Step 33: Control
Step 33: Control
I try to ignore the fact that the keeper of the database keeps playing with my hair; she won't stop even when I tell her to. I try to focus on reading from the computer screen, one of them anyway, there are ten and the other nine are displaying complex codes that give me a headache just looking at them. This is probably more dangerous to my sanity than locking myself in a basement to read from books for days without food or sleep and that's saying a lot.
Hojo is far worse than I thought. He wasn't just a nerdy mass of complexes, he was bad, evil, rotten, low, disgusting, traitorous, cruel, horrible, creepy, disrespectful, lying, repulsive, deceitful, malevolent, awful, malicious, atrocious and... and... and he probably smelled bad too. "Why did I have to read this?" I lift my first in frustration, but stop when I feel a firm tug on my hair.
"Hit the computer and you're dead," I'm not in the mood to have some girl sink her claws into my face or sabotage my hair.
Instead I get up and glare at Reno, "why did you let me read that?"
"Isn't that what you wanted?" Reno inquired with genuine confusion.
I opened my mouth to speak, then closed it again like a fish. Finally I let out a breath, "you're right," saying that to Reno felt terribly wrong. None the less, the point is I shouldn't ask for the truth and complain when I get it. I didn't want to be protected from the truth like an ignorant fool who can't handle it, but now that I got the information I wanted, I think they were right to think I couldn't handle it. I would much rather be the child of a fossil than that man.
"Seph?" I feel terrible and I deduce my appearance must be bad, because Reno is staring at me as if he were looking at an agonizing man on the brink of death.
"Maybe you should take him to the infirmary," the keeper of the databases suggests.
"Yeah, c'mon Seph, let's go," I follow Reno mindlessly.
xoxox xox xoxox
I'm tired of looking at the white ceiling as I lie in bed at the Shinra HQ infirmary. At some point someone checked my vitals signs, but I wasn't paying attention. I don't think they found anything physically wrong with me that they didn't already know. Just when I thought I couldn't get anymore mentally scarred.
Blaze chirps at me and I could have sworn I sensed concern in him, but he's just a chicobo. "Blaze..." I look at the little red bird, ignoring the irritating redhead holding him. "You're not afraid of me, are you?"
Blaze chirps and I decide to interpret it as no, extending my hand to take him. Reno pauses and reluctantly deposits the little bird into my open palm. Blaze looks at me curiously without a hint of worry.
"Congrats!" Reno finally speaks, and I don't quite understand what he means.
"Who are you congratulating?" I inquire in puzzlement.
I look at him as if he's more insane than I was, or am. "Why?"
"Because you didn't go berserk, so I won't get into trouble," Reno explains.
I pause and think about his words, it's true, I'm not going crazy. I'm utterly disgusted with myself, I'm nauseous and I have the chills, but I'm not going on a killing spree. I can even hold Blaze without worrying, which I'll admit I was a little afraid of doing before since the he's such a tiny fragile creature. "I feel sick, I mean really sick."
"Not just an act? Wow, I guess karma does exist, I'm glad it hasn't caught up to me," if it ever does, no doubt Reno will die a very painful death.
"I need to do something," but I don't know what. What I do know is that if I don't let out my immense frustration right now, it will push me to insanity all over again and I'll burn down the whole city of Edge. It's either that, or I'll turn into a bigger emo than Cloud, both of which, specially the second, are absolutely unacceptable.
"What do you mean?"
"About all of this, I can't keep it bottled up."
"You could yell at the top of your lungs!" Reno is quick to suggest.
I shake my head in disapproval, "I would feel ridiculous."
"I'll yell with you," he takes a deep breath.
"No! I don't need a bigger headache!"
Reno makes a face as if swallowing the scream he build up. "Cry like an idiot?"
"I don't feel like it," frankly I can't imagine it and I'm glad I can't.
"I know; you should drink yourself silly!" Reno grins at the idea.
I shake my head, "that won't solve anything," besides, it would take too long for me to get drunk, if I'm even capable of getting drunk.
"I'm out of ideas..."
After a moment of silence, I finally come up with something, "I'm going to train."
xoxox xox xoxox
A normal man would have been crushed hours ago, but I've been training in high gravity for a long time now. The machine is set much higher than the Turks usually set it, up to full capacity at 999 times normal gravity. I've been smashing training equipment with Cloud's face on it the entire time and though it helped a little, I know I need to find another way to deal with my past. I think I'm so shocked it just hasn't sunk in yet and I dread to think of what may happen when it does.
When I finally come out of the gravity room, after the machine overheats and automatically shuts down to prevent further damage, I look at my audience, now consisting of all four Turks, Rufus and Blaze, instead of just Reno and Blaze as it was when I started. "Why do we wear these suits?"
"They make you look professional," Rufus replies automatically, at least no one appears to be upset about my outburst in the training room, though I did hear Reno getting a scolding in the background when Tseng first arrived.
"Sorry about the training room..."
"It's alright, it's good that you trained instead of," Rufus searches for the right words so as to not sound offensive, "letting things get to you," and burning down Edge I'm sure he would mentally add.
I nod, not knowing what else I can say and see myself reflected on the bulletproof glass around the gravity and holographic training chamber. "My hair is flat," I observe, feeling rather dumb. Am I that desperate for a distraction? Never the less, my hair really is flat.
"You can go home and fix it, it's late anyway," I appreciate the calm in Rufus' tone, as if he's been reassured that things will be alright. It makes me wonder why I lost control before if I can handle the shock I received today, at least for now, maybe I became stronger.
It's the evening and now that my stomachache has subsided, I feel hunger catching up to me, "I'll see everyone tomorrow." I head to my apartment, blocking the identity of a certain loud mouth neighbor out of my mind. As I left Shinra that day, flat hair and terrible traumatic origins aside, I felt remarkably normal.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII. Sephy's comment about the uniforms was based on a review from PhinalPhantasy.