The Terra Episode Chapter 1

The Intruder

By Magicite54

"In ignorance there is bliss, they say.
Knowledge is power, some reply.
But what you will uncover today
Are the secrets of the Magi."


Almost everything was made of steel--the floor, the walls, the ceiling and the levels above and below her. The doors were made of so much more. To the uninvited presence, the doors were walls themselves--impenetrable and indestructible. They have kept intruders away very effectively since the day they were made. They have kept the secret of extreme power locked up within--the secret of the highly technologically advanced Empire on the face of the planet.

And yet, on that fateful night, the door opened to the uninvited with but a mention of its name.

"Sub-seven D," whispered the female intruder. The door in front of her opened almost instantly with a unified hiss of the hydraulics. The locking mechanism behind the door clapped so loud that it startled her. The sound echoed back through the dark and empty corridor. Her heart raced.

"Don’t worry. Nobody heard it," assured an unseen presence with an odd-sounding female voice that only the intruder could hear.

The young woman took a deep breath of relief. Whoever the presence was, she trusted it fully. The girl walked into the darkened facility that the door hid from prying eyes so carefully for many unbroken years. Her green eyes would soon be witnesses to the wonders that the "Devil’s Laboratory" held.

She wore black coveralls for stealth. A black mask covered her face save her eyes and mouth. Strapped to her back and shoulders was a small black bag, the contents of which were a mystery.

The room was huge but very dim. The intruder looked around her, marveling at the huge machinations at work. At the very center of the lab was a tall column covered with tiny red lights that blinked incessantly. The column hummed with strong electrical current as it slowly rotated. Along the walls were huge cylindrical glass drums like vats for large amounts of chemicals. Most of them were empty as she noticed, but some of them contained clear, bubbling liquid and shadowy specimens within. The tops of the drums were sealed.

Thick cables of different colors ran carelessly across the floor in different directions. Some of them clearly linked the rotating column and the vats together. Littered all around were workstations. Most of them were powered down at this time of night, but some seemed to have been left active. Faint static noises came from different directions. To her relief, there were no signs of trouble.

The metal door closed behind her with a familiar hiss and a loud clap of the locking mechanism. This startled her again, but unlike the first time it didn’t worry her as much.

"Proceed to the western exit at once. Long exposure to the radiation level of the room could be fatal to anybody who is not wearing a type-four bio-radiation suit," instructed the unseen accomplice.

The girl hurried as directed, carefully stepping over the cables. She passed several of the glass vats that contained various specimens. She noticed that they were different kinds of animals in some kind of a stasis. Some of them were impossible to identify with a quick glance. She did not take any chances to stop and try.

She reached the locked door of the western side of the facility. It was as big as the previous one. The girl looked above the door and read the stenciled sign.

"Sub-seven D-west," she read aloud.

The door opened again emitting the same hissing sounds and claps of the locking mechanism. This time she was fully prepared. The door slid open revealing a brightly illuminated room. She quickly stepped inside and closed the door behind her. The floor was different. It was tiled white like the walls and ceiling. Against the southern wall were tall, gray featureless boxes. Opposite them were lockers and various kinds of protective headgears from boots, to gloves, to helmets. She assumed that they were for the people who worked in the other room with the high radiation level.

"I’m in," the girl reported.

"Good. But remember what I told you. From now on I have no complete control over the security measures of the area," said the accomplice through an earpiece.

"I remember. Just tell me where to go."

"Take the other exit."

The girl quickly saw the door opposite of where she came in from. It was a normal looking door made of strong wood with a thick glass window that allowed her to see what was behind it. She strode over to it and peered through the window. Behind the door was another steel-clad corridor. She looked at the knob that opened the door. A keypad was installed beside it. Apparently, an access code was needed.

"Access code," she said simply.

"Searching…" said the voice. After a moment the voice recited the code. "5-4-2-3-1-0"

The girl punched in the access code. A confirming beep was heard, and the lock clicked open. She turned the knob, and the door swung open allowing her to leave the locker room. She felt like she was back where she came from because of the metal surroundings.

"Go south. Enter third door on the right."

The girl moved more quietly than before because she was not sure whether anybody else was in the area. Before, her accomplice could tell her with accuracy about the position of the guards in patrol, but now her partner in crime could not determine that. Not while she was in the highly restricted area.

She reached the door that was like the one before except this time it didn’t have a keypad for access code. She turned the knob and just entered without a whit of trouble. The room was utterly dark, but was drowned by the humming of various machinations that were oddly distorted. The sounds echoed horribly and reverberated all together into a unified droning note. Above that was a distinct rhythmic sound. One would have to shout above the sound to be heard by another human being within ten feet. Despite this fact, the girl was able to hear her guide quite clearly.

"You are on a plank. Don’t wander off without switching the lights on," the voice said.

The girl felt the wall for a switch of some sort. She found a cold metal box with a lever that was pointing down. Taking the risk after a deep breath, she pushed it up. A chain of hanging light bulbs illuminated the catwalk as well as her immediate surroundings. The catwalk hung from the ceiling with strong metal chains that looked treacherous. She clutched at the handlebars tightly when she realized that something was still missing even after the lights were turned on--the bottom. She noticed that the catwalk ran across a manmade chasm that stretched down only as far as the illumination could reach. The droning noises seemed to be coming from below. A strange and faint, green glow could sometimes be seen from below also. Above her was a gigantic propeller that seemed to be the source of the rhythmic sound. Warm air came from below.

"Cross the plank to exit."

The girl summoned up her courage to take the first step. The catwalk slightly swung sideways. The girl continued carefully until she reached a similar door. The door opened at a turn of the knob. She went through it and found herself in another darkened facility, but it was much quieter this time.

"I’m in another dark room. What do I do?" she asked her partner.

"This is it. Turn on the lights, and plant the devices then get out of there the same way you got in. Make haste. You cannot stay here very long."

The girl unmasked herself. Her blond hair fell on her shoulders, framing her delicate face. From her looks alone, one would place her in between the age of seventeen to twenty. Her green eyes revealed an inherent gentleness and intelligence. It also reflected fear and tension at the moment. She was wearing a small earpiece on her right ear and a tiny microphone around her neck, worn like a necklace. With them, she was able to communicate with her unseen helper.

She removed her backpack and opened it, drawing a black cylindrical object from it. She twisted the top of the object, and the object glowed like a lamp. She held it up before her to navigate her way around. She was in a room that was as big as the one with the rotating column and the vats, but this time she was surrounded by seemingly inactive computer consoles situated against the walls. Cables still run across the floor from the inactive consoles to odd-looking glass pods hanging from a support beam at the ceiling in rows, barely touching the metal floor. She regarded the pods with curiosity. Just like the vats of liquid and animal specimens in the previous room, the pods were also filled with clear bubbling liquid. Moreover, the pods contained odd-shaped figures. The pods were bigger than the vats, and the creatures inside were obviously larger.

The girl held the lamp in front of one of the pods, but the thick rounded glass only reflected the glare back making it even more difficult to make out the contents of the pods.

"Have you found the panel?" the voice asked.

"N-not yet," she answered, turning away from the pods and walking to the nearest corner of the room.

The corner was empty except for a metal plating covering something in the wall. The girl opened the plating that turned out to be an accessible panel. It revealed a very intricate web of wires and cables connected to even more mind-boggling devices.

"I found it," the girl said in a whisper.

"You know what to do," the voice said.

The girl drew a couple of devices from her backpack. They were rectangular. Her hands went through the web of wires and reached for two similarly shaped devices. She held one tight and disconnected all the wires that were linked to it. She replaced the device with her own, reconnecting the wires back in the same order. She did the same for the second device. When the switch was done, she placed the stolen devices in her backpack and closed the panel again.

"It’s done!" the girl reported gladly.

"Good. It will take me approximately three minutes to integrate myself into that facility’s system. Get out of there now, Branford" the voice urged her.

The girl immediately went on her way. She was halfway into the rows of pods when--


Chapter 2

Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic