Reno: Through the Eyes Chapter 1

By Kain Servant

The energy of the room was intense. Thousands of people jumping and screaming and trying to get his attention. Hundreds of beautiful girls and older women - still trying to force their girlish spirit on others – blowing kisses and wailing their infatuation from hoarse throats and bloodshot eyes.

The gain was almost oppressive, but no one ever seemed to notice except for him. That was what they thrived on – the guitar that resembled the noise received when a man was lowered into a pot of boiling water face first. The bass would have shattered windows if there had been any to shatter. The drums…well the sticks had been broken numerous times in just the past hour.

And it was almost over. One more song ended, one last song and he would be out of the crowd and the noise for the night. He could slip away and take a relaxing bath in his room all by himself. He was getting a headache…

Clearing his hoarse throat, he pulled reddish-brown hair out of his eyes and smiled down into the masses. She wasn’t there. He had scoured hundreds of times, his pleading eyes looking for even a mirage of her form. Even in a shaking concert hall, searching through thousands of faces, he knew she wasn’t there.

“It’s been a good night.” It’d been a shitty night. “But it’s got to end.” They never responded. Never changed, dammit, they simply screamed and screamed at the top of their lungs, no matter what he said, no matter what he sang. “I’ll leave you with one last song…this is dedicated to…” His last words were lost in the roar of the guitar. His band knew what song to play, they wanted to get home too. Sighing away from the microphone, he cradled it back to him gently,

‘I met your eyes – last night in the rain – were you there? Did you see me? Watched God’s teardrops falling in your hair… Want to talk to you – wish you knew how I feel for you… Want to hold your face – to kiss your eyes – to feel you…

My flower.’

Inwardly he could have wept. As he could have wept every time they had ever performed the song on stage. It was supposed to be a ballad, have some feeling. But the people of Midgar didn’t really listen to the words or feel the emotion in songs anymore. They were close enough to dead anyway, they just wanted to have fun.

Nevertheless he poured his heart into the song, thinking of the one he loved.

As the dense vibration that carried the stage faded, he tossed the microphone on the floor and ducked off stage as fast as he could, throwing the guitar player a pat on the back as he went. He could hear the DJ behind him pick up his mic and scream,

“Give it up folks! That rocked! One last cheer for Midgar’s favorite man – Reno Thunder – and, of course, me, your favorite DJ – Roarin’ Pete!”

Thank God it was over.


Microphones and scratching pencils surrounded Reno as he pushed his way through the backstage area toward the exit, feeling his lips spitting out the Recorded message:

“If I’ve ever had a concert here before, you’ve heard all I’m going to say. It was a great concert and I really love the people. Now go the fuck away.”

It never fazed them of course, they always kept jabbering and yelling his name in his ear until he picked his backpack up from the table, turned, and slammed the door in their faces. He put his back against the door, sighing a deep breath.

The air was hot. He could hear the faint sound of jazz being played somewhere else in the third sector. He loved jazz, loved going to their concerts – a lot more peaceful.

He walked away. The din of the room he had just left faded. Reno reached into his bag and pulled out a cigarette and a light, then his guard stick, which he slid into his belt loop. A few puffs, and the hazy aura of comfort settled back over his system. He could breathe again – and he did so.

The stage always got him so worked up and pissed off. He wasn’t typically a very angry person but seeing all those mindless people screaming their souls out just…chafed at it.

Absent-mindedly he pulled his stick out and flipped it from hand to hand. That always brought him to the question of why he ever got on stage. He knew why he had started. He was a normal adolescent who hated his parents and everything else and thought life was unfair, one gifted with words and a good voice. His career as a singer got him away from the dull life in Kalm.

But why he stayed on? Hell he didn’t know. He loved the city, hated the people. He loved the money and hated the media. He loved expressing himself…and hated people’s pre-programmed reaction to his expression.

Ah, he still had a headache, he needed to sleep.


The train ride to Sector 6 wasn’t too long. Reno sat across from a rotund man who slept the whole trip, and a dangerously-pierced punk who had come from the concert and gaped in awe at him the whole trip. At least it was quiet.

When they reached the sector 6 station, the kid had enough nerve to ask for an autograph. Reno smiled and took the pen and CD to sign, “Here you go – glad you like my music. And…uhm, try not to get any more piercings, you don’t look like you have enough skin left.”

“Heh…yeah man, you rock!”

‘I rock.’ Reno smirked as he swung off of the train and began jogging down the street, giving a smile to the watchman as he passed.

The eight sectors of Midgar was like going to eight different cities. Reno had learned that well after living there for five years. Sector 6 had been his home since he stepped into the city and breathed the musky air for the first time. It wasn’t rich, it wasn’t a slum. It was homey, that was all he wanted.

And he knew the people – it was like a big neighborhood, or suburb…the people of each sector stoutly defended their home being the best. He could name every person on the block that he lived on, and they all knew him and waved to him as he passed and asked how the concert had gone. Sector 3 was the music sector. People in Sector 6 were for the most part elderly and more peaceful…preferring classical over rage.

So Reno nodded at old Bill Jimony as he fiddled with his cap, rocked in his rocker, and laughed gently at the thought of him ever going to a ‘head-bangin’ festival’ as he called it. And Reno took one more sweep in of the slumbering neighborhood before he stepped into his sanctuary and closed the door on the night.

He didn’t see Aeris. He supposed she was at home sleeping by now – dreaming the innocent dreams that only an innocent girl like her could conjure. He personally dreamt dreams of that innocent girl every night. He could lose himself thinking of her voice, her coy little smile. He bought a flower from her every time she was at the corner, and drank in her smile and her thank you, and took them home and slept on the thought that one day he would go-

The phone rang. It was eleven o’ clock at night and the phone was ringing! Dropping into his favorite (and only) armchair, he yanked it from the hook.

“Yes.” It wasn’t a question, it was an impatient answer.

“Reno, Reno, don’t get mad at me buddy, I’ll only be one minute!” It was greasy-man Giami, Reno’s manager. Reno didn’t like him, he talked too fast and made his head hurt. But five years ago Reno had been as excited about money as he was excited seeing the ShinRa building for the first time, and he took any help he could get. Which, at the time, was the extremely-short, extremely-fat, dark man with a cigar that was medically registered his third limb.

“It was a great concert tonight, Reno, great. Listen, I want you to really enjoy your day off – just live it up buddy, ‘cause I’m sorry, but you’re really booked for the next…two weeks at least. The media and your fans are just eating up this new shit you just threw them – Thursday it’s Sector 4, then Friday, pack up your bags ‘cause we’re doing the tour again. Junon, Costa del Sol, then we’re going to do a first. Acoustic performance in Cosmos Canyon. How about that? Apparently they’re big into your music over there too – bunch of jungle…hippie freaks most of them.”

“Thank you.” Why bother calling?

“One thing! I just forgot, you can’t take the whole day off tomorrow ‘cause I’ve got you a meeting with Tseng himself, mister Turk, you know him. Couldn’t get the President, but Tseng apparently listens to some of your music and it’s good publicity. How about that?”

“What can I say?”

“You’re a terrific performer, Reno, never had any better! Number 1, buddy! I’ll send a car to take you to the ShinRa Elevator tomorrow at 4, he’ll meet you in the lobby of the thirtieth floor. Good night, sleep well!” Click.

Reno hung up the phone and went about starting his bath. A half of a day. Maybe he would talk to Aeris tomorrow, tell her that he found her…very attractive? No. That sounded immature…he was famous and all, he should be able to do go up to her and have her swoon into his arms.

But she wasn’t pulling that number, and the more his popularity rose the less time he had to himself, and the fewer his chances were of ever…expressing himself to her.

But what the hell would he say? He had never been able to pick up girls very well – much less girls that he had adored for five years. The water was hot enough, and he stepped away to get a towel. As the water rose, he pulled off his tight black T-shirt and massaged his arm for a moment, listening to the peaceful murmur of running water.

A half-day, and then another one of these dumb interviews Giami had set up. Tseng huh? Reno had talked and smiled to them all, he wasn’t sure about Tseng though. Faces became vague after you’d seen a million of them.

Reno sighed again as he eased into the bath. As he crawled up the ladder, his life went further and further downhill. He didn’t know what he was going to do to pull it out but he knew something. If he kept going to the smokey, beer-drenched concert halls night after night and screaming his lungs out for a blank audience, he was sure to pull the fake smile off his face and kick someone’s ass eventually.

And then that would be the end. That was almost a happy thought. He had gained nothing personal over the past five years. Money. He was close to no one except Giami, whom he abhorred, and his band members, a bunch of punk crackheads he had hired because they could play their instruments well.

His parents didn’t talk to him anymore, last time he had spoken to them they were angry because of what he was, and how he could ruin his life. He almost missed them…dammit he was such a baby.

So he soaked energy back into tired muscles and strength back into his frayed nerves…and tried to focus his mind on more ideas for lyrics…what was a new catchy phrase and tune he could use to catch an audience. Catch another million?

His mind simply kept returning to ‘My flower…’ Not his flower…what he wanted desperately to be his flower. She was the reason he still wrote every song and went to every concert…if she would just go to one concert, and let him dedicate her song to her. Then he could quit a happy man.

Chapter 2

Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic