This is not beta'd! REPEAT! NOT BETA'd but I did the best I could. Its been so long (2 YEARS! OMG!) since I've posted anything so I'm clearly out of shape. Fortunately, the FF7 remake brought some of my inspiration back as well as reading many other people's works out there.

Chapter 11

It was two months into his service when Cloud received a unexpected guest in his office.

The blond stared at the silver-haired male before him questionably, eyebrow raised. "Can I help you, General?" He had been mid-writing a daily report, his general amount of paperwork less compared to the beginning. All items relating to missions for SOLDIERs (from reports to selection) was officially online, though there was still a few that contained sensitive data that had to be kept either on a private server or in his desk. Regardless, the changes made work smoother. After all, Cloud hated having to read written reports from those that don't make a lick of sense, mainly because either the handwriting was atrocious or the SOLDIERS filling it out was a simple muscle head.

Sephiroth stared at the Director in silence, green eyes boring into the man. He didn't speak up at first, momentarily studying the other. No one in SOLDIER had a good lay down on the Director (except the Turks who spoke to the man more often than anyone else), regardless of the minor changes he brought in (which were greatly valued). The Silver Elite had even attended one of the monster classes that was offered, finding it enlightening and thoroughly informative.

Kunsel had been absolutely thrilled at the idea of the General enjoying his lectures and even more so when Sephiroth had gone up to him after class to give his opinion.

As far as Sephiroth could tell regarding the new Director, from his observations: Cloud Strife was quiet, aloof, strong-willed, determined, and highly intelligent. He had a lot of common sense, many that those in ShinRa lacked. He was a loner in a way, fitting in with the wolf design on his clothes, but knew how to interact with people. He simply choose not to. However, Sephiroth could see he was fiercely protective, adaptable to any setting as seen how he shifted during his speech or when talking to him during that undercover mission.

When Sephiroth finally finished with his visual and mental assessment, he spoke up. "Director Strife."

The blond, having gone back to work, didn't bother to look up. "Just Cloud please, especially when alone. I've never been good with formalities. You don't need to call me 'sir' either."

"Cloud then." Sephiroth made a face at the name but continued. "I want to know if there are any missions for a First Class that needs to be completed soon."

"Missions?" Cloud blinked once, surprised. Sephiroth was volunteering himself? That was...unusual. It was enough to catch his attention, to put down his pen. "Any reason why?"

"I just need to have a mission, preferably by tomorrow morning."

This was suspicious despite Sephiroth keeping his expression completely closed off. Cloud already knew there was nothing really major to be taken care of, the missions being effectively accomplished with minimal difficulties. The online system made things user-friendly for everyone and he was getting his reports somewhat on time as reminder emails would flood said user accounts if forgotten.

"Okay..." Cloud, regardless of knowing the truth, clicked through his monitor, searching through the rosters to see if anything new had popped up. Nothing as expected and he knew he didn't have anything on his person either. "I honestly don't have anything. Sorry, Sephiroth."

At those words, the General deflated by just an inch, barely noticeable to those that weren't observing. "I...see. Thank you for checking, Cloud."

Cloud sighed, raising up a hand to thread it through his spiky locks. His pen and paperwork was left forgotten on his desk as he leaned back against his chair. "Look Sephiroth, is there any particular reason as to why you want to have a mission so badly?"

The man didn't answer, not that the blond was expecting it. Why though? Why want a mission so badly? Did Sephiroth want to get away from his office for a while? Or from...someone?

Cloud froze.

From someone...

He smirked, peering back into the logs of his computer as he shuffled through his papers regarding the science department. Ah, there it is. A small note that Sephiroth would be meeting up with Hojo tomorrow in the afternoon.

Oh, he had a plan, one that would work perfectly to his advantage.

Flipping through the documents on his computer, Cloud made a couple changes and sent an email out to the supply line. "I take it back. Tomorrow, met me at Hanger Three at 0600 hours. Be packed to be gone for at least a week."

Sephiroth blinked twice, staring at the Director questionably. "What?" He looked a little hopeful. "Where am I heading out to?"

Cloud smirked, "I've been meaning to do this for a while but never really had the opportunity. I've been wanting to check up on the situation over there and see how the stationed men are doing. Been reading some negatives in the reports, which is expected. After all, no one really believes war is that glamorous, but there's been more complaints than usual." He made a few more clicks as he added himself and Sephiroth to the personal list to accompany the outgoing supply airship, as well as doubling the required equipment. There would be more than enough to feed all the stationed soldiers now. After all, supplies might not always come in time and the constant battles could make anyone weary. Cloud has always liked to err on the cautious side. In any case, he had the tendency to have shittiest luck so it was always best to be prepared for the worst. "So we are heading to Wutai."


"Yes, we." Cloud could already pick through the confusion in those cat-like green eyes. "ShinRa has a lot of powerful individuals but just as many, we have plenty of idiots that should have been fired long ago. Or preferably gutted, I prefer that option but I'd like to avoid being fired for murder." He probably won't if he had the correct data against the individual. This is ShinRa after all. And if he couldn't act out, well, there was always the Turks.

Sephiroth just continued to stare.

"Plus, it would be a good moral boost for the men to have Sephiroth visiting them. Maybe aid a couple times in battle. I'll join in too. Been a while since I've been in a good fight." Cloud continued. The blond paused slightly when he noticed that Sephiroth was still staring at him. "What?"

The silver-haired man blinked once more. "You're a strange man, Cloud. Lazard rarely went out to Wutai due to his lack of training on the battlefield."

"Which made him a liability." The blond concluded. A man that couldn't defend himself was a easy target, especially one in such a high position and more well liked than others. It was the main reason why higher ups didn't remain long in Wutai in fear of being killed or captured. "But, well, I'm not Lazard and I'm more than capable of handling myself as you may already know." Yes, Sephiroth did know. The man had enough skills and enhancements to be a First Class SOLDIER. "So that shouldn't be an issue. Now, I'm going to make a few calls to get things set up for tomorrow. Was there anything else you needed?"

"No." Sephiroth wasn't sure on what else needed to be done. He had obviously gotten his wish, which made him exceedingly grateful to the new Director. Nodding his head, he slowly backed out of the office. "See you tomorrow, Cloud." The 'thank you' was unmentioned but Cloud could hear it in the air regardless.

"No problem." As Sephiroth closed the door behind him, the blond yelled out. "Next time, just tell me what you want instead of this roundabout way!" At the last word, the door clicked shut and Cloud could only smirk, shaking his head.

He was really starting to like this younger, sane, and socially inept Sephiroth.

"Rufus, I need some of the materia I gave you."

"From the vast amount you accidently brought with you? Sure. Where are you heading out to?"

"Wutai. Sephiroth is coming with me."

There was a momentary pause as the clicks on the computer slowed down as blue eyes peered over the screen. "Have fun." There was another pause and then a chuckle as a grin appeared. "Just try not to level the place between the two of you."


"And don't traumatize the poor General either, knowing you."


The ride over to Wutai had been quiet. The before boarding process? Not so much.

Cloud double checked each and every supply list to ensure that everything was correct. There had been a few unusual items mixed in which was immediately switched out by his command. Honestly, Cloud didn't understand why there was such expansive food items or even these ridiculous leisure equipment.

"This is ridiculous. You have a list of orders. You should be following it down to the very fine print."

The suppliers looked surprised but complied, not wanting to anger the Director, and replaced what needed to be. Sephiroth, on the other hand, remained glued to Cloud's side and even made a note about some of the equipment, stating that there was some missing that should have been registered. That too was immediately fixed.

Obviously, with everything, there was a delay in taking off and Cloud made sure to send a email to Lazard regarding these unusual issues. Neither men liked the fact that they were being conned, especially under handing their stationed men that was out in the field fighting for their lives.

No one spoke during the ride over, both still tired from getting up earlier than usual and then having to deal with the following nonsense. Cloud had expected the silver-haired male to grill him regarding his history and background once more but got nothing in return. Oh, well.

Upon landing on the base in Wutai, the blond stepped out first, examining the current military settlement. He's been only in two wars: one with Deep Ground and another with a country later in the future of his original timeline. War was never pleasant, always filled with death, decay, and sorrow. Regardless, Cloud understood the concept and the reason for war but sometimes, things just couldn't be helped when it came to greed and pride.

Various tents, in different states of conditions, were scattered closely together. Men were walking around the perimeter and others were resting either in their rollups or on the ground, huddled together for companionship. It didn't matter which area they came from, rank or department, everyone was together. It was nice to see such a feature, despite it being for the wrong reason.

Cloud felt various eyes glancing up at him at his mere presence, knowing that both himself and Sephiroth wouldn't be able to escape from being noticed. Whispers broke out amongst the men, more turning to look and stare. Despite that, no one spoke up and the two headed towards the center where the main tent was located. The two guards standing there glanced up at them, saluted, and allowed them through the folds. Cloud sighed, giving a nod towards both men, Sephiroth just a few inches behind him.

"You must be the new Director of SOLDIER."

Cloud peered up after having bent his head to enter the military tent. He blinked at the sight of the man before him, holding back his scowl. He wasn't able to hide the twitch of his left eye however, which were luckily covered by one of his bangs. Sephiroth was right beside him, raising an eyebrow before reluctantly and quietly groaning.

Of all people to be here leading the Wutai deployment, it had to be him.


The plump man, dressed in a green military uniform, had enough badges to be gaudy. "My, what a short little fella you are!" The man then gave that irritating laughter, enough to make Cloud's fingers twitch this time. It didn't go unnoticed by the General. "And Sephiroth, my boy, you're here too. Excellent! The men will be so happy to hear that you've come to aid us! These Wutaians are starting to get on my nerves."

The blond strolled around the center table, which contained all the strategy points against Wutai. There were three other men in the tent as well, one he suspected is the appointed Commander of the entire army, the other two as lieutenants.

Cloud quickly got started, keeping himself distracted from Heidegger, who was now standing to his right. "We can save the pleasantries for later. I'm here for work." Ignoring the near insulted expression on Heidegger, Cloud peered over the map before motioning Sephiroth to get closer, who followed the silent command, as well as the Commander. "Report to us on the current situation on the front and the men situated here."

"Yes, sir!" The appointed First Commander of the division stepped closer. He motioned towards the map and Cloud could make out the little dots representing their encampment, black 'x' for battles, and red dots for enemies. He could see the towns, which ones had been taken over, and which ones were still out in the open. From the looks of it, it's been a constant tug-of-war even though ShinRa was obviously winning, slowly gaining ground each passing month. The Wutaians were unenhanced, their equipment brittle compared to the blades ShinRa mass-produced, and though they had monsters, SOLDIERs were used to taking down hordes on their own singlehandedly, none strong enough to deter the men. The machines that were brought over, created by Scarlet and her department, helped in that, destroying monsters without losing any men on their side. They would eventually win but how long would it take? How many men would they lose in the process?

This war was starting to look very pointless.

Well, it always was at some point.

As the Commander went over the details of the battlefield, Sephiroth and Cloud made their own inputs, carefully going over the direction of the future deployment. Cloud was decent in plotting here and there, able to plan battlefronts in certain areas, but it became clear that Sephiroth was obviously more skilled, taking over immediately. This lead Cloud offering other ideas to complement and, eventually, he made a small mental note to get a few Turks to be stationed in the main camp. They were better at stealth, which Wutai was using, and had the mental capacity to plan far ahead compared to everyone else.

"The main thing we're having trouble with is supplies."

"Supplies? There's not enough food? Water? What about equipment?" Cloud started, eyeing the appointed leader. He had glanced at the previous shipment list, had made a note of it, and knew there should be enough to hold everyone over until the next.

The Commander shook his head. "No to all of that. We've been continuously running low. There's just not enough to go around with everyone. We've been having to ration sections that can be eaten each and every day. Equipments aren't being replaced. To compensate, I've been having men rotating out of battle to save what equipment we currently have. They are even sharing tents and bedrolls so that they don't have to sleep outside."

Cloud couldn't help but glance over towards Sephiroth momentarily, noting the shocked expression. "That should be impossible. I can understand if you have to ration out the last few days before the next shipment but not at the start. What about your requests for supplies?"

"They've been mostly ignored or if they do come, I only receive half of it."

Heidegger, who had been standing quietly in the background, finally decided to speak up. "It must be some silly mistake, nothing that can't be fixed upon returning to base. There's no need to look into it." He then laughed, patting his round belly with the widest and lewdest grin possible on his lips.

Cloud snapped his eyes towards the man, narrowing slightly. If it wasn't so obvious before, he had a feeling he knew exactly who was causing this mess. "And yet, this has apparently been ongoing for months. It's probably one of the main reasons why we can't get a head in this war." He straightened his posture, crossing his arms against his chest. "The supply shipment I came with had to be fixed before I left. There was items that wasn't supposed to be there and equipment that was registered missing. Am I correct, Sephiroth?"

"Indeed." Sephiroth nodded, agreeing. His green eyes was also eyeing the bulgy man, he too reaching the same decision. "I personally double checked everything before taking off."

Heidegger had a momentarily sneer on his lips before it vanished. "Well, that's good to hear. We don't want to be shortened."

"No, we don't."

Cloud hummed softly to himself before turning to the Commander. "Could you make a list for me? Regarding everything that has been missing from the previous shipments? I'll see if I can get someone to investigate it." He got a nod in return, the Commander more than willing to help out with that. "Also, could you bring me around the encampment? I want to take a look at the current situation. Tell me which areas are lacking. If you know what you need in order to gain some advantage, let me know as well."

"Yes, sir!" It was clear from the Commander's and even the lieutenants' eyes that they were grateful for Cloud's involvement in this matter. They had evidently been expecting a simple Director that would allow someone else to take over regarding the battlefield, even Sephiroth had thought that. Lazard knew paperwork and planning but he wasn't someone familiar with the front line or the workings of a fight.

Sephiroth quietly chuckled. It would appear that the blond had plenty of surprises that have yet to be revealed.

Heidegger, deciding to make himself known amongst the conversation once more, gave another disturbing laughter that snapped everyone out of their thoughts. "Well, since the Director and the great General is here, there should be a speech!"

"A...speech?" Cloud tilted his head. "Why?"

"To raise moral, of course!"

"Um...sure, I guess." It was truly stupid, Sephiroth thought so as well. "But I don't really see the point."

Heidegger grinned. "Great! I'm sure someone will get everything ready while you're out!"

Cloud didn't like where this was going, he had more important work to do at this time. Despite that, he slipped out with the Commander and General, leaving the two lieutenants with Heidegger.

The supply checklist had finished quickly, only taking thirty minutes max, and during that time, Cloud and Sephiroth had finished their rounds. The sight of the outer camp disturbed them both, not expecting their men to be in such horrid conditions. The lack of supplies had clearly made things difficult for everyone. Cloud was forever grateful he had thought ahead to order extras for everyone in this shipment as a just in case. He also made a small mental note to ship the next one early to keep everyone current on supplies.

Eventually, it came to said speech time, not that Cloud had anything practiced. The previous one he had spoken, two months ago, had been memorized. He had a list of points to make and he had completed just that. Now, he was empty handed and it wasn't like Sephiroth was any better. Neither of the two were good at public speaking, both leaving it to their more outspoken companions (Genesis and Angeal for Sephiroth and Rufus and Lazard for Cloud).

Still, they made their appearance at the makeshift podium, standing to the side. Cloud knew internally that everyone's eyes were resting directly on them and it took everything within him to keep himself from fidgeting and jumping out of sight.

Ugh, how he hated standing in public.

It didn't help when Heidegger stepped onto the stadium, chuckling that awful laugh of his and with steps heavy like a Grand Horn. The blond wanted nothing more than to groan loudly in misery. Of all places for this man to appear, it would be when there's no escape. Cloud had been purposefully avoiding the Department Head of Public Safety even though SOLDIER fell under his jurisdiction (the Turks too) as there wasn't much that could stop him from straggling the pompous idiot. He knew very well that the man was nothing more than a greedy pig in disguise. As Heidegger came to a stop at the front, carrying something in his arms, everyone stared, even Cloud.


What the hell?

Cloud froze in shock, bright blue eyes wide as he observed the very scene before him. Oh, dear goddess...

In Heidegger's hand wasn't any orders or equipment. No, it was much worse and idiotic. It was enough that even Cloud found himself snapping out of his silence.

A bucket of fried chicken...

And he was eating it too, right in front of everyone. Everyone who was currently surviving on bare minimum rations and starving when they ran out. Everyone who was tired, who had been fighting for their lives for the past few weeks. Everyone who was ready to head back to base next week, to be switched out with the next group, and take those next couple days off to recover from the exhaustion.

Oh, hell no.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Cloud didn't hesitate to pull out his phone and snap a picture of the ridiculous scene before him, cutting Heidegger off before the pig could even utter a word. Everyone in the field jumped, even Sephiroth couldn't keep him face straight at the blunt words Cloud had cursed out. They had clearly hadn't expected the Director to react and so violently too.

Heidegger spun to Cloud in surprise, knowing very well it was him that was being spoken to. The fried chicken he was about to take a bite out of was hanging midair, frozen in astonishment.

The blond didn't even give the man a chance to reply, storming forward to point towards the offensive item. "Where the fuck did you get that?"

Slowly, Heidegger responded, finally capable of words. "What?" He glanced down at his food. "Oh, this!" He grinned idiotically and it looked like he was jiggling his bloated belly gleefully. "I had them bring it over in the last shipment."

Cloud blinked twice, unsure if he had heard correctly. "What?" The last shipment? The one the current Commander was complaining about regarding how short their rations had been? It didn't matter, because, now, he was just pissed off. "You ordered fried chicken..." He whispered in disbelief. He knew Heidegger was an idiot, one that had built his career on the bodies of men. The only thing he knew to do was how to lie and deceit those around him. His voice raised in tone as realization spurred where exactly the supplies had been going to. "You ordered fried chicken with the money and supplies that was meant for the men!"

Heidegger just gave that disturbing laugh, his belly giggling. "Of course! They don't need such items. Its better if I use it. I'm more important after all."

The blond stared, as did everyone else in the field. They all heard it, right? Those words. His right eye twitched and within one split-second, Cloud snapped forward, ripping the bucket of food from those greasy hands. He ignored the startled gasp from behind him as he spun around, heading straight towards the rows of men below the podium.

"You!" Cloud pointed to a random SOLDIER amongst the group before curling his finger upward to get the man to come forward. There was some obvious hesitation in his posture but the man eventually relented and went forward, standing before the entire line with a straightened posture. There was some obvious fear flashing through his eyes but the curiosity was there just as much. No one in the crowd knew what the blond Director was going to do but they all liked what was going on so far. Cloud hopped down from the podium and held out of the bucket of chicken. "Here, it's yours. Try to split it amongst the men if you can. I know there's obviously nowhere close enough for everyone but for those that do get some, I want them to come with me and lend me a hand. It's only fair. If they don't want to help, then they don't get anything. Understood?"

The SOLDIER took the offered item, glancing down at it and at his fellow men curiously. He wasn't sure how to split this but he'll think of something. And the delicious smell of actual food was enough to make his stomach growl hungrily. Stepping back, he gave a grateful nod towards the Director.

"Hey!" A voice called out from behind Cloud. "What do you think you're doing? That's mine!" Heidegger stumbled forward, ignoring the sneer resting on Cloud's lips. "You can't just take what's mine!"

"Yours..." Cloud huffed, folding his arms as he hopped back onto the podium. The wooden frames under his feet cracked at the pressure he placed onto them. "I don't remember the company supplies being yours, to do whatever you want with."

"I'll get your fired! You'll regret doing all of this to me!"

Cloud just laughed, startling everyone around him. It was a bitter cunning laugh, one that sent shivers down everyone's spine. He grinned. "I'd like to see you try." He stepped forward, grabbing Heidegger's coat and yanked him forward, enough where their faces were mere inches away. The pompous man flinched at the closeness of Cloud's burning mako blue eyes. "Don't think I got this job just because I'm a pretty face. This is fucking ShinRa, the most corrupted company in the world, where lies and deceit runs prominent, and I just happen to be friends with Rufus Shinra. So I'd like to see you try to cut me down to size."

He shoved Heidegger aside with ease, his strength making the man feel like an useless oversized doll. Cloud could only watch as the Department Head quiver in place before collapsing to the ground.

Cloud chuckled darkly, using Rufus as his inspiration for this dark personality switch. As he stepped forward, Heidegger was backing away on his hands and knees, scooting away from the devilish blond. It was so amusing, enough so that Cloud grasped the handle of First Tsurugi, pulling out the large blade and spun it around above his head. He slammed the tip of it just between Heidegger's legs, grinning as he hear the man scream out in terror, before breaking out into a sinister laughter. Everyone simply watched in the background, observing in astonishment, unable to move from their positions. Even Sephiroth couldn't do anything, it was like a spell was keeping them all into place. Cloud grinned, "I protect those under my command. Piss me off and you're going to find just how far I can go. It's one of the many reasons as to why I got placed into this very position."

As soon as those words slipped Cloud's lips, the eyes in Heidegger's head rolled back, his oversized body collapsing onto the floor. He landed hard enough that a puff of dust circled his body and Cloud couldn't help but sneered unhappily. Meanwhile, everyone else remained frozen to their place. They weren't sure on how to respond. They were happy, no doubt about it, but they didn't know where to go from here.

The Director let out a disappointed huff. He had been hoping to scare the man a little more than that. Oh well. Back to work. His eyes glanced towards the crowd and then to Sephiroth. "Since the Department Head just took a little nap, I'm obviously taking over operations in the meantime. You four!" He pointed into the crowd, to four random SOLDIERs. "I want you to drag Heidegger back to the supply aircraft. You are to watch over him. Do not let him escape and you had better not let him convince you to work in his favor. If you do, I'm going to personally execute you. You're welcome to use force to keep him down and you'll be excused from all duties in the meantime." The four stood there with wide frightened eyes, looking amongst each other in confusion and fear. Cloud sneered. "What are you waiting for? Go!"

At that, the four scrambled into position, quietly talking to each other as they tried to figure out the best way to accomplish their new task.

"The rest of you that got the food I just handed, you'll be coming with me!" Cloud called out, spinning around fast enough to get his side cape to fly from the force. He paused as he made his way down the podium, glancing back momentarily. "You too, Sephiroth."

"Director Cloud?" Sephiroth called out, his head spinning from all the sudden events. "Where are we going?"

"To Heidegger's personal tent of course." Cloud was speaking as if he was talking about the weather. "I want to know what other dirty little secrets the idiot was hiding away."

"I want the team to sort everything into two different piles. Once done, we'll disperse all food items among everyone here, including those patrolling and the regular army. Everyone here has worked incredibly hard, too hard under these harsh unjustified conditions. So since Heidegger wants to take your supplies away, we'll just take his in return."

Everyone looked happy regarding the news, eyeing the collection of goodies hungrily. They were the ones that had pieces of the chicken but there were volunteers, hoping to get something out of it. It had been a long time since any of them had any good food, anything that wasn't sealed up and dried. As people went straight to work, Sephiroth oversaw the proceedings, not wanting anyone to try and steal something that was meant for everyone.

However, Cloud wasn't finished yet. Pulling out his PHS, he called the most familiar number in his log and awaited for the answer on the other side. Fortunately, he didn't have to wait long.

The phone clicked. "This is Rufus."

"Rufus!" Cloud hissed, his anger not quite having cooled. The men that was in the cursed tent was eavesdropping, even Sephiroth, and they was all surprised that Cloud had called the Turk Director directly. "You know, when I took this job, I knew I was going to confront some fools but I didn't expect to be facing some of the most idiotic people in the world!"

There was a pause on the other line before Rufus spoke up. "Is it Heidegger?" It was almost like he was mocking and Cloud was certain he could sense a smile in those words.


"Already stepping on people's toes? You've barely been at your job for two months." There was an amused chuckle on the line, Rufus clearly pleased. It wasn't well known but Cloud had a temper, one that could be very uncontrolled if snapped. Heidegger just happened to hit all the points for it. "So, what he'd do?"

Cloud could pick up some shuffling on the other side, some movement that didn't quite belong to Rufus. "Am I on speakerphone?"

"Yeah, Lazard is with me."

"Good. So Heidegger has items, a lot of items, here that I'm absolutely one hundred percent certain isn't on the budgeting list. It shouldn't even be on the supply list at all. I don't know about you but a portable TV is definitely not one of them." Cloud reached over and lifted up a couple of movies discs, eyed the microwave on the opposite side, and the containers of food that was far too expensive to allot. "I have picture evidence of everything in his tent. And he had the nerve to eat in front of the starving men, who should not be starving at all. There's supposed to be enough supplies to last them to the next shipment but they look like they haven't eaten enough for weeks."

There was a resounding silence on the other line before the faint sounds of a keyboard clicking came through. The men beside Cloud continued to work, sorting the items into two different categories: those that can eaten and those that can't.

Then Lazard spoke, "I've noted that shipment issue you pointed out earlier today. Upon some investigation, the orders were changed by Heidegger himself or someone associated with him. It seems he's been doing this continuously every time he's out on the field. Looks like this has been on-going for quite some time."

"That son of a bitch, putting my men in danger. I should just gut the man. Think I could get away with calling it as an accident? Got in the line of fire?" Cloud was tempted to snap his phone but quickly reminded himself that he still needed to talk. As his anger simmered, he pondered over the information. He wasn't in front of his computer so he couldn't look at the records. However, he could remember a few things from his past life and he's certain Rufus could too. Ah, yes, they both could take advantage of this. "What if this isn't the only issue that's been springing up with him?"

There was a huff on the other side, Rufus having come to that same conclusion. Lazard, not so much, considering his question. "What do you mean?"

"How long would it take to look over his entire records? All information he placed in? His bank accounts?"

"Oh..." Lazard paused before realization struck. "Oh!" There was more clicking on a keyboard. A few more moments passed before someone spoke up.

"You can't hack worth shit, scoot over." That was Rufus' voice and there was some shuffling before the clicking restarted once more. "Well, well, well, look what I found. I don't know about you, Lazard, but I'm pretty certain that supplies don't cost that much. And oh, his bank account looks as fat as he does. I know for a fact he doesn't make nearly enough money to get that much saved in his accounts."

Cloud smirked. Ah, the perks of having a Turk brother. "If I didn't know anything better, ShinRa must be losing thousands, maybe millions, because of him..." He could tell he was starting to get some looks from the various men surrounding him, some slowly stalling to listen. "How happy do you think the President will be when he finds out?"

"...Is that a trick question?"

"Obviously not, how much time do you need to collect everything against him?"

"How much can you give us?" Lazard spoke up this time. So both were going to work on this issue. Good. Cloud knew there was a lot of cover in such little time.

The young brother mentally counted the hours in his head. "The trip takes about four hours if no stops in-between. Thirty minutes to secure and disembark each time. It's not scheduled to leave for another two hours, maybe a half more. So about sevenish."

There was some shuffling on the other side before Lazard answered. "Are you able to delay the plane more? And for how long?"

Shit, Cloud wasn't too sure about that information. He knew the pilots would want enough light to make it out safely, especially out of enemy territory. Biting down on his bottom lip, he spun towards Sephiroth. He would know. "Give me a second, let me ask. Sephiroth!" The silver-haired man spun around from where he had been overseeing the organization of supplies. "When's the lateness a airship can leave from here?"

Sephiroth, having heard the entirety of the conversation, smirked. "The last bit of light is at seven. So they'll want to leave latest at five."

Cloud nodded, focusing back onto the phone. "I'll get the plane to leave at five."

This time Rufus spoke up. "Good. That gives us more than enough to get everything gathered and pushed to the President. We'll have him fired before he even makes it back."

"Just make sure to keep him there. And to send us those pictures." Lazard was already busy, pushing through all the bills created from Heidegger himself. The odd numbers coming up didn't a lick of any sense and it was evident by his under the breath cursing.

"Don't worry. I'll delay that ship myself if I have to." Cloud eyed his materia, already calculating which ones might have to be used to force the pilot to remain grounded. "If Heidegger decides to make trouble, well, I can always use force."

"Just don't go around killing people, Cloud."

"I won't, Rufus, not unless they irritate me."

There was a sigh, coming from Lazard. "I have a feeling you two are going to cause me a lot of trouble, headaches, and extra work."

"You wanted the Vice President position? You got the job and the work that comes with it."

There was a pause before Lazard replied, "Damn you, Rufus."

There was a little more clicking on the keyboard before a following silence. It was broken when the Turk Director screamed, "That fucking bastard was stealing from my Turks! When there was no one in position to take a look at the records! He's the reason why some of my men got killed in action!"

Cloud raised an eyebrow at that. Heidegger either had balls or was really stupid. One just didn't steal from the Turks, not unless they had a death wish. And then those deaths... Well, it at least got Rufus serious, perhaps too much. Oh, well. There was more furious clicking in the background, Lazard sighing in the distance.

The older blond should have known better when signing up for his new position. "You two are probably going to be the death of me."

Cloud chuckled softly, "Well, you got us. We'll keep an eye out for you."

"For some odd reason, that sounds more reassuring when it comes from you than Rufus."

Rufus chuckled lightly, pounding away at the key bound in the background. "Cloud, considered it done. It'll be taken care of before Heidegger returns."

Then the phone promptly hung up and Cloud couldn't help but shake his head. Oh, Heidegger is definitely a dead man and Rufus would make him suffer oh-so-sweetly. Before putting his PHS away, Cloud sent the required pictures and a little 'thank you' message to his brother. Out of the corner of his eyes, he could see his men muttering amongst each other and he knew, without a doubt, that news would spread like wildfire regarding the incident. Cloud wanted that, he wanted it to scatter until it reached Heidegger's ears. That man would be flying to his death, everyone knew it.

Sephiroth, upon catching Cloud's eyes, gave a nod, silently thanking the Director. Perhaps he wouldn't mind the man being in charge at all. He was reminded of Lazard's words when they had first learned of the blond:

"Believe me when I say this, you'll all be impressed with him. If anyone is going to change ShinRa and help protect you and your men, he'll be the one."

Funnily enough, Heidegger did end up causing trouble and, with one swift fist to the abdomen from Cloud, dropped out for the rest of the day, eyes rolled back into his head once more. The Director swatted his hands, done with the deed, before walking out of the airship as if nothing had happened. Sephiroth and the rest of SOLDIER could only stare in utter shock before refocusing on their jobs for the day.

No one pitied the Department Head. After all, he was the reason why everyone was in such misery, the reason why some are dropping like flies. Also, no one ever messed with the Turks, that was an even bigger no-no.

The plane promptly left at five on the dot.

"I need everyone's attention!"

All Turks snapped to notice, gazing up at their Director, who had just entered the room. Even Tseng stepped out of his office, curious. There was a look of irritation upon Rufus' features, a large folder in his right hand, and if one looked close enough, a dark suffocating aura surrounding his very body.

"For all those that don't have any current immediate assignments, I need all hands on gathering information regarding Heidegger's expenses, past and present."

Everyone looked at him in question, glancing among each other momentarily. Only Tseng was brave enough to step forward, asking the question the rest of the Turks wanted to voice out. "Is there any reason as to why?"

"Director Cloud just found some interesting tidbits regarding the Department Head, Heidegger, while visiting Wutai." Rufus began, "He requested for some...peaking due to some various inconsistencies. While looking, I found something fascinating. Apparently, during the time when the Turks was shifting leadership from Veld to Tseng, Heidegger was indirectly in control of the Turks. Now, if he's been stealing from the regular army and SOLDIER, what do you think he's been doing to us?"

The Turks are already looking among each other, already catching on what Rufus was hinting, not that it was hard. Rufus wasn't leaving anything out.

"And if he was stealing from us, then does that mean my, your, fellow Turks are getting what they needed? Or are they finding themselves shorted when they needed it the most on the battlefield?"

Rufus could see all the eyes darkening at the knowledge, knowing his men are smart enough to understand the details. Almost instantly, those that are free immediately poured over various paperwork and computer files, filtering through every little detail they could find. In five minutes, they were calling out information they had found for others, one person already appointed to gather all printed data to neatly organize.

The blond smirked, knowing he would get his information soon, carefully maneuvering towards his office to do his own personal research. "We have three hours to compile everything, people. Everything I need in order to bring to the President. Don't let me down."

Genesis huffed in annoyance. He was bored, completely and utterly bored out of his mind. Not even his usual comfort of LOVELESS was enough to keep him happy or entertained. Sneering, he stormed circles within his office, trying to keep his attention focused on anything other than his paperwork (he'd rather avoid the scolding for setting his work on fire out of frustration). He could pester Angeal but he was off with that puppy of his and Sephiroth was deployed in Wutai with the new Director. Besides the initial meeting and imposing on the brothers' dinner date, Genesis hadn't interacted with Cloud since then. He, like the others, just aren't sure on how to react to Cloud, no trust or respect built up, no nothing. Still, Genesis enjoyed some of the new changes that came along, especially the less paperwork. Oh, he liked that bit a lot.

If there was one thing he despised, it was paperwork, stacks of it. He would always purposely burn away the ones that aren't important in hopes of making his towering pile smaller. It was probably the reason why the previous Director had been very careful on what he sent over.

Of course, as there was hardly any paperwork (ignoring the ones on his desk), he had nothing to do.

Eventually though, Genesis had enough of hanging around his office and wandered down the halls. He was hoping for some trouble, for something to pop up. He was bored, so very bored, and he was willing to take any mission to get himself out of this sorry state. He was almost desperate enough to take up training some lowly cadets to pass the time (though he had been officially banned by both Angeal and ex-Director Lazard for his anger issues and his inability to not set them on fire). As he pondered over his options on his PHS, scrolling through the various listings, his ears picked up something strange. Genesis lifted his head and glanced around his surroundings, focusing on the noise. He wasn't on the main SOLDIER floor but the pathway to the garage and hangers, now attempting to escape with a company car once he got a mission, even if it was something as simple as clearing out a spotted horde in the slums.

As he pondered closer, Genesis could immediately tell the noise belonged to a group of people and by the lightness of their footsteps, it wasn't SOLDIER. These aren't the heavy combat boots SOLDIERs had but dress shoes and maybe the lighter variation of boots the infantry wore. Remaining still, he leaned against the wall to see what would appear around the corner and, soon, he was rewarded.

Genesis raised an eyebrow at the sight before him, unable to hide his interest. It was a group of four Turks and four regular army members. He hummed to himself. It wasn't often that such a stormy force would make its way through the compound, not unless someone was in trouble, a lot of trouble. The Director of the Turks, Rufus Shinra, along with the Second-in-Command, Tseng, are at the front of the group, both directing the movement.

Curiosity getting the better of him, the red head hopped forward, pacing with the rest of the men. Rufus gave him a quick glance from the corner of his eyes before focusing back on his task, using his I.D. to open a hanger door. Tseng, on the other hand, gave a nod.

Genesis fell back to Tseng's side, knowing he could probably get a minor gist of the situation from him (these are Turks after all). SOLDIERs and Turks don't normally get along but there are exceptions in certain people. "What's going on?"

Reno, one of the two other Turks following the higher ups, glanced over with a smirk before focusing his attention back to the front. He knew better than to speak up, leaving it to Rufus and Tseng.

The Director of Turks was the one to answer, not even bothering to turn around. Everyone knew about Genesis' inability to stick his head out whenever there was trouble. The red head was just drawn to chaos. "Why don't you come with us and find out?" Rufus smirked, motioning with his head for the man to come forward. "It'll be fun."

"Oh?" Genesis grinned, knowing there had to be trouble wherever they are going. That was an absolute certainty.

"You'll have to thank your Director though." Rufus added. "He's the one that pointed us towards the right direction."

Cloud Strife had? And towards what? Regardless, Genesis wasn't abandoning Tseng's side. As they came to the hangers where the aircrafts are located, the red head could make out that one was just beginning to land. An eyebrow raised up. Well, that explained why they are here. Now, he just needed to know who they were collecting if it called for such a force.

However, when Heidegger came stumbling out of the airship with four army personal, all SOLDIERs, beside him, Genesis stared disappointingly. Really? Are they really here for Heidegger? Did he need an escort or something? How disappointing. The Commander couldn't help but scowl. He wasn't some lap dog that would be used for such pointlessness and Heidegger was the last person he ever wanted to get close to. His blue-green eyes almost glared at the Turk Director when he paused to take a closer look at the situation.

Was Heidegger in handcuffs?

Taking the lead, Rufus stepped forward, ignoring the strong gust of winds that surrounded the landing space as well as the way his bangs slapped across his forehead, the rest of his hair slicked back. "Department Head Heidegger, the President has requested for your presence." A dark chuckle slipped through his lips, arms behind his back. The tail ends of his white coat raised up, almost like he had done it intentionally, revealing all the hidden weapons underneath. The amount of armaments on him was enough to make even Genesis raise an eyebrow at. Rufus was not carrying basic weaponry, he was wielding a entire armory and then some. Rufus took a step forward, keeping his posture straight. "We're here to escort you upstairs. Personally."

The rage in Heidegger's face was enough to make Genesis take a double take at the situation. This wasn't any normal pick up. That means... Oh... Genesis grinned, blue eyes twinkling in amusement. This is going to be perfect.

"The President can wait until morning! I have things to complete!" Heidegger attempted to announce and would have continued if the Turk Director hadn't cut him off.

Rufus tsked. The dark smile that followed was frightening enough to cause the surrounding men to shiver at the intensity. "No, can do. The President wants to see you now." He took a step forward, his grin never leaving as he patted one of the various handguns on him. "I've also been given approval to use any means necessary to get you upstairs. So you're more than welcome to tempt me. I have no issues in putting a few holes into you."

Genesis momentarily glanced towards the other Turks beside him, Tseng's face kept stoic as did the fourth Turk. All except for the fellow red head. No, Reno was grinning vividly, almost like he was crackling, like he wanted Heidegger to try something. The SOLDIER wisely kept quiet, watching the scene before him.

Eventually, with the not-so-subtle threat hanging in the air, Heidegger relented and the group was escorted to the top floor where the President was located. Of course, Genesis followed along, not wanting to be left out. This had been the most fascinating thing that has happened all day, no way is he leaving now.

In the President's personal office, stood Lazard in his impeccable suit as he pushed his glasses further along his nose. Tucked under his arm was a yellow envelope, thick in size with the red words 'Confidential' stamped across it. The President of ShinRa was in his throne-like seat, leaning back against the cushion with his blue eyes peering straight at the Department Head of Safety.

Heidegger took one look at the setting before running forward, slamming his cuffed hands down onto the desk. No one batted an eyelash, not even the President himself. "President! You must listen to me! Whatever allegations they-"


The President finally spoke, boring his eyes straight at the plump man, silencing him immediately. Slowly, he turned towards Lazard, who pulled out the contents within the envelope. The stack of papers was menacing in sight and Genesis could make out a few printed words on the very top. The red head remained quiet, knowing that it was time.

Lazard smirked, "Due to some concerns, Director Cloud had requested an investigation into your history. This is what we've found."

As Genesis listened to the list of complaints, issues, and thievery that had occurred in all divisions from the man's employment, he had to add another tick to Cloud's favor.