Reno leaned against the wall and tried to support the injured Sam. He hated to ask for help -- if only because he dreaded the response -- but it was a necessary gauntlet he'd just have to run. He pulled out his cell phone and dialed Tseng's number, gritting his teeth in expectation of his superior's mood to be interrupted at 4 in the morning. The phone was answered with surprising haste. "Reno, I'm glad you called. We've received word of a problem down at the lab. I was just about to ask you to find Rude and go investigate it. Oh..was there something you called me about?" Tseng had the courtesy to actually ask him.
"Ah... yeah, Boss," Reno answered with saccharine sweetness. "I'm actually already here... An' "problem" is a bit of an understatement, yo."
Sam was a bit distracted in her own thoughts to actually listen to the phone call. She moved away to stand up on her own and walked over to the mess in the room that resembled where the creature used to be. She partially wished it could of finished her, so she wouldn't exactly be breaking a promise if something or someone else killed her, but deep inside her she knew that would be doing the same thing if she allowed it. She placed a hand over her head feeling her eyes began to burn as tears swelled up in her eyes. She was sort of glad the sprinklers went off and soaked them to the bone, so it wasn't so obvious.
"Hm.. I see. Clearly this matter can't be trusted to lower hands. I must oversee this cleanup myself. I shall be over there with a crew shortly." Tseng hangs up the phone with not as much as a goodbye to his subordinate.
"Goodbye to you, too," Reno murmured to the silent phone as he replaced it in his inner pocket. He was relieved, though, that he didn't have to answer any invasive questions -- for example, the presence of General Dragonfire, bodies exploding, et cetera. Tseng could find out when he got here, and then Reno could at least try to stop him from causing a scene. As an afterthought, though, he hurriedly texted back, "Handled situation. Come alone, need-to-know info lvl here." He hoped that would at least minimize the crew who'd see Yagasaki in all her alive-and-scapegoated glory.
Sam wiped her eyes with the back of her hand and looked at the body of the man the dark seraph had attacked. She walked over to him and knelt down to roll the man onto his back. She went to see if any pulse was left in him, but could not find any. It was expected, but she couldn't help, but to have memories pop into her mind that made her start crying again this time it was obvious. She closed her eyes to try to keep the tears from rolling, but they came anyway.
Reno heard a sniffle and glanced at Sam. "You okay?" He took a few steps toward her before asking, confused, "Are you crying?"
Sam's eyes widen when she heard Reno speak to her. She wiped her eyes with her sleeve. She responds, "No, I'm not crying. I'm soaking wet and a lot of water is coming down from my bangs." She said as an excuse as she stood up off the ground.
"I hope this is good Reno." Tseng's voice could be heard firmly from behind Reno. "It's not often that I break protocol like this, but I came alone as you requested," the Turk boss continues as he steps towards the two of them casually, a hands buried in his pockets.
Reno wasn't sure if she was lying or not, but was relieved he didn't have to figure it out. "Alright then," he answered and left her alone to check on Shana. He felt a little guilty, but he wasn't the best one to deal with criers. When he heard Tseng, though, he jumped a mile high.
"Geez, Tseng!" he gasped. Taking a deep breath, he noticed it was true, the other man was alone. "Well, it's worth it. Better the fewer people exposed t' this -- for soooo many reasons." He shook his head. "Anyway, first things first. Gotta get him - " he gestured to the night guard's corpse, "to the incinerator, and gotta get them --" Shana and Sam's shadowy figure, "to Healin."
Before Tseng had time to get even more angry, Reno assured him, "We'll explain on the way, promise. But this is time-sensitive, 'kay?"
Sam hearing the new voice, immediantly turned to his direction. She wasn't sure if he was an enemy or not, but seeing no gun pointed at her she found as a good sign.
Tseng's eyes shift around to meet everyone in which Reno was pointing to. He stops at Sam specifically for a moment before his eyes shut in thought. Tseng slowly pulls one of his hands out of his pocket holding a pistol in which he points directly at the girl. "Reno, I trust you know who that one is, correct?" He asks with a serious tone to his voice.
Reno winced. Should have seen that coming. It was Tseng after all. Now the question was to be honest or not -- his job hung on the line, and Tseng could almost always tell when he was lying. "She saved my life," he answered instead, all seriousness. It was the truth, after all, and it saved him from explaining at least for a little while longer. "She's not going anywhere in that state; we'll deal with it later."
Sam seeing the gun pointed at her lost all the confusion in her expression. An inhuman growl erupted up from her throat. She kept her distance and her mouth shut as she watched his movements. She hoped he would listen to Reno or she may have trouble leaving this city safely.
Tseng's eyes open once again and make contact with Reno as he gives his explanation. "That's all I need to know," Tseng mutters before his finger pulls on the trigger, a loud bang exploding from the gun. It was not a bullet which left the nozzle though, but a mist of intensely powerful cure magic. Tseng without a word quickly turned and fired the same spell at Shana. "Reno trusts you, that's all I need," Tseng says without as much as turning back to the two of them.
Reno's heart stopped for a moment when he'd heard the gun go off. He thought for sure one of them would end up dead - Sam by getting shot, or Tseng for having missed such a mark as her. When he saw he'd cast Fullcure instead, he let out the breath he'd forgotten he was holding. "Thanks," he said, not about to question why Tseng just ignored every dossier and wanted poster for Yagasaki.
Sam winced hearing the gun shot as it hurt her ears. She blinked wondering why a bullet hasnt come to her yet till she looked down at herself feeling her wound didn't hurt anymore. She was as much surprised as Reno was. She lifted up her head to watch Tseng and spoke up, "Thank you."
Tseng returned his gun to his pocket. He began to step over to the mangled security guard on the floor, careful not to get his shoes bloodied by the corpse, "Now Reno, care to explain exactly the cause of this?"
"They're called Dark Seraphs, sir," Reno answered. "They infect and then use the body as a host, eventually ending in hostile take-over." He nodded to the guard. "He might not be long in comin' back zombielicious soon, himself. Got ripped apart by that case we brought in the other day. It musta' got out somehow."
Sam wasn't sure if she should interupt their conversation, but hearing Reno's explaination she couldn't help herself, "It will take three days to a full week before the body will actually become one of those if the body is infected. I would not take any chances however since the man is long gone. Unless you want another incident or worse to happen then I suggest you take care of this one PROPERLY." She said with a hint of annoyance in her tone.
"Dark Seraph..." Tseng whispers to himself as if in recollection. He's quickly pulled out of his trance by Sam's request. "With every intention," Tseng replies to her before turning the dirty work over to Reno, "Reno, this body must be disposed of immediately. We must not let anyone else know of this, especially the research department." Of course he still had to cover his ass from the other sects of the organization.
"Of course," Reno agreed. To keeping everything a secret, of course. He was still a bit miffed about having to carry the bloody mess to the incinerator himself. "Best get gloves," he murmured, checking himself to see if he still had a pair of "don't leave fingerprints on the scene" gloves on him. He kind of hoped Sam would offer to help, but he figured she'd probably be busy with Tseng for awhile.
Sam watched Reno for a moment before bringing her attention to the other mess in the research area. She was curious to know what else they held. She hoped she wouldn't find any bodies that would potentionally changed into one of those creatures. She began to walk off to follow the trail of blood to lead her to a broken down door. She assumed that was the best bet to where the creature escaped from. She walked in to turn on the light switch on the wall.
Tseng slowly made his way over to the unconcious Shana, he slowly slings her over his shoulder unable to just leave her on the ground like that. He then makes his way over to the lab room in which Sam went to investigate. While Reno did have faith in this girl, Tseng couldn't just let her have free roam around the facility.
Sam didn't pay attention to Tseng as she walked over the door remains to have a look inside. She could see the blood on the lab table assuming thats where the body was before it changed. She wondered if they had a chance to do anything with the body at all. She would hate to think they would figure out how to actually use the infection as a weapon to their liking in the future. She began to pull open drawers to have a look to see if any blood was taken from the subject at all or anything like tissue or something. She could sense someone entering the room, but didn't turn to look.
In the meantime, Reno had gloved up and was dragging the body toward one of the many industrial incinerators in the building, grumbling all the way. "Ew ew ew..." Those gloves would have to be thrown out, he reasoned, for safety. A shame, since he really liked them. He made mental notes to clean up the blood trail left, too. Getting the body *into* the incinerator proved to be the big chore, though. Reno hefted him up as best he could, grimacing as the body pressed against him, and shoved him into the small door. It wasn't exactly body-sized, proving to be even more disgusting. Tseng knew, Reno thought bitterly. He had to.
Shana, on the other hand, was now semi-conscious from the Fullheal, but was still pretty tired. She could tell she was being carried... rather uncomfortably... but other than that, not too much was clear. "Mmm...?"
Tseng walked into the mess of a room, disinterested in anything specifically in the room since he had to keep an eye on Sam.
Sam let out a heavy sigh not finding anything that made sense to her. She turned around to see Tseng in the room with the woman wondering who she really is, but wasn't going to ask right at this second. She gave him a slight glare wondering if he was stalking her to see what she was doing. "Do you need something?"
Tseng turns his head to her to make his reply, "While I have no particular hostilities towards you at this time, I am still the leader of the Turks and in a respectable position of ShinRa. As long as you're on these premises it's my duty to make sure you don't find your way into anything you shouldn't be involved with." Tseng replies to her bluntly without any attempt to hide his intentions.
"Close the freezer," came a soft voice from behind. Shana didn't understand what was going on, and didn't care -- being held upside down was giving her a headache. The others' attention might be drawn to an open square in a wall of small doors -- drawers for cadavers. "You're letting the cold out."
What a waste of power... She'd only left the body out for a second to thaw so she could cut it, and the next thing she knows, there's blood everywhere and her specimen is gone. Wasting more power on top of that, when mako was no longer in use and resources were scarce -- that was a bigger no-no than a strange woman going through drawers of probes, as far as she was concerned.
Sam listened to Tseng and expected that from a Turk or any one from ShinRa to say that. "Of course..." She heard the voice of Shana and was a bit confused at what she was saying. She shut the drawers like the way they were left and began to walk out of the room to get away from Tseng, but stopped just when she passed him, "You better be very careful...or you or someone from ShinRa is going to destroy what's left of this city...You may become one of them one day if your not careful. You may have to be as smart as the rebels and make a fortress underground if you haven't already."
Tseng shuts his eyes before making his retort, "ShinRa has dealt with many problems caused by its own hands in the past. The way things were handled back then may not have been ideal though.. It's not without fault I say this, and I know President Rufus would agree with me that we have made mistakes. Those people taught us the importance of what it means to be human though. It's my job to risk myself for ShinRa and the people of Midgar. If that comes at the cost of my own life then so be it." Tseng finishes his rant.
Sam snorted and continued walking off, "ShinRa...is not the only one that has to deal with this problem now." She walked out of the room in search for Reno.
Reno was not happy. Not happy at all. The incinerator roared to life, his nice gloves and blood-covered suit jacket inside it as well. He shivered as he turned to assess the floor damage, shirtless, cold, and wet from the sprinklers. He didn't want to mop up; he just wanted to go home. He leaned back and took a deep breath. "TSENG!" he called down the hall, figuring it would carry in the empty stillness. "FLOOR!" So it might've been a little immature, but he'd earned a moment.
Sam crossed her arms over her chest and paused hearing the shout. She rolled her eyes and followed the shout down the hall till she found the owner of it. She blinked seeing him barechested and was afraid to ask, but did anyway, "What the hell are you doing?"
"Whaddas it look like I'm doin', yo?" he asks her brusquely, hiding another shiver. "I'm cleanin' up contaminants." He glares at the floor, as though it is his mortal enemy. "This, though, I don't know about. Can't burn the floor, yo."
There was something about hospitals and, to a lesser extent, morgues that Gideon couldn't help but enjoy. It had nothing to do with the morbidity or philosophical nature of death. A curiosity, sure, but it he always enjoyed the clean, cutting edge of the enivronment as a representation of progress. As he walked down the practically submerged hallway, flanked by his two bodyguards, one of which held an elegant umbrella over the man, protecting his immaculate appearance from the still drippy sprinklers, he let out a languid sigh as he texted away on his phone.
Sam arched an eyebrow. "Looks like you're stripping to me," she said, but couldn't help to have a look at him for a brief moment. She shivered herself, but not due to coldness and shook her head. "No I suppose not. Gotta bleach it."
"I came here without a shirt t' begin with, remember?" Reno asked dryly, annoyed. "Jacket was all I had, an' now that's gone, too." Women.
Tseng begins to make his way towards Reno's incessantly whiny voice; however, before he could make much progress through the hall he find himself in the presence of Gideon. The Turk leader does the best he can to bow to the man despite Shana hanging over his shoulder. "Mr. Gideon, it's quite the surprise to see you here at this time of the night." He attempts to not draw attention to anything specifically, though it was difficult with the situation he was in.
"Well, my security team got wind of quite a bit of trouble in your labs and given the senstive nature of what's going on here with equipment supplied by my company, I figured I should swing by and see how things are going." He glanced up and put the phone away. "Everything's peachy, I hope."
Sam grinned at Reno's explaination and responds, "Sure...thats the reason why it's gone..." She blinked when she heard a new voice in the area and looked in the direction wondering who that could be.
Reno gingerly pressed the large bruise forming on his chest as he, too, began wandering toward the main hall, curious as to what drew everyone's attention. "Ow..."
Sam placed her hand over his shoulder, "Stop hurting yourself." She joked before walking off to have a look at the new visitors.
"There's no need to worry sir. A power outage merely set the sprinklers off in the facility. I assure you if any major issues occured that you would be immediately informed." Tseng was able to lie calmly to the man through his teeth. Tseng's eyes were suddenly drawn by Reno and Sam's silhouettes appearing behind Gideon. He immediately had a sunken feeling in the pit of his stomach, the situation was already suspicious enough.
Reno stopped in his tracks. If he didn't feel naked before, he did now. "Uh... Yo, Mr. Graves!" Sweatdrop. Big time. "Everythin' okay?" He glanced between him and Tseng, on edge. He could make up a story and lie like a rug, sho'nuf, but he wanted to make sure he got a feel for the story. Had to get it straight, after all.
"So... a power outage caused the sprinklers to turn on," he repeated evenly to Reno. He paused for a beat and adjusted the spectacles that he was known for."I'm a bit curious as to how that exactly would be the case, given I would assume that a facility like this would contain several redudant generators to keep that from being an issue. I mean, you guys are a power company, after all."
Sam looked at the man and noticed his voice sounded familiar, but never did have a look at the guy. It seemed like another Rufus to her. She rolled her eyes at hearing they were a power company.
"With all due respect Mr. Graves, Shinra's dealings in Mako energy have ceased. Unfortunately room for extraneous expenses has been cut short. We must allocate our resources effectively, and this facility is not high priority for us at the moment. I hope you understand." Tseng bows again courteously to the entrepeneur.
Reno merely nods in agreement. Tseng seems to be handling it well for now -- hell, it's Tseng, of course he is. For once, Reno will bite his tongue unless he's asked a direct question. Something this big, he knows to keep his mouth shut.
"I'm curious about something, Mr. Tseng. Why would a man of your rank in the illustrious Turks make an appearance in a low priority complex for a little bit of a flicker of the lights?" The question itself was innocuous and his composure was calm and almost friendly, but there was a certain edge to it.
Sam heard his question and lowered her head hiding a smirk knowing what he was talking about. She never knew she would find any amusement in this conversation.
"We thought there was a fire," Reno blurted out. With the awkward attention on him, he continued, "When the blip came on that the sprinklers were goin' off and the power flickered, we figured there might be an electrical fire. Turks have been reassigned to public security, an' a place like this goin' up in smoke -- with the chemicals here, coulda' exploded, y'know?" Reno paused, feeling pleased with his quick, sensible explanation. "You can tell the urgency of comin' over t' prevent that," he said, gesturing his lack of clothes.
Sam tried her hardest not to burst out laughing at his explaination. She had to advert her eyes to something else like the wall as it seemed more interesting.
Gideon took a deep breath through his nose. "Huh... sure doesn't smell like one... Smells like formaldehyde to me..."
Tseng's eyes narrowed slightly, this man's curiosity was dangerous. It seemed Gideon already knew something was up, at this point it was up to them to make sure the man did not receive any evidence of the events. "Well after all sir, with dampness comes many unpleasant smells. Reno was working quite hard to turn the sprinkler system off since getting here and has gotten quite wet himself. The smells you're experiencing may be eminating from him." Tseng responds tactfully at Reno's expense.
Reno's eye twitched. Sure, pick on the smoker. "Could be," he said through his teeth as pleasantly as possible.
Sam turned her head to look at Reno and her nose cringed a bit at the scent, but it wasn't him she really smelled. He was right, the place did smell like formaldehyde and it smelled bad. She had been trying to avoid smelling through her nose this whole time till now.
Shana desperately held in a laugh at Reno's discomfort.
Gideon paused for a moment, his keen eyes surveying the scene in silence. "Well... I suppose that sounds reasonable. I'll be sure to let my people to not make mountains out of mole hills in the future. I would not rather be dragged out of bed for superfluous reasons." Nodding to his silent guards, he turned around and began to walk away. "Keep up the good work, and... don't burn Reno over the hygiene issue," he said over his shoulder.
Shit, Reno thought, He knows. He knows he knows he knows. He just stood stock still with the stupid smile plastered on his face until Gideon left, though.
Tseng could feel relief surge through his body as Gideon left them without digging any deeper into the situation.
Sam watch the man leave and couldn't help, but to sputter out laughter. She couldn't keep it in anymore. She was waitingf or the man to actually walk into the place to see the blood on the walls and then there would be an issue.
Once Gideon was gone, Reno's face fell into a scowl. "You're an ass, Tseng," he snapped, and turned to find some bleach. Shana snickered into Tseng's shoulder.
Tseng ignored Reno's comment, he hears Shana giggling into his shoulder. "I take it this one is ok now from the sound of it." He lets her down off his shoulder to stand.
Sam turned around to go help out as she was still fighting to stop laughing at the sudden discomfort reno was going through. She spoke through her laughter, "Oh come on Reno, its better then him...finding out...right?"
"Aw, really, Tseng?" Shana lightly laments. "I was almost starting to get used to that."
"Yeah yeah, sure," Reno grumbled over his shoulder at Sam. He knew it was true -- keeping all this under the radar was the most important thing -- but it still bugged him to be thrown under the bus. He stepped around the broken glass of the tainted lab's door and went straight to the sink area for bleach. This is where the body first went nuts; it was as good a place as any to start.
She walked into the room and glanced around again before looking to see what Reno was grabbing, "Now it's going to smell like bleach...I wonder what the explaination would be if he were to come back and ask what the bleach was for."
"It's five in the mornin'. I doubt he'll be showin' up again in the next coupla' minutes," Reno said with certainty. He thought. "We'll just hafta ventilate it... somehow. Whatever, they use bleach all the time in here, of course it's gonna smell like antiseptic. Won't be so bad after awhile." Better than all that formaldehyde, he figured. Sure, that's in a lab plenty, but not as strong as it is now.
Tseng opens his phone momentarily. "5 AM.. In just a couple hours the workers will be back in here. Reno, hurry with that cleanup, we need to get out of here as soon as possible."
Sam pat reno's back before walking out to go find a broom to help sweep all the ash in the middle of the room, "Yeah Reno, hurry up." She joked. She couldn't believe she got herself into this mess in the first place. She told herself she needed to leave, but why won't she listen?
"It would go a lot FASTER if you'd help, Tseng," Reno called pointedly from the other room.
"Don't forget to hire a new night guard, too," Shana said, patting Tseng on the shoulder as she passed him by. She headed for the security office and let herself in through the now-broken door. "I'll do you a favor."
She picked up the phone and recorded a hotline message. "The Graves Laboratory is being used for a continued training seminar for public security officials this morning. It will reopen at eleven a.m. and resume its regularly scheduled work hours tomorrow at six a.m. Thank you." She hung up and sent the computerized call. "I just bought you a few more hours -- don't disappoint me now, sweetheart," she called dryly behind her as she emerged. "I'm going home."
"I would help you Reno; however, someone needs to stand ready in case someone else attempts to find this mess." While Tseng had a lot of respect for the other Turks he had to keep them in line somehow. Tseng shut his eyes as Shana patronizes him. Though she was teasing him he was grateful for her help.
Sam chuckled, but understood Tseng's reason, "Oh you big baby, you just don't want bleach to get on your suit." She spoke out down the hall as she returned to Reno. "I'll help. Just tell me what to do."
Reno's righteous ire died a bit when Sam offered to help. In fact, he was caught a little off-guard, so used to his regular spats with Tseng. "Uh... 'kay. Thanks." He ventured a grin. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.