I do not own FF7 or any of its characters.
(THIS FIC IS SET SHORTLY AFTER THE EVENTS OF A.C)
Rude once again reminded himself that the superiors in Shin-Ra sometimes gave orders that didn't make much sense at the time but which often turned out to be positively inspired, event
altering decisions. As he turned the car into the parking lot in front of a massive warehouse at the edge of a run down dock and turned the engine off he privately thought that this time
he was probably right to assume this wasn't one of those occasions.
He pushed his shaded glasses down his nose and rubbed at his tired eyes before returning them to their usual comfortable position on his face.
He heard his partner flick open a zippo lighter and start up his cigarette break beside him.
"This the place?" Reno drawled lazily, one hand behind his head and the other holding the cigarette as he spoke. Rude's partner eyed up the building without much interest and made a
face before he took a draw on the cigarette.
Rude nodded "This is the place." he confirmed, inwardly he felt the same as his partner but he just didn't let his face register it. He unclipped the seat belt, his partner followed his
For a moment neither of the Turks moved. Both had the same idea in their heads and both looked at each other at the same time waiting for their partner to open the door.
Reno laughed, "President's really lost it man!"
Rude came as close to a laugh as he ever managed as his partner opened the passenger door and got out of the car.
Rude shook his head and got out too. The slight breeze was warm though summer was pretty much over, Rude ran a hand over his bald head and eyed the warehouse dubiously. He ran
the address through his mind… yep. This was the right place.
Now why had the President been so insistent that he and his partner show up at an abandoned warehouse in the rougher district of the city? There was nothing here worth their time
and no one here to meet them…
Maybe Reno was right, maybe Rufus Shin-Ra had lost it.
He looked at Reno who shook his head back at him, he was as stumped as Rude was.
"Might as well get started." Rude said and turned on his radio. He switched to the open line and attached the ear and mouth piece to their positions. He tapped at the mouth piece and
heard the feedback fine. His gun was loaded and he rolled his shoulders. He was all set for whatever was in there.
He was mildly irritated to note that Reno was doing the same but at a much more leisurely pace. The smaller man strolled round the back of the car and pulled out his Electro rod from the
boot. He did a mock strum on the weapon as though it were an instrument and stuck his tongue out at Rude's impatience. Reno then smirked at his partner before he finished his
cigarette and threw the butt away.
Rude was amused, that was Reno all over; the man might appear to be all swagger and talk but behind that facade lay a quick mind and a quicker draw with his gun.
Rude considered Tseng's mission briefing;
Go to the warehouse. There will be a task waiting for you there that requires the best of our agents. That's you two. Contact me for further details upon arrival.
He activated his radio
"This is Rude. We've arrived at the destination."
Tseng's cultured tone responded immediately
"Do you have any guns on your persons?"
Rude frowned "We do Director."
"Take them off. Leave them behind."
Reno, who'd been listening in, made an incredulous face He's nuts! the red head mouthed at Rude.
Rude was also puzzled and asked
"Say again Director? You want us to-?"
"I asked both of you to leave your guns behind, Reno may keep the EVR but no firearms are allowed for this mission."
"What the freak do you mean by 'firearms are not allowed'?" Reno nearly shouted down his microphone.
"My order is not open to discussion Reno." Tseng chided.
Rude saw his partner about to make some retort so he quickly cut in "Confirmed Director. No firearms. Confirm our mission."
Tseng's voice betrayed nothing "Go into the warehouse. You're expected."
There was the pop of the other end disconnecting and the two Turks looked at each other.
"Freakin' lost his mind." Reno complained as he threw his firearm into the car in disgust. Rude grunted an agreement and put his gun in the glove compartment of the car. As he shut the
door he felt Reno tap his shoulder. He turned to look at his partner he saw Reno's eyes had a crafty look.
"Did the Director say anything about explosives?" he asked mischievously.
Rude felt his mouth twitch into a smile that reflected his partners.
"No. No he didn't."
A few seconds later Rude and Reno approached the building armed with nothing more than an EVR, one of Rude's custom designed explosive and their wits.
If whoever they were up against had reason to fear repercussions from Shin-Ra then Rude almost pitied them their situation.
Reno looked curiously at the bay door which was partially open. He made an 'after you' motion with his hands, Rude raised and eyebrow and ducked under followed by Reno.
As they entered the warehouse Rude took all of his surrounding in. The layout was pretty basic and easy to memories, two stairwells on either wall led up to a walk way platform that
overlooked the whole floor area which was mostly filled with large crates and some larger metal containers probably used to store vehicles at some stage.
Behind them the bay doors suddenly began squealing shut, Reno let out a confused 'huh' and a second later they were both covered in shadow as the doors shut, casting the whole
place into a gloomy darkness. Rude saw shapes in the darkness and heard noises further inside the warehouse, the telltale thump of boots and people moving quickly.
He moved to find some cover behind a pile of crates, Reno scampered quickly to one of the metal containers on the far wall, between them they'd have had a good crossfire if they'd been
allowed their guns.
Rude didn't like this…
"Hello?" his Reno called out "Anybody home?"
There was a loud click of a level being pulled and a few seconds later the gloom was dispersed as lights came on
"Well that's more like…" Reno started to say as he leaned out of cover.
Rude's view was filled with men dressed in non descript clothing, some on the walkway and some further back in the warehouse and all were armed with pistols and small automatic
"Reno, cover!" he shouted the warning to his partner and he took cover on the floor as Reno leapt back behind the large metal box.
Immediately the warehouse was filled with the sound of gunfire.
Rude flinched as his crates splintered and absorbed the bullets that were intended for him. Amidst all the noise and commotion he could hear his partner cursing over the microphone
"The next time Tseng say's anything about leaving my gun behind I'm going to tell him where I'm going to shove it for safekeeping!"
Rude felt the gunfire lessening on his crates and noticed a man on the far end concentrating on reloading his weapon quickly. He wasted no time and ran out from the cover, crouching low
and moving quickly towards the stairwell.
As he ascended the stairs he saw three men below him starting to fan out, trying to get a better shot at him.
In the next few seconds as he neared the top of the stairs Rude watched Reno dart out and use his distraction to attack this small group on the floor. Rude saw the EVR whirl in his
partner's skilled hands and one of the attackers with the automatic rifles went down twitching madly, his teeth chattering and his body convulsing wildly from the electricity coursing
through his system.
The next man wheeled to get a bead on the red head but Reno's foot kicked high and the firearm flew out of the stunned man's grip. The foot lashed out again to strike the man's knee,
causing him to scream and fall to the other knee. Rude watched Reno fling the rod through the air and the weapon cleanly dropped the third assailant, striking him on the back of the neck
and breaking it cleanly as Reno once more kicked out to knock his felled opponent unconscious to the floor.
Rude had no more time to admire his partner's technique; he'd reached the top and now faced his own trio.
The first man came at him at the top of the stairwell with a snarl of rage. His opponent was a big man and solidly built, but so was Rude. He struggled at first, grappling with the man for a
few moments. Rude looked over the man's shoulder and realised he was only buying time for his companions to reload.
Rude released the man's hands and let himself fall backwards flat on the floor. The trick worked perfectly and caught the guard off balance. The man's momentum carried him forward to
the edge of the stairs and Rude's legs rose and kicked the man squarely in his lower back, sending him tumbling down the stairwell, howling in pain as he did so.
As Rude scrambled to his feet he heard Reno call out "I got your back, yo!" he saw the sparks of bullets on metal and heard gunshots as Reno offered covering fire from the automatic rifle
he'd acquired. Rude's assailants fled for cover and fired wildly at the Turks as they did so. Rude stood to pursue the running figures but Reno called a warning and threw up the two
remaining pistols for Rude.
Rude's hands closed on the weapons and he turned and opened fire. The bullets tore at the fleeing men and one screamed as he was flung over the safety bar at the edge of the catwalk
as the other howled and fell clutching his side, writhing in agony.
Rude ran over to the man, firing expertly as he did so. The single shot ended his life.
He fished out the explosive from within his jacket and looked down at the far end.
A remained handful of the militants were at the rear of the warehouse, where the other bay door was creaking open. The men were firing at Reno attempting to pin him down, the
younger Turk had taken cover behind another of the metal crates and he called through the microphone.
"I'm fresh out of bullets! How about some help, yo?"
Rude placed his bomb down and opened fire with his pistols. The group below dived for cover. Rude kept it up and swore as the gun's suddenly clicked empty, they were both out of
bullets. He looked at the device at his feet and picked it up. He called out to the group below. "Hey! Up here!"
One of the men looked up and saw the device in Rude's hands. The Turk pushed the button and the numbers began counting down from five minutes.
The man shouted a warning and as one the group abandoned their guns and ran for the exit.
Reno laughed and Rude chuckled as he ran down the stairwell to join his companion.
Both men stopped laughing as the bay doors began to squeal shut once more.
They remembered the bomb above them was still counting down.
"Oh shit!" Reno summed it up nicely, and both Turks ran for the closing bay door.
As one the rolled under and kept running as they came to their feet, less than two hundred meters away they came upon the group of militants who were waiting for them, armed with
pipes and knives.
Rude groaned with weariness – surely these idiots must have got the message that they were outclassed by now?
But apparently they hadn't and they charged at the two Turks.
As the first swung at Rude the big man ducked and punched him squarely in the face, sending him spinning to the floor. Behind him he heard Reno fighting another man. Another assailant
came at Rude from the side, this one armed with a knife. He swiped at Rude, cutting open a sleeve and scoring his arm, a thin trickle of blood seeped out and made him suck hard through
his teeth. He turned and grabbed arm with the knife. From the corner of his eye he saw a guy with a pipe swing for his head. He leapt to one side but it still caught him, his shades went
flying away from his face and he and the knife wielder fell to the floor.
As his world swam he saw Reno grab one of his assailants and butt him in his face, making the man scream and back away. Another received a knee to his crotch, making him drop his
knife before he too dropped to floor, moaning and clutching himself.
Rude shook his head to regain his focus and he rolled just in time, avoiding another swing from the pipe wielder. He rose and as the man swung a third time he reached out and grabbed
the pipe, then pushed it back so it drove the breath out of its holder. Rude snatched it away from the stunned man's grasp and used it to take him out with a swipe at his head that
knocked him senseless back to the floor.
A lunge from a knife whistled past his ear and he grabbed the smaller man's arm and heaved him over his shoulder.
He turned to help Reno, just in time to see his partner punch his last man unconscious. The red head had bruises and blood tricked from a split lip.
Rude's head hurt from the blow he'd received. His arm was sore too.
The men on the floor moaned. The one Rude had thrown rose to his feet.
"Who the hell are you guys?" he demanded.
"Turks." Rude replied.
The man's eyes widened in shock "Rufus Shinra never mentioned he would send Turks!"
Reno and Rude stopped and gaped at the man.
"Who did you say?" Reno demanded.
Behind them they heard the crash as the bay doors were blown from their hinges and they felt the blossom of heat as the warehouse was engulfed in flames.
Later on, back at their residence, Rude made his way to their superior's office but he could already hear Reno shouting demands at the Director and the President.
Rufus replied "It's quite simple really the men you were fighting were there at my request."
As Rude entered he saw Reno scratch his head "What you talking about?"
As Rude approached the desk Tseng elaborated "The men you were fighting earlier are candidates for a selection program and the area was a training ground to test their abilities
against the best." He strolled past Rude and headed out of the office door.
Rude felt anger bubbling inside him and he turned on Rufus, his throat tight.
"Those men were Shin-Ra employees weren't they?" He growled accusingly.
Reno's face went ash "They were what?"
Rufus nodded "They were. Still are, I suppose."
Rude inhaled sharply, barely mastering his anger at the President for his deception to both parties.
Reno trembled and sat down hard on a chair, his voice was a little numb as he whispered "...they were Shin-Ra employee's …"
Less than a month ago they'd been asking these guys for help finding Elena and Tseng when they'd been captured…
Rufus consoled him "You couldn't have known." he said it calmly as though it were nothing.
Rude's voice was starting to betray his anger "You didn't tell them what they would be up against did you?" he demanded softly.
Rufus was silent and regarded the larger Turk steadily.
The seconds passed and the larger Turk could stand no more of it.
"Did you or didn't you?" Rude roared.
Rufus looked at him first then at Reno. "No." He answered softly.
Reno stared at him in horror "But… but why? Why would you do that?"
Rufus looked up at the ceiling for a moment before he spoke.
"They were warned they would be up against skilled agents who would not show restraint. Their task was to beat you but take you alive. Those that have survived have now had a taste
of true combat against the best."
Reno had regained his senses and was now getting as riled up as Rude was. He stood next to his partner and glared at the President "Is that why you needed us to fight them?"
The President stroked his chin thoughtfully then finally answered.
"These men were specifically chosen to be part of a brute squad, which will effectively become a militia version of you Turks that will be tasked with protecting the population. I can't keep
sending my best on petty errands and reports paint a grim picture for us when Shin-Ra re emerges from hiding which will be very soon. There will be retaliation, protests, and violence in
which innocent lives will be endangered. I can't allow that to happen. We needed to quickly create a force we can use to counter terrorists as well as police the streets and I cannot use
you Turks for that. You are too valuable as agents to me."
"It didn't stop you sending us unarmed against armed opponents though, did it?" Reno said sarcastically.
Rufus raised an eyebrow "You handled yourselves very well from what I heard. I decided it would be more challenging for you and fairer on them if they started with an advantage. You've
also proved to them how deadly you can be even unarmed. They'll aspire to be that level in time."
Reno spoke carefully to Rufus "Sir, you said Shin-Ra needed to atone. You deceived us and you deceived those men and some of them are dead because of it. How can we ever atone if
you can allow murder to be part of what we do as a company? "
Rufus sighed "I understand your reservations Reno. But rest assured this was the one time I needed to condone it. These men have survived combat with the best and they now know
the standard they have to match, and that experience is vital. They can now train others, coach them on what to expect in this type of combat situation. Both of you will never be asked to
do anything this cold blooded ever again, this was a necessary assignment. I swear it to you both that this was done only because there was no other option."
Rude growled "You got that right"
Rufus looked sternly at him, and suddenly Rude reminded himself of what this man's position was.
"Sir." He amended his statement.
Rufus nodded "Thank you." he said softly.
Rude left the room, as he went down the hall he heard Reno running after him. They said nothing until they were outside.
Reno whispered "That cold hearted bastard…"
Rude grimly nodded "You got that right."
His partner took a few deep breaths "Kinda makes you sick doesn't it? I mean, killing targets for him is one thing but using us to kill our own to toughen the survivors up… that is wrong."
Rude nodded and behind them they heard footsteps.
Tseng walked up to them. His expression was sad "Reno, Rude, I can only imagine how you feel right now…"
"We need to watch him carefully." Rude spoke quietly with a grim purpose.
Reno looked a little scared at what that statement implied.
Tseng nodded his agreement "I agree, Shin-Ra needs to atone and that was a very ugly thing we were complicit in today. There's going to be violence when we return and we're sworn to
follow his orders but there's a line. This will not repeat. We are specialist agents, but even the best of hired killers need a boundary they won't cross."
"You got that right Director." Reno said softly.
Rude said nothing. Right now he didn't know how to feel. He thought about the man they all called 'Sir' and took orders from. He privately vowed he would never again kid himself that
decisions made by Rufus Shin-Ra were not event altering or life changing. He knew today was something neither he nor those employee's would ever forget.
He hoped that Rufus was right and it had been as necessary as he claimed, for if the President was wrong then he knew he'd never live with the guilt and fear that ate at him right now
for what he'd done.
Okay that was my first ever FF fanfic, so bear that in mind.
Please R+R, I appreciate feedback.
This has been designed as a oneshot but I dunno... it's got potential I reckon. But Feedback will convince me one way or another.