Final Fantasy 7. Tifa Lockhart: Journey to Midgar.

BY : Nickamano
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 2662
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 7 is created and owned by Squaresoft, now Square-Enix. Nothing here is owned by me. It was created for entertainment purposes, and I am not profiting financially from the creation and online presentation of this story.

Final Fantasy 7.

Tifa Lockhart: Journey to Midgar.

By Nickamano.

WARNING! This is a serious attempt at a 'canon friendly' "Final Fantasy 7: Tifa" story, and is not just a straightforweard erotic/ porn piece. While there are sexual scenes included, they are secondary to the plot and take a LONG time to appear (ch 6).

I can certainly understand how that can be frustrating to erotic/porn fiction readers. However, it isn't written as a purely erotic/porn piece, rather a mainstream FF7 story that features some erotic/porn scenes.
I don't want potential readers getting upset that they have to plough through almost fifty pages before they get to the 'interesting' stuff. Hence this heads up.

Oh, and unlike pretty much all the rest of my writing, this is not rape-porn fiction. It's pretty much all loving and consensual sex.


Prologue: Death.

The thick, inky black smudge of bilious, wind-hewn smoke had been visible across the already thunderous horizon for more than a half-hour, and was still visible after night had descended. The underside of the viscous, billowing cloud was tinted with a ruddy red-orange glow, which aided in it showing up against the murky grey of the nimbostratus-layer blocking off the night sky and its ever-present splash of pinprick clouds.

It could only be Nibelheim. That was the only village for miles. Zangan felt his heart skip a beat, a wave of fear momentarily enveloping him.

The middle aged and wiry-bearded man, who would readily admit to looking somewhat rough-around the edges, advanced his pace. At the same time, he used ‘Wutai breathing’ to slow his suddenly racing heart. He avoided the path, as was his habit, instead perfectly navigating the edgy, jagged and bladelike granite rocks that were ubiquitous to the mountain range to which Mount Nibel not only belonged but also leant its name. The jagged fusion of granite and rhyolite, resembling a hellish mashup-crop of irregular skeletal fingers, and unique to this part of Gaia, flanked the worn-smooth pathway that would have begun with the movements of mountain animals such as the native Nibel wolves, Valron, and of course, Chocobo, eventually taken over by human use, smoothed and widened over the course of millennia.

Cresting the top of a small craggy hill that overlooked the quaint little village, the grey haired and stocky built nomadic instructor of Wutai style martial arts, got his first heart-wrenching look at the full-on inferno that was tearing through what had once been a beautiful and picturesque settlement. He leapt down onto the path, knowing it would speed his journey, as looking down at the blazing pyre filling the valley below, he knew that time was of the essence.

Launching himself into a downhill sprint, Zangan couldn’t believe what was filling his vision, couldn’t believe the raging inferno that the once rustic elegance of the village had been turned into. He could tell at a glance that the fire, devastating everything it its path - wood, brick and metal alike - was no ordinary conflagration. He could tell from the colours of the all-consuming flames, from the intensity of the heat - sensed even from his distance, from the speed and hunger through which buildings, were being consumed down to literal ash, that this kind of near-apocalyptic inferno could only be born out of a Fire Materia, and a high level one at that.

This was no accident.

The scents struck him partway down the track, as a heat fuelled updraft brought with it, ash and smoke and sickening aromas. The gut-wrenching smells of burning, the acrid smell of scorched brick, the bitter coppery smell of molten metal. And worst of all, the smell of roasted flesh.

Now he was close enough to make out details. He saw the central water tower, the metal framework blackened and warped by the intense heat, the metal literally buckling and bending, glowing red then white hot even as Zangan stared. The wooden planks of the cooper-constructed water butt itself little more than columns of white-hot flame, reaching high into the night sky.

Red clay tiles cracked and crumbled, then great spaces of the quaint red roofs began to fall into the interior of already burning houses, creating new chimneys for the thick, cloying smoke to escape through. Though these new holes invariably became funnels for the leaping fires, even overtaking the smoke itself.

Zangan ran on. However, the moment he found his progress blocked by the flames he leapt high using his powerful, life-time trained and well-honed leg muscles to propel himself up into the air, far higher than the average human was capable. The leap took him up over the framework of one of the outlying two-storey houses. While aiming his landing by careful distribution of his weight, he grabbed the sides of his travelling cloak and held them tight. Using the large rectangle of fabric to slow his descent slightly, he landed perfectly balanced on the balls of his feet at the edge of a tiled roof. He found himself barely a foot from the flicking tongues of destructive fire and had to whip the hem of his cloak away from the licking flames to avoid it catching.

There were only three columns of over-lapping tiles remaining on the roof, the fire having roasted the ceramic so that it had crumbled and fallen inward. He ran along the narrow angle of the edge of the roof, feeling more tiles crumble and fall beneath his weight. Reaching the edge, he flipped into the air again, somersaulting and landing on an already warped iron gateway that had once been the artfully forged symbolic-baroque entryway to the small village. As he felt the hot metal bending under his weight, he flipped at once, this time landing on the taller of the two huge ceramic cauldrons of the house to the left of the entryway. He had heard that they had once housed fuel and water for the village before Shin-Ra’s Electric Power Company’s Mako reactor had taken over energy supply duties. Now they were little more than sightseeing curiosities, over-sized ceramic eccentricities occasionally found with these small rural villages.

As had occurred with the roof tiles the heat along with Zangan’s weight, caused the ceramic vat to start to crumble but there was enough time and firmness in the surface of its narrow neck for him to flip one final time over the wall of flame blocking the way to the village’s entrance and come down in the relative safety of the village’s part paved and part earth-packed central square with a smooth, light-footed landing.   

Being down in the midst of the inferno was like moving through the Da-Chao Fire Cave, and he was immediately drenched with sweat, even into his thick travelling cloak. The brilliance of the firelight hurt his eyes and the heat and smoke made breathing painful. Still, there were survivors, overcome by smoke and heat, yet somehow still breathing.

After a quick look around at the situation, and a snatched conversation with a young SOLDIER First Class, who was about to chase after the arsonist. And then another quick conversation with one of the conscious survivors, Zangan got to work checking houses for survivors and dragging people from the inferno.

Within the first couple of minutes, he stumbled across a young Shin-Ra infantry solider, who was also fighting hard to carry people out of their burning homes to lay them down in the least affected area of the village square. Unless you had Zangan’s ability to leap over the flames, as that singular young SOLDIER First Class had, there was no actual way to leave, the fire appeared to be blocking all exits and entrances.

There were tears streaming down the Shin-Ra soldier’s soot-blackened face, creating streams of cleaner skin beneath the soot layer, though beneath the protective helmet only his mouth and jaw were visible, his eyes concealed. He was working flat out to help the survivors, and Zangan without a word immediately threw himself into helping the young infantryman.

  “Th… Thank you…” The Shin-Ra kid moaned through his apparent devastation.

He was obviously already weakened by his efforts and was visibly struggling, though equally he was unrelenting in his dogged determination to save villagers wherever he could. Zangan was greatly impressed by him.

Neither spoke again, though the two of them worked side by side tirelessly. However, the work, along with the horrific nature of the conditions, were utterly exhausting as they carried both the sick-living and a small number of deceased though still identifiable bodies over to the least dangerous area of the devastated village’s centre.

Zangan noticed the soldier looked in every direction bar one. A small bungalow next door to the Lockhart’s large two-storey town-style house. For some reason he kept his back to that one location and kept his head bowed, possibly so his helmet-augmented vision wouldn’t land on the already destroyed property; the bungalow already burned down to mere cinders.

Zangan vaguely remembered the occupant of that bungalow, a kind and pretty woman in her thirties who he thought had been widowed early in her adulthood. He also thought he had heard mention of a son at one point who had moved away years earlier. Zangan half remembered her being named Claudia though wasn’t certain. His only real interaction with her had been a couple of occasions over the years when she had offered him some leftovers of a stew she had cooked, really just the politeness of a stranger. And he remembered having enjoyed the meal greatly on both occasions. Though the company had seemed a little stunted, as though his host hadn’t known how to relate to him. She had seemed kind and he remembered having the impression that she had maintained a degree of vivaciousness that had no doubt been an abundant and very attractive quality in her youth, though his overwhelming impression of her had been one of loneliness.

The reminder of the pretty woman with the straw-blonde pony-tail brought back to him the magnitude of the tragedy surrounding him and he had to take a moment to fight back tears of his own. He assumed the infantryman would have gone into the house and found the woman already dead, maybe it had been his first horror of the event. It often developed that way, the first one hits you hard but then the more you see the more you start to get used to it.

So, Zangan and the Shin-Ra soldier worked with a relentlessness and desperation to help rescue the handful of survivors of the two hundred or so population of the village, though in truth, neither of them had the time or resources to save more than three or four of the burned victims.

All the while he wondered and worried about Tifa. He was aware from news offered by a conscious survivor, that she had gone up toward the Mako reactor in the Mountain after her father, who had himself led a small mob of locals in pursuit of the arsonist. However Zangan, even though it broke his heart to do so, had forced himself to put the needs of the village as a whole above the singular teenage student he cared about, and had instead chosen to remain behind in the village rather than go racing off after her, as he so wanted to.

He was also aware, from the accounts of two of the still-conscious villagers they had found, that the culprit who had starting the fire was none other than the famous SOLDIER First Class, Sephiroth. Shin-Ra’s ‘Poster Boy’ had apparently instigated the fire having gone insane over who knew what. The spiky-haired SOLDIER First Class had apparently been Sephiroth’s Junior officer, and on his departure to pursue his mentor, Zangan had asked him to look out for Tifa Lockhart – according to one of the conscious villagers, she had been SOLDIER’s guide up to the reactor during their initial trip on the twenty-first of last month, clarifying that the SOLDIER was indeed already familiar with her. And off the young man had gone, promising to look out for the teenage girl.

However, Zangan could not get his fear for the girl out of his head. Sephiroth’s reputation proceeded him. He was renowned as a superlative warrior, his feats of devastation in the horrible Wutai War well documented, and Zangan wasn’t certain that he himself would be able to defeat the young Shin-Ra Poster Boy in one-on-one combat, much less his prized student, however much of a child-prodigy the fifteen-year old had already revealed herself to be.

At some point the young Shin-Ra infantryman had disappeared too. Zangan assumed he had chosen to head off in pursuit of his SOLDIER superiors, who had headed up the mountain toward the Mako reactor. Though how he had made it through the impassable flames Zangan could not work out.

The martial artist himself easily leapt over the eight-foot wall of fire separating the main part of the village from the northern pathway, which led over to the strangely out-of-place ‘Shin-Ra Mansion’. The always off-limits mansion was at the top of a low hill immediately behind Nibelheim’s ‘London Inn’, which was now nothing but flames and silhouetted cinders.

Lining the path, both opposite the Mansion, which was somehow untouched by the fire, as well as situated beyond it were more homesteads. They were spread out, each in their own little gardened plot flanking the narrow path between the village proper and the long trail that led into and then through the Nibel Mountain Range. A small arched bridge crossing a little stream to the rear of the main path formed the border between Nibelheim and the mountains, the boundary and terminus of the scope of the village.

The homesteads, spread out between the Mansion and the little bridge, were all small detached affairs, dozens of little separate cottages that were home to the out-layers, those who liked their privacy or could not afford a place in the middle of the village. The majority were simple cottages, poorly hewn from surrounding trees and hurriedly erected. Some featured tiled roofs, others thatched. Of course, they were all aflame too, many of them already burned to the ground. And in a few of the latter, even in the dark, Zangan could spot a number of heat-twisted, mangled and blackened corpses of deceased occupants, in amongst the blackened charcoal coffins that had once been their homes.

He looked long and hard but could find no signs of survivors or even evidence of the possibility of survivors. The flames were too savage and the heat much too intense. The only benefit was that, around the edges of the valley that Nibelheim had claimed, there was very little flora remaining. It was all granite and rhyolite mountain roots, bound by packed earth. There wasn’t enough combustible matter between and among the rocks to allow the fire to be sustained or to spread any further than it already had.

Fortunately, from what he had also witnessed, the expanse of flat grasslands to the south, where the entrance of Nibelheim lay, the winds were blowing inward from the north. Therefore, unless there was a sudden inversion of wind direction, the flames shouldn’t spread beyond the boundary of the obviously doomed village.

And now that he had satisfied himself, as grim as that had been, that there were no more chances to find survivors in the outlying homesteads, he allowed himself to embrace the grasping, insistent need to find young Tifa; to reassure himself that she was fine and to alleviate the guilt that he had left her alone and in danger in order to save the lives of, essentially, strangers. However morally right he knew his actions had been, he daren’t consider how he might feel if he found her to be among the casualties of this awful tragedy.

So, he hurried on past the last of the burning outlying homesteads, crossed the little bridge, itself minutes from combustion due to the prevailing heat, and moved up onto the quickly narrowing track that led him up into the mountains.

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