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If they come back, they'll come home stronger.

And if they don't, you'll know.

October 2016

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[personal profile] shinra_dog

Name: Magellan
Age: 26
Personal Journal: n/a
Contact: shinra_dog on Plurk, xoJupiterJazzox on AIM
Other In-Game Characters: Albel Nox

Character (Game Transplant)

Name: Reno
Age: 28
Gender: male
Canon: Final Fantasy 7 compilation
Canon Point: beginning of Dirge of Cerberus
Former Game: Amatomnes

Canon History: Reno’s mannerisms and speech patterns suggest a low-class upbringing, though enough time with Shinra (and especially Rufus) has taught him how to be "sophisticated" if and when he has to be. Thus, he's seen a lot more than some of the other characters might, such as poverty, drug abuse, abandonment, prostitution, etc., but his time above the plate has given a nice sheen to his charm and ability to manipulate others. Little is known about Reno's past, and that's the way he likes it. He's been with the Shinra Turks for over ten years now and it's slowly eaten away at his soul. Missions began simply enough: maintaining company secrets, eliminating leaks, and assisting SOLDIER recruitment. The demands grew as the company did, and as global tensions rose. Threats were eliminated and assets were acquired – however, some were not volunteers. Not long after Reno joined the Turks, Shelke Rui was identified as a particular asset to Shinra for her Synaptic Net Dive ability. The Turks kidnapped her from her sister’s custody in order to forcibly recruit her into the SOLDIER. Unbeknownst to them, President Shinra, Sr. decided she would be best used for Deepground, and “Lost Unit” Deepground SOLDIERS ambushed the Turks over the girl. The Turks were injured, their SOLDIER convoy killed. As far as Reno knew, until the reveal of Deepground (Dirge of Cerberus), Shelke Rui was dead. For the next ten years, Shelke would be held by Deepground and the Restrictors, and her sister Shalua would search for more kidnapped SOLDIER candidates.

In the meantime, Reno and the Turks continued their work during the war with Wutai, while the Lost Unit continued to take the injured from the battlefield – to be revived, or recruited into Deepground experiments. Normal SOLDIER candidates were recruited or pressed into service as needed, for the greater good of expansion and the war effort. Turks utilized their skills for espionage as well, and on several occasions assisted Zack with ferreting out Wutaiian spies and insurgents in Midgar.

Of course, anti-Shinra forces were always at work, if not one group then another. After Wutai officially surrendered after the capture of Fort Tamblin, the original AVALANCHE Insurgence was founded. For the next five years, Reno would be involved in attempts to deal with the Wutaiian-based group as well as clean up after Genesis’ desertion. Forced SOLDIER “recruitment” was ramped up intensely, often led by Reno and Rude, after SOLDIER nearly collapsed with the mass exodus following Genesis. Turks were also tasked with corralling others involved in the threat brought by Genesis and his clones, investigating a theft of classified Shinra documents, while still maintaining a guard of the President. Again, Reno led several of these missions, reflecting his rank below Veld and Tseng. Reno is likewise responsible for acquiring Red XIII (Nanaki) for Shinra research as part of an endangered species. However, at this point Reno still has enough heart to wait for Nanaki to finish a traditional ritual with his mate before the Turks bring him back to Shinra.

As the Turks learned more of the inner workings of Shinra, they grew more disillusioned and agreed to side with their leader, Veld, to save his daughter – knowing it meant committing treason. Unable to control them, President Shinra, Sr. eliminated their order and put a bounty on the remaining Turks. Without revealing spoilers, this resulted in a stand-off between the President holding their lives and Veld, and Tseng, Reno, and Rude holding Rufus for exchange. The Turks are spared only by Rufus’ doing, but in exchange for their lives and their positions, Shinra, Sr. orders the immediate death of Veld. Reno begins to protest, but Tseng interrupts him by shooting Veld, essentially saving his subordinate. The first and last time anyone sees Reno scream and cry is after Tseng’s “assassination” of Veld (Before Crisis). This is the moment where the emotionally-compromised Reno that would later massacre Sector 7 is born, suppressing all of those feelings in order to carry on. It takes such a disaster as Sector 7, and facing the end of the world, for Reno to really take another look at himself again and try to change.

The Turks were also involved in the cover-up of the Nibelheim incident, rebuilding the city and maintaining a lie. Most of the work was left to Veld when Reno and the others voiced their discomfort over the idea. When Zack and Cloud escaped from Shinra Mansion, the Turks organized a recovery mission in an effort to provide amnesty to the former SOLDIER and infantryman after discovering the truth of their captivity. Unfortunately, the Turks were unable to locate the two before Shinra infantry did, firing upon them and leaving Zack and Cloud for dead.
More detailed history can be found at these links:

Game History: [AU] Reno will have spent the last two years on Atia with a collar around his neck that gradually tightened day by day until and unless sexual activity reset it. Otherwise, Day 14 meant death (and he has come very, very close). Reno loves his hedonistic pleasures, but he will be pretty relieved in Crystallis to feel less forced. While on Atia, he also had some interesting relationship developments. Since it was an island powered by a sex goddess, Reno has (in his experience) been intimate with Rufus, Elena, AC Cloud, and well as others he may recognize in Crystallis. Awkwardly for all, they are not the same people, and he has to remember that. He will be most uncomfortable around Tifa, as having physical relations with Cloud made their relationship rather tense (to put it mildly) when she found out.

Reno supported himself colorfully on Atia, working as a Dungeon Master below a friend’s casino (and occasionally bartending), cultivating and selling a small supply of illicit drugs, and smuggling contraband goods off the island. Since collared individuals could not leave, most of this involved guarding said goods, putting pressure on harbormasters, and altering ship manifests. It was easy to fall back into bad habits when intimidation and causing pain had been his job on Gaia for years.

The most influential person on Reno during these years was an adult Kyo Sohma (Fruits Basket). With a similar humor and fiery temper, the two became fast sparring partners and friends. When Rufus arrived, Reno took on more work to be able to afford more appropriate housing befitting the President; and knowing that Kyo had lost a dear friend and roommate, he invited Kyo to live with him. Kyo did not get along with Rufus, but tolerated the other man to make Reno happy, and was there to support his friend when Rufus vanished from the island months later. The two grew closer, and after an event that led the collared residents to believe they would all be wiped from existence in that world, they spent their “last night” together. When they weren’t dead the next day, they lived the rest of their time together on Atia as lovers, realizing that their confessions still held true – it just took the end of the world, and a bit of liquor, to get there.

By the machinations of the goddess Atia, Kyo was able to experience Reno’s involvement in the destruction of Sector 7. The fact that Kyo decided to stay with him and not to judge Reno on those actions alone deeply touched Reno and gave him the strength to pursue Kyo when he was later exposed to the Zodiac Cat’s true form. He refused to judge Kyo by the curse, nor would he abandon him as he felt Kyo’s family did. When his friend Leonardo da Vinci opened a tattoo parlor, Reno decided to show his commitment beyond words and got a tattoo over his heart of a simple outline: a dog and cat with heads bowed together to form a heart. Reno will be deeply disappointed to find that the necklace Kyo gave him on Atia will be missing once he's arrived in Crystallis.

Though he “worshipped” Atia frequently, other deities were not so kind to Reno. The war god Ares cursed Reno with a week of hallucinations and psychosomatic sensations, leaving him to suffer the belief that he was covered with surgical stitches and things may have been removed – or put in. Thoroughly convinced that he could see something under the skin of his left forearm, Reno attempted to cut through the “stitches” over it and “remove” it, and it took both Cloud and Kyo to restrain Reno and bandage him. Reno will be arriving in Crystallis with a jagged scar running from his left wrist halfway down his forearm. Reno (among others) also involved himself in a long-running fight between Atia and the sea god Poseidon, going out to hunt down and kill Poseidon’s tentacled monster “pet.” In the midst of battle, Reno was caught by the thing and was drowned. Dr. Frankenstein found Reno’s revival several days later fascinating; Reno just wanted a pair of pants and to go home, forevermore scarred by tentacles. Reno will also be arriving in Crystallis with a wound on his neck that is an obvious, and recent, vampire bite. In a freak turn of events, all power damping on the island had been mysteriously lifted, and supernatural creatures and beasts had all their abilities again – or their true forms. In an ironic twist, Reno’s attempt to warn his friend Henry Sturges that there were vampires attacking people had him discover – painfully – that Henry was a vampire himself.

Occasionally, collared inhabitants would be lured into the Forest of Illusions and trapped there indefinitely, Reno included. Sometimes they would eventually emerge, sometimes they would not. When Kyo went missing, but his communication device was still registering, Reno tried to wait for his return. But not long after, Atia’s presence disappeared from the island; and in her absence, Poseidon caused an earthquake that split the island in half. With no way for Kyo to get home, when the signal from the cat’s device failed, Reno stole a small boat and attempted to cross the new sea separating the northern and southern halves of the island to find him – even though he knew he would most likely be attacked and killed out there, as one of Poseidon’s enemies. Reno awakens in Crystallis immediately after he is attacked and drowned for the second time on Atia.

Personality: Reno’s appearance really represents his personality well; disheveled, yet in uniform, he is a clusterfuck of contradictions. Normally he has a very laid-back attitude, highly maintained by arrogance, so when he is sufficiently challenged he loses his temper. His cold, cruel exterior in the presence of enemies or carrying out orders (or, similarly, his cocky, lackadaisical attitude on the job) was likely developed as a self-protecting mechanism to simply "get through.” If he pretended it didn't matter, he wouldn't have to face what he'd done, or what he'd allowed others to do to him. He drinks himself to oblivion when it gets to be too much. He can be extremely loyal, but to a degree of self-imposed boundaries: when he is on, he is 100% on; when he is off, he is 100% off. He allows Cloud and the other “terrorists” to go about their business, despite complaints from Elena, because he is on vacation. And when he coldly drops Don Corneo off the highest mountain in the area, the only reason behind it is, “Because it’s our job.” He has spent enough time in Shinra doing dirty work that little by little he has adapted to be able to heartlessly commit atrocities (such as the destruction of Sector 7). When once he would've had moral qualms about his orders and would even consider rebelling, the gradual exposure to more and more questionable missions has worn him down to the point where massacring hundreds of innocent civilians is simply another job. It's the small, petty evils that have led him so far astray and it's not until the entire planet is almost destroyed that his eyes are opened to the full nature of the atrocities that Shinra has committed. Now shameful of his sins and tired of fighting his old "enemies," he and his comrades seek to atone for what they've done - though Reno questions if he'll ever be able to fully atone for such evils.

After what he has been ordered to do, Reno has been emotionally affected. He breaks down and cries when he believes Veld has been shot, he is frequently drinking, and his behavior can sometimes be excessively violent to the situation (dropping Don Corneo off a cliff versus apprehending him in any other way). It is likely that no one in Shinra administration really cared – Shinra, Sr. was more concerned with money and how he could use his people as tools, and by the time Rufus ascends there is simply no time for a psych evaluation, whether Rufus wanted to or not. On the other hand, after his experience with Drs. Hojo and Hollander (among others), Reno isn’t a fan of medical professionals and probably wouldn’t have gone on his own accord anyway. Instead, Reno has a tendency to drink away his troubles as his go-to solution, and whenever he is off duty he's usually at a bar (as can be seen in Wutai at Turtle’s Paradise, and even during Rufus’ own Inauguration).

He often holds himself above the rules, such as (again) the uniform, immediately disobeying orders he’s just given to subordinates (“don’t step on the flowers”), or disobeying direct orders to engage Cloud because he didn’t feel like it. His confidence in his competence is not without merit, however. He is second in command after Tseng, a position that was both earned through hard work and prowess in battle, and probably the absence of the other Turks immediately prior to Final Fantasy 7. While Cloud and company defeat him several times throughout Final Fantasy VII, Reno has actually participated in, and led, quite a few successful missions during the events of Before Crisis/Crisis Core. Even though he had to leave Tseng and Elena behind, the mission to recover Jenova’s Head in Advent Children can be considered a success. Lastly, while his professional limits tend to lean toward the selfish, he does have some sensible motivations and his pride does not keep him from retreating when necessary. In his words, “A pro isn’t someone who sacrifices himself for his job. That’s just a fool.” He would do anything for Shinra, but he wouldn’t do that. So when he runs into Cloud and Gang again in the tunnels during the Meteor evacuation, he decides he’d rather disobey orders than get his ass handed to him again when there were more important issues to deal with, such as getting more people out of the city.

Reno is not completely heartless, though, as he does risk his life to go back and save a few brainwashed orphans from Bahamut-SIN in Advent Children (even though most of them are, in fact, orphaned because of him). He and Rude also save Tifa after her defeat by Loz (although, admittedly, they had an investment in Cloud & Tifa’s survival). As for saving the children, without anything in it for him, a few conjectures can be made. It could be part of his attempts for “redemption,” although it happens as almost an afterthought more than a conscious decision. It is entirely possible that Reno will only attack “adults” (with wiggle room for Yuffie), and company-identified “enemies,” (when he’s not on vacation) leaving unarmed children as non-targets. Dropping the Plate over Sector 7 is easily overlooked/justified as a faceless, nameless massacre where Reno did not have to see any person in particular to be faced with concrete effects. However, Advent Children and the Sector 7 massacre are the only instances where children are ever involved, directly or indirectly, so there is no canon evidence as to his change of heart.

Overall, though, Reno would be an interesting drinking buddy, a fun gossip-monger, a good (if not difficult) friend, and probably a good lay. Even if some of those qualities could be from poor coping mechanisms for continued exposure to cognitive dissonance and trauma.

After working with them for so long, the Turks have become more of a family to Reno than simply an extension of Shinra. Tseng and Reno are polar opposites when it comes to personality and decorum, but Reno respects the other man, especially for making some of the harder decisions that Reno couldn’t (or wouldn’t), such as earning their way back into Shinra (Before Crisis) with the order to assassinate the previous “treasonous” leader of the Turks. Elena may always be treated like a “rookie,” but she’s still earned her way into the organization through hard work and dedication, so she also has some respect – at least more than the average person. Somewhat like a little sister to Reno (since he worked with her older sister before), there exists that attitude of “nobody can treat her like crap except me.” Rude, of course, is Reno’s best friend and working partner. The redhead is actually pretty protective of the larger man, even though he can get pretty careless when it comes to respecting personal property (ex: sunglasses in AC). When Rude starts acting a little different, Reno is the first to order a tail on him, then follow him and discover a secret relationship with a woman who turns out to be a spy and confronts her. It can be assumed that when Rude confessed he was also attracted to Tifa that alarm bells went off in Reno’s head for the same protective streak. However, it is also reasonable that Reno is somewhat jealous of his partner’s attention and perhaps has a personal interest (since Reno’s sexuality is not explicitly explained in canon) in asking the other man “who do you like?” In either scenario, Reno is loyal and dedicated to those he considers friends.

Rufus is a bit of a special case. Things did not start out well with him, to avoid spoilers, and eventually ended up in a physical altercation where Reno, Rude, and Tseng captured the younger Shinra and used him as leverage. Rufus earns Reno’s respect by staying his father’s order to have the three Turks executed, as well as just plain being a more effective president later on.

What it really comes down to is a strong set of relationships built upon the professional obligation to live or die with these people. After a while, the obligation turns into a genuine connection and willingness to die for any of them. Technically, when Shinra still existed, Turks were not able to freely leave the company because of their level of security clearance and information. Reno stayed because he had an idea of what he was getting into when he joined, and he would be killed if he defected (canon proven, “the only way you leave the Turks is in a body bag,” the assassination order for Veld). Now, though, it’s become more of an emotional bond than simply for his physical safety (not that that wouldn’t be threatened if he left); when the world has gone to shit, and these are the people that were once your entire life, you stay with them for stability. Shinra is what Reno knows. He also feels obligated to actively work to set things right and atone for what the Shinra Corporation had done in the past, as do Rufus and the other Turks (at least so they say). Atoning for past sins under familiar leadership with an elite “family” of coworkers is stable and safe.

As for previous members of AVALANCHE, Reno holds no malice for them. He seeks out Cloud through Tifa (with a friendly phone call, no less) when Rufus needs assistance (Advent Children) – and while he does attack Cloud, it’s more out of an obligation as bodyguard. After he’s easily defeated, he completely lets it go and is a lot friendlier. From an airsick rookie to becoming an all-around badass, Cloud would probably get super props from Reno if it didn’t mean Reno had to admit being less than the best.

Hands down, though, Reno can’t stand incompetent people – biggest example, the now-deceased Heidegger. He’ll probably follow orders from them because he “has” to, but he will hate it and let them know. On the flip side, if you seem to have your shit together and know how to properly handle the human weapon at your disposal, he’ll behave.

Amatomnes: Finding someone who loved him, and discovering he himself was capable of really loving another person, has had a profound impact on Reno. He’s started smoking and drinking less, his temper isn’t on such a short fuse, he’s more serious and introspective. He’s started (trying) to actually cook real food. It’s made him more generous and more likely to believe in love for others rather than dismissing it outright as ludicrous. He’s still more emotionally driven than by slow logic, and that can sometimes lead to the old habitual leaps of assumptions and reckless behavior. But he does have a longer fuse in general and he tries to be more thoughtful of others before jumping into things. “What would Kyo do?” isn’t the most compelling thing to get him to be mindful, though, as Kyo had his own short temper. Overall, he is a lot less angry and impulsive (or will be again, once the initial shock of finding a Kyo in crystal stasis and his necklace missing has passed.)

Not all of his sexual experiences on the island were pleasant ones. If the wrong person touches him the wrong way on a bad day, he might react in a way that would seem inappropriately dramatic to the offense. He’ll probably apologize later for overreacting and be embarrassed. He can’t help but be a little sensitive. Marlboros are a given to make him squeamish.
Since this isn’t his first “new world,” he’ll be a bit more open-minded regarding other character worlds and timelines – especially people like Sephiroth. Not that it won’t still be strange to him, but he’ll generally be a bit more forgiving in that department (which might seem strange to others).

Third-Person Sample:
calm Reno TDM
not so calm

Mognet Sample:
[Posted to every Hero’s door (because Reno doesn’t know everyone, he can’t discriminate) is a notice:]

To this Saturday’s BEER PONG TOURNAMENT at the NEW SALOON!
Entry fee is 100 gil, balls will be provided. Must be of drinking age to participate. Pre-gaming is not suggested, but could potentially be hilarious. May the best player “win!”


Moogle Name: Sohma
Moogle Gender: Male
Limit Break: Pyramid. Reno’s signature attack has been modified to contain an enemy for a set duration of time to allow for party members to buff/debuff uninterrupted. If a boss is successfully contained, Reno may be able to use Flee on himself from an otherwise inescapable fight. Any physical attack will shatter the Pyramid, the Pyramid itself absorbing any damage intended for the contained victim.

As Of 2/15/2017
First Job: Thief (max)
Second Job: Ninja (max) EQUIPPED
Custom Job Turk (10 months) EQUIPPED
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