"Damn." Rufus pounded his fist against the conference room table, his voice was absolutely livid, "Heideggar, are you trying to bullshit me?" he asked in quiet fury.

Silence fell upon the executives. Rufus pushed back from the table. Where they ignoring him now?

"I asked," He said through gritted teeth," you all..." the anger in his voice steadily rising to the point where it boiled at the surface, "A QUESTION!"

The room seemed to shake as a glass of red wine spilled out onto the table where the President sat. Tension hung thickly in the air.

"I don't hear anything." Rufus snarled. Where they mocking him? Did they think this was funny,"Apparently your jobs don't mean shit to you, do they?"

Palmer and Reeve exchanged glances. Reeve nervously rubbed his shoulders, triggering a wire sewed into his shoulder pad. Palmer, on the other hand, looked to Scarlet, who was everything but worried. How could she stay so cool under pressure? She really was a cold bitch.

Scarlet coughed. Was he serious? Would their boss be willing enough to fire them over something that was entirely his fault. I'll be damned if I lose this job because of the Shinra's bratty Son. I was engineering weapons before this kid could even talk. Not that I'm old, I'm just more experienced than he wants to give us credit for.

Rufus glared death at Scarlet." If you have something to say, I suggest you say it!" There was no way in hell this bitch was going to try to embarrass him in his own company.

Scarlet raised her hand to cover her mouth as she laughed, trying to hide scorn with sweetness, "Oh, President, I was just about to say that you needn't worry about something so..." What was a good word, " insignificant. If it's war that they want, then it's war they shall have. Wutai may have revolutionized over the past two years but they are far from being able to match our military, as well as our weaponry. Believe me when I say this: We defeated them once, we can do it all over again."

Rufus lowered his head below his tented fingers, the expression on his face was unreadable." You'd better be right Scarlet. For your sake..." Although his anger subsided a little, he still sounded as agitated as ever.

Damn. I can't believe this shit." I can sympathize why they would worry, but we have this Genome under our complete control."

"Sir, If I may-" Heideggar laughed.

Rufus peered over his hands," What did I tell you about that laugh? Speak like a normal person."

Heideggar gulped. The old preseident never had the slightest problem with his laugh," Well sir, as you're well aware of, Professor Hojo took the Meteor situation into his own hands--and paid dearly for it I might add,"

"So, what's your point?"

"MY point being, can we trust his apprentice? How do we know he's not going to be a repeat of Professor Hojo? I mean he is a bit too...fond of our new experiement..."


The room grew silent once more as the executives and their president turned to face the entrance to the conference room. A man, dressed in black boots, black pants and a white lab coat that dropped down to his knees, stood in the doorway clapping his hands at Heideggars little speech.

"Bravo..." The voice was chill, and so smooth. It was enought to spike the growing lust in Scarlet's eyes.," Now, If you could only do something about that laugh..."

Rufus grinned into his hands."Kesuka..."

Ryuichi Kezuka. Rufus's right hand man and best friend. Rufus always listened to Kezuka's opinion before he thought about going through with a plan. Kezuka had been there ever since President Shinra ran the company and even afterwards, ran the science division in Hojo's absense. Not only that, but he's the one who saved Rufus's life after the cannon backfired in Midgar and Rufus's infection of geostigma. In other words, Kezuka--though a mere scientist--outranked all his fellow executives, even Heidegger.

Heideggar groaned. He was never going to hear the end of it now.

Kezuka smirked, soft spikes of fire-streaked, auburn hair hung heavily over the left side of his face as it fell long over his broad shoulders. Silver, wire glasses sat at the end of his fine nose but did nothing to hide the seductive glow in his mineral black eyes. Although alot younger than herself (as well as rufus) Scarlet often found herself fantasizing about the young scientist while her partners, on the other hand, looked down upon him with utmost loathing.

"Why are you bothered by my experiments?" Kezuka stepped nonchalantly up to the table, standing between Rufus and the head of Militia.

Heideggar cleared his throat. Not one word passed his lips.

"Well? You didn't answer me."

Heideggar stared at his boss," Sir, he can't be serious."

Rufus looked quite amused," Go ahead. Answer him Heideggar."

Damn bastard, "I'm just worried about the company's well being is all. The last thing we need is another Sephiroth running around."

Kezuka leaned on the table, " Uh-huh..." he said, as if that wasn't a valid enough reason." Is that all?"

This kid cannot be serious!, Heideggar thought to himself, if he's anything like that lunatic who taught him, he's liable to take us all down.

"Heideggar, listen to me," Kezuka pushed his glasses up onto his nose," I've taken several precaution--and then some--in order to keep this Genome at bay. Although my mentor was a genius, he was a senile old fool. He let his feelings for his son cloud his judgement. THAT's what led to his downfall." Kezuka held Heideggars eyes, slamming his hand onto the table. Heideggar jumped," I won't make the same mistakes he did."

Rufus nodded, " Listen," He closed his eyes, brushing a strand of blond hair from his slanted blue eyes, " Showing off our new weapon to the U.L.G was our first mistake. Now they know what might to expect from our military. The good news is that They do not know what the project itself is capable of. I have no dout we can win this war."

Scarlet interupted, "Forgive me sir, but what IS the project?"

" A new breed of SOLDIER. Far stronger and more capable than ordianry humans." Kezuka said proudly." In my laboratory, I have the first of many. Before this year is over, We should very well Rule over this world."

Cold sweat trickled down the side of Reeve's face, melting into his beard. Super humans? Another Sephiroth? Damn...this was not going to end well. They barely managed to save the world from Sephiroth the past three times and now this experiment was stronger than the original Sephiroth?

I need more information." Kezuka, What exactly is this project?"

"A new breed of SOLDIER, like I just said."

"What I meant was, did you manage to clone Sephiroth?"

"Well..." Kezuka eyes fluttered closed," You could say that," He said listlessly.

"Could you tell me?"

Their Leader didn't like where this conversation was heading,"It's honestly none of your business Reeve."

"But SIR!"

"Does your job mean ANYTHING to you?"--Reeve nodded--" Then don't question what's not in your jurisdiction."

Why is he so determined not to let me know more? Is it that he's suspicious of me?

"Rufus, We need to talk." Kezuka said right out of the blue," What's this I hear about me having to move my experiment?" his voice was suddenly filled with anguish.

"We'll speak of this later."

"You know just as well as I do that Sephoria needs not be moved, for the sake of this experiment I--"

"We will talk about this later!" The anger in Rufus's voice returned with a vengeance. He shot Kezuka such a glare that it sent a chill reverberating throughout the spine of every person in that room.

Rufus stood up, his bright blue eyes staring at each of his subordinates, wondering if it was really worth anything to the company to let them keep their jobs," Meeting adjourned. You all are dismissed."

Reeve wondered as he left the room, why Kezuka had purposly called their boss out in that manner, seemingly not caring about the fact that there were four other people in the room with them.

The trek to the door seemed abnormaly long. Reeve felt as if he were transparent. he felt the president straring right through him. The closer he seemed to be to the doorway, the slower he seemed to walk.

So, close and yet so far. Reeve reached for the doorknob, he was almost home free.


"Reeve," The sudden call of his name made him tremble.

Slowly, he turned to face his superior, "Yes Sir, President Shinra?"

"Stay. Kezuka and I would like to have a disscuss your employment here."

Damn. Just when things couldn't get any worse, they did.