By Sai-chan

Ifalna dropped limply onto the cot in the cell of the ShinRa building. Hojo had been expirementing on her for nearly two years, and it was taking its toll on her. He was a monster in her eyes. For a few days he would leave her alone, but then when her spirit tried to gain strength, he would take her again and poke and prod at her for hours on end. Then, when his sadistic fun was over, she was thrown into the small, dimly lighted cell.

Aeris. The only thing she worried about was Aeris. The little girl was put in a similiar cell near enough for Ifalna to hear her crying out her for her mother. Each time she spoke, Ifalna's heart seemed to tear in two peices. Ifalna fell to her knees and closed her eyes. Her hands hang loosely at her sides.

"Aeris..," she whispered the name quietly. In the distance, she could hear her daughter gasp happily. "Aeris, darling..."

"Momma?" Aeris also closed her eyes. She could see her mother's form in her mind's eye. The woman seemed fuzzy and she couldn't be seen very well.

"Yes," Ifalna's power left her completely. She fell to the floor in a crumpled heap. Dizzily, she crawled to the door and pushed a button on it. No one came. She felt silent tears fall down her hollowed cheeks. "Tonight, I must..." She went unconcious, and dropped to the floor.

Aeris felt the connection sever. She started to cry. Her mother was weakening, and she could feel it distinctly. "Momma."

Ifalna awoke. Her head felt as if it was splitting in two.

"Unio augis," she whispered as she touched her forehead softly. The pain diminished. I must free Aeris from this place. But, will the planet hear my plea?

A gaurd opened a slot in her cell door and shoved a tray of food through it. She picked it up and ate the food, even though she had no appetite at all. She had to build up her strength. Half a hour later, she decided it was time for her to try and escape.

"Ferno descea, geiro nev tios! Doza nek sero!" she whispered the chant, fearing that someone would hear her. Her body tingled slightly, which indicated the spell was working. Strength renewed, she walked silently to the door, and it opened at her touch.

The spell was a cloaking spell. She had asked the Planet for help, and it gave her just that. But, the price was the ultimate one. It was her life. She pushed the thought of her death out of her mind as she quickly went to her daughter's cell. Her child was the only one, at the moment, who was able to see her.

"Aeris, come with me quietly," she commanded her daughter urgently. Her child rose and took her mother's outstretched hand. They were both made invisible to human eyes. They ran to the staircase that would take them outside of the building.

Hojo looked at the results of his latest expirement on Ifalna. He frowned, for the results stated that she was too weak to have anything else done to her. She was going to die soon. He walked out of his office and went towards the area where she was being held.

"Open the door for specimen 001," he snapped at the gaurd. the man ros eto his feet quickly and opened the door. Hojo expected her to be asleep. he went into the room to fin her gone. "What the..!?"

He walked out of the cell. The gaurd seemed very nervous as Hojo went back to his office, laughing insanely. "Ifalna, Ifalna. How very clever of you. But, I'll find her..." he muttered to himself.

Ifalna rushed her daughter to the train station. She climbed onto the locomotive and fell weakly against the rough seat. Her breathe came in short, hard gasps. Aeris was holding her hand tight, resisting the urge to cry. Ifalna turned to her daughter and managed to give her a small weak smile.

"Momma, are you going to be ok?" Aeris asked fearfully. Tears welled in Ifalna's eyes, bbut she successfully held them back. Weakly, she hugged her daughter reassuringly.

"I think so," she said as a wave of pain throbbed at her temples. She took off her necklace with the pendant. She hadn't taken it off since her mother had given it to her. The small orb shimmered faintly in her hand.

"Holy," Aeris whispered in awe. Her mother had told her once that it was a powerful magic materia. Only to be used in the most dire of situations.

Ifalna took her daughter's pink hair ribbon out and slipped the small materia onto her ribbon. Then, tiredly, she tied it back on. Her hands trembled violently as she put them back in her lap. David, my love, I wish i could see you one more time...

The train slowed down. Aeris hugged her mother. She was filled with fear.Ifalna had given her something very important, which told her something was wrong.

"Momma, are you going to go back to the planet?" she asked fearfully. Ifalna looked at her sadly and nodded her head. Hot tears fell silently on Aeris's cheeks. "I understand. I'll take care of the materia. Don't worry."

"Aeris, I love you. Never forget that. Be strong for me..." Ifalna's voice faded away. The train came to a complete stop. The woman unsteadily went to her feet. She leaned against the bars, and dizzily climbed out. Aeris held her hand, feeling helpless because she couldn't help her mother.

Elmyra walked in a daze to the train station. It was very late. She didn't know if her husband would be getting off at this time, but she couldn't sleep, so it seemed fitting to go and see. The train must have already stopped. I hope…

She heard a woman cry out in pain. She saw a woman and child near the tracks. The little girl was crying. Elmyra's heart lept to her throat.

Aeris helped steady her mother as they exited the train. She was sleepy, but she was to worried about her mother to care. The woman seemed to fade out of life with every step she took. They were at the steps.

"Ughh..." Ifalna cried out loudly. The pain in her head tripled. She could her Aeris cry out in suprise. Her knees buckled. She fell to the ground limply. Tears of pain and saddness streamed down her face. She couldn't hear very well. I'm going back to the planet... "Aeris, be happy.." she whispered.

"Momma?" Aeris asked. She held onto her mother's dress as if it would make her live. No tears fell from her face. She knew deep in her heart, that this was the best thing. She sat beside her mother. It's better this way. She'll go to the Promised Land. She'll be happy again...

"Are you ok? Miss??" A woman ran to their sides and bent over her mother. A sad looked covered her face.

Elmyra looked at the little girl. She sat down and put the woman's head in her lap.

"I need some help here!!" she called out. Nobody was near. The woman seemed to come out of the daze she was in for a moment. She smiled ever so slightly at Elmyra. That smile showed her that death was iminent. She looked at the girl again.

The woman was speaking. Elmyra leaned over to hear her. "Take Aeris somewhere safe. Please." The woman coughed a little and her eyes went blank. Even though she didn't know the woman, she cried for her.

"Don't cry. Momma went back to the planet," said the girl. She seemed sad, but she didn't cry. Elmyra was mystified. She suddenly turned when she heard the sound of ShinRa soldiers approaching.

Elmyra remembered the woman's last words. She stood and took the girl's hand in hers. "Hurry;" she urged. Aeris accepted her hand and they ran off.

"You'll be safe with me."

Aeris walked slowly through the City of the Ancients. Her footsteps echoed quietly. She was remembering her mother. She stopped at the edge of the gazeebo. No thoughts came to her mind except the one of saving the planet by summoning Holy.

She closed her eyes and called out to Cloud. He probably wouldn't hear her. It was a message for his subconcious. "I love you, but I hope you understand. Goodbye."

Aeris nimbly jumped the pedastles to the gazeebo where she would pray to summon the hope for the world. For just a moment, she thought she could hear her mother telling her to strong and happy. She knelt down and clasped her hands together. Her eyes closed slowly as she readied herself for her prayer.

She knew her fate. "I summon the powers of Holy..."


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