kittenfair: A pen nib in a circle, on a white background with a paw print on it. (Default)
2016-07-21 02:03 pm

[sticky entry] Sticky: KittenFair everywhere

Not literally, but almost. You can find me on:

Just click the individual things to get to any of those links. I'm using this space for backup, because I don't trust Tumblr right now and I refuse to lose all the work I've done.

Also! I've never roleplayed on Dreamwidth, but I'm totally down for learning. Cowriting is my favorite thing but I'm flexible. I could write most FF7 characters, if I needed to - I have for fanfic - but under the cut is a tiered list of ones I'm particularly comfortable with. (Also OCs.) And I'd definitely say I'm much, much better in the Crisis Core era.

Character List )


kittenfair: Icon for SWTOR (SWTOR)
2016-08-14 12:07 pm
Entry tags:

Star Wars era math, Old Republic to Rebellion Era

 [Original Tumblr Post]

This was a little math I did from one of my roleplaying blogs on Tumblr, for a female!Revan.

In the Old Republic timeline, the Treaty of Coruscant was so significant that it became year “0” and time was then calculated as events before the treaty (BTC) and after (ATC) - this was not, however, the last time that such a recalculation was made.

The 
Battle of Yavin during the Rebellion Era was another reset, becoming “year 0” with before (BBY) and after (ABY) which are the more common timeline measurements for general Star Wars things that focus on the movies and novels around or after that time.

However, given this is a Revan-centric blog, I find it necessary to post up a conversion between the two. Simply put, the Treaty of Coruscant is 3653 BBY. Therefore, the Battle of Yavin is 3653 ATC. So the initial math, where “X” is the years before or after the Treaty of Coruscant, looks like this:

  • If “X” is BTC, then X + 3653 = BBY
  • If “X” is ATC, then 3653 - X = BBY

Of course, if you want to do it in reverse and figure out how to turn the dates based on the Battle of Yavin into the Old Republic Era, it’s just a bit more complicated.

  • If “X” is BBY, then 3653 - X
  • If your answer is a positive, you are in ATC. If your answer is a negative, you are BTC.
  • If “X” is ABY, then 3653 + X

For examples we will take the following two events:

  • 303 BTC - The Jedi Civil War (KotOR)
  • To turn 303 BTC into ___ BBY, use the “X + 3653 =” equation; if X = 303, 303 + 3653 = 3656
  • 303 BTC = 3656 BBY
  • 32 BBY - The Blockade of Naboo (The Phantom Menace)
  • To turn 32 BBY into ___ ATC, use the “3653 - X” equation; if X = 32, 3653 - 32 = 3621. Because 3621 is positive, you are after the Treaty
  • 32 BBY = 3621 ATC

And that is how you convert dates between the Old Republic and Rebellion Eras. *Special thanks to askshivanulegacy on Tumblr for helping check the math.*

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-08-14 11:50 am

Old Turks Never Die (what if)

[Original Tumblr Post]

So in BC, Veld says that everyone was taken to Nibelheim after the Kalm bombing, including himself and that’s presumably where he at least had his initial recovery and the prosthetic put on. I couldn’t help but ask myself a little what might have been, if he’d just looked around some


Read more... )
kittenfair: A pen nib in a circle, on a white background with a paw print on it. (Default)
2016-08-06 12:16 pm

Five Unconnected Scenes (Lazard/Sephiroth)

[Original Tumblr Post]

PROMPT: Write five unconnected scenes (300 words maximum each) involving only two characters. After reading all five, the reader should have a firm understanding of the two characters and their relationship.

 

Read more... )
kittenfair: A pen nib in a circle, on a white background with a paw print on it. (Default)
2016-08-02 05:07 pm
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Character Analysis: Hojo

 [Original Tumblr post]

I’ve had some interesting responses to my work, and why I’ve written Hojo the way I do (primarily in To Be Human as it’s my longest work as of the moment and he happens to show up regularly) so I thought I’d go into a little more detail.

First of all, let me lay the initial blame at the feet of crimson-sun / risingoflights because he really did touch things off with his take on the professor. Much as I was “blamed” for making him take a closer look at Lazard; I imagine he feels just as pleased.

The second thing, though, is that I admitted to myself that a lot of my earlier works (pre-Tumblr, for the most part, but not purposefully so) were much more heavily fandom influenced than canon. So I’ve done a lot of digging into canon and really thinking on things before continuing on. I think it’s definitely improved my writing, and I’m proud of the end results I’ve made. So, as said… a look at Hojo, and why I write him as I do.

Long post under the cut.

Read more... )
kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-08-02 12:30 pm
Entry tags:

Headcanon snip: Hojo & Jenova

[Original Tumblr post]

So, in case anyone ever wondered about my thoughts on what the hell Hojo was thinking during the start of the Jenova Project, given he openly calls her the Calamity in Crisis Core… here you go. Headcanons ahoy!



 

“Gast thinks you’re an ancient,” Jirou mused, glancing up at the tank that held the creature in question. There was something human-esque about it, certainly, but the doctor didn’t buy into the theory that it was ancient in any way but old. “Two thousand years ago, trapped so deep in the ice and rock. I don’t think that was an accident.”

 

“They say talking to yourself is a sign of insanity, you know.” Lucas gave him an amused look, coming to view the tank himself. “You don’t think it can hear you, surely?”

 

“You never know.” He shrugged, considering it. “Maybe. There’s reason to think it might be semi-aware, somewhere in all that.”

 

Of course, the younger doctor scoffed at that, openly skeptical. “If it was alive the project wouldn’t have gotten a go ahead, Jirou.”

 

“You never know,” he repeated. “But you’ve seen the readings. You’ve looked at the samples. Even you had to have seen that some of them are very much active.”

 

It was almost funny to watch him squirm, making a face. “They’re just cells. Jenova is dead.”

 

“Mmhm, you sound so sure of yourself.” He chuckled softly, pushing his glasses up. “A dead Ancient, preserved so humans would one day dig ‘her’ up, study, and make new ones. Hah.”

 
“That’s the project you signed on for, you know!” Lucas was generally even tempered, but he tended to get rather angry if you flustered him. It was amusing. “The Jenova Project will change the world!”

 
“Oh
that I believe.” He smiled darkly, leaning against the rail and watching him sputter. “It’s late, Lucas. Well past your bedtime, I’m sure. Why don’t you go get some rest.”

 
“Don’t you talk down to me!”

 
“I never talk down to anyone, Lucas, I meet them on their level.” His smirk was sharp enough to cut. “That just happens to generally be beneath me.”

 
“Get over yourself, you’re not that great! You’re not even the only doctor - and I’m
younger than you.”

 
“Oh, well, by all means
Doctor Hollander don’t let me hurt your feelings.” He laughed at the thought until he had to wipe tears from his eyes. “You’re ridiculous.”


“I wasn’t the one talking to a dead body because I can’t handle a civil conversation with living human beings,
Doctor Hojo.” He sneered. “I might just leave before your insanity catches. Bad enough I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 
“Mmhm.” The Wutain scientist was already turning back to the specimen in question, and didn’t turn even when the other man stomped off. “I don’t know what you are, Jenova, but I’m sure you’re no ancient. Still, if it gets us the funds… well… a chance to study a creature as old as the ancients that was sealed like some cursed demon? Sure. But don’t think for one second I’m going to just clone you like that idiot.”

 
Jirou Hojo set a hand on the tank, considering the chill of foreboding a
challenge. “I can do better.”

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-27 01:03 pm
Entry tags:

Regarding the Living Legacy scene in Crisis Core

 [Original Tumblr post]


Looking at the scene in Crisis Core, at the very end when Cloud manages to army crawl up to the dying Zack, and Zack hands over his sword with his brief, heartbreaking "living legacy"
 speech:

This is not the first time that the Buster has been passed on, especially in this fashion. When Angeal dies - at Zack’s hand, and let’s not get into that mess beyond the painful parallel of how Cloud also feels he’s responsible for Zack’s death even though he had even less choice than Zack did - he passes on the Buster to Zack.

 

Now, in the English dub (which was the version I played through) Angeal says “Zack, you have my thanks. This is for you. *hands over the sword* Protect your honor, always.” And then Zack has an audio memory of Angeal’s comment at the beginning of the game - Embrace your dreams. If you want to be a hero, you need to have dreams and honor.

 

Now, let’s compare the English sub (which I’ve watched and found very interesting because it carries a different vibe most of the time):

 

“You did well Zack. I’m counting on you for the rest. *hands over sword* Never forget your pride.” This is then followed by the same audio memory, but again, with a slightly different vibe - Hold onto your dreams. If you want to be a hero you have to hold onto your dreams and also your pride.


I’m not going to pretend I understand the full significance of the changes between pride/dreams to fit the better cultural perception of the words, but I know enough to say that I do think that moment absolutely influenced how Zack handled that moment with Cloud. Another scene I would say had an effect was the time in Nibelheim (before everything goes wrong) when Zack thanks Cloud for reminding him what the Buster Sword means to him.

 

I think Zack took the burden of Angeal’s words very seriously (and I say “burden” absolutely referencing when Angeal says that honor can be quite the burden early on plus Gillian’s words on the sword representing the honor of the family.) And I think, as much as he loved Angeal (take that at whatever angle you like, but he did love him in some way,) he probably resented that. I think that was absolutely one of the things he meant when he asked “why is everyone always pushing things on me?” before the last fight with Genesis.

 

In light of that feeling, I think the last thing Zack intended was to give Cloud the same burden. Looking at Crisis Core only, I would say that I think it was definitely part of what vorpalgirl said: you’re gonna live/you’ll be my living legacy (alternatively, the proof that I existed) is a statement of fact, of the significance of the fact that Cloud is going to live on even though Zack died, that Zack managed to save at least one person he cares about when the others died well before this and even forced him to have a hand in it.

 

But it’s also motivation for Cloud, because he’s been with Cloud this whole time. He knows that Cloud is struggling (he hasn’t even been conscious until right before Zack left to make his last stand), he knows that Cloud struggled with his self-esteem anyway before all this, and he probably knows that a standard thing that keeps people out of SOLDIER is if they don’t have the willpower/sense of self to make it through the process. That’s a really big thing to ask of a teenager, I remember that much of those years personally. A teenager is still figuring out who the hell they are in that weird not a kid/not an adult half state, this is a big deal and it’s no shock that Cloud “fell short” there - most people probably did.

 

But Zack is giving Cloud something here, he’s giving him something to focus on because he won’t be able to talk to Cloud all the time or carry him on anymore. All he has left to give are his sword to protect himself, his words to remember and his life so Cloud has a chance at all, and the last one is running out fast.

 

He never wanted to pass on the burden that Angeal did. He never wanted to push things on Cloud the way they were always pushed on him. But he knew Cloud needed an anchor still, and he couldn’t physically be there to hold his hand anymore, he could barely lift his own blade.

 

I don’t think he ever imagined it would have ended up that way, that Cloud could even do that, but he did succeed in one thing at least - he gave Cloud a way to hide behind him, until he was ready to stand on his own. And in Advent Children, even though there’s tears in his eyes to have to choose between Sephiroth and Cloud (and he’s lost Sephiroth, don’t get me started on my theories about what Zack was up to in AC) he manages a smile in his voice as he offers Cloud that same bit of strength, that quiet vote of confidence when he’s nearly destroyed again, and helps him back up before he goes.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-27 12:37 pm

FF7 Headcanon: Vincent & Veld's ages

 [Original Tumblr Post]

Anonymous ask: What do you think Veld and Vincent's ages are in FF7. It says in Wiki Vincent was born around 50 years before ff7 But it also says he spends 30 of them in the coffin. And the opinion is that he was 27 when he went into the coffin....This hurts my brain. Nobody gives us any hint to velds age at all. Just that he's the TURK director and has been around awhile. So thoughts?


Answer:

I want to warn you of two things before we get into this. One, the Compilation contradicts itself often, not in the least because the OG dates are different from what every other part of canon says. Two, the Final Fantasy Wiki must be taken with a grain of salt because it’s trying to mesh inconsistent canon, and you have a lot of people who don’t cross-check editing things. It’s a good resource, just go into it with the understanding that it’s flawed material from the get-go.

Now.

Vincent’s birthday (as one of the members of the main party in the OG) was actually given in canon as October 13, 1950. So having that already, I can give you his chronological ages with the (as of this moment) “updated” dates of when things occur:

  • CC (2000/0000) - 50
  • OG (0007-0008) - 57/58
  • AC (0009) - 59
  • DoC (0010) - 60

Here’s where things start getting complicated, of course, because he died before any of that. I really don’t remember off the top of my head where the number 27 is, but that’s what I’ve always heard, yes. So we’ll go with that, that he’s lived 27 years… that’s 1977, 30 year nap until you meet him in OG, when he starts having life experience again. So mentally and emotionally, Vincent is the following ages:

  • OG - 27
  • AC - 29
  • DoC - 30

Which makes him “younger” than Barret (35 in OG) and Cid (33 in OG) out of the original party. Given he was a Turk, he’s an “old” 27, but still 27.

Another fun fact! Assuming that Vincent was born in 1950, as canon states, and died at age 27 - math then says it was sometime in 1977 - and Lucrecia was pregnant at that time… Sephiroth was born either in 1977 or 1978. Angeal and Genesis were born then or earlier. Genesis is said to be older than Angeal and I believe it’s heavily implied that Project G got going before S. (Edit: there is an Ultimania translation that confirms that Project G - and thus Angeal/Genesis - are older)

Now, back to our Turks, more specifically Veld. Fact is, there’s no date given for Veld as far as I know, and I’ve peered around some. So what we’re going off of is that he was a peer of Vincent’s, and that comes from translation of a word used in BC when Veld and Vincent meet up again that has implied they were partners. Not a lot to go on, but fandom has run with it and it makes sense.

That scene is what I’ve based my age of Veld on - I put him slightly younger than Vincent. Generally, I see Veld written as the older and definitely the senior Turk, but I think if Vincent had been used to following Veld’s lead, he would have gone with him. Remember, at the time Vincent was still very broken up and emotional for all that he emotes like a brick wall. If Veld had been his mentor or even an authority figure, I think he would have fallen back in step because it was comfortable, it would be the first hint of familiarity and safety that he’d had since things had started going wrong back then. (I doubt he knew how much time had passed until Veld came, looking much older, anyway.)

Mind you, a man who is content to sulk for 30 years in a coffin might just be stubborn enough to go back to it regardless, but Veld meant enough to him that he got out to help him so until presented with concrete fact, I’m going with Veld as a little younger. At most, two years, I don’t see a big gap between them and they were both presumably at least teenagers when they were hired on to ShinRa so there you go.

So, with those reasons based on dynamics alone - again, I can’t help you with canon there, I really can’t - and maybe also the fact that Veld is still running around as an operative himself despite considerable bodily trauma sustained in his younger years (re Kalm Bombing, plus whatever you want call that explosion that gave him the scar) I put him, at most, as two years younger than Vincent. Which would give you a birth year of 1952, and the following statistics:

  • CC (2000/0000) - 48
  • OG (0007-0008) - 55/56
  • AC (0009) - 57
  • DoC (0010) - 58

There’s also a benchmark that Veld’s daughter, Felicia/Elfe, is at least a teenager when you see her in BC, which is during Sephiroth’s time as a First Class - and Veld could definitely be old enough to have been the father of a kid that old, with this age set, so I continue to go with it.

So that’s my take on Vincent and headcanon into Veld.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-25 02:47 pm
Entry tags:

Where headcanon begins: Lazard Deusericus, Part 2

 [Original Tumblr Post]

<< Part One

Welcome to part two of my explanation of how I see Lazard, canonically, and why I play him differently on the claim of being more realistic.

You should probably take the link to part one if you haven’t read it, because it will be cited throughout this piece. Let me state again, however much I critique things here, that I love FFVII, and the compilation will always hold a special place in my heart.

That said, I think there were some issues that even hard core fans really do have to admit to if they’re being honest with themselves. For one, the original game, FFVII, was released first. Now, that’s rather understandable on the one hand, given everything centers around it.

It immediately boxed in all releases that were placed earlier in the timeline. Everything that occurred in Before Crisis and Crisis Core 
had to line up with the events of FFVII. That meant that any character that wasn’t seen in the original game had to die or disappear. Zack and Angeal are prime examples. It was also a foregone conclusion that Sephiroth had to lose his mind and destroy Nibelheim, setting him on the path to become the villain seen in the original game.

And all of that is their right, naturally, but you have to consider the wider range of effects that has. There 
is a story being told, and you have to stick with it, because canon has been set, and these projects have too many people and funds tied up in them to justify fussing over something as small as a side character’s motivations and how realistic they are.

But when I
 write and roleplay I’m not so restrained. I have the chance to write Lazard Deusericus as I believe, were there more of a nod to realism on his behalf, he would have been written.

There are core, indisputable traits to some characters that need to be taken into consideration if you’re going to claim any real relation to them. Biggest example no one can argue: Angeal’s honor fixation. Lazard has some of those traits, too, which I’ve taken care to consider.

  • He was born a bastard child to President Shinra, and grew up in the Slums.
  • He holds deep concern for the people - particularly children - in the Slums.
  • He worked his way to being Director of SOLDIER very quickly, indicating high intelligence and competency.
  • He didn’t know that he was President ShinRa’s son until he became the Director of SOLDIER.
  • He always thanks the SOLDIERs in the mails he sends out, before saying anything else, something no one else does even in mass mails.
  • He uses the word ‘we’ in reference to his department, indicating a sense of camaraderie.
  • He is never shown losing his composure, always calm and reasonable, even portrayed as understanding and sympathetic.

All of this is solid fact for Lazard Deusericus, stated in canon and shown in his actions. They paint the picture of a man who grew up in the Slums and worked his ass off to climb the corporate ladder with his intelligence, competence and apparent skill with politics. Let me stress, he had no knowledge of being President Shinra’s son, prior to his final promotion to the executive position of Director of SOLDIER.

Regarding his position as Director, the image portrayed by his actions in Crisis Core show that he has a passion for his work - that he cares not only about the efficiency of SOLDIER, but about the SOLDIERs 
themselves, reinforced by his gentle demeanor when dealing with Zack, and the respect that Sephiroth seems to have for him.

The overall picture painted above of just who Lazard Deusericus is, I’d like to remind you, is one 
fully supported by canon. The facts are right there in bullets.

And yet, there is a huge disconnect between who this man is defined as, and how he acts in Crisis Core. Allow me, for a moment, to quote from part one 
of the role Lazard plays in canon, and the significance of that.

… Lazard was hardly the only one on a quest for vengeance. However, the man was in politics, and one would assume quite intelligent. There were many more ways - safer ways - to see to his father’s downfall, without having to betray the men who looked to him and trusted his orders. If one wants to say he was lumping SOLDIER in with the organization, and saw that as needing destroyed, I’d like to draw your attention to one more thing that Lazard should - and likely did - know.

ShinRa was more than a power company. They were, by Crisis Core, 
the most widely influencing political power. The entire eastern world had come to rely on ShinRa for mako power, for protection, for steady jobs and for a stabilizing influence on the economy. If ShinRa was destroyed before any sort of alternative was in place, there would, at best, be anarchy. Quite possibly a collapse of economy, and a lot of people would suddenly be out of work. ShinRa was corrupt, and did a lot of horrible things, but they were a necessary evil. Did they need replaced? Yes. But the key word is replaced.You can’t just take out something that so many people rely on in one swoop, with nothing to fall back on, and “hope for the best” because it’s not going to work out well.

In conclusion, I’d like to sum up my musings by restating that canonically, Lazard was either the biggest 
idiot by thinking it was a good idea to use mentally unstable SOLDIERs to destroy his father’s empire, creating an energy crisis and sudden anarchy with the loss of a key political power that also provided most of the world with mako power, technology, and military might - or he was the biggest villain because he didn’t care what happened to the rest of the world, or the people who had trusted him, so long as his father and his company was destroyed in the process.

The actions stated above do not add up with the person Lazard is said to be. You cannot have a compassionate, empathetic man who would do that. And, assuming that all of that is fake, that he really is that cruel, I’ll point you to the middle paragraph one more time and ask you how, exactly, someone as intelligent as Lazard seems to be, could or even would do that?

This is a man who supposedly managed to embezzle from ShinRa Company - and I assure you, if there is 
anything President Shinra pays attention to, it’s his wealth - without getting caught by the Turks until quite a bit later in the game. A man who apparently has the intelligence, cunning, willpower, and sheer audacity to plot with Hollander and Genesis while still staying within the company, and not only doesn’t get caught - he pulls it all off with no one the wiser.

At no point is there any indication given that Lazard has the sort of training to outwit Turks, who are 
trained to pick up on this sort of thing - and I’m sure they had a very close eye on the President’s bastard son once he gained such influential rank. And yet he defies the odds and does exactly that.

This doesn’t add up for me. I 
adore the Final Fantasy VII Compilation, but as I’ve said, it’s not without its flaws. Lazard Deusericus takes a backseat to everyone else, because he’s essentially a side character, with a dash of plot device. The story is centered around Zack and Sephiroth, and everyone else fills in the blanks, even people like Aerith and Tseng, who go on to play much bigger roles. Some of these characters you never hear of again come the original game, even in mention, which makes sense, because FFVII came first. But as far as seamless continuity, it’s leaves us hanging.

So, yes, I understand fully why Lazard was written as he was - makes sense enough, as long as no one delves too deeply into the “why” aspect - and he fills a necessary role. But as someone who wants to RP Lazard, I had to take a step back, really look at who he was in canon, compare it to his actions, and admit that they didn’t match up. I had to go back, take all the facts, everything that made Lazard who he was, and go from there, working in that bare bones framework, building from there to give you what you see today.

And from this is where my headcanons begin.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-25 02:38 pm
Entry tags:

Where heacanon begins: Lazard Deusericus, Part 1

 [Original Tumblr post]

 

 

I’ve gotten a lot of surprise from seeing a Lazard on Tumblr, and I think a lot of that has to do with his role in the fandom. Now, please don’t misunderstand me - I love Final Fantasy VII. I do. I think that there are a lot of things in it that were just completely brilliant. That said, I do also think everyone needs to take a moment and be honest: FFVII has a story, and anyone who has ever read or written a story will have to admit that it is planned ahead. All the more so for video games. FFVII had a planned story, and things were worked accordingly.

Now, that is 
not a criticism! I’m a writer, fanfic and original. I understand the reasoning and yes, necessity for there to be a plot, and have it stuck to, for something as big as a video game series. There’s too many people and resources tied up in that to just change it on a whim. But it does affect things, because something has to give. Real life is never so neatly packaged, because everyone is the main character in their own story, and people don’t fall into neat categories. So, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on who Lazard Deusericus is in Crisis Core, and who I think he really should have been.


Lazard is not a good person in Crisis Core, nor does he have much in the way of sense. Or, if he does, then he’s quite possibly the 
real villain of Crisis Core.

That’s quite a big statement to make, but if you take a moment, you’ll realize it’s true. Lazard worked his way up in ranks in ShinRa, gaining the respect of SOLDIER and one would assume many of the others. Around the time he makes Director, he finds out that his father is the very man who signs his checks. He is the illegitimate older brother of the vice president. He grew up with his mother in the Slums - and we’ve all seen how horrible it is down there, so there’s no believing it was ‘easy’ for anyone. There’s no knowing what he was told growing up, but obviously it left out the identity of his father’s side of the family. And finding out deeply affected him.

He plays loyal to the company from there out, but clearly his anger begins to gnaw at him. I’ve seen the phrase once - on someone’s Tumblr, actually - “hate is like taking poison and hoping someone else dies.” That’s entirely too accurate. Hate is a horrible, horrible thing that I could rant on all on itself, but the focus right now is 
Lazard’s hate in specific. It blinded him, and whatever sense he had, it was consumed within that one single emotion. When Genesis started degrading, Hollander approached Lazard - we’ll assume he figured out Lazard’s own 'origin’ issues - and they created an alliance. By the time Crisis Core begins and the fans meet Lazard, Genesis has defected with the bulk of SOLDIER at Hollander’s prodding. The game itself opens, and not too far into it, Zack is meeting Director Lazard for the first time as he gets his mission to Wutai. Lazard goes as well.

Whether it was to really see the end of the war personally, or because he wanted to peek in on Genesis’ army, Lazard did go, and assessed Zack’s performance while they were there. His entire presence, however, is overshadowed by Angeal disappearing at the end of the mission. Sephiroth is the first to outright state that Angeal has deserted as well.

From there, time passes to where Zack (and thus the player) are more or less on their own, and Zack is asking the director for word on his mentor. I certainly don’t blame him - Angeal clearly meant a great deal to Zack, and he can’t comprehend what’s happening. At this point, it’s reasonable to assume Angeal may have left just to try and bring Genesis back. Genesis, however, is mentally and physically degrading and just together enough to remember he certainly doesn’t intend to return to the place and people responsible for his declining health, even if he 
could.

By the time Zack is sent to Banora, Angeal has found out about Project G, and quite likely more than the player. His best friend since childhood is mentally unhinged and succumbing to a slow, painful death because his very body is destroying itself. Why? Because before he was born, Hollander and
Angeal’s mother tampered with Genesis’ genetics. Angeal’s genes are likewise altered, and he might have sprouted his two wings by this point. While in Banora, there’s a good chance of Angeal actually having witnessed his mother committing suicide, but he did know that she did - and was then more or less accused by Zack of killing her. Granted, the teen was more than a little shaken up himself, but that didn’t help the situation.

Given that Hollander is still alive, Lazard is undoubtedly still aware of all of these ongoings, and does nothing to step in and stop it. By the time Zack is promoted to First, Genesis’ troops launch an attack on the Tower itself, and soon after, Zack meets with Angeal again. Though he looks healthy, Angeal
does have wings, which indicate something happened on a genetic level. Possibly degradation. The one good part is Zack meeting Aerith, but things keep going downhill from there.

Lazard sends Zack to Modeoheim. He 
knows Genesis and Angeal are there, and less than sane at the moment. He has to realize what he’s setting him up for. They’re not coming back to ShinRa, Genesis is openly hostile, Angeal is depressed and not thinking straight, and with Tseng there, it’s not like Zack can just let them walk off.

It’s not until Hollander’s escape from Junon, well after Angeal has been killed and Genesis is assumed dead, that it’s realized Lazard was a traitor. He’s noted as giving intel and funding to Hollander and Genesis’ operation, and runs off. That leaves Sephiroth in charge, abandoned by his only two 
real friends, betrayed by a man he respected and probably trusted at least somewhat as a superior, and having to decide how to handle it all. Of course, he puts the “SOLDIER” in “soldier on” and decides that since Genesis has been going after reactors, let’s go check out NIBELHEIM.

And we all know how 
that went.

Nevermind Lazard’s later attempts at redemption - a lot of that could be put on the fact that he’s been made into a clone of Angeal.

Was it all in the name of vengeance? It seemed so, certainly. But what does it boil down to? Lazard was hardly the only one on a quest for vengeance. However, the man was in politics, and one would assume quite intelligent. There were many more ways - 
safer ways - to see to his father’s downfall, without having to betray the men who looked to him and trusted his orders. If one wants to say he was lumping SOLDIER in with the organization, and saw that as needing destroyed, I’d like to draw your attention to one more thing that Lazard should - and likely did - know.

ShinRa was more than a power company. They were, by Crisis Core, 
the most widely influencing political power. The entire eastern world had come to rely on ShinRa for mako power, for protection, for steady jobs and for a stabilizing influence on the economy. If ShinRa was destroyed before any sort of alternative was in place, there would, at best, be anarchy. Quite possibly a collapse of economy, and a lot of people would suddenly be out of work. ShinRa was corrupt, and did a lot of horrible things, but they were a necessary evil. Did they need replaced? Yes. But the key word is replaced. You can’t just take out something that so many people rely on in one swoop, with nothing to fall back on, and “hope for the best” because it’s not going to work out well.

In conclusion, I’d like to sum up my musings by restating that canonically, Lazard was either the biggest 
idiot by thinking it was a good idea to use mentally unstable SOLDIERs to destroy his father’s empire, creating an energy crisis and sudden anarchy with the loss of a key political power that also provided most of the world with mako power, technology, and military might - or he was the biggest villain because he didn’t care what happened to the rest of the world, or the people who had trusted him, so long as his father and his company was destroyed in the process.

>>To Part Two

kittenfair: A pen nib in a circle, on a white background with a paw print on it. (KF avi)
2016-07-25 01:39 pm

The Fandom Butterfly

 [Original Tumblr Post]

 

An old friend of mine called me that once, because I couldn’t seem to stay fixed on anything. So in (belated) honor of International Fanworks Day (February 15th) I want to take a moment to list the fandoms that have left the biggest impression on me.


Dragonball Z

I’m not sure if this was my first fandom, but it was most definitely my first to really suck me in and demand I do something with it. I did fanart, I did fanfic- the first thing I ever posted was DBZ, somewhere out on the webs under a different name. No I’m not bringing it back. I wrote a massive, never-posted trilogy chock full of OCs and looking back there were a couple by-real-definition Mary Sues but it really had a huge, formative place in my life.

This was way before I went onto FFN, in the start of it, before Ao3 even existed. This was dial-up and private archives, my first tentative forays into slash (and oh, it was… educational) and where I truly became enamored with fanworks. I did a lot of shipping and OOC and NOPE things that I cringe a little at, and some I’m proud of, some of both I don’t really go along with anymore. I count it as my first love. To this day, I get a stupid grin over Vegeta and Goku. (I also appreciate their respective wives much, much more.)

I suspect it is to blame for my love of tails, time travel fic, and definitely my flexibility on whether or not characters stay dead. There was also mpreg. It’s where I learned to draw (and boy, that’s a lot to learn to tweak for my style now) and where I started to really write.

 

Sailor Moon

Probably next on the list, it was close to the same time - I dearly loved it, and watched it on Toonami too. Almost all of it, actually, a couple times. I missed Stars season because it wasn’t in English and I didn’t have the patience for subs back then (I regret that.) To this day, I periodically slip into the fandom, usually seeking some of the things with the more manga-heavy backgrounds because Senshi/Shittenou is my favorite thing. It made me laugh and cry and will forever hold a place in my heart.

I think it’s also at least part of why I became so fond of reincarnation fic and soulmates, definitely the first time I started really appreciating femslash, too.

 

Star Wars

I was a prequels fanatic for so long. Some of that was dial-up too, AOL screaming in my ears before I could get on and go seek Qui/Obi in as many places as possible. I was definitely the type to trawl through archives, most fondly remembering the MA archives. *happy sigh*

I’ve fairly recently decided that had to be where I first read @deadcatwithaflamethrower‘s Re-Entry, and probably a lot more. Definitely more into slash, and where I first really started getting into AUs. H/C had always been huge for me, but I got such satisfaction of that because Star Wars is made for H/C.

Star Wars really got me into looking back into backstories, doing tremendous amounts of research everywhere I could get it. I have literal pages of dialogue in other languages - mostly Huttese and Mando’a - and notes on food and culture. To this day, I have several of the encyclopedias/reference books on various subjects and would love more if I just had the space. *desperately needs a taller bookshelf, the poor things are on their sides*

Then I got into KotOR and TSL, and I was sucked into the Old Republic era, and oh my god, it has made such a deep impression. Time travel became a big thing to me again, and redemption fics too. I also had a big kick on drawing in “obscure” characters and speculations on all the minute details - that hasn’t stopped, of course.

At the moment, The Old Republic MMO owns my soul and it’s brought OCs to life for me with a power and depth even DBZ hadn’t given me. I really feel part of the universe, and while I’m most active in my last-to-be-listed fandom, Star Wars will forever own a piece of my heart and was tremendous in shaping me.

 

The Compilation of FFVII

Ye gods, this is the beast. I started reading before I played anything, back in the days when Cloud and Sephiroth and Zax were peers and the OT4 of Cloud/Sephiroth/Zack/Aeris was my thing. (If it’s written back that way, not counting Crisis Core, I still love it.) I lurked on Livejournal and was all over on FFN before I ever settled into my ID as Kittenfair. OCs were a huge deal again (still are!) and I read… so, so much. Some things maybe I shouldn’t have and some things I have no regrets and also no courage to post my tries on like mpreg and tentacles and anthro and but it’s where I really started flexing my fandom muscles again. And I think it’s also where I really started being a presence in fandom, my little corner of people who seem to really like what I do.

Time travel, relationships - and not all ships are sex or even romance and I get that now, more than ever - and all the worldbuilding and backstory because things are so richly done, but not all the details. Not all the fiddly bits I want and keep trying to write. I went through the stage where I was a fan via fandom and oh I had so many misconceptions and then I started digging into canon, I played a little bit of the OG on my friend’s PS1 and then there was PSP and Crisis Core and somewhere in there an emulator (trying OG again) and finally doing it on the PSP (I swear, I’ll finish it before the remake!) and I’ve watched the vids for what I haven’t played.

Research research research, and I’ve written so much - over 200K posted and my longfic is 100K of that and going to add on 100K more! - with so much support, and it’s where I’ve met most of my dearest friends. Three RP blogs @directorlazard@applesandashes, @imyourmiddleman and a fansite - @ff7central (also [community profile] ff7central) - trying to gather everybody together on a level I never dared before because I have so much love for fandom.

FF7 had me reaching out to people, giving comments and subscribing, faves and kudos and it means so much to me.

 

 

I have other fandoms I linger on the edge of - Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Threads of Fate, MCU (mostly Avengers) - but these four are the ones that have truly shaped me into the writer and artist I am now.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-21 11:09 pm

Headcanon: What was Zack doing in ACC?

[Original Tumblr Post]

Let’s discuss ACC, and the way people kinda ignore the whole “dead stay dead” idea. Sephiroth is the most obvious example, but Aerith and Zack are clearly more than figments of Cloud’s imagination - they both actively take part in events.

With the healing rain/holy water, it’s pretty obvious how Aerith takes a physical effect on things. She also takes Cloud’s hand during the fight with Bahamut Zero, joining in with everyone else in giving a literal and figurative boost to his strength. Notably, though, Zack isn’t there. Zack doesn’t show up at all, in fact, until Cloud has taken quite a beating from Sephiroth.

So seriously, where was Zack?

It’s at this point that we need to remember that, while Zack was never as close to Sephiroth as Angeal and Genesis once were, they were friends. And Zack Fair does not give up on people, you have to literally take the decision out of his hands. Looking at you Angeal.

Obviously, Sephiroth has been around as a spirit entity - which is also the position Zack and Aerith have been in. Sephiroth, who is just a shadow of himself made of malice and anger, twisted from the man Zack once knew. But that doesn’t mean Zack wants to write him off.

I absolutely believe that in ACC, Zack spent his time trying to talk Sephiroth down. That may even be what compromised Kadaj’s ability to sense that Rufus had Jenova’s remains in a box under a blanket all that time. Cloud, he knew, had plenty of support. But Sephiroth? Sephiroth was the Nightmare, son of the Calamity, Jenova’s favorite son, and he had no one but Zack left.

Sephiroth toys with Cloud. Is it malice or distraction? Likely both. Sephiroth has years of experience over Cloud - many of which were on the warfront, but also fighting the likes of Genesis and Angeal - in addition to formal training in combat and strategy. There is no reason Cloud should win if Sephiroth had his mind together. Blame Jenova, blame his breakdown, blame the fact that he has no frame of reference of how to handle all that emotion - here, even, blame Zack.

For most of the fight, Zack isn’t there. Then, when Sephiroth is going for the kill, Zack pulls Cloud into the realm of “other” that Aerith had done before. And with tears in his eyes where Cloud can’t see them, he asks if he needs help to take him down.

At the time, he has the Buster Sword resting on his shoulder. But this isn’t something he conjured from his mind, in the condition he last held it. This isn’t even something one would picture Cloud imagining - not that he’s facing Zack to see him, anyway. This is the same sword that Cloud left on the cliff. The same sword that is mysteriously polished and placed in Aerith’s church at the end of the movie.

Zack, as much as the thought pained him, was ready to fight Sephiroth one more time. He was ready to step out of his place in the Lifestream, having gone to get the blade his mentor had given him, that he had given Cloud, and take up the fight.

Like the last fight of his life, there are tears in his eyes because for all his efforts, Zack wasn’t able to save Sephiroth. Cloud may never know the kindness he did his friend to spare him the pain of having to help put him down again, but at the end of the pep talk Zack gives him, there’s a smile on his face.

Relief.

This doesn’t have to be his fight, and Cloud is strong enough to make it on his own. Zack has lost one more friend for good, it’s a bittersweet victory. But he does meet him one last time in the church. He doesn’t say anything, his wave is slow, a little uncoordinated - I imagine it was one hell of an effort to get the strength to be ready to do what he did, Zack doesn’t have the heritage to give him any advantage there, it’s pure will driving him then. But that’s not really a new thing for Zack.

... so yeah, THAT is what I headcanon as happening regarding Zack during ACC.

kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
2016-07-21 10:27 pm
Entry tags:

FF7 OC Profiles

[Original Tumblr post for the masterlist of these]

* denotes original locations

The Turks, The Old Guard

Headcanon: before Veld became the director, back when ShinRa was just getting started, a woman named Alexandra Turk coheaded the Security Department. In time, as things became more specialized, she formed a small department of intelligence specialists called the Department of Administration and Research. As that was quite a mouthful, they were referred to as Turk’s team. This would later become “the Turks” even once Alex had been forgotten.

Alexandra Turk: born in Junon, she grew up close friends with the woman who would one day become Mrs. Shinra and joined at her request. Working for a time as a co-chair to the Security Department, she was given her own department for general affairs, and became known more quickly for her small team making up the investigative sector - later known as the Department of Administration and Research. Due to the length of the various titles, her team became known more commonly as “Turk’s people” or simply “the Turks” as they would continue to be known. She died after being in a car accident with the President’s wife not long after Rufus was born, and the Turks have silently questioned how much of an ‘accident’ the wreck was ever since.

Anya “Shiv” Torvik: born in Marek*, she spent most of her childhood on the Northern Continent where her family’s business was founded. Multilingual, fierce with both bladed weapons and guns, and possessing abundant willpower, Anya joined childhood associate Rupert Shinra as he began to found what would eventually become one of the greatest industrial giants in history. While she had worked in Public Safety, she chose to follow Alex into the new department and remained a Turk through Veld’s tenure as director. She remained in Junon after Alex’s death, overseeing the academy and helping mold the next generation of Turks.

Dominic “Bull” Wallace: born in Corel and distantly related to the later-famous Barret Wallace, he trained extensively as a weapon smith and was initially drafted to design weapons for ShinRa before it fully shifted over to an electric company. While he remained employed through the early days of the company, he retired after the “accident” that took both the life of Mrs. Shinra and his director, returning to work Corel. Despite his issues with the company, he never took a direct stance against them.

Rebecca Carter: born to a family that constantly travelled while passing through Gongaga, her time with the Turks was the longest period she stayed in one place. Drafted for her uncanny knack with numbers and science, she spent time working between the Turks, the budding Mako Science Department, and helping draft up security measures for the new reactors. Uneasy after the death of Vincent Valentine, she also retired after the death of her director.

Victor “Wraith” Rowan: born in Fort Condor, he attended Junon University in an effort to understand his gift with technology and was picked for the Turks. When Midgar was founded by ShinRa, he moved with his sister to continue his job, helping write up the majority of the computer systems and working hand in hand with City Planning and the Engineer’s corps. After the President refused to allow an investigation of the death of fellow Turk Vincent Valentine, he erased himself from the system and cut ties completely with the company. Unfortunately, his “gift” remained known to the Turks, and eventually his niece, Shelke Rui, would be recognized and drafted to Deepground to put it to use.


SOLDIER, First Class

Headcanon - while no SOLDIERs were ever as famous as the big three and later Zack, there had once been a total of ten Firsts. Zack would have been the eleventh, but two died during the war and two defected with Genesis. During the period of Crisis Core, three remained, largely forgotten and stationed out of Midgar.

Benji Richards: born and raised in the Midgar Slums, one of five kids and spent some time raising the youngest three before joining the army. Quickly tried out for SOLDIER as soon as it was available, making the cut older than the eventual cutoff. Hot tempered, takes no shit, takes no prisoners. A favorite for “breaking in” new SOLDIERs and commonly poked at for sharing hair color and temper with Genesis. Worked briefly with Sephiroth while climbing the ranks, and is stationed in Wutai to handle anyone who might get it in their head to rebel.

Drew Morrison: born in the small town of Marek* in the foothills of the Nibel mountain range, Drew was also army for a time and one of the first to join the newly created SOLDIER program. He was in Wutai before Sephiroth was deployed and served as the liason between the budding leader and Heidegger. Good natured and easy going, he was returned to Midgar for the second half of the war in an effort to help train up more SOLDIERs and only sent back after the mass desertion to help finish the cleanup alongside the army once more. He was eventually stationed in Wutai after the war to help the Turks rout out AVALANCHE.

Nikolas Gregor: born in Icicle and moved down to Midgar to take part in the first SOLDIER trials. Served in Wutai under Genesis until he ranked to Second, and briefly with Angeal as a new First before being assigned his own team. Took over primary administrative duties for the SOLDIER branch of the Junon academy after coming back from his last tour in Wutai.

SOLDIER, Second Class

Adam Douglass: born in Midgar, came into the SOLDIER program with a motivational poster of Angeal as soon as he hit fifteen. Showing strong leadership abilities, he spent time briefly in Junon being trained to advance natural charisma and focus before being deployed to Costa del Luna* to protect the west coast in case Wutai forces attempted assault off their land. After the war, he was moved to the Junon base to oversee training and exams of SOLDIER hopefuls.

Leon “Dice” Silva: born on the outlying islands that compose Costa del Sol, middle of seven children. He went straight overseas to the Junon Academy, aiming for SOLDIER. Slipping up on the paper part of the exam, he made his second try with flying colors and was sent to Midgar. He regularly takes solo missions as they become available on the mission board, and is one of the best chocobo riders.

Dirk Johnson: born in Junon, trained briefly in making small blades by his parents before heading to the academy. After a brief stint in the army, he tried for SOLDIER. After specializing in numerous weapons, he was charged with overseeing the SOLDIER stock of weapons and is one of the first called to assess anything new Scarlet is trying out on the department.

Infantry

Lee Avery: Ranking Lieutenant, born and raised in Corel before moving to Junon to attend the academy. Quickly rose on the officers track, saw time in Wutai. Returned to duty in Midgar after the war. Neutral on SOLDIER, never tried for it.

Neil Dawson: Captain who fought against Zack in CC missions, born and raised in Mideel and tried for SOLDIER after Genesis and Angeal’s success. Was rejected for unmanageable aggression after mako testing. Scouted for Deepground, but was eventually rejected. Extremely bitter and anti-SOLDIER.

Erika Glass: Midgar-born-and-raised infantry, joined directly at ShinRa HQ during the same time Cloud was in training. Upbeat, team player and pro-SOLDIER - would have tried, if women were allowed. Member of Zack’s fanclub. Best shot with a rifle in her squad.

Frank Hodges: Moved from Kalm three months before the bombing, skeptical that Veld really ordered the town bombed. High energy and nervous before battles, serves as a medic for his squad and has been passed around for that skill. Also in Zack’s fanclub, finds him motivational. Considered trying for SOLDIER before the mass desertion.

Jillian Sanders: Tomboy from Junon, attended the academy and specialized in close-combat. Has been known to loudly protest no-women-in-SOLDIER, huge fan of the big three, especially Angeal. Is a part of the squad Cloud is assigned to after his originals are killed on the mission to protect Rayleigh.


Science and Medical

Jack Hughes: born in Mideel, he spent time studying in the local college and learned a great deal about treating various mako-based sicknesses though he did not finish through to a doctorate. When he came to Midgar, he joined ShinRa after studying and passing courses to become a paramedic and passed additional qualifications to be sent into the field. While he was not deployed to Wutai, he has served during multiple other disasters and tended all branches of ShinRa’s forces.

Ryan Baker: born in Kalm and having attended Kalm University* before the bombing, he took courses to qualify as an LPN. Upon moving to Midgar, he was employed at Midgar General Hospital* until the Wutai war started sending back significant amounts of injured. At that point, he signed on with ShinRa and works in the medical ward.

Stacy Pierce: Junon born and raised, she graduated early and went on to Junon U* to study in the field of mako sciences. While cleared to work in many lab environments as needed, she’s more often involved in materia testing and has made significant additions to documenting natural materia and fabricating artificial materias.