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Tales of the Turks
By: Adam L.
Author's Note--This is a five-part series on how Reno, Rude, Elena, Tseng, and
Vincent became Turks, and what their lives led to after the events that
occurred in Final Fantasy 7.
Chapter One: It's A Victim's Life--The Tale of Vincent
"Tsk, tsk, Heidegger. Only four men survived the training, you know," began
"Gyaa haa haa!" bellowed Heidegger. "Good! Now we won't have to spend any
more money narrowing them down!" The incredibly obese man hovered forward and
clenched his fist. "My new organization will make sure that Shinra gets what
it wants! They'll keep Midgar in peace! They'll crush any rebellion!"
"But for now," interrupted Shinra, "they will have to do all that. At least
until we find some more worthy candidates."
"Right," nodded Heidegger. "So, who are they?"
"Well, we really only had four volunteers for the job, and ironically, they
were the ones that survived the training. Quite ironic."
"Can the sarcasm--I mean, I know, sir, but who are they?" Shinra glared
coolly at Heidegger for a period before continuing.
"One Vincent Valentine, ace marksman. Passed every single one of the tests,
especially Marksmanship. Shows the greatest promise of the four. One Tseng
Tyrell, strategist. Like Valentine, he passed all the tests, showing greatest
skill in combat strategy."
"Good, good!" laughed Heidegger. Shinra ignored him.
"One Quareno Dell, better known as 'Reno'. Passed everything. Most
impressive records on bombs and fighting prowess. And finally, Rudiger
Kissinger, better known as 'Rude'. Quite possibly the physically strongest in
"Gyaa haa haa!!" bellowed Heidegger. "Perfection! With a force like that,
Shinra could be unstoppable! Sign them all on at once!!" he ordered. He
began to leave the room, but turned around suddenly to add another comment.
"My Tempestuous Underground Resistance KnightS! I think my 'Turks' will blow
us all away, sir!"
A few hours later, Vincent Valentine was standing before the desk of
President Shinra himself.
"Come here, my boy," beckoned Shinra. Vincent did so, approaching the man.
Shinra smiled fondly.
"Heidegger tells me that you're the best of all the other men and women that
signed up for the job. He also says that you're the oldest, and most
"Yes, sir, President Shinra," said Vincent with laser-sharp precision.
"Most of the trainees were barely out of their teens, with the exception of
you and Tseng," noted Shinra. Vincent nodded silently. Shinra turned around
in his chair, bringing a rectangular box from beneath his desk.
"This is the suit of a Turk--what you have been nominated to," he began.
Vincent solemnly took the box. "Inside is a special insignia--that of the
Turk leader." Vincent opened the box a little. Sure enough, a small badge
was laying on top of the dark-blue suit.
"You want me to . . ." he began.
"Yes," nodded Shinra. Vincent, a young man in his early twenties with short
raven hair and casual dress attire on, was speechless with honor.
"Thank you, sir," he managed after a while. "I shan't disappoint you."
"See that you don't," warned Shinra. "I wouldn't want my most prominent Turk
to fail me on his first mission." They both paused for a while, Vincent
catching onto the idea.
"Which is what?" he asked.
"Patience," said Shinra, waving his hand. "I'll inform you when you're
ready. For now, just change your clothes and get acquainted with the staff
here at Shinra. I'll send for you when I'm ready." Vincent smiled and
nodded, then eagerly left to change clothes.
In the gym's locker room, Vincent must've struck a thousand poses of himself
in his new suit. Finally . . . no more having to be just another face in the
crowd. Finally, people would notice and respect him. Hey, I'm such a hot
item, maybe I'll find a nice woman in this line of work! Who knows? he
thought. Finally, Vincent stopped posing and put his old clothes in a trash
can. Won't be needing these anymore . . . he thought.
Strutting, Vincent left the gym. He introduced himself first to Mayor
Domino, then to Reeve and his prototype animatronic robotic toy known simply
as "CS model 0". He climbed up the flights of stairs for exercise, greeting
his fellow Turks Quareno and Rudiger (who preferred "Reno" and "Rude",
separately) on the way. Finally, he reached the lab, his last stop in his
tour of the building. He was only slightly tired from his climb when Vincent
met an odd little man named Professor Sadiken Hojo. The man had short black
hair like Vincent, and wore a spotless white lab coat. Annoying teal glasses
hung on Hojo's pointed nose.
"Well, well, leader of the famed Turks!" cackled Hojo lightly, studying
"And the equally famous Professor Hojo!" countered Vincent. "I've seen your
work. Incredible stuff."
"Hmph," sniffed Hojo. "I wouldn't address my work as 'stuff', but thank you
for the compliment anyway." The strange man ambled away, muttering about
experiments. Vincent shrugged to himself and went forward to meet the
president. Suddenly . . .
"Oh, I'm so sorry! Sorry I bumped into you!"
"No really, it's my fault . . ." Who is that? wondered Vincent, slowly
standing up. He gazed at the person he had bumped into . . . and kept gazing.
She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen in his life . . . Such
smooth, light brown hair . . . that silky skin . . . those kind, brown eyes .
"Uh . . ." muttered Vincent. "I'm Vincent. Leader of the Turks," he began,
extending a hand. She didn't respond. "You know? The Turks? Special
"I know," she finally said. "I've just never actually seen one." She
noticed his extended hand. "Oh! Hi . . . I'm Lucrecia!" she said happily,
pumping his hand. Lucrecia . . .
Thirty-three years passed. I know now that Lucrecia died from exposure to
the Lifestream that rushed out to destroy Meteor, and the Mako Reactors in
Midgar. And Hojo . . . that evil, maniacal man-beast who seemed strange even
when I met him . . . he is dead too. I saw to it, personally. One shot.
Many lives. One avenger. For me. For Lucrecia. For the Victims.
But for Sephiroth? Perhaps. He was a Victim. Hojo had no love, and
Lucrecia could barely get her hands on the boy. None of the destruction he
caused was his fault. But Jenova. Jenova, who augmented Hojo, who killed
Lucrecia, who controlled Sephiroth . . . Jenova was the true evil here.
I don't know what happened to any of the Turks after the Sister Ray incident.
Maybe they died in the Meteor attack. Maybe they escaped and are still out
there. Maybe even Tseng escaped and received the medical help that he needed
to live. They were not the Criminals in this war. Even the Turks were
Victims. Only Shinra, Hojo, and Jenova were the Criminals. That only left
the Victims and the Heroes.
But lately, I have found it nearly impossible to discern the three from each
Chapter 2: Don't Step On The Flowers--The Tale of Reno
"Oh, and don't step on the flowers."
Reno grinned in a surly way at himself. He did whatever he wanted to,
whenever he wanted to. Sure. He stepped on those holy flowers. But was he
inflicted with eternal condemnation yet? No. Any why? Because he was a
Turk. And being a Turk gave him certain abilities that a normal man or woman
would ever have.
But Reno was not always this way. He was not always such a surly soul, bent
on doing his job right or else. In fact, he was not always even Reno. The
redhead hunter was born Quareno Dell, in the town of Junon . . .
"But that's another story, doc," concluded Reno. "One not worth telling."
"Why is that?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Well . . . I'd rather not get into that, doc. Let's move to another topic,
"Another topic?" asked the psychiatrist. Reno fondled his Electro Turk Staff
"Yeah. I wanna get how I got out of Migdar off of my chest."
"How you got out of Midgar?"
"Me, Rude, and Elena had been beaten by the boy with the Mako eyes and his
friends--I told you about him already. Anyway, we had beaten a hasty retreat
out of the subways and were planning a new strategy when we heard screaming
above us. The people in the slums above us were yelling about
'Meteor'-something. Got us thinking."
"About what?" asked the psychiatrist.
"Escape," said Reno in a scratchy voice, puffing on a cigarette. "So we got
out through one of the Sector Gates. Just in time, too, cuz' in a few hours,
Midgar was toast, and so was that Meteor thing."
"And where were you when all this happened?" asked the psychiatrist, writing
down everything Reno said.
"Mobile. We moved everywhere. The Gold Saucer, Mideel, Junon, Icicle
Inn...places like that."
"Ah-huh," nodded the psychiatrist.
"The Turks soon parted ways after that. I hear that Elena found Tseng in a
jungle and took him to the Mideel hospital. I know Rude kept himself pretty
occupied in the two months that we've been apart, but I don't know with what."
"And as for you?" asked the psychiatrist.
"This and that. Mercenary, bounty hunter, bodyguard. Whatever suited me."
"Oh. Were you satisfied with your work?" asked the psychiatrist.
"A little. But I still had to get some things off my back. So I came to
"I see. Is that all?"
"Huh? Oh. Yeah. Thanks. I needed to get some of that off of my back."
Reno put away his cigarette and got out of his chair.
"Not a problem, Reno. Shall we schedule another talk? Next week, maybe?"
"Yeah," replied Reno, turnig towards the psychiatrist. "Thursday. Eight
"All right. See you then, Reno."
"Right." Reno waved good-bye at the man, and left the office building. He
spotted a flower store to his left, and casually walked over to it. Rows of
Aeris' famous flowers were on sale for 10 gil each. In one of his rare good
deeds, Reno handed 100 Gil to the florist, and walked home with ten beautiful
holy flowers in hand.
He never stepped on one for the rest of his life.
Chapter 3: Bald Is Beautiful--The Tale of Rude
Mister Rudiger Kissinger.
Secret Agent Kissinger.
Pope Rudiger I.
Emperor Rudiger Kissinger.
"Rude? Hey, Rude--ya there?"
"Whuh . . .?" Rude looked up from his daydream and saw his oldest friend
Reno before him. He jerked to attention, scuffling away his papers.
"I got some news for you, man. Somethin' that you'll appreciate."
"What is it?" asked Rude. Reno reached into his blue jacket and pulled out
the morning paper.
"Check the want ads," replied Reno, tossing the paper at Rude. Rude caught
it and unfolded the paper like Reno said. Slowly, he scanned through the want
"'Wanted: special service agents between ages 18-50. Must have physical and
intellectual attributes. Apply at Shinra, Inc. for details.' So?"
"This's our big break, man! Just look at it, man!" said Reno. Rude scanned
the want ads again. Same words.
"You think we'd make good Shinra workers, or whatever those things are?"
"Not Shinra workers, stupid! Shinra special secret service agents! Just
like in our boyhood dreams!" Suddenly, as if Rude had realized what he was
holding in his hands, the chrome-dome gasped intensely.
"Oh, man!! Do you realize what this means, Reno!?" he shrieked. Reno sighed
"Yes. I'm pretty lucky I found that ad in the paper, ya know." Rude did not
respond. "Well, if we're going to apply, we'd better get into shape. The
deadline's next week." Rude rubbed his head in a surly manner.
"No problem, Reno. I'm already twice as strong as you."
"Yeah, but look at our clothes, Rude. You look like some gym jock, and I
look like some freak out of a bad band--not to mention your hairless peak."
"Hey man, bald is beautiful where I come from! You watch your mouth,
Quareno!" This time, it was Reno's turn to scowl.
"I told you before: never address me by my name! It's Reno, okay?"
"Fine, fine. But you're right--we need to get into shape." Reno nodded his
"I thought so. To the gym."
By the time the deadline was up, Reno and Rude had really buffed themselves
up. Rude could now lift a large couch and Reno could easily bench-press 200
pounds. Now, all they had to do was apply. No problem; Rude knew a few
people in the Shinra building that owed him a favor or two.
Before being called in with the other applicants, Rude checked himself in the
mirror. He was wearing a windbreaker over his white long-sleeve shirt, and he
had loose jeans to maneuver around in better.
"So how do I look?" he asked Reno.
"Like a moron," he replied. Rude scowled. Getting an idea, he pulled out a
black box, opened it . . .
"Whoa!" jumped Reno. Now, with his Ultra-Black Sunguards (all rights
reserved) on, Rude definitely looked dressed to kill.
"Next in line: Quareno Dell and Rudiger Kissinger!" announced one of the
staff. Rude would later know him as Heidegger, his future boss.
"We're up, Reno. Come on," beckoned Rude. He and Reno strolled confidently
into the room, sure of themselves that they alone would get the job.
"WHOA!! Check it out, man!!" pointed Rude. Reno and Elena turned their
heads towards the television.
"Whoa, man! There's some fireworks show goin' on in Midgar!" whistled Reno.
"So much for Heidegger and Scarlet," added Elena.
"And Hojo," added Reno.
"And all of them," said Reno. "But I wonder whatever happened to those
creeps who beat us?
"Who cares!" shrugged Rude. "We're out of a job now!"
"You're right, as much as I'd hate to admit," sighed Elena. "We are out of a
job. Unless I can find Tseng."
"If he's still alive," mumbled Rude.
"DON'T say that, Rudiger! Tseng's still alive! He's gotta be!" shouted
"If you insist. But you gotta admit, he sounded pretty hurt in the papers."
"Well, I'm going after him," said Elena, standing up from her seat in the
Junon cafe. Paying her bill, she retreated hastily without even a good-bye.
"So long," said Reno, looking over his shoulder. He turned to his longtime
"What about us?" asked Rude. Reno shrugged. "Mercenary work, maybe. Don't
worry. With a coupla talented, good-looking guys like us, the world's an
"Yeah." Rude rubbed his beautiful bald head again, musing over his limitless
victories over the loss of hair. Poor Reno.
"I wish you'd get a wig, man. You creep me out whenever you do that.
Reminds me of Rufus the Doofus." Rude grinned evilly.
"I'd rather beat myself up. Like I said before, man, bald is beautiful!"
Chapter 4: The Date That Never Was--The Tale of Elena
"Oooh, he's so cute, Esmerelda! Who is he?"
"Ssh! He'll notice us!" Elena and Esmerelda silenced as the man walked past
"*sigh* And only nine floors down . . . " gushed Elena.
"Boy, Lane, you've got it bad, don't you? His name's Tseng. He's supposed
to be some sort of business operative," said Esmerelda. Elena, the medium-
sized blonde woman, nearly swooned.
"Tseng . . . That's so wild!" she giggled.
"I know. Killer name, killer bod, killer hair." Elena sighed, hearts
bulging out of her eyes.
"I wonder where he works?" she mused.
"Bad news, Lane: I haven't the foggiest. You'd stand a better chance of
asking him," said Esmerelda. Elena bolted upright, gasping crazily.
"No WAY, Ezzie! I would die if he even looked at me!"
"Lane, calm down!" shouted Esmerelda. "He's just a man! It's not like
Tseng's God or the President or anything!" Slowly, Elena calmed down.
"That's better," smiled Esmerelda. Exhausted from worry, Elena slumped down
on the nearest chair, wiping a strand of hair away from her brow.
"You're really bent up over this guy, aren't you?" asked Esmerelda. Elena
nodded wearily. Esmerelda paused in thought.
"Well," she began slowly, "I might be able to find out where he works . . ."
"Really?!" squealed Elena. "I mean, you'd do that for me?" Esmerelda
blinked at her desperate friend.
"Elena, I never said that." A pause. Elena was gasping like before.
"You're not still stressed out over that 'Vinny Incident', areya? I mean--"
"SHUT UP!!" shouted Elena, crying tears of rage. "I wasn't the one who made
him run off like that!!"
"Okay, I'll drop it," shrugged Esmerelda. "I'll see what I can do about our
"Good," pouted Elena. "I'm off to work. I recommend that you remain equally
That afternoon, the two roommates got together again to talk about Elena's
"Well?" Elena asked, bursting into the room without even knocking. They both
knew what she was talking about.
"Bad news, Lane," began Esmerelda.
"Don't give me that, Ezzie," interrupted Elena, holding her palm out. "I
only want the good stuff."
"Fine. Tseng works at Shinra, Inc."
"So?" shrugged Elena. "I've been there before."
"Yeah, but get this: Tseng's a Turk."
"Wow," said Elena truthfully. "Not bad."
"That's not the worst of it, though. Brace yourself, Lane, cuz' Tseng leads
"YEOW!" jumped Elena, almost hitting her head on the ceiling. "Their
leader?! How'd you find this out?!" Elena's volume was almost unbearable, it
was so high. Esmerelda kept her cool, even with this hotheaded blonde around.
"I asked one of the secretaries in the lobby. She was pretty nice, and
pretty bright for someone in the lobby. Not a common trait you find very
often . . ."
"Whoa! Tseng's their leader!" repeated Elena, as if she had never heard her
friend. Esmerelda sighed.
"Yes, Elena. And the only way he'll ever even notice you is if you buff
yourself up and become a Turk yourself."
"WHAT!!!" shouted Elena, even louder than before.
"Don't argue with me, Lane," began Esmerelda. "If you ever want to know this
Tseng guy, you need to be a Turk yourself." For a while, Elena just stood
there, her mouth wide open in shock.
"A Turk?" she said finally.
"Yeah. But you gotta work out some. They won't accept anybody in there. I
should know." Elena growled fiercely.
"No problem!" she stated, hoisting her fist up. "Elena Vendetti has never
failed at anything! To the gym!!" Without waiting for her friend, Elena
rushed off down the apartment to her car, and drove off madly.
"Well, easy come, easy go, I guess . . . "shrugged Esmerelda.
Before her audition as the newest member of the elite Turk squad (which was
so elite, it only consisted of three), Elena had to be dressed for the job.
So a quick stop at the nearest Square Clothes Ltd. (all rights reserved) found
Elena a knockout: black hose, skirt, and minidress, with a slick new do' and
even new shoes to match. She was certain to get the job. Even if Esmerelda
was not there to support her. Oh, well. Can't pick your battles, thought
In four hours, the training and tests were over. Surprisingly, Elena's
indomitable spirit to gain Tseng's love had bested everyone else who had came
to try out for the fourth Turk spot. Even the men had been beaten. But,
thought Elena as she stared at herself in the Shinra ladies' dressing room,
the bad thing is that I have to get rid of these expensive clothes I paid for!
And I have to wear a suit! Me! Elena, a female, wear a suit! That Shinra's
a pig!! Oh, well. As long as I get to go out on a date with Tseng!
Needless to say, when Elena first met her boss Tseng, there was chemistry.
Of course, Tseng liked Aeris the Ancient (Ancient hag more like it, thought
Elena), but that bothered Elena little (just enough, though, to get her riled
in most battles). Elena was sent on lesser missions than her coworkers Reno
and Rude, but in many cases she did the job well enough. But the job got to
her. In most crucial cases, valuable items would be "junky" to her, and
"junky" items would be even more worthless.
"This is the Temple of the Ancients," pointed Tseng. "There's something
called 'Black Materia' in here, and we were assigned to retrieve it and bring
it back to Heidegger."
"Why?" asked Reno, scratching his head. Idiot, thought Elena.
"I don't ask the questions," shrugged Tseng, "I just carry out the orders."
"Fine," sneered Reno, hoisting his Electro Prod Staff onto his shoulder. He,
Rude, Tseng, and Elena marched into the Temple, intent on fulfilling their
"And that's where it all went wrong," finished Elena. Her old friend
Esmerelda gave an encouraging pat on the shoulder.
"And you never found Tseng?"
"No," sighed Elena. "I mean, I worked my butt off for one date, and that
Mako guy had to ruin everything! It's a shame that my punch didn't connect."
And it's a shame we had to retreat so often, she thought. I'm sorry, Tseng .
"Well, I'm sorry for your bad streak of luck, Lane," said Esmerelda
empathetically. "I really am. But you need to move on. Find some other
"I guess you're right, Ezzie," sighed Elena. She thanked her friend and left
the room. She left the building, got into her car, and drove off into the
distance. She would find a boat in Junon, hire it, and go to the Ancient
Temple ruins. Maybe . . . maybe there, she would find Tseng, and go about
things as they were meant to be. Maybe there she would find Tseng.
Or whatever was left of him.
Chapter 5: The Natural Selector--The Tale of Tseng
Tseng Tyrell. Born June 6 to Abner and Farrah Tyrell. No brothers, no
sisters. No uncles, aunts, or cousins. No wife, no child. No girlfriend.
Not even one single friend in the world. Not surprisingly, Tseng grew up to
be tough. By age twelve, Tseng was faster, smarter, and stronger than most
people twice his age. By fifteen, Tseng had shed his past as an unattractive
outcast. By sixteen, Tseng was a red-hot heartthrob, making ladies swoon to
the left and right of him. He was friends with every guy on the block, and
nearly every girl would sever their limb for a single day with him.
When Tseng turned 21, he was too hot to handle. His current job at a
business company was failing--Tseng just wasn't the entrepreneur his parents
had hoped. So he was fired. For six months, Tseng was unemployed. Sure, he
had money--businesses aren't miserly companies, mind you. But by the sixth
month, Tseng was almost broke. Friends still supported him. Women still
fainted at the sight of him. But Tseng needed work. Something he was good
at. But what?
One day, an acquaintance of Tseng's bumped into him. It was Vincent
Valentine, from high school.
"Vincent! It's you!" exclaimed Tseng.
"Yeah. Nice to see you after all these years, Tseng."
"Same to you. So how's it going?"
"Same old, same old," shrugged Vincent. "You?"
"Not good. I got canned a few months ago and now I need a job."
"Hm," thought Vincent. "Well, that is a problem. Tell you what--I'm going
over to Shinra Inc. right now to apply for that new secret service agent job."
"You?" asked Tseng, puzzled. "I never thought you as the secret service
"Me neither, but it's a job, right?"
"Yeah . . ."
"Besides, I've been training. I'll do just fine." Tseng pursed his lips.
"Think I could make Shinra's cut?" he asked.
"I dunno. I heard that they're awfully harsh and unforgiving."
"So?" shrugged Tseng. "You know my past. I grew up in harsh conditions."
"Yeah. I can't remember when the slums of Migdar were ever a peaceful
"But your hometown has always been a nice place, Vince. So why the
ambition?" asked Tseng.
"I dunno," he replied. "I guess ever since my parents died, I just needed to
prove my individuality. When I saw that Shinra ad in the paper, the light in
my head clicked."
"Ahuh. So do you think I could make the cut?" asked Tseng again.
"If you're really intent on it," replied Vincent. "Come on. We'll go
together." Tseng turned around, not really knowing what he had gotten himself
Tseng was dirty, bloody, and breathing hard, but he was a Turk. The fat
green man--Heidegger, was it--had announced it so.
"I hope I know what I'm doing," whispered Tseng to Vincent during the
celebration banquet that night. Vincent, the newly crowned leader of the
Turks, smiled back.
"Me too," he chuckled. Tseng laughed back, gulping down his food. Next to
Tseng sat Reno, the technical side of the Turks, and after him sat Rude, the
muscle of the group. Next to Vincent sat Heidegger, the Turks' boss, and
after him was the President and his son, Rufus. Obviously, even the dining
table had ranks.
One day, Vincent did not come into work. Tseng, Vincent's right-hand-man,
asked where his friend was. Nobody knew. Except Hojo, maybe. That had yet
to be proven.
"Hojo! Have you seen Vincent?" asked Tseng.
"Yes. Why?" scowled Hojo.
"He never checked in, and he's always the first one here. So what's up?"
"Oh, that," mused Hojo nonchalantly. "I found the poor man dead in the
secret Shinra library in Nibelheim."
"You WHAT!!" shouted Tseng, frozen with terror.
"That's right. Dead. Shot through the chest. I didn't get there in time to
save him . . ."
"Hojo, no . . .!" cried Tseng. "He--he was my friend!"
"And now he's dead; and there's nothing I can do about it," he sneered,
pacing away to his room.
"But, wouldn't his death make me the new leader of the Turks?" asked Tseng.
Hojo turned around.
"Why, yes," he said. "I suppose you're right. Congratulations." Hojo paced
away, leaving Tseng to scowl. He would never know the truth.
When professor Hojo stepped into the room with the baby, Tseng's heart broke.
"Hojo . . . I can't believe it . . ." he muttered. "You actually . . ."
"Yes, yes!" shouted Hojo quickly. "I did away with them."
"Even Gast? Even Ifalna?"
"Are you deaf, Tseng? I said yes! Yes! Now out of my way!" he ushered.
Tseng frowned as Hojo went away to his laboratory.
"What's her name? Tell me that at least!" cried Tseng.
"Aeris. Don't get too attached to her, Tseng. I know I won't." Hojo left
Tseng to glower. Someday, he would sever that annoying head off . . .
Tseng opened his eyes. Standing before him was Elena, one of the Turks he
had the honor to command.
"Where am I?" he asked groggily.
"In Mideel. You're lucky to be alive," she replied.
"Mideel? How . . .?"
"Ssh, quiet. Don't get up; you're still pretty hurt." Elena added another
cold compress to Tseng's wound and continued.
"I found you in the jungle around the Temple of the Ancients. You were
completely unconscious when I found you, so I took you to the nearest
"Kind of a wreck, isn't it?" noted Tseng. Elena looked up. Sure enough,
Mideel looked worse than Midgar's slums.
"Oh, that's okay," said the doctor. "That Lifestream didn't take any lives,
only our possessions. We'll be all right." Tseng smiled weakly.
"Thanks, Elena. But what about Sephiroth?"
"Gone I think," she replied.
"Good." Tseng closed his eyes, exhausted. "So much for that dinner, eh?"
Elena chuckled with him, happy that Tseng would make it. Suddenly, without
any warning at all, she kissed the poor man, long and lovingly.
"I thought so," he replied after she broke off.
"Don't deny it, Elena. I know you've had a crush on me for ever. You've
wanted to do that for ages."
"You're right, Tseng," she replied quietly. "I don't know how you knew, but
you were right." Tseng smiled, and closed his eyes again.
"Marry me, Tseng," she said simply.
"All right," he replied, not even opening his eyes. Elena laughed, and
kissed him on the forehead.
"What's so funny?" Everyone turned to the new voice.
"Vincent!!" gasped Tseng. He almost got up, but was still too injured to
"Yeah, it's me. Man, Sephiroth really skewered you, didn't he?"
"But Hojo said that you had died!" exclaimed Tseng. Slowly, Vincent growled,
clenching his claw into a fist.
"I did," he said simply. Somehow, Tseng understood.
"Listen, I'll tell you my story later, but I have a favor to ask you."
"Well, I'm getting married to Elena soon, and I need a best man.
Interested?" Elena gasped in pleasure while Vincent simply smiled in his cool
"I dunno. Maybe I'm not qualified." They both laughed, the first time for
Vincent in too long a time. "I'm just kidding. Of course I'll be your best
"No, Tseng. I'm not the one to thank. You should thank yourself. After
all, you could have had any woman in the world, but you chose Elena. That
says something about you."
"What?" asked Tseng. Inwardly, Elena growled. If this is offensive . . .
"That you're just a natural selector. I guess you had it in you all the
"Yeah. I guess so." Elena frowned with contempt. That's better!
And for the first time in a year, for the marriage of Tseng to Elena, all of
the original Turks were reunited. Reno had brought holy flowers. Rude had
bought a wig just for that occasion. Elena was benevolent. Vincent was
regarded as a hero. Tseng was selected as the leader of the Turks
indefinitely. As for everyone else,
well . . . That's a whole other story entirely.
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