The Terra Episode Chapter 4

The Devil in the Lab

By Magicite54

Kefka was an odd figure in Vector. He wore the strangest of clothes everyday, looking like a court jester or a clown. That night he was wearing a red and black garment that was puffy on the shoulders. The garment covered his lower body like a heavy robe, revealing only his black pointed moccasin-like shoes. A purple sash was tied around his waist and brightly colored scarf was wrapped around his neck.

Every inch of his skin that was exposed was painted white by some kind of a make-up cream. He had red markings on his face, particularly around his eyes, looking like bloodstains and scars. The markings were too deliberate, though, to be real scars. He had no eyebrows. Instead, two thin red markings of the same shade as the others were drawn above his blue eyes where the eyebrows ought to be. His lips were very thin and seemed to be colored with the same shade as the markings on his face. Without effort, his lips revealed a slight twisted smile. He had strong bony facial features revealed only when positioned at an angle to a light source. His light blue eyes were penetrating. One would think that the marks on his face were to draw the looker to his eyes and entrap them with his scrutinizing stare. His golden hair was kept back and held into a style with a feathered hair ornament only supposed to be worn by women. A long bright and colorful feather and blue and red beads were the main décor of the hair ornament. He wore earrings on both his ears. They were capsule-shaped crystal earrings that hung horizontally in a short chain. His nose was pointed like a parrot’s beak, but it wasn’t long.

Despite of how he looked and dressed like, he was a highly respected figure in Vector. Perhaps the word feared would be more accurate. None dared make fun of how he looked. None would even ask why. He was the Emperor’s advisor to almost all of the Capital’s affairs. That alone explained his authority and power. He was a calculating tactician and a merciless foe. Even the Empire soldiers feared him. He was hated as well by many for he usually operated like a loose cannon.

It was assumed, however, that he dressed eccentrically because he was a leader of a cult. Very little was known of the cult. It seemed to be very secretive that even the members were all of unknown origin. The members all wore hooded cloaks of different colors. Their faces were also covered with the same white makeup that Kefka used and painted with their own markings on their faces. The purpose of the cult was a secret as well. It seemed to be very exclusive. Citizens of Vector recalled no memories of the cult being officially or publicly established. They’ve seen nobody recruiting for members or anybody joining. The members just seemed to grow in numbers like mushrooms in an unattended garden.

There were guesses as to what the purpose of the cult was. Some thought that they worshipped the gods of the undead. Other’s claimed that they sacrificed humans at their altar. Of course, they were just rumors. Nobody even knew where the cult members met or gathered. Devouts never interacted with outsiders.

Vector civilians called the members Fanatics. The cult members called themselves the Devouts, and their center of authority seemed to be focused on Kefka. People wondered whether Emperor Gestahl was a member of the cult, but evidences seemed to disprove that. The Emperor, however, was tolerant of the cult and remained neutral in that matter. What was formally declared between the Emperor and Kefka was the simple fact that Kefka was an advisor of Emperor Gestahl. Kefka had no inherent official military authority for being an advisor, but he was so influential that it didn’t matter. If he could convince the Emperor of something, then the power would be directly granted to Kefka temporarily that could easily overrule other authorities.

This has caused great friction between military officials operating under the rule of the emperor such as General Leo Cristophe and General Bernard Fencross. Most of the time that Kefka was given special authority, even the generals were subject to him and never was Kefka a subject to the generals because the Emperor favored him most of the time over others.

Kefka was not at all pleased to hear the alarming news about the attack in the Devil’s Lab. It was one of his most frequented places and a keeper of the greatest Vector secret. He walked through the bustling corridors, ignoring the soldiers running about in chaos. The alarm still sounded throughout the facility. He was headed for the heart of the complex in the most restricted of places. He knew that he would have no problem getting through security for his presence alone was enough authorization.

A soldier running around the corner bumped into him all of a sudden. Annoyed, Kefka grabbed the soldier by the shoulders and shoved him to the side and continued to walk. The soldier said nothing for he was afraid. The other soldiers who saw this made sure that they didn’t make the same mistake.

After what seemed like forever, Kefka reached a huge double door that was locked with various security mechanisms that required multiple security checks. "Kefka!" he shouted his name at the door. The door made noises as the different locking mechanisms unlocked themselves after his voice was recognized, and his presence was verified by different scanners nearby.

He went through the door, and immediately, the lights in the big room turned themselves on. He was in the same room that Tina was in just minutes ago. The capsules and the pods were there, though the lights inside them were turned off. Kefka, inspected the room with his scrutinizing eyes. Nothing seemed to have changed or been damaged. The only things that were different were the computers along the west wall. He was sure that they were supposed to be inactive, yet about a dozen of them were active.

He walked closer to one of them and inspected the data that was being processed on their displays. He frowned at this for he found something that only he and a chosen few could understand. He stared at the pods again and into the creatures within in the most suspicious manner.

"Tayan!" he shouted. His voice echoed within the room.

A Devout suddenly materialized out of nowhere right next to him. It was a man wearing a gray hooded cloak. His face was hidden in the shadow of his cloak.

"I am here, master," the Devout replied coolly.

Kefka still stared at the creatures within their stasis cells. The creatures weren’t moving and showed absolutely no sign of activity. "I want a verification of all the data from each of these computers. I want to know if the explosion has damaged any of the systems!"

"At once, Master!" replied the Devout.

"And then I want to know who did this!" Kefka hissed.

The Devout bowed down from his waist, and then left the room to fulfill his tasks. It seemed a lot for one person to do, but Kefka had complete trust in his second man.

Kefka still stared at the creatures with hatred. They didn’t seem to be showing any sign of activity, but he was almost sure that they were watching him.

"What are you up to?" he thought out loud. There was no response from any of the capsules, and yet Kefka stood there looking at them from one stasis cell to the next.

Then his ugly frown turned into a twisted smile of triumph. He started to laugh, throaty and softly at first, then it gradually erupted into a maniacal, high-pitched cackle that echoed in the room and out through the corridors beyond the room’s exit. It was the laugh of a madman. A belly laugh originating from some sick and nefarious, private joke.

He was teary-eyed and was still clutching at his belly, sniggering still at the unshared joke when he said something that was barely intelligible. "You… you are not… leaving this place! You are here… to serve me! Whether… or not… you are willing! All of you… will… be… sucked… dry!"

With that Kefka laughed even louder than before. He even staggered back and had to lean on something to keep himself from hitting the floor. The laugh was cruel and sadistic. Nobody in Vector, not even the emperor or his own Devouts, could’ve listened to the laugh and not flinch. It was the kind that brought chills up everybody’s spine. And at that moment, even the seemingly inanimate creatures inside the stasis cells were sure to have been affected by it--that maybe it struck fear or the feeling of hopelessness.


Chapter 5

Final Fantasy 6 Fanfic