Shinra Inc. And The Alien

By: Jason Tandro

Hojo sat in his makeshift observatory on the 59th Floor. He turned the old materia synthesis lab into a full-blown science center, complete with a massive telescope that looked out into the night sky.

"Hmm… 26 degrees 9 minutes 18 seconds in the Northeastern Quadrant… strange red meteor several thousand lightyears away. Oh that'll never reach us!" Hojo hissed as his pen scratched on his log.

He began to fidget with the dials further. Suddenly the lab was flooded with light. He took his eye away from the telescope, which was currently focused on a strange vessel that looked like a whale, and looked out the window as a massive floating disk blew past the tower.

"I knew it!" Hojo shouted in delight.

---

Hojo wasn't the only one to see the disk. It caught the eye of Reno and Rude who were doing their round of chopper patrols when the disk blew past them.

"What the hell is that?" Rude asked.

"Not sure, but it's about to crash," Reno shouted.

The disk flew just past them and descended swiftly, smoke billowing behind it. It went past their field of vision, but the two Turks heard the crash. Reno turned the chopper around and saw the wreckage of the strange vessel just outside of Midgar, in the barrens.

---

"Is there no protocol on this?" Reeve asked as he and Heidegger walked down the hall to the conference room.

"Military protocol used to be shoot first and ask questions later… until the men put it into practice and we found out that corpses aren't very talkative. So, we quarantine the area, have Turks running patrols around the vessel hourly to see what, if anything, emerges and discuss further options with the president," Heidegger explained as he opened the door for Reeve.

Tseng, Scarlet and a sleepy Palmer already sat at the table.

"Where's the nutjob?" Scarlet asked.

"Hojo is briefing the President now. They'll be with us in a moment," Reeve explained.

"I told you we needed a space program," mumbled Palmer. "Nobody listened to me."

"Nobody's listening to you now, old man," Heidegger laughed derisively.

The doors opened again and Rufus entered, with Hojo tailing behind. Rufus rubbed his eyes and sat at the head of the table.

"Okay, so unidentified flying object, UFO for short, crashes into the barrens just outside the Sector 3 slums. We've quarantined the area, locked the sector 3 exit to prevent the citizens from seeing it, and our Turks are running patrols 24-7," Rufus explained. "The real question is why our security balked."

"We had no way to see this vessel until it entered the city limits. It was a simple disk, but the lights of the tower shining on it reflected and magnified it like a mirror," Hojo explained.

"Can we pinpoint where this thing was coming from when it crashed?" Rufus asked.

"No. Because of the nature of the disk tracking its movements is very difficult," Heidegger explained.

"We did manage to identify the metal it was made of… but you won't like what I have to say," Palmer explained.

"You run that risk every time you speak, Palmer. What is it?" Rufus snapped.

"It's a type of mineral that is only found on asteroids circling our solar system," Palmer explained. "We compared it to the mineral we took from a recent asteroid collision and it's a perfect match."

The table fell silent.

"Wait a minute, you think this is… an alien vessel?" Reeve asked.

"Precisely. I don't know what they want, or why they came here, but I'm sure the vessel belongs to our brothers beyond the stars," Palmer cried impassionedly.

"I agree with Palmer," Hojo explained. "I've been studying the night sky and found all sorts of strange vessels. Life on other planets surely do exist. However, I always figured we were too far away to make contact, but apparently I was wrong."

The door broke open and Reno rushed in, panting. "Sir! Forgive the intrusion, but you have to come quick! The vessel is opening!"

---

Reno flew the chopper with Rufus, Scarlet, Hojo and Reeve sitting in the passenger section. Palmer, Heidegger and Tseng flew with Rude's chopper. They touched down about a quarter mile from the crash sight and Rufus stepped out onto the dirt, escorted by Elena and three second class SOLDIERS. There were vans and trucks all around the sight, three different levels of colored lines drawn in the dirt, which most likely represented levels of clearance. Several spotlights had been set up, as well as infrared cameras, audio and video recording technology and more mechanical instruments than Rufus had ever seen in one place.

"Welcome to the Quarantine, Mr. President," Elena greeted.

Rufus nodded noncommittally. "What's going on, exactly?"

"Sir, the vessel had a door that was built into the disk itself. We never saw it. It opened up but nothing has emerged yet," Elena explained.

"We're about to send a team in," said the first SOLDIER. "Just waiting for your approval."

"Okay. We don't know what's in this thing. It could be a weapon for all we know," Reeve explained.

"But we'll never find out by just standing here," Rufus noted. "Send them in."

"Yes sir," the SOLDIER saluted. He ran to a nearby table and picked up a walkie-talkie. "Charlie Squad, commence your reconnoiter."

Four 3rd class SOLDIERs walked up to the strange vessel. They stopped at the door.

"What are they doing?" Heidegger asked.

"It looks like… they're playing rock-paper-scissors." Scarlet noted.

"Hey! Somebody get in there now!" Rufus shouted.

The far right soldier lost the bet and hung his head low as he walked up the strange metal ramp into the vessel. The other three soldiers fell in behind him.

"Okay Deutsch, what do you see?" The SOLDIER next to Rufus said over the radio.

"It's very dark in here. Our flashlights don't seem to be doing anything at all," came a scared voice over the radio.

"Get a grip Deutsch. Miller, how's radiometry?"

"We're not getting any solid readings. The thing must be electromagnetic and screwing with our equipment," a second voice replied.

"Hmm, that would account for our security radar not picking it up," Scarlet noted.

"Also why my scanning equipment was malfunctioning," Hojo added.

The radio flared for a second, and the voices returned. "We've reach the main console… at least I think it is. Wait what's this?"

"Deutsch, what's going on?" The SOLDIER shouted.

"There's something looking at us. I can't quite…"

The radio cut dead.

"Deutsch. Come in. Deutsch! Miller, Briers, Addison come in!"

The radio just softly echoed static. Five minutes passed, and then the four soldiers stumbled out of the vessel, seemingly drained of all their energy. Seven medical professionals rushed over to them wearing full-body rubber suits.

"Jameson, how are the men?" Reeve asked over the radio.

"Their vitals appear fine… but they look like hell. It looks like something scared the hell out of them." The medical engineer replied over the radio.

"Is that enough?" Heidegger asked. "Can we blow it to kingdom come and go home?"

"No!" Palmer and Hojo shouted in unison.

"Think of what you'd be destroying! This is the scientific event of the century. The greatest discovery since fire!" Hojo exclaimed.

"And think of what we could learn about other planets… other civilizations besides our own!" Palmer begged.

"Well you two want it saved, so that's good enough for me," Rufus shook his head. "Torch it."

Three heavy-armored SOLDIERs moved up to the door carrying rocket launchers. Hojo leapt past the barricade and stood in between the soldiers and the vessel with his arms outstretched.

"You can't do this! I won't allow you to destroy this discovery!" Hojo shouted. "If you want to destroy it, you'll have to take me down first."

"We can oblige. Open fire," Tseng ordered.

Hojo hit the deck as several machine guns rang out.

"Okay! Okay! Enough already!" Hojo cried.

However, the guns stopped before Hojo cried for relief. The heavy-armored soldiers had dropped their weapons. Hojo turned to see it.

The alien was stunningly beautiful. It looked like a woman, complete with long blonde hair, crystal blue eyes and a brilliant smile. She wore a navy blue jumpsuit and seemed to be an engineer.

"Sorry about this guys!" She exclaimed. "We were testing a new ride at Gold Saucer and things kinda got out of hand."

"Wait a minute, this is that UFO from the roller coaster?" Hojo asked.

"Sure is. We tried that new mineral in its design and apparently it glides really far," the woman grinned.

The soldiers lowered their weapons.

"Well that was a bust…" Reeve sighed. "Okay, pack it up."

"Wait, that's it?" Palmer asked. "You can't believe this. This is clearly an alien vessel. There's no way that UFO goes halfway around the world!"

"Shut it Palmer. Tear it down!" Rufus ordered.

The woman went back into the vessel and began fixing it, and an ambulance took the fours stunned SOLDIERs to the hospital.

---

"You know, nothing exciting ever happens around here. At least when we had that poltergeist things were lively around here," Rufus sighed.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and the Ghost]

"Sir," Reeve began. "I've just gotten word from the hospital. The four SOLDIERs who went into that vessel… they've all died."

Rufus looked up at Reeve across the desk. "They're dead?"

"Sudden heart attacks… four of them. In four men with very different biological data and ages. Doesn't that seem a little odd?" Reeve asked.

Rufus drummed his fingers on the desk.

"And there's been some weird people wandering around the halls lately. People I've never met before," Reeve explained.

"You don't think…"

"I wonder if we weren't duped by an alien," Reeve sighed.

"You think so…?" Rufus asked.

"All I know is Palmer is going to be pleased with himself," Reeve noted.

"Let's not tell him," Rufus ordered. "And… keep me informed about any other weird happenings."

[TO BE CONTINUED THIS HALLOWEEN.]