Step 07: Uniform
Step 07: Uniform
I finished going through my emails pretty quickly. Tseng had emailed me some links to the Shinra database and instructed me to read the updated company policies. I did, making sure to study them well. In the past, I wouldn't have paid such close attention, just skimming over the documents if I looked at them at all, but now I feel the need try my best at everything; yet I somehow feel that I'm still lacking. I suppose that's the weight of a dept to the planet.
Elena had emailed me as well; welcoming me to the Turks and warning me to beware coffee machine number eight, because that's the one Reno uses for his practical jokes. I'm not sure which one is number eight, as they are not actually numbered, but I will be extra careful around coffee and around Reno, because I fear my self control will not last if he plays a practical joke on me. Perhaps I should feel thankful to be included if that happens, but I doubt my focus will be easy to maintain... I never doubted myself before, but I guess many things are different now.
My written report is done and I have already emailed it to Reno, he replied a while later while I occupied myself in the further studies of Shinra's rules and regulations, with a message of "thanks pal!" I have a feeling he didn't read over my report and simply forwarded it to Tseng, or Rufus, or both. I could have sent him any attachment and he would have sent that to them.
I was still at the terminal when I felt a presence behind me. Maybe my senses are not so dull after all, or maybe they are. I cannot precise for how long Rude had been standing behind me before I realized he was there. "Hello..." I voice a neutral and hopefully polite sounding greeting.
Rude nods and hands me a box.
I take the box, confusion obvious on my face. I won't hide the fact that I don't know what this box is; maybe Rude will notice and say something, from what little I know of him, he's very quiet, but I heard he's observant.
"Uniform," Rude's reply was simple and to the point, then he left me alone with the box.
I examined the box's contents to find a black suit, tie and shoes and a white shirt. This is a Turk's uniform, is it my uniform? The realization suddenly sinks in. There is no soldier division; I'm reporting to the Turks now, naturally, I should wear their uniform.
It's strange to think about wearing a uniform. I didn't used to wear a uniform in Soldier and neither did Genesis. Our clothes were acceptable for the job and similar to the Soldier uniforms, but they were not the full standards. Angeal used to wear a uniform though.
xoxox xox xoxox
I made sure to log out before I headed to the locker room with the new uniform; I assume I am expected to change right away. It feels odd to remove the armor I put on every day, thinking that I won't wear it again, at least not while working. I suppose it would be wise not to wear the clothing people remember me with as a villain if I am to reintegrate myself into society and live a new peaceful life. Yet I want to wash that reputation along with the armor I used during the good old days, going on missions and training with Angeal and Genesis.
I shake my head and set my old clothes aside. It's time for a new beginning. I put on my Turk uniform and find discomfort. It's not that I am opposed to the idea of being a Turk; this is physical discomfort due to the size of the uniform. The pants, the shirt and blazer are all tight and short, the pants showing my ankles. The shoes are a lost cause; I simply cannot get my feet into them. If I wear my boots the pants don't look so bad and my shirt is tucked in with the blazer over it so the size problem isn't too obvious, it is the blazer that is being difficult.
After battling with the blazer, I finally manage to get it on, but it is most unpleasant. I keep shifting my shoulders, but I can't seem to get comfortable. I miss my armor, it doesn't feel heavy at all, though I imagine it would be heavy for most people, but it gives me a certain familiar comfort in the way my clothes feel.
My PHS sounds off with a message from Tseng, which I read right away, "report to the president's office immediately," did I do something wrong?
I pause and analyze my own thoughts, I'm like a child who got into mischief and fears anyone finding out about it. I used to get messages like this all the time, though I usually had to report to Lazard. In any case, there is no reason to assume the worse.
xoxox xox xoxox
To say the president's expression is dreadful would be an understatement. We are lined up in front of his desk, from left to right Tseng, Elena, Reno, Rude and me. Rufus is looking at me with absolute disapproval. Was I supposed to wait for an official confirmation before changing into this uniform? Was it truly meant for me, or is the mismatching size an indication that I was supposed to simply hold on to it for whatever reason.
"Rude?" Rufus finally spoke. Rude only nodded in response and the president continued as if he spoke a full clear answer to Rufus' mysterious question, "schedule an appointment." Again Rude nodded at Rufus' words, what is going on?
I looked at the faces of each person in the room, Rufus still has that look of disapproval, Rude's expression is neutral, Tseng doesn't appear to hold the situation in too much importance, it seems Reno pities me and Elena looks rather cheerful and gives me a smile I wonder if I should return.
I didn't smile often in the past, I might look strange doing so and it would inevitably be a forced smile since my natural expression right now is of puzzlement. Never mind, she looked away, it's too late.
Rufus continued his speech about where the Turks should go that day, maintain the peace here, spread goodwill there, etcetera. I wonder if it is half as nice as it sounds, though I admit it's hard to imagine the Turks doing volunteer charity work. Will I do that too? It might be awkward but if it makes me feel that I am accomplishing a portion of redemption, I will look forward to it.
"Elena, do you want to go instead, I know Rude won't enjoy this, but I believe you would," Rufus offered.
Elena's face lit up, "yes sir!" At the same time, Rude's neutral expression had the slightest hint of relief for a second, though it was easy to miss. What this about? I feel as if someone is talking behind my back right in front of me.
"Alright, that's all, make sure to turn in your reports electronically at the end of the day," once Rufus concludes, all the Turks, myself included, leave his office and head to the elevator.
xoxox xox xoxox
When we reach the first floor, Tseng, Rude and Reno walk away with Reno complaining and Tseng cautioning him; Rude retained his neutrality. "This way," Elena called my attention, noting that I just stood there in front of the elevator wondering if I should follow someone and who I should follow.
"Where are we going?" I finally asked, it seemed everyone knew except me.
"To the tailor," Elena was smiling from ear to ear, surrounded by a foreboding air.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII.