The Cry of the Planet Chapter 7

Vincent Valentine

By Edyn Cross

Vincent woke up every morning the same for the past six years, only this one took a slight turn. After dragging himself out of bed, head slightly throbbing from the ritual after-work-drinking contest with the other Turks, he turned off the alarm and walked naked to the bathroom. He showered, stepped out of the steam, pushed his chin-length black hair out of his face and wrapped a towel around his waist.

Vincent made his way to the kitchen, opened his refrigerator and looked. He saw a half-empty bottle of ketchup, an empty pizza box, old Chinese take-out, and a gallon of milk. He took the milk and sniffed it, got bowl from the sink and wiped the old food off of it with his towel, and then grabbed the box of Count Chocula cereal from the top of the fridge. He picked up a spoon that looked relatively clean from the sink, and sat down at the small table and made his cereal.

He crunched on his Count Chocula, looking around his apartment, and shaking his head. He had a couch, a loveseat, a nice television, a lamp (with the shade ridden with dust), the table he was sitting at, and a dead plant. Vincent looked at the plant thoughtfully trying to figure out where the hell that thing had come from in the first place. Shinra Inc. paid for the work that Vincent did with the Turks and paid him well. He had more than enough money to provide a better apartment, the best furniture and anything he could ever want, but the question on his mind was, "Why?" What could he possibly need? It was always only him living there and he could care less how he lived, work kept him too busy for anything personal, but that was okay with him. Vincent had always felt that the less he had, emotionally and physically, that the less there was to be taken away from him… And less to be used against him.

As he was pouring his second bowl of cereal, the phone began to ring. He raised an eyebrow and got up from his chair, pulled the phone off the wall and put the receiver to his ear.

"Hello?" Vincent asked, his voice still groggy from sleep.

"Mr. Valentine? This is President Shinra's personal assistant," a nasally female voice responded.

Vincent waited for her to speak. He hadn't seen or heard from the President directly since his hiring date. It was always Heidegger or some other loser Heidegger hired to send him out on assignment.

Expecting a response from the Turk, the assistant was getting annoyed. "Do not report to Mr. Heidegger this morning, you are to report directly to President Shinra's office. Do you know how to get there?"

Vincent's mind traced back to his last few assignments trying to figure out if he messed up anywhere. Maybe pissed off or even killed someone who might be a personal friend to the President. "Sure, do you know what this is about?"

"He doesn't keep me informed," She snapped. "Make sure you get there soon, young man, the President doesn't like to wait."

Then the line was dead. Vincent placed the receiver back on its hook and wondered exactly how big the stick was and how far it went up her ass. As he returned to his cereal, he wondered what President Shinra could want from HIM of all people. The only thing he could think of is either a promotion, or that he was getting canned. But, either way, it's not something that Heidegger couldn't handle, especially if he was getting fired.

He slurped the remaining milk from his bowl and tossed it with the spoon into the sink full of dishes. He went to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, well tried anyway, it always fell the same way and he thought it looked too misshapen, but little did he realize what a chick magnet his thick, black hair was.

He went to the bedroom, opened his closet, and all he saw was a closet full of the same suits that he's been wearing to work for the past six years: the navy blue suit of the Turk. He didn't mind dressing in the same uniform day after day, all it meant to him is that he doesn't have to spend his own time and money buying work clothes. Plus, going to eat anywhere in Midgar wearing the suit of the Turk meant an automatic 20% discount. He dressed, straightened his tie and looked in the mirror. Vincent was a tall man, not very muscular, but not skinny either and his blue eyes accented by his blue suit and dark hair always had the secretaries at Shinra Inc. swooning over him, trying to get his attention each time he walked through their department. Vincent didn't notice them though, that and he didn't care; shacking up with the ladies at Shinra Inc. was the last thing on his mind. Although, the other members of the Turks loved to play the Shinra secretarial field, Vincent, on the other hand, always had a job to do.

He grabbed his keys and wallet, then left his apartment and locked his door. He got into the Shinra company car that was issued to him, the same make and model issued to each other of the Turks and turned the key. As the engine roared into life, Vincent's eyes fell to the passenger side seat, where there was a small faint stain on the grey leather. He closed his eyes remembering where the stain had come from, and found himself remembering more than he wanted.

It was the Example. The Example that President Shinra had to set because the citizens of Midgar were beginning to doubt the authority of the Shinra, and President Shinra gawked in thinking that people were doubting Shinra Inc.'s power, HIS power. He decided that a very clear Example should be made and he knew of the finest Turks that could make that Example. Those few members of the Turks were dispatched to different parts of Midgar to demonstrate to the population what would happen when the power of Shinra Inc. was talked down upon. Bars, pool halls, recreational clubs, Wall Market, and all the places where citizens socialized were going to have a lesson taught. A very important lesson, and to the rest who watched, an Example was to be made.

Vincent Valentine was among those few Turks and was dispatched to the bar located in Wall Market to do his job. "Locate and neutralize any person(s) speaking directly or indirectly in a negative manner against Shinra Electric Power Company. Those non participants shall observe and not intervene or they will be neutralized as well." At least that's how his orders on paper read. What Vincent read in his mind was "Publicly kill those speaking out against Shinra Inc. and let everyone around watch so that they learn from example. If anyone around tries to save the one being killed, kill him or her as well."

No one dared interfere, the Turk did his job and he did it well. Vincent was having a drink in the Wall Market bar, intently listening in on others' drunken ramblings, waiting for the opportunity to complete his assignment. Either no one noticed him sitting in the corner under the television, or no one cared. Either way was a grave mistake. He sat in the darkness, sipping his vodka, listening, and waiting. As Vincent had suspected, someone had finally had enough alcohol in him to let his tongue slip and that was all Vincent was looking for.

"Pussies!" The drunken man announced. "The Shinras ain't nuthin' but pussies."

A few murmurs and nods of agreement went across the bar, a few people, just as drunk as the speaker, replied just as enthusiastically. "Fuck 'em, I say," One man replied in a slur.

"That's what I'm talking bout," The first drunken man said again. "We don't need their all mighty reactors, or Mako energy or fancy crap! In the end its all gonna be about coal. Coals is always gonna be there AND those owners ain't as tight assed as this Shinra… This Shinra President is just a over-confident half-wit on a power trip who likes to charge high prices for the same shit."

"That's enough," Vincent's voice came from the corner, soft, but deep and demanding. The talking in the bar lowered a bit but resumed its constant murmur. His features and body were hidden through shadows and the haze cigarette smoke that every bar breathes.

"Huh?" The drunken man looked dumbly around and saw a figure stand up from a chair in the corner, still hidden by shadows and smoke. "What's it to you? Wasn't no one talking to you was they? What do you work for the Shinra or sumthin'?

"You could say that," Vincent replied in the same cool manner.

"Well, well!" The drunken man slurred still staring at Vincent's figure. "You know, us meager people don't take too kindly to the Shinra in this place. Why don't you walk yer Shinra ass-lickin self outside? Or maybe you need an escort?" The man said getting out of his barstool.

"Maybe I do," He replied in that cool manner, then finished his glass and stepped forward leaving the shadow behind him. Vincent's full body was now exposed and all conversation in the bar stopped abruptly. A glass breaking somewhere in the back room was the only sound anyone made. Finally, one of the drunken man's friends tugged on his shirt.

"Don't do it, Johnny," The man whispered to his drunken friend.

"Fuck that, I can take any Shinra pussy," The fist man replied.

The friend whispered again, "Look at him! He's a TURK for God's sake; you know how they are! Let it go. Please."

The drunken man ignored his friend and walked straight up to Vincent and crossed his arms. "I know what you are… And I don't give a shit. Looks like we're going to have a problem."

"No, it looks like you might be having a problem," Vincent responded calmly. "Am I going to have to teach you a lesson in talking about the Shinra in that manner?"

"What?! You the one who's gonna get taught!" The drunken man bellowed.

With that, the man pulled a switchblade out from his pocket and made his move. Vincent moved swiftly to the side grabbing the hand with the blade in it, and breaking the man's wrist. There was an audible "snap," and the next thing heard was the knife clattering to the floor. The drunken man screamed even more enraged. He lunged towards Vincent again and like before, Vincent quickly moved out of the way and the man tripped over a chair and went sprawling to the floor. The drunken man looked to his right and saw the blade sitting on the floor. He got on his knees and grabbed it with his good hand and turned towards Vincent. Before he could even think of his next move, he heard a loud bang as sudden jolt went through his hand, and something cut him under his right eye. The man looked down and saw he was no longer holding the switchblade, and that it was shot to pieces around his feet. When he realized that it was shrapnel from the knife that cut him under the eye, he looked over at the Turk and saw a smoking gun pointed at his head.

"As you can see, there is nothing wrong with the Shinra authority," Vincent said coldly, but loudly enough for the occupants of the bar to hear. "As you can also see, certain things can and will happen to those who think and speak otherwise about the Shinra."

The drunken man, still on his knees, looked around for help, but the other people in the bar wouldn't dare move, not even the friend who tried to talk him out of it. They wanted to see the sun tomorrow. Knowing that he was on his own, the drunken man tried to best the Turk. He reached for the gun to try and disarm Vincent, but his drunken state made him too slow. Much too slow. Vincent kicked the man's arm down, taking no need to aim, and fired the second and last shot of the evening. The man's body slumped to the floor, but only half of his face stared blankly at the ceiling; the rest was somewhere on the pool table behind him. Still, the occupants of the bar sat there, looking wide-eyed at Vincent, but saying nothing.

Vincent kept his gun in his hand and adjusted his black tie, "Don't take this lightly," He announced. "I hope you are all taking notes. Things… Happen to those who can't hold their tongues about the Shinra. There is nothing wrong with the authority of Shinra, so make sure you all keep that in mind because you well know that we are watching."

Vincent took his leave, casually stepping over the lifeless body that once was Jonathan Serra, husband, father of three (with one on the way), who worked at the local Wall Market pharmacy and was the coach of the little league baseball for boys ages 8-12. Did Vincent know all that about the drunken man who couldn't hold his tongue about the Shinra? No. Would he still have killed just to make an Example for the Shinra if he did know? Yes. Why? Because it was his job.

The same occurrences took place in all the bars, and social gatherings throughout Midgar for the few days following. Not all were done by Vincent, but done by Turks like him, and they all got President Shinra's point across. No one in the Wall Market bar ever spoke out against the Shinra after that night and a picture of Jonathan Serra hung above the jukebox as a silent reminder.

Vincent opened his eyes again and he was back in his company car outside his apartment. He put the car into gear and made his way to downtown Midgar where the Shinra Inc. Headquarters was located. He stopped at a red light and looked again at the faint stain on the passenger seat remembering that job. He had laid his gun there after getting in his car only to have a piece of the drunken man's face slide off his gun and onto the seat.

It was just a job.

Chapter 8

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic