Premonitions II-A: The Long Week of Hell

BY : Hippo_and_Friends_with_Benefits
Category: Final Fantasy VII > General
Dragon prints: 1580
Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VII or any characters therin. I am making no money off of this work.

Premonitions II: Crisis Core

Chapter 10: The Translator's Fun House

Wednesday, January 30, 0008

Three Days Until the Wedding

12:00 p.m.

Yuffie was pacing around Nibelheim's town square, still taking in what Cloud had said to her earlier.

"I need to find a date!" she muttered to herself. "I need to find a date!" She paused. "But what guys do I know that are not already taken?"

She pulled out her cell phone and went straight to her contacts. She came upon one Haru Tanaka, who lived across the street from her in Wutai. Realizing that she indeed knew him that well, it was worth a shot. She quickly pressed the call button.

"Hello?" answered Haru after three rings.

"Haru!" greeted Yuffie. "Hi!"

"Who's this?" he asked in a neutral tone of voice.

Yuffie frowned; he had deleted her number.

"It's Yuffie," she replied, still attempting to sound upbeat.

"Yuffie who?" he asked.

"Kisaragi," she replied.

"Oh," he said, still in a neutral tone of voice. "The same Yuffie Kisaragi who stole my tablet last year?"

"I didn't steal it!" Yuffie insisted. "I just borrowed it for a long time!"

"Without asking," Haru reminded her. "Anyways, did you need something?"

"I have something to ask you," she said, even though she was grossly skeptical at this point.

"What's up?" he asked.

She took a deep breath.

"Will you go to Cloud and Tifa's wedding with me?"

There was a bothersome silence before Haru finally answered.

"I wouldn't go with you if I was dirt poor," he replied.

With that, he hung up on her.

"Ouch," Yuffie muttered.

MEANWHILE...

Seven people were standing at the gate that separated them from the front lawn of the Translator's house. All had relieved themselves of all weapons, and were now waiting for the gate to open. All had thumb drives in their pockets, and all were there in hopes of having their codes cracked. All were aware that only those who made it to the Translator's office would have their codes cracked, and that not everyone standing at the gate would live to see the sun set.

There was Quinn, who wanted to see if his company was preparing to fire him.

There was Sana, who had hacked into her boyfriend's computer to see if he had been cheating on her.

There was Jackson, a high school student who wanted to know how to change his grades.

There was Egbert, who was there for the fame.

There was Reka, who was there for the thrill.

There was Cloud, who only wanted to support his fiancee.

There was Tifa, who only wanted to find her father.

There was a sign to the left of the gate that was more or less self-explanatory: THE TRANSLATOR'S HOUSE-ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. Beyond the sign, there was a fenced in yard in which the Translator's house occupied. From the outside, it did not appear to be anything more than a typical two story house. The interior would be another matter.

At that moment, the gate opened, allowing the seven to test their fate. Instinctively, they all made their way to the front door.

Jackson mounted the stoop and proceeded to open the door. It was locked. He then rang the doorbell. There was no response. Finally, he slammed his body into the door. Nothing happened.

"Shit," he muttered.

"This might not be the only way in," Quinn suggested.

"What do you mean?" asked Jackson.

"Let's check for any windows we can open from the outside," Reka suggested.

The seven of them browsed the front of the house. There were three on the left side and two on the right, but none of them could be opened externally. The west side of the house had the same kind of windows. the east side had no windows at all. That simply left the back as the only possible entrance.

Out back, there were four more windows that could only be opened from the inside, along with a patio that was locked rather well.

"This is hopeless!" sighed Sana.

"Hold on," Quinn said as he pointed to the ground. "Look!"

Near the ground, there were two pits, each about two feet deep. Each pit had a window that was not like the others.

"Can we get in through there?" asked Reka.

"One way to find out!" replied Quinn as he hopped into the pit. Moments later, he pressed against the window, and it opened.

"So that's it," Sana observed.

"We start in the basement," Jackson added.

One by one, the seven of them climbed through the window, and slid down the slide that had been conveniently waiting for them.

The basement below seemed to be the size of two-thirds of the house. It was lit by two simple lights, and had shelves and tiles, but was otherwise unfurnished.

At the end of the shelves was a metal device that appeared to be a heat pump. As the seven of them walked by, they noticed a window in the device, where a black snake-like pipe extended from the ground and curved to the left.

Soon, Reka reached the other end of the basement, followed by Egbert, Jackson, Tifa, Cloud, and Sana. Each of them turned, and a troubling sight greeted their eyes.

Quinn was standing in the middle of the basement, his eyes fixated on the curved, black pipe. He seemed unable to move.

"What's wrong?" asked Reka.

"I need help," Quinn said.

Moments later, within a split second, Quinn's body appeared to stretch grossly out of proportion before disappearing into the pipe.

"Quinn?" shouted Egbert. "Quinn!"

"That thing sucked him up!" exclaimed Sana.

"Well," shouted Egbert, "where the fuck is he?!"

"He's dead," Sana replied.

"What do you mean, 'he's dead?!'" demanded Cloud.

"It's called the matter pump," Sana explained. "It sucks you up and disintegrates you, atom by atom."

"Ouch," commented Reka.

"Let's get out of this basement!" Egbert insisted.

To the right of them was an orange curtain where a wall should be; it's left side touched the metal heat pump-like device. To the right of that were stairs that led to the ground level. Slowly, unsure of what to expect, the six survivors made their way over.

And then, a black snake-like object appeared from behind the curtain.

"It's the pump!" Reka and Sana shouted in unison.

"I say we all get our asses out of the basement!" Cloud declared.

"Second!" shouted Sana.

Tifa was the first to grab the wooden bannister and make her way up the wooden basement stairs. And then, she felt an electric shock on her hip. She quickly turned to see where it was coming from; one of the brackets that was holding up the bannister.

"Shit!" she exclaimed as she darted past the bracket. "Cloud, be careful! Those brackets shock you!"

Cloud followed Tifa up, only to be shocked by the same bracket.

"Everybody," Tifa began, "run!"

The six of them darted up the stairs as fast as they could. The three brackets holding the bannister up seemed to be having a field day, shocking each and every person who ran by.

Moments later, it was over. The six survivors stood in the kitchen

"I can't take this anymore!" Sana sobbed as she immediately made her way to the kitchen table and sat down, straddling the chair and resting her head on the back of it. She was facing the front door, and an ominous feeling began to pulse through her body.

And then, the front door creaked open. In came seven animatronic animals, marching in single file toward Sana. Five of them were horses, colored in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. A pink pig led them all.

And they all chanted in unison: "Ha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-cha-hit!"

The moment the "hit!" was called, the pig hit Sana and came to a stop.

Reka immediately came over to check. On closer inspection, Sana was dead; the pig had pierced her heart with a blade. Reka immediately shuddered away.

"I want to get out of here!" Reka stammered in a shaky voice.

"We'll get through this," Tifa assured her.

The kitchen was bordered by a dining room to the west and a family room to the east. The five survivors entered the dining room first; there seemed to be nothing out of the ordinary. The room was decorated with a table and chairs, along with a hutch and drysink.

"God only knows what's in here," Egbert muttered.

Almost as if in response, the drysink began to rumble.

"IN HERE," it repeated, in a low, robotic voice.

It then started rumbling, hobbling in Egbert's direction.

The five of them quickly ran to the south through the living room, the east through the foyer with the stairs to the second floor, and finally into the family room.

Egbert strayed the furthest from the group, stopping at the north side of the family room. He looked into the kitchen and then toward the foyer. To the east was a laundry room, with a menacing looking closet at the end.

"I think it gave up," he sighed.

That would prove to be a fatal mistake. A moment later, the closet door opened, and out came an upright vacuum, immediately pursuing Egbert.

"Here comes sweeper!" it announced. "Here comes sweeper!"

Before Egbert had time to react, the vacuum bumped into his feet. A moment later, Egbert disappeared below the vacuum, atom by atom.

"Shit!" shouted Cloud. "Upstairs, now!"

The four survivors quickly ran up the stairs to the second floor. Tifa suddenly felt a shock on her left hip, and realized that there were more brackets holding the bannister up.

"Go up!" Cloud shouted.

Tifa, Cloud, Jackson, and Reka quickly charged up the stairs, each taking shocks along the way.

At the top of the stairs, there were four closed doors in a long hallway.

"I think it's safe to say the Translator's behind one of those doors," Jackson suggested.

"But which one?" asked Cloud.

"One way to find out," Tifa said.

"I'll bet on that one," said Cloud, pointing to the far west, at the other end of the hall.

"What makes you say that?" asked Reka.

"Because it's the farthest from here," Cloud replied as he walked to the door and opened it.

Inside, there was a dresser and a twin bed; this appeared to be a child's room.

And then, the dresser suddenly began hobbling towards Cloud, producing a repetitive low tone as it did so.

Cloud quickly shut the door.

"I guess not," he sighed.

Jackson, meanwhile, was standing near the northern hallway door.

"Maybe this one?" he suggested as he opened the door.

Inside, there was a crib and a fabric rocking chair with buttons that almost looked like a face; this was obviously a baby room.

Jackson took a few steps in and scanned the room.

"He's not here," he muttered.

"NOT HERE," repeated the rocking chair in a low robotic voice as it immediatly came after Jackson, making the same noise as the dresser did in the other room. Jackson turned to run, but the rocking chair quickly hit him from behind. Jackson fell backward, and quickly jerked for a few moments before toppling over dead. The rocking chair had electrocuted him.

Reka quickly closed the door and covered her mouth in horror. She fell to her knees and began to cry.

"I-I just want to go home!" she sobbed.

Tifa knelt down next to her.

"There's just two rooms left," she began calmly. "And he's in one of them. It's almost over, I promise."

With that, Tifa helped Reka to her feet.

"Wait a minute," Reka pointed out. "You're Tifa Lockheart!"

"That's me," she replied.

"And you're Cloud Strife!" she added. "I was always hoping to meet you. I just didn't recognize you because I was expecting a crop top."

"Yeah, about that," Tifa replied, "I've had a wardrobe change. Not everyone liked it."

"Well, I liked it," Reka said. "I even started wearing them because of you." She then scanned the pants Tifa was wearing. "Cute jeans, though."

The three of them stood silently for a moment.

"Okay, I think I'm ready," Reka continued.

She then turned her attention to the southern door. Cautiously, she opened it.

Inside, there was a queen-sized bed, a dresser, a chest, a highboy, and a night table. This was the master bedroom.

Reka was the first to cautiously enter. She turned to look at Cloud and Tifa as if to say, "nobody say a thing!"

She scanned the room, finding no sign of the Translator.

She turned around to leave the room.

And then, she caused the floor to creak.

It was the highboy that came after her. Before anyone could react, it charged toward Reka and intentionally fell on top of her, crushing her to death.

Cloud quickly closed the door.

Tifa needed to gather herself for a moment. Once she had, she directed her attention to the eastern door. She slowly walked over to it.

"The process of elimination places him in here," she said.

"Alright," Cloud agreed. "Lets get this over with."

Preparing for anything, Tifa opened the door.

Beyond the door was a room that appeared to be some sort of office. There was a desk and computer, along with shelves full of books across one of the walls. At the desk was seated a man who appeared to be in his early forties. He looked at Cloud and Tifa, and smiled.

"Welcome," the Translator greeted.

"Tobias Ryan?" Tifa gasped.

"That's me," he replied.

Tifa sighed in relief as Cloud quickly shut the door behind him, sealing the three of them from all of the household horrors.

"It looks like you went through a lot of trouble to find me," the Translator pointed out.

"That would be an understatement," Cloud said.

"What brings you here, anyway?" the Translator then asked.

Tifa decided to get to the point.

"I'm looking for my father," she replied.

"I must say, this is a rather interesting place to look for your father," the Translator replied. "All I can say is that it's not me. We don't look much alike."

"I know who my father is," Tifa said. "It's his whereabouts I'm trying to find." She then pulled the thumb drive from her jeans pocket. "I've obtained a Shinra code I haven't been able to decipher."

"Well," said the Translator, "you've come to the right place."

Tifa handed the Translator the thumb drive, and he inserted it into the port.

"So where are you two from?" he asked as he typed on the keyboard.

"Nibelheim," Cloud replied.

The Translator briefly stopped typing, and made eye contact with them.

"Wait a minute," he said. "You're Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockheart, aren't you?"

"That would be us," Tifa replied.

"Wow," the Translator said as he resumed his typing. "Thanks for saving us all."

"Don't mention it," Tifa said.

"Maybe I can...uh-oh..."

The Translator stopped typing, and stared into the computer screen.

Tifa clutched Cloud's hand; she knew by now that this was never a good sign.

"It's not showing where my father is, is it?" she asked.

The Translator shook his head.

"No, it's showing where he is. But it isn't good."

Tifa's heart fluttered; despite what he had said, it was the best news in days. Her father had finally been located.

"W-where is he?" she asked.

Tell me, she thought, and I'll go get him today!

"They took him to Facility Number Six," the Translator informed her, his eyes still glued to the computer screen.

"Facility Number Six?" Tifa asked; she had never heard of it before.

"Ever hear of that place?" the Translator asked.

Both Cloud and Tifa shook their heads in unison.

"Is he still there?" she asked him.

"There's no more transfer records," the Translator replied. "There's no death records either. He's alive, and he's there."

Tifa let out a very audible sigh of relief and clapped her hands together before turning to Cloud.

"Let's get him!" she commanded enthusiastically.

"Facility Number Six?!" exclaimed the Translator. "A. K. A. the Island Gulag?! You're better off going back through my funhouse and getting yourself killed! It's quicker and less painful!"

"They have live dressers and vacuums, too?" Tifa asked skeptically.

"That would be nice," the Translator replied sarcastically. "Ever hear of a makonoid?"

"We fought twelve and survived," Tifa answered.

"Well," continued the Translator, "I suppose you're wondering where they came from?"

"Let me guess," Tifa said. "Facility Number Six?"

"Bingo," answered the Translator. "Do you two have any idea what goes on over there?"

Cloud shook his head.

Tifa displayed a nervous look on her face.

"They do experiments on people there," the Translator informed them. "They turn human beings into...things."

Tifa's face suddenly turned red with anger.

"Did they...do something to him?!" she demanded.

"I doubt it," the Translator replied. "According to the records, no."

"So where is it?" Tifa asked.

"I dunno," the Translater replied. "It's well hidden.

"Well hidden?" asked Tifa.

"You won't even find that info in any Shinra files," the Translator continued. "Only certain Shinra executives knew where that is."

"And they're all dead," Tifa sighed.

"With the Shinra gone," the Translator added, "the facility probably fell into the new government's hands."

Tifa's eyes widened.

"Ever since I started looking for my father," she continued, "I've been attacked every day. It seems like the Continental Governor is behind it."

"Really?" asked the Translator. "If that's the case, then the facility has to be somewhere on the Western Continent. Or at least in their jurisdiction."

And then, it hit Tifa like a kick in the head.

"That's why we got attacked!" she exclaimed. "They don't want us finding out where the Island Gulag is!"

"You got it," the Translator said. "It probably generates a lot of revenue."

"It all makes sense now," Tifa continued. "If we find the Island Gulag, it gets shut down, and Bismark loses money."

"I see it looks like we've come to a big lead," the Translator said.

"Agreed," said Tifa. "Thanks for all your help."

"My pleasure," the Translator said.

He then pressed a button, causing a bookshelf to rotate ninety degrees and revealing their means of exit.

"A slide?" Tifa asked skeptically.

"Unless you want to go back through the house," the Translator warned.

"I'd rather not," dismissed Tifa.

Moments later, Cloud and Tifa took the slide, landing outside the fence.

The slide then retracted.

Cloud sighed as they began to walk away.

"I'd rather take a stick in the eye than go anywhere near that house again!" he replied.

Tifa gave a "me, too" hand signal.

With one more glimpse, she could see more people lined up at the gate.



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