Chapter 3

Two weeks had passed since Biggs first encounter with the Turks. It had been slow weeks. He'd been in the weapon shop every day, working his ass off for one lousy gil per hour. Every time the door had cracked open he'd expected the Turks to step in through it, back to arrest him. Well, they didn't really 'arrest' people, it was more like they abducted them, let them vanish without a trace. Biggs wondered if they had a specific spot where they dumped all the bodies of the people they'd killed. He knew that sometimes they left the body, as a warning to family, friends or others with the same point of views. Biggs shuddered, but he was sure that if they had wanted anything with him then they had dealt with him the first time.

A knock on the door ripped him out of his thoughts. He reached for the gun on the chair he used as a bedside table. Without a sound he moved towards the door, finger on the trigger.

"Biggs?" It was Jessie's voice. He relaxed and put the gun in the lining of his slacks.

"Jessie, what's up?" he asked as he opened the door.

"Be at the HQ in two hours. Big news."

"What's happened?" Biggs grabbed a shirt from the couch and put it on.

"I'm not sure. A bomb went off last night in Sector 5. Lot's of people were injured, and worse."

Biggs didn't bother to look his door this time. There was afterall nothing in there that anyone would won't, not even him really. He hurried after Jessie who walked off in a quick pace.

"Found any new recruits?" she asked.

"No," he didn't want to get into that subject since he hadn't been trying very hard.

Jessie nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah, it's been tough for all of us. Shinra's really got people believing that they can protect them and make their lives better. But at least we know it's all a sham. We just hafta make other people see that too. We must... damnit," she suddenly hissed and froze.

Biggs stilled as well, trying to see whatever had caused this reaction. Jessie nudged towards the other side of the street. There, outside a grocery shop, a uniformed SOLDIER stood.

"What the hell is this all about," Jessie whispered.

"I dunno. Let's just get outta here before that guy get suspicious."

Seventh Heaven was officially closed this early in the day so Jessie and Biggs had to wait till Tifa came and let them in.

"What's this I hear about a bomb going off in five, Tifa?" Biggs cut straight to the point.

Tifa stepped in behind the counter, picked up a towel and started polishing some glasses. "I'm not sure," she shrugged," seems to be the work of Shinra. We think they might have needed the area for some new project, possibly a new mako reactor. Lots of people lost their homes last night. A few were killed and the rest were sent off to the hospital. The railway tracks where Midgar Lines run between Sector 5 and the Plate were destroyed as well. Probably Shinra's way of keeping the people in the slums from coming up to them."

"Fucking bastards," Biggs swore.

"We have decided to take action, Shinra has gone to far this time," Tifa continued, "Barret will be here soon with more information."

As on cue, Barret barged into the bar.

"We'll show those fuckers once and for all. They'll be sorry they ever started messin' with us," he declared.

President Shinra sat at the head of the table, only his most trusted employees were in the room this morning.

"Those scums in the slums have blown up Shinra property," his fist hit the table. No one flinched, they were used to his tempers. "To look on the bright side though they also managed to blow up some of their own so that's one problem less for us to deal with." He took a deep breath before he went on. "This is none the less a terrorist action and I cannot condone such a thing. They are after all blowing up my city. I want these people taken care off. Tseng," he turned to the leader of the Turks who sat further down the table," can I trust the Turks with this mission?"

"Of course, sir," Tseng responded.

"Good. I have SOLDIERs watching the streets already but I cannot just let them go in and ravage through the slums. That's for you and your boys."

Tseng nodded. "Understood."

The President turned to the rest of the table. "The rest of you just go about your business as usual. No one talks to the press, is that clear?"

Everyone nodded, some mumbled; "Clear," or, "Chrystal."

"Meeting dismissed then," the President stood, as he left the others got up from their chairs as well.

"The railway bombers fell into our lap," Tseng said as he met up with the two other Turks in their departments lounge.

Reno held out his hand to Rude who sat next to him on the black leather couch. "Ha, told you. Pay up, baldie."

Rude muttered something incoherent and threw some gil at the redhead.

"Nice to see you are making our new partner feel so welcome, Reno," Tseng said and cast an apologetic smile at Rude.

"He's been here for three weeks, almost four," Reno defended himself. "You gave me hell for two months when I was the new kid in Necktie Town."

Tseng smirked as he studied the two men on the couch. "You still give me hell. Every single fucking day."

The two Turks looked up at him, a cigarette dangling from Reno's mouth, Rude inhaling sharply on his own fag.

"If you two wouldn't mind getting off your butts we can go into my office and discuss the mission further."

Sighs and some protests met Tseng as he said this, none of it serious though, just a habit the two Turks had developed since they first met a month or so ago. Just a new way to piss off the boss. Tseng sighed himself and strode into his office.

Reno slumped into the leather chair, his leather chair as he thought it to be.

Tseng sat down in his own chair behind the desk, while Rude prefered to stand.

"So, what's the plan?" Reno asked slyly. He knew his boss always had a plan as soon as he was out of one of those meetings.

"The plan," Tseng began," is to start off in Sector 5 where the bomb went off. Someone must have heard or seen something. We'll start asking around there, see if we can pick up a lead. We go down together straight away and see what we can dig out."

Reno looked up through strands of fierce red hair. "You coming with us, boss?"

Tseng had picked up some papers that had been dropped on his desk while he was out, marking them all with his signature after thoroughly studying them. The man seemed absolutely incapable of just being still for more than a moment. He nodded, his attention turned back to the two other Turks just as Reno finished the sentence.

"Long time since you got out of this office, wasn't it," Reno smirked.

"Well, I can't just sit around here all day, getting fat and watching you screw up every single mission." He opened his drawer and took out a gun and replaced the one he had holstered with the new one. "Gentlemen," he said and stood up, "are we ready to go?"

Rude and Reno seemed to snap out of whatever sort of trance they had been in and suddenly seemed more alert than ever.

"Ready, sir" they both said and followed Tseng out through the door.

Biggs and Wedge returned to Seventh Heaven about the same time as the Turks left the Shinra Tower. The three other memebers of AVALANCHE were already there.

"Did you find out anything?" Tifa asked.

Biggs nodded and sat down by the table. "Yes, quite a lot actually but none of it makes sense."

"Well, spit it out, what is it?" Barret was just checking out a map over the sectors that was rolled out over the table.

"First of all, Shinra has started repairing the railway," Biggs explained.

"What?" Jessie cut in. "Why would they blow it up just to rebuild it two hours later?"

"That doesn't make much sense, does it?" Biggs took a cigarette out of the packet that held down one of the corners of the map. "Then there's SOLDIERs everywhere. We tried to find out what they were doing down in the slums but everyone we asked seem to have a different opinion on why they are here." He searched through his pocket for a lighter, found one, and lit the cigarette.

"Think Shinra is trying to cover up whatever it is that they are up to?" Tifa asked, the question directed to everyone in the room.

"No doubt about that, but there's something else going on as well. Some people were talking about some military resistance group. One outside Midgar, that was clear, but no one seemed to know what their motives might be."

"Their attack hurt people in the slums as well as Shinra Inc. Although I would say that we down here suffered more than Shinra since people lost their life tonight when they were sleeping in their own homes. The only way Shinra must have noticed the bombing is as a small change in the schedule for the day." Jessie sighed and leaned back in the chair.

"So," Biggs looked over at Barret, "what do we do now?" Barret grunted and gave the question some serious thought. "I'm not sure," he finally confessed.

Reno's knife rested against the pulsing vein on the young boy's throat. The boy's mother and father witnessed the scene, the woman sobbing in her husband's arms. Tseng stood in the middle of the room, his arms folded over his chest. He held the parents in his dark cold gaze.

"We know very well you have helped rebels before, giving them shelter and such thing. Don't think any of that has gone unnoticed to Shinra. And I'm sure you are both very well aware of the fact that going against Shinra have a tendency to bring serious problems to your health." Tseng paused, letting his words sink in. "Did you help the rebels last night, hm? Maybe you were even there, planting the bombs yourselves?"

The man shook his head fervently. "No... no, we didn't have anything to do with it, please, you got to believe us."

Tseng smiled ominously and walked over to Reno and the boy. He fetched the boy's pale face, holding his chin with his thumb and index finger. The other hand brushed the boy's hair in a ludicrously tender way. "You know," he said, still looking at the boy, "I'm sure this boy will grow up to be a traitor to Shinra."

A muffled sound escaped the woman in a vague protest.

Tseng didn't even spare her a glance. "We should just kill him now, save us the trouble of hunting him down in a couple of years and doing it then."

His last words were drowned by the mother's desperate scream as she freed herself from her husband's embrace and threw herself at Tseng's feet. Her hand grabbed the edge of his immaculate, blue jacket. "Please, don't kill my son, please... I beg you sir," she sobbed.

"Then tell us what you know," Tseng said, his voice not quite as calm as before.

"We don't know anything, that's the truth," the woman tugged harder at his suit as the tears streamed down her face. Tseng slapped her hard across the face, sendig her sprawling on the floor, covering her bleeding lip.

"Reno," he nodded at the other Turk.

Reno grabbed a handful of the boy's hazel hair and pulled the head back, exposing the throat.

"No, wait," the woman screamed, the man was know kneeling beside her, holding her in his arms again. "It must have been AVALANCHE."

"AVALANCHE?" Tseng demanded.

"It's a rebel group," the man explained, close to tears himself, "they have never done any bombing before but they've talked about it. But only about blowing up reactors, not parts of the slums for Ifrit's sake. Why would they hurt their own people."

"I'm not interested in your theories, old man," Tseng sneered. "Tell me where I can find them."

"I... I don't know."

The boy screamed has Reno pulled his head further back. The man looked over at his son and sobbed loudly.

"Sector 7," he mumbled. "They usually meet at some bar, but I swear I don't know which one."

Tseng's eyes bore into him. "You better be telling the truth." His voice dropped to a low hiss. "We will be coming back if it turns out that you lied to us."

"I swear, I would never..." the man grew silent as he saw Tseng grab his son's arm and push him across the room to where his parents were. They both covered him in their embrace and sobbed, not looking up to see the Turks leave.

"We're off to Sector 7," Tseng informed Rude who had stood guard outside the door.

Reno lit a cigarette and looked up at his boss. "Ah," he sighed, "that was nice, seeing a family happily reunite. Makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, doesn't it, boss?"

Tseng smirked and took the cigarette from Reno, inhaling on it once then handing it back. "Sure does," he exhaled the smoke slowly as he held the two Turks steady in his gaze, meeting first Reno's eyes, then Rude's, eventhough he only was met by his own reflection in the dark shades that covered the man's eyes.

"Let's move on, boys."

Chapter 4   |   Fanfiction