Liana Is No More Chapter 2

Introductions with the Blue Mako

By Amber Gehrke

The air was growing colder in the city as the lights in the streets were beginning to turn on and as the sun began its descent. It was not as cold as it was the night before, but as long as it was bearable, it didn't matter. The wind softly blew a whisper of cold air into the sides of the tent in the wilderness, the wilderness not far from the city. He stepped up from his hunched position in the tent and quickly pulled the flap of the tent back, to gaze out upon the small city, its citizens getting ready to sleep. He breathed a small sigh as he watched one street lamp turn on after the other.

"Is it time already? Damn."

He disappeared back inside the tent to retrieve his items and after a moment, he returned outside, a gun in his left hand and a small sack in the other. It was a fairly well sized gun, enough to fit inside his coat pockets without it being seen, and it could shoot accurately. His fingers clenched tightly on the sack.

"Time to make myself a little money."

He watched as the sign above the bar came on in the city, and his soft frown turned into a trickling and sly smirk from the right side of his mouth. He chuckled. His footsteps softly touched the edge of the cemetery gate.

"Let's have some fun…"

He began to make his way through the brush and he carefully slipped into the outskirts of the city. The path was low and shallow. A few houses had some lights on, otherwise the rest were dark and their occupants sleeping peacefully. He tapped his feet on the pavement and opened the door to the bar, swinging it wide and not looking to see whom was behind it.

He shoved his way through the people playing pool and through the drunks. He sat at the counter, watching as the two guys next to him, inspected his sack. The bartender was busily taking people's orders, but finally, he made it to him.

"What can I do for you tonight?"

His shimmering green eyes sparkled. "I'll take a bloody mary. Take it easy on the blood, will you?"

The bartender nodded, wiping a glass in his hands. "We are out of the right ingredients, perhaps, you could come around back to try and find something with me?"

The man smiled and replied, "Why yes, I suppose I could."

The bartender motioned for a waitress to take his place as he and the man made their way to the back. It was dark and lonely, but as they reached the designated room, the bartender flipped on a bright light bulb above their heads, and it didn't seem so gloomy anymore. The man grasped his sack gently.

Once the bartender turned from the locked door, he said, "Ah yes… Lance, what have you got for me this time around?"

Lance smirked and reached his hand inside the bag. He pulled out several red scarlet-colored ball shaped crystals. "Only the finest Materia… straight from the lab."

The bartender's eyes widened with surprised. "Summons! How did you get your precious hands on these babies?!"

"Was a lot of hassle getting them, but finally, they're yours. At the price I offer. I'll take five hundred thousand minimum."

"Are they all the same?"

"No," Lance said, digging in the bag for more. "I have different ones. Some are the same, but the others are different."

"I see. I'm looking for the strongest one."

Lance squinted his green eyes. "Ouch, that's going to cost you big time. One million for the strongest, Dark Bahamut. I'll let eight hundred thousand pass by for Hagas. Your move."

"Hmm… I'm just still surprised you got your hands on these."

"All worth a price. I have Hagas, Dark and White Bahamut, Christopher, Sage, Orron, Wylik, and Darius."

Lance smiled as he took a seat at the table of the room. He gently placed all of the red colored Materia on the table, and placing them neatly around. The bartender gazed at them and picked a few up and stared with his wide eyes.

"I have decided." The man said, holding up two crystals. "I want these."

"Ah… Orron and Christopher?"

"Yes, your price?"

Lance held his finger to his chin. In deep concentration, he finally replied, "It'll be a deal if you can pay me one million, half in advance."


Lance smiled as he shook hands with the bartender. "Artaus, you have yourself a deal!"

"I'll take it, I need the extra help."


Lance picked up the rest of his Materia and placed it inside the sack. Artaus opened the door and let Lance out. He walked down the hall and back towards the bar as Artaus searched for the ingredients for Lance's bloody mary. Lance sat back down at the counter, swinging his body on the stool, his sack tightly grasped in his fingers. Finally, Artaus arrived with his bloody mary and said, "That's a hundred less gil I owe you."

Lance snickered. "Only nine hundred ninety nine thousand, nine hundred to go!"

The bartender and Lance laughed lightly, and he handed over the rest of the money he owed. "Half in advance, and a little something for the road. An extra hundred thousand I don't owe you now."

Lance dropped the money inside his sack and it clinked gently as it landed at the bottom with the Materia. He took a sip of his drink and replied, "You should get back to work Artaus. After all, you worked long hours to pay off for Christopher and Orron."

"Yes indeed. I'll be seeing you around Lance eh?"

Lance simply sipped his drink and gave him a wink from his right eye. "Count on it."

After a few moments, Artaus left Lance alone to sip his drink in peace. When he finished, he set it down, and left. It was a short walk back to his tent to where the rest of his findings were, but after a bloody mary and a sip of the beer from his companion sitting next to him offered him before he left, it dragged. His steps were a little slower.

At last he arrived and set down his sack in the tent and zipped up the entrance. He lit a match and lit the lantern. A long awaited sleep was to come, but it wouldn't arrive until he was able to safely store the findings of his when he left in the morning to head for Cosmo Canyon. Luckily, his good friend in Gongaga tonight, had provided him with a little extra money, so he would most likely be able to hitch a ride with someone on the road.

His job wasn't classified as dangerous, but it sure was a hell of a lot of fun if you were about to be caught selling illegal Materia. Good for Lance, that his mother ran a Materia lab not far from Gongaga and manufactured illegal Materia. The Summons were the most difficult ones however, first you needed to capture the beast before you could actually construct the Materia. After the Materia is constructed, the beast is completely under your command, or whoever holds their Materia that summons them. It was a hard job, but certainly not classified as dangerous. Only if you were caught doing it. Besides, everyone was doing it nowadays.

Lance opened his pack and placed the single pieces of Materia in pockets, one piece of Materia to one pocket. Then, he shoved in his water and revisions to last him until he made it to Cosmo Canyon, a trip that would normally take one day by car, two hours by airship, and four hours by submarine. Hitchhiking, it could be as long as one week before he would actually make it.

He shivered in the cold blowing winds and zipped up the pack. He softly rested his head on the tent ground and closed his complaining green eyes. He opened them again when he heard a soft sound in the bushes. He almost jumped, but his body lay flat and motionless as shadows of people began to walk towards his tent. He didn't dare extinguish his lantern.

"Open your tent or we'll be forced to burn it down!"

Lance began devising strategies in his head as the people were demanding him to open up the entrance. He got up from the ground and said, "All right, all right. I'm coming!"

He unzipped the entrance to his tent to find three tall men standing with weapons and clenched fists. "Would you like something, gentleman?"

The tallest walked up first to him and slapped Lance's face hard. The black knuckle busters scraped his soft skin and the blood began to run down. He kept his mouth shut, though it begged to scream. His lips trembled. "Lance Himmemya, illegal Materia seller from Rocket Town, you're coming with us!"

Lance cringed as the blood ran onto his clean fingers. "Damn you! Shinra has no business butting into my affairs!"

The tallest one hunched back down to deliver another blow. "Don't be lying to us you son-of-a-bitch! Give us Dark Bahamut! You took the blue Mako capsule too! Don't lie!"

Lance winced as he felt the blow of his hand come cleanly across his face. Sure, he had taken it. Sure, he had taken the blue Mako from Shinra's Science Laboratory. He remembered running away with it, SOLDIER on his tail. Out the elevator window he went, not daring to see if he was going to live or not.

"So what if I took it? You filthy beasts of Shinra used it on one of my closest friends! Look what it did to her!"

The man with the black hair stepped forward. He had a shotgun in his hands, heavy but solid. "Mind me for asking for no apparent purpose, what was this woman's name?"

Lance rose from the ground and walked with the three men outside in the bushes. He responded, "I'll tell if you let me run."

"Give us the blue Mako, tell us her name, and we will not bother you ever again. Just tell us."

Lance liked the sound of them not coming again to bother him, but the blue Mako would be staying with him no matter what. He bent down to retrieve the capsule as an idea was rising to his head. "Here's your fucking Mako!" he said, throwing the bottle at them, the tallest catching it. "Liana. That's her fucking name. Get the hell out of my sight!"

The three turned and left without another word, until their voices began to rise as they walked on. They began to talk of what just happened. And it seemed they could strike a conversation about Liana quite well.

Lance only smiled with sweet triumph. Sure, he had taken the blue Mako, but did that mean he had given them the Mako?

Goodness no. Luckily, blue bird blood was easy to come by. And it wasn't very valuable at all. It looked eerily similar to blue Mako, which was very rare to obtain, but it would take an analysis with a machine to decide the difference. Quick planning. Lance had stored the real blue Mako in his pack, while he left the blood capsule in the pile of his Magic Materia.

However, he had a strange sensation in his body, that he would be seeing the Turks again very soon.

Rainbows of magnificent colors were spreading across the walls and the frame of the room. The sun began to rise higher, inching its way up in the sky, shining its smile into the room. The bedroom was small, yet cozy.

The woman lying in the bed slowly opened her eyes as the warm sun came along to greet her. Her dark cerulean eyes glistened as she rose from the bed, yawning and stretching her arms out wide. It was a resting night's sleep, perhaps she could pull another one off as soon as she arrived to Midgar that night as she had planned. She had a busy day ahead of her, because she had a job interview with Shinra to be heading off to. Her career would be a career in making weapons, if she got the job. She hoped she did, she felt like she could do it. Once they saw her manufactured weapons, they wouldn't dare turn her down.

She undressed and went into the bathroom to take a shower. The nice hot water felt wonderful on her stressed skin and hands. It poured over her firm breasts like a waterfall. She inhaled the brilliant aromas of sweet strawberries from her soap and breathed in the fine scent of vanilla from her shampoo. Her hair was wet and tight and was almost pinned to her body. It clung onto the soft dampness.

She lathered the soap and shampoo and washed her body fully and quickly. She delicately washed her breasts. They were average sized like most women, they weren't large. Neither were they small.

After her shower, and after she had dried off enough, she began to decide which clothes she was going to wear for today's meeting with the President of Shinra. There was her purple velvet suit, a black dress with ivory buttons shaped into flowers from delicate carving from a man's two hands, and of course, her blue skirt and blue vest. She enjoyed her choices, but she stayed with her purple velvet. She dressed in the bathroom and placed her black high heels over her feet, zipped up the back of her velvet skirt, and quickly combed her long golden brown into a fashionable hairstyle. She had most of it up, but small strands hung down over her ears. It looked quite… formal.

She smiled in the mirror at her shining white smile, with almost perfectly straight teeth. There was a bit of an overbite, but who cares? She grabbed her purse from the bed, signaled for the bellboy and slammed the door shut behind her.

It was a small walk to get to the lobby of the hotel. She handed the employee his money, a mere total of 500 gil for such a well rested night and walked quickly out the door. She would be flying by airship today, like any normal day. It would be about a ten-hour flight from Rocket Town to Midgar, not very long considering the distance. Since she had awaken at six, and was ready at seven, she would arrive at five o'clock that evening. Her appointment with President Shinra was at six o'clock that evening. She would have plenty of time.

Her search to find a job was perhaps about to end but she didn't believe so. She had been looking at several companies besides Shinra, though it was the largest one. She had been to GX5 Inc., where they manufactured all of Shinra's submarines and tank vehicles. She had been to see the President of Ganger Sixer, a company devoted to the constructed of the Shinra Headquarters. In fact, now that the thought came to her mind, most of the places she had gone to, either manufactured something for Shinra, or had supplied Shinra with its good employees. She shrugged, getting inside the taxicab, not another thought troubling her.

A smooth ride to the airship port, not even ten minutes. It was located about four miles out of Rocket Town, newly built and established. It was located out in the open and away from the Nibel Mountains, which were only a few miles away. In fact, the mountains were so tall, you could even see the tips from Rocket Town. However, they were usually dark and gloomy, with fog surrounding the bottom and thick dense clouds at the peaks. Their beauty was touching, but the sensation it gave you, made you believe there was something evil about them.

At least she wouldn't have to worry. She enjoyed their beauty more than their darkness.

She stepped out of the taxicab and paid the man. Then she made her way to the airship as they took care of her bags. She flashed her ticket to the woman, boarded and sat down next to a man in a black suit. He was really flashy looking, a bald head that shined better than pool balls on the ball table, black glistening sunglasses as the sun roughly tinted them, and a touch of dark brown, or perhaps black stubble on his face, professionally shaved to a close edge but enough to leave the hair over the surface. She liked it, it was kind of cute on him.

He made no action even when he noticed her looking at him.

"I assume you work for Shinra." She said, pointing to his suit. "After all, no one wears as funny clothes as that to go to Midgar."

He didn't breathe as she touched the material with her feminine fingers and red painted nails, rubbing the material back and forth between her thumb and forefinger.

"Would you please stop that?" the man said, pulling his arm free.

"Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were alive."

"Can it with the jokes if you want to remain among the living."

She smiled sweetly and simply replied, "It wouldn't matter to me. Say, could you give me some tips? I'm trying to apply for a job with Shinra, and I may need a little help."

The man just turned his head away, calmly gazing out the window of the airship as the engines began to rev up. "I can't help you, it's against regulations." His cheeks began to blush as she came up closer to him.

"Why not? Because you don't want to?"

"I can't!" he roared, giving her a firm push back into her seat.

She sat there, a little dazed, wondering what she could do to try and pry him open to give her some answers. As she waited, and was hard at work thinking and devising plans in her head, she ordered a diet soda for her flight, while the professional worker from Shinra asked for a sour scotch. She softly sipped her drink in content, still hard at work.

I need all the help I can get. This man isn't really helping much, but he will be able to soon.

"I assume you know a man named Tseng?"

The man sitting next to her shuddered, his drink almost falling to the floor from his loose fingers.

She had scored her target.

The man's sunglasses turned to face her blue eyes, stricken with surprise, but at the same time, it appeared he wasn't surprised either. It was a glance she thought had no emotion, since it seemed to contain the opposite emotion of the other. It was strange that confused glance he gave her.

Finally, he spoke. "Yes… I know a man by that name."

She almost jumped up in her seat from total happiness. "Oh! Tell me what he looks like! Please?"

The man nodded, sipping his sour scotch. "Yes yes. Tseng is tall, skinny, broad shoulders, black hair down the middle of his back, with a black mole on his forehead. Sound familiar?"

She could only sit there with anxiety. "Oh my goodness! Then… you…" her blue eyes began to scan his features and clothing. "You're Rude!"

The man had a faint expression like he was about to smile, but it faded as quickly as she noticed it. "I am indeed. You are…?"

"Liana." She took his hand and shook it. It hurt a little on her fingers, for he had black knuckle busters. "I am Liana. Tseng has told me all about you in his letters."

"So you were the one he was writing to on those late nights. He has told me a lot about you."

"Same here. He says you're a great guy. I don't understand though, who's this Reno person?"

A smile touched Rude's lips at last. "Ah, so Tseng even mentioned the old son-of-a-bitch! I knew he would."

"Who is he? Is he nice?"

"You know, he would be the one to talk to if you wanted to find out more about Shinra, he's been working there since before I came. I think he was… I'm not sure. Talk to him, get to know him. A really great guy."

Liana smiled, her teeth shined. She answered, "I want to meet him! You make him sound so romantic!"

"Yes, a real ladies man."


"Why not?"

Liana laughed, and her laugh shook in the air as the airship began to tremble. The ship was about to take off. Then, she calmed down for a moment and inquired, "So, does he date women often?"

"I haven't seen him really touch one. I'm not the one to ask."

Liana nodded. "I see."

Rude gazed out the window with his sunglasses, the sun still shining its bright rays. "Yes… so you're Liana. Are you… applying for the Weaponry Department?"

"Yes indeed. How did you know?"

"Tseng told me. You must write to each other everyday. Every time I see him at the bar, he's got something new to say about you. You have to hear this Rude! Liana says she got a cool haircut, and she's coming here to apply for a job with Shinra. Liana says she wants to see me again."

"Oh. Wow, he sure has a mouth to use."

Rude only smiled. "He's cool about it."

Liana folded her hand gently over her lap, gazing into Rude's sunglasses as he glanced out the window at the landscaping below him. She said, "So… what were you out here in Rocket Town for?"

Rude shook his head and replied, "I can't tell you. It's entirely confidential."

Liana peered deep into his sunglasses, trying to see what color eyes he had. "Oh come on. I'm sure it wasn't that bad. What were you looking for? The blue Mako capsule? That's stupid, I know who has it."

Rude shivered as she placed her fingers on the rim of his sunglasses. "All right! Yes! I was looking for it!"

He blushed as he noticed the other passengers on the airship were beginning to look at him. Liana only grinned widely. "I knew it! Lance Himmemya has it. He's a friend of mine, I know him."

Again, Rude shivered, but this time the force was even worse. His back hurled against the rim of the window, causing a loud thud in the room. He placed his hands tightly on the armrests and tried to escape from her. Liana glanced at him partially confused at his actions. "Something wrong?" she asked politely.

"You're her! I thought… but…" Rude started to mutter his words out. "You're that girl, and… Hojo! Hojo, he's b-been looking for you!"

"Hojo? Who's…?"

"The head of Shinra's Science Department. He wanted you! H-Hojo! I… I…"

Liana gently placed her hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Rude, slow down. What now?"

Rude calmed a bit, but he was still shaking. "Hojo, head of Shinra's Science Department. You're Liana, he wanted to see you in person. H-He said something about the blue Mako. You have it?"

"Do I have the blue Mako capsule?"

"N-No!" Rude replied, inching around in his seat. "Do you have it in your eyes?"

"My eyes? Heck no, this is my true eye color."

Rude only lifted one eyebrow. "How would y-you know that for sure? The blue Mako matches your eyes."

"Well… I…" Liana tried to finish her words, but somehow she couldn't. She thought she didn't have any blue Mako in her system.

Is this something that has to do with my nationally? Or… does the blue Mako… have something else to do with my eyes like he said? I… don't know. I can't possible have it… I-

"It's injected before a certain someone is born."

Oh, my fault. Well, then, yes… I could have it. Maybe… but I doubt it… a lot…

"I don't think I have blue Mako, Rude." Liana responded, almost sure of her chosen words.

"But, your eye color is the same as the Mako! How would you know?"

Liana shrugged her shoulders and started to open her purse. "I just don't think so. I mean, wouldn't someone tell me if I had been injected with Mako or not?"

Rude nodded, hesitantly. "Yes probably… but… that doesn't count the fact that someone or whoever did it to you didn't want you knowing even later in your life."

Right again… he's always right… Tseng even said so. This Rude of the Turks seems to be the smart one of the pack. Unless you count Reno, but I don't know him. Tseng… nope. Doubt it. He wasn't never really into being intelligent. Maybe… Maybe… I don't know…

"Perhaps I could buy you another drink?" Liana said, pulling some change out from her purse. "I think they only allow so many before they start making you pay for it yourselves."

"I'm not sure, maybe."

Liana grinned, closing her blue eyes. "Oh come on! I bet you need another one anyway, you looked stressed. I suppose you have a very long day ahead."


"Same here. And you still haven't told me a lot about Shinra. This is a ten-hour flight Rude! What do you think am I going to do during the whole time? Read? Sleep?"

"Most likely not."

Liana giggled kindly. "Of course. Right again. So… you might as well talk with me so I don't get so bored."

Rude managed to let a small smile come across his face. "I suppose. Ten hours is a long time, but if you want to know everything about Shinra, it's going to take twenty years."

Liana smiled, leaning back in her chair. Her lips and her face wanted to smile until they remained that way. "Twenty years from now… sounds good to me…"

Even if I won't live that long…

As promised, ten hours later, after Rude finished talking about Shinra, and after Liana discovered she had a kink in her neck, they arrived at the port of Midgar. The airship finally made its descent. It landed softly and they began to have everyone be boarded off.

As Liana was standing out in the terminal waiting for her luggage to come around, she saw Rude sitting down at the café tables, eating a small roll in his hand. She smiled sweetly as she watched him eat peacefully, his one hand holding the roll, the other crushing the wrapper. Rude was staring down onto a piece of paper someone had handed to him when he walked off the airship ramp. It looked important, because when she tried asking him what it was, he wouldn't answer her.

Finally, her luggage started coming around, three suitcases of black colors. She checked the tags, and went over to sit down next to her companion she sat on the plane with.

She set her luggage down by the table. "Rough ride, eh?"

Rude only nodded, his teeth chewing the roll.

"I know. But I really appreciate you telling me all about Shinra and stuff. I mean, wow, you sure know a lot."

Rude again only nodded, chewing the food.

Liana gently took his hand with the concealed wrapper and gently kissed it. Rude glanced up from the paper, surprised, yet satisfaction was on his features.

"Thank you so much. I must be leaving now Rude. I have a six o'clock appointment to catch. I'll see you around Shinra Headquarters if I'm hired!"

Rude only softly blushed on his cheeks and waved to her with the hand that had the half eaten roll in it. He went back to reading his papers after Liana had left. He watched her slowly walk away with her suitcases. They appeared very heavy. Rude only smiled as he peered her way.

It wasn't a crush. He was too old now for crushes, that's when he was a teenager. He was now a proud member of the Turks, or otherwise known as Shinra's Manufacturing Department of Administrative Research. He couldn't fall in love, his job was more important. But… he had to face the facts… she was kind of cute.

He glanced over and watched as her legs went forward, her skinny legs, how could a woman be so skinny…? He took another hearty bite of his roll and looked on, as she turned right down the large hall. Before she disappeared, her dark blue eyes flashed a small glance in his direction, and the reflecting sun from the windows gave a shining glare. Her lips slowly smiled. Then, she walked on.

Okay… maybe it was a crush.

"Could you please make sure that my baggage gets safely to the hotel? I would appreciate it."

Liana stood in the Shinra Headquarters lobby, speaking with the secretary. Her hotel wasn't far from the Headquarters, but she was running a little late. Her interview started in two minutes, on the forty-fifth floor.

"I'll be sure to do so. There's an elevator up those stairs. Can't miss it."

She smiled and replied, "Thanks."

Liana's shoes clicked on the tiled floor as she held tightly on to one of her suitcases. She hurried up the steps, she counted fifty-two, and glanced around for the nearest elevator. She watched as one opened for a Shinra worker to step on. Liana ran to catch it, and made it just in time. The door shut softly behind her.

She placed her bag on the floor and pushed the button to head for floor forty-five. The elevator clicked as it went up quickly. The lights flickered from the open glass on the ceiling, and it seemed they passed one floor every second or so. The Shinra worker stepped off at floor thirty-one, and before the doors closed, he glanced back, his green eyes meeting Liana's. Before the doors closed, she gazed back at him. His clothing was alike to Rude's, a new and flashy suit, like his career appeared important. He held a small silver rod, his fingers tightly curled around the handle. His green eyes glared. His ruffled and messed up red brown hair hung all around his face, and stuck out above his goggles he had on his forehead, the rest hung behind his shoulders, in a deranged ponytail. She didn't recognize his face.

Then the doors closed and he was out of her sight.

She sighed and waited for the elevator to start up again. It started up and began to rise again. It stopped twice to pick up two soldiers, another time to pick up someone who worked for Shinra's Science Exploration Department, and once more to pick up a Shinra executive. Finally, it reached her floor and she stepped off the elevator, her heavy bag along with her. She gazed around the area, seeing a small café at her right, where it was serving a few people and on her left was an artificial forested area, with a small path. In the artificial forest, she saw picnic tables and people sitting at them, eating. It was pretty, and even the trees looked real.

In the left part of the floor, she spied a door that read: Shinra Executive Meeting Board. She entered through, lugging her case and walked down the small hallway. She passed a couple people along the way until she came to another door on her left that read: Interviewing Room.

At last, she made it. With her fingers, she coiled them around the doorknob and entered.

It was a very nice little waiting room, but it made her feel cramped. She went up to the desk and said, "I'm Liana. I'm here for an interview with the President. Six o'clock post meridian."

The secretary at the desk looked at her list and pointed with her pen at the schedule. "Liana, have a seat please." She checked off the entrance of Liana with her black felt tipped pen.

Liana sat down in a soft comfortable chair in the corner of the room and pulled up a magazine to her lap from the table next to her. It was a new issue of Shinra Informer, a magazine she received weekly at her address in Kalm. By now, she probably had her entire newspaper box filed up at the mail center. She looked at the table of contents, to see if there were any interesting articles to read. As she skimmed her blue eyes down the page, a certain article caught her eye.

Shinra's Manufacturing Department of Administrative Research naps blue Mako capsule from illegal Materia dealer, Lance Himmemya ……………………………………… 90

Liana frowned with concern as she flipped the magazine to page ninety. She knew Lance from way back. It was a little hard to her when she found out he had turned into an illegal Materia dealer, but then again, she wouldn't have ever thought he would be caught stealing the blue Mako capsule.

But wait a minute here… I thought Rude told me he hadn't found Lance and… that the blue Mako was still out there…

She found page ninety and began to read the article.

For the Turks, any other normal day would be finding applicants to join SOLDIER. It started out that way…

Until President Shinra had a new assignment for them.

The President stated he had an assignment for the Turks to catch the thief who had stolen the rare blue Mako from their Science Laboratory, Lance Himmemya. With a little doubt and complaint, the Turks accepted.

The blue Mako was a rare mineral only found in certain areas of the Planet. At first suspicion, everyone thought that it wasn't rare, and that the blue Mako was used to create the blue Materia, such as the All Materia. However, this blue Mako was a very rich blue in color, and was used for more special purposes. The people of Shinra concealed it in a tight capsule and locked it up.

Somehow, Lance made his way to find it. The blue Mako can be used to summon a beast named Dark Bahamut, a rare beast. This dragon is stronger than his brothers. Lance was suspected to have the Materia that concealed this great dragon, so it would give him great purpose to use the blue Mako.

When the-

A tap came from Liana's shoulder and she peered up from the magazine. The secretary from the desk stood there, her other finger pointing to the door of the President's interviewing office. She said, "The President is waiting to see you now. I already carried your bag inside his office."

Liana peered down to the floor and realized she was right. She had taken it already. She was really caught into the article. She would have to finish it later if she got the chance.

Liana got up from the chair and watched as the secretary returned to her desk. She opened the door to the office and stepped in. She found the man sitting at his desk, playing with some type of instrument. He was an older man, with a professional looking red suit on, a little on the chubby side; he appeared round and flat at his sides. His face was dotted with large pores, and no offense to him, but Liana thought he looked like a fish. A fish-head.

She only smiled and sat down in the leather chair in front of his desk. She shook hands with the President and stated her name.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, President Shinra. I'm Liana."

"Nice to meet you too." He said in a gruff and strong voice. His voice was very deep, and it sounded like he had a frog in his throat. Not to mention the fact that he kind of looked like one.

"I've looked over your resume…" the President said, holding up her papers. "It says you have had some experience with manufacturing weapons."

"Indeed." Liana replied, spotting her bag in the corner of the room. "I have brought some of my models, but I wanted to save them for last."

"I had a question first. Who was your recent employer?"

"Bail Weapons in Kalm, sir."

The President only nodded, his eyes fixed upon her resume. "I also see you know some of my employees. From the Turks I see."

Liana was surprised by how he knew, and how he could have heard from someone about it, but she remained calm and motionless in her chair, she didn't try and make a sound.

"It's not often I meet someone who has known one of the Turks, besides their family. Do you know a lot about the Turks?"

"Umm… no sir. I only know what their types of jobs and missions are sir."

"I see. … Well perhaps, you could become more familiar with them."


The President didn't smile, but the expression on his face made it look like he was going to. "I'll consider it. If your job with Scarlet and the other workers with weapons goes well, I'll consider promoting you to the Turks. After all, we can always use an expert in the Turks who has an advanced range of knowledge on weapons."

"I… I see sir."

Liana grabbed onto the handles of her chair. She was excited on the inside, but she didn't dare show it to the President. A job with the Turks! She only thought she would be working with weapons.

"However, you will not be an official member of Shinra. Not until the next board meeting. That will not be for a while yet. I can assure you it will be some time. I will be monitoring your work every now and then to see if you are fit and able to become a Turk. Once you're a Turk, you will be an official worker." He took a deep breath of air.

Liana smiled, it sounded like he was already offering her the job. She just needed to reach out and take it.

"If you get the job, I'll be sure to monitor you."

Liana's hopes were crushed. She thought she would be hired. But her mind was set on having this job, and she wouldn't quit.

Besides, I still have to show him my weapons I constructed…

Liana rose from her chair to grasp her bag in the corner of the room. She said, "I'm sure you'll like my constructed weapon models. There is a wide variety." Liana unzipped the bag and began to set the models neatly on the floor of the office. "There are weapons meant for close range battle, there are weapons for long range firing, and of course, there are the essential grenade models, guns, and knives."

The President, his eyebrow rising. He liked some of her ideas. The close range weapons would obviously be for soldiers. The long range firing weapons, such as cannons would be meant for other things.

"So I assume you have cannon models?"

Liana grinned. "Of course!"

"Good… good…"

The President smiled. He liked her. She was a spiritual woman, a little on the hyper side, but cute and calm in a charming way. Liana appeared to be ready for any job. She would take on any task he gave her. This was his best bet yet. The others hadn't been so promising.

Liana picked up one of her models that appeared to be a type of sword. "This is a close range battle type weapon called the Rapier. This type of sword contains two linked Materia slots and one unlinked slot. When paired with certain types of Materia, the Rapier can perform more special attacks." Liana brought the model close to the desk. "The Materia color can be placed in the slot its meant for. If all are filled, it performs different attacks. I created one for my own use, it's quite convenient."

The President smiled. He enjoyed her model. It had a variety of colors as well.

Liana returned the model to her bag and picked up another one from the ground. She walked up to the desk and placed the weapon down on the fine wood. "This is a long range weapon that requires Mako to work. This cannon is a high-energy model, alike to the Junon Cannon, however has a longer range and fires more power. This beam cannon would most likely be placed around a Reactor, just an example for say, Nibelheim's Reactor in the mountains." Liana pointed her fingers to certain areas of the model. "This part works as an energy back-up system. In case the beam should miss, stored energy will allow it to fire again within five minutes of the last shot. But, if the directions are followed correctly, this cannon should hardly miss. It has a high accurate firing system. I believe this is a fine weapon."

The President nodded, listening to her voice. It looked quite promising, he hoped however, that she had the directions to create should a strong weapon. It appeared very powerful. And, it would be helpful to have a cannon on each continent of the planet. The Junon cannon wouldn't be enough to support such a large continent as the one Midgar was located on. He thought a moment in his head.

We could place one on Fort Condor, that's an old reactor we can start up again. Midgar would be a good place for another one as well. Eight reactors can support the cannon with plenty of energy. It could be quite helpful…

"I like these weapons indeed. I would be happy to see your other models at a later date. We have run short of time, Liana."

Liana gazed at the clock on the wall of the room and realized that it was already seven o'clock. The President was right.

"However… I will be seeing you at work on the next following Monday morning at six o'clock?"

Liana turned her head, a look of intent on her face. "I got the job?"

The President forced a smile on his lips. He folded his hands and replied, "You got it. Be here at six o'clock sharp. You will meet Scarlet on the fifty-third floor Monday morning to receive your job instructions. Here's your papers."

Liana hid her look of happiness on her face and grabbed the papers. She placed her models back inside the bag. She had several others to share with him, but she might as well share them with Scarlet as well. She knew who Scarlet was, Scarlet was the head of Shinra's Weaponry Department. She had met her times before at Bail in Kalm. She wasn't a very nice woman, and she had the most annoying laugh she ever heard of, but now that Scarlet was her new employer, she might be better than Liana thought. Liana thanked the President, shook his hand, and left the office with her heavy bag.

It felt good to know that she might be able to keep her job for a longer time then what she had before. Especially if she would be seeing Tseng.

They had had a long past together in Kalm, where they had met. She had moved away from Kalm, but she returned hoping he would still be there. She had certainly fallen in love with him, he was the cutest teenager she had ever seen. Even if he was a lot older than her, it didn't matter. She loved his soft hands as they walked with each other to go to the store and look at Materia, or walk on the outskirts of the city and run into monsters outside. It was a lot of fun, she had had so much fun as a girl spending time with him. After they moved, they continued writing to each other, through letters they could express how much they missed each other and when they could see each other again. Liana wanted to see him so badly now that she thought about it, and she wondered if he was in the building. Perhaps… he does work for Shinra after all… She thought they could meet at the café and have a cup of coffee or something like that. Tseng was quite fond of coffee.

She stepped out of the door and arrived at the café to grab a drink. She was pretty thirsty after talking so much.

Liana stepped up to the counter to order a drink. She looked at the choices and finally decided to stay with a bottled water, instead of a diet soda. While she there at the counter, she noticed she was a little hungry too. So with her water she ordered a salad and ranch dressing. Liana paid for her meal with the gil in her purse, an expensive amount of 650 gil, and walked around to try and find a seat. She spotted a nice table by an artificial apple tree and thought it was the perfect spot to have her late supper. She walked over and sat down.

Liana began to eat her food, it was quite good. She crunched the fresh lettuce and cheese in her mouth and dug through her bag of modeled weapons to find the papers the President had given her after her interview. She couldn't wait to start on Monday!

She gazed at the papers with her blue eyes, reading the small print and using the other papers to mark where she had been reading. She pulled out a highlighter from her bag and began to color in the parts or words she may have needed to come back to. After Liana had read the first two pages of the papers, her meal was finished and her eyes were beginning to become heavy. Liana yawned as she stretched her arms out wide. She glanced at the watch on her wrist; it was a beautiful gold plated band with large purple gems surrounding the head. Yes, she knew she had been there a long time. It was now almost eight o'clock, Midgar time, and she should probably start getting back to the hotel. Lucky for her, it was nearby.

Liana gathered her things and threw her plastic plate and utensils in the trash. She grasped her bag from the floor and carried it to the elevator near the food counter. Now that she noticed it, it seemed that the whole floor was gone, except a worker at the café, who was washing the tables and scrubbing the floors. She bid farewell to the stranger, feeling sorry for him to work the late shift in the Shinra Headquarters, and entered the empty elevator.

Again, as she descended to the bottom floor, a few people got on and off. It seemed that this place never really stopped. Actually, it was kind of ridiculous. Who would work all night in such a depressing place like this?

Then, on the twenty-third floor, a man stepped on the elevator. Liana took a large glance at him. Somehow, it seemed she recognized him from someplace. She had seen him before from somewhere. He had green eyes, was wearing a professional looking suit, and was carrying…

Now she realized who he was! Liana had met him before on the same elevator earlier. It was around six o'clock, because she was running to her meeting. He was the man who was carrying the silver rod, and he had looked back at her, like he had seen her somewhere before too. Major déjà vu.

Liana was so shy at that brief moment. She turned her head away and folded her hands over her stomach. Her hair hung low.

The man continued looking ahead, staring at the door of the elevator as it went down. Then, he said something. "So… you must be Liana."

She didn't look up, but her shoulders tensed in mild shock. How was she so well known? Was Tseng really telling everyone about her?

"Yes… I am." she said shyly, still not glancing up from the floor.

"I've heard quite a bit about you. Not just from Tseng."

Liana breathed a sigh of relief, and she tried to hide it so he wouldn't notice. She knew all along that Tseng was never that type of person. But then, who was telling everyone about her?

"From who?" she asked.

The man smirked a little and watched as the numbers kept falling on the screen. He shoved his hands inside the pockets of his pants. "I have connections. You can trust me on this, I've heard from some of your friends."

She turned her head sideways to keep her eye on his face. She didn't directly face him.

I don't have many friends. Sure… there's Lance. But that's really it…

Liana turned her head back to the floor. "The Materia dealer?"

The man nodded, glancing at the floor they were on. Twelfth floor, and falling. "Him especially."

Liana knew it, but she had to ask.

The man leaned against the wall of the elevator, pulling something out of his pocket. "Want one?"

Liana turned around to see him holding a cigarette, it wasn't a filtered one. She didn't take it in her fingers and she only made a soft growl.

"Oh come on. One fucking cigarette can't kill you."

Liana sighed and shook her head for a no answer. But, then again, as her mind drifted into the past, she remembered how Lance used to offer her cigarettes, back when they lived in the same town. Liana hadn't seen him in the longest time, maybe…

Finally, she took the cigarette from him and he lit it for her. The lighter sparked with a yellow and orange colored flame and it lit the cigarette in her fingers.

Liana didn't know exactly how to smoke one, but she had seen Lance do it numbers of times. That was when he still smoked them, he didn't anymore thank the heavens for that. She lifted it up to her mouth and puffed in the smoke.

She didn't know exactly what happened next, but maybe she didn't breathe it back out. She started coughing badly.

The man only smiled as she bent down coughing out the smoke. The elevator beeped its arrival to the bottom floor and they exited, the man slapping her back to make sure she was okay. He walked down to the secretary's desk and he sat her down on a bench near the exit.

"You all right?"

Liana nodded, the coughing dying down somewhat.

The man smirked and rubbed her back. "Yes, you don't actually breathe the damn stuff in. You just got to get used to it."

Liana smiled a little, hoping he would go away. But, she did feel a little better with him sitting on the bench next to her. It felt kind of relaxing actually.

"I know it's not really my job to be talking to people like you, but Tseng told me to keep cool with you. Feeling better?"

Liana's coughing had stopped now and she proceeded to take another try with the cigarette. This time, she didn't cough, and she didn't let the smoke go down her throat.

"There you go." he said. "You'll get the hang of it."

Liana nodded, puffing gently.

The man leaned his back on the bench, his fingers curling around the frame. "Yeah, I've known Tseng for a long time too. When did you meet him?"

Liana replied, "When I was about… oh, I don't know. I lived in Kalm when I met him, and I was very young. I don't remember honestly, it's been that long."

The man just smiled, his white teeth glaring. "Yeah. Say, where's your hotel? You ain't staying in this dump all night, are you?"

Liana gave a small choked laugh and had to pull the cigarette away from her mouth. She coughed into her hand and responded, "Heavens no! This place gives me the creeps!"

"I'll take you to your hotel."

Liana gazed up at his green eyes. "That's quite all right. I assume you have the later shift here in the Headquarters."

"I do tonight, but I have nothing else better to do. Besides, they won't miss me one bit."

Liana got up from the bench and smiled. She extinguished her cigarette and threw it in the trash. "Sure, thanks a lot. I would appreciate it."

The man took her right hand and shook it gently. "Reno, of the Turks. Pleasure."

Liana grinned and shook his hand back. "Liana."

Liana felt a flowing peace come into her like river; it flowed so gently and smoothly. It was a good feeling when she took Reno's hand. Liana looked back up the stairs, they appeared so far above her head. The carpeted steps went up to heaven, it was so high. Somehow, as she started walking with Reno, she felt something or a feeling she had never felt, or a feeling she had never felt in years. She couldn't distinguish it. This Reno seemed like an awfully nice guy, but she couldn't be sure. There was just something about him that made Liana think he was in the middle of a large and bad situation, or he was doing something he shouldn't. Maybe, just maybe, he wasn't really a nice guy at all, and that he would pull a fastball on her. Or a curveball.

But then, as she looked back to his face, she saw that his eyes were sparkling. He opened the door and let her out first, like a true gentleman. She took his hand and began to walk down the sidewalk. Somewhere nearby, she thought she heard a flute playing from the slums below her, and that she felt like she was walking on a metal beach. But, her thoughts were so wrapped up on other things, the music entered one ear and exited out the other. She knew Reno had heard it; he turned his head to look.

It was a long, long time ago when she had felt this, if she ever had. But whatever it was, it sure felt really good.

Chapter 3

Amber Gehrke's Fanfiction