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Aerith Gainsborough

Chaotic Good

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Sep 23 2014, 02:24 PM
    "K-kweh!"

    "There, there," she cooed. Her basket was at her ankles, flattening the gentle grass, her flowers looking as natural as though they had simply grown through the bottom. The tentative Chocobo watched her uncertainly, kneading his claws into the hard earth and shaking his beak. "It's all right," Aerith said conversationally, holding a daffodil between two fingers with practiced laziness - as though it could fly away in an erstwhile wind - "I've seen a lot like you before, you know, but mine - they wark. Wark!" she added in an attempted avian warble, giggling, and the Chocobo tipped his head to one side, blinking his large eyes at her.

    Then, slowly, he leaned forward and plucked the flower out of her fingers with his beak.

    "There's a good boy," she said, stroking the side of his feathery neck. "That's a good snack, isn't it?"

    He chirped, as though he agreed, and she kept her eyes fixed on the feathers and the ground.

    The world outside of the slums was so huge, and silent; it wasn't empty as though there was nothing there, but more... one large stretch of quiet soil, where she could dig deep and fill her fingernails with cracked and cool earth and plant seeds. Where anyone could. And the sky - it just went on and on and on and on, without stopping, maybe forever, vast and calm and untouchable, and she peeked up at it through the curtains of her bangs like a secret, furtive glance at something she wasn't supposed to be seeing.

    "I wonder if it's out there, huh?" she said amiably to the Chocobo, having long since decided she was all right and grazing clumsily on the grass. "The Planet? I'd ask if you were from there, but you're not like all of the Chocobos I've seen, your neck's a bit longer and you're a deeper yellow." It was easy chatter, the kind she liked, like the conversations she used to hold at length in the darkness of her bedroom with the voices in her head, or when she decided the second story was too far away to hear them right and she'd steal away in the dead of night to lay in the empty, broken church and dirty her nightgown (a hand-me-down of Elmyra's, filled with heritage).

    The sky was such a deep, unbroken blue, and the Materia laced tightly to the back of her head gleamed.
Sep 22 2014, 09:01 PM
    "Ah, thank you!"

    Gil changed hands, deft, calloused fingers idly passing them from digit to digit, warming the cool golden money. There was a light jingle, and the flower girl glanced down with a brief smile - there was a grease stain on one of them. In the darkness of the fading day - if she didn't look up and remind herself of the existence of the stars - she could imagine, for a moment, she was in Wall Market, complete with the same currency. (How nice it was that she hadn't been forced to go through the arduous task of money conversions, though it was neat to receive foreign money once in a while!) She stroked the stain with her thumb.

    "Have a nice night."

    The man ambled away, and she noticed how tightly he held to the bright daisy he'd just bought, clutching it to his chest with a glance to the sky. So much for forgetting about that, she thought, her lips quirking upward - a sigh.

    From the look of the old man's gait - careful, shambling, controlled - she saw the shadows of all the other refugees in his limp and wistful countenance. -- Not that she really liked the term, "refugees." It felt sad, displaced, out of touch with their home ground - which, well, that was true, but it sure did a good job of making a bunch of people who had nothing else in common all being grouped together in such a way. She wondered who had coined the first usage of it - another poor lost child, away from the womb of their motherland? Maybe it was fitting for them.

    The shadows didn't seem to mind, anyway.

    Aerith slung her basket over her arm, passing by one of them now - a mysteriously humanoid shadow, too smooth, too even, too detached. She watched it openly; many averted their eyes, as though disgusted or deterred by the creatures.

    There was nothing to worry about, though. She could hear them sometimes. It made her nostalgic, to think of them quietly communing with the ground beneath her feet; she imagined them tinted green, sparkling with life, and smiled.

    "Ahhhhhh--" A great sigh, a great gust of air (one of the elements that had always eluded her) - she rolled her shoulders back and swung her basket in front of her knees, tipping her head back to view the winking stars.

    She was so, so far away from her spring of life. There was an ache, like part of her was in want of emptiness for it; had it been lost with a bang? A whimper? Or was it still there, these stars a facade?

    After all, she didn't feel empty, even if nostalgia ate her up.
Sep 21 2014, 08:29 PM
    chumhandle: perennialGospel (PG)
    mood: http://files.b1.jcink.com/html/emoticons/wink.gif
    status: ♪~

    font color: lightcoral
Sep 16 2014, 12:35 AM

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AERITH GAINSBOROUGH
" 'it's too dangerous, i can't get you involved...' blah blah blah."
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Canon: Compilation of Final Fantasy VII. First appeared in Final Fantasy VII.
Alignment: Chaotic Good. Aerith does what she considers to be best; her goal is furthering life and allowing people happiness and security, especially in the afterlife. However, she follows no rules on her route to accomplish such, and is generally a stubborn rulebreaker.
Age: Twenty-two.
Gender: Female.
Species: Cetra/Ancient.
Aliases: Flower girl. The last Cetra/Ancient. Aeris.
Banner Quote: --
Banner Picture: --
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Personality/Analysis:

One of the first things Aerith ever learned was how to keep a secret.

She can't help it; she was raised in a laboratory, having been kidnapped at barely twenty days old by Professor Hojo, along with her mother. She always knew she was different from everybody else - why else would all those scientists and government officials and god knew who else - take interest in her? Even growing up with Elmyra, her adopted mother after her real, Cetra mother, Ifalna, died from escaping from Shinra with Aerith, she was told to keep things on the down low - the things she heard, the earth whispering to her from the back garden or in her dreams (which was how she knew Elmyra's husband had died before news had even reached their tiny place in the slums). There was nothing to be gained from exposing her strangeness to the rest of the world, to the hardened slums where they had to work hard every day to scrape by and Elmyra had to claw her way through the droves that would have her adopted daughter working as a prostitute in order to pay the bills.

So Aerith knows how to keep her silence, and her secrets. Even when working for the greater good, she never revealed the whole of her plans to her closest friends that she was traveling the world with. And with silence, she learned isolation; her abilities to commune with the earth separated her. Her non-humanness drove a deep line between her and her peers, so at seven years old, when she was finally out of the lab and Elmyra was raising her, she kept to herself in the church in the slums, tending the flowers with fierce protection and devotion because they were of the earth and she could understand them.

She's been pursued all her life; one of the few people she says actually knows her is Tseng, the head of the Turks, and one of her main pursuers once she escaped. He constantly kept tabs on her, knowing where she was in case Shinra ever ordered for her to be brought in. They could have been friends, maybe. She would've liked if they were friends, because he just knew her so well.

But Aerith doesn't seem like a secretive or isolated young woman. She's actually very cheerful, and extroverted, and upbeat; she enjoys cheering up the people she's friends with, and helping, and healing, and healing things - or people - is definitely one of her biggest callings in life. Like the name of one of her themes, she really is a flower blooming in the slums - a usually delicate thing that broke through the gritty surface, surviving off of little sunlight and polluted rain, but still manages to bloom. Her resilience marks her; though physically weak, she's tough, and the fact that she puts on a pleasant face even in the face of danger or dissent speaks to this. Aerith loves life; she embodies it.

Once you get to know her a little better, you start to realize - you don't really know her at all. Her cheerfulness is enigmatic; she says a lot without really saying anything. Her flirting is sweet and casual, but even if there are feelings beneath the surface, she hides them beneath her cheery commentary. Everything she says is carefully picked out. Even if she is good and sweet and kind, it's hard to call that kind of person naive. She knows who she is, and what the world is like, and chooses to be kind in the face of all of that anyway. She has no delusions about people, or how terrible they can be, and she will never underestimate or overestimate somebody, even if she is polite and kind in their company.

But she's not all smiles and kindness - she speaks up for herself. When someone is overstepping their bounds with her, breaking boundaries, she doesn't hold back. She tells them when she's uncomfortable, she sets limits, she helps but not to the point of exhaustion, and she's very free with her reprimands and scolding, teasing though she may be on occasion. Beneath the enigmatically cheerful exterior is someone who is serious, and quietly focused, and guarded to the world around her.

That said, Aerith possesses a very strong sense of duty and loyalty. Her first loyalty is to the earth itself; her second loyalty is to all of life; and her third is to easing pain. She's an incredibly grounded person, with solid morals for the most part - though she's known to have the ambiguity of deception quite a lot, being her rather secretive and guarded nature. She works for her definition of the "greater good," willing to sacrifice herself for the causes of the continuation of life - being secretive and uncommunicative with her friends, even.

And, even though she is an enigma and generally a very mysterious person, that cheerfulness she puts out isn't fake. Oh, sometimes it most certainly is, since no one can be that calmly cheery all the time, but she always contrives to be positive, and have a good outlook on things, and be polite or teasing or kind and say what comes to mind. And she's a little more free with expressing her concern about things, acting as a bit of an emotional foil for someone like Cloud, who is pretty much emotionally constipated.

The ultimate act of her selfless nature - even amid all her acts of self-preservation in the form of secrets and isolation - was venturing to the Forgotten Capital to pray for the spell Holy, all by herself, without her friends with her. Of course, she misled them, as well, and slipped away when they weren't looking, which was deceptive of her - but she likely knew the dangers present of facing Sephiroth in such a subtly head-on way, and allowed herself to brave them anyway. If there's one thing Aerith doesn't do, it's delude herself. And she did really end up being murdered in that endeavor, anyway.

She is headstrong and very nearly ruthless in her pursuit of the greater good. Once she's decided she needs to do something - she'll do it, there's no questioning it. This developed during her time in the lab as a defense mechanism, but now it's stubbornness to the nth degree.

Basically Aerith is really complex and far more than just a pretty face and a kind disposition.

links to meta ive written: [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x] [x (the 8th point)] [x] [x] [x] [x (the ren dialogue)] [x] [x] [x] [x]

Roleplay Sample:

The last one.

She’d never really given much thought to what that meant before.

The stars were clear, in Cosmo Canyon - clearer and cleaner than in any town she had been too so far, closer and warmer than even on the midnight beaches of Costa del Sol where she’d wandered into the water until it was lapping at her ankles in the dead of night. The ocean was a lot like the sky - endless and tireless and incomprehensible - but that, at least, could be touched, felt, even scooped up for a moment, until the water trickled through her loose fingers, the drops catching the light like falling stars.

It was just as much a part of the earth as her, or her flowers, or her dreams, grounded in the salt and the rough earthen sand. Intimate to her, like the smell of grass and rain - even though grass never grew in Midgar, and it hardly ever rained.

But the taste of stars was foreign, and she couldn’t hear their voices, though she knew - she knew - how hard they fought to burn in their own corners of the galaxy, if any of them were anything like the Planet.

The last one. The last Ancient.

That was her, wasn’t it? Aerith? Aerith, the flower girl from the slums? The one with the hand-me-down ribbon and the warm, careful smile and the happily worn dress and the dirty skin with soil stuck under her fingernails? Or was she Aerith the Ancient, the one whose ribbon and smile and dress and skin were all pretty and unbroken and fragile and filled with timeless, frigid history?

They all wanted her history - Shinra, she meant. Even Tseng wanted a bit of it, who knew her better than anybody else, and dammit, every time she thought of him, her dirty nails left half-moon circles in her calloused palms.

Tseng. Maybe a taste of her old life would make her feel like she had roots again.

Sitting on the hard, infertile dirt, scraping her fingers across it over and over again like she thought she could feel the tough and cracked ground in the church - and THAT’S me, isn’t it, tough and cracked and blooming, not a relic, not dust -

- sitting on the dirt and under the stars, stars that she couldn’t touch, her old Materia burning a hole in the back of her head, and filled up with the life - spirit energy, Bugenhagen had called it - of everything around her -

- even in all her travels, for a moment, she really did feel like Aerith the Ancient.

She frowned, hard.

Well, that was just silly, wasn’t it? For so long that’s all Shinra wanted her to be - their compass, their tool, their pretty little flower, like the Materia they ripped from the ground by its roots. How silly that now, of all times, she felt the weight of that identity pressing down on her from the stars; how silly that when she was under scrutiny, she’d known that wasn’t all she was, but when given a hint of freedom and a glimpse of the real sky, she wasn’t so sure anymore.

I know, I know, she’d said to Cloud, when he said she was still Aerith.

She’d wanted to remind herself of her roots just a moment ago, hadn’t she? The Cetra were her roots - just out of sight, untouchable, yes, like the stars over Midgar, but just as much her roots as her adopted mother and the chipped, harshly glittering signs of Wall Market and the thick sunlight streamed with dust in her old church. Just as much.

Not more. Not less. Like the dreams from her memories, filled with voices she couldn’t make out and waking from them to the hint of Elmyra’s cooking.

The thought comforted her, slightly.

She looked over at the endlessly flickering Cosmo Candle, and she wondered. Nanaki - Nanaki the nameless, until just a few short hours ago, and how far away was he from who he was that he’d given them no more than his experiment tag to call him by? - was crouched, or curled up, tense, and she wondered what he could be thinking of so intently that made the fur around his single visible eye scrunch so thickly. What sort of questions did the stars and the whispering past give him? How many of them did he want to answer?

Cloud was murmuring something to Tifa, and they were immersed in memories, too, and she saw the glint of his beautiful eyes reflect in the flames.

Bright, impossible blue. Like the sky. Like Zack’s.

SOLDIER eyes - as he constantly reminded them. SOLDIER eyes. Cloud Strife, the ex-SOLDIER.

I want to know the real you, she whispered in her mind. Like so many of us want to know ourselves.

When she was fifteen and young and tired of the slums, she told Zack she was afraid of the sky.
It turns out, that wasn’t it at all. It wasn’t something he or anybody else could rescue her from; it was something borne in her, something innate, something she’d neither run from, nor fully become - like how she prayed, every day, for Nanaki to be more than the specimen, or Barret to be more than his righteous AVALANCHE anger, or Tifa to be more than her memories, or Cloud to be more than SOLDIER.

The sky - with its thousand, silently whispering stars, impossible to touch or to understand - reminded her of what she was, but not who she was.

Have sweet dreams beneath the stars, the innkeeper had said, and Aerith slept soundly that night, her resolve returned.

Later, when she would go off on that final, solo leg of the journey, and pray for all that would save them and everything she loved and everything that kept her rooted - it wasn’t pretty and mysterious Aerith the Ancient that did that.

It was Aerith, a flower girl from the slums.

Just Aerith.

History: link! I'm taking her from after the end of Advent Children - so she's been dead for two years, meaning she hasn't aged. On this new world, she's been resurrected and is currently living in the old Sector 5 church that mysteriously appeared with her, just selling flowers for the moment.

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Abilities:
  • CETRA - Though she is only part-Cetra, being that her father was completely human, Aerith has still inherited those unique abilities involved with the peace-loving, Planet-healing Ancients. She can hear the voices of the past whispering out to her from the Lifestream, and can actually commune with the earth itself (it's probably what helps her with her green thumb). Being that she's on a completely different planet now, she can't feel the earth nearly so well; it's going to take her some time to become accustomed to the different tide of souls that dwell here, as well as how this planet speaks to her.
  • ONE WITH THE LIFESTREAM - Being dead granted her a few extra, innate abilities. She has complete knowledge of her home Planet (Gaia); and her magic was given an extra boost, so much that her healing magic is incredibly potent. One of her extra abilities is the fact that she can literally just make it rain - a healing, cleansing rain, that removes a lot of illnesses and such things. There's also something else - because of the end of the multiverse, the Lifestream has started manifesting itself in her, the slow churning of the life of souls existing in her very body. How this will manifest is quite mysterious, to say the least... but, if she were to die, there's a theory that she might release the Lifestream itself, to create an afterlife for this new world
  • INTUITION - Aerith is remarkably intuitive. It's not really empathy, it's more like - she just knows if something is up. Take, for instance, if she met Squall Leonhart. In an alternate universe (aka the Kingdom Hearts one) she actually works with him and a bunch of other Squeenix characters - though not in this one. However, Aerith would just feel this weird deja vu around him, certain that she's seen him before; and that's just one example of her intuition. She can get good and bad feelings about people.
  • WHITE MATERIA - She used to think it was good for absolutely nothing, and just wore it in her hair. However, that's actually not true, as she found out - it was specifically created to counteract the destructive powers of Black Materia, which calls on Meteor - literally a giant meteor to come hurtling from outer space and destroy the planet that called upon it. White Materia casts Holy, which takes up the combined energy of the planet to protect the planet and shield it from harm. It is immensely powerful, but only in protective energy. Should something else huge attempt to threaten the earth itself, Aerith could likely counter it with Holy - but only after a lot of prayer, especially in a sacred place.
  • MATERIA - She's got some standard Materia equipped, as well. Materia are orbs of hardened mako energy that allow the user to cast magic. More powerful spells take more time to power up, and they also tend to be very tiring. Namely she has these five, though maybe she can find more later:
    Fire - She can cast all three levels of Fire, powerful fire spells. It's magical fire that dissipates after a few seconds. The levels are Fire, Fira, and Firaga.
    Restore - All three levels of Cure are available on this one, from healing tiny cuts to healing broken bones. Regen is as well available where the person who gets Regen'd finds all their wounds slowly healing over a short period of time, even ones they just receive.
    Heal - Basically the only RP-important spell available here is Esuna - a spell that heals "status effects." In the RP world, this doesn't just mean your standard poison or what have you, but also moderate illnesses.
    Revive - Life spells. No, these don't revive the dead - but they do awaken the unconscious. The more powerful the Life spell is, the more restored the person is that is being roused.
    Barrier - Barrier, Reflect, and Wall. Barrier briefly muffles physical attacks, while Wall does the same for magic attacks; Reflect rebounds magic spells back on the caster, so be careful in these situations. But Reflect doesn't do that for physical attacks. All three spells only last a few rounds.
  • LIMIT BREAKS - Last but not least we have the Final Fantasy VII staple. As this is a forum, Aerith can't just use her Limit Breaks willy-nilly; they only occur when she has been severely injured, as an immediate response, or when she's terribly emotional. Like, really bad. I don't mean "oh, I'm a little sad today, I'm going to just fucking cast Great Gospel" or whatever. I mean seriously emotional. Which one she uses really depends on the situation, but they can - obviously - only be used sparingly. The things at the top of the list require less exertion and emotional instability, but towards the bottom, she really needs to be in a bad state to use it.
    Healing Wind - casts a curative wind that greatly heals all allied parties.
    Seal Evil - casts Silence on an enemy party, as well as injuring more undead-affiliated creatures.
    Breath of the Earth - cures all status ailments (obviously within reason).
    Fury Brand - boosts the power of another ally, causing them to be able to use more powerful abilities that they might not have access to otherwise - a Limit Break sort of thing for people who don't have Limit Breaks.
    Planet Protector - gives all allies temporary invincibility. By "temporary" I mean like two rounds of invincibility, if even.
    Pulse of Life - fully restores all health and power of allies.
    Great Gospel - fully restores all health and power of allies, as well as adding the temporary invincibility thing. This can only be used in like once in a blue moon.
Equipment:
  • STAFF: PRINCESS GUARD - Ah yes, her ultimate weapon, foraged from the Temple of the Ancients itself. It basically just boosts her magic power. She can hit people on the head with it but, uh. It's not very effective...
  • RIBBON - the Final Fantasy ribbon. Same properties as a Remedy, but far more useful considering it's not a one-time use thing. That pretty pink ribbon in Aerith's hair isn't just for show; the Ribbon (Zack's ribbon that he gave to her) protects Aerith from a bunch of status ailments - sleep, poison, sadness, fury, confusion, silence, frog, mini, slow-numb, petrify, death sentence, berserk, paralysis, and darkness. Non-FF versions of these sort of status ailments are included - like "poison," for instance, means she wouldn't be poisoned if she got bitten by a rattlesnake.
Weaknesses:
  • NOT EXACTLY A SUPER SOLDIER - For all her gifts with magic and healing, Aerith isn't exactly the most physically accomplished. Well, I mean, she's capable of rough housing and beating the shit out of a guy that looks at her funny - she grew up in the slums after all - but her strengths do not lie in her physicality.
  • RETURN 2 THE LIFESTREAM - And, uh, speaking of being frail - Aerith is 110% murderable, just ask Sephiroth. Like, she may have great magic and be god of the Lifestream or whatever - but the thing is, about being god of the Lifestream? You actually have to be in the Lifestream to be connected to it on that kind of level, and Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore. So, no. Aerith is murderable.
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