The Terra Episode Chapter 16
Tina returned to consciousness with a scream that mightve woken up the dead. Unfortunately, her present condition was far worse. She was in pain; a kind of pain she had never felt before. It was the kind that could only be felt by the mind but not the body. It was pure fright made a hundred times more intense. It was a feeling of being locked in damp, dark cell made simply unbearable. It was the kind that made people wake up with a start from their nightmares, or the kind that made them refuse to fall asleep again. Madness was the only possible way out. But like death, it was no longer her choice. Like Kefka said, it was not even a matter of will.
She couldnt move a muscle at will. Her eyes stared straight at the bare wall. She came back to a stable state of awareness after a few seconds. The pain had dissipated at the same time she stopped screaming or rather, at the same time she stopped trying to scream.
Guardian? Guardian, are you there? Nobody answered back. She didnt know what to do. She had absolutely no control over her own body anymore. Not the blinking of her eyes nor the pace of her breathing. She was nothing more than an uninvited entity trapped in an empty shell--a slave in her own body. She wondered why she even thanked Guardian for preserving her consciousness. The experience was intensely frustrating. She wanted to call out a name to help her, but she was utterly alone now. She remembered Guardian telling her that she would no longer have contact with her. Even if she had somebody to depend on she still would not be able to call that person. What was more terrifying that she learned quickly was the fact that even though her very thoughts and emotions were intent upon crying and sobbing, her body would never enact. Not a drop of tear appeared in her eyes or a muscle that constituted a frown flinched on her face. Her lungs forced no sobs, and her throat never swallowed out of fright.
The experience was maddening, and time lumbered by so slowly. It was torture. In her field of vision only a small area at the very center was clear. The outer rim was blurry. Her hearing still worked, however, but she had lost the ability to only concentrate on a sound amidst many others. Her tactile sense was more sensitive to almost all stimuli. This she noticed as her right hand held the cold steel hilt of her sword.
Her sword was drawn, and she just realized this. She could not explore her surroundings with her eyes, and yet she knew that she was back in her own quarters.
Finally, a movement! Without having the ability to do anything else, she was left to wonder and dread what command Kefka had given her to accomplish a treacherous deed. Her head turned to her left, and her eyes focused on the drawer of her unadorned table. She moved quickly towards it and opened it with deliberate carelessness that the whole drawer fell to the floor with its contents. A black box was revealed. She opened it and took out the contents. They were the Esperizium necklace and the earrings. Though, it was not the time to be concerned about small things, she was rather glad that she had the necklace with her.
Tina couldnt help but be amazed as well at the fact that her body moved as agilely as it would with her total control. It was as though her body had been given a new and different soul that had pushed hers aside and imprisoned to witness everything as part of a great irony against her. Tina stopped before the small rectangular mirror on the wall that was barely big enough to see the reflection of her face. She saw herself through her dead, staring green eyes. It was a most frightful sight for her to also see the golden headband that was the Slave Crown prototype. Her face was clean. She expected to see herself dirty with blood and scratches from her attempted escape. She dropped the sword carelessly on the floor and started to wear the necklace around her delicate neck. The coldness of the metal band was again intensified by her sense of touch. It felt painful to her as though it burned her skin. And even though she felt the pain not a muscle twitched as reflex. It was a pain she was forced to bear and that could not be relieved by even in the slightest involuntary muscle movement, a short gasp, or a wince.
Her fingers worked to put the earrings on. At this time, she had no power to protest. Tina tried again to regain control of her body. The same pain that woke her up returned to torture her ego. It seemed as though any attempt to reconnect herself with her stolen body was being violently impeded. Again, her only choice was to yield.
Her eyes focused on the dropped sword on the floor. This quick movement of her head gave her a quick glimpse of what she was wearing. It was a short red dress she had never seen before decorated by embroidered flower designs all over. Around her waist was a pink-purple sash held in place by an elegantly decorated leather belt. She wore matching red sleeves that werent part of the dress itself. Equally decorated were bronze shoulder plates. If it werent intricately designed they wouldve looked out of place. She wore a pair of almost-clear stockings with thin purple lines of flirtatious patterns. The ensemble was completed with a matching pair of feminine, brass-toed boots patterned over the red-centered, parallel color of her dress. Reaching down to retrieve her sword she also noticed that she was wearing a metal band around her left wrist.
Nobody she knew would ever recognize her as Tina Branford. She almost didnt.
For what seemed like an eternity, she stood up straight, still staring at her reflection in the mirror with her sword in hand. She remained motionless until the lights in her room went out. As though taking it as a signal, Tina hurried out of her quarters and ran out the building towards a clear back alley that led to one of the Magitek Facilities, just a couple of blocks from the ruined facility.
It was the start of Kefkas plan.
"Shes on the move, Master," Tayan reported from atop one of the Bronze Fortresss tower with a spy scope in hand.
"Good," mumbled Kefka. "Tell the others to keep an eye out for her. She is not to be discovered just yet."
"Yes, master. Should I alert the M-Facility team as well?"
"Are they still in there?" Kefka asked angrily.
"Yes, master," Tayan calmly answered.
"Then tell them to get out of there! And remind them not to leave a trace."
Tayan left the spy scope by the window and picked up a communication device. "M-Facility team, you are running late! Power up the Magitek and leave immediately. Leave no mark. Your failure is your doom," Tayan said darkly.
A raspy voice answered back, "Understood, Chosen Mage."
Kefka picked up the spy scope and used it to watch a different structure below. It was Warehouse 5--the place where Captain Wells was supposed to assemble his troops and a few others. Kefka grinned maliciously.
"Give me the comm device," he ordered. Tayan handed him the small rectangular device that he was just using to contact the Devouts. Kefka punched in a combination of numbers, and then spoke in a loud and clear voice.
"This is Kefka. I have spotted the escaped prisoner, Tina Branford, going inside Warehouse 5. Lock it down and sound the alarm. I repeat. Tina Branford is inside Warehouse 5. Sound the alarm and dispatch an assault force!"
It took only about five seconds for the alert to be sounded all over the Bronze Compound. But it was enough to get the attention of the majority of the soldiers in the search party deployed in the look out for Tina Branford.
Kefka turned of the long range communication device and laughed.
"Captain Wells is in for the surprise of his life!"
All were chatting now, given the command to be at ease, waiting patiently for the interrogation to begin. All but Captain Wells. He sat waiting on one of the steel reinforced crates. He knew not what the boxes were there for, and he didnt care. He grew angrier every minute. He was never the man to waste time. And he has decided not to start today.
Wells jumped to his feet and was about to dismiss his troops when an indoor siren blared, startling everyone inside, including himself. His momentary distraction was replaced by his readiness and alertness.
"Exit the building!" he instructed everyone above the loud siren.
It was all too late, though. Something they hadnt expected happened. It started with the only exit, automatically locking itself. Then steel blinds dropped down to cover every unreachable window, sealing every possible exit. They were locked inside. The troops started looking around in confusion. The lights dimmed down until only the red emergency lights were left.
"What in the blazes is going on?" Captain Wells asked aloud. He pushed his way past the soldiers until he reached the door. Double reinforced metal beams latched together tightly as a secondary locking mechanism. He punched in a key combination to try and override the lock, but the door answered only with a buzz. He tried it again but to no avail. In frustration, he took a step back and kicked the door with all his might. It was a futile action. He cursed out loud in frustration.
"Will somebody please kill that siren?!" he bellowed. A few soldiers who heard him looked around for a switch box of some sort, but the siren stopped blaring before they could even find it. All that was left of the alert warning was the red emergency lights and the murmurs of the soldiers still in bafflement. "Everybody, shut up!" Wells cried furiously. "Find something we can use to break this door open. Check those boxes. Now!"
"They are gathering outside the warehouse, master. They will attempt to initiate contact in a few minutes," Tayan reported as he spied through the scope.
"And Terra?" Kefka asked.
Tayan switched view towards a darkened, barely illuminated area behind different structure not far from the warehouse. "She should be making her entry momentarily. The M-Facility team all reported out. They are clear."
"Now the fun begins," Kefka said with a giggle.
Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic