Step 11: Training
Step 11: Training
I childishly place my hands over my ears and hum loudly to myself. I do not wish to hear Reno's voice in his one way gossip with Rude, if the redhead is talking about me and my coffee machine incident, I might kill him.
Tseng taps me on the shoulder and gives me a look that says he suspects I'm insane all over again and in all honesty, I can't blame him. I rub my temples with my fingers and mutter, "headache," as a feeble excuse for me strange behavior.
"If you're not feeling up to it, you don't need to participate in the training," Tseng assures.
"It's alright, I think it'll make me feel better," despite my situation, I refuse to run away from a challenge. The challenge here isn't the training itself, but the possibility of having a training battle and being paired up against Reno, he would be especially hard not to kill.
"Alright, everyone inside the training chamber," Tseng commands and Reno's chatter ceases as he, Rude and Elena follow after Tseng and me into the training chamber.
There is no artificial landscape or display of advanced holographic technology, all we see is the chamber as it is in reality, then I feel it, the pull of gravity. It's strange and at first I assume I'm imagining it, until Reno's goggles slip off his forehead and on top of his nose, triggering the start of a story about how one time he dropped his goggles while training and accidentally stepped on them, so he will wear them this way now, since there is less of a possibility of dropping them.
With the broken silence a torrent of comments is unleashed as Elena speaks of how gravity makes her hair flat and proceeds to finger it. Tseng finished around for an item in his pockets, which is revealed to be something to hold back his hair with, when he finds it and ties his hair in a low ponytail.
The gravity really is stronger here. "Okay, let's do the usual warm up exercises." Though it looks like they're not paying attention, as soon as Tseng makes the announcement, the other Turks are stretching their limbs to the limit and bending at impossible angles.
I watch what Tseng is doing; he is the leader after all, and try to mimic the movements, only to find I lack the mobility to do so in this small suit. With an indignant ripping sound, my pants give up and I fall in a sitting position, feeling the full effects of the enhanced gravity. Needless to say, this is terribly embarrassing and the Turks are making an inhuman effort not to laugh their heads off at my predicament, all save for Reno who is just about choking with laughter and if he doesn't, I might choke him myself.
Tseng clears his throat and Reno clasps both hands over his mouth in a futile effort to silence his amusement. "Maybe you should wear your Soldier clothes until your new suit is ready."
I nod in silence, eyes fixed on the floor. When I peek up wondering if the right moment will arise when I can get up with minimal humiliation, I catch a glimpse of Tseng making a circular motion with his finger in the air. Then all the Turks obediently turn around with their backs to me and I make my swift escape, hastily dashing to the locker room.
xoxox xox xoxox
Though I would much rather go hide, having lost a considerable amount of the pride I used to have in the old days, as if the shame of having threatened to destroy the planet while crying for my mother wasn't enough to obliterate it completely, I returned to the training room with my Soldier clothes.
The warms up was resumed, apparently they waited for me, aware that I am not familiar with the routine, thus wouldn't know what exercises I'm required to do. I find this to be quite a challenge and though I don't feel weaker, I start to fear that I am.
Perhaps it's not that I've lost my strength, but rather I am used to using strength for the most part, with skill handling the masamune and a good amount of speed. Flexibility and the agility to swiftly crawl through anywhere unnoticed was not part of my Soldier training.
Soldiers make their presence known; they were in the past the destructive force of Shinra, though I didn't see it that way at the time. Turks are sneaky and secretive, quiet and lethal, instead of noisy and threatening. The arrival of a soldier, once the battle starts, becomes obvious and the enemy may retaliate but would be overpowered.
The trick to being a Turk, I think, is that their arrival and departure is never known and the enemy, even one capable of overpowering the Turks in physical combat, wouldn't acknowledge their presence until their mission has already ended.
Somehow I'm fascinated at the prospect of gaining new abilities and skills. Though I tell myself not to be tempted, because I do not trust myself to be capable of prudently handling too much power. I once heard someone say, I think it was Angeal, 'with great power comes great responsibility.'
Then I hear a loud crack and though I feel no pain, the noise makes me wince. My clothes are not torn this time, but my bones are noisier than they should be, as if they're not used to being twisted and stretched this way, and they're not. I stand up straight ignoring the sound, despite a few giggles escaping Elena; she had been fighting with her laugher since the unfortunate incident with my pants, unable to eradicate it completely. Reno lets out a loud laugh, but I'm not surprised so I manage to ignore it.
"That's a good warm up everyone," Tseng concludes, "now let's turn the gravity up and-"
"Play?" Reno inquires, in a tone similar to that of a child who has been promised a trip to the park.
"Yes, we'll do that exercise," Tseng goes to the controls and turns the gravity up, while Reno runs off, returning after fetching a volleyball.
I feel the pull of gravity increase considerably. I had no idea the Turks' training was this rigorous and it sinks in that despite my strength, I barely have the flexibility to keep up. This is a challenge, I have room to improve, something to focus on. Perhaps despite all the difficulties, I will enjoy being a Turk after all.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. The power and responsibility quote is from Spiderman and the gravity room was inspired by Dragon Ball Z.