I watched the Sephiroth vanish one by one, pulled away by the angel. The mindscape of my introspection mode plunged into darkness. Were the nightmares still cutting through the lenses? No. There were no sparks from their cutting tools. I've lost fear. What part of me will dissolve next in this poison? How much more can I lose before I cease to be?
I feel? Warmth? A heartbeat?
Well, well, well. At least I won't die alone.
Yes. I am trapped inside this abomination as well.
Light again. In the lenses are irises not my own.
"You are...wearing my faceplate?"
I grabbed the first thing I could find. I didn't know you were still using it. I hope you don't mind. It is keeping my soul intact a while
"Does this mean you are possessing me?"
On the contrary. You have nothing left to possess. And my astral form can't pierce this...mess. If anything, it is you who are possessing me. Look closely. I need to show you something.
Holograms inside the orbs. Face to face across a chessboard. Crossed épées behind wire masks.
Should you survive, deliver these to my brother if you would be so kind.
"How can this be? You and he were raised separately."
So we both assumed. But only now as our psychic barriers dissolve do I remember what Father forced us to forget. We would have murdered each other. It was the the most humane choice.
"Why is there always bloodlust between you? This cannot entirely be the fault of the bloodline!"
There was...an incident.
"Show me. I will not judge you."
Shadows. Rending of lace. Hands pinning declawed paws.
"By the Founder..."
She was a catalyst, for me as well as Darien.
"Do you...regret this?"
Do you regret having a brother?
"Are you saying that Koen is...yours?"
Half a chance...
I felt his soul starting to fade.
I cannot. You have no shell, and this one is left behind. I bequeath this body to you. Use my powers to harness what's left of your healing factor. Do with it what you will. Good luck.
The double helix rose and spiraled around me. I did not even have a moment to protest. My perceptions shifted to the other side of the mask, staring through living eyes to where my image was blurring from metal to flesh. The chromosomes were damaged, but repairable. I dispatched healing nanobytes - which appeared to me as copies of my previous metallic form. A scan of the blood circulation revealed somewhere, something was dripping reanimation serum into these veins, along with more malevolent cells. This form would have become a drone had I not taken the previous owner's place. That is when I noticed the Pandoran cells, swarming through like bees searching relentlessly through the vines of a trellis.
"Stop that this instant! I do NOT need GILLS!"