Cloud looked dubiously at the outfit he was handed. It was skin-tight blue lycra, the helmet was more face-obscuring than the infantry mask, and the weird gun fitted around the end of his right hand. He was told it was "point and shoot - even a space-case like you couldn't fuck that up, Strife."
Okay, so it apparently contained shielding so they didn't wind up getting their balls zapped by whatever nasties came out of the mako reactors, but really...
He suspected the reason every unit got rotated to Reactor duty was to stop the grumbles about the infantry uniform.
"It could be worse," Dawlish told him.
Cloud looked down at his scrawny form in the reactor Grunt uniform. He looked back up and raised his eyebrows.
Dawlish grinned. "Some of the other options? The stuff you have to wear if you're on tower security? Skin-suit like this, rollerskates for mobility. Then layer on big bulky armour. Or there's Aero Combatant gear - helipack in one hand, sword in the other. Nine times outta ten, you wind up hitting the target with the wrong one."
"So how do I avoid that?" Cloud asked.
"Practice your throwing arm, kid," Dawlish said.
* Inspired by a day of playing FFVII, and thinking about the absolutely awful excuses for uniforms Shinra force a lot of the troops you wind up facing in the early stages of the game into (Grunts, Special Combatants, Aero Combatants and Mighty Grunts). I suspect someone in either Weapons Development or Public Safety was having a bit of a laugh at their expense.
* The last line of the second one is a pointer to the outfits worn by the Grenade Combatants - they wear the standard uniform, much like the MPs. Why yes, I do suspect there are a lot of decisions about military specialisation made in the Shinra military on grounds of "at least I won't look a complete dork in the uniform".
* Needless to say, I don't own FFVII - if I did, the uniforms would be far more practical, and there'd be at least one shrink on the SOLDIER payroll from the start.
(I'll post these over at AO3 tomorrow).