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Old 05/16/2012   #166
Strangelove
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2. How The Case Began

(SPOILER)

When Elena joined Shinra, Cliff Resort was already a long-forgotten retreat. The rugged landscape, which looked as though giants had haphazardly piled up boulders, was definitly unusual. The numerous lodges built using the natural steps of the terrain might have added some colour to the scenery. But once you got used to it, there was nothing else there. You visit once and take a couple of souvenir photos, and that's enough. There's little point in returning a second time. The Shinra Company had resorts all over the world, but anyone would agree this one was a non-starter.
“I mean, really—”
Just two years ago, the Shinra Company controlled most of the world. It didn't sit well with Elena that the president, who had been at the top of that empire, should now have to spend his days in such a desolate place as this. He's in poor health. For security reasons, it would be safer to be away from the cities. However, as it is still about a two hour drive to and from the cities it makes it easy for the staff to commute. There were several reasons behind it, but it didn't change the fact it was a dull place. The name had been changed from Cliff Resort to Healin at the president's suggestion, but that didn't mean anything had actually changed here.
“Aaarrhh.”
Nothing happens here. In the square there were several benches, where the people suffering from Geostigma were sitting around, talking and laughing, some of them focusing on getting better while putting up with the pain. The same as yesterday, and tomorrow will probably follow suit. Not even the weather changed much.

**

“Elena is looking bored,” said Rufus Shinra to his subordinate Tseng as he walked away from the window of the lodge.
“I would like to be moving on to the next project—” Rufus paused and struggled to return to his wheelchair.
“Yes, sir. I will tell Elena shortly. However, I intend to keep this from Reno and Rude for now. This new project is more exciting, I fear if they knew the details their work in the city would end up getting cast aside.”
“Very well. Have you gathered intel on Jenova?”
“Not yet, sir.”
Jenova, a monstrous being which arrived from outer space. Nobody knew what form it was in now. Is it a withered fragment of flesh, or is it taking the appearance of some bizarre creature. But Tseng believed that if it were somewhere nearby—as either a mound of flesh or a creature—then they would surely know about it.
“By the way, sir, what are your plans once we locate it?”
“My father—” Rufus Shinra answered, with his eyes gazing off into the distance. “He set his sights on the Lifestream flowing within the planet, called it mako energy and packaged it for the masses. Mako changed the industrial structure of the day at its very foundations, and mankind obtain prosperity the likes of which it had never known.”
“Yes.”
“With the immense fortune and power he gained, and even if he was lining his own pockets to some degree, my father invested most of it into new fields. On a massive scale, and devoid of ethics. And one of those was the research of and experimentation on Jenova. Eventually this bore a monster named Sephiroth—”
Sephiroth. That monster, a hybrid of human and Jenova, possessed a fathomless prowess in battle. His show of power on the battlefield lead to him becoming lauded as a hero. However, his heart was not as strong as his body. When the hero learnt of his birth he avowed his heritage as the son of Jenova, and as a result went mad. He revolted against the company, and what's more sought the extermination of humanity. During the battle against Sephiroth the Shinra Company was destroyed, and the planet brought to the brink of returning to stardust.
“My father took his leave from this stage early on, leaving those of us left behind to suffer the nightmares of it. Far from reasonable, wouldn't you say?”
Tseng looked at Rufus, neither denying nor confirming what he has said.
“I am not my father,” Rufus said with a forcefulness in his voice, moving his wheelchair to the window. He could see the people suffering from Geostigma in the square.
“I will bring it to an end, once and for all.”

**

Elena was standing at the entrance of the woods which stretched out behind the lodge area. The wind, carrying the scent of moss as it breezed through the trees, swayed her short blonde hair.
“Will something just please happen!”
Not the most professional of thoughts, but those were her thoughts nonetheless. She ducked her head slightly, checking to make sure no one had heard her, and started walking. As she made her way along the widely meandering path, the largest building in the resort came into view. Although this 'largest' building was a one-story log cabin which could fit thirty people at the most. It was apparently used as a recreation hall originally. She skipped for the final few steps, and stood before the door which was securely locked from the inside. She pressed a button to the right of the door and rung the buzzer. After a full ten seconds she got an idly response from Throp, a young man her colleague Reno had picked up in the city.
“Miss Elena?”
“Making my rounds! Come on, open up!” Elena ordered, making no effort to hide her frustration. After a brief pause the door opened.
“All clear here, ma'am.”
Throp spoke in an unenthusiastic voice, while fuzzing about his shaggy uncut hair that didn't seemed to have seen water in a while. His massive body, towering over Elena, was as doughy as can be. His stomach made a noticeable mound under his shirt. Not in the least bit cut out for guard detail, but they were short on manpower. This man symbolised the current state of the Shinra Company. Elena weaved her way past the behemoth and stepped inside the cabin, and moving her gaze along a now-routine course she inspected the room. From the left to the right. From the right to the left. Yep, all clear.
Until the previous week this hall had been used as a lab for developing medicines. They were developing a medication to treat one of the symptoms of Geostigma, generalised pain. It was already known that the hypers that the company used to issue to SOLDIER offered some pain relief. The research team analysed the hypers, and successfully synthesised a similar ingredient. With the assistance of the patients in the resort they preformed clinical trials, and at last completed a medicine that could be mass-produced. The manufacturing method was to be provided free of charge to small and large organizations capable of producing it, such as the World Regenesis Organization. It was Elena who proposed this project, and had travelled around to make it a reality. The staff she had cobbled together were all what was left of Shinra's science and chemistry divisions. More than a few of the members of these departments had traded their conscience for a brilliant mind. Elena was wary of leaving them to their own devices, there was no telling what dangerous concoctions they might turn out, so she kept a constant eye on them. But her fears turned out to be unfounded. The researcher who gathered at Healin were devoted and good-hearted. They worked practically night and day without rest, and completed the medicine in an extremely short time. Elena regretted not having trusted them, and on the day they left she expressed her respect and gratitude to each and every one of them.
The majority of the equipment, fixtures and medical apparatus set up in the hall had been packed up, and was piled up against a wall near the entrance. It was going to be donated to those planning to continue their research on Geostigma, and to doctors in Edge and other cities who were treating patients.
On the shelf at the back of the room were the airtight metal cases containing the samples of the medicine. There were two cases, one of which was for the resort's patients. There was a limited number of doses, so it was strictly controlled and records kept when it was given out. The other was to be handed over along with the research reports and manufacturing guide as soon as the WRO was ready.
“Oh, I've already checked all that. It's all fine,” Throp said to Elena as she neared the medicine shelf.
“I've still got to follow procedure.”
“Right, yeah...”
She picked up the distribution record without turning around for Throp's grumbling, and opened the lid of the metal case. Handing out the medicine and recording it was Tseng's, her boss's duty. Tseng's meticulous handwriting formed a line down the page. After checking the column showing the remaining number of doses she compared it against what was in the case. All fine. Next she checked the small thermometer inside the case. The medicine was sensitive to changes in temperature, which alters the effects. Nothing as extreme as rendering it useless or poisonous or anything, but it was confirmed that it dulled the efficiency. It should be remedied soon, but for now it needed careful handling.
“You've been good again today. All fine,” said Elena, making sure Throp could hear her. While she spoke she looked at the other case. On the outside it looked the same, but this one was sealed up with a sticker so the two wouldn't be mixed up.
“This one's also—”
There were signs that the sticker had been removed at least once.
“Throp, did you touch the case?”
“'Course not!”
Throp denied it instantly. Elena took the mobile phone from the holster around her waist, and called her boss.
“Excuse, Tseng, sir? Did you take the sticker off the medicine? The lot that's getting shipped out.”
As she listened to his reply she glanced out of the corner of her eye at Throp, who was looking out of the window with a reproachful look on his face. Why is he looking out the window? Elena made an exaggerated turn and faced her back to him.
“Thought so. Understood, sir!”
She sensed that Throp was inching his way towards the exit. He's underestimated me—no, the Shinra Company as well.
“I'll shoot,” she warned in a low voice. Throp stopped, and ducked his head down.
“Sit down there.”
She motioned with her chin towards a folding break chair, and Throp lazily complied. Using packing rope from the shelves, she fastened the giant's hands and feet to the chair.
“You wait here.”

When she got outside, she started running in a different direction to the small path leading to the lodge area—to the boundary of the wastelands and the forest. The direction Throp had been looking at through the window. The roots of the trees were jutting out from the ground like tripwires. Dodging the roots, Elena ran like a hunting hound through the forest. When she thought about how Throp's accomplice, or maybe even the ringleader, might be up ahead it made her excited. This is how the Turks were meant to be. The medicine development was a project dear to her heart, but that was a special assignment. It's fair enough to work for the sake of the world or for your fellow man, but first and foremost the Turks' duty is to the Shinra Company. They will do whatever it takes to protect the company.
When she was nearing the edge of the forest she found her prey. A chubby man with unsteady footing was about to exit the forest.
“Freeze!”
The fugitive surprisingly stopped as ordered, and turned around. A young man, dripping with sweat. His wavy hair was stuck to his forehead, and drops of sweat were falling from the tips of his hair. His square, black-rimmed glasses were nearly sliding off his round face. He was wearing a green sweatshirt that he must have thought would work well against the woodland backdrop. His trousers were dark green. However, amongst the rows of pale brown tree trunks it couldn't stand out more. Seeing that pathetic sight took the wind out of Elena's sails.
“Please, just let it go!” shouted the man, bright red in the face. Then he started running again.
“You've got to be kidding me.”
Elena regained her composure and gave chase. He cannot get out of the forest. He must have a vehicle waiting. Wherever he came from, there's no way a man like that walked it through the wastelands.
Just as she was about to catch up to him, her phone rang. When she answered it Tseng's voice was on the other end. She stopped running, and looked at the back of the man in green as he got away. He was frantically running, all the while looking as if he was about to fall over.
“—Yes, sir. I'll return right away.”
Elena sighed as she hung up the phone.

**

“Now then—” Tseng crouched down on the spot, speaking towards his feet. Now lying on the floor along with the chair, Throp's eyes were darting around the room. Blood from his nose stained the floor.
“Where does this Fabio Brown live?”
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Last edited by Strangelove; 05/17/2012 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 05/16/2012   #167
Strangelove
Default

wow that is not as long as it felt when you look at it

chapter two notes
I don't really get the purpose of Rufus' speech to Tseng about Sephiroth. Why are you telling Tseng this stuff Rufus, he knows all this.

I tried to give the narrative/third person text a bit of the character's voice, but it is the character's voice that's in my head.

I'm a bit unsure about what to do about the titles used to describe the relationship between the Turks, particularly 'sempai' which Elena uses for Reno. 'Superior' kind of gets the point that he has seniority, but kind of sounds like he's got authority over her? That seems better for Tseng (was it 'Director' they used for him in ACC?). I used a more general 'colleague' for Reno because I figure that people reading it will probably know the relationship/seniority of the Turks. I


P.19:
しかし、もし、近くにそれがあれば――あるいは、いれば――絶対にわかるだろうとツォンは信じていた。
ある is used for inanimate objects, and いる is used for living things. So it's originally saying "if nearby it was there [inanimate]--or, it was there [living]--they would surely know."


typo list that will only be useful when i write angry letters to nojima for being as lazy as me with proofreading

Typo (p.19):
× 私服を肥やした
○ 私腹を肥やした

Typo (p.24):
× トレーナーシャツを来ている
○ トレーナーシャツを着ている
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Old 05/16/2012   #168
LicoriceAllsorts
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Hito that was great and you are awesome.
Rufus likes to make speeches, just his father, and I guess Tseng is paid to listen.
But seriously, isn't that speech an info-dump, inserted on the off-chance that somebody reading this book might never have heard of FFVII and might not know who Sephiroth is? I really, really hope they don't try to make Rufus unambiguously good. That really would be a retcon.
I love the descriptions of all the NPCs extras people: Throp (is that really his name? Not 'Thorpe"?) big and tall with an unwashed mop of hair and doughy round the middle; the plump young man with the glasses and green trousers. It looks as if Tseng is getting information out of Throp the good old-fashioned "Turk way". But I can't help feeling it was a bit unnecessary. Surely Throp would have squealed the moment Tseng offered to hit him?
I really liked this line: "This man symbolised the current state of the Shinra Company. "
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FIFTY SHADES OF TSENG
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Old 05/16/2012   #169
Strangelove
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The thing about Rufus was mostly in jest, though it does seem a bit redundant overall.

LicoriceAllsorts wrote: I love the descriptions of all the NPCs extras people
I think this is where Nojima has improved since On The Way To A Smile. There's more character to the prose this time, compared to OTWTAS which as I recall could be rather minimal. (Not that minimal is necessarily a bad thing, guess it depends on what you're aiming for.)

Throp (is that really his name? Not 'Thorpe"?)
At one point I had 'Thrope' but reverted it to 'Throp' to keep with the sound of the original pronunciation (rhymes with 'slop'). But names are sometimes subtly changed from one language to the next (to not use examples from my work on this so far, there's Vanille [Vanilla] in FFXIII, Gabranth [Gabrath] in FFXII, Rikku [Ryukku] and Paine [Pine] from FFX/X-2, etc.), and 'throp' is more often found at the end of names (Northrop, Winthrop) so might not be too fitting as a standalone name.

It looks as if Tseng is getting information out of Throp the good old-fashioned "Turk way". But I can't help feeling it was a bit unnecessary. Surely Throp would have squealed the moment Tseng offered to hit him?
To make wild theories about this, I guess it could be because they brought him in and he betrayed them. Elena makes a comment about underestimating Shinra, and maybe getting beaten up while tied to a chair is the price for that.
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Old 05/16/2012   #170
Fangu
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Renly Baratheon wrote: wow that is not as long as it felt when you look at it
It is a good chunk of text though! I've only translated subtitles, but even that took time. This must have taken you quite some time.

Thank you so much. I read it right away when I saw the update, and I loved it. I can "see" everything happening.

I also believe Rufus saying that to Tseng is a way of letting new readers (or at least readers who only knows that Sephiroth is the bad guy of VII) know how it all fits together. Also, I guess it can be sort of an old man rambling even though he knows the listeners knows all of it. Hence Tseng's "Yes".
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(SPOILER)
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Old 05/16/2012   #171
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"Yes" Tseng said, he cursed inwardly: Why are you telling me all this? I've worked for the company for more than 10 years, I know about the friggin Jenova Project!



Great as always Hito. I was particularly happy to read Tseng has meticulous handwriting (as if it could be anything but!) Glad that Elena actually spearheaded the project there, shes not just a pretty face.

I agree with Hito's theory on why Tseng gave the guy a smack. By the sounds of things this Throp character is a bit of a blundering fool, probably couldn't believe his luck that Shinra wanted him to work for them, and its kind of obvious that he figured Shinra wasn't as powerful as they used to be. Plus we don't know that Fabio Brown and the people who he operates with are even more threatening (to Throp anyway)

One thing: 'had traded their conscious for a brilliant mind.' I think this is meant to be 'conscience/s'
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Old 05/28/2012   #172
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if i get left in peace to work on this, i will try to work on this for this week (◕‿◕✿)
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Old 08/11/2012   #173
Strangelove
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so hey no one actually ever leaves me in peace until it's late at night and i should be sleeping what do you know

so here's the first couple of pages of chapter 3 that i haven't edited

(SPOILER)
3: The Case Arrives

I tried pinching my nose as I looked at my reflection in the mirror. If it were a little less wide, a little bit higher, maybe the past would have been something different. Well, maybe not. I don't think there's been one single time when the shape of my nose was the problem. The problem is the colour of my hair. At one point I dyed it black, but I stopped using it when a rash broke out on my head because the the dye was poor quality. For now I'm putting up with the colour I was born with, a brownish blond. It's not a colour I'm very fond of. It brings to mind a spoilt brat who's had an easy ride in life. That's how it feels to me. It's a pain to have to explain all the time that I wasn't brought up like that. So I think I should have had it dyed from the start to the colour of some tough guy. Black, that's the colour. Black as the night. Guess I'll dye it again. Must not forget to get a quality dye this time.
I was now 19. It had been two years since I left Midgar. I think I've got a meaner look in my eyes compared to when I lived there. Good, that's prefect. Get shot of anything that makes me seem like a kid. I psyched myself up and washed my face in the wash-basin. Then as I dried my face with the towel draped on my shoulders, I looked around the bleak, tiny room. The bare steal plates on the walls were a stark sight. More than a year after this house was built, the interior decorating had been neglected. There wasn't any practical issues about it, but no matter how much time passed by it still seemed like temporary accommodation. If I were planning to stay here, then today's the day I ought to get started. If I let a milestone such as a birthday pass me by, I might end up putting it off for at least another year. I had gotten the wallpaper and paint I needed ready by yesterday. Well, let's get to it.

Firm as my resolve was, once the steel plates and plywood was hidden by the wallpaper I didn't care any more about what happened with the rest of it. But I couldn't let myself quit. The can for the paint I had gotten for the ceiling was warped and wasn't properly sealed. I had to use it quick or it wouldn't be any good. If I wasted this, getting another would be tricky. The paint was the phosphorescent type that had started showing up on the market lately, which I'd gotten from a tight-fisted trader. At first he was asking for 1500 gil, but after I haggled him given the poor state the can was in, the seedy bastard sold it to me for 100 gil in the end. It was probably stolen goods. Can't be worry about that, as long as the paint is the real deal. These days, that's how it is when you're doing business with others. Don't think about where the merchandise might have come from. At night phosphorescent paint emits the light it absorbed during the daytime. Considering the energy situation nowadays—there might as well not be any—you'd be a fool to get lazy and waste the paint now. I might be lazy, but I don't want to be a fool.
I took my shirt off, and just as I was about to start, there was a thud at the door. I froze still and looked at the door. There was another thud from the bottom of the door. The whole of this flimsy house shook.
“Fabio Brown. We know you're in.”
My body shrunk at the sound of that low voice, calm but with a menacing ring. I stuff the rag I was using as a paint brush into the paint can, held my breath, and put on the shirt I had just taken off. My hands were trembling. I let out a burp.
“We're gonna bust down the door!”
This was a different man from before. His voice sounded like he was smiling. I didn't reply and looked at my boots. I had them specially made last year, using a monster hide I found in the market. Maybe the day's finally arrived where I will put these pointed, steel-toed boots to use. However, with the care I had taken of them there was barely a mark on them. I'd rather avoid getting any more on them if I could help it. So that leaves me with fleeing. But from where? Don't even need to think about it. If I can't use the door, the window is the only option. The window is next to the wash-basin. It was made to fit the size of the glass, so it was rather small. But not so small that I can't get through it. I quietly moved to the window. Then I thought to take out a dinner knife out of the drawer by the kitchen sink. It had a sharpen blade about 5 centimetres long that could be used for preparing food as well. If it came down to that, I'd stab them.


mini note on ch3
NOJIMA WHY DID YOU MAKE BURPING A CHARACTER QUIRK WHY SMH NOJIMA S IT SO HARD I HIT THE WALL
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Old 08/13/2012   #174
Strangelove
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chapter 3 in full

3: The Case Arrives

I tried pinching my nose as I looked at my reflection in the mirror. If it were a little less wide, a little bit higher, maybe the past would have been something different. Well, maybe not. I don't think there's been one single time when the shape of my nose was the problem. The problem is the colour of my hair. At one point I dyed it black, but I stopped using it when a rash broke out on my head because the the dye was poor quality. For now I'm putting up with the colour I was born with, a brownish blond. It's not a colour I'm very fond of. It brings to mind a spoilt brat who's had an easy ride in life. That's how it feels to me. It's a pain to have to explain all the time that I wasn't brought up like that. So I think I should have had it dyed from the start to the colour of some tough guy. Black, that's the colour. Black as the night. Guess I'll dye it again. Must not forget to get a quality dye this time.
I was now 19. It had been two years since I left Midgar. I think I've got a meaner look in my eyes compared to when I lived there. Good, that's prefect. Get shot of anything that makes me seem like a kid. I psyched myself up and washed my face in the wash-basin. Then as I dried my face with the towel draped on my shoulders, I looked around the bleak, tiny room. The bare steal plates on the walls were a stark sight. More than a year after this house was built, the interior decorating had been neglected. There wasn't any practical issues about it, but no matter how much time passed by it still seemed like temporary accommodation. If I were planning to stay here, then today's the day I ought to get started. If I let a milestone such as a birthday pass me by, I might end up putting it off for at least another year. I had gotten the wallpaper and paint I needed ready by yesterday. Well, let's get to it.

Firm as my resolve was, once the steel plates and plywood was hidden by the wallpaper I didn't care any more about what happened with the rest of it. But I couldn't let myself quit. The can for the paint I had gotten for the ceiling was warped and wasn't properly sealed. I had to use it quick or it wouldn't be any good. If I wasted this, getting another would be tricky. The paint was the phosphorescent type that had started showing up on the market lately, which I'd gotten from a tight-fisted trader. At first he was asking for 1500 gil, but after I haggled him given the poor state the can was in, the seedy bastard sold it to me for 100 gil in the end. It was probably stolen goods. Can't be worry about that, as long as the paint is the real deal. These days, that's how it is when you're doing business with others. Don't think about where the merchandise might have come from. At night phosphorescent paint emits the light it absorbed during the daytime. Considering the energy situation nowadays—there might as well not be any—you'd be a fool to get lazy and waste the paint now. I might be lazy, but I don't want to be a fool.
I took my shirt off, and just as I was about to start, there was a thud at the door. I froze still and looked at the door. There was another thud from the bottom of the door. The whole of this flimsy house shook.
“Fabio Brown. We know you're in.”
My body shrunk at the sound of that low voice, calm but with a menacing ring. I stuff the rag I was using as a paint brush into the paint can, held my breath, and put on the shirt I had just taken off. My hands were trembling. I let out a burp.
“We're gonna bust down the door!”
This was a different man from before. His voice sounded like he was smiling. I didn't reply and looked at my boots. I had them specially made last year, using a monster hide I found in the market. Maybe the day's finally arrived where I will put these pointed, steel-toed boots to use. However, with the care I had taken of them there was barely a mark on them. I'd rather avoid getting any more on them if I could help it. So that leaves me with fleeing. But from where? Don't even need to think about it. If I can't use the door, the window is the only option. The window is next to the wash-basin. It was made to fit the size of the glass, so it was rather small. But not so small that I can't get through it. I quietly moved to the window. Then I thought to take out a dinner knife out of the drawer by the kitchen sink. It had a sharpen blade about 5 centimetres long that could be used for preparing food as well. If it came down to that, I'd stab them.
“We'll give ya 30 seconds.”
Looks like the countdown has begun. The window didn't open so I would have to break it to get outside. You realise how valuable glass is? Nothing I can do about that. But what are you going to use? As I wondered what I could use to break the glass, the door came crashing down with a sad sound. This isn't right. It's not even been 10 seconds yet. Stepping on the door that had now fallen inwards, a man with a lean figure and blazing red hair entered the room and grinned. He was wearing a suit with a distinctive design. He was one half of a pair of men I'd seen around a lot in the central square. Which means the low voice I heard first was probably the big guy with the sunglasses and a skinhead. They were always together. Like a knife and fork.
“Drop the fork, kid. You're gonna hurt yourself.”
The redhead came closer without showing any sign of caution. Don't mess with me. I stuck the fork—fork?—out and thrust it at the redhead.
“Oww.”
I let out a pathetic whine. My wrist had been hit by the side of the redhead's hand, and the fork fell to the floor. While I was thinking how thing might have turned out if I had calmly picked up a knife, the redhead's knee sunk into my stomach. Out of reflex I slumped forward holding my stomach. I was grabbed by the collar of my shirt from behind and pulled back. Then he got me in a nelson hold. With my arms raised up I was forcibly turned to face towards the door. My feet were nearly off the ground. I was just barely standing on the tips of my toes. The redhead picked the door up from the floor and was resting it in the doorway. Which means that the brute behind me must be the skinhead.
“Come on now, Fabio”
The redhead moved his face closer as he prodded my chest with his finger.
“Whoaa!?”
With that he went quiet, and looked at me with his mouth still open. I wasn't given chance to wonder what the hell was up with him when the brute behind me started pushing on my neck. I couldn't breathe. It was agonising. It hurt.
“Give back what you stole.”
What are they on about? I've got no idea. But it's hard to prove that you don't know something. Look for the best solution. Make your choice. What's the answer that'll get me out of this mess?
“Say something.”
The skinhead eased his grip for a second, before moving this hands he had locked behind my neck up to the back of my head and pushed further.
“It hurts—“
“Give it back and it'll stop.”
Behind me muscles moved, and my feet left the ground. I could feel blood gathering at my eyes. And finally it started flowing out.
“Don't cry now, man. That's lame.”
Crying? Was I crying?
“Hmph, stupid kid.”
All of a sudden the grip behind me loosened. I collapsed to the ground, and without meaning to found myself looking like I was begging to the redhead to spare my life. It was humiliating but there wasn't much else I could do. I was going to have to have to ride this storm out by grovelling on the floor.
Just like two years ago, when the mako swept over the planet.
“Well, they are just things. I can guess why you'd do it. If you promise not to do it ever again, we'll let you off with a bit of punishment.”
My body reacted on its own accord to the word 'punishment'. A burp and trembling. I'll admit it. I might idolise tough guys more than most would, but the reality is quite the opposite.
“Sorry 'bout scaring you.”
The way the redhead said it sounded like he was taking pity on me.
“That's exactly what we came here to do,” the skinhead retorted. Oh please, let them fall out now and kill each other. If that's asking too much, let them keep on talking. Give me time. Time to find the best solution.
“Hey, Fabio. Lift up your face.”
I had to do what they said. I looked at their faces. These two men I normally saw from a distance were right in front of my eyes. The redhead looked like a delinquent kid who'd grown up without actually growing up. The kind of guys I had felt both admiration and hatred for, like the ones who had been in that warehouse in sector 8. The perfect example of one of them was looking down at me as he smiled at the corners of his mouth. The skinhead was even larger than the redhead. Not just in height, but just the mass of him was something else. Even in this dim room he didn't take off his dark sunglasses. I'm sure they've lived in a completely different world from me.
“We were throwing around some pretty stern looks before we got here, can't exactly leave now without doing anything. Gotta do the job properly and show people what'll happen if you mess with us.”
“Ar-are you going to kill me?”
This are the words my continued search for an answer turned up. And with my voice cracking at that.
“That would be the easiest thing to do. But see, what we're after is a Shinra that's beloved, even if it's a little feared at the same time. We don't want to be hated. Killing you, that's gonna get some hate coming our way.”
“Do you know who we are?” the skinhead asked. I gave three hurried nods. The Shinra Company's Turks. The 'if you don't behave the Turks are going to come for you' Turks. The next generation and heir to the reigns of Shinra, commonly known as President Dumbass—the same kind of goofy naming that leads to calling grey cats Grey, but that's the name the world uses. The world went to hell not long after he took the position of president. Considering all that I guess there's not much you can do—had been blown away along with the building, and I don't know what happened to the Shinra Company after that. But the two men were still calling themselves the Turks from the Shinra Company. They were using the effect that name had on regular people. The Turks were Shinra's dark side. Whenever a problem required violence to solve it came up, they'd be there.
“Now, who are we?”
“The Turks—sir.”
“Skip the 'sir' bit, kid.”
“—Sorry.”
“Stand up.”
I staggered to my feet as ordered. My legs were still shaking. Just as I thought the redhead had moved quickly, I felt an impact on my face, and flew into the corner of the room. My back hit the three-legged stool, one of the few pieces of furniture I had, and I feel on the floor with it. My right eye hurt. They had punched me in the eye. When I touched it, it was wet. Blood? I hurriedly looked at my hand and saw that it was the phosphorescent paint.
“Think this is enough?”
“He's getting off a bit lightly—but it'll do.”
I rolled around on the floor and listened to their conversation with my back facing them. Soon I sensed that they were going outside. All the strength left my entire body. A strange voice rose up from the pit of my stomach, like bile being thrown up. Was I laughing or crying. I didn't even know. I pulled my knees to my chest and curled into a foetal position, and waited like that until my body and mind had settled down. Three minutes. Maybe five. And then—
“What do you bloody want!”
I got myself up as I shouted the words I wish I had said in the first place.
“Can I ask something?”
The voice startled me, and when I looked at where my door had once been the redhead was looking at me.
“Where's your dad?”
I was surprised that the redhead was still there, and I didn't understand the meaning behind his question. Nor could I comprehend how he was acting like nothing had happened.
“I'm asking you what's going on with your dad.”
“He died. It was before I was born.”
I just wanted him to leave as soon as possible. Might as well just answer honestly.
“You have a photo or somethin'?”
“No.”
“What was he like? Your mom must have told you about him.”
“No.”
“So you don't know what he looked like. You never met him, obviously.”
I nodded. I intended to answer honestly for as long as necessary.
“Then what about your mom?”
“She died,” I said after a brief hesitation.
“During Meteor?”
“Yeah.”
The redhead slowly nodded at my answer.
“Well, you take care of yourself. Don't be doing anything stupid again, Fabio.”
With that fundamental misunderstanding left unresolved, the redhead left. I rolled onto my bed and went over my memory of the events. That's what I should have done. If only I had said this. All these choices I hadn't even thought of went through my mind. It was depressing. The throbbing around my right eye told me all about the desperate state I had been in. My stomach and my neck hurt. I got off the bed and looked in the mirror. A man who had just been punched was looking back at me. Hey, that was a bad time for you. But it's over now. Getting hit by the Turks, that's something to boast about. Well, get yourself out there. I nodded, and washed off the paint on my face. Then I put the broken door back right. The nails that held the hinges down had just fallen out and the whole door had come loose. Even cheaply-made things have their advantages. I finished the repairs without much effort. I didn't like leaving the paint spilt on the floor or the assorted living-ware strewn around but it was going to wait until later. I took my jacket off the hook on the wall. A pale brown leather jacket. The metal studs on the collar gave off a dull glint. The thing I liked best was the illustration of a monster on the back of it. A Bomb just about to detonate. It was a one-of-a-kind and cost a fair bit, but I couldn't resist. I put it on and went to the bed, pulled out the rugged shoulder bag that was hidden under it and put it on my shoulder. The leather has softened lately and it's gotten easier to use. Finally I put on my hat. I'd gotten it from a girl recently. Ready for battle.

My house faced out onto a circular courtyard garden about 15 metres in diameter. There were six similar houses around the circumference of the courtyard. In the garden materials someone thought might come in handy, in other words junk was piled up. The most notable item was a car from about 10 years ago. It was a roomy former luxury car that seated five people. The exterior was in tatters now, and of course it didn't run. The owner says it would run if it just had a battery, but you're not going to get your hands on something as valuable as that. The owner was a muscular man named Doyle, who was also the started building the houses here. We call him the 'Mayor' out of respect. He was probably in his early thirties. Normally he was a cheerful man who moved his thick eyebrows about wildly as he spoke. But behind all that he was a really lonely guy. Just about two years ago he called some friends over to the house he'd built himself and they started living together. No, he built the house so that he could call people over. Soon his friends called their friends, and the numbers grew, and it got suffocating in the house. They all got together and agree to build their own houses. We shared the labour out between themselves, and built their houses next to the Mayor's so it enclosed the storage area for the cars and building materials. In the end this circular courtyard was formed. When I first visited my friend who lived here, there were five houses. I was introduced to the Mayor, who then asked me if I wanted to build a house and live there since there was some land spare and it just didn't look right, and so I took him up on the offer. I became a resident of this 'Doyle Village' to fill in a gap.
The red door of the Mayor's house slowly opened, and a man cautiously poked his face out. Ratface. He had a short and shabby frame. His rigid-looking hair was grown out on all sides, and just his head looked a lot bigger than the rest of him. He was maybe the same age as me. I'd started seeing him around about a week ago. He was always wearing a dark grey work outfit.
“Hey, you're alright! That's a relief.”
Looked like he knew what had gone down. I put my hand on the swollen, painful right half of my face, and sent him the message that it was a bit too early to give it the all-clear just yet.
“Wow, they really did a number on you, did they. The Turks turned up at the door, so I ended up giving them your address without thinking. You seem like you're used to it so I figured you'd be fine—Sorry 'bout that.”
“Well, that's not a bad reputation to have.”
For the most part, that's how I really felt inside. I liked the reason he told them my address. The fruits of my daily image-building.
“If you're gonna go get them back, I can make you a bomb?”
“Bomb?”
“You know, the bombs they use for blowing up all the crumbling buildings and stuff. I make 'em.”
I told him I'd think about it, but I had no desire to involve myself with the Turks any further. The man gave me a solemn nod and closed the door. I locked my own white door, and knocked on the green door of the neighbouring house. Then I called to my friend.
“Fabio? It's Evan, open up.”
My name is Evan Townshend. This is the name I've had since the day I was born.

After a short wait, the door opened slightly. Lowering my gaze, there was a face looking up at me from just at my hips.
“Hi, Evan.”
“Hey.”
Vits Brown. Fabio's little brother. He looked like a little copy of his older brother. The brothers lived here, surrounded by green stuff. Their parents had passed away two years ago. Apparently they were crushed along with their house when sector 7 fell. The brothers were saved thanks to being in the sector 3 slum. There was a house there which had a garden with all these flowers everywhere, and they had both been admiring them. Of course, it wasn't the flowers they were looking at but the green leaves.
“Where's Fabio?”
“He's gone out. It's work now, isn't it?”
“Oh, yeah, it is.”
“What's wrong with your eye?”
“Oh, this? I tripped. I was on a chair painting the ceiling and lost my balance.”
“Ooh, there was a real big noise. It woke me up.”
“Sorry for that.”
“That's fine. What's the point sleeping, when it doesn't hurt with this medicine? I wanted to go somewhere, but Fabio told me I had to stay in while he's gone. I fell asleep reading a book.”
“Medicine?”
Obviously, some medicine for Geostigma. Vits' symptoms were a bruise call a 'Geostigma' that covered from his hairline to above his eyebrows. He had one on his back too, apparently. And black pus which seeped from the bruises. The severity depended on the day, but they say it's pretty painful.
“Have they made a medicine for Geostigma? I haven't heard anything.”
“——“
Vits averted his gaze like he'd done something wrong.
“Fabio told you not to talk about it? Even to me?”
“Well, I guess you're okay. Well, it's this latest medicine they just made. It doesn't cure it, but it makes it stop hurting. It's a painkiller? Fabio got it especially from a doctor.”
His face was full of pride. I get it now. If there was a good reason for me to have to suffer the violence and humiliation, then I'm find with that.

Edge. That's the recently-established name for this city. Up until two years ago this area was wastelands. A barren land that extended out from the east side of Midgar, a city of steel and iron. Now, that's become a fine city. Construction on several buildings had started as well. I didn't know why they needed so many tall buildings when there was all this empty land around. But it's nothing to do with me. They could do whatever they liked. Edge was a city of freedom.
I walked down the main street to the central square. This main street, which extended out east from Midgar, was originally used for transporting building materials. When the sides of the main street was filled with the houses they built with the materials that were brought here, the city started expanding out in a radial pattern. The landscape is changing with each day. If you stood in the same spot every day, you'd see the flourishing growth of the city. I'm normally of a critical disposition, but I can't help but be speechless at that sight. You can feel the positive energy of people. Whenever you're feeling tired, look at the city.
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Old 08/13/2012   #175
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as a pointless heads-up, the next update will be chapters 4 and 5 since chapter 5 is only about two paragraphs
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Old 08/13/2012   #176
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in fact, here's chapter five early if you're willing to skip chapter four because it's short and an elena chapter so i did it anyway

(SPOILER)
5: Elena's Frustration

“Oookay, understood.”
She spoke in a bubbly voice into the phone but Elena neither understood nor was she convinced. Seems Reno had let Fabio off with a single punch. Even if they weren't going to take his life, Elena thought it was for the good of Shinra, and of the Turks, if they at the least made it so he couldn't get out of bed for a month.
“What's gonna happen to me?” Throp, who had been tied to a chair since yesterday, said in a pitiful voice. The blood from his nose had dried into a dark stain on his cheek.
“I guess you're going to die?”
“Please spare me. I was in the Shirna Army. We're on the same side, aren't we?”
He was one of the worst kind of men. They might be out there somewhere sullying the name of Shirna. Elena took leather gloves out of her back pockets, put them on and stood in front of Throp.
“What are you doing?”
Rushing to turn around to the voice from behind her, she found Tseng standing in the doorway.
“I was—“ I couldn't stand it. Elena swallowed those words, slipped past the side of her boss, and stormed outside.
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Last edited by Strangelove; 08/13/2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 08/13/2012   #177
Pixel
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Great to see you didnt give up on this. Cant wait to read this when i get home
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Old 11/27/2012   #178
Rabid-Turtle
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Is this still a work in progress? I see the posts end around August and its now almost December with no updates. Really looking forward to be able to read this story, the only language I speak/read is English so the complete translation would be wonderful.
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Old 11/27/2012   #179
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Yes I have been wondering as well. I think Hito might of gave up on it? Or maybe he is to busy right now to work on it, but I hope it does get finished. I love the Turks and would love to read the whole novel.
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Old 11/27/2012   #180
LicoriceAllsorts
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Maybe we should have a whhip round to remunarate him for his efforts. How much would you be willing to pay for this in a bookstore?
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