After Buffy had finished picking the feathers up with the others help they boarded the ship, only to hear Dawn still giggling. Sighing Buffy sat down and rolled her shoulders knowing they would be sore later. Shinra stood and walked over to the girls and nodded his head making a decision.
"I'm sorry to bring this up, but what are we going to do about Vegnagun? We know it's in the deepest reaches of the Farplane. And the only way to get there is to jump into one of those holes."
"Yeah, but which one?" Buffy asked popping her neck.
"Well, there's one in Besaid, one in Kilika, and one in Djose Temple." Tara said leaning back in her chair.
"Don't forget about the one in the Calm Lands. The cave at the bottom of the gorge." Willow said sharpening her sword.
"And the hole that Vegnagun opened in the Bevelle Underground." Mizu reminded them.
"Okay," Faith nodded. "But which one do we jump into?"
Tara closed her eyes in thought before looking from Willow, to Buffy, and finally to Faith. "I don't think it matters much. They all lead to the same place, and the closest one is Djose, so let's try that one."
With the others in agreement Dawn set course to Djose while the others were preparing. Willow and Faith finished sharpening their weapons. Tara and Buffy were getting mixes and other life saving items ready.
When the ship landed the girls told Dawn and the others to keep watch on things while they were gone. Before they could get out the door Shinra ran up to them and hugged Tara, then Willow, Buffy, and Faith.
"Be careful. Okay?"
"Don't worry we will." Tara smiled and watched him head back to the bridge.
"Let's go." Faith said leading the way with the others close behind.
Running passed the Al Bhed they entered the temple and took the stairs up to the chamber. Turning with a smirk Faith nodded and jumped into the hole. Buffy jumped next and screamed half way down.
Willow grabbed Tara's hand before they jumped at the same time. When they landed, Faith and Buffy were already in fighting stances keeping on guard.
Slowly turning around in every direction Willow took in what the entrance looked like. They were standing on a five-foot wide walkway leading down into the darkness. There were other walkways also leading down, the girls assumed they were from the other temples.
Torches were scattered every twenty-five or so feet, giving off just enough light to see by. They could also see large pillars lying across the path, and some even broke through leaving two and three-foot wide gaps.
"Well." Willow said unsheathing her sword. "This is it, time to go."
The four girls carefully made their way down the path silently thanking anyone who was listening, that there were no fiends around. Faith jumped over a fallen pillar and stood watch as the others jumped over.
The end of the path was a four-foot jump, to what looked like a large twenty-foot round arena. Once on the arena type rock, everyone stopped and looked up.
Floating slowly down was Shiva, her once beautiful blue hair and body was now a dull gray. She landed with grace and faced the girls; a bright blue light surrounded her hand causing the girls to scatter.
Turning they saw the ground frozen over where they were standing. Willow faced the Aeon, hands raised in the air, and watched as a Firaga spell rose out of the ground under Shiva's feet. The Aeon screamed in pain, and cast a Blizzaga spell towards Buffy.
Jumping to the right Buffy avoided the ice spell and threw a Firestorm mix, just as Faith left a deep wound in Shiva's stomach. Tara had begun to fire round after round into Shiva's mid-section and chest. Shiva fell to her knees and disappeared.
The ground shook with enough force to cause a pillar behind them to fall and shatter more of the path. Rocks fell from the ceiling causing the girls to jump back and to the side to avoid getting hit. Pyreflies began to swirl as souls emerged from the ground, forming a tall shape close to the edge of the arena. Readying their weapons the girls gasped when the shape became visible. Tara shook her head and sighed as she looked up at Anima.
Back flipping to avoid the Aeon's eye laser attack, Willow cast a Flare spell while Tara infused everyone's weapons with Holy magic. Having Faith to lock her fingers together Buffy had her to flip her into the air, twisting her body Buffy threw a Soul Stealer mix at the Aeon, and landed on her feet.
With the mix doing its job Faith and Willow ran forward and crossed paths just as they attacked, leavin an ‘X' on Anima's mid-section. Tara fire seven Holy infused rounds into Anima's neck and chest, and watched as the spells exploded. Anima roared as the souls rose into the air and she disappeared.
After Anima was gone the air shimmered allowing the Bahamut Fayth to appear. He looked at each of the girls and bowed his head.
"Tara." He said sadly. "I'm sorry. We weren't strong enough to stop her. We wanted to at least warn someone, when we found out who was behind everything. But instead, we were dragged into the darkness. We're no better than fiends."
"Don't worry. It's all right, I must thank you for helping in the Den of Woe."
"We had just enough power to resist her for a time, but not long enough."
"Please. Tell us, what is she?"
Bahamut closed his eyes, and crossed his legs as he floated five-foot off the ground. "Tsuki is no more than a shadow. When Tsuki died in Vegnagun's chamber, her hate and misery lingered on, not allowing her to pass into the Farplane. And once her lingering feelings grew strong enough, they began to act on their own. And now she is a shadow-a shade that wants only to vanish, but cannot."
"But what about in the Den of Woe? What happened there...I mean she almost killed us." Buffy said narrowing her eyes.
"That is where the Bevelle guards disposed of her body, and the pyreflies in the cave began to take her shape. Soon, the Den of Woe was her home, and she would kill anyone who even stepped inside. You see, she feeds off the energy released at death, and the death energy made her stronger."
"Great. An unsent feeding of death energy, this keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?" Faith asked sarcastically.
"What about Lenne? Why does she keep calling Tara, Lenne?" Willow asked confused. "I mean she told me that the summoner was her lover, not mine. And she was talking about Tara, only it was Lenne she meant."
"You're confusing me!" Buffy mumbled unhappily.
"It's what you call the Dressphere. That small sphere was once Lenne's; she wore it one thousand years ago before the machina war began. When Bevelle attacked she gave the sphere to Tsuki telling her that when Zanarkand won, she wanted it back. Only thing was: Tsuki had already made her mind up about stealing Vegnagun."
"Just how did Tsuki know about that machina? I'm thinking Bevelle didn't announce it to all of Spira that they had a machina that big." Faith asked as the boy slowly floated to the ground.
"Yeah, and how did she know how to use it?" Buffy asked.
"Because she helped build it."
"Yes, Tsuki was the daughter of Yevon, and Yevon was the one who'd constructed the plans for Vegnagun. She was only ten at the time, but she was a genius and could build anything her father wished. She had only one friend, the daughter of Yevon's servant, Lenne, but the servant began to dislike Yevon and fled to Zanarkand taking his family with him. Losing her only friend sent Tsuki into obsessing over Vegnagun, and built the giant machina in only five years. After it was constructed when she turned fifteen she left Bevelle, turning her back on her father and moved to Zanarkand."
"What happened?" Tara asked.
"She found Lenne, and soon the two of them became lovers. For two years they lived in peaceful happiness; that is until Bevelle began attacking. It was then that Lenne was sent to the front lines, both girls knowing she would return. That is when Tsuki made the trip back to Bevelle, not knowing that Lenne had followed after hearing of her capture. She killed the guard taking her to see her father, and hurried toward the temple only to find Lenne on trial. Tsuki grabbed Lenne and jumped into the underground, they got split up before reaching the chamber, and Tsuki went on ahead. The chamber is where Lenne found her activating Vegnagun, and asked for her to stop. You know the rest -they were killed. And now, like I said: she is nothing more than a shadow."
"She's just a shadow... We can handle a shadow."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes. Leave it to us." Tara nodded and turned to look at the Fayth and watched as he bowed and vanished. "I'll banish shadow with light."
Buffy cocked her head with a confused look on her face. "Light?"
"Lenne's feelings." Willow said in understanding.
"That's right. Call it...love." Tara smiled and jumped down into the Farplane Abyss.
Tara nodded recognizing the place where she saw Nooj, Baralai, and Gippal. The portal was still open near the edge; they could feel the wind as it raced out of the portal blowing their clothes and hair around. Leblanc, Ormi and Logos was staring into the portal like they'd never seen one before.
"Bout damn time you made here, loves!" Leblanc said when she saw the girls approaching.
"We had things to take care of." Willow growled in no mood to deal with her.
"Whatever. This is the portal leading to Vegnagun, so what are you waiting for, him to come to you? Let's go!"
"I think you should stay here. Nooj wouldn't want you wandering around, you might get hurt." Tara said hoping Leblanc wouldn't join them.
"What? My Noojie is waiting on me! And I don't want to keep him waiting!" Leblanc shouted before she sighed. "But I guess you're right. Will you tell my lovable Noojie-Woojie I'm waiting?"
"Uh...sure. We'll tell him you're waiting like a good girl, okay?" Buffy nodded thanking anyone who was listening for Leblanc not coming.
"Make sure you do, love. No go on! You need to save Spira!"
"Yeah, while you be a chicken and wait here." Faith grumbled, and got hit.
"We don't want her with us!" Buffy whispered shaking her head. "She's annoying!"
"Okay, okay." Faith smirked.
Shaking her head as she sighed Willow glared at the annoying woman and two men before following Tara's lead and jumping into the portal, with Buffy and Faith close behind her.