Zack and Cloud travel to Gongaga, Zack's hometown, to try to hide but learn from Cissnei the Shinra forces are not far behind. After defeating Hollander, who himself has started to become a Genesis clone, Zack encounters Director Lazard, now inflicted as an Angeal clone. Lazard directs Zack to the remains of Banora, noting that Genesis always carries one of the dumapples which only grow near that village. At Banora, Lazard watches over Cloud as Zack descends into a cavern exposed to the Lifestream as the result of the Shinra destruction. Inside, he encounters Genesis, who reveals that Cloud has been infused with Sephiroth cells and plans to use him to stabilize his mutation. Genesis attempts to defeat Zack by calling forth on the Lifestream to transform him into a giant beast, but Zack manages to destroy Genesis' power source. As the Lifestream leaves him, the mutation is also removed, leaving Genesis human but near death. Zack returns to the surface with Genesis, and finds that Shinra tried to attack Lazard and Cloud but Lazard was able to hold them back at the cost of his life. After Lazard dies, Zack discovers a note he carried from Aerith to Zack, and learns that he has been gone from Midgar for more than four years, and Aerith has given up hope on his return. Zack takes Cloud and makes the return to Midgar immediately. After they leave Banora, Genesis is collected by Nero the Sable and Weiss the Immaculate.