Step 35: Transportation
Step 35: Transportation
Learning to drive was... chaotic. Reno, the self proclaimed all purpose pilot of the Turks, offered to teach me how to drive. How in the world he get licenses for such a variety of vehicles? I'll never know, but he does have quite the collection. He's certified to drive everything from cars and motorcycles to jets, helicopters, ships and submarines.
I wasn't the only one having driving lessons that Sunday; there was a boy, just barely old enough to drive, very eager to get his license. For a split second I imagined Reno being the same way as a teenager, then I concluded that the image was wrong, because he wouldn't wait until he had a license to start driving all sorts of vehicles. Maybe they gave him all those licenses because they knew he would drive and pilot anyway.
The boy is familiar with Blaze and seems to get along with him quite well, referring to himself as the chicobo's uncle. He does seem to have a sibling-like relationship with Reno and if they didn't look so different I would have assumed they were brothers.
This boy, who introduced himself as Chika Akatsuki has ivory hair with black highlights and golden eyes. He's just as talkative and energetic as Reno and has been getting driver lessons from him because "bro doesn't freak out like the ferryman and my old man." By listening to Chika's chatter during the driving lessons I found out that he is a student, holding several part time jobs, one at a convenience store and the other at a loan office, he lives in another city but sometimes comes to visit Edge.
The old man he mentioned is in fact his father from what I could gather, and the ferryman is his boss at the loan office. He didn't say why they called him ferryman and I didn't pry, people get the strangest nicknames for the most random reasons sometimes. Besides, between Chika and Reno's headache inducing incessant chatter, I couldn't get a single word in.
Reno drives like a maniac, though he is surprisingly capable of driving like a human being while explaining how to drive during the driver's test, as opposed to how to drive in real life. I have no doubts the styles are indeed different, one must be ready to get creative with maneuvers to survive the highway, but I don't think it's really necessary to take things to the extreme.
Headache aside, driving can be harder than it looks. It took a moment to get the hang of getting the car to do what I wanted it to. If the car is an extension of myself, it lacks the reflexes of the rest of me, but I adapted remembering the principals of video games. In games, you must adapt yourself to the responsiveness of the controls, it's not the same as being there in person; you need to work with what possible movement you have, just like in driving, except it's not as easy to see when it's not a in a top view camera angle.
Overall, after a lot of stress and plenty of annoying teasing from Reno and his monochrome haired mini-me, I finally felt that I knew how to drive well enough to pass the test, until we went off to practice the specific things needed to pass. It wasn't as simple as going from point A to point B, a lot of twists, turns and technicalities stood in way and every tiny detail had to be performed in the right order even if the outcome wouldn't be affected and you no one would ever need any of that in real life. I decided it was best not to schedule my test for a while.
xoxox xox xoxox
When Monday came, Rufus merrily informed me that I would be required to get my license soon, as all the Turks are supposed to be able to drive various vehicles should the need arise. I take it Reno shared the story of my driving lessons and for once the president found his antics amusing.
Rude was assigned as my instructor and I would be allowed to count the lessons as Turk training. On the bright side, Rude is a skilled driver, the down side being his perpetual silence. I had to keep guessing if I was doing things right and often remind him that I'm not a mind reader. None the less, I think my driving skills improved.
xoxox xox xoxox
My nightmares worsened, it got so bad I actually welcomed the noise coming from the floor below because I didn't want to sleep. Then, one night, it was miraculously quiet and I wondered if Reno and Blaze were even there. For a moment I feared they were murdered by the shape shifter.
I imagined the fiend disguising himself as someone else, a pizza delivery boy who randomly came uncalled in the middle of the night, Reno would take the pizza without explanations and become distracted enough to be killed. Albeit such a strong enemy wouldn't require a distraction, maybe he disguised himself as me and snapped Reno's neck before the Turk could even say "hey Seph!" and he would die thinking I went insane ran off to burn down Edge.
I panicked and rushed to the floor below. "Reno! If you're alive open the door!"
A very sleepy Reno opened the door, he was wearing red pajama pants and his goggles, why he would wear his goggles to sleep is beyond me. Blaze was cuddled in his arms, quickly falling asleep again. His hair was an even bigger mess than usual; something I didn't think was possible, yet somehow confirmed his identity, because he's a box of surprises, most of them chaotic. "Hey Seph," he yawned, "what's up?"
"Nothing, it was quiet and I thought..." you were dead. I know Tseng has been rarely staying in his apartment in this building lately, going off on secret missions, staying in one of his other houses, or going to Elena's place. Tseng can come and go quietly, leaving behind the feeling that everything is okay, but Reno always announces his plans even if no one asks him about it and wouldn't leave without saying anything.
Reno doesn't reply; he's no longer listening to me, having fallen asleep leaning on the doorframe. Somehow, he managed to hold on to Blaze in his sleep and the chicobo remained in slumber land.
He jumps awake, "What? Where? Who?"
"You fell asleep standing, you should go back to bed."
"Oh yeah... good idea..." He yawns again, "didn't you have something to say?"
I shake my head but throw out the truth anyway, "just making sure you're alive."
He laughs, sounding much more awake now, "I'm a Turk! Don't worry so much and get some sleep. Staying up late has caught up with Blaze and me, I thought you would be really tired too, you sure look it."
"Yes, I'll get some rest, sorry to wake you..." I was lying; I didn't get any rest at all.
xoxox xox xoxox
Due to some urgent business concerning the mafia, I had no time to take my official driver's test for a few days, instead spending my time sneaking around and participating on several stake outs like a mix between a secret spy and a renegade police officer. The platinum haired yakuza lady was on the move and the balance of power in the mafia had shifted drastically. This information was gained from an individual, old enough to be a man but small enough to be a boy, who I caught when I was partnered with Reno and Rude.
He ran away and we cornered him, taking our separate ways and blocking all his possible escape routes in the alleys of the least friendly parts of Edge. He must have recognized Reno and Rude, yelling insults directed at Turks in general, accusing us of siding with 'her', except we didn't know who this 'her' was at the time.
The boy chose to face me in favor of Reno or Rude, he must have recognized them and thought he could get past the new Turk. Needless to say the most challenging part was definitely not the fight; the hard part was restraining him without killing the fragile brat.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII or Zombie Loan. Chika Akatsuki is from Zombie Loan.