kittenfair: FF7 Meteor with VII written in black. (FF7)
[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)
[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.

kittenfair: A pen nib in a circle, on a white background with a paw print on it. (Default)
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 )


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