A silver sheet draped the sky, brisk, bold paint strokes streaking
the air in gray clouds. A solemn rumble kissed the earth in
pity, prepared to let it drown, and drown...
Ice fingers clutched the remaining shreds of a white piece
of paper, mere symbols, words deftly cracking blows within his
broken body... Reno hesitantly allowed his eyes to scan the
words once more, a steady gulp drowning down his throat.
"...This particular crimson vile will seep violently into the
victim's mind, ailing a certain portion of the cerebrum. A meticulously
worked chip will be inserted, delivering signals through neuron
paths, bringing forth a promising effect...."
But what sort of anguish was this? His name wasn't once mentioned
in this sheet... Did the burning feeling in his gut come from
disgust? Perhaps Hojo's deranged mind crafted this certain specimen
into a monster... and maybe Reno felt sorry for the tortured
But...that couldn't be. He had clutched a steel revolver, allowing
the single silver tear to break mercilessly to a bloodied victim.
His stomach had churned from the sight of the blood, the horrible
stench of the decomposing corpse... But no pity... no guilt.
So then why now?
"Why?" he echoed to the soft murmuring of the wind, his eyes
staring at the heavens perhaps searching for the answer.
The heavens churned and responded in gray.
Reno crumpled the note in a furious ball, shoving it within
his pocket, frustrated, tired... jaded.
He walked, his shoes squishing through mired streets of the
fallen city. Reno glanced down. Remnants, bloody remnants of
Midgar flying in broken shreds with the wind...
Oh, why did the wind offer this dark sheet of words in his
Reno heaved a bitter sigh shuffling in his pockets to find
the crumbled ball of paper, carefully straightening the edges
with his hands.
There has to be something else to this... The man scratched
the tuft of fire on his head and hesitantly turned the scrap
of paper to the other side...
"Wha...," he slowly murmured painfully, letting his mind absorb
the meaning of those dark words.
6:00 Dec. 13-Hojo "...the red vile is progressively working
to its goal. The young specimen seems to adapt to all signs.
He's able to readily aim and fire mercilessly when requested.
A strange sort of flicker still lies in his eyes... He is still
human. Oh, but that shall wear away quite soon as the crimson
vile does its purpose... Yes, he will be the first human… the
first human to lack the essential flaw of humanity itself...
Yes, I shall be able to rid him of the weakness... of
Reno breathed those last words, his throat choking his heart,
his veins pounding with blood... to the point that he couldn't
even hear the soft whimpers echoing from his lips... Why?...
The words beneath that single entry were furiously written
with a clear amount of force implemented in pushing the pen
to bold strokes. A crimson-purple hue vaguely stained the bottom
tip of the journal entry... and Reno continued to mouth the
words beneath the torturous beating of his heart.
6:00 Feb. 13-Hojo "...he has grown now, a bit of madness
in his mind. He went about cutting himself, one slash on each
cheek and started ranting about some nonsense. He is quite insane,
but still human... Perhaps he's in need of more vile... all
in good time. He shall be the flawless soldier.
/Scars... two scars.../
Ice hands trembled violently, slowly tracing two crimson marks
welded on each soft cheek. And with that simple movement, the
mere contour of the scarlet scars traced by tainted fingers,
the truth revealed its hideous shadow of light...
Light, like the blinding laps hung from bare ceilings, playing
with the brisk laboratory air. The light, softly flickering
of dust particles, bouncing and bouncing... the light, gleaming
mockingly on blood. Reno's blood... married with his victim's.
A small child stared into Reno's emerald eyes, a mocking smile
curving her lips as she slept soundlessly within a pool of blood.
For a moment, Reno simply nodded, looking away in apathy… but
something, something beneath those artificial layers caused
his mind to reel, his heart to scream.
And he loathed himself. A terrified scream echoed mercilessly
from his lips, but the deranged scientist at his side simply
handed him another bottle of red vile. Reno violently shook
his head, sweat matting his fire hair in frustrated drops.
"NO!" he yelped, an empty plea within his green eyes.
"Nonsense... now drink."
"No, no, no...,"he repeated helplessly, his eyes fixing on
the bloodied child at his side.
"Drink you insolent boy!"
"N-no," his lips shook with those broken words... And his eyes
darted to a knife beside him, glimmering seductively in silver.
"I-I want to cry for them. All of them."
"Stupid, stupid child," Hojo muttered, a sliver of rage emitting
from his brown eyes.
"This is the only way I know how..." Reno screamed, clutching
the knife in trembling hands, slashing the sides of his cheek.
Crimson liquid slid down his face in an unspoken silence...
The scarlet drops slipped steadily onto the fallen girl, a sea
of red embracing Reno in peace… his tranquillity.
"See... my tears, Hojo. I'm human, you see? ...Human...."
A wave of anguish furiously poured down his shoulders as Reno
muttered with his past words... "Human..."
And the man of fire walked...
And walked to the outskirts of Midgar... to the sea.
I hold no guilt... not for all those people who screamed because
of me... I'm not human... No, I'm a monster... or is there something
worse? And Reno would have to stop the heartless monster before
it was too late... before he was denied emotions too... denied
Oh, how'd he love to drench himself in coldness. Yes, anything
to freeze the heated pounding in his heart, anything to guise
the anguish pouring deviously in his soul.
"S-something to drink maybe...," Reno mumbled, letting his
aching feet feel the ice sand steadily washing with the cold
currents of the sea... feeling the frigid waves of the sea pulling
against his body. He let his hands search his pocket and clung
onto a small brown-filled bottle. A sorrowful smile etched his
lips as he let the liquid drown the pounding agony he felt right
then... or at least hide it for a while...
The waves were growing stronger, muttering bitterly at his
sin, the futility of a man without guilt to stay human...
But then again, what was this pain?
No, it wasn't guilt... It wasn't regret or sorrow that pounded
No, it was simply the fact that he wasn't human.
How selfish of him… how utterly selfish...
"Take me then!" he screamed to the pounding waves at his feet
as he fell to his knees, continuing to scream, his agonizing
voice piercing the air...
The wind howled with more strength, and a solemn rumble once
again echoed the sky…
"You heard that didn't you!? Come and take me then!" Reno laughed
bitterly, his eyes darting towards the chaos of the sky.
The waves wavered for just a second, silently accepting the
monster's offer, dragging him into tranquillity...
Red weeds tumbled the sands of Costa de Sol. Navy blue rags
hugged the empty lump, waves embracing the object in a soothing
A mahogany-haired woman's eyes laid lazily at the morning sun,
it's beams reflecting her lips in a smile... But a crumpled
red and blue hill of some sort lay in the distance. Curiosity
steadily flickered in her wine-colored eyes as she approached
the unnamable object.
/It can't be…/
An astonished gasp released from her lips as her eyes met drenched
strands of fire... hugging a human face.
The woman glanced at her enemy, an expression of pity emitting
from her eyes... No she couldn't leave another human in a such
And his lips curved in such sorrow... or perhaps something
beyond sorrow... something bitter, something lacking hope. Tifa
gently rolled Reno's body, his shut eyes facing the sun's warm
rays. She gracefully interlaced her fingers, implementing a
sudden force on Reno's lungs, hoping that the water drowning
his chest would pour from his lips. She allowed her ear to rest
on his chest... No breath...
She tried once again, using a greater force to push the water
from his lungs.
A faint trace of a breath murmured through his cracked lips,
and without warning, fountains of water sputtered through hacked
breaths of the fire-haired man.
"W-What the hell are you doing?" He gritted his teeth angrily,
battered coughs still reaching his throat.
"Saving you. I'll get you some dry clothes, so wait here...
Yes, you heard me, so wait here," Tifa spoke patiently, a trace
of anger bouncing from her eyes... No, but she held far more
pity... Oh yes, she pitied this fallen man.
"Why?" he muttered, a sense of vulnerability lying beneath
"Because you're a human being... and you still deserve to live."
"Don't pity me," he growled slowly.
"Everyone deserves some warmth, Reno - I hold the same faults
as you, Reno... We've both killed," she whispered. She glanced
at Reno for a moment. A pained expression rendered his face,
and hesitantly Tifa reached her fingers to slowly touch his
A burst of warmth lingered through Reno's cheek… yes warmth.
The mahogany-haired woman grinned in sorrow, resting her hand
towards her side, walking away muttering, "I'll bring you some
A small grin tugged Reno's lips.
He allowed his finger to slowly trace the upward curve of his
mouth... No, it wasn't a smirk...
The smile pulled up gently in a sort of soft happiness.
Someone cared for him... enough to value his life… all because
he was human. Something in his heart was human.
And he would grasp onto that soft compassion for as long as
he could… It was all he had.
But that was all right for him... Hope was far better than
anything he had dreamed of...