Payback's a Bitch 2: Redemption Chapter 4
By Joe L.
The room was dimly lit by a single light bulb on the ceiling. It stank of smoke and alcohol, with beer cans littering it's floor. But for a Turk, that's the way they liked it.
"What's the job this time, Reno?" a woman's voice called out from one of the chairs. Her name was Elena, and she was the newest of the Turks. She was a cute woman with short blonde hair and sparkling blue eyes. While somewhat ditzy at times, she was a a valuable member of the Turks.
"Better not be like last time," Rude's gruff voice grumbled. Rude was a large man by any standards, and was always adorned in dark shades to conceal his eyes. He sat on one of the recliners adjacent to Elena. Reno sat on the couch. They were at the Turk Headquarters in Junon. Since Metoer hit and the Shinra had been destroyed, the Turks had been on their own and had since started their own business, Turks, Inc. They did jobs for anyone that paid them the right amount of gil. One man had even offered them 500,000 gil to assassinate Reeve himself.
"I assure Rude," Reno calmly replied as he took a drink from his whiskey bottle, "this job is quite different. You know how General Ellefson has the plans to make SOLDIERs? Yeah well, our good buddy Reeve wants us to destroy those plans and help save the world."
"Gee, this sure seems like our job for those AVALANCHE guys," Elena interjected as she laid back in her chair. Reno shot her an icy stare at the mention of AVALANCHE. And though he wouldn't admit it to anyone, he sorely wished AVALANCHE was still around to help this fight against evil. Ever since the battle with Gyver, nobody had heard a peep out of AVALANCHE. For all intents and purposes, there was no more AVALANCHE, not since they had lost Cloud Strife.
"AVALANCHE doesn't exist anymore, Elena."
"Oh yeah, that whole Gyver thing......." Elena quitely said, thinking about what she had heard on the news about what had happened at Kalm.
"Anyways, we going to have to sneak into Ellefson's office and do whatever it takes to get rid of those plans. Even if that means burning down that entire section of Junon City Hall, then that's what we are going to do."
"So, how much is this job paying?" Rude asked as he smoked a cigarette, puffinf smoke into the air.
"100,000 gil. Reeve gave me this little packet, with all these detailed plans of Ellefson's offices, all the hidden cameras, shortcuts, everything. So you guys need to read this before we leave." With that, Reno left Elena and Rude to go to his own private quarters. The Turk's headquarters also doubled as their home, with the upstairs of the large complex as their rooms. Reno shuffled up the stairs and down a hall and opened up the door to his room. It was littered with beer cans and pornographic magazines, and smelled like tobacco. A TV was atop the dresser and Reno's white sheets of his bed were stained with food stains and beer stains. Home sweet home, Reno thought to himself. He threw off his blue coat and shoes and unbuttoned his white shirt. He picked up the remote which lay on his bed and turned on the television. Reno flicked the channel a few times, and after not finding anything, he fell asleep.
"What is our next target?" asked the Ghiite. This group of Ghiites, known as the Rebellion, stationed themselves in the port city of Sredina in a secret underground lair. Their base had actually been a military base, but it burned down and a city was built over it. The Rebellion had stumbled upon it many years ago and have used it for their base of operations ever since. Their leader was known as Braka'Karin or in the Ghiite tounge, "One of shadows". While this wasn't his real name, nobody was sure his actual name. It was said that he was a member of the Fists of God, and that one day he had uncovered some horrible secret and he quit, and vowed revenge against King Zarin. He started the Rebellion by one day meeting a female Ghiite named Kira, and he fell in love. Soon the Rebellion grew and grew, and to Braka's estimates, their were at least 5,000 of them. Each was a highly trained warrior, capable of challenging a Grand Master and surviviing, possibly defeating a weaker one. Braka's power of course, was the greatest of the Rebellion. He was considered to be one of Bakaar's most powerful warriors except for a handful of Ghiites, like King Zarin and Grand Master Garsaan.
"No, we shall wait. After our last attack, Zarin and his pitful worker ants will be sending out everyone he has to find us. We shall let things cool down, and then we make our next and last attack."
"What do you mean?"
"We attack Dacar, capital of Bakaar."
Three months had passed since Cloud and Sephiroth had began their training, three months that pushed both of them beyond normal limits. At times Cloud thought that he wouldn't make and be a washout, like he was in SOLDIER. Sephiroth on the other hand, had an easier time with the training, since he had been SOLDIER's finest product. At this time, both of the young warriors were seated in Garsaan's office as he went through papers.
"Well, it has been three months since I started my training with you. When we started both of you were weak by most standards. But now, your power has tripled and I believe it is time for your final exam."
"And what might that be?" Sephiroth asked, intrigued.
"To become a member of the Fists of God, you must past a test. Both of you will fight me and if you live, you are officially a member."
"What do you mean if we live?" Sephiroth replied, staring coldly at the Ghiite.
"When you fight me, you will hold nothing back. If you wish to live, you will fight me with everything you have. I will go full force myself, and if you survive four minutes then you have passed. Cloud, prepare yourself, because at dusk today, you will fight me." And with that, both warriors left, pondering if they would ever live to see another day.
The colosseum was packed to the brim with 500,000 screaming Ghiites, waiting for the fights to begin. On Earth, the Romans had built the Colosseum and used it for games of bloodshed and murder. The same was with the Ghiites, except for the fact that their colosseum was many times larger. It had to be, because a powerful Ghiite could destroy it with one misplaced energy blast. An old legend that as a boy, Zarin had fought and destroyed the Colosseum of God in Myopa many years ago. Of course, even if it had happened, people had long ago forgotten about it.
The sound of the fans screaming voices were defeaning, but immediately quited as the announcer walked out onto to floor of the colosseum. It was basically a small desert, with a few weapons scattered about if a warrior wanted them. With a microphone in hand, the announcer said,
"Welcome fellow Ghiites, to the Ketsuo Royal Colosseum. This is a very special night because we have three important guests. One of them is............Grand Master Gar'Saan!!!" The crowd screamed and cheered, as most of them remembered when he was a hometown hero when he used to fight at the colosseum, never being defeated.
"Tonight, in our first match, he will be fighting and up and coming Ghiite soldier in training. Ladies and gentleman, give a warm welcome for Sh'kaar Nali!" The crowed booed loudly at Cloud, since this was his first time at the colosseum. Both warriors met each other on the field, and before a trumpet gave the signal to begin, Gar'saan said,
"Good luck Cloud.....You'll need it." And then the fight had begun.
Both warriors circled around each other, waiting for the other one to strike. It was hard to tell actually which Ghiite was which, considering both wore the same uniform of a martial artist. However, Gar'saan had a patch that signified him a Grand Master and Cloud did not.
Cloud attacked first, with blinding speed he leaped in the air and kicked at Gar'saan's face. Gar'saan's grabbed Cloud's foot and threw him through the air, though Cloud easily landed on his feet. As Cloud looked up, Gar'saan had charged at him with his raised, and brought it down, an aura of blue energy surrounding it. Cloud jumped out of the way and retaliated with a solid punch that connected with Gar'saan's face, sending him stumbling. Cloud proceeded and punched Gar'saan straight in the stomach, and finishing the combination with a roundhouse kick straight to the Grand Master's chest, sending him flying through the air and crashing to the sand, his face a bloody mess. He slowly got up and wiped the blood from his face, and growled angrily. Faster than Cloud could detect, Gar'saan ran his shoulder straight into Cloud, knocking him down. Cloud quickly jumped up with a back flip and narrowly avoided Gar'saan's punches.
"Try and dodge this boy!" Gar'saan growled as he he jumped into the air, and with his tail, grabbed Cloud. He then brought Cloud down right on his head. The crowd cheered loudly as Cloud tried desperately to shake the cobwebs out of his head.
"Come on Cloud! You can do better than that, can't you?" Gar'saan sneered as he taunted Cloud. Gritting his teeth, Cloud stood up and looked at the Grand Master with grim determination.
"Just wait and see," Cloud smirked and then was upon Gar'saan with a barrage of punched and kicks, faster than Gar'saan expected. Each was blocked skillfully by the Grand Master, as he shot through the air with Cloud on his tail, still attacking. As they were high in the air, Cloud was punched squarely in the chest by Gar'saan and with a hammer blow, Cloud was sent crashing straight into the ground, completely defeated. He couldn't move any part of his body, much less fight.
But to Cloud's luck, the four minutes had expired and the trumpet sounded. Just as night had come to the Ketsuo Royal Colosseum, Gar'saan was declared victor in the fight. The crowd cheered loudly, and women in the audience screamed how they wanted to marry Gar'saan. Two employees of the Colosseum quickly carried off the unconscious Cloud, though no one in the crowd cared too much. Cloud smiled to himself, and thought, I've made it.
More of the same was the case as Sephiroth fought Gar'saan. While at one time Sephiroth had thought of himself as invincible and unbeatable, he now knew the errors of his ways. On this planet, Bakaar, he was shit, nothing. If he wanted to earn his freedom, which he wanted very much so, he would have to train and train until he was the best. But on this night, Gar'saan easily defeated but Sephiroth had lasted the required four minutes, albeit he was severely injured. However, both him and Cloud were part of the Fists of God, an elite fighting force. Once they had both recovered from their injuries, they would probably be sent on their first mission as soon as possible.
"You should be fine in a few weeks," the doctor told Sephiroth, who at this point was lying in a bed in the Dacar Hospital. His right leg and left arm were both broken in the fight against Gar'saan and leadless to say, who was injured much worse than Cloud. However, due to much advanced Ghiite technology in the field of medicine, who would be fine in a matter of weeks.
"He really kicked your ass didn't he?" the doctor said smugly, and Sephiroth thought back to the fight. Funny, he should have been thinking back to the pain and misery of it all, the crowd jeering at him once he arrived, and yet he had to admit to himself that he enjoyed. The camaraderie of it all, the tension of the crowd before the match begun. He had to admit to himself that the feeling was invigirating and gratifiying, almost like getting high off of marijuana.
"I suppose he did, doctor," was all that Sephiroth said.
"Yeah, I was there actually and I gotta tell ya that I thought you were gonna die."
"Is that so?"
"Yeah, I mean you being a human and inferior and everything-"
"What did you say?"
"Well, you are only human after all. Admit it, you are an inferior race to us, and hey, I was all up for Gyver destroying ya'll when he was on Earth."
"Ha. If I remember my history lessons as a boy, there was a man Earth that had that same idea. He believed that his race of people were the perfect humans and everybody else was inferior. And do you know what this man did?" Sephiroth growled, anger seething through his every pore.
"Oh nothing really, except killing millions of people and singlehandedly starting a second world war, causing million more deaths and changed the course of history forever " Sephiroth stared angrily at the doctor, the Ghiite. Becoming quite unnerved by the site of the man, the doctor quickly left, leaving Sephiroth to his thoughts.
He thinks that he is better than me? What right does he have to proclaim anything, Sephiroth said to himself, the anger almost becoming unbearable. That miserable piece of shit, who is he to say that I am unworthy to live, that a whole fucking race of people should die? And that point, Sephiroth understood the Ghiites. They were nothing more than an arrogant race of peoples who had outlived their welcome on Earth and now were jealous of humans for living on it, a planet that they believed their own. Sephiroth understood the Ghiites rejection of him, he had been dealing with it all his life. At first it angered him because he could not understand why he was ridiculed. But as he matured he no longer cared what anybody else thought of him, because they were fools. Simple minded fools, but not him, he was not like them. He was different, and he was destined to become a great warrior.
And so, the Ghiites were jealous of humans and that is why they hated him. Ironic, Sephiroth thought to himself, that a basic emotion as jealousy could make somebody hate another so much that they would wnat to kill an entire race that they had never even met.
"Just shut the fuck up, okay?" Reno whispered angrily as he and the elite force known as the Turks silently made their way through Junon Hall, in search of the Scientific Develepment Department, where all the imformation for SOLDIER had been stored.
General Michael Ellefson had grand ideas for the future, of a world protected by an international organization named SOLDIER. No warriors on the entire planet would threaten them, and they would rule the Earth by might. Of course, Reeve was one of the only people who knew about Ellefson's plans and he was about to let history repeat itself, not after the hell that he had been through. He hoped the world would have learned it's lesson after almost being destroyed by one man's insane vision and an experiment gone completely.
So Reeve had hired the Turks to completely destroy all knowledge of the SOLDIER program, including the head scientists of the Scientific Deveolpment Department. The Turks of course knew it was dangerous, but they didn't care. They were the Turks, and they always came through in the job. They weren't afraid of anything and when nobody messed with them. When someone would see the Turks walking, all uniform in their blue suits and very dignified it was as almost if they subconciously said to the person, Don't fuck wiht us.
"What floor did Reeve say it was on?" Elena whispered to Reno. Reno thought about it for a moment and then replied,
"I think it's on floor twelve. But there's going to be some guards on duty, and we'll gonna have to take them out. Have to be silent though, or else we'll be fucked." With that, the Turks continued their silent vigil through the lobby, now empty. With the agility of a cat, the Turks crept into one of the elevators, and pressed the button to go to the twelth floor. The doors of the wooden elevator closed, and the elevator slowly crept up. The Turks now had their guns at ready, Reno with his nightstick, Elena with her glock pistol, and Rude with a glock as well.
As the doors opened, the Turks found themselves staring into perpetual blackness.
"Goddamn, I can't see a fucking thing," Reno grumbled to himself as he slowly stepped out, his fellow Turks following him. In front of them was a lobby with a desk, and their was a hallway to the left and another hallway to the right.
"Alright, the directions say go the right," Reno whispered silently to himself. They silently made their way to the hallway, and walked down noticing all the winding passageways. "Remember, it's the last hallway to the left, and then we take a right. That's where the all the information is stored. The C-4 will detonate in seven minutes, so hurry your ass up and get outta there, allright?" The Turks nodded as they followed their leader through the maze that was the Scientific Development Department.
After five minutes or so, the Turks had entered the room that was their destination. It was a room filled with computers and cabinets with many files. It had no windows, and was basically totally isolated from everything. Rude removed the C-4 that he had been carrying and placed in on one of the computer monitors. Setting the timer for seven minutes, the Turks quickly exited the room and made their way back. Reno stopped abruptly, and then motioned for his fellow Turks to stop.
A guard was walking through the halls, and he had a pistol in one hand and a walkie-talkie in the other. He was talking on it.
"Buddy, I don't see shit around here. It's clear," the guard said and then turned off the walkie-talkie. Then, the guard walked away, and the Turks quickly sprinted to the lobby, where they saw a guard right in front of them, his M-16 pointed right at them.
"Listen, I don't know who the fuck you are but this game ends now."
"You don't know who we are?" Reno said, flabbergasted. "I'm Reno of the Turks," and as he said this, Reno quickly pulled a concealed pistol from his jacket and shot the man twice in the head. They quickly ran onto the elevator and down to the first floor.
"Too easy," Rude mumbled to Elena. Elena nodded her head and said,
"I'm surprised that their weren't more guards around here. You'd think Ellefson would be a little more paranoid about his precious SOLDIER shit."
And as the elevator opened, the Turks' jaws nearly dropped as the were greeted by thirty five armed guards all with guns aimed right at them, ready to kill.
"What the fuck is going on!" Reno said, shock on his face.
"I believe we've been had by our friend Reeve!" Elena surmised.
"Who knows? Maybe he just was using us to get back at Ellefson for something and now he doesn't want us around anymore!" Before Reno could say anything, a large man had appeared in front of them. He wore a black trenchcoat and black boots. His eyes shone a dull gray and he wore black gloves. General Michael Ellefson.
"Ah, what have we here? Some insects trying to ruin my plans of grandeur?"
"We're Turks, dickhead," Reno retorted defiantly. Michael smiled and then punched the Turk solidly in the stomach.
"So you are. Now tell me friends, what are you doing here?"
"None of your fucking business," Reno spoke as he gasped for breath.
"It's not? That's too bad. I suppose I'll to beat it out of you, now won't I?"
"I guess you-" Before Reno could finish an explosion rocked the entire building, completely destroying the twelth floor and left the building swallowed in flames.
"What in God's name was that?" Michael screamed. His troops were somewhat disoriented, and when he looked back to Turks, he saw nothing. "No! They're getting away! Find them right now!"
But it was too late. During the duration of the explosion and while Ellefson had been distracted, the Turks had taken the fire exit out of Junon Hall and were on already on the streets, jumping into their car, a dark blue Firebird.
As they speeded across the highway, they noticed four men on motorcycles chasing them.
"Holy shit, they're following us!" Elena told Reno, who was driving the car at the moment. Rude, who was in the passenger seat, looked into the rear view mirror.
"Four of 'em. All with shotguns," he noted grimly. He immediately took out his shotgun and readied himself for the ensuing chase. Goddamn, thought Reno. This is gonna be tough to get outta here, and if I do I'm gonna fucking kill Reeve! Even though Reno was driving at around 100 MPH the guards on the motorcycles were steadily gaining ground and catching up to them.
"Get ready you guys, here they come!" Reno yelled as the first two guards came up. They stayed behing the Firbird and both shot at the same time, destroying the window in the back.
"Shit!" Reno screamed Rude beside him retaliated with his own shot gun, hitting one of the men in the chest and knocking him off his motorcycle. Unphased, the other kept up firing inside the car. As Elena got up to fire with her pistol, a stray pellet from a shotgun blast hit her in arm, causing her to scream in pain.
"Elena!" Rude screamed as he saw his friend and fellow Turk fall to the car's floor.
"I'm okay, Rude. Really, don't worry about," she said weakly and then smiled. To get rid of the other guard, Reno abruptly stopped the car, which the guard wasn't prepared for. He rammed straight into the bumper of the car, sending him crashing through the air.
Allright, we did it! Reno thought to himself and then remembered, hey, where the hell are those other two guys on motorcycles? Of course, he didn't care at the moment. All Reno knew was that he needed to get out of Junon as quickly as possible. Ellefson would most definately hunt them down for what the Turks had done to him. Reno then thought about the condition of Elena. He knew that the wound wasn't life threatening but if they didn't get her to a hospital, the wound could become infected and gangrene could set it in.
In the distance, Reno noticed four spots down the road. As he got closer, he slowly realized what it was. Goddamn, they set up a fucking roadbloack, Reno swore to himself. Those other two bastards must have contacted more troops and told 'em where we were headed.
"Shit," Rude grumbled as he noticed the roadbloack as well.
"Are you ready Rude?" Reno asked as they rapidly approached the road block. From beneath his sunglasses, Rude's eyes showed clear panic, but Reno could't tell. He gulped and then responded by saying,
"As ready as I'll ever be I suppose."
"Good. Just put your head down. And pray to God that we make it out alive." Reno could clearly see it now. There were four cop cars and two motorcycles bloacking his way, all the men out of their vehicles. All had guns drawn and ready to completely destroy the Turks' car and them. When Reno was about 500 yards away, he lowered his head and prayed to God to let him live. Bullets completely totaled the windshield and passed overhead, and shotgun fire took off the grill and made mincemeat of the steel frame of the car.
With a loud thud and many screams, Reno had hit a motorcycle and had completely crushed it along with the man by it. It was at this moment that Reno knew that he was safe as he left the troops in his dust as his, albeit nearly destroyed, car.
"Good job Reno," Rude said, his face a showing no signs of emotion whatsoever. To Rude, it was all in a day's work.
Tomorrow, I will be a member of the Fists of God, Cloud said to himself as he laid in his bunk bed in the perpetual blackness of night. Cloud was torn at this because a part of him wanted things they way they used to be. Back at home on Earth, with all of his friends. Sure, his life was far from normal, but yet it was familiar. This strange new world that he was on made no sense to him at all. How am I suppose to become one of them when my whole life I have been human? How can I throw everything away that I had and start a new life on this planet? Cloud thought to himself angrily. But I have no choice, because it is either this or die. I'll never be able to return to Earth. All of that is in the past.
The other part of Cloud urged him to forget about everything and begin life anew. It was like he had just woken up from a dream, and for the first time he had opened his eyes. These are the way things should, and maybe ought to be, he thought. I always knew that somehow I was different somehow. I always thought how stupid the other kids were in Nibelheim, the way they played their silly games and stupid activites. Totally oblivious to the way things in the world truly were. They were all ignorant and I was glad to be away from all of them. But then when I wasn't accepted into SOLDIER, I felt as if my world had crumbled and that I was nothing, a nobody.
And then after I was captured by Hojo in Nibelheim, and after I escaped, I knew things could never be same. How could they be after all that happened? And then after defeating Sephiroth at the Northern Crater, I thought I could lead a normal life, but now I know who I really am. Cloud Strife is nobody, not even an actual person. It is just a name, an alias. This is who I truly am. There is no Cloud Strife. There is only Sh'kaar Nali.
Still, their was a burning in his soul that wished he had never came here. Tifa. The name caused his heart to skip a few beats, his breath come in short gasps, butterflies in his stomach. No matter how much he tried to forget, to deny it, it tore him apart that he would never see here beautiful face. Never be able to stare into her dark brown eyes and tell everything that he had been holding back all of these years.
I swear Tifa, no matter what happens and regardless of the monster that I have become, I will return to you. And with these final thoughts, Cloud fell into a deep sleep and dreamt sweet dreams of Tifa.
Thousands of cars and a million guitars
Screaming with power in the air
We've found the place where the decibels race
This army of rock will be there
To ram it down, ram it down
Straight through the heart of this town
Ram it dow, ram it down
Razing the place to the ground, ram it down
"Ram it Down" by Judas Priest
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