Rocks and gravel crunched under the man's shoes as he walked over the pile of debris and rubble that was still filtering down from overhead. It made walking dangerous, but it was a risk he took none the less. Getting brained by something falling on top of you may not have been as exciting or big time as saying Meteor killed you, but it was just as deadly. He had no real choice. It was stay still and die, or move and die.
Pausing, the man lifted his head and looked up, watching the world he'd known disappear before his eyes, disintegrating just like that in the storm of Meteor.
If we both survive...
What he wouldn't give to be on the airship, flying above the clouds, watching the Meteor from safety...
But he didn't envy their job. Not at all.
If we can save our lives.
Did he really say that? If? Of course... there was no chance. There was no future. He might as well sit down and die right here for all the good running would do. Even so, thinking that... he started walking again, hurrying with his usual ease towards the city limits, urged on by his fear and his instinct to survive.
It was strong in a turk, you know. Both instinct and fear. Fear of dying made you cautious, an instinct to survive gave you the edge you needed. You needed both to survive, doing what he did.
It felt like he was walking through a valley of death. He heard the wails of people in the distance, saw the other fugitives take their march through the slums... it reminded him all too hard of the reality of the situation.
Shin-Ra was gone... the Turks were gone... He had lost Elena and Rude a long time ago, separated by a stupid mistake in the midst of a crowd. He was alone, truly alone for the first time in his life. It wasn't a good feeling, knowing there was nobody behind his back, or just a phone call away. The PHS had stopped working hours before. A black feeling was inching its way across his heart, but he tried holding it at bay. Allowing it to win would mean he signed his own death warrant, and despite everything, he still went on.
After another hour of walking, Reno paused again, sensing a chance in the goings on up top. The roar was getting louder, vibrating the plates now, coming down through the pillars and he could feel it through his feet, the air... The pure bright green of lifestream still flowed through the world, giving its light to everything under the plate.
It was beautiful, in its own way. The light it cast bleached everything clean, and made it look new though everything was in ruins, erasing the filth of the slums. It had a calming effect on the people- there were hardly any screams now, no more panic attacks... people were walking for the limits steadily, and determined. It was pretty freaky in a way, the man thought. It was like a textbook evacuation, and he knew evacuations were hardly textbook.
Stopping again to give himself a rest, he sat on a rock and buried his face in his hands, closing his eyes for a good minute or two, trying to block out the light. While beautiful, there was so much of it... it invaded every cranny and pore in your body, steeping you in the green of lifestream.
As soon as he closed his eyes, ignoring the sounds above and around him, they seemed to fade out, and... voices? Voices were speaking, shouting, laughing. A girl giggled somewhere nearby, but when he looked around wildly for these odd people acting like nothing was wrong while the world crumbled around them, there was nobody there.
What was he doing? He could not stop now, not when he was this close to getting out of this dump. Maybe he lost Elena and Rude now, but there was Tseng recovering in Junon... he could head there. That's where they would be, now that he thought about it. It was so obvious, and he almost kicked himself for not getting a moment to think sooner. That's not like you, Reno. You're getting old... Getting separated would be nothing to worry about, as long as they all headed in the right direction.
The people I love are waiting. I promised.
Maybe that wasn't the right quote, but that seemed about right to him. It somehow seemed right quoting Loveless while the world tumbled down around his ears. Sighing, he got up, assigning the strange incident with the voices to something wrong with his imagination with lifestream flowing all around the city and around him, and continued on. He really had to be cracking under the pressure, that was the only explanation.
That was another thing that had been on his mind while he walked... all those reports of the planet and the lifestream were true, and even if Meteor was solved, the planet would still die. Maybe slowly, maybe quickly, but thinking of everything just... dying right like that, it gave his heart a funny wrench.
A funny thing, too. It didn't seem right, feeling like that. Feeling sad for the planet. It wasn't for him. Life sucked, you got over it, and that was the way of things. The planet had it's share, too. Yet, he still felt sad for it. A strange, melancholy sort of regret that surprised him, but stuck by his side as he walked.
And that regret was what bore him to the end of his road, in Junon.