Wasted Chapter 5
Becoming a Turk
Training with Kaiser was something else entirely.
When Reno and Rude had stepped into the cavernous room that was the training center, the tall, broad-shouldered man had told Rude to "get started", leaving him alone with Reno.
Wat was nowhere in sight. Reno presumed he had to be with Tseng, because he didnt see him either. Inwardly he sighed in relief. Anything to be away from his little toy.
Kaiser didnt look as dangerous as Wat. He didnt have a nightstick, or a weapon of any kind, for that matter, with the exception of a black, armor-backed glove on one hand. Maybe this wouldnt be so bad.
Kaiser was like Tseng in one respect- when he spoke, you obeyed. It was that simple. However, Reno played dumb when Kaiser coolly informed him that his uniform was all wrong.
It was then Reno discovered why Kaiser didnt possess a nightstick. He didnt need one.
The man was strong and quick with his fists. The one time Reno thought he saw a chance to strike back at him, Kaiser easily dodged and dealt a crushing blow to his ribs. Reno heard a bone snap as he fell backwards onto the hard floor.
Kaiser looked at him in contempt. "Make sure youre dressed appropriately from here, or youll get worse. Understand?"
Reno couldnt speak; even breathing was torture. He could feel the broken rib pressing against one lung each time he inhaled. Kaiser kicked him hard. "Understand?"
Reno nodded meekly, still struggling to breathe.
Kaiser made an impatient gesture. "Get up."
He wasnt sure if that would be the smartest thing to do. "Shouldnt-"
Kaiser growled and leaned close to him. "Listen up. Youre a Turk now. There will be no questioning your superiors. There will be no questioning orders. You will learn to deal with whatever happens to you, or you will die. Get up!"
Reno climbed to his feet with effort, waiting to see what Kaiser would do next.
The rest of his training, however, wasnt quite as bad. He was given a gun and practiced shooting, which he found much easier than hand-to-hand combat, as he discovered afterwards. Kaiser made him look and feel like a weak fool when it came down to strength. Even Lynn was far better than he was, and Rude seemed like a flat-out expert.
After a while, they were allowed a five-minute break in the washroom to clean up. Reno ducked his entire sweating head under the water faucet. When he emerged, and Lynn was having her turn, Rude took him aside.
"How are you doing?"
The broken rib wasnt feeling any better. "You got any healing materia?"
Rude shook his head. "Were not allowed to use those things. Makes us weaker."
Reno said a few choice words. "Thats it! Im going to get the hell out of here."
Rude gave him a look. "Listen. Dont get cocky. Dont go thinking youre smarter than them."
Reno looked at him in disgust. "If I found a way to escape, would you turn me in? Or come with me?"
Rude laughed quietly. "Dont misunderstand me. Id kill to get out of here." He shrugged. "But the thing is, they make you kill anyway. Just to stay alive."
Reno made a frustrated gesture. "This is worth living for?"
Rude gave another of his infamous shrugs. "Its not so bad, once you get used to it." He turned away, averting his eyes. "Its not like any of us have anywhere to go."
Reno realized he was right. Wat and Kaiser wouldnt pick somebody with a home, a family. Someone like that would be too hard to make a Turk. Someone like that would cling too tenaciously to his identity, to life.
He was still incredulous. "Are you telling me we should just give ourselves over to the inevitable?"
Rude wiped a hand over his face. "Whats the point? Were not getting out of here anytime soon, anyway." He turned back. "Cmon, theyre waiting."
Let them wait, Reno wanted to say, but he didnt. He wasnt getting anywhere with Rude.
Wat was there when they returned, looking smug. He winked lasciviously Lynn when she walked by, but she stubbornly ignored him. Grinning, no doubt at the thought of what he had in store for her, he jerked a thumb over his shoulder.
"Get lost, Rude. I want to have some one-on-one time with my new favorite." He drummed his fingers on the nightstick at his belt.
Shit, Reno thought as Rude made his way over to Kaiser. The other guy, Tseng, was practicing shooting at a human-shaped target. He didnt seem to have any reaction when he fired, but all of his shots were straight on the mark. Renos eyes almost popped out. The guy was good.
"Yes," Wat said, a slight sneer curling his lip. "Thats our little prodigy. Well have to promote him soon."
"You mean to full Turk rank?" Reno didnt like talking to Wat; in fact hed realized by now he despised the man. But ignorance wasnt going to help him escape.
"Thats right. But dont think its all that easy," Wat added. "Hell have to endure a fun little test first. Maybe Ill incorporate my nightstick into this one." He smirked, running a hand along the rods surface. "What do you think, Reno?" he added, tapping him on the shoulder with it. Reno jolted with the shock, but didnt react. Hed be damned before he allowed the twisted bastard to-
Wat smashed the weapon across his face. When Reno fell back, Wat leaned over him, not relaxing the pressure. Reno screamed with the pain. His skin was burning, he felt little tendrils of flesh beginning to curl up
And then it was over. Reno found himself flat on his back, crying. The wet tears hurt his scorched face. He had to turn onto his stomach so they would drip onto the floor instead.
But the burning pain on his skin was nothing compared to what he felt inside. It didnt seem humanly possible to hate someone so much, to want to kill them so badly. It was an insane need, this desire to make the man suffer the need to hear him scream more terribly than Reno himself had. It wasnt a good feeling, in fact, it seemed to burn more than his blistering face. But it was satisfactory. Like a bad habit, like smoking or drinking. The hatred was the kind he knew could eat you alive from the inside out, but he didnt care. He let it. He wanted it to. He needed it to.
Wat grabbed a fistful of his hair and pulled him up. He was grinning. The son of a bitch was actually grinning.
"After your reaction to the nightstick last night, I thought it might be interesting to crank the power up a notch," he explained.
Reno said nothing. His hatred was so strong he was afraid hed say the wrong thing, and consequently be beaten all the worse for it.
Wat rolled his eyes. "Oh, get over it. Youll heal eventually. We dont want our Turks to be little sissies." He gave Renos burned cheek a doting pinch. "Want to further your skills?"
Oh, hell. He was going to be beaten anyway. "Why the fuck are you doing this?"
Wat looked surprised. "I already explained that part." He tapped Renos head with the nightstick. "Hit one-too-many times in the head, no doubt," he muttered. "Its because youre a Turk. Not a very good one, yet, thats obvious, but Im sure youll prove to be an apt student. Kaiser already likes you."
"No." Reno wavered slightly on his feet, fighting to keep standing. There was nothing he could grab hold of for balance except Wat, and he would rather fall over than lean on him. "Why are you, as a person, doing this? You cant possibly enjoy it."
Wat put a hand over his face in sarcastic remorse. "Oh, youve reached me, Reno. Ive seen the error of my ways. Im so ashamed of myself. I think Ill cry now." Without warning he jabbed the nightstick into Renos gut, twisting it as hard as he could. Reno doubled over in pained surprise. With an immense effort, he lifted his head to see Wats malicious grin.
"I do enjoy it, Reno," he whispered between grit teeth. "More than you could ever know. You think I learned how to use this thing by myself?" He twisted the rod again, shoving Reno to the floor. He stood over him, gripping the nightstick tightly in one hand. The smile was gone. "Its my little compensation. It gives me satisfaction, if you will." He lifted the nightstick in demonstration. "The man at the handle is having, after all, infinitely more fun than the man at the other end."
"You want me to be like that?" Reno couldnt speak above a whisper. "You want me to turn out a sick twisted bastard like you? Its not gonna happen." He tried to scowl, but couldnt feel his lips. "Never."
Wat only smiled. "Oh, yes it will, Reno." He was still smiling when he brought the nightstick down on Renos head.
Their dinner was meager- simply tasteless gray gruel, a crust of bread, and water- but Reno ate like he hadnt seen food in days. Which was pretty much true.
Wat and Kaiser ate the same standing up. Reno had wondered at first why they stood while he, Rude, Tseng and Lynn sat at a wooden table, but he lost interest immediately at the sight of the food.
Wat and Kaiser stood in front of the exits from the mess hall; Wat in front of the stairwell leading down to the cells, Kaiser by the door to the training center.
When "dinner" was ended Wat came and took Lynns arm. "Did you forget, my dear? Youre not sleeping in that cold cell tonight."
A quick flash of anger made Lynn flush, but she immediately regained her blank, resigned composure. She let Wat lead her past Kaiser. When the door slammed shut the steel reverberated throughout the mess hall. The finality of it was like a tomb closing over Lynns fate.
Reno saw Rude give Tseng a grim look, but the dark-haired man made not response. The guy seemed totally devoid of any kind of personality.
"Come," Kaiser ordered, crossing the room to lead the way down the stairs. Rude looked back once at the other door before following.
Reno walked beside him. Despite the fact that he didnt know the man very well, he knew Rude was calmly hiding smoldering rage. His clenched fists were dead giveaways.
Apparently he wasnt the only one who wanted to kill Wat.
Kaiser locked them in their cells and left. Reno lay down on his pallet to try to get a little rest. He was so tired he felt he could sleep for a year.
Yet, long after hed lain down he was still wide awake. It was torture, being that physically exhausted and not being able to slow your mind enough for one of lifes most fundamental needs.
He sat up. "Rude? You awake?"
The other man grunted. "Yeah."
He walked over to the set of bars separating them, not wanting to wake Tseng- not because he cared whether Tseng got any sleep or not, he just didnt want the guy to overhear what he had to say.
There was a rustling noise as Rude got out of bed and joined him at the bars. "What are you doing awake?"
Reno shrugged. "Couldnt sleep. What about you?"
Rude didnt answer right away. When he did, his voice was quiet. "I can never sleep when hes doing that to Lynn."
"Oh." Reno was quiet for a moment as well. Unexpectedly, he laughed. "Its so weird. Right now Im wishing so badly I was home, and I dont even have a home." The laughter threatened to dissolve into tears. "Its so fucked up."
"I know." Rudes voice was hoarse. "I know what you mean." He changed the subject abruptly. "You asked me something today, Reno."
"You asked me if I would come with you if you somehow found a way to escape. I didnt really answer you." He sighed. "I guess Ive been hoping that if I just acted like it was all okay, it would be. If I pretended it wasnt real, it wouldnt be." His voice hardened. "But I cant take what he does to Lynn. Its killing her, I can tell. I want to find a way to get her out of here, if nothing else."
Reno nodded, even though he knew Rude couldnt see it in the near-darkness. "Well take her, too."
"Well all get out of here." For the first time Rude actually sounded hopeful. "Even Tseng. Well get rid of Wat and Kaiser somehow, burn this place down. Maybe even burn down the Shinra building, too."
"Yeah," Reno agreed, "but theres one thing we gotta do before that."
"You, me and Lynn. Were all gonna go to a bar, a real good one, and get roaring drunk. To celebrate."
Rude laughed. It was a good sound to hear.
It was complete nonsense, of course. A whimsical fairy tale. But the two of them ignored harsh reality and made plans for what theyd do when they got out. Eventually, Reno even forgot he was in a cell. He forgot he was cold and utterly miserable, forgot he wouldnt even have anywhere to go when he got out.
The door to the top of the stairwell slammed open, casting a shaft of light down the stone steps. Reno and Rude stopped talking abruptly as Wat descended the steps, whistling. He tugged Lynn behind him.
The optimistic mood quickly evaporated, replaced by the grittier, familiar rush of warm hatred. Reno heard Lynn give a cry of pain as Wat flung her into her cell. He closed the door, locked it, and then opened Tsengs.
"Well Tseng, you son of a bitch," he greeted. "Ready for some fun, now that Im all relaxed?" He said no more, and Tseng, predictably, said nothing at all as he followed Wat up the stairs.
When they had left Rude went to the front of his cell. "Lynn? Are you all right?"
Silence, for almost a full minute. When Lynns response finally came, it carried none of her usual sarcasm or anger. "Please dont talk to me," she whispered. "Im sorry. I just cant talk right now."
Reno listened to the exchange with mounting anger. He hated Wat. He wanted to kill him so badly it was frightening. As he lay down, he vowed to himself that someday, he would fulfill that desire. No matter what it took, he would kill Wat.
Reno didnt know it, but that night he completed the first step toward becoming a Turk.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic