sterling: (Sephiroth - Creativity)
[personal profile] sterling
Title: Headlights Off
Rating: R (Language, Violence, Adult Themes)
Genre: Action/Suspense
Chapter Word Count: ~1900
Characters: Reno, Rude (Turk-Centric)
Disclaimer: FF7 is owned by SquareEnix. I'm not making a profit with this writing.
Summary: Post-Crisis Core, Turk-Centric, Rated R for Language, Violence, Adult Themes. A mysterious attack sends Reno and Rude on a mission to discover the truth about what's happening to their organization.
Chapter Links: one - two - three

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

Headlights Off
Chapter 1 – Midnight Mission


The alley was almost completely dark, except for one lone flickering street lamp at the intersection. A faint buzzing sound emitted from the bulb in the poorly maintained street lamp, echoing off the crumbling walls of the surrounding abandoned buildings; it probably had a loose connection, like most neglected wiring in this section of town. It was only a matter of time before the light burned out and Reno doubted that the city would bother to replace it. They were, after all, in the worst sector of town.

"Hey, Rude," Reno said, whispering. "Is your earpiece working?"

"Not real well. It's just a bunch of static tonight," Rude said, also keeping his voice low.

"Mine, too."

Despite the near darkness, Reno's eyes had adjusted over an hour ago, but he still couldn't see as well as he would have liked. He glanced over at Rude, and his partner instinctively looked back at him, nodded, then turned his attention back in the opposite direction. They'd only been working together a couple years, but it felt like they'd always been a team. When together, they had a certain synchronicity that couldn't quite be explained, but Reno was sure of one thing: he could always count on Rude to do the right thing at the right time. That was more than he could say about most of the other Turks.

Take Rod, for example. Not only was the guy a narcissistic prick, but he somehow managed to turn everything into a one-on-one competition, rather than working cohesively with the other Turks on his team. Rod had been a fairly notorious gang leader back before he was recruited, which technically, was a management position that should have taught the asshole a thing or two about working with people rather than against them, but nothing seemed to help Rod grasp the fact that his co-workers were counting on him. In all fairness, Rod had largely been a one-man show who had been unfamiliar with failure previous to his Shinra employment, but even that fact couldn't quite fully explain his destructive, often criticized lone-wolf attitude toward the department and the tasks he was assigned; some missions just couldn't be done without a partner, but that didn't stop Rod from trying to do things all on his own.

As a result, Reno hated going on missions with Rod, but he had little say in the matter when it came to the decisions from upper management. A few instances had called for more than two Turks, so occasionally he'd been forced to work with him. The last time they'd ended up together, Rod had almost killed him, claiming that he'd mistaken Reno for an enemy.

Reno counted his lucky stars that the gunshot hadn't found its mark, or he'd most likely be swimming around in the overrated lifestream right now, taking a nice relaxing cave bath, instead of waiting for his next assignment. As peaceful as the text books made death sound, Reno was all for avoiding the big sleep for as long as possible, which meant that he would always have to be extra careful around Rod at all times. His instincts told him that Rod had been purposely messing with him that day, even though both Rude and Tseng insisted that he was being paranoid, but Reno couldn't be dissuaded from his beliefs. The fact that Tseng hadn't assigned them to the same case since, quietly confirmed his suspicions.

The others were almost as bad, having their own quirks and other various personality disorders, except for maybe Cissnei, but Reno had to admit that there were times when he'd wondered if she really was Turk material. Despite being the youngest recruited member of the Turks, where one would assume her performance would be damned near flawless due to her many years of training, she tended to flip-flop back and forth between being ruthlessly efficient and completely ineffective. Reno wasn't sure exactly how that was possible, unless she was following her own moral compass, instead of following the one mandated by the company. No one ever seemed to hold her failures against her, and her successes were some of the most celebrated of the team. It didn't quite seem fair, since all of Reno's failures were often ridiculed out loud by the other Turks; no one ever dared to say a word out loud in front of Cissnei, as if they knew that speaking of her failures would condemn them to some kind of unspoken doom. He wasn't jealous, but he had noticed the difference in treatment and couldn't help but wonder why it had to be that way.

"Something's not right. We should've heard from him by now," Rude said, keeping his voice quiet.

"You think Tseng forgot about us?"

"We ain't that lucky. Maybe the shit just ain't workin' tonight," Rude said, not sounding at all satisfied by his assessment.

"Guess I shouldn't smoke then," Reno said.

Rude didn't answer him, but Reno had learned that when Rude agreed with him, he was often met with silence. It was easier than actually speaking, and well, Rude didn't like to speak if he didn't have to, which was fine with Reno.

They were told that this mission involved stealth, secrecy, and patience, and even though they still didn't know what the actual objective was, they knew to be on high alert, watching for anything that could even remotely be considered suspicious. While they waited for their next order, it was imperative that they not draw any attention to themselves, which didn't seem like it was going to be an issue. From what Reno had been able to ascertain, there hadn't been anyone around for them to draw attention from; he'd been actively scanning the area since they'd settled into position, and hadn't seen much of anything with his predator-like ability to sense motion. So far, nothing but an alley cat and a ripped up piece of paper had moved since they had arrived.

"Ain't nobody here," Reno said, baiting his partner for permission to light one up.

"Not that you know of," Rude said.

"Dammit," Reno said, frustrated by all the waiting. "This is taking forever."

"Focus and be quiet," Rude said, effectively silencing him. "Somebody's comin'."

A car was approaching slowly on the road adjacent to the alley. Reno and Rude watched as the vehicle sidled up to the curb and stopped, the engine still idling with a dull rhythmic rumble. The car had been driving down the dimly lit street with its headlights off, which caused a suspicious red flag to wave in Reno's mind. Both Turks reacted together; Reno and Rude skirted off to the side, using the darkness to their advantage to hide behind a few rotting crates. Guns drawn, they waited, all senses on full alert.

Even with his near-perfect vision, Reno wasn't sure exactly what kind of car it was, but it did look like a newer Shinra FA model, from what he could see. FA's usually meant trouble, because they were the only vehicle type that Shinra had made that was able to easily custom fit bulletproof and magic-proof windows or siding with after market parts. The open cockpit designs of the other models were usually too impossible to modify in this manner, even for the handiest of mechanics. Only certain kinds of people had access to such a high-end model car: criminals, politicians, and high ranking company executives. Reno knew that one person could very easily cover all three bases, but he kept that thought to himself, opting to keep distractions to a minimum. He didn't need to say anything anyway. He was sure that Rude would be thinking exactly the same thing.

After a few breathtaking seconds, the car started moving again and turned into the alley, pausing again, as if deciding whether or not to traverse the alleyway. For the moment, still concealed, Reno crouched, waiting for the right moment to make a move. They weren't expecting anyone unannounced, so this could just be civilian activity. Unfortunately, his gut told him otherwise, and his gut was rarely ever wrong.

Reno's ear piece began to crackle with the hiss of electronic static, and then a voice began to speak in audible tones. It was Tseng, and he wasn't messing around.

"Reno, Rude," Tseng said, "Abort mission and report to base. Repeat: Abort mission, immediately."

The Turks snapped their heads around at the same time, looking at each other with sudden realization and surprise. Reno found himself frozen, unable to comprehend what was happening. He knew that their situation had just escalated from unknown to bad, but he didn't know what to do about it. He heard tires squeal and realized the car was now barreling toward them down the alley at a rapid rate of speed.

"Hit the deck!" Rude said, pushing Reno to the ground.

Reno went down, painfully scraping his cheek against the concrete; he could feel the blood welling up on his soft, unprotected skin. As he began to recover from the shock of being forcibly shoved to the ground, he opened his mouth to unleash the nine hells upon Rude for not being more careful.

Before he could even say a word, a torrent of bullets sprung forth from the car driving past, shattering the crates granting them cover. As bullets pounded into the old brick building behind them, Reno could hear lead slugs ricocheting wildly off the metal foundation supports. Trapped under a hailstorm of exploding sharp wooden splinters and crumbling brick, he shifted, trying to lay as flush with the ground as he could, hoping his luck would keep him safe from the ricocheting bullets.

Rolling onto his back, Reno took aim and fired several shots from the ground at the passenger door window as the car passed by, but he was fairly certain he hadn't hit anything, or anyone. His action served its purpose though. The car increased its speed and kept going down the alleyway until it was out of sight. Reno stayed flat on the ground for a few more seconds, busying himself by reloading his gun, until the rearview lights of the car couldn't be seen anymore, before surveying the damage.

"You alright, partner?" Reno asked, rubbing his nose. The smell of burning rubber and lingering gunpowder smoke was overwhelming, and making his sinuses act up.

"Think so," Rude said, after a moment's hesitation. "You?"

"Yeah," Reno said, as he searched the ground for any evidence. He found a couple empty casings, and picked them up off the ground. Still warm, he quickly rolled them into his jacket pocket. "Couple nasty scrapes, no thanks to you, and a splinter or seven."

"You're welcome," Rude said, casually checking his sunglasses for damage.

"Bastard didn't even turn on his lights," Reno said, ignoring his partner's sarcastic retort, still caught up in what had happened. The alley was quieter now, and even though his ears were partially deafened, he could hear the faint non-stop buzz of the useless street lamp at the intersection. He pressed his palm over his left ear, as if he could massage away the echoing explosions still ringing in his ears. "What the hell was that all about?"

"Don’t know. We better report in and get back to base so we can see what's goin' on." Rude tapped his ear piece and shook his head. "This static is drivin' me nuts tonight."

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

A/N: Go to Chapter 2...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-10 12:56 pm (UTC)
brutal_priestess: (Invincible)
From: [personal profile] brutal_priestess
Urk! Gyaaargh! Dammit, that's a mean place to end the chapter!

^_^

Yes, it's very, very good. I liked the Before Crisis references. You were always so good at seamlessly blending the insanity that the FF7 canon has become. Cissnei was the popular female character, wasn't she? Although...could it be...a winking reference to that Mary Sue that one chick used to write about? Heh.

Anyway, I'm wildly anticipating the next chapter and, hideous fangirl that I can be, I can't wait until Rufus makes his appearence. I'm sure it will be quite memorable.... Your Rufus has always been a lot of brilliance in characterization.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-12-12 12:04 pm (UTC)
brutal_priestess: (Default)
From: [personal profile] brutal_priestess
With Turks, I believe they just forsake their last names.

*shrugs* The assumption of the code name has just leads to writers making up stupid "real names" XDD Most fanfic writers suck with names. It's always the most pretentious, unbelievable bullshit.

October 2011

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