Shinra Inc. And Thanksgiving
by: Jason Tandro
The autumn was nearing an end. This was less noticeable in Midgar than in other parts of the world, but fortunately the metropolis had its own telltale signs. Shopkeepers began marking up high-end items and yet at the same time were claiming that they were "on sale". Christmas decorations began appearing in every shop window, the MSRP invariably covered by some bow or bauble to hide their actual value with the stupefying shimmer of the holidays.
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Rufus sang in celebration as he walked down the chilly streets of Sector 1 alongside Reeve and a company of some 20 bodyguards.
"Rate hike season again so soon? My how time flies," Reeve sighed.
"Black Friday to boot. Just one lousy holiday to get through and money will begin pouring back into our pockets," Rufus exclaimed. "The summer days of fiscal famine are over, my friend."
"Assuming we don't have another disaster," Reeve commented. [Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Black Friday]
"That was three years ago, are you ever going to just let that one go?" Rufus asked.
"You moved Palmer to a supply closet after that incident and haven't let him upgrade since," Reeve retorted.
"The punishment fit the crime."
"Yes, but Palmer barely fits the closet. If he actually had work to do it would be a real strain on his productivity."
"I'll tell you what. For Christmas, we'll buy him a cubicle."
Reeve grunted, not really caring enough about Palmer's well-being to push the point further. The two came to a small market where they along with their assistants were gathering food for the company Thanksgiving.
"I must say this is a very refreshing change of pace for you. I hardly ever see you doing anything hands-on for the company. And this is really grunt work," Reeve said.
"Last time I entrusted grunts to picking out my holiday food they got this all-natural soy-based crap and a 'tofurkey'. I'm not running that risk again," Rufus explained.
"Did you hire Bosker?" Reeve asked.
"No, funny story, it was one of his commune kids. Little scamp wanted some part time work," Rufus replied.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Hippies]
"Ah. Where is he now?"
"I lent him to Hojo a few months ago. You know come to think of it I haven't seen him since."
"You lent him to Hojo?"
"And you don't see why that might be a problem?" Reeve asked, folding his arms.
"If by 'don't see' you mean 'don't care'," Rufus replied.
After an exorbitant amount of turkeys, stuffing ingredients and various sides were collected, the entourage returned to the Shinra Tower where the Conference Room was becoming a veritable feast. The Conference Room would be for executives and their staff only, whereas the rest of the employees would be getting a celebration dinner in the employee cafe.
"Space might be a concern. This is a large room but I'm worried about having this many people eating dinner here," Reeve said.
"Only my Directorial Staff will actually be eating in here. Everybody else can take their food and get back to their offices," Rufus replied.
"So much for office camaraderie. I suppose it's fitting considering what we're celebrating."
"You know the story right? About us taking the land from the Cetra?"
"I heard that Thanksgiving was a celebration of us all getting along and the Cetra welcoming our forefathers to their land in peace and harmony," Rufus asked.
"It was. For about a year. Until we started systematically wiping them out and taking their land," Reeve replied.
"But this is supposed to be a happy time of giving thanks," Rufus replied.
"Yeah. I'm thankful for your land, your food, your lives..."
Rufus sat down on the floor, rubbing his head furiously. He began to groan sorrowfully.
"Did you honestly not know?" Reeve asked.
"No! I went to public school!" Rufus cried. "I didn't realize how much of a collection of bastards my ancestors were. I can't believe we let this happen!"
"Wait a minute," Reeve sighed. "So you're telling me that it's okay for you to jack up prices on Mako, make it very hard for your own citizens to survive and enact countless atrocities against groups whom you care little about nowadays, but a past atrocity that occurred well before either of us even existed is what has you up in arms?"
"I choose to be angry at the thing which I'm not directly responsible for," Rufus explained.
"What a comfort that is," Reeve said, rubbing his eyes and sitting down in one of the nearby chairs. "I've suddenly lost my appetite."
"Well, we have to do something to repair the damage caused by our forefathers. Isn't that something you can support?" Rufus asked.
"Well certainly. I think we can start by not doing genetic testing on the ones that remain-"
"I was thinking something with a bit less effort and a bit more public appeal."
"Of course you were."
"How do big corporations deal with touchy subjects of which they have little interest in, but which the public clamors on about?"
"Well," Reeve said. "If you want to know..."
=&Shinra Inc. And Thanksgiving&=
"And so, as usual, on this holiday where we give thanks for what we have, let each of us give 50 gil more on our Mako fees effective immediately. But I want you all to know that 50% of that increase will be going to help preserve Cetra Historical Sites and provide a scholarship for the remaining Cetra!" Rufus smiled.
The crowd had gathered for Rufus's annual Thanksgiving speech. The reactions were the usual resounding bitterness, mixed with occasional muttered death threats. The news that charity was now involved only added confusion to the melting pot of negativity. Rufus extended his hands out at a young woman who had been given an honorary spot in the front row. The young woman wore a pink dress, and had long brown hair.
She walked nervously up to the stage. "Um, are you serious right now?"
"Yes, Aerith Gainsborough! When you turn 21, you will inherit these reparations, assuming you aren't stabbed horribly through the torso at any time between now and then," Rufus explained.
"That's oddly specific," Aerith quipped.