The Terra Episode Chapter 2

The Encounter

By Magicite54

"Terra…" a voice said in a whisper. She was sure that it didn’t come from the earpiece that she was wearing.

The girl stopped dead in her tracks and spun around suddenly, startled. Her eyes scanned her surroundings. Besides the shadows, she only saw the reflected glare of her lamp from the glass pods.

"Guardian? Did you just say something?" the girl asked in a soft, nervous whisper.

"Negative," her partner answered.

The girl was about to turn to leave the room when she heard the voice again.


The girl gasped. Her eyes widened and were both alert for a sign of movement. There was no mistaking it. She did hear something.

"Guardian, I think somebody’s here," she whispered to her partner through the microphone.

"Then I suggest that you leave now."

Help me, Terra, the mysterious whispering voice said again.

"Who-who are y-you?" the girl asked the unseen presence in a trembling voice.

"Branford? Whom are you talking to?" the girl’s partner asked through her earpiece, but the girl ignored the question.

Terra. I… need… your help, whispered the male voice again. The whisper sounded so clear that it could not have been said too far away from her. Whoever was saying it was very close, and yet the girl could not see anything. Free me.

"Who are you? Where are you?" asked Tina, not afraid about being heard by the soldiers she had so carefully avoided in coming to that place.

"Branford, get out of there now!" the girl’s partner urgently said through her earpiece.

You must help me escape. You must help us escape, the mystery voice said with urgency. Oddly, the girl had a feeling that she was hearing the voice from inside her head.

"You mistake me for somebody else. I’m not Terra," the girl answered back.

"Branford! Don’t listen to whatever you’re hearing! Get out of the room now. You’re in danger!" the accomplice said.

Have you forgotten, Terra? Have you forgotten who you are?

The girl was now intrigued. The girl raised her head and stared into one of the pods. She still couldn’t make out what was inside, but for some strange reason, she felt that the voice was coming from behind the glass.

"Why do you ask that?" she asked softly. "Why? Who am I exactly?"

"I will tell you who you are, Tina Branford, but you must get out of the room. Something in there is confusing you!" yelled the accomplice.

Tina removed the earpiece and held it tight in her gloved hand.

You are Terra. You are the Gate Sentry. The voice answered enigmatically.

Tina shook her head. "My name is Tina Branford. Rank: Second Class of the Third Infantry. I am no protector. And you… whoever you are… you are just confusing me."

You are confused, yes. You have forgotten. Your human upbringing has made you weak. It’s not your fault, the voice said in gentle tones.

"My human upbringing? What are you talking about?"

But you’ve come back. You’ve come back to save us.

"What are you? What am I?"

"Branford! The soldiers are coming!" said the accomplice through the unworn earpiece, her voice sounding tiny.

"Hold them back, Guardian. I know you can," the girl told her accomplice.

"Unacceptable! You are jeopardizing your mission. Remember our deal! I keep you safe for as long as you keep to the end of your bargain! I will abandon you if you do not exit the room this instant!" threatened the accomplice.

Tina ignored the threat.

"I don’t have much time. Tell me who or what I am!"

In response, a dim light illuminated the inside of the pod she was staring into. It revealed a humanoid creature, but it was far from human. The creature was larger than the average human with black and brown fur covering its entire body. The creature was very muscular and had clawed hands. The head was a fearsome sight. Its face was covered with short fur making the creature look feral in nature, and it had long black hair and huge, thick horns that curved back. A mask covered the mouth and nose to help the creature breathe. The eyes were closed as the creature just floated inside in a relaxed state.

A computer console behind her activated itself and began beeping and flashing various cryptic images on its display. The console, she noticed, had a cable attached to the same pod.

This cannot be! If you do not remember yourself or us then it is not yet the time. We will wait for your return. Go! I’m afraid I have inadvertently alerted our foes of your presence.

"Please tell me! Who am I? What am I?!" Tina shouted, not caring whether somebody would hear her.

The lights in the other pods turned themselves on as well as the computer consoles they were attached to. The creatures inside the other pods were shaped differently. Some were humanoid, and yet some were shaped like crossbred animals. Others still, didn’t look like they had physical forms at all. Yet, for some strange reason, she knew that they were alike.

Then the lights of the entire facility turn on. No shadow was left for her to hide under. It was time for her to leave for the soldiers were coming.

Tina wore the earpiece again and her mask. She ran back to the catwalk and crossed it quickly.

"Stop!" her accomplice said. She did so in the middle of the catwalk. "Drop the backpack. Get rid of the evidence now!"

Without giving it a thought Tina threw her backpack containing the stolen devices into the chasm, and then she herself continued on through the exit.

She was back in the metal corridor. She turned right and ran as fast as she could to return to the locker room where she had gone through before. From almost every direction, she could hear the Imperial soldiers running to find the intruder. She reached the door to the locker room and gave the knob a twist.

To her surprise, the alarm suddenly sounded, and a red light right above her flashed wildly. She had forgotten to enter the access code.

"Guardian!" she called to her accomplice. "Open the door!"

"I can’t. I don’t have control over the sector yet," replied the accomplice.

Tina heard the Imperial troops closing in from behind her, following the sound of the alarm and the sight of the red flashes. She couldn’t stay there any longer. She started to run towards the opposite direction. The Imperial guards saw her in her black coverall.

"There’s the intruder! After him!"

"Guardian, I’m heading east. Show me another exit!" Tina shouted.

"T-intersection. Turn right!" instructed Guardian.

Tina saw the T-intersection ahead. She ran around the corner to the right as Guardian told her to do, but she stopped when she saw a small roaming automaton blocking the way. It was a robot programmed to do patrols in the area. It was obviously a formidable obstacle.

"There’s a Magitek drone blocking the way!" she said to Guardian.

"Give me the model!" instructed Guardian.

"Halt! Identify yourself!" the robot said as it pointed a nasty looking blaster at her. She could hear the soldiers who were after her getting closer.

"Uh… Silver Drone… model GT-590," she told Guardian.

"Invalid identification," answered the drone menacingly. "This is a restricted area. Please step away."

"Alpha-seven-seven-niner," said Guardian.

"Alpha-seven-seven-niner!" echoed Tina.

"Identification verified. Awaiting orders," replied the drone as it stepped aside.

Tina walked behind the robot and gave it a new order. "Don’t let anybody else get past you," she commanded the robot.

"Understood," the robot replied as it assumed its position.

Tina continued to run through the corridor. Shortly, there were shouts behind her and short bursts of explosions as the drone fought off the Imperial soldiers. Her command worked; it should slow the soldiers down.

Tina reached a door at the very end with a keypad situated near the knob.

"Access code."

"5-4-2-3-1-0" replied Guardian.

The door opened leading Tina into a clean room full of shelves that held thousands of records. The room was clear so she simply looked around for another exit. A louder explosion meant that the sentry robot had been subdued. It didn’t buy her enough time as she expected. She reached for the other exit and kicked it open when she saw that it required another access code. The door was weak so it flew open, but another alarm blared betraying her position. She was in another branching corridor of the metal labyrinth. Being clueless to where she was in the secret facility, she ran aimlessly, taking random turns around corners to lose her pursuers.

"Guardian, I’m lost! Can you see me yet?" Tina asked, clutching the listening device with her hand.

"In a moment. Just lose them for a few more seconds," instructed Guardian.

Tina ran around another corner, and she bumped into two Imperial soldiers who were going the other direction. The three of them were sent sprawling onto the ground. Tina scrambled up her feet and started to run back to the opposite direction. She stopped when she saw her pursuers closing in. She decided to get past the two Imperial soldiers whom she bumped into. Fortunately, for her they were still on the ground, dazed. She slid past them quickly and hurried away.

The two soldiers picked themselves up and joined pursuit. They were the closest to her. Tina made another turn around a corner that turned out to be a big mistake. She was trapped. In front of her was a big metal door that could only be opened manually. A wheel was in the middle of the door, and it needed to be turned to open it. She didn’t think she had enough time, but she tried it anyway.

Tina tugged at the wheel counterclockwise, but it didn’t budge. She put her weight into it, and the wheel started rotating but very slowly. Alas, the two Imperial soldiers caught up with her. They drew closer, more slowly now, holding their swords up to apprehend the masked intruder.

She leaned against the big door like a cornered animal. She held her right hand in front of her bidding the soldier to stop.

"I’m warning you. Don’t come any closer!" she warned revealing to them her feminine voice.

"Don’t make this hard on yourself. You are trapped and weaponless!" the lead soldier said as he approached her carefully, holding his sword up menacingly.

The man was right. Tina was weaponless. However, she was not defenseless.

"Fire!" she shouted.

A blast of angry flame burst toward the lead soldier, knocking him off his feet and back towards the other soldier who stood utterly bewildered. The soldier moaned in pain. The fire scorched his uniform and nothing more. Tina took advantage of this moment of surprise by running past them again, but the second soldier reacted quickly this time. She tackled Tina to the floor wrestled with her, hoping to pin her long enough for the other soldiers to come to his aid.

Tina kicked the soldier in the groin, and the soldier released her. She jumped up on her feet again and made a dash for it. The soldier sprang forward in another attempt to tackle her but fell short, toppling over his singed companion.

She ran around another corner. The soldiers were so much closer now as she could hear them shout.

"Guardian! Help me!" she gasped. She was out of breath.

She stopped once more as she saw another soldier ahead, blocking the corridor. She turned around to find another way, but she saw the Imperial soldiers who have been pursuing her from the start running towards her. She faced the lone soldier again. She’d stand a greater chance of getting past him than the others. She charged forward. The lone soldier drew his sword and braced himself.

"Fire!" she cried. A ball of fire flew towards the frightened soldier. The soldier ducked to the ground. The fireball flew past over his head, hitting a wall instead. When she got close to the soldier, she kicked him hard in the chest. The man dropped his sword, but he retorted with a strong shove as he stood up. Tina was thrown back for she was no match to the soldier in terms of strength.

"Guardian!" she cried for help.

The soldier went for her throat. He was trying to strangle her. Tina fought hard to loosen the soldier’s grip.

"Kill him!" Guardian shouted through her earpiece.

Tina’s magic was indeed powerful enough to kill with but a word, but she was hesitant to do so.

"Guardian!" she screamed, hoping that her accomplice could find a better way to save her.

"Use your magic, Branford!" Guardian barked.

Tina started to see stars. The man’s hands around her throat were already doing its damage. She would pass out real soon unless something was done. Finally, she hesitated no longer for it was now a matter of survival.

"Fire," she breathed almost inaudibly.

The soldiers’ hands and arms began to burn. Tina was able to breathe again as the soldier released her, screaming in panic. Tina gasped for air and coughed several times. She felt dizzy, and the world around her slowly came back to focus. She felt strong hands seize her by the arms. The Imperial soldiers have finally caught up with her.

The soldier on fire still screamed on the floor fighting off the flames that magically appeared on his arms. The other soldiers helped put it out.

Tina was forced against the wall while her hands were being cuffed.

"Guardian, help me!" she said aloud. She knew that the soldiers heard her, but they had no clue as to whom she was talking to.

"I can see you now, Branford. I’m sending help," Guardian promised.


Chapter 3

Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic