The Cry of the Planet Chapter 3
By Edyn Cross
Not surprisingly, the Airship was running late. It was quarter past six in the morning and Professor Gast was on the Airship port as requested just outside of Midgar. The bitter morning wind was whipping Professor Gasts overcoat in all directions as a storm blew stinging drops of rain against his face. Lightning flashed across the sky and almost immediately after, an earth-moving crack of thunder echoed through Gasts body and soul leaving the smell of ozone dance in his nose. He took a look around thinking that maybe this God-awful weather is an omen telling him not to go to the Northern Crater That something terrible will happen. Like any other scientist, he pushed the superstitious idea from his mind as quickly as it came, and chuckled to himself for have such a ridiculous thought.
He checked his watch, not for the first time, the time read six twenty three and muttered a curse under his breath. He watched as the wind pulled a page of newspaper into the air and he followed it with his brown eyes. The wind blew the newspaper sharply up towards the sky and just beyond the paper, he saw the lights of the airship cutting through the blankets of rain. Behind him, a door banged open and two men stepped out wearing SOLDIER uniforms, both nodding to the Professor as they saw him. Gast rolled his eyes thinking about how the President always felt like he had to assign babysitters to tend to him, but at least the SOLDIERs were first class this time and not third class, which was practically an insult. When Gast thought about his escorts even more, he considered himself lucky not to have to be accompanied by a Turk as well which was usually Shinra standard operating procedure.
My name is Hawkes! One of the SOLDIERs shouted to Gast over the storm. And this is my partner Crowe. We will be escorting you though the course of this trip so if you have any problems, let us know and we will get it taken care of.
Gast nodded. SOLDIERs werent a part of Shinra Inc. to be taken lightly. They were a branch of the corporation under the Public Safety and Maintenance division that was strictly military, and a very large branch at that. Gast couldnt remember how many young boys that hed met over the years that wanted to make themselves known in the world by becoming the next Shinra SOLDIER war hero. Of course, there was no war going on that would give any of these young men the opportunity, but it looks as of late that there may be an upcoming opportunity if the politicians in Wutai dont watch their tongues when dealing with President Shinra.
The Airship prepared to land and the wind gusts pulled at Gasts overcoat like a little child begging for a playmate. As the ship landed, Gast picked up his briefcase and the SOLDERs gathered their duffel bags with Gasts single suitcase and walked towards the door leading onto the Airship. Lightning flashed across the sky once again as if the Planet was letting them know who is still in charge. Professor Gast made his way up the steps, stripping the overcoat off of his back and picking his spot below the main deck in the briefing room where he will have enough table space for his work. He looked up at the status monitor and saw that the flight would take a roughly four hours, six if the weather is continuously bad throughout the trip.
Gast tossed his wet coat on one of the other chairs around the conference table, opened his briefcase and took out what documentation he has gathered on the Ancients so far. The file consisted of a stack of papers as thick as a dictionary and one photograph. He sat down in the main chair at the end of the table and studied the first piece of documentation in the file: The picture.
The photograph was always placed on top of his papers so that it would be the first and last thing he saw when researching the Ancients as it served as a reminder that there may still be a living Cetra to this date Or at least thats what he told himself. What he couldnt tell himself was that the picture in his file was of a Cetra female who had been the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. From the moment he saw the beaten, dirty, and slightly corroded photo of the woman, he was in love, and with each look at the picture, his heart ached a bit more longing to be able to meet her just once. He picked up the photo sealed in a clear preservation envelope and studied the outlines of her face, her smooth, flawless skin, her expression of sadness, and her light brown hair which was grown to her calves, but was a river of silk that flowed forever. Her body was thin and so fragile, but at the same time athletic and welcoming. Over it she wore a pinkish purple dress which matched the bow that held her hair in place. In the bow was a piece of ribbon holding a white trinket, but even after many studies of the photo, Gast couldnt figure out what that white trinket was. It could have been a rock, but it looked more like a piece of Materia. The problem with that theory though, was that Materia has never been found in that color Ever. Of course Gast admired all of those features, but there was something about the woman that made his stomach turn in agony: her eyes. The most painfully beautiful eyes he had ever seen; they were large and shining with intelligence, but the color was what intrigued him the most: they were teal and seemed to almost glow. Written below the picture was the word, Iflana.
The picture was all Professor Gast had on the mysterious woman who was said to be a Cetra. He knew that Iflana was her first name, but her last was still unknown. The person Gast got the picture from was a reliable source as he had gotten other Cetra artifacts and historical documents from as well and the source claimed to have taken the picture of the Ancient in the downtown shopping area of Midgar on the upper plate. Gast looked at the picture once again wondering why Iflana had been looking so sad then. He traced her gaze with his eyes and it appeared as though she was looking at the nearest Mako Reactor. Professor Gast didnt understand.
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