Chapter 2 – How The Trouble Began

Chapter 2 – How The Trouble Began

by December 28, 2014

Chapter 2 - How The Trouble Began

Translated by Hitoshura and Mecorx, Proofread by Crashouch

When Elena joined Shinra, Cliff Resort was already a long-forgotten retreat. The rugged landscape, which looked as though giants had haphazardly piled up boulders, was definitely unusual. The numerous lodges built along the naturally varied elevations in the terrain might have added some flavor to the scenery, but once you got used to it, there was nothing else there. You would visit once and take a couple of souvenir photos, and that would be enough. There was little point in returning a second time. The Shinra Company had resorts all over the world, but anyone would agree this one was a non-starter.

“I mean, really…”

Just two years ago, the Shinra Company controlled most of the world. It didn’t sit well with Elena that the President, who had been at the top of that empire, should now have to spend his days in such a desolate place as this. He was undergoing medical treatment. For security reasons, it was safer to be away from the cities, however, as it was only about a two hour drive to and from the cities it made it easy for the staff to commute. There were several reasons for them to remain there, but it didn’t change the fact it was a dull place. The name had been changed from Cliff Resort to Healen at the President’s suggestion, but that didn’t mean anything had actually changed there.


Nothing ever happened here. In the square there were several benches, where the people suffering from Geostigma were sitting around, talking and laughing, some of them focusing on getting better while putting up with the pain. Things were the same as they were yesterday and would likely be the same tomorrow. Even the weather mostly stayed the same.


“Elena’s looking bored,” said Rufus Shinra to his subordinate, Tseng, as he walked away from the window of the lodge. “I’d like get moving on the next project,” Rufus paused as he struggled to return to his wheelchair.

“Yes, Sir. I will tell Elena shortly. However, I intend to keep this from Reno and Rude for now. This new project is more exciting – I fear if they knew the details their work in the city would end up getting cast aside.”

“Very well. Have you gathered any intel on Jenova?”

“Not yet, Sir.”

Jenova – a monstrous being that arrived from outer space. Nobody knew what form it was in now – whether it be a withered remnant of flesh, or in the form of some bizarre creature. But Tseng believed that if it were somewhere nearby – dead or alive – then surely they would know about it.

“By the way, Sir, what are your plans once we locate it?”

“My father…” Rufus Shinra answered, with his eyes seemingly gazing off into the distance. “He set his sights on the Lifestream flowing within the planet, called it Mako Energy and packaged it for the masses. Mako revolutionized the industrial structure of the day from the ground up, and mankind obtained prosperity the likes of which it had never known.”


“With the immense fortune and power he gained, and even if he was lining his own pockets to some degree, my father invested most of it into new fields – on a massive scale, and without ethics. And one of those was the research of, and experimentation on, Jenova. Eventually this gave birth to a monster named Sephiroth…”

Sephiroth. That monster – a hybrid of human and Jenova – possessed unfathomable prowess in battle. His show of power on the battlefield led to him becoming lauded as a hero. However, his mind was not as strong as his body. When the hero learnt of the circumstances surrounding his birth, he avowed his heritage as the son of Jenova, and as a result went mad. He revolted against the company and, what’s more, sought the extermination of humanity. During the battle against Sephiroth the Shinra Company was destroyed, and the planet was brought to the brink of returning to stardust.

“My father took his leave from this stage early on, abandoning those of us left behind to suffer the nightmares in his wake. Far from reasonable, wouldn’t you say?”

Tseng looked at Rufus, neither denying nor confirming what he had said.

“I am not my father,” Rufus said with a forcefulness in his voice, moving his wheelchair to the window. He could see the people suffering from Geostigma in the square. “I will bring it to an end, once and for all.”


Elena was standing at the entrance of the woods, which stretched out behind the lodge area. The wind, carrying the scent of moss as it breezed through the trees, swayed her short blonde hair.

“Will something please just happen!”

Not the most professional of thoughts, but those were her thoughts nonetheless. After checking to make sure no one had heard her, she ducked her head slightly and started walking. As she made her way along the wide, meandering path, the largest building in the retreat came into view. Although this ‘largest’ building was still only a one-storey log cabin that could fit thirty people at the most. It had apparently been used as a recreation hall originally. She skipped for the final few steps, and stood before the door, which was securely locked from the inside. She pressed a button to the right of the door to ring the buzzer. After a full ten seconds she got an idle response from Throp,

“Miss Elena?”

He was a young man Elena’s more experienced colleague, Reno had picked up in the city.

“Making my rounds! Come on, open up!” Elena ordered, making no effort to hide her frustration.

After a brief pause, the door opened.

“All clear here, Ma’am,” Throp spoke in an unenthusiastic voice, while fussing with his shaggy, uncut hair, which didn’t seem to have seen water in a while. His massive body, towering over Elena, was as doughy as can be – his stomach made a noticeable mound under his shirt – not in the least bit cut out for guard detail, but they were short on manpower. This man symbolised the current state of the Shinra Company.

Elena weaved her way past the behemoth, stepping inside the cabin and, moving her gaze along a now-routine course, she inspected the room. From the left to the right. From the right to the left.

Yup, all clear.

Until the previous week this building had been used as a lab for developing medicines. They were developing a medication to suppress one of the symptoms of Geostigma – generalised pain. It was already known that the stimulant that the company used to issue to the members of Soldier offered some pain relief. The research team analysed that stimulant and successfully synthesised a similar ingredient. With the assistance of the patients in the retreat, they were able to perform clinical trials, and at last came up with a medicine that could be mass-produced. The manufacturing method was to be provided free of charge to small and large organizations capable of producing it, such as the World Regenesis Organization. It was Elena who proposed this project, and had travelled around to make it a reality. The staff she had cobbled together were all that was left of Shinra’s science and chemistry divisions. More than a few of the members of these two departments had traded their consciences for brilliant minds. Elena was wary of leaving them to their own devices. There was no telling what dangerous concoctions they might have turned out if left alone, so she kept a constant eye on them. But her fears turned out to be unfounded. The researchers who gathered at Healen were devoted and good-hearted. They worked practically night and day without rest, and completed the medicine in an extremely short time. Elena regretted not having trusted them, and on the day they left she expressed her respect and gratitude to each and every one of them.

The majority of the equipment, fixtures and medical apparatuses set up in the hall had been packed up, and were piled up against a wall near the entrance. They were going to be donated to those planning to continue their research on Geostigma, and to doctors in Edge and other cities who were treating patients.

On a shelf at the back of the room were airtight metal cases containing the samples of the medicine. There were two cases, one of which was for the retreat’s patients. There was a limited number of doses, so it was strictly controlled, with records kept when it was given out. The other was to be handed over, along with the research reports and manufacturing guides, as soon as the WRO was ready.

“Oh, I’ve already checked all that. It’s all fine,” Throp said to Elena as she neared the medicine shelf.

“I’ve still got to follow procedure.”

“Right, yeah…”

She picked up the distribution record without turning around for Throp’s grumbling, and opened the lid of the metal case. Handing out the medicine and recording it was Tseng, her boss’s duty. The page was lined with Tseng’s meticulous handwriting. After checking the column showing the remaining number of doses she compared it against what was in the case. All fine. Next, she checked the small thermometer inside the case. The medicine was sensitive to changes in temperature, which could alter the effects – nothing as extreme as rendering it useless or poisonous or anything, but it had been confirmed that it dulled the effectiveness. This would likely be remedied sooner or later, but for now it needed careful handling.

“You’ve been good again today. All fine,” said Elena, making sure Throp could hear her. While she spoke she looked at the other case. On the outside it looked the same, but this one was sealed up with a sticker so the two wouldn’t be mixed up.

“This one’s also fi—” there were signs that the sticker had been removed at some point. “Throp, did you touch this case?”

“Course not!” Throp denied it instantly.

Elena took the mobile phone from the holster around her waist, and called her boss, “Excuse me, Tseng, Sir? Did you take the sticker off the medicine? The batch that’s getting shipped out.” As she listened to his reply she glanced out of the corner of her eye at Throp, who was looking out of the window with a reproachful look on his face.

Why’s he looking out the window?

With an exaggerated motion, Elena turned her back to him, “Thought so. Understood, Sir!” She sensed that Throp was inching his way towards the exit.

He’s underestimated me – no, the Shinra Company as well.

“I’ll shoot,” she warned in a low voice. Throp stopped, and ducked his head down.

“Sit down there,” she motioned with her chin towards a folding chair used for breaks, and Throp sluggishly complied. Using packing rope left on the shelves, she fastened the giant’s hands and feet to the chair. “You just wait here.”

When she got outside, she started running in a different direction from the small path leading to the lodge area, heading to the boundary of the wastelands and the forest – the direction Throp had been looking at through the window. The roots of the trees were jutting out from the ground like tripwires. Dodging the roots, Elena ran through the forest like a hunting hound. When she thought about how Throp’s accomplice, or maybe even the ringleader, might be up ahead, it excited her. This was how the Turks were meant to be. The medicine development project was one dear to her heart, but it was a special assignment. It was fair enough to work for the sake of the world or for your fellow man, but first and foremost the Turks’ duty was to the Shinra Company. They did whatever it took to protect the company.

As she neared the edge of the forest, she found her prey. A chubby man who was unsteady on his feet was trying to leave the forest.


The fugitive surprisingly stopped as ordered, and turned around. It was a young man dripping with sweat. His seemingly natural curly black hair stuck to his forehead, and drops of sweat were falling from the tips of his hair. His square, black-rimmed glasses looked like they were about to slide off his round face. He was wearing a green sweatshirt and dark-green trousers, which he must have thought would work well against the woodland backdrop, however, amongst the rows of pale-brown tree trunks, he couldn’t stand out more. Seeing that pathetic sight took the wind out of Elena’s sails.

“Please, just let me go!” shouted the man, bright red in the face. Then he started running again.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” Elena regained her composure and gave chase. I can’t let him leave the forest. He must have a vehicle waiting. Wherever he came from, there’s no way a guy like that walked it through the wastelands.

Just as she was about to catch up to him, her phone rang. When she answered it, Tseng’s voice was on the other end. She stopped running, and looked at the back of the man in green as he ran away. He ran frantically, all the while looking as if he was about to fall over.

“…Yes, Sir. I’ll return right away.” Elena sighed as she hung up the phone.


“Now then,” Tseng crouched down on the spot, speaking toward his feet.

Throp was lying on the floor along with the chair, his eyes darting around the room. Blood from his nose stained the floor.

“Where does this Fabio Brown live?”

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