Shinra Inc. And Downsizing

by: Jason Tandro

Author's Note: Well, this is it. After 7 years of writing these stories, I am retiring Shinra Inc. And. There are myriad reasons, the waning popularity and the desire to work on other fiction for example. But the most important reason is simply that I've pretty much run out of ideas of what to do with the series. I could attack simple one-off topics with the group, but I feel as though after 60 episodes I've done everything I can with the characters, at least as they are viewed in this setting.

Are they gone for good? Most likely, but hey down the road I may think of something new, or a new angle to approach it. Still, I have two other novelizations that I need to finish, and I want to pay more attention to my original fiction as I am working on trying to get published.

The very first episode, Shinra Goes Green was published on Jun 7, 2008. The series has been with me through many, many phases of my life. Changing careers, changing friendships, changing worldview. All of this has been reflected in the dark comedy of the series. I've also used this series as a sort of guinea pig to experiment with ideas of writing. While some experiments did not sit well with the audience (Shinra Inc. And Hackers and Shinra Inc. And Alcohol come readily to mind) others were very well received such as Shinra Inc. And Sex which was nominated for a Genesis Award for Humor and Shinra Inc. And Cell Phones which became a platform for me to spew my views on the accursed boxes which have enslaved us.

But I digress.

Thank you all for your support on the series over the years, and for keeping good humor. Here is my last offering to this franchise. Season 5, Episode 12- Shinra Inc. And Downsizing

Rufus was sitting on the helipad just out side his office, taking in the sights of the city. He looked over the edge of the building to the 69 story plunge beneath, got queasy, and moved back towards the wall. Reeve came out, carrying a folder with a grave look on his face.

"You found me," Rufus smirked, raising his free hand in a sort of toast. His second hand was busy working on a handle of vodka.

"You were hiding?" Reeve asked.

"Not very well apparently," Rufus chuckled drunkenly. "Today marks two years since the unpleasant incident where I was told I would be losing the company. I was kind of hoping to run out the clock since it's been less than a year since I got it back under control."

"Well you'll be happy to know that the company won't be going under, but we do have to have a pretty serious discussion," Reeve said.

"No, no, no serious discussion. It can wait until tomorrow," Rufus made a feeble stab at standing up. He fell over onto the ground and dropped the vodka. Fortunately the plastic bottle only spilled slightly.

"Mr. President, things will be okay, but we're a bit tight on our funds this year and we're going to have to do a bit of downsizing," Reeve explained.

"Downsizing. I thought you suits had a new fancy word for it. 'Right-sizing' or what have you?" Rufus hiccuped, and picked back up his bottle.

"I don't believe in mincing words," Reeve said ignoring the fact that Rufus was, himself, a 'suit'. He took the bottle from Rufus and took a hearty gulp himself before continuing. "We are going to need to layoff about 50 people to end the year on budget."

"Let's layoff Palmer," Rufus laughed.

"Yes, you made that joke two years ago too," Reeve groaned, rubbing his head.

"Oh very well, fine," Rufus stood up and this time remained on his feet. "You know what this means. We need to call everybody-"

"You're going to go to bed and we'll have a meeting about this tomorrow when you are sober enough to function," Reeve said.

"Send Scarlet, I'm pretty sure she's still single," Rufus said, stumbling forward before falling into Reeve's arms.

"You're a real charmer, boss," Reeve grunted, dragging Rufus into his office.

==*Shinra Inc. And Downsizing*==

Reeve, Rufus, Hojo, Palmer, Heidegger, Scarlet, Tseng and Geneva sat around the conference table pouring over binders full of statistics and budget reports.

"Okay so you've all heard the unpleasant news," Rufus said. "We have to let 50 people go. Specifically we need to chop 1,550,000 gil out of the yearly budget. Our average salary for non-contracted employees is around 31,000 hence the nice round number."

"We should cut people out of Hojo's department," Heidegger said.

"What?!" Hojo exclaimed.

"Seconded. Not only are his staff way overpaid but a lot of them end up dying. The money we'd save from lawsuits alone is incalculable," Tseng added.

"How about the lawsuits from when a horde of poorly maintained monsters break loose?" Hojo demanded.

"How about we kill your monsters and have you put away the chemistry set?" Palmer continued.

"Keep your burger vacuum closed you amorphous twat! Why is he here? What good has this man done for any of us?" Hojo insisted.

"He makes me feel better about myself," Rufus shrugged.

"It would make the most sense to have some layoffs in the military. Most of the soldiers are eager to end their contracts. Their pay is a bit lower, with even high level NCOs only capping around 29,000. And the grunts, well, let's just say it's not that," Reeve suggested.

"You'd have to cut a whole batallion to make up those kind of funds and that's one less vanguard of the city. You can't put a price on security," Heidegger said.

"Actually you can, 13.9 billion gil per year," Scarlet said. "I second cutting from the military. If you want you can let a few of my techs go too."

"Why don't we just cut all of your techs? Most of your designs can be completed by a monkey with a wrench," Heidegger retorted.

"Oh good thing we have your soldiers then. I'm surprised half of them know which way to point their guns," Scarlet snapped.

"How much do we need to cut again?" Geneva asked.

Rufus sighed and turned back to the front page of his binder. "Uh, 1.5 million gil basically."

"Well I hate to bring this up, but all of the Directorial Staff earn 2.1 million a year, except Palmer of course," Geneva said.

"Yeah well at least I have my Elevator Pass," Palmer snorted. [Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Benefits]

"So you're suggesting instead of laying off 50 workers we just cut one of us?" Reeve asked.

"Unless you all wanted to just take a pay decrease," Tseng offered.

There was a brief silence.

"So who should we get rid of?" Scarlet asked.

==*Shinra Inc. And Downsizing*==

ENDINGS

Layoff Hojo - Chapter 2

Layoff Heidegger - Chapter 3

Layoff Scarlet - Chapter 4

Layoff Reeve - Chapter 5

Get Rid of Rufus - Chapter 6