Legacy of the Past Chapter 7
Behind The Colored Eyes
"My story doesn't start five years ago at Niblelheim but eight years ago when I was eleven and still normal. I lived with my father, mother and younger sister. My sisters name was Tara, my mom name was Krysti and my dad's name was Naden." Karta started. A silence passed as Naden took in what she said.
"Wait your dad's name was Naden ? And you named me after him ?" Naden paused and felt his eyes grow wide, "Oh my " No one said a word, Karta decided to continue with her story with or without the support of her comrades.
"I was living in Kalm at the time when things started to go wrong. Actually there was no inn at that time. The Shinra had decided to put a lab by my town but the townspeople didn't not react to it very well. When they first came into the town I was outside my house learning how to sword fight with my father "
"Left! Right! Stab! That's it Karta, great!" Karta's father exclaimed as their swords clashed and clanged. Karta didn't reply to his compliment, she just waited for him to let down his guard before she made her finishing move. She spun around swinging her sword up towards his father's face knocking it out of his hand. While the sword flew through the air, Karta brought her foot under her father feet knocking him down. She then reached up, grabbed his sword in the air, put a foot on his chest to hold him put and pointed both swords at his neck. His eyes opened wide and he saw his oldest daughter staring at him. "Holy God " he whispered. Karta smiled and shoved her sword into its sheath. She then put out a hand and pulled her father to his feet. "Karta how did you ?" he looked at her in a strange way. Shaking it off he glanced over his daughter's shoulder at moving bodies behind him. Karta made a face and turned around. A dozen Shinra troops were marching through the middle of town. they seemed to be escorting some people in lab coats. Karta watched them for a long time until she came in eye contact with one of the scientists. He was short and hunched over; with his beady black eyes he watched her back in a way, glaring at her. Without taking her eyes off the scientist, Karta spoke,
"What's Shinra doing here father?" she asked. He didn't reply right away, he too watched the moving Shinra body.
"They're building a lab right outside the town but I'm not going to let them. The town will not let them." He paused, "Come on Karta, let's go inside." Karta's father gestured for his daughter to come inside with him. Karta didn't follow him but watched the scientists with keen interest. Why her town ? She wondered.
"Karta, why is everyone in town so angry?" Tara asked in her small, childlike voice. Karta glanced over at her younger sister and stared into her curious eyes. She had curly brown hair and bright hazel eyes; she looked exactly like her father. Their mother, Krysti, had long, fire red hair and deep green eyes. Karta looked like her mom and Tara looked like their father. Their father, Naden, had short brown hair and light hazel eyes. Karta gave her sister a small smile and looked back out her bedroom window.
"They need a place to put a lab that's far away from Midgar but close enough that they don't have to spend a lot of money on transportation. The closest town is here " Karta replied. The last few days, at all hours there would be soldiers walking in and out of the town, working non-stop without a break. She sighed and rested her head on her hands. They sat in silence together until their mother's voice rang out through the house.
"Karta! Tara! Come on down girls, time for dinner!" Tara jumped up and ran from the room while Karta loomed behind, moving slower than her sister did. Tara always had more energy than Karta did; Tara had always been much more energetic about new things and life. That was just the way she was and that's the way things were. Karta knew that deep down she had a kind soul and caring personality. She just chose not to embrace it. Karta smiled to herself as she walked down the rest of the stairs to the kitchen where the rest of her family was waiting for her. Karta made brief eye contact with each of her family members, but held her fathers gaze for a moment. There was something in his eyes that made her shudder and it took a lot to make her shudder. He seemed so angry at someone or something that if it could happen, steam would come out of his ears. Karta gave her father a look and sat down at the table. Tara knew that something wasn't right in her family but she didn't know what it was. She shrugged it off, as did her mother, but Karta glared at her father, trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
Dinner went by with little or no conversation; no one was in the mood to really talk about the little things. Karta made eye contact with her father a few times, but when they did it was brief and he never held it very long. At first, she just thought that something might have gone wrong at work, at least that's what she was trying to convince herself. After dinner, Karta went up to her room and got her sword like she did every day. This was the small thing in life that made Karta truly happy. She ran down the stairs and burst into her father's study. He was staring out the window at nothing. She raised an eyebrow and walked over to him. She knew that this was one of the things that he always loved doing no matter what kind of mood he was in.
"Dad, its time for my lesson." Karta declared, looking at him impatiently. He glanced over at her, his eyes were dark and angry, and not their usual happy, bright eyes as they always were. They were so dark they almost made Karta step back in fear.
"Not today Karta. I have things that I need to get done first. Maybe later in the week, just not tonight." With those words he stood up and left the room brushing past his daughter. Karta stood frozen for a moment unable to comprehend what had just happened. Her father had never once canceled a lesson in her entire life. Something was definitely wrong
Karta lay on her pack staring at the ceiling her mind wondering to all ends of the earth. She could faintly hear the gentle breathing of her sister in the bed next to her and the almost silent whisper of the wind outside her window. In her head sat many thoughts from the previous day. People in the town were cold and cruel. Children threw rocks at Shinra soldiers and local punks trashed their cars. Adults held protests and even the pets of Kalm held a certain despise for the presence of Shinra. As tempting as it was to join in the fight to run Shinra out of town, Karta was more interested in watching her father. His reactions to little things were hints that only she could see. The fact that he didn't keep up a conversation at dinner, the sudden drop in interest in teaching her how to fight, and the lack of patience. He was out a lot more, coming home late with his face full of sweat and ears burning red with anger. She had heard her parents talking about these changes, and at first, Karta's mother thought he was cheating but later found he had an alibi. A friend had told her mother that they saw him going to the secret meetings that all the older men were holding. Little things didn't seem to change the minds of Shinra and Karta feared that the group just might get violent. Or do something that a lot of people would regret. This frightened, her although she didn't want to show it to a soul.
Karta sighed and sat up; she glanced out her window at the high moon in the sky, hindered by the winter clouds. This was about the time her father would get home from the meeting, but she wasn't supposed to know that. Karta glanced down at the door beneath her window and saw a lean figure dragging a large trunk behind him. He put a key in the door and opened it and dragged the trunk through the doorway. Karta turned quickly away from the window and hopped off her bed silently. Tiptoeing out of her room making sure not to wake Tara, Karta crawled, silently, to the top of the stairs. Below her sat the foyer with the front door and her parents talking. Creeping down a little more, she could hear her mother talking in a worried tone.
"Naden, I never thought you would do something like this. This is crazy and not to mention dangerous for our family. Those Shinra people have a short fuse and I hope you aren't the lighter. Naden I " her mother stopped mid-sentence.
"Krysti, I know that this may seem crazy now but in the long run it will help us more than you can imagine. Karta and Tara should not grow up in a town where kids are becoming violent. I know Karta honey; she wants and is going to join the fight. I had to do something." Her father replied. Karta's mother let her head hang.
"Naden, breaking and entering a lab that is run by the most powerful company in the world is crazy. It's not even that part that gets to me it's the fact that you trashed the place and stole documents. "
"If you could have seen that place I know you would be thinking differently. Blood was smeared all over the tables and tools. There were body parts lying around and cages with the worst looking creatures you've ever seen. I looked in files and those mutates were human. These scientists, Hojo and Payne, are experimenting on humans! I can't just look away from what I've seen, those poor souls. I could see in their "eyes" that they were truly miserable." Karta's father took her mother into his arms and held her. "I have all the evidence I need in that trunk, pictures, files, blood stained lab coats, even a few limbs. I plan in going to Midgar tomorrow to talk to the President about all of this. When these scientists are exposed, they will be punished and forced to leave."
"But what if--" but her father shushed her by placing a finger over her lips.
"Everything will be fine." She smiled and they held each other for a moment and then walked into the living room arms around each other's waists. Karta sat for a moment, waiting until they were to the other side of the house. She crept down the rest of the stairs and to the trunk that sat in the foyer. Her mind had a debate about whether or not she should open it. One side of her head told her to leave it alone, to walk away and pretend she never even heard that conversation. But the other side of her head told her that she would die of curiosity if she didn't just look; she would never be able to sleep that night. Karta sighed and got down on her knees and looked at the latch, she didn't even realize that she had lifted it up until it was up. Taking a deep breath, Karta pushed the lid open and let her eyes glance down at the contents. It was as bad as she thought. On the top lay a folder an inch thick full of files, Karta lifted the folder out and placed it next to her. Next was a bloody lab coat, but calling it bloody was an understatement, it was drenched in blood and from the looks of it, it looked to her human blood. The lab coat came out and what she saw next made her grimace in disgust. At the bottom lay limbs from the poor souls that they had been taken from, a pale hand that was large and looked like it was from a young man. A tiny foot that was small enough to be a babies and other assorted limbs that she chose not to identify. But the smell from them being so old was terrible. They were rotting. Karta placed the lab coat back on top of the rotting limbs and sat all the way down, the files in her lap.
She wasn't too surprised when she opened it and out fell pictures, pictures that her father had taken. The first was of the lab, blood was spilled everywhere and cages lined the outside of the room. The next was a picture of a former human, the poor soul was horrible looking with their skin falling off, teeth that were long and sharp with their hair part of their very head. Karta felt like she was either going to throw up or burst out crying. Neither came and that wasn't much of a surprise to her. Not even bothering to look at the rest of the pictures, Karta moved on to the files. She flipped through them, looking at the pictures of the souls that no longer existed. There were so many people, some men, some women, some children, and some unborn and unnamed babies. But one picture caught her eye as she was flipping through. It was a picture of a dark haired Turk; it was an official picture so it was formal. "Why would a Turk be in these files?" she thought. Karta pulled the file out and placed the others to the side. She looked at the label at the top; the name read Vincent Valentine. The date read that Vincent was last experimented on twenty-two years ago. Karta opened the file and started to read the notes:
X Day X Month X Year
Foolish Turk, what a complete and utter fool. I still find it unbelievable that he made it so far in this world with his naïve mind. I now see that I did the right thing putting that fool out of his misery. But it wasn't like it didn't help me along in my research. Now I know how things will work out for my son, for my masterpiece. I couldn't just do random experiments on my son without knowing what the reactions would be. I needed a guinea pig so I could see what chemicals did what reaction. What better than my sworn enemy. The fact that this Turk was trying to stop my Lucrecia, my pet and my other guinea pig, to stop the experiments on my masterpiece. That Turk tried to convince my dear that what I was doing was wrong. Wrong, ha, I am never wrong. "She" has told me personally that I am her disciple, and I believe in her, for she is my love and my all. But as for Valentine, if he ever wakes from his sleep in the abandoned mansion basement, it will be too late. His love will be gone and I will have won.
Karta looked from the paper and titled her head; she felt a hint of sorrow for this Vincent Valentine. Sighing, she continued down the page.
X Day X Month X Year
I never doubt him for a moment, never I do. I am the one who does the dirty work but now as I flip through these files I see they are becoming more of a journal than scientific files. These are just the notes and memos we took as the things went on. I follow him wherever he goes and he follows "her," so in turn I follow her as well. I have yet to have direct contact with "her," but I will someday. But as for Valentine, I almost pity him, almost. He tried to stop something that he was incapable to stop. It was a suicide mission to say the least, thinking he could get in the way of something so great. The masterpiece will live on no matter what; he is the ultimate weapon and the ultimate god. My son or daughter which ever it will be in time will grow to watch this masterpiece love and conquer the world. To give back what we, as humans, deserve to avenge "her".
Karta's head shot up, where had she heard the names Hojo and Payne. The rest of the file was just charts and things that Karta couldn't understand. But those last names sat in the back of mind, she knew that this wasn't the first time she had heard them. It was at that moment that Karta heard her parents moving out of the living room to go to bed. As neatly as she could in a few seconds, Karta put everything back in the trunk, watching the file on Vincent Valentine blend with the rest of the people lost forever to science. Quietly shutting and locking the trunk, Karta turned and ran up the stairs as quiet as a cat. She burst in her room and shut the door behind her, her heart pounding. Heaving a sigh of relief, Karta sat down on her bed and looked out the window, racking her half-asleep brain for where she had heard those last names before. Karta glanced to her right and saw a burning light at the new lab. The place that never slept. Then it hit her; she knew where she had heard those names before. Simon Hojo was the lead scientist in the lab with his co-worker and assistant John Payne. Karta came to a personal conclusion that John Payne must be the son of Louis Payne. She fell back onto her bed, her eyes wide with fear; these men were blood thirsty and evil. Karta gulped, and her father messed with them. "This is going to be bad, very, very bad " Karta thought as her mind started to drift into oblivion, but before she could finally sleep, a small branch snapped outside and made her wide-awake. "That wasn't the sound a squirrel would make," she thought, "that was too " she sat up and looked out her window. Her fears were confirmed and her heart sank.
Naden Jewel rolled over and angrily stared at the clock next to his bed, it read 3:00am and the doorbell was ringing. Naden sat up and nudged his wife Krysti in the ribcage. She yawned and turned over and looked at him. "What is it Naden?" she said sleepily.
"Someone's at the door and there is no way I'm only getting up. You're coming with me," he said in a teasing voice. Krysti Jewel smiled and sat up in bed, both bodies let their feet down and put bathrobes on. Letting out a tired yawn, Naden opened the door for his wife and they both stumbled down the stairs still half-asleep. Naden looked at the trunk next to him and then, without hesitation, opened the door. He came face to face with a strange face in a lab coat, the mans black hair was thin and scrawny; his face was twisted in a strange expression. Thick glasses covered beady black eyes made them look three times as big. Under his lab coat he wore what seemed to be a black suit and a tie, a very formal outfit. He had a half smile almost when he saw Naden standing there. A little ways behind him stood another man, but a younger man. This young man had short, black, buzzed hair and deep brown eyes. He too wore a lab coat, but underneath was a T-shirt and jeans. But this young man looked maybe twenty years old at the most. He grinned when he saw Naden, his grin was cold and sent a chill down Mr. Jewel's back. It wasn't until that moment that he noticed the soldiers standing behind the two scientists. a lump formed in his throat. The older scientist finally spoke; his voice was dark and husky.
"Are you Naden Jewel?" he asked. Mr. Jewel gave this Shinra scientist a look and replied,
"Yes I am and may I ask who you are?" The scientist grinned and gave his younger co-worker a look. Through a sinister grin he said,
"My name is Professor Simon Hojo and my co-worker, friend and the son of my best friend standing behind me is Professor John Payne." He paused, "But let's just get right to the point of why we are here " Naden snorted,
"I wish you would." Professor Hojo glared at Naden and went back to talking.
"I know that it was you who broke into my lab. I know it was you who saw everything. And I know it was you who took pictures, lab coats and other evidence against myself and Professor Payne." He paused and glanced at Professor Payne as if telling him to speak. He did.
"Therefore you know it all, all the lives we're destroyed, all of the blood we have shed in the name of science. Let me tell you Mr. Jewel, breaking into our lab was the biggest mistake of your life. Now you know too much and we can't very well let you spill that to the world now can we?" Professor Payne's voice was deep but clear and on top of it all, he seemed to find all of this very amusing. Krysti clung to husband in terror, her mind thinking of one thing: the girls. Professor Payne came in eye contact with Krysti and smiled, then he glanced back to Naden.
"I will not let you hurt my family without a fight, I will fight you all with my fists and scream to wake the entire town." Naden said sternly. To Naden's surprise and disappointment, Professor Payne started to laugh. When he finally got his breath back he glared at Naden with an evil glow in his eyes, his mouth twisting into another evil smile.
"You won't put up a fight if your daughters lives are on the line." He declared. Krysti made a small gasp in terror at the very thought, but Naden stood tall.
"My daughters have nothing to do with this, they are safe in their rooms." Naden replied, he thought that was going to get them, but Professor Hojo just smiled.
"Are they?" with that he snapped his fingers and footsteps came from upstairs. Naden and Krysti turned around to see Tara walking down the stairs crying, a soldier behind her with a gun to her head. Next came Karta, she wasn't shaking, she wasn't even the least bit afraid of the gun itself. All she knew was that there was a soldier behind her with a gun to her head. She could feel the cold muzzle. Tara stopped crying when she saw her parents. She tried to run to them but a firm hand grabbed her and held her in her place.
"Mommy! Daddy! Help! What are these men doing?!" Tara cried out. The gun was now pressed against her temple and Tara knew that now was not the time to ask questions. Karta wasn't paying attention to her sister or even her parents, she had made eye contact with one of the scientists, the older one, and she knew who it was: Hojo. They held each other's gaze for a moment, Karta smiled to herself when she knew that he was touching her mind, she could feel it. But as soon as she did, she closed that door. Hojo's face was priceless for her; he looked as if no one had ever shut him out before. Karta smiled again, she loved having a will of iron. Naden turned to the Professors with his head down,
"You're information is in this trunk by the door." He grumbled. Professor Hojo smiled,
"Good. Now come with us all of you." With those words gun were cocked and aimed at each family member's head. Professor Payne smiled,
"If you make a noise Mr. Jewel, I will give the order to kill your daughters." He said. Naden let his head fall as the family was led through their small town; not a noise was made except for the sound of footsteps. When the door to the lab was opened, Karta almost froze dead in her tracks. She knew that this place was going to become a personal hell. She just knew somehow that this hellhole was going to be her home for many years. Professor Hojo and Professor Payne watched Karta as she looked around the room; they didn't need to say anything to each other. They both knew this one was going to be a prize.
Karta could only vaguely hear her parents talking in the cell next to her. Karta sat up very slowly, but froze as a sudden rush of pain shot up her back. She grimaced and fought back tears as she forced her body to sit up. She was on the floor on a cage in the lab; the ground was black and covered in dirt. She was no longer in her pajamas, but a pair of torn blue jeans and a ripped up black T-shirt that was many sizes too big. She cringed; someone had undressed her, ick. For all she knew it could have been dirt, her mind was still a little fuzzy. The last thing she remembered was looking around the lab, and then, without warning, someone hit her over the head with what she guessed to be the butt of a gun. Before her mind blacked out, she heard her mother scream. It was a scream of pure and untold terror. Karta rubbed her head and reached behind to find no wound, no blood, not even a bump. She could only guess that she was cured by a Materia. She glanced to the cell next to her to see her mom, dad and sister holding each other. Her family was changed into ratty clothes as well. Her father looked over and saw her watching them. He jumped to his feet and ran to the bars that separated them. Her mother and sister followed him, their eyes frantic.
"Karta! Are you all right?!" her father asked frantically. Karta put a hand to her head again and blinked a few times trying to get her eyes to focus.
"Yeah, I'll live. What happened?" she asked. Although the pounding in her head was almost impossible to deal with, she pushed it aside to hear the story. Her mother spoke up.
"You were the last one in here and you were looking around. Those "scientists," or as I like to call them murderers were watching you. Hojo gave a signal and the guard hit you on the back of the head. You fell over-out like a light." She paused, "Your skull was cracked open and it bled everywhere. Then the Professors picked you up and put you on that table. They put some sort of mixture in a needle and injected you. Five minutes later your heart started again and the wound was gone. They smiled and took some notes, and then finally put you in a different cell from the rest of us." She paused again, "That was two days ago." Karta felt like she had been shot, she had been unconscious for two days! Her head felt like no other. Her heart had stopped? Her skull cracked open? That was impossible wasn't it? She looked over at the table in the middle of the room, Payne and Hojo were deep in talking and when they saw that she was awake, they smiled even bigger and walked over to the cell. Karta forced her body to sit up straighter; she glanced at her sister, her eyes full of fear. Here was her family in terror, but yet she didn't back away or beg for mercy or anything. She wasn't afraid for herself, but her sister, her mom and her dad. Hojo opened the cell door and walked in. Karta made direct eye contact.
"Well you woke up early. Usually people are out for at least a week if not longer but not you, you woke up after two days. Very interesting. the back of your head has no wound correct?" he asked. Karta debated about whether or not she should answer; not answering would be stupid. She gave a nod.
"Yes there is no wound." She replied flatly. Hojo grinned from ear to ear while taking some notes in a file. Her eyes focused on the tab, at the top, her name was written. Her heart sunk, she was going to be like all the others dead. But still she felt no fear, she glared at him and waited for him to talk again but he didn't, he just kept on smiling and taking notes. Professor Payne was looking over his shoulder and seemed to be scanning the notes. He looked at her and Karta felt like she was going to throw up or melt at the same time. He was very handsome for someone sinister; they made brief eye contact before he looked back down on the notes. They looked at each other and nodded. Professor Hojo looked at her family in the next cell. He grinned, "Don't worry, I won't kill her but I'm going to use her for the benefit of science. As for you three your time will come but for now it's her turn." Hojo slammed the file shut and put it on the table near the cell. Professor Payne went behind Karta and yanked her to her feet. Karta saw the entire room spin and her vision doubled but focused in a few minutes. Karta could hear her mom and sister crying her father mumbling how sorry he was for her. Payne led Karta from her cell to the table surprising gently, but it was still enough for her to stumble. When she stumbled, he didn't let her fall, but caught her and was very gentle. He pushed her onto the table and lay her back. She didn't fight them but she didn't give in mentally and Hojo seemed to know that. He got directly in her face and smiled.
"I know you have a strong will Karta, I can see it in you. I try to read your mind and you push me away, no one has ever done that before. But let me tell you, I will break you. I don't know when and I'm no sure how, but I will." His breath was sour and smelled old. Karta smiled to herself and back away from his face in disgust.
"Two words Hojo: Breath. Mint." She snapped back. Hojo seemed surprised at her sarcasm for someone so young. He gave her look and strapped her down to the table. Karta could now hear her mother wailing in terror and fear; Hojo had a knife that he was sharpening. He stopped. When Krysti Jewel continued to wail he walked over to the cell and opened the door, glaring at her. He threw the knife at the ground about half a foot from her. She gasped and stopped instantly and he smiled.
"The more you three annoy me, the more pain she goes through. Never and I mean NEVER get me mad before I'm about to work. Or I might just put that knife through her heart and not revive her. have I made myself clear?" he asked looking at each of the family members. There were silent nods and he pulled the knife from the ground. Professor Payne looked like he was on the verge of an uncontrollable fit of laughter. Hojo walked over and looked at him. His look faded away and he became serious.
"The solution is ready sir." He said handing him a needle filled to the top with a green-blue substance. Hojo waved the needle in front of Karta and smiled,
"Do you have a fear of injections Karta?" he asked. Karta raised an eyebrow at him.
"No." she answered flatly and she was honest, she didn't. His face fell a little but only a little.
"You will." With those words, he stuck her in the arm with the needle. She didn't even cringe, although he pushed the needle further and emptied the liquid into her body. He yanked it out and put the needle aside, not even bothering to clean or cover the small bleeding wound, it healed itself. Payne had timed to see how long it took for the wound to clear. When the time was compared to others, it was the fastest ever. That made Hojo smile from ear to ear. Karta didn't feel like smiling back at him, she felt terrible. Her body was breaking into a cold sweat, her head was pounding even harder now, and she felt like she had the flu. Payne and Hojo took out notebooks and watched her, while the family watched in horror as Karta blacked out.
Tara Jewel watched as her sister passed out on the table, her body now covered in sweat. Although it was only a few moments that she was out, it seemed like hours to her. Karta's eye popped open suddenly; Hojo and Payne dropped their notebooks and jumped back. Tara was close enough to see that Karta's eyes were no longer green but completely black. Her face was dark and evil, her fists were clenched, her knuckles turning white and blood was sinking through her fingers. She so digging was hard into her hands, that it was cutting them. Payne smiled, no, not smiled but grinned more so and watched her with his mouth open.
"We did it sir, we did it. The first subject to go through State of Mind, we did it." Payne said breathless. "This is the first one to make it to black eye. That means that everything will work and "she" can talk through Karta!" Payne started to walk over to get a closer look, but Hojo seized him.
"Don't be a fool John, she is in black eye. She has no control of her body what so ever, if she is pressured to do so, she will break those clasps on the table. Keep away until she passes out again. just watch and take notes." Hojo replied. They weren't the only one's watching, Tara was interested in what this State of Mind was called. She watched for about another minute before Karta relaxed and passed out again. She held her breath; there was no sound in the lab but the dripping from Karta's hand wounds. Finally, she awoke again, but this time her eyes were white. Hojo gasped and fell to his knees. Her white looked around the room and then at Professor Payne. He gulped and asked in a small voice,
"Jenova ? Jenova are you there? Can you hear me?" Karta gave him a strange look and laughed, but it wasn't Karta's laugh but a laugh of evil. When she spoke, her voice was different older almost.
"Who do think it would be John? Now undo this silly clasps so I may see my new pet." John bowed and undid the clasps and Karta sat up but it didn't seem like Karta at all, just her body.
"The mirror is where it always is ma'am." Professor Payne said. "Karta" got up and looked in the mirror. She smiled as she ran a hand through her short red hair.
"I sense a lot of strength in this one, a lot. She has a will of iron; I can feel her pushing me away from her mind. She is very strong my disciples, she will be perfect when done." She said to Payne and Hojo, suddenly, she clutched her stomach and leaned over in pain. Hojo ands Payne ran over and put their arms around her.
"What? What's wrong mistress?" Hojo asked speaking for the first time.
"She's she's pushing me away and it's it's working. Quickly, strap her down before she goes into the final stage, and she starts screaming!" "Karta" screamed at the Professors. Hojo and Payne dragged "Karta's" limp body back to the table. They quickly strapped her on the table and backed up again. "Karta" grinned as she drifted away for the third time in one hour. Tara came to that realization that she was shaking like crazy, that wasn't Karta in that body, it couldn't be her and it wasn't, Tara was sure of that. Tara watched as the seconds passed Hojo and Payne seemed to be waiting for the final stage of this process. Suddenly, Karta's face began to twist into an expression of utter pain. She started to scream a scream that echoed throughout the lab and sent a chill down Tara's spine. She was screaming in agony, like every part of her body was being pulled slowly apart. Hojo started to laugh, the chilling laugh buried the screaming while Payne just smiled, his mouth twisted so much like a snarl that Tara was sure that blood was going to ooze from that mouth
Karta took a deep breath and looked at her comrades, they were waiting for the rest of the story. Reno gave her a look,
"Please don't tell me that's all you remember " he said slowly.
"No." Karta snapped back. Reno looked surprised by the harshness in her voice, he remained quiet. Karta sighed, "I really don't remember everything that happened during the first time I went through State of Mind, my sister gave me the details. I later found out that my eye color changes with my emotions, a side effect or something. Blue means I'm emotionless, just there, blue-green means I'm slightly mad, Green means I'm ticked off. Red means I'm very mad, I usually go into red when I'm battling but sometimes they go maroon. That means I'm on the edge of insanity and black means I've completely lost it. I have no control over anything I do and I can't remember what I do. You've seen me in black. Rumor has it. I killed almost two dozen Shinra guards. Then there is white, white is the worst that means that Jenova has taken control of my body. If I say anything while my eyes are white it's not me, its Jenova. Hojo mentioned that, when I'm happy, they are silver but that's never happened."
"I see " Naden said quietly, "So now, years later, Professor Payne is back and when we found you in the Shinra building you were in State of Mind, correct?" Karta nodded very slightly.
"What happened next?" Aerith asked in an almost whisper. Karta took in some air and sighed.
"The next two years are pretty much a blur, I can't remember many detail because for 90% of the time I was either in State of Mind or out cold. But I do remember the event on my thirteenth birthday; it was that event that changed my life forever. By now I had become stronger physically by a lot not to mention stronger by the will. The more Hojo and Payne tortured me, the more I became determined to never let them break me. They only came close once, that day was on my thirteenth birthday "
Karta glanced at her digital watch that was on her wrist; she was counting down the seconds until midnight. In the cell next to her, her family slept on the cold floors. Karta glanced back at her watch; "Time is so slow. Finally five four three two one zero. I am now thirteen, happy birthday Karta." She thought making a half smile. Suddenly the door flew open and banged against the wall. There stood the now twenty-two year old Professor Payne, he looked pretty much the same, except older. He smiled when he saw that Karta was still up,
"Happy thirteenth birthday Karta." He said dryly. There was no doubt in her mind that Payne had taken a liking to her. He was still fascinated by the fact that she hadn't given in yet. He smiled when he saw the piece of metal next to her. "Still working on that sword aren't ya?"
"Yes." Karta snapped back, she hated Payne, but she liked him more than she liked Hojo. She despised Hojo more than anything else in the world. He smiled again,
"Today's the big day," he said walking over the cage that held her family. Karta jumped to her feet. She moved as fast as lightning when she grabbed his shirt and pulled him into her face. Payne looked surprised by this fast action but he smiled none the less.
"Why today is a very big day, today is your families day, not to mention your birthday." She glared at him.
"You planned this didn't you?" Payne nodded and pulled himself away from Karta. He walked over to the cell next to her and opened the door.
"Wake up Jewels!" he screamed. Naden, Krytsi and Tara all sat up suddenly and glared at Payne for awakening them, he returned the cold stares. "We told you the first night you were here that your day would come, well here it is. Get up." The family pulled themselves to their feet and glanced at Karta. They shrugged and walked out of the cage, no fighting was necessary.
"What are planning Payne?" Karta demanded. Payne let his shoulders fall and he turned around quickly and shot the gun. A dart hit Karta in the shoulder, she started to fall to one knee, it was a tranquilizer dart. The world started to fuzz over as Karta watched Payne lead her family away from her
Karta woke up nearly five hours later but she wasn't on the cold hard ground of the lab but on the soft grass of the outside world. Karta had to shield her eyes as she looked up into the sun for the first time in two years. At first she thought that she was dead and in Heaven, but when she looked to her left she saw that Payne and Hojo were watching her. She glared at them, she wished she was dead. Sighing, Karta stood up, brushed herself off and walked over to Payne and Hojo.
"Ok, what is this, torture? Did you bring me out here just to rub it in my face that I'm never going to see the light of day again?" Karta demanded, putting her hands on her hips. Hojo grinned from ear and started to laugh.
"No, that is a fate for you to decide. But this, this is a test to see how well developed your skills are." Hojo replied and he turned to Professor Payne, "Go ahead, show her." Payne nodded and pulled a sheet off a large cage that Karta had just noticed near by. Inside were three of the most hideous mutates that she had ever seen. One was big, medium and small. The small one had a big head with a ton of eyes. It was gray with two arms and four legs, the arms had sharp claws and the feet were half the size of the body each. It snarled at Karta and she glared back at the mutate. The medium one had only one, but smaller head it was brown with two arms but three legs. Its claws weren't as long but just as sharp, and its teeth dripped with slime. The largest looked the meanest, with long teeth that hung over it's lip and long sharp claws. This one was black with long sharp claws and four feet but as she watched it stood up on all fours every now and then. Karta couldn't think of any animal that they looked like. Hojo looked at the monsters and then at Karta, "You have to beat all three of them using a sword, a dagger and a gun with one round. You make it out alive and you pass the test. If you die, well then you die." Karta gave him a look.
"Who were they?" she asked. Payne shook his head,
He smiled, "Do them a favor." With that he handed Karta the sword, dagger and gun. "Go in and the test begins." Karta glared at him and opened the door. As soon as she was inside he slammed the it and locked it. Karta came in eye contact with each creature and smiled. Putting the sword and dagger down, Karta picked up the gun and smiled. "Now the fun begins," she thought.
The first creature she mentally decided to take care of was the small one and then work her way up. This was going to be fun, she thought. She cocked the gun and aimed it at the small creature's head; she started to quickly pull the trigger while dodging claws. The numbers added up perfectly, a bullet for each eye. "Ha! I will put some lead in your head!" she screamed at the creature as it fell over blood spewing in all directions. Karta tossed the now worthless gun to the side and grabbed the dagger next. She tossed it into the air and caught it by the handle; her eyes focused on the medium creature. She charged at the beast, the large one tried to swipe at her with one of its huge claws but it missed. Karta jumped over the huge claw with the dagger raised high above her head. She landed on the creature's head and for a brief moment came in eye contact with that single eye. With a grin, Karta slammed the dagger into the creature's eye, far and deep. Blood flew and covered her. The creature fell over as Karta jumped and picked up the sword. The last one. Karta grinned as she raised her sword in a fighting position the beast seemed to understand that if it didn't defeat her, it's comrades would die in vain. That made the creature mad. It took a swing at Karta but she rolled and dodged it by an inch. She took a slice at the creature but missed. The creature brought its giant paw around and sent Karta flying into the cage walls. She slammed into the cage side with a hard impact, stars danced in front of her eyes as the creature was moving in for the kill. It stood on all two legs and walked its way over to her, teeth bared. Karta watched it carefully, looking for a place to make a killing blow quickly. The stomach was the closest and her best bet; Karta waited until the thing was only a few feet away before she slammed her sword into the thing's stomach. It hunched over in obvious pain as Karta shoved the weapon farther into it's gut, hitting vital organs if it had any. Blood streamed out of the wound and down Karta's arm as the creature started to fall. She made eye contact with the creature as it fell. Something was strange about that thing's eyes, not only strange but oddly familiar. A familiar that made Karta tremble when they rolled back and the creature was dead.
Karta took a deep breath and made her way to the cage door where Payne and Hojo were waiting for her, grins atop their faces. The door was opened and Karta stepped out leaving the heaps of those creatures now dead flesh in the cage. Hojo grinned when he saw that she was covered in all three creatures' blood.
"Well done Karta! But I want you to look at your hands right now." Hojo told her. Karta gave him a strange look and looked down, they were covered in the blood of the creatures she had just defeated.
"The blood of those mutates are on my hands, so what?" she asked. Hojo started to laugh as if that was the funniest thing he had ever heard in his entire life. He suddenly stopped laughing and got directly in Karta's face.
"Those mutates, those creatures that were once human. Those monsters who blood is smeared on your hands that is your families blood." Hojo whispered to her, Karta gasped and suddenly felt sick to her stomach. Hojo smiled even bigger when the color drained from her face, "The small one with the lead in it's head was your sister, the medium one with a dagger in it's brain was your mother and the large one with the sword in it's gut was your father. You killed your own family Karta. That is their blood on your hands " Karta felt her knees start to buckle and her head to spin. She fell to her hands and knees while fighting back tears. One thing ran through her mind: I killed them. I killed them. I killed them
Karta paused again in her story, Cloud figured out what happened next. He looked at Karta with sympathy and pain. He had some blood on his hands but not that of his families. Cloud decided to finish the story for her.
"Not long after, you broke out of the place and came to Midgar. The only thing you could think to do was to hide in the very corporation that did this to you right? That's why you joined SOLDIER, to hide." Karta nodded and kept her head down, this was obviously very painful for her to talk about to anyone.
"Yes, I planed to move up high enough so I could get a meeting with the President and expose Payne and Hojo, but I now know that he wouldn't mind in the slightest and would have just sent me back " Karta said quietly. Tifa was dumbfounded; she didn't know what to think about Karta anymore. She could see why Karta was always in a bad mood now, to hold that kind of guilt must have been impossible for her.
Reno looked down at the floor; he used to feel sorry for himself for being a street bum, a mugger and a gang member. Now he suddenly felt like he had it really great as a kid. Karta had to grow up very fast. Reno did some connecting from each sorry when suddenly something came to him. He looked up from the floor and glanced at Karta.
"Karta, when Cloud said he found you looking in the Shinra mansion for a "friend that you didn't know" were you talking about the Vincent Valentine that you read the file on?" he asked. Karta looked at him and nodded.
"Good connection Reno, yes I was. If I ever find my way back there I am still determined to find out what's behind that door." Karta replied. A moment of silence passed as everyone took in the two stories they had heard. Aerith did some thinking too, she knew Kalm pretty well and she knew where each house was. The scenes that Karta described had to match the placement and design of one of the houses. After a moment of thinking, it hit, and it hit her hard.
"Karta " she said quietly. Karta looked up at her.
"Yes?" she replied. Aerith took a deep breath and spoke.
"This Inn, this was your house wasn't it." Everyone's heads snapped up; looks went from Aerith to Karta. Karta sighed and looked at Aerith.
"Yes it was." She replied quietly. "The main bedroom up here was my sister Tara and my bedroom. It certainly is strange to be back here again " Naden sighed and looked around the room to each person.
"So what do we do now?" he asked, "The Shinra will be out to find us without a doubt. We're fugitives now. Where do we go?"
"I know where we can go." Tseng replied. Everyone looked at him; it was the first time he had spoken in a few days.
"You do?" Cloud asked. Tseng nodded,
"We aren't the only fugitives out there." He replied smiling.
Well that certainly was depressing if I do say so myself. Another chapter down, many more to go w00t. The thing is now that I would like to announce that this will be the last chapter in this story for a while. I'm working really hard to get this fantasy story I'm writing perfect. Everything is now on hold but nothing has been dropped. ~Gem
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic