Legacy of the Past Chapter 3
Onwards He Goes To An Uncertain Future
Rufus felt like he never stopped falling even though he felt himself hit a roof. All around him swirled colors and flashes of his past. Pictures of his father's vile smile, his mother's bright eyes, and Reno and Tseng's faces as he plummeted to the ground, their eyes frantic and full of fear. Rufus could feel himself smile at the punishment they would receive. He could only imagine what "they" would do to them. He felt himself smash into a roof and the world went black. It seemed to engulf him, to eat him a live. But now the colors were swirling around him. They were comforting and they seemed to bring him to peace. A peace he hadn't felt in a long time. But what was that bright light speeding towards him? Was he dead? Was he speeding toward Heaven? Hell? Life? Death? So bright...
"He moved." Cloud said quietly.
"You sure?" Tifa asked. They all stared at the body. It had been nearly thirty minutes since he came crashing down and he was already moving? "He must be a tough bastard." Thought Cloud. They all stared, never taking their eyes off of him, waiting for movement. They all saw it, his eyes twitched. No one said a word, no one moved. After a moment his eyes opened. They were baby blue to match his blond hair. Those eyes set on the four silent people. He opened his mouth, but at first nothing came out. He tried again and this time, a sound came out.
"Where am I?" he asked.
"In my house/bar." Tifa answered.
"Who-who are you?" he asked.
"I'm Karta and this is Cloud, Tifa and Barret. And you are...?" Karta asked. He looked ahead, as if he racking memory for his own name. He looked at each of them with a puzzled look in his face.
"I...I don't know." He said with a shaking voice.
"Are you sure the public will believe us?" President Shinra asked.
"Of course. They trust us with all their hearts. They wouldn't doubt us for a second." Rude replied. "They would lay down their lives for you if it meant more gold for them." The President smiled "Maybe Rufus dying was for the better. He didn't stand a chance, not a chance. He was a worthless son and worthless business partner...and there was no way around that." He thought.
"When should we make the arrest?" The President asked.
"As soon as possible. All you need to tell me is when and...how much force you want me to use." Rude said leaning forward in his chair. The Presidents smile grew into a stupid grin.
"Now and as much as needed." He said. Rude smiled and got up. He saluted and walked out of the office. He pulled out his PHS and dialed the pager on the Turk lounge floor. Elena picked up.
"Turk lounge floor, Elena Vogeler speaking."
"Elena, this is Rude. Tseng and Reno there?" he asked.
"Yup, you need em?"
"Nope, just send me two armed Turks to level fifty-one."
"Yes sir." Rude hung up. He smiled; this was so perfect. He walked over to the elevator and saw Reeve walking towards the Presidents office. When he saw Rude, he sneered. Reeve was the Presidents lap dog. He worshiped the ground any Shinra walked on. Rumor had it that the President was going to appoint him Vice-President, due to the sudden dismiss of Rufus. Rude could only sneer back at Reeve; he couldn't guess why Reeve didn't like him. Rude pushed the elevator down stepped in. the doors closed and it started to descend. After only a moment elevator stopped on level sixty-eight. The doors opened and in walked a young secretary. When she saw Rude, she turned away and didn't look at him. The elevator started to move again. After a moment, the secretary spoke up.
"You're a Turk, right? Your name is...is..."
"Rude." He replied sternly.
"Oh yes it is. I heard Reno got hurt on his last mission. *Sigh* Poor guy." Rude looked up at her, she sighed and whispered "He's so dreamy." Rude clenched his fists. He remembered her; she used to be like that around him until Reno came. The elevator stopped at sixty-three. The secretary turned to Rude and said, "Tell Reno that Lexi gives her best." Without another word she got off. Rude kept his anger down and waited for the elevator to stop. The doors opened and he looked around. The two Turks stood up from the bench they were sitting on and saluted him.
"Let's go." Rude said heading for the stairs, the two Turks at his heels. They walked down the stairs rather quickly and pushed the door open to the Turk lounge open. Rude scanned heads and saw Tseng, Reno and Elena sitting at a table drinking coffee. Reno's head hung down and he stared at his coffee, not touching it. Tseng looked at Elena and nodded every few second, pretending to listen. And as usual, Elena seemed to be doing all the talking. Rude walked across the room to the sitting group, drawing curious, rookie Turk eyes with him. When Elena saw him coming, she smiled.
"Hey Rude, I thought you had a mission!" she called. He stepped forward.
"I do." He replied.
"Do you need back up?" she asked.
"No my mission is here." He said flatly.
"What the hell--?" Elena stammered.
"Tseng and Reno, I have direct orders to put you under arrest immediately. Rude said looking at them. Reno's head shot up and Tseng came back to reality.
"What the flying !@&$ is going on?!" Reno shouted
"Arrested?!" Tseng yelled.
"Under what charges?" Elena asked evenly.
"The murder of Rufus Shinra." He turned to his Turks; they pulled out their guns. "Now you two can come quietly and no one will get hurt...or you can resist and shed some blood."
"We didn't murder that ass! He fell out of the damn helicopter." Reno insisted.
"The pilot saw differently. He saw Mr. Rufus looking out an open door and he saw you two go over, whisper something in his ear and push him out. No one could survive a fall like that. He was so young he just turned twenty-one. To make matters worse, he was struck down by the very men who were supposed to protect him." Rude said glaring at Reno. He turned to Elena and said, "They played you for a fool Elena. They played me for a fool. They tricked us all; they are moles for some terrorist group. They want to take us down. They are traitors." Elena turned to Reno and Tseng and shot them looks. The tears started to come.
"Damn you! I trusted you!" she screamed. Reno grabbed her shoulders and looked directly into her eyes. "Get off of me you slimy bastard!"
"Elena I--" Reno started but Rude smacked him in the back of the head. Right on his just starting it heal bump. Reno crumbled to the ground unconscious. The cut opened and blood started to pool out.
"Rude what do you--" Tseng stammered but Rude slammed his iron fist into Tseng face. Tseng stumbled back and hit the floor. One of Rude's Turks reacted and went around and smacked Tseng in the back of the head. His eyes rolled back and fell to the ground. Rude stared at them both; this is what he dreamed of.
"From now on, you are relieved of your duties as a Turk." He said lowly. He spit at them and signaled the other two to pick them up. Rude flexed his and fists, it was times like these he was glad he that operation. The operation that removed the bones in his hands and replaced them with iron bones. The room was silent as watchful eyes saw Reno and Tseng get dragged away under arrest. Elena watched too, but something inside nudged her. She shook off the feeling. "Why would Rude lie to get them arrested?" she thought, she shook her head, "He wouldn't...he wouldn't."
"Whoa, back up! You don't know who you are?" Tifa asked. The blond hair man shook his head. "Well since you fell from the plate, I guess we can assume you must have been trying to commit suicide."
"I...guess. I do remember a lot of bad thoughts and nights crying myself to sleep." He replied.
"Okay, then it's without a doubt. Well, how about you just forget about your old life and start over. Your old one must have been pretty bad if you tried to end it." Tifa said evenly.
"Yeah, that makes sense. Besides those little bits of information, I think my age is twenty-one." He said. He sat up and looked at everyone. "But I need a name."
"How about 'Naden'?" Karta asked form the back of the room. He looked over at her; she was leaning against the wall with her arms folded.
"That name sucks." He said.
"Sounds good to me." Cloud said.
"Me too." Barret said.
"But--" he started.
"Then it's settled. Your new name is Naden." Tifa said.
"But I really don't like--" Naden started but no one let him finish. Tifa walked over to the wall on the left side of the room, the eyes of her comrades following her. She went over and pulled a picture from the wall. Behind it was a secret safe! She turned the knob a few times and the door opened, revealing a shotgun, a pistol and some grenades. Karta turned to Tifa and smiled.
"I thought you said you didn't have any firearms?" Karta said in a matter of fact way.
"I'm a liar, so sue me." Tifa snapped. For once, Karta was trying to be a happy person and Tifa's attitude broke that it half. Karta winced from the harshness in Tifa's voice. Tifa ignored Karta and reached in a pulled out the shotgun and a bag of clips. She tossed them to Naden and he caught them with ease.
"Ya know, there are only two things I know about my life. My age and that I can shoot a gun. " Naden grinned and pointed the gun at the wall.
"Ya look good with a gun Naden." Karta said. Naden blushed and turned away. Karta raised her eyebrows and turned to the group, "Alright, it's late, two in morning to exact and we're going to need energy. Let's get to bed."
"Okay, Naden you can sleep in the spare bed just in case you're still hurt. Karta and Cloud can sleep down here." Tifa said. Naden started to object, mumbling something about he had to be a gentleman and give a girl a bed but no one would here it. He didn't bother to fight it; it was a battle already won. Karta and Cloud went downstairs without a word of 'goodnight' or 'sweet dreams'. Tifa made a face, "The Shinra type are so cold hearted." She thought. "I don't care what happens, I'll never fully trust them." On the floor downstairs were two blankets and two pillows. Without a word to each other, they set up their bed on either side on the room. Karta collapsed onto the floor and lay down. This was the first time in days she stopped for a rest. For the first time in days, she was overcome with exhaustion. She closed her eyes and sank into a nightmare filled sleep.
"...she's still awake..."
"...should I give her anymore...?"
"...do you think she'll remain sane...?"
"...as long as she's never alone..."
"...are you sure I shouldn't give her more...?"
"...no, she should know what's going on..."
A sharp pain exploded throughout her entire body and Karta snapped open her eyes into a bright light...
Karta sat up suddenly, breathing hard and in a cold sweat. She looked down at her pillow; the sun was shinning right where her head was. That explained the white light in her dream. Cloud, Tifa and Barret were all watching her and eating breakfast.
"What were you dreaming about?" Tifa asked. Karta didn't reply, she just looked at her watch, 11:30. She sighed, she should have been up at six but that would be four hours of sleep and sleep was something she needed to catch up on. She was planning on meeting Aerith at the church at twelve. She sat for a moment more thinking. "Well, what were you dreaming about? You were mumbling some shit about 'no more pain'. What the hell was that about?" Again Karta didn't say a word; she just walked over to the group just a Naden appeared. They all sat down to eat, without pestering Karta about her nightmare.
"We need to leave really soon." Karta said. Everyone nodded and Barret started to look around, as if something was missing. A look of sheer panic filled his eyes as he turned to Tifa and asked,
"Yo Tifa, where's Marlene?"
"I told her we'd be out for lunch. The neighbors, so kind of them, volunteered to keep an eye on her for the day. She'll be playing with the kids all day long, without a care in the world...lucky little...brat." Tifa replied lowly. He nodded and Cloud, Naden and Karta didn't even bother to ask. Barret saw that look and said,
"Marlene is the daughter of a close friend of mine. His wife passed away and that crushed him. He disappeared not long after. He left a note saying he'd come back for Marlene but he hasn't yet." Barret explained.
"I feel bad for her." Naden said with his head hanging.
"It could be worse." Karta said. She heard Tifa grumble 'heartless Shinra b*tch' under her breath but she chose to ignore the comment. She wasn't in any mood to get into an argument with Tifa. Not here and not now. She glanced at her watch again, 11:45.
"Let's go." She said. They all nodded and pushed their plate's aside. Cloud shoved his Buster Sword into it's sheath, Tifa pulled on her Dragon Claw and flexed her fingers into a tight fist, Barret slammed in a fresh clip into his Enemy Launcher, while Naden put his shotgun into his belt with a bag of extra clips. Karta finished polishing her blade and made a mental note to start keeping her eyes open for her old sword, the Nova. She shoved the Rune Blade into its sheath and sighed. "This one will have to do." She thought. She turned and they all left the bar in a hurry.
The group trudged through the Sector 7 slums. The hour was late in the afternoon and people seemed to be more active than usual. As they were passing through the huge door outside Sector 7, a crowd of people carrying water came running from all directions. Karta grabbed the arms of a passing man.
"Hey, what's going on?" she asked.
"Didn't you hear? There's a fire in the Sector 5 slums. Some house surrounded by flowers is completely ablaze!" the man shouted. Karta let him go and turned to Cloud. They both knew; Aerith's house.
"Come on!" Karta shouted taking off running, Cloud at her heels. Barret, Tifa and Naden stood still for a moment and then took off after them. It was at this moment that they noticed that Karta and Cloud were running at a...inhuman speed. Within minutes the group was standing in front of Aerith's house which was being consumed by flames. People around them were trying their best to get the fire under control.
"My God, what happened?!" Naden asked. No answered because no one knew what happened except Cloud and Karta. But they kept silent. Karta glanced around; Elymra was no where in sight. She looked at the house again, and she knew what she had to do. She bolted to the door of the flaming house, despite the shouts from her comrades. She wasn't stupid, she knew it was dangerous. But did a little fire ever hurt anyone?
But this wasn't a little fire; this was a lot of fire. The flames were everywhere. Smoke stained the once white ceiling and she had only been in the house for a few minutes and she was already sweating. She gagged on the smoke and looked around. Her deep forest green eyes caught a glimpse of a green dress among the flames. She picked her way around the burning debris to where Elymra was laying. She was lying on her stomach, her dark hair falling out of its bon. Her face was to the ground and fresh blood was streaming from the hole where the bullet had been embedded into her brain. Karta grimaced, dead. She was about to leave when she saw a piece of paper in her hand. It was folded in half and had her name, Karta, written on it. She leaned down and picked it up. It was written in fancy handwriting. A girls without a doubt, Aerith's handwriting. She properly never guessed "they" would go this far. She looked at the letter and then at Elymra. "At least it was a quick death." She thought. A piece of ceiling fell and landed close to Karta's still body and made her jump back into reality. More and more pieces began to fall and there was a loud crack. Karta glanced at Elymra's body, not enough time to move it. Another crack and the house moaned. Karta turned and bolted from the room to the door, diving out. Seconds later the ceiling came crashing down, crushing everyone's hope that Elymra was alive.
Cloud ran up to Karta who was lying on her stomach. Sweat dripped from her face and her hands were a light black. Under her she clutched a note. She didn't look up at Cloud but she continued to stare at the ground.
"Karta, Karta are you okay?" Cloud asked.
"Call the others over here." She said slowly. Cloud signaled Tifa, Barret and Naden to come over to where Karta still lay unmoving.
"What the hell are you looking at?" Tifa asked.
"Look down, what do you see?" she asked.
"Nothing." Naden answered.
"Nothing." Barret replied.
"Dirt?" Tifa inquired sarcastically.
"A footprint." Cloud said.
"Right a footprint. What else, what makes this footprint special?" Karta asked.
"Um...it's got the Shinra logo written on it." Cloud said.
"Right, look closer." Cloud looked closer, under the imprint of Shinra, something else was imprinted. But Cloud couldn't make it out.
"Yeah, there's something else indented under Shinra but I can't make it out." Karta sighed and used her finger to clear the word. When she finished, it didn't surprise anyone what it said, Turk.
"Whoa there, you mean to tell me the Turks did this?" Tifa asked. "Now that I think about it, it sounds like Shinra to have Turk written on the shoes."
"That's what it looks like." Karta replied. She sat up and looked at the note.
"What's that?" Naden asked.
"Read it." Cloud said. Karta opened the letter and read it.
Go to the church. Pull out the loose brick, next to the painting of the rose. You'll find all your answer's there.
"Answer's? Answer's to what?" Naden asked. Karta didn't answer; she just looked at the letter. She stood up and put the letter in her pocket.
"Let's go." She said sternly. Cloud glanced over his shoulder. The house was nothing but a pile of worthless, burning wood. He sighed, if the Turks were involved, then he could only guess Elymra's fate. He looked away from the house (or what was left of it) and ran to catch up with the moving group. Karta really wasn't walking anymore; she was somewhere between a jog and a run. Everyone else had to keep a quick steady pace to keep up with her. Within minutes, the church came into view. The remains of the cyborg had been moved but there was a red spot on the ground. Cloud guessed it was from the rather unpleasant encounter with Reno. The group made a left and entered the rundown church.
"Alright, look for the painting of a rose." Karta ordered. By the tone of her voice, no one seemed to want to second-guess the order. No one did; not even Tifa. They each went to a wall scanning and whipping dirt, looking for the picture of the rose. After a moment, Naden called out.
"Found it." Karta walked over and could find the brick almost right away; it was the only one that was still red...slightly. Cloud guessed because it had been moved. Karta reached forward and pulled it out. She reached it and pulled out what seemed to be journal of some kind.
"A journal? What does that have to do with answers?" Naden asked.
"I guess it's kinda like new life story." Cloud inquired. "Well Karta you wanted answers, go ahead, read it." Everyone nodded and Karta opened to the first page.
If your reading this, then you are a really good friend or a complete stranger that I trust more than you can name. Either way, you'll get all the answers you'll ever need.
To put it all in simple terms, I am an Ancient or better know as the Cetra. From what I know, the little bits that I DO know the Shinra have been after me my whole life. Ever since Elymra found me. My mother's dying words were to Elymra that she should take care of me, and then she died. Elymra took me in as her own. I tried to hide my mysterious powers I hated them. The way they made me so different from everyone else. When I was young, a Turk came looking for me. He said that Shinra just wanted my corporation in getting them something. It annoyed me, so I avoided them for all these years. If you are reading this, they must have lost patience with me and resorted to violence. I can only hope and prey that they killed Elymra quickly. I truly hope there was no pain.
The Shinra must have me or I would have told this to your face. It must be a lot to take in at once. I don't know how to say this lightly. I want you to forget that you ever knew me. I am not saying this because I've given hope or that I think that you couldn't or can't save me or anything like that, I tell you this so you won't get involved. The last thing I want is to see you executed or worse. I will miss you all and we will see each other again, if not in this life than the next. Don't worry about me, I can take care of myself.
I'll miss you
"That's it." Karta said closing the book. No one said a word; they all just stood dumbfounded. "Where have I heard 'Cetra' before? Where, where?" Cloud thought. He glanced at his friend, Karta didn't seem all that surprised, and she seemed quite calm. She looked at the book again, and then she put it in her pouch. She cracked her fingers and started to leave. Naden turned and called out to her.
"Hey, where are ya goin'?" she turned slowly around. She looked at the group. They were all so different; they looked like a group of strangers not friends.
"I was going to break into the Headquarters anyway. There are...things I need to do." She replied.
"I thought she said we shouldn't get involved." Barret said.
"We're already involved, at least I am." She replied making her eyes narrow. "Are you saying you don't want to wreck havoc on the Shinra building?"
"I'm in." Tifa said almost right away.
"I guess I follow Tifa, I'm in." Barret said.
"I've got no where to go." Naden said with a smile.
"There are some things I need to ask Aerith, I'm in." Cloud said. Karta smiled, and Cloud could feel a grin form on his face. This wasn't a fake smile or a twisted smile or an evil smile that Karta wore, but a smile of...joy.
The Turks shoved a half-conscious Reno and Tseng into a cell. The two men stumbled and the Turks didn't give them a second glance. The door slammed and looked with a click. Tseng managed to push himself into a sitting position. But he was over with dizziness and blacked out. Reno struggled to do the same but he managed to keep himself conscious. Reno reached behind his head and touched the back of his head. He could feel his own wet blood flowing from an open cut. He chose to ignore it. Reno was about to say something to wake up Tseng when the door opened and it stepped a very happy looking Rude.
"You're not looking so good Reno." He said bitterly.
"What the hell are you trying to pull Rude?" Reno asked.
"What are you talking about?!" Rude exclaimed.
"You're head of the Turks, I would sure hope you're not stupid. Everyone knows you hate me. That's no big secret, but you know what else? I know why. Heaven forbid I stole you damn spotlight. You got the attention of the President, which is more than I can say. Get over it Rude."
"Heh, very funny Reno. You sure have a very vivid imagination."
"Threatening the pilot with his life was pretty low. I bet under pressure he would break down and tell the truth. It was also low to use your own comrades as scapegoats to keep your ego as big as it can get, and to cover up the Presidents pride. You are one sick person Rude." Rude walked up and got right in Reno's face. He spoke low and through clenched teeth.
"Just thought I'd let you know that you hit the nail right on the head. So I used you, so what. No one will challenge me. They would dare challenge me because they know I would crush them like bugs. Another thing you worthless piece of sh*t you and that other sh*thead are both sitting in death row. The first one son the list, enjoy your last days" Reno spit in Rude's face and said.
"!@&$ you." Rude lost it; he pulled out an iron fist and punched Reno's face. He could feel Reno's nose break his fingers. Then he pulled back punched him again in the stomach. Reno grunted he felt like someone had crushed his stomach. Rude turned and left Reno on the ground gasping for breath. After a few minutes, Reno was breathing normal again. He smiled and reached into his jacket inside pocket and pulled out a bottle of booze and Restore Materia.
"He may be the head of the Turks but he sure doesn't do his job to well. He didn't even check me." he said lifting the bottle into the air, "Hell if I'm going to die, I'm dying drunk off my ass." He shouted taking a swig of the booze.
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