Days of Exile
Hello everybody, this is the sequel of my previous story, "I Want To Be A Turk!" but in this story I hope to explain things a bit more so that first time readers can understand as well.
To those who have read "I Want To Be A Turk!", make sure you read secret chapter 63 before reading this new story!
Chapter 1 – Fill The Form
I want to be a Turk!
What a joke. I think to myself, placing my hands on the frame of the mirror. Anyone who knew what I'd gone through to end up here... I stare out of my window, into the vast expense of white snow and cozy cottages. ... Will know that my Turk dream has long been shattered months ago.
I give myself one last check in the mirror. The girl that is my image smiles back at me. Her long dark hair is no longer tied in low pigtails but let down completely. It curls up slightly, as if it is unable to point down and be still. A pale complexion best suited for the wintry weather paints the oval-shaped face, and bright hazel eyes stare back at me.
Finally pleased with how I look, I stare at the calendar that is hanging on the wall. It is the 7th of November, Year 0007. Almost eight years have passed since I was first found on Sector 4 by...
"Aren't you going to meet Winifred for your job application?" I hear an elderly lady call for me from below.
"Yes, Mrs. Glasko!" I shout back, hoping that she could hear me because I have absolutely no idea if her hearing is as good as when I first met her in Year 0003. "I'm coming down now!" I take a quick glance around the room to ensure that I've brought everything that I need with me. Nodding to myself in satisfaction, I open my room door and descend the stairs.
"Do come home early for dinner." Mrs. Glasko croaks from the kitchen when I set my bag on the chair. I poke my head into the kitchen and she continues. "If my memory serves me right, Leia and that lovely boyfriend of hers will be coming for dinner tonight."
At the mention of the names of my previous colleagues, I grin immediately. "Leia and Haato are coming here!" I exclaim. "Are you worried how he might be?" I ask, giving the woman a cheeky grin. After all, it is the first time her daughter, Leia, brings a boy home, much less a boyfriend.
Mrs. Glasko chuckles warmly. "No, I'm not concerned." She assures me. "Leia has always been very level-headed and logical. I believe that this boy must be someone good, if he can make my daughter fall for him."
I grin. "You have NO idea how long it was for Haato before Leia accepted his feelings! Well then," I say, picking up my bag again. "I'll be home early!" Waving again, I walk out of the house and head west-bound to the inn, that is, the inn in Icicle Inn.
The air here is definitely fresher than from where I come from. I take my time to admire my surroundings. It has been 4 years since my last visit, yet everything looks exactly the same. Yet... Yet so many things have happened back in Midgar, in the short span of 4 years.
As I walk towards the inn, I overhear a group of people talking. Things about Shinra ignoring the rebuilding of Sector 6 even though there was a massive destruction, things about Shinra keeping things low. There are even visitors among this group, claiming that they've come from Midgar and are dissatisfied with how Shinra run things in the city, blaming everything to a group of people working under the Shinra Electric Company – The Turks.
Pulling my coat closer to my face, I walk hurriedly towards the inn.
"Ah." The innkeeper, Winifred, breaks into a wide smile as soon as he sees me. "I heard from Mrs. Glasko that you're looking for a job here?"
"Yes." I reply. "Just maybe... A few months?"
"No problem, just fill in this form and we'll inform you the results."
I couldn't resist a smile. "Tough competition, huh?"
The innkeeper stares at me for a moment before he understood my hidden meaning. "Yeah, we simply have to select from the cream of the crop." He chortles and replies with equal sarcasm.
I nod and thank him for his help. Turning my attention onto the paper, I begin to fill in the form.
I write my name in legible letters on the paper, inwardly thankful that I had the opportunity to be literate. More like, I learnt the alphabet from a piece of a playmat flying around Sector 4. I later on had the opportunity to read and write too, but that's another story.
Birthday: 15th December.
I write other superficial details such as gender (female), place of birth (Midgar), residing address (Mrs. Glasko's address), contact number. Then, under "Family Background", I see...
I remember the first time I wrote a particulars form, similar (though much more elaborate) to this. I could not write anything past my name and my birthday... I did not know my heritage and family background. Now, years have passed and I've discovered who they were.
I write on the line, "Joseph and Emily Etsky." Under remarks, I indicate, "Both deceased". I've never seen my parents face to face. That is, I'd lost both of them while I was a young girl. My mother passed away before I turned 3 and my father... he was murdered by enemies of the company he was working for.
I hesitate when I see this. To say that answering this is a toughie is kind of an understatement. I glance at Winifred, who is already preoccupied... with watching his favourite soap opera. Yeah, competitive job indeed.
Finally, I take a deep breath and I write...
Well, I'm not lying, you know. After all, the official name for the Turks is Department of Adminstrative Research.
Yes, I was a Turk. So was my father. My job required me to be the most disgusting, vile, heartless person who only sought the best interests of Shinra and salary. But the fact that I'm standing here, in Icicle Inn, writing my particulars for a new job... meant obviously that I'm no longer a Turk.
My eyes focus on the next field to fill in.
Reason for leaving previous job:
Huh. Well, I shall write "Job no longer interests me."It is true, my ideals of how a Turk should be shattered years ago. I mean, I love being a Turk, I still do. But what the Turks had to do for Shinra... is not what I could stomach. Besides, it's not like I can possibly write "The company wants me dead".
I left the Turks just two months ago, escaping to the far corners of Icicle Inn. The reason why Shinra wanted me dead? Well, there are too many. It's not just me they wanted to kill. They wanted to eliminate the entire department. Now, all my friends are scattered across the Planet and only three remain in Shinra. I have no idea why they would want to stay when their lives are at stake. But I suppose they were three of the most senior ranked Turks, they will weasel their way out.
Back to the form. I look down at what I've just written.
Last drawn salary: 5,400 gil per month
Well, THIS I have to cheat... by removing one zero behind. There aren't many high-paying jobs in the Planet. Even 5,400 is pushing it a little. I had accumulated wealth over the eight years that I was a Turk, thankfully Shinra initiated a global cashless system years ago where everyone's gil can be transacted through their PHS... if they had one. At least now no one knows how much money I have.
I finally finish my form and return it to Winifred, who tells me to report for work the next day. Like I say, tough competition indeed.
Waving goodbye to Winifred, I leave the inn but instead of walking back to Mrs. Glasko's house, I decide to take a stroll instead. My mind drifts towards thoughts of my life before I return to Icicle Inn.
The main bulk of my Turk life was spent fighting an anti-Shinra organisation, AVALANCHE. They were people who were most concerned about the Planet's life and were indignant of how Shinra was refining the Lifestream into Mako. For 8 long years, I've fought against their cause. Not that I support Shinra, but I thought then that while refining Mako was a highly unethical thing, it was necessary because Shinra is the monopoly of electricity provision. I later found out that there were many more unethical things that could probably make one's stomach churn. That's why I left, and left thankfully still in one piece.
I fought against AVALANCHE, namely Fuhito, the man who killed my father who was a Turk then. Fuhito was the most psychotic of them lot. He was responsible for summoning the large ancient being, Zirconiade, in hopes that it will destroy everything and return their souls to the Planet. He had two comrades, but they were nothing compared to his manipulative malice.
Shears... I think sadly. The former field leader of AVALANCHE. Later on, he was betrayed by Fuhito when he saw Fuhito was using their leader, Elfe, for summoning Zirconiade. Shears died together with Fuhito... so that Elfe can be safe.
I think about Elfe and her father, Veld. It is pretty ironic to find that the leader of AVALANCHE is the long-lost daughter of Veld, Commander of the Turks. They...
A vision of Tseng shooting them down flashes in front of me. I shake my head quickly. I don't believe it, I don't believe that Tseng would do such a thing. Yet... Yet KK and Haato had reported that it's true.
Why would Shinra want Veld dead? Just because he disobeyed the company by trying to reunite with his daughter? What kind of morals does Shinra have?
My thoughts flitter to a certain girl I met years ago, when I first became a Turk. Shelke was a shy young girl brought in supposedly to be trained to be the first woman SOLDIER. Supposedly. She went missing on her way to the SOLDIER Traning Grounds and I haven't heard of her since. Shinra didn't bother to search for her.
Then there was Genesis Rhapsodos and Angeal Hewley. They were SOLDIER First Class, two good people. They mysteriously disappeared and Shinra did nothing, except to announce that they died in a mission (completely untrue).
I think of Nibelheim. Burned to the ground by Sephiroth (Another SOLDIER First Class), Shinra covered the incident by placing Shinra employees to act as the dead citizens till this day... It still gives me the shudders thinking about it.
Zack Fair, the last SOLDIER First Class (I swear this job is jinxed). Fought and killed for the company, shot to death by the very same company. It was his death that made me realise how inhuman Shinra is. Sure, the Turks are great, but Shinra is not.
These are people who died because of Shinra. Everything Shinra did was above and beyond immoral. It... It was hard to remain in the Turks eventually. The feeling was mutual because Shinra found it hard to keep us Turks as well when they found out that we'd been secretly helping the fugitive Veld. So, our execution was ordered. But with the destruction of Zirconiade, led by us, Shinra held their punishment for further discussion. That was months ago, till now, we have yet to hear any news about our fate.
I am glad that I could escape this entire ordeal. I may have to live like a fugitive for the rest of my life. I don't mind, as long as I'm free. Still, I worry about my comrades around the Planet, especially those in Shinra.
My face warms as I think about one particular person. Yes, I want to see R-
"Meia!" A voice interrupts my thoughts. Frowning, I turn to see who it is, but my face brightens when I see a man and a woman. The man is lean and muscular, with a katana armed by his side. His black hair is slicked to the side of his face. He wears glasses and has a long scar running his left cheek, a souvenir of his past. He holds a cheeky expression when our eyes meet. He is holding the hand of a beautiful woman who has grey-brown eyes and long light hair that looks almost grey. She is unarmed but anyone who knows her will think twice about fighting her. For she is an expert in martial arts.
"Haato! Leia!" I shout and run towards them. "Welcome back!" I grin.
"You look great!" Haato laugh.
"So do you." I say mischievously, glancing at their hands that are intertwined.
Leia keeps a straight face. "I have decided to be with Haato." She says seriously. I nod. Of course I know that. The day Haato won Leia's heart, he called every one of us Turks all over the Planet to tell us the good news. "But it is not an easy job, to have a boyfriend." She glares at Haato. "He simply wouldn't believe that walking through the forest was a shortcut. I'm the one who grew up here!" She argues.
I laugh. Leia seeks perfection and efficiency. She often insists that her way is much more efficient, in which she isn't wrong. It isn't an abnormally that she will feel frustrated with her colleagues' tardiness but she is a wise team player who keeps unnecessary strife at bay.
The katana-Turk throws Leia an incredulous look. "That forest houses some of the nastiest things alive!"
"I don't remember that you are afraid." Leia deadpans.
"No, I'm not afraid, but I'm worried that you'll be." Haato reaches for Leia's cheek.
Leia gives a huff of resignation. "Meia, you should reconsider getting yourself a boyfriend." She says seriously.
"No worries, Leia!" I grin. "I won't be getting a boyfriend so soon!"
We walk back to Mrs. Glasko's house, but my heart is feeling heavy. Sure I won't get a boyfriend soon. Not when he is miles away, in the Shinra Headquarters, awaiting his execution.
Hope the sequel sounds good so far! Yes, this is the first time I'm writing as a first person narrative. At least for FF7. I never really liked writing in first person narrative because I find the perspective too limited. Not suitable when I'm juggling 10 Turks (plus Reno, Rude and Tseng as well). I hope you guys like my first-person narrative. If you like, I can probably fit in some more along the way... If I like it, that is.
Please read, review and alert the story! I sincerely hope that my readers are all here. Welcome back!