In a time when the Sith and the Jedi are thought to be extinct legends, Shinra raises to take control of the new republic's council. However, as long as life exists, so will the Force and along with it, its two sides. (Final Fantasy VII x Star Wars)
Shinra Wars: Reno's Story
Episode 01: Information
The hutt growled and in a low voice made noises that resembled the name of Reno. The red haired human merely laughed and pushed a cadet aside.
"Sir!" The cadet protested.
"Go take a break, get a drink or something. I don't need to be followed," Reno motioned towards the bar; the Seventh Heaven was very well known in Mos Eisley, the infamous Tatooine space port. A human girl was behind the bar, breaking all standard by allowing droids to enter the establishment. A blond man with a large sword stood in a corner, watching over the happenings and making sure things didn't get out of hand.
"But sir," the unwise cadet continued to protest.
"Yes, sir," another cadet grabbed his companion's arm and dragged him to join the others at the bar.
"Where's the cargo, Reno!" The hutt growled in his language, but the redhead was used to it and understood him perfectly.
"The Chancellor gave me a better offer," Reno dismissed the hutt and walked away.
"Come back here!" The giant worm protested. "The price on your head will be so big that-"
"That bounty hunters would go as far as to defy the Supreme Chancellor? All of the senate is under the protection of the dark side of the Force; don't you know why they're here?" By 'they,' Reno referred to the cadets, which the hutt had been ignoring.
"Is it true? It can't be!" The hutt was left to wonder, while the human joined the other men at the bar.
Supreme Chancellor Shinra had recently died; with his son Rufus filling in on the last minute, until a new chancellor was elected. The senate ended up electing Rufus himself as the new chancellor and that's when the rumors began. They said the senate was being protected by the dark side of the Force, even if such a thing as the Force should no longer exist.
They said a Sith Lord was behind all of it, working for the new young chancellor, or maybe controlling him. They said the Chancellor's bodyguard, Sephiroth, was secretly the one known as Darth Meteor. But no one dared speak of such rumors above a whisper.
One thing was for sure, the senate had changed. New members had been strategically brought in to help manipulate it, occasionally pretending to be pawns to the larger star systems, only to lead them where the one in charge wanted them to be. Those who infiltrated the senate were the Supreme Chancellor's advisors; a supposedly neutral party called Turks, Reno was one of them.
In truth the Turks were more of Rufus' bodyguards and were anything but neutral. All Reno did during those boring meetings and lay back and place his feet on the edge of his pod, effectively annoying every other member of the senate. While some saw him as a disrespectful brat, others saw him as an opportunity. Apparently, he couldn't care less about the senate and thus they thought his vote could be easily bought. The assumption only made him a better spy.
There were days when Reno actually missed working for the hutts. There were more explosions and less secrecy. But his job really wasn't all that bad, save for the cadets that followed him as much as they followed the protocol, even if in the event of any attacks, they would just get in the way.
Seeing as his useless bodyguards were busy enjoying their drinks, Reno snuck off to purposely annoy the hutts and cause some trouble, because life as a spy in the senate was quieter than he had imagined, at least for now. Either way, he missed the reckless excitement.
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It was easy for Reno to make his way to the hutt's home in the dune sea. He knew the place quite well. Today music was not playing and the main entrance was tightly closed. "Hello? Anyone home?"
A tiny camera above the door focused on Reno. He looked up at the camera, wondering why the security had increased so much. Though he couldn't hear it from outside, there was an argument going on inside, about if he should be allowed to come in or not. Finally a voice was heard. "Have you come as an ally, Reno?"
Reno knew they wouldn't let him in otherwise and he wondered why the hutts were so worried. "Sure, I'm here as an ally. I came to save you from impending doom, for a price."
The doors opened and Reno was allowed to go inside. Not too long ago, a hutt was threatening him, and now they were scared. "If you win, you will be greatly rewarded."
"I'll win alright," but Reno's victory would not necessarily mean a victory for the hutts. "Why the sudden fear?" Since the death of their leader Java, many years ago before Reno was born, back when the last Jedi still lived, the hutts had been losing power. But even so, they were not this scared a little earlier.
"I heard about it at the Seventh Heaven," one of the hutts spoke. Admittedly the Seventh Heaven was the best place to find information in all of Tatooine, and possibly in that entire side of the galaxy. "Someone warned me that Darth Meteor was coming to kill all the hutts."
"Darth Meteor, from the Sith?" Reno laughed. "Both the Sith and the Jedi are extinct, the rumors about the senate and the dark side are only rumors."
The hutt assigned to watch the main entrance through the camera spoke up in alarm. "He's here! He's here! Darth Meteor arrived!"
Another other hutt, the current leader, addressed Reno, "do your job well and you will be generously rewarded, if not, you'll die with us."
"That reward better be good," though as far as Reno knew, both the Jedi and the Sith were extinct, light sabers still existed and Reno had one. The blue light saber was of standard length, glowing brightly despite its years. It had belonged to a Jedi in the past. Lost in battle, the light saber changed owners many times before it ended up in Reno's hands.
A circle was shaped around the main door, the laser blade of a light saber cutting through the thick metal easily. A man with long silver hair, wearing black, entered the hutt's property and Reno instantly recognized him. "Sephiroth," he was Rufus' bodyguard. "Why are you here?"
"To eliminate the hutts, I was not supposed to be expected," the silver light saber Sephiroth wielded was far longer than a regular one, extending five times as far. "You are in my mission territory."
"Got it, time to leave," paying no attention to the hutts, Reno walked away. He and Sephiroth were on the same side, they both worked for Chancellor Rufus, they were both helping build another empire, and there was no reason to get in the way of each other. Though Reno did take some riches on the way out, it's not like the hutts would need the treasures in their graves.
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Reno loaded the loot into his hover car and headed back in the general direction of the space port, but changed course when he saw a jawa transport in the distance. He didn't get the much needed entertainment from the hutts, but maybe he would find some interesting gadget with the jawas.
Upon noticing the approaching hover car, the jawa transport stopped at the possibility of a customer, one of the jawas ushered some droids out and lined them up in front of Reno, but what really caught Reno's attention, was that the jawa's eyes did not glow. He pretended to examine a robot and with a quick movement pulled the jawa's hood down to find that he was not a jawa at all. "Why is a human boy pretending to be a jawa?"
"Stop it, let go!" The boy tried to put the hood back on, but Reno wouldn't let it go.
Reno looked at the boy, kneeling down to eye level, "I'm curious, why are you with the jawas?"
The boy did not reply, and instead attacked by sticking two fingers in Reno's nose. Reno was taken by surprised, stumbled back and fell, while the boy rushed inside.
"Come back here you little brat!" Reno held his pained nose.
A real jawa explained in a squeaky voice in his own language, "we took care of that boy, so he is in debt to us until he pays for his expenses, that is why he works for us."
"The brat has guts, I'll give him that," Reno retrieved a box from his hover car and opened it, revealing the hutt treasures inside. "How about this for the boy."
The jawas were very exited with the trade and it showed. "Yes! Yes!" The leader signaled for another to get the boy and bring him back outside.
"What's going on?" The boy didn't know about the deal the jawas were so exited about.
"I paid your debt kid, so your debt is with me now," Reno explained. "The first thing you have to do is stop pretending to be a jawa."
The boy removed his hood, "are you planning to give me a job to repay you?"
"Actually, I'm going to pass on your debt to someone else. Don't worry about it kid, that person is very kind and will most likely forgive your debt and free you," Reno got into the hover car and waited for the boy to get in as well, then left the jawas to their celebration of having obtained rare hutt riches. Little did they know that hutt currency would be worthless after their extinction from Tatooine was announced; it was convenient than in their fear the hutts all gathered together for their easy elimination by Sephiroth.
"Why not just free me yourself?" The boy asked as they sped away in the hover car.
"I need information," it was clear that Reno would not elaborate. Instead he changed the subject, "what's your name kid?"
"Denzel," the boy replied, "and you are?"
"Reno of the Turks," to admit he was a Turk on such a remote planet had little meaning. He could announce it at the top of his lungs in the public plaza and no one would care. It would be a different story if he was in Coruscant, he couldn't even whisper about being a Turk there. The Turks as those who infiltrated, spied and manipulated the senate, would always be denied, even if everyone knew it was true, to the public eye, the Turks were merely the chancellor's advisors and most of all, an opportunity for bribery that no merchant would pass up.
However, Denzel was better informed than most of the locals. "Will there be another empire? I don't like the idea, but the republic has been ignoring Tatooine so it can't get worse, maybe it'll get better. I heard someone from the Sith is getting rid of the hutts, if they made a new trade federation, it wouldn't have been good anyway."
After the fall of the empire, Tatooine continued being an autonomous planet, though due to it's desert nature, it was not rich in resources and could not compete with the alliance of the new republic. The hutts began to form a new trade federation and the Chancellor eliminated them. The rest of the people of Tatooine opposed no resistance, since they knew the hutts would abuse any power they might obtain.
"I see," Reno wondered what else civilians could have heard. "Got any more information like that?"
"Just rumors, I heard that someone might turn up that will change things in the senate, break a tie or something like that," Denzel didn't have all the details.
"I heard about it and that's why I'm here," Reno voiced.
"All of this isn't free you know, I expect you to lower my debt," Denzel didn't want to be a slave forever.
"Don't worry kid, you'll be free to go in no time," Reno assured.
The senate was at a tie, which left the choices up to the Chancellor, the tie breaker. But if some long lost leader, representing a big enough star system in the new republic's territory asked to join the senate, the request could not be denied. If that person sided against Rufus, it could be troublesome. Reno had to find out if such a person existed and gain a new ally or eliminate a new enemy.
Reno was certain the bartender of the Seventh Heaven knew, but she wouldn't tell. Denzel was the perfect form of persuasion, Reno had seen a little girl living at the Seventh Heaven before, and he believed Tifa, the bartender, had a soft spot for children. If Reno offered to trade a boy who would otherwise be a slave for information, Tifa would not waste the chance to accept the trade and gain the boy's debt so she may free him.
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"Sir!" The annoying cadets surrounded Reno again, as he returned to the Seventh Heaven.
Reno rolled his eyes and started an improvised act. "I think I was followed!" He pretended to be out of breath, as if he has ran back all the way. "The hutts they're out there, they're here in Mos Eisley, they're trying to kill me, find them quick!"
The cadets started to run around like crazy little ants, scrambling to search the city. One of them paused, "what about you Senator Reno?"
Reno cringed, "what have I told you about calling me senator?" He didn't like formal titles, especially titles that were a mere cover for his real job. "I can tolerate sir, but I prefer Reno and can't stand senator."
"Yes, sir Reno!" The cadet saluted.
"So now I'm a knight?" Reno shook his head. "Go join the others searching for what can't be found, if they come here, that guy will get rid of them," Reno looked towards the blond man with the large sword.
"Yes, sir Reno and we will find them!" The cadet rushed out.
"Don't call me sir Reno!" Reno didn't know how he put up with those idiots.
"The hutts are not really coming, are they?" Cloud, the man with spiky blond hair and a large rusted but sharp sword, walked over.
"The hutts are probably dead by now," Reno sounded indifferent.
"So it was true, killed by Darth Meteor," Cloud looked displeased.
"Why do I get the feeling you don't approve?" Reno asked, "as far as I know, the locals don't like the hutts."
"I don't," Cloud assured, "but I dislike the Sith even more. I wish to be a Jedi."
"A Jedi? The Jedi and the Sith are extinct, but if it's a light saber you want to replace that old sword, then you can probably find one sold as a collector's item in the open market. I have one too," Reno showed him the light saber, the name 'Secura' was carved into the handle.
"Who is Secura?" Cloud asked.
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Reno remembered when he first tried to find out who that Secura had been out of curiosity. He had gone to the archives, he ran in like it was nobody's business and an old librarian yelled at top of his lungs, "no running!"
Reno slowed to a walk; he would think such a place would be quieter than this, "I'm looking for information on Secura."
"Don't speak so loudly, you must keep your voice down!" The old librarian yelled.
"But you just yelled," Reno pointed out, somewhat amused.
"Me? Oh, my name is Bugenhagen. What's your name, child?" The old man asked.
Reno considered protesting about being called a child, but compared to that old fossil, anyone was a child. "Reno, and I'm looking for information about Secura."
"Speak up boy; ever since the doctor removed what little midiclorians I had left in my blood, I'm not the way I used to be. Parasites, ha! Sure my geostigma was cure with the midiclorians gone, but they were not the cause in the first place," the old man rambled.
"Didn't you just tell me to keep my voice down? I'm Reno and I'm looking for Secura."
"Secura? Is that your girlfriend? I haven't seen any young girls come here today," Bugenhagen starting walking, assuming Reno would follow along.
"She's not my girlfriend; I don't even know who this Secura person is. It was Jedi who died long ago, the owner of my light saber," Reno was somewhat amused by the old man's antics.
"So you want to be a Jedi to avenge your girlfriend's death? No, no, no, the Sith takes revenge, the Jedi only return, they don't take revenge," Bugenhagen was lost in his own interpretation of things.
"Right, I'm going to find the information myself, never mind," Reno headed off to a terminal.
Bugenhagen looked a bit confused, "mines? I suppose you could train in mines." Reno was already gone.
Reno didn't find a lot of information about Jedi Secura, he was just curious and a picture accompanied by a full name was all it took to satisfy that curiosity.
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"Some blue Jedi chick," Reno replied to Cloud's question about 'Secura' being carved in his light saber. "Her first name was Aayla, she was killed when the Sith got rid of the Jedi council years ago."
"The Jedi will always return," Cloud was sure of it. One day he would join his friend Zack who had gone off to become a Jedi in an unknown far off place.
"Right," Reno didn't sound like he believed it.
Denzel finally spoke up, "I think they will come back."
"I guess you'll get along well with these people," Reno looked at Tifa, who had been listening while simultaneously tending to her customers the entire time. "About the one who can break the tie in the senate, tell me and this slave boy is yours, to free or to keep as you wish."
Tifa looked at Denzel then at Reno, "they say that the rightful heir to Grimore's throne was involved in some trouble with a Sith Lord, trying to save a lady. The rumor is that the lady was either locked away on Naboo or killed by the Sith Lord. Grimore's son, if he still lives, is imprisoned on Mustafar."
The information was better than Reno had thought, "good doing business with you," he fully intended to leave the cadets behind when he left, so Reno was in a hurry to sneak away. "I guess this means your debt belongs to Tifa now, Denzel."
Tifa looked at the boy with gentle eyes, "your debt is forgiven, you can go home."
"I'm free? Thanks! But I don't have a place to go," Denzel was homeless, that's how he ended up in the care of the jawas.
"You do now, welcome to the family, I'm Tifa and this is Cloud," Tifa noticed a little girl peeking from behind the counter, even if she was told not to wander into the bar, it could be a dangerous place, "and this is Marlene."
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Episode 02: Legacy
Reno let himself out of the Seventh Heaven via a secret passage he was used to taking before he became a Turk, when ever he got in trouble with the hutts. The passage led him to the spaceship docks.
Reno looked at the ship that had brought him and the cadets to Tatooine. He was leaving the cadets there, if the Chancellor wanted them back, he could send a ship for them. Or the cadets would eventually figure out a way to get off Tatooine. "Are you sure this thing won't fall apart?"
Cid was tempted to throw a wrench at Reno, but he refrained from doing so. "Of course not! This is the Millennium Falcon, the legendary ship that once belonged to-"
"Han Solo, I know," that convinced Reno to trust the ship every time. He knew it was falling apart, but he couldn't help it but to occasionally share Cid's fascination with the ship. The only time Reno stayed awake during history class in elementary school, was during the tales of Han Solo when they studied the history of the fall of the empire. He had also read every Han Solo comic ever made.
"I take it you're ditching your cadets again, senator." Cid only called Reno senator because he knew the redhead hated it.
"I really want to test my light saber on you," Reno grumbled as he boarded the ship, implying a positive response to Cid's question.
"Just try it kid," Cid knew Reno didn't like to be called kid either. "I'm surprised you keep that old light saber, I thought you'd use a blaster like your favorite comic book hero."
"Solo was real!" Han had died of old age before any of them were born and Reno knew that Cid knew that, but what the pilot was implying was that the stories in most of the comic books were fiction. "I like light sabers and close combat." Reno sat at the co-pilot's seat, where Chewbaka would have sat years ago. "You really have to clean this ship, I get wookie hair all over every time I sit here."
"I'm telling you, it'll ruin the legacy," Cid sat at the pilot's seat and started up the engine. Cid always worked on the Millennium Falcon and Reno wasn't sure if he was trying to improve the old ship, or simply keep it from falling apart.
"Mustafar," Reno decided it was best to head straight there.
"It's a good thing I got the AC fixed," the Millennium Falcon took off leaving, Tatooine behind. A little further ahead, they a made a jump to light speed.
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Mustafar as a volcanic planet, covered almost entirely in lava, the Millennium Falcon landed in a platform above the lava. A little anti-gravity flag protected by a force field, floated over the spot where the epic duel between Anakin Skywalker, who had already become Darth Vader, and Obi Wan Kenobi had ended, as a landmark. A group of tourists wearing black armor and fake respirator masks were squealing and cheering, pointing at the spot. The same group continued their happy squeals when they saw what they thought to be a very realistic replica of the Millennium Falcon near by.
"I don't want to know what they'll do to my ship if they figure out it's the real Millennium Falcon," Cid watched the tourists with distrust. "I'll wait up in the atmosphere; give me a call when you're done."
"Sure," Reno exited the ship, calling back to Cid one last time. "I'm not even sure what I'm looking for," indicating that it might take a while.
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Reno walked around the gift shops and considered forcing his way past security, but he decided against it, they wouldn't provide a challenge anyway. After showing his ID as a member of the senate, he was offered a tour, which he refused. "I'll look around by myself," thus he made certain to lose the employees and sneak off to the basement.
Supposedly, the tourist attractions were built on top of the ruins of an old base rumored to have been also used as a research laboratory. If the lost son of Grimoire really was in Mustafar, Reno could think of no other place where he would be.
Reno made his way to the deepest basement, then stomped on the metal floor until it sounded differently, hollow. He then used his light saber to cut a hole on the floor and jumped down. He had indeed arrived at the ruins of an old laboratory, but the place was in bad shape. Even so, Reno explored.
Deep inside the deserted laboratory, Reno saw a man dressed similarly to him, though more formal, with a tie included. Turning around quickly, his long black hair falling back perfectly into place, he had his blaster aimed at the unexpected visitor. The weapon was put away when the new arrival was recognized as an ally, "I see you found out about Grimore's long lost son," Tseng concluded.
"How did you know?" Reno curiously inquired.
"The information was obtained by Sephiroth from the hutts while he eliminated them and transmitted to me," Tseng tossed a small holographic communicator known as a PHS at Reno. "You forgot that, so I couldn't contact you, but I called the Seventh Heaven and left a message, I thought you would be there."
Reno had gone though the trouble of finding information only to realize it had already been found. "I guess Tifa thought it was in her best interest not to give me the message, or rather, not to tell me it was from you. No one wonder she sounded so sure when she passed on the information."
Tseng looked at Reno curiously, "it was encrypted."
"The people of Tatooine are tricky," Reno replied, "so what exactly do we need to watch out for?"
"A coffin containing a man frozen in carbonate," Tseng informed.
Reno nodded, "got it." The two men went further down into the structure, the heat was nearly unbearable. "It's hard to believe that anything could stay frozen down here." Yet they found a coffin, just as the rumors said, and opened it. Reno poked at the silvery block inside it, the man's expression frozen. "He looks like he was upset," it should come as no surprise; anyone about to be frozen against their will would be upset.
"Take him to the secret base at the Alderaan asteroid field and wake him up, you know what to do next. I will return to Coruscant," Tseng decided. "There's been a lot of political activity in the capital and this will bring a lot more."
"No problem," Reno would continue with his mission, to gain Vincent Valentine's vote or terminate his life if he refused to join their side.
"Take your time negotiating with him," Tseng gave the frozen man one last glance before leaving.
"Great," Reno spoke to Vincent after Tseng left, even if he knew the other man could not hear in his frozen state. "Now I'm going to have to drag your coffin all the way out of here." He wasn't doing it by himself; Reno called Cid on his newly recovered PHS, Phone Hologram System. "I found Valentine; I need some droids down here, strong droids."
The little blue-ish hologram of Cid replied, "I'll send in some droids," and with an amused laugh he added, "you look like you're being cooked alive."
"I am, so make it quick," Reno shut off the communication device and hoped he wouldn't pass out from the extreme heat before the droids arrived to carry Vincent to the Millennium Falcon.
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Later, the Millennium Falcon arrived at the secret base in the Alderaan asteroid field. Cid stayed with the ship, working on it as he always did, and Reno followed the droid who carried Vincent to the medical facilities.
Vincent was being prepared to be woken up from his long sleep, while Ramuh watched the entire procedure, ready to start one his tales any time. "Back in the days when Luke Skywalker was still alive and I was just a little kid, people said the new Jedi order would last forever and the Sith would never return."
"But they both became extinct," Reno finished.
"Yes, that's what we keep telling ourselves to avoid thinking of another war. There were a lot of difficult times back then, always wondering when your home planet would get blown up with you still on it, remember?" Ramuh recalled.
"No I don't, grandpa," Reno replied, "I wasn't even born, so I can't remember."
"Details, details!" Ramuh shook his head. "You don't have enough vitamins in you, Reno. That's why you're so low on midiclorians." Ramuh's logic was a little odd, but he did have a good deal of highly evolved midiclorians, so he was kept around, even if he was ancient. The way he could call up the power of the Force to create electricity was amazing. It was an ability Reno could copy, only if he was aided by technology, but his grandfather was convinced that if he simply ate his vegetables like his was told, the sleeping midiclorians he claimed Reno had, would miraculously awaken.
Reno didn't think vegetables would do any good. "Let's just unfreeze this guy and get it done." The mechanism attached to the block of carbonate was, as expected, not functional, however the block was placed onto a larger machine and the carbonate was easily melted, the mysterious Vincent Valentine falling forward flat on his face.
"What that supposed to happen?" Ramuh was obviously teasing his grandson about forgetting that a man who had been frozen for so long, couldn't possibly stand up right after being freed, as if nothing ever happened.
Reno grumbled and ordered some clones, "pick him up and heal him."
They were Sephiroth clones, though for an unknown reason, they all turned out looking different and none looked exactly like the original, though they all had silver hair. It was as if the original simply couldn't be copied to perfection. The clones were genetically modified to be submissive and obedient but fierce against the enemy, save from three of them who were special, Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz, possessed free will to an extent. The regular clones did nothing of their own initiative and none of them had been ordered to catch Vincent Valentine when he fell.
"I only require assistance in freezing myself again. I have failed and must sleep to atone for it." Even shaking from the after effects of being frozen, Vincent had a strong presence. He could be useful should he be persuaded to join Shinra's side in the senate.
"Can you see?" Reno knew being frozen affected the eyes, though not permanently, but Vincent was frozen for a long time.
"No, only a red blur," Vincent replied.
"At least you're easy to find," Ramuh joked, Reno's hair did stand out against the dull gray background.
"Better than seeing nothing," Reno decided to ignore the comment about his hair and help Vincent, though his assistance was not directed towards helping him go back to sleep. "Put these on for a moment," Reno took off his goggles and put them on Vincent. The redhead pressed a tiny, nearly invisible switch on the side and the goggle's mechanism activated. Not only did they protect the eyes, but they also healed though high tech instant laser treatment. But mostly Reno just wore them on his forehead because they looked cool. "Is that better?"
Vincent took off the goggles and handed back to Reno, "yes, I can see clearly now."
"The rain is gone!" A clone suddenly came rushing over to give Reno the news. "Sir, we have received reports that the storm that has been over Kamino for the past century has finally dissipated. The Kaminoans see it as a bad omen and wish to make sure the negotiations with the Supreme Chancellor still stand."
"Oh yeah, I had to deal with Kamino last time, but that was before the rookie joined, give that message to Elena, she has Kamino now," Reno replied.
"Yes sir!" The cadet ran off to relay the message.
"I wonder how Rude is doing on Naboo..." Reno hoped things went well, only Rude had enough patience to deal with the Gungans.
"Excuse me, I do not wish to interrupt but I wish to return to my slumber now," Vincent wasn't sure what was happening, but acted as if it was none of his business.
"Join us," Reno requested, "whatever it is you need help with, I'm sure the Supreme Chancellor will help you."
"Nobody can help me, I must atone," Vincent refused.
"I don't think you'll be doing much by sleeping," Reno reasoned.
"Listen here young man," Ramuh waved his hand in front of Vincent, "you do not need to go back to sleep."
"Yes I do," Vincent insisted.
"You will help the Supreme Chancellor," Ramuh repeated the action.
"I have no interest in participating in the council," Vincent insisted.
"A strong one," Ramuh laughed, "it's hard to believe someone as strong willed as you would run away."
Reno's PHS rang and he answered it, a hologram of Tseng appeared, "Reno, this is a private transmission."
"Be right back," Reno left to a private room, to hear the news from Tseng. "Okay, you can tell me now."
"After Sephiroth sent his report he took some time off and was spotted heading to Dagobah," Tseng revealed
"It's about time he took a vacation," Reno found nothing unusual about it at first, until he remembered what kind of planet Dagobah was. The place was famous for being the hideout of Master Joda for many years and the training place of Master Luke Skywalker. However, the planet's stubborn swamps and creepy caverns, kept it from being turned into a tourist attraction. "Why would anyone go there?"
"That's what we need to know. I'm sure General Ramuh can continue the negotiations with Valentine in your place. I need to remain in Coruscant for the time being, Rude is still in Naboo and Elena is on her way to Kamino. Reno, you need to investigate what Sephiroth could be doing in Dagobah without being discovered."
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Episode 3: Conflict
Getting to Dagobah was easy for Reno, the swamp planet was not guarded at all, no one would care to go there. Making it through the planet was the hard part. He grumbled about how he rather be a senator than hike through the tick swamp, not even in his days working for the hutts did he need to go through such rough terrain.
There was a cave ahead, filled with a strange aura that made Reno wonder what was in it. He ventured inside, light saber in hand and found Sephiroth in the company of a cloaked figure, too covered in black to be identified.
"Reno, have you come to be healed?" Sephiroth inquired.
"Healed from what?" Reno didn't like the looks of this.
"The midiclorians that poison you," Sephiroth explained.
Reno refused, "that special power gramps has, the electric power, I can do a little of it if I have something to amplify it, if I give up what midiclorians I have, I'll lose the possibility of ever mastering that power."
"You have no hopes of becoming a true Sith; you lack discipline," the clocked figure spoke, her voice making it sound female.
"A true Sith?" Reno looked at the clocked figure curiously; he tried but couldn't see her face, covered in shadows. "Are you saying you are?"
The figure laughed, "I am the greatest Sith of all, Jenova," she removed her cloak, she was a type of human-like alien, with a similar shape but certain key differences. Human skin didn't come in such a shade of pink and no human eyes, not even the eyes of those rich in midiclorians, could glow that brightly. Her long hair cascaded into her cloak and her expression was focused. "If you do not surrender your midiclorians to me, I will remove them from your dead body."
"Sephiroth you traitor, all along, you were collecting midiclorians for this thing!" Reno discovered the truth, there was no denying it. The question was how would he escape with his life?
"Sephiroth..." Jenova addressed her apprentice.
"Should I go?" Sephiroth glance at Reno unsure.
"Take care of the one outside, this one can wait," Jenova decided.
Sephiroth went out of the cave, leaving Reno with Jenova, "what's outside?" Reno questioned.
Jenova looked amused, perhaps mocking, "a real Jedi." Reno wanted to see what exactly was happening outside the cave, but when he tried to leave, Jenova stopped him.
The noises from outside hinted of a heated battle, then a there was a sudden voice, "sorry I'm late Angeal, I'll be right back!"
"Zack, no! The Sith leader is in there!"
A man wielding a light saber with a strangely thick blade, ran into the cave, "the Jedi Knight Zack Fair is here to defeat the leader of the Sith!"
"I told you, you're not ready for this!" Another man with a similar light saber followed the first into the cave, with Sephiroth, chasing after him.
"I'll destroy you all!" Jenova launched an attack of dark force energy.
In the mist of the commotion yet another joined the battle, having sensed the strong energies, "I, Genesis, seek the gift of the goddess of the Sith..." Not knowing if the new arrival was truly an ally seeking to join Jenova or someone hoping to trick them, Sephiroth fought him, his long silver light saber against the other man's long red one.
"Stop it, both of you," Jenova commanded. "I sense this man has truly come to join us, he is not lying!"
Making good use of the distraction, Angeal, Zack and Reno left the cave and got off Dagobah on the fastest ship, which was Reno's.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Are you guys okay with leaving your ships behind?" Reno inquired, wandering if they were transporting any secrets; those two certainly appeared to be suspicious.
"My ship, pod actually, was a mess," Zack admitted.
"Same here, there was nothing of value there," agreed Angeal. "Thanks for the ride; it seems a certain someone hid his energy well enough for me to not know I was being followed."
"Jedi master or not, you couldn't have taken them out alone, you always tell me not to be reckless, but you're reckless," Zack pouted.
Angeal sighed, "you're right... Let's forget about it for now, we'll have another chance when we become stronger. I'm curious about our new friend. I'm Angeal, a Jedi mater and this is Zack, my padawan."
"Who are you calling a padawan?" Zack defended, "I'm already a Jedi knight, Zack Fair, intergalactic hero!"
"I'm Reno, currently a neutral senator and advisor for the supreme chancellor," he might as well give them the story; he couldn't hide it for much longer anyway, though he only told them the nice part. "Whenever I go to the Seventh Heaven in Mos Easley, Tatooine, Cloud always says something about wanting to be a Jedi and every now and then, if I stay for a while, he's go on about how he's friend Zack ran off to be a Jedi."
"Really? Cloud decided? That's great! But you know, last time we talked about it he didn't really want to come, I think he has a crush on Tifa and that's why he doesn't want to leave the Seventh Heaven." Zack got an idea, "I know! Let's do our training to take on the Sith in Tatooine! That way Cloud can be near Tifa and we can help him be a Jedi, he's good, I'm sure he has what it takes."
Angeal nodded, "and we'll need all the help we can get. Senator Reno-"
"Very well then, Reno, is it too much trouble to drop us off in Tatooine? If you're in a hurry, the nearest system you could take us to is good," Angeal requested.
Reno thought about it, with Sephiroth's betrayal a lot of things changed. The rumors about the Sith protecting the chancellor were more than rumors, but the protection wasn't real, the bodyguard was only using his position to keep a close watch on the council. There had been many new developments and maybe it was best to stay on the Jedi's good side, if they even were real Jedi, in case the Sith should try to take control of the council away from the chancellor. "No problem, I'll take you to Mos Easley."
xoxox xox xoxox
Having dropped off the two men who claimed to be Jedi at Mos Easley, Tatooine, Reno contacted the other Turks and they exchanged information at the base in the Alderaan asteroid field. Reno narrated what he had witnessed, about Sephiroth, Jenova and the Jedi.
"The gungans fear the dark goddess is coming," Rude gave his report, short and to the point. He had only recently returned from Naboo.
"The kaminoans said the same thing," Elena revealed. "Apparently, Master Luke Skywalker had a premonition of signs that mean the coming of the impersonation of the dark side. 'When the purest water turns bitter and sour, and the fiercest storm retreats in fright, the dark goddess will seek the power, to bring darkness by consuming light.' That's the warning Master Skywalker left."
While Reno, Elena and Rude were in the Alderaan base in person, Tseng and Rufus appeared as holograms projected from Coruscant. "It all fits together, but isn't it just a legend?" Rufus was starting to have his doubts. "The purest water, the strange contamination in the waters of Naboo that the scientists are trying to solve, the fiercest storm, the one at Kamino... If this Jenova is stealing midiclorians then the last part of the Skywalker's warning fits, she's absorbing midiclorians said to be the source of the force, taking them from those who would have otherwise stood against her, consuming the light for the darkness. Even if the microorganisms are said to be dormant and irrelevant, we've seen cases where they are a source of power. Besides, who is to say they won't awaken in more people? A war may break out with the Sith, but you mentioned there were three?"
"Yes," Reno replied, "I know the legend says there are always two in the Sith to avoid rivalries, but there were three, Jenova, Sephiroth and a new guy, Genesis. Sephiroth and Genesis fought, but Jenova stopped them, I got out of there with Angeal and Zack after that. I'm pretty sure they weren't planning on me making it out alive and revealing their plans."
"If the legends are true, then having two apprentices will not make things any easier for Jenova, even if she is the ultimate Sith. I don't want these past legends, however true they may be, getting in the way. Let's stay out of it and if war breaks out, we'll choose sides then. If the Sith wants to take control of the galaxy, we will side with the Jedi," the plan was as expected from Rufus, to set up a win-win situation. "Of course, we won't surrender control of the council to the Jedi, we'll just let them take out the Sith and maybe, if things go well, there will be a new Jedi order to serve the ruler of the galaxy," by that Rufus obviously meant himself. "Now, about the developments concerning Valentine?"
"I received the report from Ramuh," Tseng replied, "it seems Vincent has no interest in joining the council. However, he has a strong adversity towards the Sith, if we were to side with the Jedi, he might join us."
"It seems we might have to side with them sooner than expected. Very well, we will support the Jedi if Valentine supports us from his place in the council," Rufus decided.
"I also received news that the three special Sephiroth clones, Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz, the only three in the clone army with free will have disappeared," Tseng informed.
"They might end up joining the Sith," Rufus suspected, "consider them enemies, as for the rest of the clones, they are supposed to be mindless, but I'm not taking any chances, send them to Kamino to be destroyed as per their malfunction warranty. There is no need for too many explanations, they'll do it if they are told is to pretend additional danger from the Sith, clearly they are frightened by it. The new republic will be defended by battle droids, the designs have improved since the times of the past."
xoxox xox xoxox
It was the end of the new clone army, which was destroyed in Kamino to prevent it being used against the new republic. The whereabouts of three special clones Kadaj, Yazoo and Loz, remained unknown at the time.
Jenova had gone into hiding, possibly to train her apprentices, Sephiroth and Genesis, to avoid the Sith's past mistakes that caused a war among themselves and drove them to near extinction. Vincent joined the council, siding with supreme chancellor Rufus and in exchange, Rufus offered his support to the Jedi training in Tatooine.
From that point on, the new republic and thus the Turks, remained in the background, their activities overlooked in favor of discussing the rumored impending war between the Sith and Jedi. Even so, in a distant future, the name of Shinra would ring out clearly as the name of a group linked to both darkness and light, thus the events that occurred a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, would be known as the Shinra Wars.
To be continued in the story of another...
This is the end of Reno's story, he can appear later on, but this was the part where he's the main character. I'm turning this into a round robin, though not a direct continuum one, rather it is a story where each part focuses on a certain character and what they did that was vital to the Shinra Wars, hence why the stories can happen simultaneously in different perspectives and can start earlier or later and also end earlier or later in the overall story. In Reno's case he discovered Jenova and Sephiroth, unexpectedly escaping alive thanks to certain lucky distractions.
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