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17 March 2012 @ 09:19 pm
"Recognize where we are, Cloud?" Reno asked condescendingly as they approached Healen.

Cloud gazed out the window momentarily, recalling the scenery. "Healen? I would have assumed Rufus would have relocated after all this time. Maybe I expected more of him?"

"Or maybe we're just that good at keepin' secrets from you," Reno replied with a grin. "Besides, what's t' say he doesn't relocate on occasion?"

They trundled past the sign, the lodge itself visible across the beautiful ravine.  The car motored up the trail to the drive in front of the building.

Cloud pushed open the back door of the car and climbed out, making his way over to the long wooden ramp that made its way up to the entrance of the facility. He didn't particularly feel a need to wait up for Reno and Rude.

Rude killed the engine and jogged after him.

"Hey, whoa there, pal!" Reno called angrily as he jostled out of the SUV and ran after Cloud. He reached out to grab his arm, then jerked his hand back when he remembered the wound. "The boss doesn't like uninvited guests. Hang back a minute, wouldja'? Damn, gotta be so difficult..."

Cloud stopped as he felt Reno's hand grip his arm. He turned his head to look at Reno as the Turk explained the situation. Cloud then relaxed his body and sighed. "Fine, let him know I'm here then," Cloud mutters.

Rude nodded and edged past Cloud and went inside.

After the two had vanished into the facility, within Cloud's eyes Uriko had just landed in the front of the door, smirking at Cloud.

It taunted him waving him to come at him. "Come on, boy...you want to know the cure?" Uriko took a step back and faded through the door.

Cloud could have sworn he just saw that damned Seraph that had attacked him in front of Midgar. It couldn't be though, could it? "Hm.. Reno, did you see something up on the platform there?"

"Tsk." Reno gave him a perplexed look over his shoulder and shook his head. "Doomed," was all he said before shutting the door to go talk to Rufus.

"Mr. President, it's my understanding that the Seraphs have been attacking towns in the immediate area of Edge that have been supplying the city," Tseng spoke, standing with his hands placed behind his back in front of Rufus' desk.

Rufus looked up from his paperwork, calm and quiet as he shuffled them into order and leaned back in his chair nonchalantly. "Showed up sooner than I thought," he said with a sigh. "Guess I shouldn't be surprised, considering how much of a trouble magnet you tend to be."

"Yes, that is the current picture we have of the situation."

Reno snuck up to the office door just in time to hear that bit and, despite the looming crisis, couldn't help smirk to himself as he heard Tseng described as a "trouble-magnet." It was true, the man had it bad. Stabbed, shot, couldn't keep a girl he liked to save his soul and couldn't notice another girl right in front of his face. That was Tseng.

"That's the case, yes," replied Rufus.

Tseng continued to maintain his statue-like pose. "Well, if I may say, sir, this actually sounds like advantageous information to us. We have narrowed down possibilities of where the Seraphs may strike next."

Reno glanced up at Rude, still shamelessly eavesdropping, suddenly much more interested. Tseng actually figured out clues already?

The corner of Rude's mouth twitched disapprovingly at Reno's action, but he couldn't help but cock his head to listen in as well.

The voice spoke up into Cloud's mind. "They have the cure...they have it...but they won't let you have it. They are plotting on how to use you for their next set up...you're their puppet."

Rufus raised his eyebrows ever so slightly. "Their next move? That is valuable indeed. How did you come across that information?"

Tseng nodded his head. "Elena had called me over to one of our warehouses this morning under an emergency. When I got there, we had a close call with a Dark Seraph. We overheard it talking about a few things, though the attacks were what stood out to me the most."

Cloud could have sworn he heard a voice somewhere. How annoying. He must be getting feverish due to the wound or something. He started to make his way up to the entrance of the building. Reno and Rude were taking much too long to get back.

"Hmm... So they are finally making a move on Edge." Rufus tented his fingertips. "I had wondered what became of Dr. Aiden's abominable... project, but it appears it has, indeed, been fruitful and now that ripened fruit is upon us. We reap what we sow, Tseng." His eyes flicked up to the Turk's. "A Dark Seraph in one of our warehouses is no accident, make no mistake. What else did you find?"

Reno's eyes widened and met Rude's, which he assumed were just the same behind the other man's sunglasses. So, Rufus was familiar with the Dark Seraphs after all! Reno was stunned. At least, he thought to himself, Rufus wasn't directly involved in their creation... He hoped. No, he couldn't be.

"Unfortunately that is the crux of it, Mr. President. Otherwise, he was merely babbling about the other Seraphs it seemed," Tseng continued to explain.

Cloud had reached the door of the office holding his forehead. He had noticed the two bumblers crouching down in front of the cracked door like children listening in on their parents. Cloud put on a perturbed face before he planted his foot to Reno's ass and humorously kicked him through the door.

"FUCK!" Reno blurted as he face-planted into the door and skidded along the floor.

Rufus cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow, obviously not amused.

Tseng turned his head to find his number one subordinate sliding along the ground to his side. One could only imagine the embarrassment.

"Rufus," Cloud spoke as he stepped into the office. "The hell is with these Dark Seraph things? They had mentioned something about ShinRa to me."

"Cloud Strife... Do come in," Rufus said with a tense half-smile -- the "smile" part not fully reaching his eyes. "Reno, get up, can't you see we have a guest?"

Reno stifled a groan as he pushed himself up off the floor, rubbing his face and dusting off his clothes.

Rufus' tent collapsed as his fingers laced and he sat back easily in his chair, his position suggesting a relaxation that the Turks knew better than to believe. "So, you've encountered the Dark Seraphs as well? Surprise, surprise. Tell me how that went for you... Cloud?"

Cloud grabbed his arm for a moment, leaving the room silent for a moment before he lifts it to show the ShinRa President.

Tseng's eyes narrowed fearfully as they acknowledged the familiar wound on Cloud's arm. "It can't be..." Tseng couldn't help speaking out of turn.

Rufus sighed. "And yet it is."

"Doomed," Reno muttered under his breath.

"I heard that, Reno."

"Sorry, Boss."

Rufus gently massaged his temples. "I know why you're here, Cloud, but I am afraid I don't know a cure for infection. At least... not at this time." He looked into the ex-SOLDIER's eyes slyly.

"They are lying..." The voice spoke.

Cloud barely heard a voice or noise inside his head. He ignored it, this was much more important. "Tch, you're going to tell me you're just as clueless as them?" Cloud asks with an extended arm, clearly pointing out Reno and Rude. "You must know something more, or someone else that has more information."

"Of course, Cloud, are you really that simple?" Rufus smirked. "As far as I know, some of Dr. Aiden's research still exists. If it were analyzed by, say, the proper people, it stands to reason that more may be discovered about the nature of the beast. Including a reversal."

Cloud looks at Rufus for a moment. "Oh? Well is there anyone that could be placed on researching those notes?" Cloud never thought he would wish Hojo was still alive.

Reno's mouth gaped. Did he just hear that? Cloud must be desperate!

Rufus let his amusement at Cloud's request show openly. "Cloud Strife, are you sincerely asking me that question?" he asked smoothly.

Reno imagined it would sound the way a devil might ask for a soul.

Cloud clenched his fists once again. It always burned to ask Rufus for any help at all. It couldn't be avoided here, though. "I'm no good if I'm dead. I'll destroy these things with my own hands, but I have to live that long first," he answered Rufus' question implicitly.

Rufus smirked contentedly as he leaned forward once again, pleased with the obvious success of the conversation -- well, on his part.

"A wise decision, Cloud. I have the perfect specialist in mind." His eyes met Reno's for the briefest of moments, and the redheaded Turk blanched, feeling a sudden drop in his stomach.

"In the meantime, you're going to have to do some digging around. Any copies that ShinRa had of Dr. Aiden's notes have been destroyed, thanks to Meteor. But the originals must still exist, the presence of successful Dark Seraphs being the proof. I have reason to believe Aiden had a hidden laboratory for himself in the ruins to the east of Edge."

Rufus paused. "If you see nothing, you may want to search for an underground shelter. The man was never quite the same after witnessing Meteor..."

Cloud nodded and turned around, about to step out.

Tseng decided to finally speak up again. "Before you go Mr. Strife, you may be interested in what I have to say."

Cloud stopped in his tracks at what he heard. "Mr. President, with the knowledge we've gained we may be able to intercept the Seraphs here and start to push them back. I know you're more familiar with the patterns they have been following in their destruction so far. If possible we may be able to launch a defense against them at their next stop."

The creature began to pick at his mind and provided the image of the exact location of where the underground lab entrance was. "Marcus...Marcus...the traitor. The creator is human...humans are the betrayer...Such imperfection...All will be perfected once again." The creature spoke so clearly that it sounded like it was standing right next to him.

"Pursue it," Rufus told Tseng curtly. "Use all the resources at your disposal. Mounting a defense when they least expect it may buy Cloud enough time to find what we need. He is of more use to us in finding a cure, is he not?" Rufus looked at Tseng, then Reno and Rude, meaningfully.

Rude nodded.

"But!" Rufus interjected. "Leave no trail so that they may get the upper hand again. This is a covert operation, and it will stay that way, understood?"

"Wait a minute..." Cloud spoke up, turning around once again to face Rufus. "Finding the notes is important, but nobody would know more information than those things themselves." Cloud pushes his hair out of his face and continues. "I won't be any help once those notes are being looked at. I'll find the notes today, and then go join in the fight tomorrow."

"Hmph. Ever the hero... Cloud." Rufus turned his attention back to his guest. "You'll be plenty of help while you're out there -- his lab is bound to be a hotbed of Seraphs. Since you'll be facing resistance, I'll give you... two days to return before we assume the worst." Rufus smiled as if he was being generous.

Reno's eye twitched. Damn, that was harsh. But Rufus wasn't unnecessarily cruel, which led Reno to the only conclusion he could possibly entertain: Rufus believed Cloud could do it. Well, he'd saved the world several times over, now... Reno sighed. It was out of his hands -- less stress to just leave it in faith with Cloud.

"Tch," Cloud clicked his tongue and turned to make his way out once again. "Reno... I'll see you tomorrow after I've found those notes." He spoke spitefully. Cloud didn't know why, but he felt like he knew exactly where the lab was located. He started to make his way out of the room.

Reno held back a shudder. "Y-yeah..."

"Remember -- time is of the essence. Especially yours... Cloud." Rufus' voice could be heard.

Cloud pauses for a moment as he takes in what Rufus said before leaving completely.

Tseng watched him leave before turning to Reno. "Reno, you, Rude and Elena will be going with me on this operation.
I'm going to stay here with the President for a little while longer to discuss where we think the next attack will occur. After that, I will go inform Elena of our mission."

"Elena's alone?" Reno blurted out, sensing Rude asking the same question with his body language. "I thought you said we had t' move together? I figured she'd be here with you?"

Rufus, too, gave Tseng a questioning look.

Tseng nodded. "I can't say I have any excuses for this. Someone had to come here to speak with Rufus, but it was also necessary to get the word out to the other Turks. I'll make it my priority to find her immediately." Tseng bowed in apology.

Wouldn't that be moving alone? Reno was tempted to say, but he could see Tseng wasn't in the mood. "Alright," he agreed. "We'll meet up later. Let us know when you've found her, unless you want us to go get her instead?"

Tseng shook his head. "It was my mistake. I don't expect anyone else to correct it." He looked back to Rufus. "Sir, I believe that it is important we have a discussion about our mission. When would you like to discuss this?"

"As soon as possible," Rufus answered without hesitation. "However, judging from your report, Tseng, Reno has actually engaged one of these Seraphs in battle. I would very much like to have everyone present for his report, as it should influence our next move significantly, don't you think?"

Tseng pondered for a second and nodded. "You are correct, Mr. President. In that case, shall we gather everyone early tomorrow so we may all be present for Reno's report? We can then use that to help determine our strategy."

Rufus closed his eyes. "Mn. It is late. Tomorrow will have to do."

"Wait!" Reno blurted out.

Tseng turned his head quickly in surprise at Reno's outburst. "Yes, Reno?" Tseng asked sharply. To cause a riot like that in front of the President of all things.

"Y' don' mean here, do ya?" Reno asked nervously. Rufus looked at him hard, a look that squeezed for answers.

Tseng's face turns curious. "Oh? Was there somewhere else you had in mind, Reno?"

"Boss, this place might have known ties to ShinRa," Reno replied. "You just found a corpse in a ShinRa warehouse."

"We shouldn't all be together in an obvious location," Rufus finished Reno's thought. "We'd be a rather easy target, wouldn't we?" He smirked. "So where else did you have in mind?"

"Er... " Reno rubbed the back of his neck. He hadn't exactly thought of that part, yet. "Well, somewhere that's pretty much the opposite of ShinRa. Like, the epitome of anti-ShinRa, even."

Tseng brought his hand to his chin to think on it for a moment. "A place that is anti-ShinRa... I wonder..." Tseng continued to ponder on the thought.

Rufus glanced at his senior Turk before growing very serious. "What about the rubble about Sector 7?" His gaze swept over to Reno and Rude.

Reno cringed. The thought had crossed his mind. "That's... a pretty good one."

Reno still had nightmares about that place and hated it with a passion. But business was business. It all came down to what Tseng thought, and he waited with baited breath.

"The crumbled grave of AVALANCHE... Not only anti-ShinRa but also barren. Nobody would be looking for us there. This may be the best plan of action." Tseng nodded his head. "That is of course..." The Turk leader turned to Reno. "..if going there won't surface any guilt from someone here."

"It's fine," Reno said gruffly with bravado.

Rufus eyed the redhead for a moment more before accepting his answer. "Sector 7 it is, then."

Tseng brought his attention back to Rufus, bowing to him respectfully. "Well with that decided, if you don't mind Mr. President, I must go find Elena."

Rufus nodded. "Please. And, Tseng, if we'll be moving, I'll need an escort as well," he reminded his subordinate.

"I'll make sure to pick you up personally before the meeting, sir," Tseng assured his boss before standing upright once again.

"You are dismissed."

Tseng bowed his head lightly once more before excusing himself from the room.

Reno and his partner followed suit.
Current Mood: pensivepensive
17 March 2012 @ 08:29 pm
Cloud revved up the engine on his motorcycle. It was his silent way of telling Reno and Rude he was ready to go.

"I don't think you should drive anywhere right now, Strife," Reno said dryly, eying the other man on the motorcycle.  "I mean, ya bit it pretty bad back there... Besides, how ya gonna find Rufus without us, eh? I ain't ridin' double."

He snapped his fingers with a Eureka! look. "Rude can drive us!"

Cloud watched Reno for a moment before he decided to shut his motorcycle down.  He climbed off the vehicle and pressed a button on the console. This caused the compartments on the side of it to open up, one of them holding Cloud's Fusion Sword. He pulled the weapon out of it and slid it into a sling which he wore on his back. "Fine then. Let's go."

Cloud made his way over to the two Turks.

Rude suddenly looked at Reno, his eyebrow raised in muted disbelief.

Reno shrugged helplessly with a smile, but it looked pretty insincere.

Rude let out a resigned sigh and walked off to get his car.

The redhead grinned. "Thanks buddy! I owe ya one!"

A few moments later, Rude pulled up in a shiny, new black SUV.

Yuffie's eyes narrowed as she watched Cloud grab his Fusion Sword and follow the two Turks. So, for reasons unfathomable, Cloud could be trusted with information, but she couldn't? She didn't know if she should be offended by that or not. Yuffie watched as Rude walked off, presumably to get his car, because it was obvious that they were all up to something.  She waited in her inconspicuous location on the roof as Rude's car pulled up. As soon as everyone was in the car, she jumped from her perch and landed flawlessly and with the slightest thump on the roof of the SUV.

"D'ju here that, yo?" Reno asked, cocking his head to the side, his eyebrows knitting together.

Rude glanced up quizzically.

Cloud was leaning his elbow against the back door of the car, resting his cheek on a clenched fist. Reno and Rude were unfamiliar with it, but Cloud had a pretty good idea of what that sound was. He sighed and leaned forward a bit as he reached behind himself. The materia he had placed in his sword from the fight was still there. He plucked it out of the slot, than lowered the window of his door. Cloud then proceeded to hold the materia out the window in plain sight. With materia being so rare nowadays, he knew how irresistible this would be.

"Hm?" Reno noticed Cloud holding a materia out the window in his rear view mirror. "Cloud, what're ya doin'?"

Oh, Yuffie saw the materia Cloud's dirty hand held outside the window. And even better, it was indeed a rare piece of materia. Yuffie had to use all of her willpower to not pluck the rock from his fingers. Curse him. Leviathan curse him for eternity. But somehow she managed to suppress her klepto urges and refrained from grabbing the rare materia.

"I'm fishing for greedy ninja," Cloud replied as he began to toss the materia up and down. "Sure would be a shame if I dropped this materia and lost it on the street," he said loudly.

Rude glanced in the rear view mirror with a 'WTF' eyebrow raise.

"No way..." Reno said slowly, getting the idea. He rolled down his window and pulled the top half of his torso through to take a peek, propping himself up with his elbow.

Curse him! Curse him! CURSE HIM! Cloud was really making this stealth operation significantly harder than it had to be. The only upside to this was that she could now somewhat hear what they were saying in the car since Cloud's window was slightly down.

When she heard the other window roll down, Yuffie cursed to herself and lowered her body onto the back of the car. But she knew she could stay there long, so she maneuvered herself under the car, holding on for dear life. She was so close to the fast-moving ground that she could feel her hair being brushed by the ground every now and then.

Oh well, at least she didn't get caught.

"Hn... " Reno narrowed his eyes. "I coulda' sworn... Well, ain't nothin' up there now."

Rude just kept on driving.

Cloud caught the materia one last time and shifted his eyes a bit to the side. He knew she wasn't gone, but it didn't matter. "I guess it was my imagination." Cloud brought his hand back in to the car and popped the materia back into his case.

Reno swung back into the passenger seat and got comfortable again. "Man, Cloud, you already startin' t' see shit? We are doomed. It's over, call the presses."

A hush faint voice began to speak into Cloud’s mind. “Kill them…kill them all. Before they kill you…There is no cure, but death.

Cloud heard the sound of a voice very faintly, but he couldn't even make out what it said. It must have just been the radio, Cloud thought, and just shrugged it off.

"Look, no promises on Rufus," Reno was saying.  "Even when you're not, y'know, a diseased specimen of the living dead, you're usually considered a hostile presence."

Cloud shook his head, sitting back with his arms crossed. "Rufus is stubborn, but while I hate to say it, he's much more understanding than his dad ever was. He'll talk to me," he reassured Reno.

"That last statement doesn't sound hostile at all," Reno muttered. "Whatcha' gonna finish it up with, Strife, 'or else' ?"

Rude pulled off the main streets of Edge and pulled onto the highway out of town, the bleak landscape beginning to fill their vista.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
12 March 2012 @ 10:10 pm
After a few more turns here and there, it wasn't long before Reno and Sam arrived in a much nicer part of town. "Here we are," Reno said as he stood in front of a small, but chic, apartment. "Rude's a real classy guy. Let's go see if he's home." He jogged up the short set of stairs and rang the bell.

Sam followed behind him and had to respond to his words. "Oh? Is that what you call your apartment?" she joked.

"What, classy? Pffft, yeah right."

There was an inquisitive rustling on the other side of the door before a languid sigh could be heard through the door and it opened up, revealing the large, bald Turk in his sun glassed glory.

"Yo, Rude!" Reno greeted him cheerfully. "How ya feelin'? Can we come in? We've got pizza!" That last bit was emphasized with a large, suggestive grin.

Sam arched an eyebrow seeing the new face that came to the door. She would be lying if she said he didn't look threatening.

He considered it for a moment before shrugging and beckoning them inside. He motioned at the coffee table for them to set the pizza box.

"Awesome, thanks buddy!" Reno turned slightly to give Sam a reassuring thumbs-up over his shoulder. Sometimes he forgot how scary Rude could look. To Reno, he was just his partner.

"Thirsty?" Rude asked as he walked towards the kitchen to grab them plates.

"Uh, yeah, sure, I'll take a beer, an' for the lady...?" Reno looked at Sam questioningly

Sam decided to follow them in and hung out against a wall close by. She shook her head at the question, "No thanks..." She wasn't going to question his choice. She didn't find it the best time to drink.

There was a soft clatter as Rude got the plates and pulled a beer out of the fridge for Reno. As he approached, there was a sudden crash and heavy footfalls as he sprinted towards Samantha and grabbed her by the throat. He pushed her against the wall.

"Fuckin' 'ell, man, calm down!" Reno jumped up and tried to pry him off of her. "Leggo', Rude!"

Sam was a bit surprised by the sudden aggression and immediately reached at her throat being grabbed. Her eyes began to take a red glow and she gave a loud inhuman growl. Her hands turned into claws as she slashed one of them right across his chest. She didn't hold any hesitation back in the strike.

Years of experience and lightning reflexes saved the Turk some considerable pain and extended sick leave as he weaved his body back. "What the hell is SHE doing here?"

"Rude, I swear, I can explain everything!" Reno said hurriedly. He then glared over his shoulder. "Bad Sam! No claws! Bad!"

Sam took a step forward flexing out her clawed fingers ready to come at him, but stopped hearing Reno. She gave a hiss before retracting her claws and her eyes resumed their normal look.

Rude hesitated; looking back from the traitor to the man he'd worked with for years and trusted with his life, then back at his apartment. He didn't want to lose his security deposit... and the mess would be Biblical. Slowly and cautiously, he lowered the woman to the ground and took a step back, his eyes hard and glaring at her.

Reno sighed, relieved and grateful for Rude's trust. "Thanks. An'... sorry. Guess I shoulda' warned ya... er, but then again, you'd have pro'lly called Rufus..." Reno rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "Okay then, let's all get back t' pizza an' try t' calm down while we sort this out, yeah?"

Rude merely grunted in response and sat down, never facing away from her.

Sam glared at Rude with a death glare. This was off to a bad start and she was on the verge of bypassing Reno and redecorating this whole apartment. She remained where she was, not going to go anywhere near him. She was not afraid of him, but afraid she may actually snap.

"Ooookay then," Reno said anxiously, easing back down into his seat with his arms outstretched, half defensively and half to, well, try to defuse the situation. "Rude, I can see you already recognize Samantha Yagasaki..."

Rude grunted.

"Aaaand Sam, this is my partner Rude. He's very loyal and protective."

Sam rolled her eyes at that, "I can see that...Not very friendly either." She rubbed her neck for a moment.

"He just takes some getting used to..." Eheheh. Sweatdrop. "Okay, well, um, I guess that just leaves the big issue worth strangling over, uh... 'Kay, Rude, she's not against us. Really."

Rude raised an eyebrow; that wasn't the case the last time he checked.

Sam could tell this was going to take some time, but 'time' was not on their side at the moment, "Trust me or not. I care very little. You better watch who you strike or else there will be one less Turk in this damn place," she threatened.

"I am not here to waste my time on the Turks, but there is an issue going on and you better be ready for it. We will be working together if you like it or not. If you come at me again, I can't guarantee I'm going to stop just because of Reno here."

Reno's face fell. Well this wasn't exactly going as planned. "Rude," he said firmly, trying to prevent another fight. "She's right. Rebellion or not, we got a wayyy bigger mess on our hands right now, an' she's the only one who can help. Didja already get a call from Elena?"

"Yes," he replied. "Cryptic."

"Okay, well, Elena doesn't know all the details yet either, dude," Reno explained. "We got a new crisis buildin' on us, there's these creatures called Dark Seraphs that can infect a person an' use their body as a host and just use it up." He looked to Sam to explain better.

Sam snorted and looked away not at all sure she even wanted to talk to him about the subject. She wasn't exactly in the mood too.

Rude simply shrugged and went for a piece of pizza. Some people just enjoyed pitching a fit, he supposed.

Reno sighed. "Okay then. Well anyway, they infect ya an' then they take over ya from the inside out until they're all that's left in there, apparently. They're tryin' t' wipe us all out, man, an' they're stronger than they look! Gotta really burn 'em good to take 'em out. Thing is..." Reno trailed off for a moment. "We dunno exactly how many there are now."

Rude chewed his food thoughtfully for a moment, swallowed and gave a "well, this isn't good" tilt of his head.

"Yeah, I know man, I know." Reno shook his head.

Sam closed her eyes and spoke to Reno, "Don't worry about the numbers. If I told you how many there were you may not be so willing to fight any of them."

He blanched. "Eh, maybe you're right, there. Anyway, the reason they're gettin' so strong is they've been snappin' up all the little places first, see, an' NOW they're comin' t' Edge an' the big places an' pickin' us off. You heard 'Laney found a body, right?"

Rude nodded.

"Look, man, I'm convinced it's a message for us," Reno said gravely. "It's in the main ShinRa warehouse, dressed up an' left with graffiti art? No fuckin' way that means nothin', yo. It's like what we used t' see in the slums -- they're comin' for us, dude, specifically and it's crazy. I mean, it's like a personal vendet-- shit." Reno interrupted himself again with another epiphany. "Sam, is this over Marcus?"

Sam opened her eyes at the mention of Marcus. She looked over at him. "This is no act of revenge I assure you. Marcus made these creatures and they became as vicious as they are now."

"Then why would they target ShinRa now?" the redhead wondered out loud.

"Because ShinRa...is a bunch of humans...That is the only reason they need. ShinRa is targeted because it is one of the resistances that keep this place alive. Destroy the weapons and the creatures will have free roam of the place without much of a struggle."

Rude gave his "still seems a bit theatrical to me" shrug.

"You've got a point, Rude, we're not as strong as we used to be," Reno conceded. "But I guess we are a part of the feeble protection this place's got. I mean, we just restocked all the emergency supplies an' whatnot. That's there t' deal with panic an' shit, we can't afford t' have another run on them like after Meteor."

"Well, anyway, that's about the long an' short of it," Reno finished. "We gotta move in teams now, anyway, so I figured we'd come get you an' tell you what we knew. I think all of us should meet up, though, get all on the same page an' then make a plan of action! An' by that, I mean, let Tseng do his thing an' make a plan of action! 'Cuz these things are intense, man."

Rude finished downing his third slice of pizza and paused and tilted his head towards Sam questioningly.

Sam narrowed her eyes again when Rude gave her eye contact. She forced her eyes away. So much tension was building in this apartment.

"Anyway, I'm waitin' t' hear back from 'Laney an' Tseng about where we're gonna end up. I'm thinkin' we should go plain-clothes, obviously, more inconspicuous..." Reno went fishing in his pocket for his cigarettes.

Rude sat up and slapped the coffee table and gestured out the door.

Reno winced. "Ah, yeah, I forgot. Sorry, dude, takin' it out." He let himself out the front door and closed it behind him, absorbed in digging in his pocket and lighting up as he sauntered down the stairs.

He inhaled deeply and closed his eyes, then exhaled slowly trying to relax and let the drug do its work.

Rude grunted disapprovingly before taking another slice of pizza.

The sound of a motor roaring in the distance could be heard from down the empty street. The noise grew in volume rapidly as a motorcycle could be seen closing in on the entryway of the apartment. Upon reaching its destination the rider tried to slide the vehicle to a halt, but in doing so ended up tossing himself a short distance away from his bike. "Agh!" the rider let out a small cry as his skin scrapped against the pavement. It was surprising to see him make such a pitiful stop on his bike, but it was no mistaking this man was Cloud Strife.

Rude perked up a bit, the familiar sound disrupting the quiet of his home... or what was left of it.

Reno's forehead creased with curiosity... then suspicion... then outright concern as he heard the motorcycle get closer, and he ventured a look in the direction. When he saw who it was coming straight for him, he almost had no time to react at all. He jumped back instinctively as the bike skidded down the street and Cloud was thrown. "What the -?"

His curiosity got the best of him, and Reno ran across the street to where Cloud lay, scraped up and leaving a trail of blood down the asphalt. "Dude, you okay? What happened, yo?"

Sam heard the roar of the motorcycle and the sound it made when the bike landed. She grew very curious at what that sound was as well. She began to head her way out of the apartment. She didn't like being cooped up in there anyway.

Rude swore inwardly as he got to his feet, apprehensive that the already circus-like atmosphere for the normally Zen solitude of his home was going to escalate.

"Tch..." Cloud clicked his tongue before rolling over. He lifted his body up and caught himself on one knee, holding the arm which had an almost alien wound on it. His sight was going in and out of focus; however, it wasn't from his fall just now. About an hour ago Cloud had awoken to find himself laying outside of Midgar.

He wanted to believe the encounter he had was nothing but a nightmare. He knew, though, that wasn't the case. "We were created by a ShinRa scientist named Marcus..." Those words rung through Cloud's head when he tried to recall what had happened to him. He knew who it was he needed to talk to. "Reno..." Cloud managed to steady himself and return to a standing position. Cloud places his hand over the wound on his arm. "Reno... I need you to take me to that bastard Rufus..."

Reno's look of concern turns to one of annoyance. "No way. Why should I take you anywhere, speakin' about the President like that?"

Rude exited the apartment to see an unfortunately familiar sight. With a sigh, he approached cautiously.

Cloud's eyes narrowed as he shot Reno a glare. "I ran into one of those.. things. The hell were they called?" Cloud's thoughts trailed off for a moment as he tried to recollect everything that was said during his fight. For some reason his mind was hazy. "I think he called himself a Dark Seraph or some crap... Either way he mentioned ShinRa. I know Rufus knows something about all of this."

"Whoa whoa whoa!" Reno's hands were immediately up and he started backing away. "You got hurt by one? A Dark Seraph? When?"

Rude walked up to them.

"That's not important," Cloud replied with a hint of annoyance in his tone. "I need to find out as much information as possible."

Sam seeing the new visitor was very curious of him. Until of course, she heard about him running into a dark seraph and is obviously hurt. She moved her way closer to Reno and got in between them. Her eyes narrowed as she looked into Cloud's eyes. "When did you get infected?"

Reno nodded cautiously. "Sounds good." He looked at Sam. "We'll think about that later. Right now, we've got more important things t' deal with."

Cloud's eyes shifted with avoidance to the side.. He wasn't sure of what the details were. He knew though from what that Seraph had mentioned to him earlier that this 'being infected' thing had to do with being controlled by them. "You don't need to concern yourselves with that detail..." was all he could say in reply.

"Don't need t' -- are you fucking KIDDING me right now, Cloud?" Reno exploded.

Sam narrowed her eyes and she pulled her sword off her back to point it right at him, "It greatly concerns us, now tell me or I'll end your suffering right here and now," she threatened.

Rude watched with interest.

Cloud clenched a fist tightly but decided if he wanted Reno to cooperate with him it was best not to start anything here. Whether he liked it or not, Rufus was slippery and Cloud had no idea where to find him right now. He lifted a hand and pushed Sam's sword out of his face with the outside. "Such a pain... Yes, I had an encounter with one of those things."

"Duh." Reno rolled his eyes.

Sam didn't lower her sword, "You didn't answer my question... When...did you get infected?" She needed to know this information or else this could be a very difficult situation very quickly.

Cloud's eyes shifted to the nosy woman accompanying Reno, he wasn't really sure who she was but she certainly had a lot of questions. "I just woke up about an hour ago outside of Midgar... I don't know how long ago it was that I fought the thing..." Cloud faced Reno again. "Worrying about that is useless though. I need answers not questions.. That monster mentioned ShinRa. I want to know everything he knows about them."

"Yeah, well, here's an answer for ya," Reno said with a snort. "It ain't useless because, at best, ya got a week t' live based on whenever ya met that thing. An' after that, th' rest of us are fucked because your world-savin', hero-strong corpse is gonna infect us all."

Sam lowered her sword and returned it onto her back not seeing any reason to strike him down now since it has only been an hour, but knew in time he will need to be. She moved away so that Reno and Cloud could talk.

Cloud shook his head, "That just sounds like another good reason why you guys are wasting my time... Unless of course you already know a cure?" Cloud retorts to Reno with a glare.

"I wish." Reno sighed and crossed his arms. "At least then I wouldn't hafta imagine all the ways you'll be slicin' me t' pieces, every time I close my eyes for the next week."

Cloud closed his eyes and gripped at the handle of his motorcycle. "That's what I thought." He reached into his pocket and pulled his goggles out, placing them over his eyes. "In that case bring me to Rufus. If you don't want me going on a rampage in the next week then I need to talk to the right people," he tried to reason with the Turk.

Reno groaned and looked behind him to Rude for help. He didn't know if Rufus knew any more than they did -- though, it would make sense, he supposed.

Sam spoke up to answer it. "There is no cure for it. I highly doubt a ShinRa head is going to know of any cure or else this wouldn't have gotten as far as it has. No one knows it...at least not anymore."

Cloud hopped over on to his bike. "Hm? I don't expect that guy to know enough to fix this, like hell if he's been the answer to everything for me before. He's the only lead I have right now though, he's my best bet for figuring out who I should be turning to."

Sam shrugged her shoulders not at all sure what else to tell him.

Rude watched the exchange in silence. He had to admit, if Cloud was in trouble, they were all pretty much screwed.

Reno sighed again with Rude's body language. "Alright..." he groaned. "I guess it can't be much worse than this. Rude... um... d'you have wheels, though? We, uh, walked here."

Sam chuckled and began to walk away. "You guys go right ahead, I am going to head myself back to the apartment okay?" she told him. She was not going to get on another vehicle again.

"Oh... right. Yeah, better she stay away from Rufus anyway... Uh... she can stay here, right?" Reno looked at Rude pleadingly.

Rude sighed, typical of Reno... He nodded, it'd be fine as long as she didn't screw anything up, and not that he was TOO worried about it. He wasn't thrilled about the idea of a stranger in his personal sanctuary poking around, pacing, impatient, but he had very little choice at the moment.

Sam shook her head and waved that off, "No thanks, I think I’ll go back to YOUR apartment Reno. You guys have fun, 'kay?"

"THANK Y-- uh?" Reno was interrupted by that. "Muh-muh-my apartment?"
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Current Mood: cynicalcynical
11 March 2012 @ 11:17 pm
Sam let Reno lead her and wasn't sure where they were going exactly. She hadn't been around Midgar in a long time and yesterday she didn't have a good chance to have a good look around at the changes.

She had to admit though, coming here wasn't all that bad. She did get to see Reno again...She couldn't help but to feel grateful to him by his outburst to her when she was at her most vulnerable. She felt like she really needed to be smacked mentally from that state.

She found it a bit funny though. He says he owed her, but has he forgotten about what happened all those years ago? She actually had to pay him back from that action he did, even if it meant losing his job.

"After Meteor an' then Geostigma, we relocated here t' Edge, just outside Midgar," Reno said to her as they walked. "You can still see the remains of the old city from anywhere in here. It was pretty massive..." They took a left turn at the next street. "We've done some clean up there, but it's such a big job... I dunno if it'll ever get done, y'know? Might just be left for awhile, I guess a testament to our mistakes."

Sam, hearing the random start of a conversation, listened. She glanced around for a moment before responding, "Well, if things don't stop now, then I assure you...This place will be even more of a mess. I am quite surprised how much you know even though you only encountered these creatures once...a new one in fact."

"I'm a fast learner," Reno answered with a shrug. "Ya had t' be, where I came from. ShinRa only honed it an' made it useful. Besides -- every action comes from somewhere. Only gotta keep that in mind, an' ya can figure out a lotta stuff. Not t' mention this sorta thing isn't exactly unique."

Sam nodded her head knowing it wasn't an unknown idea that wasn't created before. "They have other...ideas they may try, but I'd rather get them pushed back and prevent taking over Midgar any time soon...I want you to do something for me though..."

Reno looked over his shoulder at her, eyebrows raised in curiosity. "An' what's that?"

Sam stopped walking and gave him a hard serious look. "If a Dark Seraph comes with six wings and chains around his arms...I want you to take everyone...the Turks, everyone, out of the area. Leave me behind."

Reno stopped in his tracks as well and turned to face her. "Leave you behind? Why can't you come, too? What Dark Seraph is that?"

Sam decided it was better to answer him. "I lost a loved one by his hands... His name is Uriko. I have escaped him once, but I doubt there will be a second time. If I were to run too, you and the other Turks would all perish my fate. If I'm going to die, I want to at least know some good came out of it."

Reno thought for a moment. "But..." he began, "if you die, what's to stop Uriko from killing everyone else anyway?"

"He has no intent in going after you and all of Midgar alone. I am on the high hit list for him because I got away. He wants to make sure I die suffering. He already knows I'm suffering after watching a loved one's death. He still hasn't found me yet. If he were to come at me, you guys would have plenty of time to get away from there...He will let me die slowly and I will assure you I will live enough to make sure you get away." She didn't really think that all through. It just fell out of her mouth.

Reno stared at her, his emotions in tumultuous chaos over all of this. After a moment, he just shook his head. "Don't sacrifice yourself just yet," he said, and turned to continue walking. "The Dark Seraphs wanna take out everyone eventually, right? Your death isn't gonna change that goal. So if ya go, ya better go with a bang. But let's just cross that bridge when we come to it."

Sam stood there for a moment before continuing to follow him. "Yes, but at least living a bit longer would be meaningful...better than dying right then and there....I told you before, I'm going to do what I can until my last breath." She smiled slightly, "I'm not going to let him take me down just like that."

Reno smirked. "Good. Don't let that last breath go too easy or too soon, yo."

Sam shook her head. "I won't...if my death is coming I will at least yank all of his wings off the bastard before I go down." She wondered where they were going still. She was starting to get hungry herself.

Reno's smirk widened into a full-on grin at that. "Y'know, though," he said after a moment, "ya don't have to feel alone."

He made a right and nodded to a glowing sign up ahead, some of the letters flickering. "There's the best pizza place in town, yo. Perfect place t' stop for some dinner, an' pick up a bribe for Rude. Dunno if 'Laney's called him yet, but he's not big on bein' disturbed, especially with strangers."

"You wanna eat in?" Reno asked before opening the door. "Or you wanna get to-go? Up to you, you gotta keep a lower profile than I do."

Sam honestly didn't think it really mattered what action she took anyway. "We can go inside to eat. I don't mind..." She highly doubted the creatures would be in that building anyway, but she can never tell unless they finally reveal themselves.

"Alrighty then." Reno held open the door for Sam.

Sam nodded her head in thanks and walked inside. She was hit immediately by the multiple smells of the place. It wasn't too overwhelming though. She stepped aside letting Reno go ahead of her as she had no idea what she had to do.

Reno led Sam up to a counter where, overhead, a vast menu was displayed. "Feel free ta' order whatever ya like if ya want somethin' in particular," he told her. "Or we can just split a pizza.”

Sam responded, "Nothing in particular in mind. If you don't mind, order for me please." She'd rather have it that way. She may find it amusing what he would choose for her.

"Uh... 'kay..." Reno wasn't one of those people who were big on ordering for others, so he went as basic as he could think of. "Can I get a large cheese pizza please? Yeah, an' another one to go, hold for twenty minutes or so on that."

Sam chuckled at his choice of pizza. Clearly her telling him to choose made him go to the easiest route. She couldn't blame that on him. She pulled the hood off her head not seeing a whole lot of point wearing it indoors. She wanted to look less noticeable. Seeing two hooded figures is very nerve wrecking to some. "Did I stress you on telling you to order for me?" She asked.

Reno shrugged, letting his sweatshirt's hood fall, too. "Not really, but I figured better keep it simple -- better safe than sorry, right? Don't tell me ya don't like plain cheese, now."

Sam grinned slightly. "If I can eat it, I don't really care what kind it is." She pulled her hair out of the cloak. She stroked her hair a bit to straighten it out with her fingers. She had two white feathers hiding in her thick hair that became visible when she combed it. She leaned her back against the chair closing her eyes.

It wasn't long before their number was called and Reno brought the pizza back to their table with some plates and an abundance of napkins. He inhaled appreciatively. "Mmm, food... I thought I'd never get any today."

Sam really didn't expect any food today at all either. "You and me both..." She opened her eyes to look to see what he had brought. She couldn't really smell it sense of how much food is in this place.

Reno was about to take a large bite out of a slice he'd folded in half when he stopped at grinned at Sam. "Actually, you first," he said playfully. "I wanna see what you think."

Sam gave a small laugh, "Oh, me first? What, did you poison it or something?" She joked before taking a slice of the pizza to take a bite out of it. She showed no hesitation in doing so. It has been awhile since she has eaten human food. She swallowed and smiled, "It’s good."

"Good? Just good?" Reno exclaimed, mock-indignant. "Sam, this is the best pizza place that's ever been!"

Sam shrugged her shoulders. "I can't really agree with you since I haven't had human food in a long while, so don't really have 'pizza' experience like you do. So yeah, it’s good."

"Well, just so you know, your first meal out of a tree is the crème de la crème of pizza kind." With that, Reno returned to devouring his own slice.

Sam chuckled at that and continued to eat the slice of pizza she had till she was finished. She wasn't full, but she can be satisfied with that for now. She crossed her arms and her mind began to roam as she sat there. Sometimes she wished a fight would just break out when her mind began to think. She found her mind recently a very harsh and merciless opponent.

She looked at Reno wondering if she was doing anything right by helping them. She wondered if it was for him or was it just because they were human beings too. She wondered if all she was to him was just something to protect until all of this was over. "Hey, Reno. I need to tell you something...you may want to stop thinking you owe me anything." She had a bit of guilt for having this drag this long.

Reno stopped his second slice of pizza hanging between his hand and his mouth. "Umm... Here?"

She glanced around not seeing any problem with it. "Oh stop worrying too much...even if there were any around here, they wouldn't care one bit. It wouldn't change their plans at all. It isn't you that should owe me, more like the other way around. It was 12 years ago."

"You owe me?" Reno put the remainder of the slice down on his plate and looked at her with confused curiosity. "How's that?"

Sam wasn't sure if she should say this part out loud. She responded, "I cannot speak this out loud though, unless you want to risk your job." She placed her arms on the table crossing them as she leaned in on them a bit.

Reno froze. No, his job was rather important. Extremely important. "Er, maybe later."

He heard the number called for Rude's pizza. "You just about ready to go?" he asked.

Sam nodded her head and got up onto her feet. "Ready to go save the world one Dark Seraph at a time? Not so much...but I am as ready as I will ever be." She began to walk off to head outside to wait.

Reno chuckled at that and cleaned off their table, grabbing the to-go pizza box on the way out. "Okay, onward we go."
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Current Mood: hungryhungry
11 March 2012 @ 09:57 pm
Sam remained in the bathroom even after the ill feeling left her. She looked at her hand and flexed the fingers a bit. She knew it had been awhile since she had this sort of similar feeling before, but it seemed worse this time. She didn't listen in on their conversation not having any care to it. This wasn't her responsibility. Her eyes glowing in the darkness would seem eerie to a lot of people, but she had a lot of softness to them. She had let the cold exterior fade from her body long ago. Even when she would bring it up, as she has done the last day or so, it would quickly fall.

Reno sighed as he closed the door behind Yuffie, having finally gotten her to leave. He wasn't sure how much time had actually passed, but talking to her made it seem much longer. As he sank onto the sofa and massaged his eyes, he nearly forgot about Sam.

Sam! Where was she again? Oh, right, she'd shut herself away in the bathroom. That was a little weird.

With a soft groan, Reno pushed himself back up to standing again and lightly knocked on the bathroom door. "Sam? You okay in there?"

Sam heard the knocking and sighed hearing his voice. She didn't mind it though. She really did feel like talking to someone actually made her feel a bit better. She really hadn't talked to many people since after his death, "You can come in if you want..." She told him not motioning to get up.

Reno paused, uncertain about that -- there really was no telling what he'd find behind that door. After a moment of thinking about it, though, he slowly opened it. "You decent?"

Blink blink. "It's dark in here, yo, you been sittin' in the pitch black this whole time?"

Sam lifted up her head and responds, "Didn't feel up to turning on the lights, sorry." She leaned her head back against the wall. "Also, I'm sorry for giving you a scare earlier." She wasn't sure what else to say to him about that.

Reno shook his head. "Don't apologize if you're sick, yo, just wanna make sure you're okay. You were kinda freakin' earlier, what was that all about? You need ta' lie down again?"

Sam blinked not at all expecting someone like him would make sure she was 'okay'. She would be lying if she wasn't touched by this. She shook her head, "No, I am fine now. Don't worry about that...I don't think it will happen again any time soon. However, since I am in your own home, I have to tell you something at least. I have this relapse ever since I lost him to those dark seraphs. I can sense the life stream from life forms. You know we are all created from the life stream...even the animals and trees. My body is slowly dying..."

Reno gave her an odd look. "Waitaminute... start from the beginnin' here. What?"

Sam stood up onto her feet using the wall for support, "You know I'm not fully human. I don't blame you for not understanding anything that I say...That is okay. I will be gone before that happens to me again. I rather not put you in harms way when I can prevent it."

Reno raised his hands, half in a "hold up" motion and half to keep her from leaving. "Whoa there, this is exactly what I'm talkin' about. Harms way? What does that hafta do with the Lifestream an' slowly dyin' and... and whatever?" He gave her a hard look, pressing for answers.

Sam stopped and gave him silent eye contact. She wasn't sure how to make him understand. He is a Turk...he couldn't understand. It still amazed her she would say that he may get hurt and he still showed concern. "You really are a strange one...you care for an enemy even though I could try and kill you right now..You have no weapon on you so you're completely unarmed...Why do you care for an ex-rebel like me?"

"Look, lemme be perfectly clear," Reno began, "I don't care for enemies. I don't care for rebels. But ya saved my life, so 'til the end a' today or longer if it happens again, I owe ya one. Furthermore, if ya say somethin' like I'm in 'harms way,' doncha' think I'd care about that?"

"Not t' mention," he continued, "an' I'm sure this'll stir your anti-ShinRa ire, but you're a valuable resource. You've got experience with the Dark Seraphs, you were trained as a SOLDIER, an' you're damn strong. You're an investment worth protectin', yo."

Sam couldn't help a small smile at that. She was continually amused by him returning back to the ShinRa's mind. He clearly was into his work even though he did show laziness to it. Hearing that last part she lost the smile, "Experience... I saved you yes, but that luck will eventually run out. I am not sure exactly if I could withstand more guilt. I have to admit this to you, but you're one of the only few left that actually have seen me in the past and know who I am."

"Doesn't matter," Reno answered readily.

Sam grit her teeth when he said that. She took that as an offense and was clearly upset, "'Doesn't matter'?? Do you have ANY idea what I have gone through with these damn things!? I spent two years running from these damn dark seraphs that killed the one I loved. I watched him die and there was nothing I could do about it! He told me to run while he held them off knowing what was going to become of him! I ran away!...I was a coward.." She didn't hold back the tears as she did when the sprinklers went off.

Her glowing eyes seemed to have a glassy appearance to them.

Reno stared at her long and hard, the same look in his eye, as he listened and let her finish. Once she was done, he inhaled slowly through his nose.

"Doesn't matter," he repeated. "Look -- we all do things we regret. But we can't change the past. The only way we ever know if we can 'withstand more guilt,' as you say, is t' just get up off our asses an' try. An' if we've learned anythin' at all, then the next time around we shouldn't do anythin' that'll make us feel guilt. But sittin' around and cryin', feelin' bad for ourselves because we fucked up so long ago an' we can't do anythin' about it? That changes nothing."

There was a harsh, cold deadness to his eyes as he spoke -- the eyes of a true Turk, deadly and never scar-free from the job.

"You don't wanna be a coward? Then stop running."

Sam listened to him and wasn't sure what she should do for herself. Even if she did try and stop these Dark Seraphs, no matter what she did, it still wouldn't bring him back or anyone in fact. Apart of her wanted revenge for his death, but was that really what she wanted? Or should she fight to actually save everyone that she could? Her mind felt scattered all over the place.

She stared at him with soft eyes for some time before suddenly started moving towards him. She opened up her arms and leaned over to wrap her arms around him in a hug.

Sam's hug caught Reno off-guard and he froze for a moment. Bloodthirsty assassins don't often get cuddles. But it broke him of his icy exterior and, relieved he'd apparently gotten through to her, he briefly returned Sam's embrace.

"A'right now, buck up," he said after a few seconds. "People gonna need you -- gotta be strong now, 'kay?"

Sam buried her head into his neck and nodded a bit. She spoke into his neck, "Fine...I'll do what I can until I take my last breath." She promised. She wasn't sure how much she truly can do before that happens, but she was willing to try.

It did feel good to actually hug someone though. Even if that person is a Turk, oddly at that.

"Good. I'll hold ya t' that." Reno gently brought Sam back to hold her at arm's length. His eyes now adjusted to the dim light from the doorway, he could see she was so... so... disheveled. He couldn't help but smile crookedly at her puffy-eyed post-crying face.

Sam let him go and stared back at him. She nodded her head as a response not even making a motion to try and hide the tears from her eyes. It was much too late to hide them now. She didn't feel quite embarrassed as she thought she would be though. How broken was she? She felt so confused and her mind was going all over the place. She found it even crazy she would actually have a short thought in her mind that actually thought he was somewhat attractive. Why!?

"I'll, uh, letcha' clean yourself up," Reno suggested. "Want me to hit the lights for ya on my way out?"

Sam put a hand up to her eyes and wiped the already drying tears from her face, "I think I can turn the lights on myself if you don't mind. I'm not that totally worthless." She joked slightly.

"Thank you.."

Reno chuckled. "No problem." He turned and headed back to the common room to give her some privacy.

Sam watched him go before turning the lights on in the bathroom. She looked at herself in the mirror and the first thought that came to mind was thank goodness the lights weren't on in the first place. She must have looked awful in the dark, but with the lights on it looked much worse. She let out a sigh and turned on the water to begin wiping off her face to get rid of all the traces of where the tears were.

Reno looked around, trying to occupy himself so it didn't look like he was listening to Sam wash her face. That would be... weird, to say the least. He sighed, and almost in unison, his stomach grumbled, surprising him. It was later than he thought, and now that he finally had a moment to himself he realized how hungry he was.

Not that he had any food in the place.

"Mind if I order a pizza?" he called to the bathroom.

Sam turned off the water and responds, "That is totally up to you. It’s your home." She wasn't sure why he would ask her if he could order pizza. She shrugged her shoulders and went to wipe her face with a towel before heading out. Then the phone rang.

Sam would be able to easily hear Reno groan from down the hall.

"Food's gonna hafta wait," he said with a tinge of regret. "It's work."

He put the phone to his ear. "Yeah, 'Laney?"

Elena replied, "Tseng gave me orders to tell you that we can no longer move around separately to do our assignments...we will all be on call for now. So be prepared to leave if you're called Reno, this is serious." She warned him knowing his laziness could sometimes irritate her.

"I'm guessin' you heard about the incident at the lab, then?" Reno asked, assuming that was why orders changed. He wasn't about to question strength in numbers -- he'd seen firsthand that Dark Seraphs meant business and could easily rip someone to pieces. Besides, an emphasis on team work meant he'd be spending more time with Rude.

Elena was silent for a moment before responding, "What? Something happened in the lab too?" Tseng never told her something happened in the lab.

Reno's eyebrows couldn't rise any higher. "You serious, yo?" he blurted out. "He didn't tell you? Then... why did you think orders changed now?"

Elena bit her bottom lip finding this situation getting even more serious, "The main warehouse was broken in. I went to scout it out and there was a murder case there. Tseng came and he happened to mention something about a Dark Seraph and someone..or something showed up, but we never actually saw it...we just heard it talking to itself."

That was most definitely not good. "Damn..." There was one thing that confused Reno, though. "But, why break into the main warehouse to kill someone? Or even stash a body?' he wondered aloud. "I mean, if ya want attention, there's a good chance no one's gonna find it. But if ya want to hide the crime, there's easier ways than breakin' one of our heavy locks.

That was most definitely not good. "Damn..." There was one thing that confused Reno, though.

"But, why break into the main warehouse to kill someone? Or even stash a body?' he wondered aloud. "I mean, if ya want attention, there's a good chance no one's gonna find it. But if ya want to hide the crime, there's easier ways than breakin' one of our heavy locks. I mean, break a ShinRa lock, and..."

He stopped as he realized it. "Break a ShinRa lock, an' ShinRa's gonna notice. 'Laney, this is big -- whoever left that body knew what they were doin'. They wanted someone t' notice, but not just anyone, they wanted us t' notice!"

Reno felt a sinking feeling in his gut. "Elena, we all need to meet and share info, ASAP. We just got sent a message."

Reno had no idea how right he was. Elena took a moment in thought. She was not told she couldn't share the info she had to another Turk. "I think we should...I haven't even seen these things and from what I have heard...It sounds a very ill intent."

Reno realized something else. " 'Laney, we gotta go off the grid for this. Somethin' tells me there's somethin' deeper here, an' I got a feelin' we've just got targets painted on our backs. Don't go anywhere alone if you can help it -- stay with Tseng if you just saw 'im. We gotta meet in the most... non-ShinRa place we can think of."

"Most importantly -- make sure you're not followed."

Elena nodded her head agreeing, "I think that is a sound plan..." She couldn't think of anywhere on the top of her head that would fit that location though.

"Tell Tseng. With all of us, we'll figure out somethin'." He'd better, he knew.

Elena responds, "Understood...I will call when I find something else out..." She wondered if Tseng had any ideas on this.

"Oh -- and 'Laney?"


"Find Shana, too. You guys used t' be, y'know, friends..." Awkward. "She was an important witness. Anythin' that happens from here on out could put her in danger."
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Current Mood: anxiousanxious
15 February 2012 @ 07:27 pm
An old fanmix I made for Reno for an RP group over a year ago. Tweaking is needed, but it's pretty good, and I wanted to repost it here.

Also, I cropped and edited the picture myself, so please don't steal or credit it to me here!

After much deliberation, I have decided to exclude the specific events of Sector 7 from this fanmix.  Why? you may cry. It's so important! It's so emotional! It's so haunting!

Well that's exactly why it's demanded its own bonus album, to be completed at a later date.  Yes, the events of Sector 7 have that much of an impact on our fluffy redhead. It shall be glorious... in a horrible, bloody, betraying way that only mass homicide can achieve.

1. Slum Child  -- "Momma Was an Opium Smoker" - Rasputina
She had the money and the drugs in the mattress
I wonder how long she's been at this
And I say, "Mom, bang the gong,
can't you see it's gone all wrong?"
My momma was an opium smoker

I don't mean for this song, these lyrics, to be taken strictly literally. I'm not going to fanon assume that much about Reno. But, as one of the few Turks with absolutely no backstory, and considering his unique accent/dialect in the Japanese, I play him from the Slums.  And the Midgar Slums are a rough place to be born and try to make it.  He was probably into some pretty dirty deeds even before Shinra picked him up.

2. Turf King -- "Stray Cat Strut" - Stray Cats
Stray cat strut, I'm a ladies' cat,
A feline Casanova, hey man, thats where its at
Get a shoe thrown at me from a mean old man
Get my dinner from a garbage can

Yeah don't cross my path!

This is just prior to Reno's discovery by Shinra, having made it as king of his little dirt pile. C'mon, it's Reno - you can't expect anything less of him than to be toward the top of some kind of hierarchy, even where the sunlight's blocked out.  He's wild, he's rowdy - and still a ladies' man.

3. Captivated by Mako Power -- "Amaranth" - Nightwish
War between him and the day.
Need someone to blame.
In the end, little he can do alone.
Reaching, searching, for something untouched.
Hearing voices of the Never-Fading calling...

This is really just about Reno's disillusionment with the slums. No matter how "great" he is there, he's nothing - and that's got to be someone else's fault (certainly none of his problems could be his fault. He's too proud).  He wants more, and then he finds a way out through Shinra. Reno parts from the "wandering pack" and dares to reach for them, and is well rewarded.  As a whole, though, the song really captures the paradox in him - how his rough exterior protects a very damaged interior.

4. Blue Suit  -- "Turks' Theme" - Nobuo Uematsu

A very straightforward instrumental piece. :3  This is, of course, the Turks' theme song for Reno's initiation into the blue suits.  Went with the classic original for his past... but expect remixes to pop up in the future, probably.

5. Evolution of a "New Age" -- "Handlebars" - Flobots
www.youtube.com/watch  Lyrics in description
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance
Look at me
Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top

This is one of the anchors of this fanmix, the evolution of what Shinra (and, by proxy, Reno) is involved in. It starts out simple enough and gets more and more tangled as the power grows, culminating in the rise to power of Rufus Shinra - the "New Age" of Shinra, and ruling by fear.

6. Expansion Through Fear -- "Giants" - Five Iron Frenzy
www.youtube.com/watch  (*sp. correction: "...jingles stealing, Steel and concrete lies...")
Advances in efficiency,
Increasing productivity
Are narrowing the margin for liberty
To rule the world, the desire of every man.
The earth is shaking; there are giants in the land.

Shinra literally runs the world with its monopoly on all life-sustaining resources, and Reno thrives riding on the wave of that success. And, of course, pride and sadism have grown as well and hardened his heart.

7. Cries of the Planet -- "Endangered Species" - Deep Forest
www.youtube.com/watch (ambience; didn't want the Galleon Remix.  lyrics here: www.lyricstime.com/deep-forest-endangered-species-lyrics.html )
The butterfly, the tiger
Nothing but a shadow in the stone
Flamingo future dinosaur underneath the urban sun
Victims of the truth behind the messages of the Stoic saints of profit
Victims of the truth behind the messages of the Stoic saints of profit
Smiling as the wonders of all nature go crumbling in their pockets

Mako power and materia, however, have a price. They are harnessed and processed from the Lifestream itself - that's right, Shinra runs the world by profiting off souls.  And the Planet is naturally suffering.

8. Avalanche's Ultimatum -- "No More Sorrow" - Linkin Park
Your crusade's a disguise
Replaced freedom with fear
You trade money for lives

I'm aware of what you've done

Despite the fact that the AVALANCHE of the original Final Fantasy 7 is not the first AVALANCHE to rebel against Shinra, I find the most appropriate speakers for this song are Cloud and Tifa, maybe even Barret.  They are the people who once believed Shinra development was a good thing, supported the building of reactors, even willingly joined SOLDIER in Cloud's case. And now they know the truth of Shinra's dark side, and are fighting back.  Every line is so appropriate, but I purposely included "replaced freedom with fear" for Rufus' methods of rule. :)

8. A View From the Other Side of the Plate -- "Lunch for the Sky" - Socratic
I can't tell you what I want to say.
The city digested yesterday.
Death is not the end it is the cure.

A sarcastic account of the going's-on in Midgar from Reno's new view above the Plate roof covering the slums, from the sheeople paying him to beat them down to the eventual destruction of the Shinra Building and all order governing Gaia.  The pun of the titles was unintentional, but very exciting.

9. What's Become of Me? -- "Black Flame" - Renaissance
www.youtube.com/watch  (too old, not enough fans for lyric vid. :(  lyrics: www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/r/renaissance/black_flame.html )
I am words, I am speaking
I never heard my conclusion
Lost in my confusion, in illusion
Lost inside the picture frame

Coming to terms with the truth of his direct involvement in the current chaotic situation. However, unlike in Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville," what's all Reno's fault is the end of the world.

10. Sephiroth's Wake / Remnant Fury -- "Our Solemn Hour" - Within Temptation
www.youtube.com/watch  (lyrics in descrip.)
Are they themselves to blame
The misery, the pain?
Didn't we let go?
Allowed it, let it grow
If we can't restrain
The beast which dwells inside
It will find it's way somehow, somewhere in time

This song really captures the destruction and desperation of Sephiroth's, and later again Kadaj, Yazoo, and Loz's rampage against mankind. I chose these lines because, as Reno may consider, Shinra created them and allowed them to become monsters (the same with Vincent, Dirge of Cerberus, to an extent).  Shinra's crazy science experiments are coming back to haunt, and the destruction is as much the creator's fault as the creations'.  (As if that wasn't enough, add in the hopelessness of the apparently continuing punishment from the Planet, the Geostigma epidemic).

11. Rebuild -- "The River" - Good Charlotte
The footsteps that were next to me
have gone their separate ways

I've seen enough now
to know that beautiful things
don't always stay that way
I've done enough now
to know this beautiful place
isn't everything they say

After the first go-round of death and despair, Reno feels pretty bad - even asking his partner, Rude, how they could possibly ever atone for what they've done. After the second round, he's feeling shitty - but also all the more determined to right things, having managed to work alongside Cloud & Co. in a common interest (again): survival.  Rufus being cured of Geostigma might also boost morale a bit... The "footsteps" that have gone their separate ways are a little tip of the hat to the other Turks who, for whatever reasons, have left Shinra - perhaps less willing than Reno to stoop into the darkness.

And that takes us through FF7, handwaves through Before Crisis, etc., and Advent Children
30 September 2011 @ 08:07 pm
Yuffie had waited a good two hours before walking towards Reno's apartment. Really that was about the max amount of time the young ninja could wait. She was an impatient person. Besides, Reno was a simple-minded man. Surely he'd be more inclined to talk now, right? The young ninja walked up to the door to the red head's apartment and knocked loudly on the door. "RENO," she yelled, hoping to quickly get his attention.

Reno's concern for Sam was dashed with the pounding on his door. "Dammit," he grumbled, fumbling out of the sheets and into his clothes again. Nap time was officially over. He stomped down the hallway, only sparing a glance to see if Sam was okay on the couch, before checking the peep-hole to his door. Yuffie. Of course.

When it took Reno more than ten seconds to answer the door. Yuffie began pounding again. Mostly just to annoy him, however. She heard his loud stomp as he made his way towards the front door; she was pretty sure he was looking through the little peep-hole too. "Reno, open the door. I know you're in there," she yelled.

Sam didn't pay him any mind as she was more focused on something else at the moment. The pounding and yelling at the door didn't help her much. She forced herself up onto her feet. It seemed like a huge chore just to do that. She walked into the bathroom and shut the door keeping it unlocked as she sat herself against the wall with the lights shut off.

Reno whipped the door open and grabbed Yuffie's wrist mid-pound so it wouldn't hit him in the face. "Get in here and stop shouting!" he hissed, obviously angry.

The young ninja yanked her hand out of the red-head's as she stifled a laugh. She loved annoying Reno, it was one of her favourite past-times. Yuffie stepped into Reno's less-than-clean apartment and allowed him to close the door. "Nice bachelor pad," Yuffie snarked.

Sam could hear the farmilar voice through the bathroom door, but made no motion to greet or see her.

"Gee, thanks," Reno answered in the same fashion. "Damn, Yuffie, why ya gotta be so loud? You coulda' caused a real scene out there, yo."

"Why do you have to be so stupid," Yuffie retorted back, tilting her head to one side as if she were serious about the question. "It's not like people will think something's going on, Reno. I'm sure girls are at your apartment all the time."

"That's not the point," Reno growled. "I certainly wouldn't have anythin' goin' on with you. Why're you here poundin' on my door, anyway?"

"What's that supposed to mean," the young ninja nearly shouted. Crossing her arms over her chest, she said, "It would be me that wouldn't have anything going on with you." She stuck her tongue out at the red-head childishly and stomped her foot. Really, it came as a shock to some to find out that she was head of the espionage and intelligence gathering department in the WRO. She could be so immature at times.

"Anyways, I came to collect," continued Yuffie. "You all left me with little satisfaction earlier this morning, and I want to know more. Besides, Reno, you owe me."

Reno raised his eyebrows indignantly. "I owe you? An' why's that, princess?"

A smug grin played its way across the Wutaian's face. "You remember that insane party at Tifa's a couple weeks ago? You got so drunk, you were hung over for a day and a half. Let's just say that you got pretty crazy that night, and I have documented evidence of just how crazy you went. If you don't want a certain someone to see those photos, you'll tell me what I want to know," said Yuffie with an evil grin. She loved getting whatever she wanted.

Reno's eye twitched. He remembered that party. He remembered he went because Cloud was barely there -- seriously, that guy missed out on everything, insisting on brooding alone. The question was, did he remember everything about that night? Reno couldn't be sure. "You're more twisted an' evil than I am, Kisaragi," he grumbled at her. "Fine -- whaddaya wanna know?"

A loud yell issued from the young ninja's mouth as she jumped and punched the air with victory. Oh the immaturity....After her little display of victory, Yuffie became serious; so serious, in fact, that, if you didn't know better, you'd think she was a completely different person. But Yuffie knew what to take seriously (most of the time). "Let's start off with what's in the building we were at earlier today."

Sam remained in the bathroom sitting in the darkness. She could hear the girl's voice and wondered what the hell she wanted again. He couldn't help, but to be annoyed at her presence by how persistant she wanted the information.

Reno blinked at the sudden change in Yuffie's demeanor. "Uh... the building this morning? It's a free clinic, graciously funded by GGG Heavy Industries."

"Obviously there's more to the story than that," said Yuffie. "Who are GGG Heavy Industries?"

"GGG Heavy Industries," Reno repeated. "Uh, Gideon Graves. He runs that new nightclub that just opened up a li'l while ago. I think he's a technology investor, R&D. Probably givin' money t' your precious li'l WRO and fundin' private enterprises seekin' new resources. Isn't your buddy Barrett tryin' t' tap oil?"

"What would the owner of a nightclub be doing funding something like a 'free clinic,'" Yuffie muttered to herself, folding her arms over her chest again, this time in thought. "Unless....What's so important in this 'free clinic' that it would catch the attention of a technology investor and Shinra's eyes?"

Time for the quick lying he was famous for. "Why wouldn't he fund it?" Reno asked. "Can't a guy just decide t' help a community torn apart by multiple crises? I mean, are you this suspicious of Reeve, too?"

Yuffie's eyes narrowed dangerously at the thinly veiled insult. Within the blink of an eye, Yuffie's Conformer, which had been securely strapped her to her back, was in her hand and pointed at the red-head's throat. "Reeve already proved himself to be trustworthy back when Shinra wasn't," Yuffie hissed at Reno.

"I wouldn't never question Reeve," she said louder. "Besides, Reno, not everyone is as benevolent as Reeve or as guilt-ridden as Shinra. I've been around people too long to know that almost none of them do something for others unless they get something for it. But if you're so convinced of this Graves's benevolence, then surely you'll be happy to introduce me to him."

"With pleasure," Reno growled, barely holding himself back from getting into an all-out fight. "But lemme tell ya somethin', Yuffie, I've been around people too long t' know that no one got outta Meteor unscathed. Everybody lost something, or somebody. Graves funds a clinic. The basement holds the morgue, autopsies, and pharmaceuticals. But I'll just let ya ask him yerself."

She could tell he was angry right now; not that she really blamed him. Even if he deserved it, she would've gotten mad as well if he shoved a weapon in her face. Yuffie had to take a moment to calm down. It would not do either of them well if they got into a fight. As much as she didn't want to admit it, she knew he was right. No one was safe from physical or mental damage during any of the crisises that had happened in the past four years. Still, the young ninja got the feeling that Reno was desperately trying to hide something. In some ways, it gave her chills. What could possibly be at that clinic that even Reno would want to keep quiet about it? Oh well, Yuffie didn't think she should stress the Turkey out that much. "I look forward to meeting him," said she, signaling her white flag.

"Tomorrow at seven?" he asked.

"Sounds good," she replied.

"See you then."

Yuffie took her cue to leave. She gave the red-head a two finger salute and said, "See ya!" With that, she turned around and walked out the door.

Reno watched her go, and then finally relaxed. He'd have to see Gideon again -- willingly. Fantastic. But it was better than letting anything slip just yet. Not before he sorted things out in his own head.
Tags: , ,
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated
28 September 2011 @ 07:54 pm
The ambiance of the street lights along the road move passed Tseng as he drove along on his way back home from the lab. Such a long night, but it was still dark out. He could still manage to go home and get some rest.

Elena had gotten up early that morning to prepare herself for work. She knew what she had to do today, but it wasn't very thrilling. She hadn't heard anything from anyone yet so doesn't know about the new situation that happened over night. After checking and double checking herself to make sure she was ready to work, she began to head out to her car and drive out to the main building.

She went to clock in and begin her rounds to the warehouse to make sure everything is in order and secure. She had even seen looters with her own eyes try and steal supplies from the warehouses, so extra protection has become required for these places. If the emergency supplies run around, then what would happen then?

She was afraid to find out, but her job wasn't to worry.

She went to the main warehouse to find everything looked as if they should be except something was missing. "Damn it Reno." She knew he was here to make sure all the warehouses were locked and secure before clocking out. She walked over to the door and found that the door handle was bent to it. 'Someone must of broken in over night' she wasn't sure if these looters were still in here so as a precaution, she pulled out a pistol and held it up as she pushed open the door.

She pushed open the door and looked inside. It was so dark in here, even when the sunlight flooded into the room. She listened as she walked deeper into the warehouse. It had a rotting smell in the air of the warehouse. She felt a bit sick to her stomach, but kept herself composed as she searched for a light source.

Once she found the light switch, she turned it on to light up the area. She let out a gasp and lifted up her gun pointing forward when she saw something that was one of the most disturbing things she has ever seen.

There was a man hanging from the ceiling by his wrists and neck by chains. The man's ankles were held together by a chain that looked like it must of cut off circulation to the victim judging by the color of the skin of the feet. The man's arms were spread out and the man's head was facing up towards the ceiling. Blood dripped freely from the man's body's open wounds that covered his body. Many were small wounds, but there were several deep gashes on his sides and chest.

There was blood wiped on the wall behind the man. It looked like they were...wings? That's the best she could make by the drawings. They looked to be still wet as blood still dripped freely from the disturbing art.

She struggled to reach a hand into her pocket to pull out her phone to put Tseng's number on speed dial. She slowly put it up to her ear waiting for an answer.

Tseng was practically falling asleep at the wheel as he drove. He couldn't wait to get to bed. His phone began to ring. Tseng let out a sigh, maybe he'd take the day off tomorrow to sleep. He reached into his pocket and opened it up as he put it up to his ear, "This is Tseng."

Elena heard Tseng answer the phone, but was silent as she fought to speak, ".....This is Elena, sir. I went to scout the main warehouse and there is a problem." She found it hard enough to speak as it is. She felt like there were eyes on her, but she couldn't see anything else in the warehouse with her.

Tseng could hear the hesitation in Elena's voice, something big was up. "Elaborate Elena, what's the problem?" He asks her, maintaining his composure. He had already begun to slow his car down, ready to turn around and make a dash to the Warehouse to rendezvous.

Elena continued not at all sure how to really 'explain' what she was seeing, "There is a dead body in here...It is an obvious murder case.." She saw something move in the corner of her eye by some stacked up crates. She pointed her gun towards it dropping her phone to the ground, but nothing seemed to be there.

A dead body? He didn't hear anything more than that so he may have been jumping to conclusions but could it be? Suddenly, Tseng here's a large clacking sound come over the phone, "Elena?" ....No answer. "Elena!" After another moment of her not responding he shuts his phone. Tseng does a rather reckless u-turn in the middle of the road and hits the gas back down the street.

Elena wouldn't normally be afraid of this sort of situation, but she couldn't see what could have done this. It was not a scene she has seen before even relatively close. She advanced cautiously as she made her way to the crates. She leaned against them before holding her breath and pointing her gun around the corner jumping out. To her surprise, a rather large rat began to run off at the sight of her. She let out a heavy sigh and lowered her gun feeling a sense of relief hit her.

Tseng's car made an abrupt screeching sound as it pulled into the warehouse parking lot, not wasting time finding an appropriate place to park. Tseng popped open the door to his car and ran out, his pistol already prepped for battle he charged towards the entrance of the building.

Elena watched the rat run off before turning around to head back to where she was standing. She looked down at her phone that had the battery popped out of the phone. She made an annoyed noise as she bent down and began to pick up the phone and the battery to put it all back together.

Tseng carefully inched open the door leading into the warehouse. He couldn't risk being too careful if what Elena had run into was really a Seraph. Tseng poked his head out only the amount necessary to see around the corner. The coast appeared to be clear as he walked in, pointing his gun around according to his sight. He wanted to call Elena's name out to see if he could locate her, but he knew with a Seraph potentially running around that could be dangerous.

Elena heard the noise of the door opening and she stood up onto her feet putting her phone away before putting both hands on her gun. She had to be cautious in case the murderer decided to come back. She began to cautiously make her way back towards the door. She leaned against a stack of crates that was on the opposite side of the front door of the warehouse. She could practically hear her heart beat in her ears as she tried to listen to whoever it was coming into the warehouse.

Tseng could make out the smell of death in the air. Hopefully this stench was from the body Elena mentioned earlier and not Elena herself. Tseng was using the boxes to cover his back as he made his way deeper into the warehouse. It was going to be troublesome to find her in this huge building without any sort of auditory communication.

Elena peeked out every now and then, but didn't see anything. She can however see a shadow on the wall. She knew defiantly there was a person in here. She peeked out the side of the crates and spoke to see if the person would respond, "Who's there?" She demanded.

Tseng was about to come around the corner when he heard a voice ask, "Who's there?" That voice, it sounded like Elena. Tseng felt a little tense, not completely sure of the tricks that Dark Seraphs could play. He chose to risk it, "Elena? Is that you?" Tseng finally returns a response to her.

Elena heard the voice and lowered her gun recognizing it, "Tseng?" She felt a sense of relief when she heard his voice. She walked out from around the crates to show herself. She could easily assume no one else is here besides them.

"Elena.. So then everything is ok." Tseng comments, overcome with a feeling of relief; though, it was odd. His relief didn't seem to come from the feeling of security that it was not the enemy. Regardless, Tseng takes no time to put his gun away. it seemed like there was no reason for alarm at this time.

Elena did the same with her gun seeing no use for it, "Yes, sir. No one else seems to be here. The blood seems fresh though..." She wasn't sure where the suspects would be at this time, but it was clear they shouldn't be that far away. She however, was expecting the suspects to be human.

Tseng pulls his phone out of his pocket, "Elena, I'd like to see the body." He begins to dial a number in his phone. It was important he confirmed what it was that had actually occurred.

Elena nodded and began to lead him out to the next room to where she saw the body. She found it a bit even more eerie that someone would take the time to use the victim's own blood for 'art', "Tseng, the body is here."

It didn't take long for Tseng to notice the 'creative' way the body was massacred. The wing design, there was no doubt it was symbolic. Somebody finally picks up, "This is Tseng. We need a cleanup crew here at the main warehouse." There is a pause for a moment, "No, the body must be completely disposed of. This is critical." Tseng explains to the person on the other side. After a few more exchanges of words Tseng finally hangs up. "Elena, it's important that we keep watch over this body for the moment," Tseng tells her, still looking at the body.

Elena looked over at Tseng and responds, "Okay..." She had a thought that this body wasn't going to go anywhere, but wasn't going to question him. She started to look around for any sign of where the person must of gone off too, but can't even see a foot print. She can't understand how someone could walk away without getting their shoes in the blood. There would have to be fingerprints on the chains, there just have too.

Tseng closes his phone up and makes his way over to a stack of crates to get comfortable against. He glances over to Elena who seemed to be working hard to find any trace of the culprit. "Elena. Have you heard at all of the Dark Seraphs?" Tseng strikes up a conversation.

Elena broke her gaze from the scene to look over at him a bit confused, "No, I haven't heard anything of that name before. Is this some kind of cult or organization?" She questioned.

Elena's innocence of the matter came of no particular surprise to Tseng. "No, this would be dealing with something a bit more..supernatural." Tseng takes another look up at the gruesome corpse they were guarding. "The Dark Seraphs are a group of parasitic beings which can take control of Human bodies," he explains.

Elena's eyes widen a bit in surprise to hear this, "How is this possible? Our science department hasn't been in full use in some time now. How could these beings suddenly appear as if from no where?"

Tseng's gaze returns to Elena, "I can't say for sure." Tseng releases a melancholy sigh, "This seems to be the case though. I was just with Reno who had an encounter similar to this. These monsters are indescribably dangerous."

Elena hearing about Reno wasn't sure if Reno was capable of taking one of these guys down, "If Reno was capable of destroying one, they can't be all bad right?"

Tseng hadn't thought before speaking. Elena was trustworthy, but it wouldn't be wise to let the information he knew leak out too far. "Reno may have had some help in the matter. Either way, it's not wise to take these monsters lightly." Tseng warns her.

Elena knew something serious must of happened if he wouldn't tell her all the information. It was too vague, "I understand. I will keep that in mind." She looked to the body that freshly dripped with blood. She could see the wings have nearly dried already. She wasn't sure what exactly these creatures are, but she will do what she can if the job calls for her too.

She froze when another male voice suddenly spoke up from within the warehouse, "Whew! I think he has really out did himself. His art has gotten a lot better!" The person's voice seemed to be behind some crates in the other room. She felt an ill feeling hit her once again.

Tseng's eyes narrowed at the sound of a new voice arising in the warehouse. It seemed to be referring to the corpse they were protecting. Was it talking to them or was this a conversation they were overhearing? Tseng remained still waiting to see which it was.

Elena moved herself closer to the crates to keep herself hidden from whoever it was speaking. She leaned her back as far as she could against them. The voice seemed to get closer as it spoke, "Agh..can't believe we have to do the dirty work." It jumped right on top of the crates, but from the angle from the height of the crates he couldn't see them. It was crouched down on top of the crates as it looked at the hanging body from the ceiling. The wings were well developed and were at least 8 ft wing span on each wing. The creature looked to be of a teenager age before the host died.

Elena slowly began to pull her gun out of the holster.

Tseng put his hand over Elena's to try and signal her to hold her fire. This was a perfect chance to spy a bit on their enemy. Not to mention he felt it would be a bad idea to immediately engage an enemy they weren't familiar with.

The dark seraph let out a heavy sigh and slid down the back of the crates. Elena could hear the scrapping noises going down the crates. Claws? She wasn't exactly sure. The creature spoke once more, "As soon as the ones protecting this city has been killed or at least injured...it should create a stir for the people here...at least this scene will stir up some question and maybe some panic. Agh, I don't see why we just can't kill them all now. There are plenty of us." Elena wasn't sure if it was just talking to itself or another one of those things. She kept her gun lowered and listened to the conversation the creature was having.

The creature walked over to a crate and Elena could actually hear the strength the creature had pulled the seal crate open. She wasn't sure how that was possible. She was beginning to see what Tseng was talking about. The creature laughed, "These humans are already struggling. They may struggle even further when they find one of their trading cities have been destroyed." It slammed the crate closed and kicked it. It hit the crates Elena was up against and she let out a gasp at the surprise feeling the crate suddenly push her forward a bit. She quickly put a hand up to her mouth.

Tseng jumps a bit seeing Elena start to gasp. Just as she was catching herself he places a hand on her back to steady her and lightly cuffs his other hand over her mouth to make sure the noise was muffled. Upon making sure Elena had gotten a hold of herself again his eyes shift back in the direction the Seraph was speaking from.

The dark seraph seemed to go silent. Elena wondered if the creature actually heard her. She wasn't sure if they had sensitive hearing as well.
She could hear the creature start to chuckle. The chuckle was so sinister that it sent a chill down Elena's spine. She wasn't sure what they were going to do if the creature knows they are there.

The creature spoke, "Seems as if someone has found the body already...the clean up crew has arrived...It pains me to leave without causing at least one human death, but those were orders." He sighed. Elena could hear complete silence then. She wasn't sure how the creature would escape without anyone noticing. She didn't dare take the risk to peek around the crates to see if it was truly gone.

Only moments after the Seraph had appeared to leave the loud sound of footsteps and mechanical equipment could be heard noisely echoing through the warehouse. Tseng sighed and brushed himself off, "It would appear we were lucky today." he says aloud, making his way back towards the body.

Elena removed her hand from her mouth and put her gun away, "Yes, but...they plan to destroy all of midgar? One of our allies we were trading with is destroyed?" She hasn't heard anything like that yet. She wondered what else she didn't know about no one is telling her.

Tseng stares up towards the ceiling momentarily. "One of our allies... I wonder?" He begins to ponder who it might be. It seems the Seraphs plan to choke Midgar's population by cutting off its outside supplies. They seem too calculated to be that feral. "I need to talk with the President." Tseng mentions out loud.

Elena listened as people began to start coming into the warehouse. She looked to Tseng and bowed her head a bit, "May I be excused sir? I need to get to the other locations to make sure all of the other supplies is safe." She just hoped there weren't going to be anymore bodies.

Tseng returns his attention to Elena. "Yes you may; however, with there already being two encounters with these Seraphs today it's too dangerous for all of us to be moving separately. I'm going to be visiting the President now, so I need you to call all the other Turks and notify them of their new orders. All Turks must travel in groups until otherwise noted." Tseng turns towards the exit. "Also make sure to tell them they must be on call. I will likely need to speak to a few of you after my meeting. I won't be long." Tseng trails off as he makes his way out of the now populated warehouse.
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Current Mood: anxiousanxious
28 September 2011 @ 07:23 pm
Sam found him a bit odd as he turned on the tv. She could be lying and could attack him right here and right now. She even had her sword out and ready in case she decided to go that route. She knew she couldn't do that.

She put the sword up against the wall and made herself comfortable on the sofa. She wasn't the kind to watch tv, but the voices on it seemed a bit too comforting to her as she closed her eyes. Before she knew it, she had actually fallen asleep right next to someone she wasn't sure was exactly a friend or foe yet.

Reno yawned.  "Hey, Sam, I'm gonna -- oh."  He smirked when he saw her sleeping.  It was a little amusing to see her brought down from her superhuman level to this softer image.  She was actually really pretty this way, he noticed.  With a smile, he turned off the tv and softly rose to pad down to his own bedroom.  He deserved a good long nap, too.

Sam remained asleep until about mid afternoon. She sat up and rubbed her eyes wondering how long she had been out for. Probably the longest she has slept in a very long time. She didn't have to wait up every half hour just so she could make sure things were clear.

She yawned and stood up off the couch to stretch herself out. She had gotten a good sleep, but her body cramped for being in a sitting position for too long.

Reno was still in bed when Sam awoke, his clean clothes simply thrown in a pile on the floor.  In fact, his whole apartment was in similar disarray from a combination of his busy schedule and his natural laziness.  Reno had a limited motivation, and when it was tapped, it was tapped.  There was no way he was going to clean after working -- he was tired -- and there was no way he was going to clean overly much when he was off, since he was so damn glad he wasn't working.  Reno was used to his sloppiness, but a guest might not be as comfortable.

Sam did take note on how sloppy the place was, but she didn't seem to mind a whole lot. She hadn't been in a place where she could actually keep clean in a very long time. She was just happy to sleep under a roof and not wide open for any attack. Thats all she really cared about in a place like this.

She looked over at her sword and frowned wondering if she should take off now and never turn back here. She knew the dark seraphs were starting to get through the walls and doing more mental damage to the people around here. If you get people in disray in a long period of time then it would be easier to take them down.

She walked over to her sword and looked at it as she went through a mental battle with herself. She should stay and help...or should she let them die and suffer for the past events they have caused? Why can't she just leave?

She felt really light headed and wondered if she had gotten up to fast. She placed her hand over her head and stood there hoping it would settle, but it only got worse. Her eyes seemed to take on a brighter shade of green and she placed her hand on the wall to help her stand onto her feet. She looked around in some sort of panic. Everything seemed to be a blue tint through her eyes. Except something seemed to glow a bright green in her vision. She felt a sense of hunger hit her as she began to stumble her way down the hallway right into Reno's room. She placed her hand against the door frame breathing heavily. Sweat began to bead down her forehead and dripping down off her face.

The sounds of Sam stumbling and squeaking down the hall woke Reno and he sat up with a jolt, gripping his gun again, having forgotten Sam had been asleep in the other room.  When he saw her figure in the doorway, he began to relax.  "Hey, Yagasaki, what's up? Why you..."

He trailed off.  Something was wrong with the situation.

Sam looked for the source of the green glow that she could only see. She looked at Reno seeing it came from him. She took a step forward, but stopped to close her eyes and place her hand over her face trying to get herself to focus on reality. She tried to cast the unknown thoughts that were entering into her mind, but they seemed to come back stronger then they were before.

Reno's forehead creased with a mixture concern and suspicion.  "Sam!" he called out to her sharply. "What's wrong?"

Sam could faintly hear him as he called to her. She reopened her eyes to see him in a clear view. The glow faded and the blue tint faded. Her knees suddenly felt weak and it forced her down onto them. She dropped her hand off her face. She stared at the floor trying to wait out the ill feeling that washed over her. As soon as she could reply, she answered, "I'm...i'm...fine.." She struggled out.
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28 September 2011 @ 02:15 am

Sam was not very thrilled about being on a motorcycle. It was the exact opposite of that, but she kept herself in check to not suddenly choke or killed Reno in holding onto him. It only helped little as she kept her eyes closed and pressed her face into Reno's bare back trying to concentrate on something else.

Reno winced a little as her grip pressed slightly on his forming bruise, but it wasn't too bad. It'd hurt more tomorrow, he knew. In the meantime, he said nothing. It must have been her first time, he thought, for her to hold this close to him. "You alright?" he called to her.

Sam heard him and fumbled for words to speak, "Y-yeah...I'm ffine." She didn't dare open up her eyes. She was afraid if she did, things were going to get ugly and it wouldn't be just her freaking out then. She loosened her grip a bit when he spoke to her as she felt that slight ease from getting her mind set on something else then just when she was gonna get off this thing.

"You scared?" he asked, surprised.

Sam gave a nervous laugh at that, "Maybe one of my only phobia's I have is being on these damn things...same with cars....may have to sedate me to get into one of those things." She knew why she had this phobia, but after all these years she just couldn't get over it.

"Wow..." Reno certainly never expected that. "Um... well, we're almost there," he said awkwardly, not sure how to help.

Sam nodded her head and went silent again taking in slow breaths. He could mostly feel her heart beating in her chest, but it slowly calmed as she convinced her mind she was going to get off this thing really soon. She probably won't do this ever again.

After a few more minutes, Reno taking corners much more gently than he normally would, they pulled up to his apartment. He slowed and then let his feet down to walk the motorcycle to a complete stop. "Sam?" he asked gently.

Sam feeling they came to a stop, opened her eyes after hearing her name being called. She felt a sense of relief and took the helmet off of her head to give it back to him, "I'm fine, I'm fine." She responds as she got off the bike glad to be back on her feet again.

Reno nodded, and once she'd gotten down, he leaned the bike to the side to let down the kick-stand. "Well then... shall we?" he asked before leading her back inside.

The trek up the stairs seemed much longer than Reno remembered. Certainly there couldn't be more stairs there than there had always been, but it sure felt like it. His body was finally realizing just how much it had been through and as the adrenaline wore off, he began to ache. His floor, and the door to his place, couldn't come soon enough and when he let himself inside it was with a great sense of relief.

Sam followed him up the stairs to his apartment. She didn't feel that exhausted, but she did feel mentally that way. She walked inside and glanced around before walking over to grab hold of her cloak off the couch, "Thanks.." She said.

"Did you want to, um... ?" He gestured down the hall. "Or were you just gonna head out?"

Sam looked over at him at what he was pointing at and wasn't sure if that was a great idea, but she had a smell of bleach. That would probably bother her for a long while if she didn't do anything about it now, "Alright..you first though." She wasn't sure why he never finished his sentence, but wasn't going to ask. She continued, "You need it more then I do." She grinned jokingly.

Reno smirked and snorted, though he was okay with Sam's teasing. "Gee, thanks." He obliged, though, and headed into the bathroom. It wasn't long before the sound of running water could be heard through the door.

Sam watched him go before sitting down on the couch and releasing a heavy sigh. She wasn't sure what she was doing. She felt like she is going to regret staying here longer then what she would of liked.

Reno, too, was sighing and trying to relax under the warm water. What had he gotten himself into, he wondered? Aiding and abetting a potential rebel, a deserter for sure, letting her get comfy in his home, use his shower... Really, it made no sense to him.

And then the apparent new crisis he'd stepped in. What the hell was that about? Dark Seraphs, tainted blood, human hosts... There was so much to take in, while simultaneously so much demanded to put out. He felt like his brain was about to explode.

And then, the final straw -- finding Shana in the middle of it all. He hadn't really seen Shana in awhile -- run into her here and there, mostly for business, but that didn't count. It brought back a lot of thoughts and feelings he thought were long gone.

"Shit," he sighed.

Sam waited for him to finished, but got bored really quickly. She had the urge to start wandering around the place, but knew that wasn't the best option either. She hugged the cloak to her and leaned against the couch. It has been awhile since she had been welcomed to any place. She wondered how long it has been. Not like it mattered anymore.

The water ceased and soon Reno emerged from the steamy room clad only in a towel, his ruined pants in his hand. "All yours whenever you like," he offered.

Sam blinked seeing him walk out of the bathroom only clothed in a towel, "uh...alright." She stood up off the couch and placed the cloak back onto the couch. She couldn't help, but look at him. She felt a heat rise up her face and she quickly looked away as she walked into the bathroom.

Reno noticed her blush and her hurried walk. "Hm?" It took him a second to realize why. Living alone, Reno didn't think about his state of dress. A towel was sufficient. Besides, no one else who'd seen him that way had ever complained.

Then again, perhaps Sam should be held to a higher standard than those other women.

Amused by his new discovery of Sam's femininity beneath her warrior's exterior, Reno went to put some proper clothes on.

Sam had shut the door and pulled off her clothes to put them out against the wall. She wondered how long its been since she had taken an actual shower. She was afraid to think back to that. She got into the shower to turn on the water to a warm temperature. She closed her eyes and placed her hand on the wall as she felt comforted by the warm water hitting her skin.

"Mm." Reno contentedly tossed his wet hair, now nicely combed, over his shoulder. That was better. He stood, naked, with his hands on his hips, staring down his closet. He could throw on an easy tee with a pair of loose jeans. That would be nice for a change. But then again, it was only around noon. For all he knew, Tseng could call him in later, and he'd have to be ready to drop all and go. Even if he was up at three in the morning, saving the world one dark seraph at a time.

Decisions, decisions...

Sam finished up in the shower feeling it was already running cold. She wringed the water out of her hair as she got out of the shower. She grabbed whatever tower she could grab and dried herself off before tossing it over the toilet not sure where else to put it. She grabbed her clothes to start putting them back on. Not like she had other clothes to put on her, so this would have to do. She shut off the light and walked out of the bathroom combing her hair back with her fingers.

Reno decided to go with the blue jeans. Tseng would probably be busy with the more bureaucratic aspects of their next move. Reno doubted he'd be called in in the immediate future. And if he was, well, unless it was an emergency, Tseng could just wait an extra ten minutes.

And if it was an emergency, Reno was confident that he could fight just as well without his suit.

Casual it was, then, and Reno soon was dressed and draped across his sofa in attire so barely worn, it almost still smelled new.

Sam walked out of the hallway to return back to the living area feeling relieved at actually being clean again. She could still smell the bleach, but it was very faint. She let out a sigh and placed her hand over her head as she tried to think of what to do next with herself. She got her shower, now what?

Hearing her sigh, Reno looked over the back of the couch. "Hey there -- feelin' better?" he asked.

Sam looked over at him smiling slightly, "I'm feeling better thank you. I really needed it." She said truthfully.

"So, um... " Now what? "Where've you been stayin' this whole time?" Reno blurted out. "I mean -- we thought you were dead!"

Sam chuckled at the thought of that, "I went into hiding. Even within the rebels, I took form as one of the dragons for the dragon riders...though I was the only one without a rider. I was in my human form every now and then, but it was within sleeping quarters. I never wanted to make myself known to others very easily...." She let out a sigh when a memory returned to her.

"So even they didn't know your true identity?" Reno asked, surprised. He shouldn't be, he guessed, but still -- the idea of being within a group of people for that long, with no identity, was unfathomable to Reno. Then again, he'd never needed to hide himself like that.

Sam shook her head, "No, they didn't know...I'm sure maybe someone did as it came back to you with rumors...I don't live anywhere, just been wandering this whole time. Been using anything like trees or anything to keep myself hiddin from the dark seraphs as possible. Outside Midgar, it is extremely dangerous to be outside in the dark..." Her voice seemed to shake a bit at the last sentence as her mind began to go back to her past.

"I'll bet," Reno murmured, lost in the thought. "It's all just open out there between cities... But wait a minute." Something bugged him.

"If the Dark Seraphs are lookin' for people t' infect, wouldn't they be drawn more t' the cities an' towns rather than open land?" he asked. Every zombie movie told him so -- you want meat, you move toward a higher concentration of it for better chances, not to mention a fuller belly. "Wouldn't the wilderness be sorta safer?"

Sure, there might not be anyone for miles to hear you scream for help, but there was still a chance you'd barely be a blip on the radar alone out there when compared to a hub like Edge or Midgar.

Sam frowned knowing the answer to that, "They actually did...to most of the towns and cities. The Rebels went underground to protect themselves from them. Midgar may be next soon enough if the dark seraphs keep up with the onslaught. They rather not charge right in until their numbers are high enough, so taking those from ruined cities will increase their numbers enough." She knew other things on that reason, but wasn't going to tell him any of that.

"So places like Gongaga and Mideoheim..." Reno trailed off and began nervously popping his knuckles again.

"... It's all the places so run down and small because of us, that ShinRa wouldn't care about them anymore," he finished softly. That's why he hadn't noticed. He'd been so preoccupied with the new, that he'd completely forgotten about the old places that Shinra had sapped of resources and then left to rot. And now that Mako reactors were no longer in use, not to mention the fact that everyone's attention was drawn to the major cities during the last two crises, Reno doubted a ghost town with a blown reactor like Gongaga would be remembered at all.

Sam nodded her head at that, "Yes, they are all gone. The only thing you will find there is just a bunch of broken down buildings. I came through Gongaga a couple weeks back."

After a pause to let this sink in, Reno couldn't ask questions fast enough. "What about Rocket Town? Costa del Sol? Wutai, Junon, Gold Saucer?" There were still some big places left... there had to be. But if the Dark Seraphs kept growing in numbers, there wouldn't be for long.

Sam frowned and wasn't sure what to say except, "Wutai and Gold Saucer still are populated by people...Junon had become more like a fortress. Those are the only three others I know."

Reno nodded. "Alright..." His eyes hardened. "Well, let's keep 'em that way."

Sam snorted at that, "I can't keep anyone safe. I couldn't even save him..." She turned her gaze away.

"Him?" Reno asked, his ears perking up to a story. It wasn't his business, but he was interested.

Sam shook her head hearing his question, "Nothing for you to worry about. He died by the dark seraphs, so he is dead and gone." She had a thought wondering how long it's been since that day.

"Hm." Oh well, so much for that lead. Well, maybe another time -- it didn't really matter right now, anyway. "Well," he said, "ya can't be too hard on yerself. Ya saved me, yo." He paused and rubbed the back of his neck. "An' I hate t' admit when that happens."

Sam looked at him in a bit of silence before responding, "Yes, but it may be in the future you won't be so lucky. Have to be careful when dealing with them." She seemed to be filled with guilt and it was obvious.

"Of course," Reno answered nonchalantly. "Figured that one out. But ya can't hate yerself for lettin' me die while I'm still alive, 'kay? Can we agree on that, at least? Because I'm still very much here, yo."

Sam nodded her head, "yeah...I guess we can agree on that...I won't let you die as long as I am around...at least try."

Good enough. "Alright, then, that's settled." Reno swung his legs down off the couch, giving Sam room to sit if she so desired. "So where d'ya think you'll be headed from here?"

Sam shrugged her shoulders, "Like I said....I have no where to go..Ive been roaming this whole time since after the rebels."

Argh, there it went again. That pang in his chest that used to shut up when Reno said so. A "conscience."

"Well... technically I do owe you, I guess... I guess you could stay here a li'l bit if you wanted. It's better than a tree. But just for a little while, ok?" he added quickly at the end. "You're still suspect, as far as the rest of ShinRa is concerned."

Sam rolled her eyes at that, "Suspect...What for exactly? Creating these damn things?" She said a bit annoyed.

"No," Reno answered, irritated. "For desertion, an' for your association with the rebels. Look, I know you already explained it t' me, but I gotta be honest, it doesn't look good. Not for you, obviously, an' not for me if I start pallin' around with you before a full investigation is complete. There's procedures for this crap." Procedures he never fully appreciated before, but procedures nonetheless.

"You got lucky with Tseng," he added. "But it won't always be that way. Even he might change his mind once the immediate threat of the Seraphs are gone."

Sam let out a heavy sigh knowing she should of expected this much, "Fine, but if you plan to try and assassinate me...I can't tell you if I will escape peacefully or nnot." She half threat.

"Assassinate you? Here? In my own apartment?" Now that was just silly. "Don't flatter yerself, Yagasaki," he told her pointedly. "This is my place. It's where I live and sleep. I'm off-duty here. So unless you pull somethin' first, I ain't doin' a thing. Besides, if you bled all over the place, it'd leave a mess." He sniffed disdainfully.

Sam snorted at that and let out a chuckle, "Fine, but I don't plan to pull anything unless you do it first. Can we agree with that?" She walked over taking her sword off her back.

"Deal," Reno answered, and with that squared away, he propped his feet up on his coffee table and turned on the television. As long as everyone remembered their place, this shouldn't be too bad, he thought. Shouldn't be.

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