Wasted Chapter 3
"Okay." Reno folded his arms and assumed a bored expression. "What do you want?"
Wat gave him one of his sneering grins. He was a head shorter than Reno, but probably at least thirty pounds heavier. He had curly blond hair that came to just below his ears and cool blue eyes that perfectly matched his dark blue business suit. Reno had met him just minutes ago, when the complete stranger had asked him to "come with him". If it had been an order, Reno would have flatly refused. But, intrigued by curiosity, hed followed Wat into the Shinra building, deciding he could always get away if he needed to.
"Ive been assigned to look for you and bring you here." Wat walked around Reno and closed the door, leaving the two of them completely alone in the small office. "And to have a little chat with you."
"Why?" Reno shifted impatiently. Curiosity had evaporated, replaced by annoyance.
Wat shrugged slyly. "Shinra has heard something about you. In fact, so have I." He paused momentarily, hearing the red-head snort, then went on. "According to rumor, you killed your own father."
Renos face was expressionless, but inwardly he felt like cursing. Not now! This was the last thing he needed. He looked at Wat, appearing bored. "What the hell are you talking about?"
Wat eyed him a moment, then opened a drawer in the desk and pulled out a stack of papers. "Id hoped it wouldnt come to this," he remarked, shuffling the papers. "But I guess, since you asked " He handed the papers to Reno. The latter found it to be a report of some kind as he skimmed it and Wat recited it from memory.
"You were an only child born 22 years ago. You and your parents lived in a nice home in Sector 1. Your father was a heavy drinker and often, we understand, physically abused you and your mother." Wat looked at Reno to see his reaction, but the younger man had none to give.
"Go on," Reno said shortly, leafing through the report of his life. "Whats next?"
Wat cleared his throat. "As the years went on, your fathers drinking problem grew worse, and your mother could no longer depend on him for money. She worked full-time, leaving you alone in your abusive fathers care. It became an endless spiral- your mother had to make more money to support your fathers drinking, which in turn called for higher expenses. You helped out as you got older through thievery and by mugging those weaker than yourself. You grew strong, confident. Then came that day."
This time there was a reaction, slight as it was. A half-smile flickered on Renos face, then it disappeared. He remembered that day.
"That day," Wat continued, "when your father was exceptionally drunk, your mother mustered up her courage and stood up to him. He flew into a rage, to the point where he nearly killed her."
"Dont sugar-coat it," Reno snapped. The smile was gone now. His voice shook with cold fury. "The bastard dragged her over to the stove and opened the door. It took me a second to realize what he was doing. It took her actual screams of pain to make me react."
Wat gave him a sideways glance. "I see youve gotten over your amnesia. What happened next?"
"You already know!" The other growled, throwing down the report. "Its all in there. I grabbed him and pulled him back. Then I had to help Mom, who was screaming crying "
"And while you were distracted, you failed to notice the knife in your fathers hand?"
Reno started to shake his head, then nodded. "I saw it in time to dodge. He wasnt sober, after all. I was quick enough to grab it out of his hand."
"And then ?"
Reno shrugged. "I dont remember very clearly. Next thing I know, Im standing over him with the knife against his throat. And " He stopped a minute to regain control over his anger. "And I hesitated. Then I stepped away. I wanted him gone, but I didnt want to kill him. I told him as much."
Get out of here. Dont ever come back. If you do Ill kill you.
"And then things were fine for a while," Wat resumed. "Until the fire. How did that start?"
"You know!" Reno repeated furiously. "He set fire to the house. I wasnt there. But Mom was. By the time I got back " He stopped, unconsciously clenching and unclenching his fists.
"Your mother was dead," Wat cut in smoothly. "And your home was destroyed." He didnt say anything for a moment, then added, "A few days later the body of your late father was discovered."
Reno rounded on him. "What would you have done?!" he snarled. "Would you have let that son of a bitch get away with it? I only gave him what he deserved!" A sudden thought occurred to him. "Besides," he said, a little more calmly, but with just as much anger in his voice. "If Shinra knew about this whole thing, why didnt you do something about it? Whyd you just stand by and watch?" He spat the last word like a curse.
"We wanted," Wat said slowly and deliberately, "to see how you would react. And, after the reaction you gave us, you can see why Shinra wanted you."
Reno sighed, resigned. "Yeah." He didnt care what they did to him now. What did it matter anyway? His life couldnt possibly get any worse.
"Then lets go," Wat ordered, walking to the door. "Were wasting time."
"And where am I going?" Reno asked, following.
Wat turned back a little, looking surprised hed had to ask. "Your new home, of course. Death Row."
The helicopter thudded to a stop as it landed in front of a large building. Wat turned in his seat to give Reno a slightly disturbing smile. "Were here."
Reno gave a nod, inwardly calculating his chances. As theyd left the Shinra building, hed had absolutely no possibility of escape as Wat grabbed his elbow in a steely grip and led him to the waiting chopper. Even then, hed considered trying to break free, but hed caught a glimpse of something metallic gleaming in the helicopter pilots belt: a gun.
And so, hed had to endure long hours of tense, silent flight- Wat had said nothing more, and Reno certainly didnt volunteer any information. However, hed been careful not to fall asleep during the flight. If a chance to get away did occur, he didnt want to miss it.
"Well, come on, Reno." Wat sounded amused. "Do you need some help?" He was already out of the chopper, holding the door open for Reno.
Having no other options, Reno unbuckled the seatbelt Wat had insisted he wear and hopped out, landing on the concrete surface of the helipad.
Wat gave a dismissive wave to the pilot, indicating he could leave. Reno watched the choppers blades start to spin, faster and faster, until it lifted in the air.
Well, guess I wont be escaping that way, he thought with a small sigh. Im screwed.
His hopes only sank lower as he glanced around the compound. A high wire fence surrounded the entire perimeter, which consisted of about a square acre of land. Beyond the fence were trees, as far as the eye could see. The landscape made Reno suspect they were somewhere in the mountains. That was about all he could figure out.
Definitely screwed, he corrected himself.
"Glad you like the place," Wat remarked, coming up beside him. "Youll be here for a while." He turned around, starting toward the sole building in the area- a tall, cement one with windows on the upper levels only. "Come on."
Reno obeyed, his hopes rising again. Wat had said "a while". Apparently they werent going to execute him right away.
Wat led him though the front door, which seemed to be made of heavy steel. In fact, Reno was surprised the other man could open it so easily; when the door slammed shut behind them, it made such a loud clang it reverberated through Renos eardrums. Wat was stronger than he looked.
He trailed his captor closely as they climbed several flights of stairs, all the while taking careful note of their surroundings. The entire building seemed to be made of cold, hard metal- even the stairs were made of some kind of alloy, making their footsteps sound much too loud. The building design was simple, too; just the ground level and one endless staircase leading up to another floor. There were a few closed doors he was curious about, but Wat led him past them, moving on upward.
At last they reached the final platform. Here, there was only a single door. Wat opened it, and, with a mockingly polite gesture, signaled Reno to go in first.
The room was totally different from what Reno had expected. Yes, there were the same metal walls and steel grating, the same cold florescent lights, but this room was slightly more furnished than the others, although it still held a hard, rigid look. There was a desk in the center, but this was bare except for a telephone and a fax machine. A punching bag hung in one corner, swinging irregularly as someone hit it.
"Here he is, Kaiser," Wat said, stepping into the room. "Our newest addition."
The man, Kaiser, stepped away from the punching bag and looked him over. He was a broad-shouldered, muscular man with a definite "military" air about him. He stood up straight, held his head high and stared Reno in the eye. He looks like an army kind of guy, too, Reno thought. Square jaw, neat hair, penetrating eyes. He repressed a shudder. This is going to be total hell.
"Looks like a deadbeat from the slums," was Kaisers analysis, curling his lip. "He wont survive the first day."
"Isnt that kinda the point when you execute somebody?" Reno volunteered dryly. The response he received was not the one he expected.
Wat burst out laughing as he pieced Renos sentence together, while Kaiser simply looked incredulous, then angry.
"You didnt even tell him?!" he yelled, whirling on Wat. The latter tried to control his laughter, as he realized Kaiser failed to see any humor in the situation.
"I did!" Wat said at last, glancing at the now extremely confused Reno. "I made it very clear."
"Apparently not clear enough," Kaiser growled. He turned back to Reno. "Youre here because we need more people, and somehow your name was elected. "
"For what?" Now that hed figured out he wasnt going to die, at least not yet, Reno was a good deal more impatient for information.
It was Wat, who had completely regained his composure, who answered. "To be a Turk, of course." He said it as though it was completely obvious. "Shinras Department of Administrative Research."
For perhaps the first time in his life, Reno was struck speechless. He simply stared dumbly, half of his mind wondering if hed heard right. The other half was busy running non-stop, gathering all he knew about Shinras Department of Administrative Research.
The Turks were an exclusive, secretive organization in Shinra; not much was known about them except this: You didnt want to piss one off. Everyone feared the men in blue suits, to the point where they were given free drinks at bars, free lodging at inns. Other than the actual company of Shinra, Inc. itself, the Turks probably held more power than anything else in Midgar. And now he could be on the receiving end of that power.
"Sounds better than an execution," he said trying to sound casual. "I think maybe Ill stick around."
Wat gave an odd sort of half-smile. "I wouldnt say that. They dont call this place Death Row for nothing." He didnt give Reno time to muse over the last remark. "Well, ready to begin?"
Before Reno could answer, however, Kaisers hand shot out and jabbed him in the throat, just hard enough to make him lose consciousness. Reno fell heavily onto the steel grating of the floor.
"I thought we agreed to use chloroform," Wat remarked, looking down at the limp form.
Kaiser shrugged and slung Reno over his shoulder. "My ways better. Lets go." He opened the door and started down the stairs. "Time for the rookies first test."
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