, generals don't..."

"Then I will not assist you... You will lose this war, and you will lose your presidency."

"No, no wait... Fine," the President muttered, "if you insist... Do whatever you must... Just win this thing."

"Very well... Mr. Shinra." Sephiroth quipped.

He watched as the President waddled back over to his seat and plopped down, "I will be going now," Sephiroth said as he lurched toward the exit...

"Whoa, whoa! Wait!" Shinra barked, "Please, tell me why you are insisting on being at the forefront and in the line of fire... You could very well be killed, you know?!"

Sephiroth's face lit up sardonically, "I just assume being at the front lines and in the middle of the battle is much more active... and honorable... then sitting behind a desk, screaming orders, and growing fat."

Sephiroth smirked cruelly and examined the President's face to see if he had picked up on the insult... But Shinra simply rolled his eyes, "You may go now... general. The airship will be heading for our primary Wutain establishment in a few hours."

Sephiroth nodded slightly, briskly making a break for the staircase, and whispered under his breath, "The entire continent of Wutai will be in flames before the week is through," and then he vanished down the steps.

----------

Twenty-four hours later... The titanic blades of the Shinra airship's great propellers spun through the misty air, creating a booming wave of constant thunder that echoed throughout the rocky mountain areas of Wutai. Directly below the grand hovering ship, stood the main military base of the Shinra invasion forces. Squads of armed men and women darted every which way, preparing for the new arrival.

The sturdy airship set down near the base with an ear-popping crash, and the towering steel door to the main hold, flew open... Out stepped their new commander, long silver hair swaying gently in the wind... It was general Sephiroth himself...

He scanned the area with confident, lively eyes and began the short walk to the bunker.

Two nervous looking men rushed up to him, both wearing red uniforms with ridiculous hats...

"Hello sir," said one.

"Yes, hello sir," chimed the other.

The two men flanked the disinterested general on either side as he continued his trek toward the base, "My name is Jarris Portman," said the one to Sephiroth's right, "I'm co-commander of this facility."

"Yes," said the one to Sephiroth's left, "and my name is Carter Anderson, I'm also a co-commander."

Sephiroth rolled his eyes in irritation, and snapped, "You're wrong, neither of you are commanders... You are both hereby demoted to the rank of lieutenant. Report to the proper squad captains and receive your new assignments. Goodbye."

Sephiroth smiled, leaving the two bewildered ex-commanders in his wake, as he stomped into the bunker.

----------

Half an hour later, Sephiroth was making his way to the command room... A dimly lit, highly computerized briefing center, containing bulky radar layout stations, large troop placement machines and a long stainless steel table, surrounded by a dozen tall chairs.

The intimidating general strode into the room, four tactical advisers in tow. Without hesitation, he took the spot at the head of the table... The advisers scurried about, briskly finding their seats and sitting down... Sephiroth remained standing, and studied them....

"Someone tell me what the current situation is."

"Uh sir? May I?" uttered one of the men as he attempted to stand.

Sephiroth nodded, and the man rose to his feet, clearing his throat, "General, our scouts inform us that there are five main Wutain strongholds, all in the north... The first, is the city of Zaren, with an estimated number of 800 battle ready soldiers... The second, is the city of Garra, with an estimated number of 1,100..."

"Enough!" Sephiroth snarled, "I do not need useless details. Just provide me with adequate information on the following three points... What is their military capital? Who is their leader? And what is their leader's last known location?"

"Um... yes, sorry sir," the man cowered, "Um... The main military build-up of the Wutains, we believe, is in Wutai City... And we believe that their leader is, a clan head named Godo Kisaragi... He's from an annointed family line sir, he's an emperor of some sort..."

"And his last known location?" Sephiroth sighed.

"Oh yes, we believe he is currently directing things from Wutai City... He, uh, has a mansion there sir..."

Sephiroth shook his head in disgust, violently pounding the hard table and making the entire room shake! "If you know the whereabouts of their prime commander, why has he not be eliminated yet?!"

A small bead of sweat trickled down the man's forehead, "Uh, sir, I don't really --"

"Nevermind, I know why nothing was done..." Sephiroth scoffed, sitting down, "Incompetence was in control... But that's over now, we will storm Wutai City tomorrow night..."

All four advisers looked at each other in shock...

"But sir, a direct strike against their most powerfully defended city is just not --"

"Do not contradict me," Sephiroth stated firmly, staring down the adviser, "We WILL assault the city tomorrow night, and we will do it in a three pronged formation... Our highly expendable regular troops will begin the game... They will rush the main gates, hopefully catching them off-guard, and sufficiently distracting their defenses..." Sephiroth climbed back to his feet, staring down at the fearful underlings...

"The second phase of the attack will involve me, personally leading a hand-picked squad of SOLDIERS into Lord Kisaragi's home, assassinating the leader... If he is absent, or is a coward and flees, we will instead torch his dwelling and burn it to the ground..."

"But sir, what if --"

Sephiroth sent the man a chilling glare, shutting him up immediately.

"I have studied the layouts of ALL of their major strongholds captain, Wutai City included... This approach should prove highly effective... Now let me finish..."

Eyeing all of the men sternly, he began circling the perimeter of the table... The advisers went ridged, all most afraid to breath.

"The third phase will require our entire detachment of 1st and 2nd-class SOLDIERS storming the city from the rear... Sweeping through the streets and catching their soldiers off-guard again... In theory, eradicating their defenses completely, and destroying the city..."

The advisers kept silent, absorbing the intricate plan...

"The loss of their most powerful base should prove a disheartening blow to our rivals..." Sephiroth said confidently, "Substantially shifting the momentum into our favor."

"Sir, I must advise against this..." muttered one of the advisers.

"Well what you have advised thus far has led to several humiliating defeats for this army. So I advise that you keep your mouth shut!" Sephiroth snarled, "We WILL perform this action, and we will do it exactly as I say..."

Sephiroth raised his chin proudly... He had had quite enough of the annoying ignorance that had engulfed Shinra Inc.'s upper plateau of military command...

"Good day, gentlemen," Sephiroth sneered, striding from the room.

The advisers watched him leave, and looked at each other in disbelief... A big lopsided grin suddenly exploded onto the face of one man, "We're gonna win this damn war!" he shouted.

The others glanced at each other and then back at him... Maybe he was right, with Sephiroth at the helm, they just might...

----------

Sephiroth walked alone down the dark, lonely halls of the Shinra bunker... Things were still and motionless, everyone was in bed getting much needed rest...

Things would be hectic and alive tomorrow night, the sounds of warriors and the feelings of battle would be plentiful. War was hell to most, but for Sephiroth, it was a great escape... Something he was the center of, something he could control...

----------

The very next night, after an intensive day of planning and briefing, Sephiroth's idea sprung into action....

Wutai City was a rustic and bustling old metropolis... With a fine mix of old-time ancient towers and modern steel built structures. Sentinel soldiers were making their nightly rounds, and checking with civilians to make sure everything was normal...

One of those sentinels was Dacc Peller, a well built young man just out of school, with twinkling brown eyes and closely cropped black hair, clad in the traditional black jumpsuit of the Wutain military. His long, imposing spear held firmly in hand.

"Hi Mrs. Wakken," he said as he spotted the elderly woman coming out of a shop. She looked up and grinned.

"Why hello Dacc, how are you on this warm night?"

Dacc smiled, "I'm great, a little bored though."

Mrs. Wakken shuffled her way over, "Oh? Why is that?"

Dacc sighed, lowering his eyes, "It's just, nothing ever happens around here! All I do is stroll around the city all night, night after night... It just gets --"

An ear-shattering explosion cut him off, rocking the city to its core! Dacc cringed badly from the noise and instinctively raised his spear, eyes searching for the cause of the explosion. His face dropped, as he peered toward the city entrance and saw a horde of screaming men and women pouring through... Draped in dark blue garments, and brandishing fire-arms of all shapes and sizes, they were Shinra troops.

Dacc snarled and aimed his spear at the invaders. He was going to defend his home! But out of nowhere, a blast of unrelenting gun-fire erupted... Countless harsh bullets cut through his body and sent him tumbling to the dirt... As he lay helpless on the damp ground, a large circle of warm blood forming a pool underneath him. He prayed that Mrs. Wakken, and his family would be okay... The Shinra were here...

----------

Screams, and sporadic shots of gun-fire could be heard in the distance as Sephiroth marched his team of ten assorted SOLDIERS through the deserted back streets of Wutai City. He smiled to himself as they trailed him closely, miming his every cat-like maneuver... These were REAL warriors, he thought...

The back slums of the city were sparsely populated, occupied only by people with the problems of homelessness, drugs, or another life corrupting ordeal. The Shinra infiltrators went unnoticed as they advanced down the abandoned streets and emerged behind a skyscraping tower. It's appearance perfectly matched the picture that they'd been given of Godo Kisaragi's residence... A huge, hulking wooden structure with chipping paint and few windows.

Sephiroth looked around, there didn't seem to be any back entrance... And they couldn't afford to go around to the front, the fighting factions were swarming there and they'd loose their cover... They would have to make their own entrance...

He motioned for one of his men, and Zack rushed over... He was an 18-year-old 3rd-class SOLDIER Sephiroth had personally selected for his team after viewing a troop training session earlier in the day...

"Give me your grenade stock soldier," he ordered.

Zack nodded once, his spiky black hair staying perfectly in place, and zipped open a small pouch at his waist, whipping out three forest green grenades and handing them to his superior...

Sephiroth promptly ripped the pins out of all three, cool resolve settling on his face, "Get back," he yelled as he rolled the potent explosive spheres toward the offending wall, and retreated.

The team jetted away and dashed for protection... After a few quick seconds, a series of three loud blasts filled the slums with rolling thunder... But it was gone just as soon as it had started, and Sephiroth and his team made their way back to the wall...

The general's eyes caught fire as he gazed, all most adoringly, at the newly created hole in the thick wall... "And now the fun begins," he whispered as he glided inside.

The building was ancient and it was obvious... Floor boards creaked, dust clouded the air, and the colorful paintings on the walls had faded long ago. The soldiers encountered nothing, no enemies, no furniture, just staircase after staircase leading up.

They determinedly climbed toward the top of the aging tower, not saying a word to one another, each locked in a warrior's focus. On one of the top floors, as they marched confidently toward the next staircase, something caught Sephiroth's ear. He immediately slinked against the wall, and motioned for his men to stay back...

Sephiroth listened hard... There it was again! The muffled sound of someone talking... He stalked over to the only door on the floor and pressed his ear against it... Dust going air-born as he did so.

"It'll be okay, just keep calm," he heard someone say.

Not waiting for anymore conversation, Sephiroth reared back, pumped his long leg, and split the wooden door in two with a single kick! The splintered door crumbled apart and he swiftly kicked the remains away, entering the room.

The room was completely barren, except for a cluster of blanket covered cots in the corner, a dresser drawer and two middle aged women... They were both terrified, huddled closely together.

"Please leave us alone," one cried, on the verge of tears.

Sephiroth ignored her plea... They were standing strangely... They were trying to hide something.

He loomed menacingly over them, "Move aside now!" he commanded.

The women stood firm.

"You will move now or you will be killed!" he boomed.

Tears streamed down each of their faces as they slowly parted ways and revealed what was behind them... It slowly came into view, a little girl of no more then 7-years-old, with soft, bouncy, black hair and big tear-filled brown eyes... So this was what they were trying to protect...

Sephiroth peered down at the small child, crossing his arms over his chest... Zack, and the other SOLDIERS of the unit gathered at the door and watched the unfolding scene with wide eyes...

The tense silence was suddenly broken by a tiny, frail voice, "I-I'm Yuffie," the little girl said shyly, head turned up at the imposing six-foot plus general, "p-please don't k-kill them."

Zack swallowed hard, worrying about how the commander would react...

Sephiroth's stone-cold gaze slowly and steadily receded, and he fell to one knee before the child, leveling with her big doe eyes, "Hello Yuffie..." he said evenly...

After studying her deep eyes for several seconds, he looked up at the two trembling women on either side of her, "Zack," he called, "you will stay with these women, make sure they're not harmed in the take over."

Zack nodded obediently and moved into the room... With a stern look at Zack and a final compassionate glance at little Yuffie, Sephiroth pushed past his men and hurried up the last flight of stairs...

Slightly stunned, his men stood stationary for a moment, and then raced after him...

They'd arrived at the top floor... It had taken longer then expected, and the clean-up wave of SOLDIERS would be storming the rear of the city within minutes... Their mission to kill emperor Kisaragi had failed...

But as they cleared the final steps to the top floor, a startling sight filled their eyes, the proud silhouette of lord Godo himself...

Sephiroth knew instantly that this man WAS Kisaragi, sensing it in the sheer presence filling the floor... The gaping room was empty of any possessions, except for an unimpressive cot, and a giant wall-sized window that the emperor was facing now...

Outside, the war raged on. Men and women giving their lives for causes they believed in... Godo lifted his strong arms and crossed them over his chest, a dark lilac cloak wrapped around his well-muscled form...

Sephiroth stepped forward, his remaining SOLDIERS taking up his flanks...

Godo remained facing toward the window as he spoke, "I take it you are the monsters that have assaulted my beautiful city."

Sephiroth cautiously took a few more short steps forward.

"Well, you will die Shinra demons... Preferably, by my hand!" Godo spun around and glared at Sephiroth with rage in his soul.

"You see Shinra scum," he snarled, "your evil intentions doomed you from the start... I have the Gods on my side!"
Godo stomped toward the intruders, fists raised in fury... But Sephiroth stood firm, even as his SOLDIERS nervously inched back...

He paused just inches from Sephiroth, face to face with the silver haired warrior... For more then a minute their eyes clashed... But neither would relent, neither would back down...

Then everything went to hell.

Godo lunged with an samurai sword, only to have it blocked. Several lightning fast bolts followed, but Sephiroth more then matched the older man's speed and reflected them all with reflect level 3

Sephiroth launched an attack of his own, slashing Godo across the body with the ultimate weapon. The lord brushed it off without missing a beat and took five more bolt shots. But Sephiroth moved with efficient precision, bringing his arms up swiftly and easily reflecting each hit.

Godo suddenly switched his tactics from magic to summon and mercilessly summoned levitation, sending him to the wall... Realizing the opportunity, he sent a powerful uppercut directly into the stunned young man's face.

Sephiroth instantly went tumbling to the floor... Fearing for their leader's safety, two SOLDIERS charged forth, shielding the shocked general with their bodies... Godo chuckled sardonically as he dispatched one of the men with a blur of a roundhouse kick... It struck the man right in the nose, breaking it immediately and putting him to the floor with a thud. The other desperately pulled out his handgun, nervously aiming it at his enemy...

Godo smirked coldly, "A gun? Such a dishonorable weapon..."

In the blink of an eye, the Wutain summoned wind level 2 and grabbed the startled man roughly by the throat.
Suddenly a screaming demon emerged from out of nowhere and collided with lord Godo's, sending him staggering away in agony, and releasing his grip on the terrified SOLDIER.

It was Sephiroth's summon phasmore... He stepped in front of his underling, raw determination running through his veins, "Men, go and aid our other forces," he barked, "leave this one to me."

Godo raised an eyebrow in amusement as the SOLDIERS hastily retreated... "A brave man you are to face me alone," he chided, "Shall we begin?"

Kisaragi leapt forward... But Sephiroth was blazingly fast, , and lifted the shorter emperor high into the air by just his fist.

As he struggled to get free, Sephiroth raised his free hand, sending a punishing blow to Godo's unprotected gut, a devastating blow into his face, and another rough blow into his stomach.

Godo's continued struggling, even as Sephiroth placed a fierce elbow into his mid-section, and finally, an agonizing strike into his groin.

The emperor yowled in excruciating pain, and Sephiroth let him drop to the floor. He hit with a sickening thud and stayed down... Sephiroth scoffed, this was no challenge!

But it wasn't over yet... Godo steadily rose back to his feet and regained his fighting stance. Sephiroth scowled and unleashed another attack at the dazed man. Sending an air-cutting ice level master directly into the side of his head! The man was staggered even further, but somehow remained on his feet.

Sephiroth shook his head, this fool would just not stay down... It was a shame that this so-called leader had been reduced to a mere punching bag. Harnessing a meager fraction of his mystifying might, Sephiroth raised his leg high and crushed Godo with a juggernaut kick to the center of his face...

Godo screamed in agonizing defeat and collapsed back to the floor... Sephiroth examined the fallen fool and was sickened... This person did not deserve to be a leader, he was a weakling who strutted about as if he was a God... And now his time had come, Godo Kisaragi, was going to die...

Sephiroth gripped the man's collar and heaved him to his feet... This would be quick... He took the emperor's head in his unforgiving hands and prepared to summon Odin...

But Godo stirred, kneeing his intended killer in the side, and escaping the death grip. Stumbling away, Godo quietly mumbled something, "God's of the right, give me the power to crush the beasts that would destroy my people."

Sephiroth growled in frustration and stalked after his prey. But a blinding sphere of white light invaded the room and mesmerized his sight... After a handful of seconds an object began to materialize inside the light... At first it was just a tiny dark circle, but it quickly extended, growing into a long spear-like shape, as tall as any man. Then it gained its color, a dull, yet suitable silver covering everywhere except the hilt, which instead filled in with gentle brown tints...

Sephiroth finally understood what it was... It was the legendary, mythic sword Masamune... The holy blade of the Gods... He had read all about its storied history during his studies...

Sephiroth squinted in astonishment as it magically levitated inside the glowing light... A hand confidently reached out, firmly grasping the impressive long sword's handle...

The light immediately vanished and lord Godo stood tall, completely healed, the deadly sharp blade held strongly in his right hand, "Shinra oppressor, now you will meet your doom... The Gods have blessed me with their holy sword!"
For the first time in his life, pangs of dread rocketed through Sephiroth's body... He promptly banished them from his being, and went on the attack, lunging at his newly armed opponent. The Masamune wielding fighter swiped at him with his weapon, catching him with the sharp blade, cutting a fine line through his leather cloak and across his chest, revealing a stream of crimson red blood...

Not satisfied, he brought the sword down again, this time aiming for the neck... It roared through the air, a sure killing blow, but froze just inches from its target, blocked by a bare hand! Sephiroth had caught the eternally dangerous blade in his palm, and clenched his fingers around it, dark scarlet liquid dripping from his fist.

Godo's mouth fell open in shock, who in the world was this man?! Sephiroth violently jerked the weapon out of his opponent's grasp, flinging it clear across the room.

Sephiroth, now bleeding badly from the hand and chest, snarled like a hungry wolf and threw his entire weight into Kisaragi, slamming him to the floor...

With an animalistic grunt he dived on top of the other man, and kneed him in the gut with unmatched rage! Following it up with a savage right hook to the mouth, a painful left cross to the forehead, and a furious right cross to the crown...

Godo groaned as Sephiroth continued the onslaught, striking him with a vicious elbow into the chest, and an unbelievable jab between the eyes.

The emperor yelled in terror, bringing his hands up in a desperate attempt to shield his face, "Please, please, I... give up..." he gasped.

Sephiroth scowled, "You... Give up?"

"Yes, yes, please... I... have a daughter... I can't abandon... Yuffie..."

That little child he'd seen on the floor below...

"Fine, you may keep your life... But you lose your honor," Sephiroth's eyes fell upon the holy Masamune, lying elegantly in the corner, "and you lose your weapon..."

Climbing to his feet, Sephiroth loomed ominously over the defeated royalty... He was pathetic, he wasn't a king...
Leaving Godo in a cowering mess on the floor, Sephiroth bounded across the room and gently lifted the heavenly Masamune off of the floor... His own blood slithered down its blade as he raised it high... Indeed, he thought, this gift from the Gods would be his...

His own personal trophy of victory over the worthless Wutai... With one last disgusted look at Godo, he shook his head and glided confidently from the room...

Godo coughed harshly, spitting up a bit of blood in the process, as he struggled to his feet... He'd been beaten, but he knew his loyal subjects would be victorious! He shuffled over to the window and gazed down at his city...

The once bustling metropolis was completely shrouded in crackling orange flames, even as hundreds more navy blue Shinra warriors invaded the city from the rear...

His wise, commanding old eyes welled up with tears... Wutai was lost... Things would never be the same...