Step 10: Trapped
Step 10: Trapped
I feel claustrophobic. Ironically, the sensation isn't due to the enclosed space of the small shower, or the icy cold water raining upon my head. I feel trapped in my own body; I'm a prisoner of being me.
I don't know how long I've been in here, I lost track of time. Nobody has come to occupy the neighboring showers. I can picture Rude standing at the door, shaking his head at anyone who approached the locker room. I'm thankful to be alone, but at the same time, I feel guilty to be considered dangerous. I'll just try to tell myself that I'm not being avoided, I'll delude myself into thinking that coincidentally, no one needs to take a shower or get anything from the locker room right now.
I hear footsteps, followed by the sound of a locker door. There are two distinct sounds, a pair of shoes being thrown aside. There is silence, though I catch the faint sound of fabric, which normal people would miss; more footsteps, softer than before, barefoot. Another shower comes to life and I don't know who is in it, but I'm relived to know I'm not considered dangerous enough for the showers to be closed off.
I take a deep breath and decide to leave. I shut off the shower, take my towel and dry off, wrapping the towel around my waist. Thankfully, though the showers are still quite small, the door opens towards the outside. When I was in Soldier the shower doors opened towards the inside, making it difficult to close them and even harder to get out.
I dress and I'm ready to leave before the unknown man is even out of the shower. I hold no curiosity for his identity, thus I head out and find that, unlike I had expected, Rude is not guarding the door. For a moment I wonder if that was Rude back there in the shower or if he has truly left me unguarded. I pace around unsure of what to do next.
"Yo Seph, have you seen Rude?" Reno emerges from the locker room.
"He was here before..." I should be glad he didn't feel I needed constant surveillance from a Turk, but at the same time I feel uneasy. Maybe I do need to be constantly watched.
"He always hears about stuff first. He's quiet but he has all the information," Reno sounds as if I should already know what he is referring to. He takes my silence as a lack of knowledge about whatever he is alluding to and elaborates, "did you see it? That hole in the wall? I thought it was weird and since Rude always knows what's going on, I was going to ask him. Unless you know what that's about."
"A hole in the wall," I repeat incredulously, this can't be happening. "At the end of the hall from the president's office?"
"Yeah! What happened?" Reno is full of curiosity and I don't feel like sharing the earlier occurrences.
"I'm not sure," this isn't entirely a lie.
"Maybe it's just some small renovations," I'm relived Reno actually managed to come up with a reasonable theory.
This will hopefully signify the end of the topic concerning the hole I made on the wall with my head, without even realizing it. I don't even want to think about whoever might have been at the other side of that wall witnessing the event.
Just as Reno is walking off somewhere and I'm thinking about hanging out in the training room for the rest of the day, I notice something odd. "What is that on the floor?" I cannot stop myself from asking.
"Huh?" Reno looks back at me, then at the floor. "It's cookie dough." He is completely casual when saying this, yet the cookie dough footprints are anything but normal.
"Yeah, Shinra sends someone to help make cookies every week and it was my turn. I tripped and fell into this huge tub of cookie dough."
I'm starting to realize that maybe the Turks are not so normal after all. If Elena's violent episodes and Rude's absolute silence didn't give it away, Reno's odd ability to be amused by troublesome things should. I wonder if Tseng has some normalcy in him.
I shake my head hopelessly, "one more thing... Do not tinker with the coffee machines or I might have to kill you."
"This I have to see!" Reno has the audacity to laugh, then bolts towards the data room, seemingly determined to obtain the security video depicting my unfortunate catastrophe.
"Reno, if you don't delete it I really will kill you!" He's not listening to me and I wonder if it's good or bad that my threat isn't taken seriously. As much as I want to change my ways, there are certain limits that shouldn't be crossed. I decide not to chase after him, let him seal his own fate.
I see Tseng walking in my general direction. He glances at the cookie dough footprints disapprovingly. "Why couldn't he take a shower before giving his report?" I assume he is muttering about Reno. Then he looks at me and searches for signs of something, I'm not sure what. "Good to see you made it back safely," if he recognizes the danger of Darla he insane tailor and Elena's crazy driving, then maybe Tseng is the normal one of the group. Then he gives me the news, "we will be having a group training session in fifteen minutes. All Turks are to report to the training room."
"Yes, sir," it comes out automatic, but brings along a strange sensation. I'm a Turk now; it's just barely starting to truly sink in.
Tseng could have just sent me a message with this information, so I can deduce that delivering the message in person had other purposes. I wonder if he really wanted to know if I am in good health after my trip, or if he was wondering if I am sane enough to train with the other Turks without causing any accidents. I suppose I should get used to people being cautious, perhaps they should be.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII.