A bright, blinding flare of pure white light–an explosion, the release of Holy’s inner fire; what, he knew not–suffused Nanaki’s vision, and with a grimace and snarl of pain, he squeezed his one good eye shut and averted his gaze from the seething cauldron of boiling magic and viridian currents of the Lifestream that had completely surrounded and engulfed the crumbling buildings of ShinRa’s once proud capital city.
That was the last thing he remembered, other than a brief glimpse of a familiar, beloved face of innocence and joy framed by swirling mahogany hair, bowing in a gesture at once relieved and satisfied at the accomplishment of a great and until this moment unattainable miracle–that, and a thought surely echoed by all who witnessed the great event: “It’s coming...” Then he had found himself...here.
Whimpering softly and lowering his paws from his muzzle, the Guardian squints against the hazy waves of heat rippling through the still, humid air to gaze up at the strangely larger and more brilliant ball of the sun, hovering in a sky almost washed of color arching above a world rendered dry, dusty, and barren by a severe change in climate. The still rich and verdant forest that surrounds him thankfully blocks the most merciless of the rays beating down, while the thick canopy of leaves screens away most of the light...but how long the blessed relief of this cool shade will last is not a wager he would care to gamble on. Already he can feel the ambient temperature rising, and his sharp vision can detect the curling and scorching of the edges of the leaves as they begin to wilt and droop from the combination of lack of rain and unceasing sunlight. When the trees here have succumbed to the weather, he will have to find a new place in which to shelter.
But he will have to do that anyway. For he would not wish to stay here, regardless...not forever, despite the peace and tranquility of this wilderness. Rising above the treetops, the ruined and rusting girders of a battered scaffolding cannot be missed, not with the manner in which they lean at a crazy, precarious angle as if about to topple to the earth at any moment. He recognizes it, of course, as the remnants of the rocketpad at which he and the members of Avalanche had met the grizzled old space pilot Cid Highwind and acquired transportation in their epic journey to save the Planet. And he has seen, for the past few days and weeks the veritable swarm of people, looking like ants from this distance, converging on the site to apparently dismantle the structure and acquire parts–whether to build some new and grand mechanical wonder or simply as mementos and souvenirs, he does not know or care.
All that matters to him is that, despite his relative isolation, it is only a matter of time before someone discovers him here, and he is not certain what his reaction will be or whether he even wishes to be found. On the one paw, since awakening he has found himself feeling increasingly feral, as if with the destruction of Meteor he has reverted to his animalistic roots and wishes only to abandon his responsibilities, his burdens and the demands of civilization, so that he can roam the world as a true beast, caring only about his next hunt and the threat of competition from those not as fit as he to survive...distrusting and fearing the humans rather than befriending or defending them. It is a surprisingly and disturbingly attractive mentality, one he has been attempting to resist with all his heart, for despite the destruction and pain that humans have caused the Planet, Nanaki knows the actions of a few cannot condemn the rest, that there is goodness, understanding, honor, and beauty in humans which cannot be sacrificed, and certainly should not be cast aside. Therefore, the balance of him is instead feeling incredibly lonely, missing companionship, missing camaraderie.
To be certain, he has been a solitary creature by nature for most of his life–partially by circumstance, but also by choice–but that does not mean he wishes to be truly and utterly alone, at least not forever. In particular, he finds himself missing his friends: the spiky-haired Cloud, so brash and overconfident but always willing to ruffle his mane in a warm and friendly manner; Tifa, always ready with a winsome smile and a witty comeback; bluff and hard-nosed Barret, determined never to give in to the weakness of emotion but managing somehow to come across as a giant teddy bear with a gun for an arm; even that annoyingly immature but endlessly amusing thief from Wutai, capable of great cleverness and astonishing insights even as she stole the pelt off your back. He wants to see them all again, to know how they fare, and to find out what, if anything, they can do about the aftermath of the World Crisis. So even if he weren’t being made uncomfortable by the encroachment of Rocket Towners into his sylvan sanctuary, he’d have to leave here eventually...if for no other reason than to no longer be alone...