I like Reno. He's a good character. And I still don't know why these Turks, whose worked closely with SOLDIER, don't recognize the fucking Buster Sword on his back. It's Angeal's sword. He's a well known SOLDIER. I'm sure they'd know Sephiroth's Masamune from a mile away, why not Angeal's?


It's the familiar sword strapped on that stranger's back that sets the warning bells off in Reno's head. It's a weapon well known among the ranks of SOLDIER and Turks alike, from the tragic deserter in league with Sephiroth and Genesis, heroes who had once been the Company's best-kept company secret. Even Turks at his level didn't have the clearance to be informed about the different branches under the Jenova Project, not until the proverbial shit hit the fan and they were dispatched to do the cleanup.

But this isn't about Angeal, it's about this mercenary with too many question marks. Reno taps the tip of his weapon on his shoulders and asks the man a simple question.

"What class?"

"First."

The blonde man before him claims to have been in SOLDIER, and a First-Class one at that!

What a fucking joke!

Reno knows his SOLDIERs. He knows them all by their names; by their backwater towns they've plucked them out from; by their commissioned weapons that are unique to them and only them. Reno knows his SOLDIERs well because he's the one that scouts for them.

"If you're gonna bullshit me, at least try to make it believable."

This man was not a SOLDIER. He's never seen him walk along the corridors of the 49th Floor. He's never brushed elbows with him on a mission that requires both SOLDIER strength and Turk subterfuge. He may act like a fool, or a bastard, or a dickish asshole, but his profession requires a balanced trade-off between mettle and intellect. And he has them both in spades.

The 'ex-SOLDIER' regards him coolly with those mako-blue eyes that is the trademark of the elite fighter he claims to be and then charges forward. What a fucking fool. Charging head-first into battle with nothing but a huge-ass sword? This SOLDIER wannabee may have nailed the look and he may have the strength to wield such a weapon, but SOLDIERs are trained to assess the situation first before charging blindly.

The dumbest First he's ever had the misfortune of being acquainted with was still a very smart one. He had been a lovesick puppy who used to frequent this very church and followed the Cetra everywhere. Then he followed his mentor to the grave.

He still regarded that mission as a personal failure in his career as a Turk.

He lets the Security Officers play against him first. While that happens, Reno chooses to perch above a church column to watch the fight. He's skilled, that's for sure. He's also unrefined. There's a shakiness in his grip when he swings the sword a little too low. He takes a step too small and swings his sword in an arc too wide that it throws his balance off. He's quick to regain his footing and switches to summoning attacks with materia. Interesting. He watches on, mentally taking down notes, and stores them in his mind for future reference.

He definitely did not scout this ex-SOLDIER, and whoever did made the poor choice of doing so. If he didn't know any better, it could have been Elena, but she wasn't even a Turk then. He knows who Rude's candidates are, and that ain't any one of 'em. Cissnei? No. That woman is the paragon of meticulous work-ethic, coming only second to Tseng, and she will never recruit this man.

First off, he's short.

Second, he's thin as fuck. His arms look like twigs.

Third, he looks unstable.

If it were him, Reno wouldn't bat another eye at the blonde. He'd scrap his application and never look back.

He turns his attention to the Cetra standing quietly near the back and watching the battle unfurl with intense focus. Reno knows she carries a staff. Heaven knows why Tseng lets her carry that thing around. For all he knew, she could heal him while the battle is ongoing. Fuck. He shouldn't even be here. Watching over her has always been a far-away kind of task. Never get too close. Don't be seen. Approach only when necessary.

Today isn't just his day, he guesses.

"Ack!"

Ah, well. There go all his companions. Really? Just a few Fira and they're all down? This is why he prefers working alongside SOLDIERs. They have higher chances of surviving basic skirmishes like this.

Reno hops down the church column and lands on the floor beside the fallen Security Officer. He cranes his head down to get a better look at the man, and he clucks his tongue at the sight. The poor Officer's clothes are burnt in many places. It's a mercy he's unconscious.

Ah, well. He'll live.

He looks back at his opponent - Cloud, he'd heard Aerith call him earlier - and grins. Reno grips his weapon and attacks.

"Hate doing clean up… but I'm damn good at it."