Shinra Inc. And The Deserted Island
By: Jason Tandro
Author's Note: The Shinra Inc. And series has become the jewel of my collection. I love writing these silly little stories. Sure they may not be as carefully considered or well written as some of my more serious pieces, but they are something I can throw together in a few hours that make me laugh. This is the beginning of Season 3 and explores a concept that I had a couple years back and was actually going to turn into a stand-alone fic. But somehow, it feels more appropriate within this universe.
Also, this season is probably going to fly by because there will be new episodes every Sunday, guaranteed as I have written almost every fic before the season even started. But don't worry, the thirteen episodes of Season 3 are going to cover some very exciting ground!
I want to take this time to thank some of my loyal readers: ShibukisSummoner, Shadow's Interceptor, KunoichihHakira666, Prisoner ksc2-303, P.T. Piranha, Cloaked Schemer, foxygirlchan, Glimmerous, Cueball, and PhantomoftheCarolinaOpry.
I want to also note a few special readers.
First, mikkimikka who has commented on just about everything I've written and I think knows more about the Shinra Inc. And series than I do!
Second, nightmistral, who I've been beta-ing for for awhile now and who's working on a really great FF7: Crisis Core AR fic.
Third, licoriceallsorts, a friend of mine from the Genesis Awards Forums who came up with the best description for the series I have ever read: "Final Fantasy meets The Office."
And finally, the people who I didn't list by name who have read and reviewed my work, as well as my often more-talented-than-I colleagues on the Genesis Awards Forums.
Thank you for reading!
The airport at Junon was filled with press and reporters from every corner of the globe. The news item dujour was President Shinra's upcoming visit to Wutai, to speak with Lord Godo about increasing their sovereignty.
This move was planned by Reeve, who after spending forty minutes explaining to the President why it was a good thing to have people like the company, finally said that such a publicity stunt would yield incredible results, as well as draw attention away from their recent underwater reactor explosion.
The crowd was tense, seeming to have a very clear memory of that event, when President Shinra's words had enraged the crowd to the point of open riot.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Accountability]
There was a new model of plane that was also the highlight of the crowd's attention. The great winged monstrosity looked nothing like any airship Shinra had designed. It had a similar look to a combination of the Gelnika mixed with the former pilot Cid's seaplane The Tiny Bronco.
Rufus stood next to his staff on the podium just in front of this plane. Reeve stood at his left. Reeve was his number 2 in the office, but his formal duties were urban development. Somehow in his service of Rufus his duties had extended to almost every menial task that Shinra Inc. had to offer.
On his left was the lovely Scarlet, a brilliant engineer and the head of weapons development. She was wearing her favorite red dress and matching heels. Scarlet had something of a reputation about her for doing whatever she wanted, especially when it netted her some personal reward. Aside from these manipulative tendencies she was fairly sweet-minded overall, with the occasional bout of bitchiness that Rufus had long since gotten used to.
Next to her was Heidegger, the head of the Shinra Security Division and the military. He was an odd manner of military official in that there was nothing remotely disciplined about him. He was absurdly overweight, drank like a fish and wasted the company's money.
On the opposite side of Reeve was Heidegger's inexplicable best friend Palmer. The man used to be in charge of the Space Program but now it wasn't sure what he did, aside from getting involved in local cults and having strange hobbies. He was also overweight, also drank like a fish and had hair that gave him the constant look of having freshly jammed a fork in an outlet.
Standing behind the Directorial Staff were four members of the Turks, the security and reconnaissance branch of Shinra Inc. Officially their function was to scout out members for SOLDIER, the elite military special operations branch, and to function as security for high ranking officials. However, that was a cover story, and barely that. Pretty much everybody knew exactly what the Turks did; assassination, kidnapping, any operation that required stealth, tact and delicacy was left to the Turks.
The Director of the Turks, Tseng, stood at parade rest behind the President, just in view of the cameras. He wore the standard black suit of the Turks well. Tseng was, for the most part, completely professional, but with occasional outbursts.
Standing next to him was his girlfriend of a few months Elena. Elena tried to be as professional as possible, but her sweet demeanor and occasional playfulness made it hard to believe that she was a trained killer.
Reno and Rude, two other Turk Operatives, stood underneath the wing on this plane, chatting quietly amongst themselves. Reno was the Assistant Director, as one of the Turks most dangerous operatives. If he weren't so good at his job he would have been out on the street long ago. His womanizing habits, his ridiculous spiked red hair, and the fact that he never wore his tie gave Tseng ample reason to reprimand him, but for the most part they got along well enough. Rude was professional in his appearance, but whenever Reno was around his semi-dormant slacking off instinct would kick in.
Last, but certainly not least, was a man who was already on the plane, presumably kept out of the public eye for his habit of breeding monsters that had a tendency to break loose and run amok. The borderline insane, Professor Hojo, sat in one of the seats of this airplane, looking over some of his notes while mumbling incoherently about people not appreciating his talent.
The boring speeches ended and soon the plane was loaded full of these officials and agents. Within moments the plane had taken off from the airport and they were in the sky on their way to Wutai.
Rufus sat in the private cabin in the front with Reeve and a lovely stewardess who introduced herself as Cynthia. Rufus was clutching the edges of his chair uncomfortably as Reeve and Cynthia sat laughing at downloaded viral videos on Rufus's laptop.
"No matter how many times I see it, Dramatic Look Chocobo is still funny!" Reeve chuckled.
Reeve looked over at Rufus who now looked like he was going to be sick.
"Are you alright, sir?" Reeve asked.
"I, uh, don't know if you know this about me or not, but I don't really like planes all that much," Rufus shuddered.
"Oh for crying out loud," Reeve groaned.
"What?" Rufus demanded.
"You have a paranoia about everything it seems. Seriously. You use choppers all the time. And they're more dangerous! You know the soldiers call the double-blade model 'the floating coffin'," Reeve changed tack at once. "Besides, Rufus you should calm down. Air travel is statistically the safest form of travel. Well except walking. And biking. Commercial sea travel. Mountain climbing. Chocobos."
Rufus shook his head in annoyance. "Whatever. Stop that Reeve. I just can't help but think something bad is going to happen."
Just behind the private cabin were the other passengers of the plane and a handful of stewards and stewardesses. Rude, Reno, Tseng and Elena were playing a game of cards around one of the tables. Palmer and Heidegger were already halfway through a bottle of vodka as Scarlet looked on in disgust.
Hojo came in from the back room carrying a small cage.
"Look what I smuggled aboard!" Hojo grinned.
Inside the cage were two tiny inexplicable monstrosities, divided by a sheet of plexiglass. Both were eagerly trying to break through the glass to claw the other ones face off.
"What the hell?" Scarlet shrieked leaping up out of her seat.
"I thought we'd remove the dividing glass and bet on who wins. I call this little guy Bitey McKillsalot Jr. and this rambunctious little guy with the underbite Grunk," Hojo smiled the way that a father looks his newborn sons.
"That is so not safe!" Reno shouted.
"Hojo, you can't do that here," Tseng said.
"Come on it'll be fun!" Hojo insisted.
Suddenly the plane hit a bit of turbulence. It shook fiercely and the cage fell out of Hojo's hand. Just as Rufus screamed from the cabin: "Are we going down?" the cage broke open and the two creatures began tussling with each other.
Reeve calmly said to Rufus, "It's just turbulence. It's natural." At this moment, panic reigned in coach. Scarlet was now standing on the back of her seat. One of the stewardesses had locked herself in the bathroom and the others had rushed up to the cockpit.
"Stop shaking the plane!" Heidegger shouted. "It's bad for it!"
"Kill those bastards!" Scarlet shrieked.
"That's the spirit!" Hojo laughed. "Come on! My money's on Grunk, he's got a fire about him!"
"Why do we keep giving you chemicals?" Rude shouted as he leapt over a row of seats to avoid the grappling mutants.
The two monsters now rushed towards a small box filled with electrical controls.
"This is bad right here," Reno cursed.
Within moments the two fiends and torn through the cords and the effects were instantaneous. A loud explosion was heard outside. Reno looked out the window and saw one of the wing engines ablaze.
"Okay, now we're going down!" Reeve shouted.
The plane spun out of control, knocking the crew around. Everything went dark.
Rufus awoke on his back, lying what was unmistakably sand. He opened his eyes and saw brilliant blue skies and the tops of palm trees. He slowly sat up and saw the smoking wreckage of the plane.
Around were the staff and the flight attendants. Rude had been heavily bandaged and was leaning against a log. Reno, Tseng and Reeve were walking around making sure everybody was okay.
Scarlet was still unconscious, Elena was banged up pretty well but doing okay. Palmer and Heidegger seemed relatively unscathed and were sharing the last bit of vodka to ease the pain.
The stewards and stewardesses who had locked themselves in the cockpit lay next to the pilots. Things did not look good for them, but they didn't appear to be dead. Cynthia was comforting the girl who had locked herself in the bathroom.
Rufus stood up and shouted above the din. "What the hell happened?"
"Mr. President!" Reeve shouted, running over to Rufus. "You're okay. Thank God."
"We're not sure yet. The plane spun out of control after an engine blew. Somehow everybody survived, but the flight crew is very badly injured," Reeve said.
Rufus grabbed Reeve by the collar of his shirt. "Where are we?"
Reeve sighed and looked around. "My signal is dead. Nobody's cell phones or laptops are picking up anything. We're probably on a small castoff island near Wutai."
"Are you happy? Are you happy you bastard?" Rufus said, tightening his grasp on Reeve's collar.
"What are you talking about?" Reeve asked.
And then, in Rufus's trademark mocking voice he quoted: "Airplanes are statistically safer! Airplanes are statistically safe. Nothing bad will happen!"
Reeve batted Rufus's hands off his neck. "Calm down, sir. Once we don't arrive at the airport, they'll send out military vessels along our flight path to make sure we're okay. Once they realize we aren't they'll search for us."
Rufus sighed and nodded. "Fine. Fine. I guess as long as nobody is dead that's the main thing."
"Actually," came Hojo's voice. "Bitey McKillsalot Jr. was killed by the propeller."
"What?" Rufus asked.
"Well I brought on two creatures. Bitey McKillsalot Jr. and Grunk. Well the two fought hard in the interior of the airplane. Even as it was going down they battled hard; grappling and clawing at each other as we dove into the tailspin from hell. Once the plane crash landed the two were hurled from the flaming wreckage, picked up rocks and began smashing each other. Bitey got the upper hand and it looked like all was lost for Grunk when the wing engine suddenly activated and sucked Bitey right into it, before the damned thing imploded," Hojo smiled. "Oh what a sight."
Rufus now clenched Hojo's throat. "You brought your mutants on the plane?"
"It was just for a bit of fun!" Hojo cried in defense. "Come on, you hired a prostitute let my have my moment."
Cynthia scowled. "I'm a flight attendant."
"Oh please, with shoes like that you're $500 an hour minimum," Hojo snapped.
"Back on me!" Rufus shouted, shaking Hojo. "Your monstrosities just took down our plane. You could have killed us all!"
"I just said one of them died!" Hojo cried. "Don't you care about my feelings. All I have left is little Grunk here."
And Hojo lifted up the ball of mismatched limbs and organs with his left hand.
"Good let's take care of the other one, shall we?" Rufus said turning on a dime and taking Tseng's sidearm from his holster and pointing it straight at Grunk.
"No don't! There's been enough bloodshed today. If you must kill somebody kill me!" Hojo pleaded.
Rufus shrugged. "Alright."
"No! Fuck that! Kill the monster!" Hojo shrieked holding up Grunk like a subhuman shield.
"Sir, we may need to save that ammo in case something more vicious exists on this island, or God forbid, to hunt for food if help doesn't show up soon," Reeve explained.
Rufus looked around. Tseng's pistol was the only firearm that had made it out of the crash. Elena was tearing hers apart now, as the trigger mechanism had caved in. Reno didn't seem to have his and Rude was telling Reno about how both of their guns had flown out an open window during the crash. Rufus took out the magazine.
"7 bullets. Plus one in the chamber, that makes eight," Rufus sighed. He put the magazine back in the pistol and handed it back to Tseng. "Use that sparingly."
"What about him?" Reeve asked, pointing at Hojo.
"Cage that monster and you better hope help comes soon," Rufus cursed.
The First Day
"I'm wasting away," Rude groaned as he lay on the sand.
"We just ate an hour ago, Rude," Elena said reprovingly.
"No. I meant there's no more booze. I hate being sober," Rude replied.
"Yeah if you gotta be stuck staring at the water all day it should at least make you seasick," Reno chuckled. "That's something to do at least."
"Hey, if this is a tropical island aren't there like coconuts or something?" Rude asked. "We could probably ferment that, right?"
"Well the coconut juice is, like, milky or something, and when you ferment milk it turns into cheese," Reno sighs.
"Alcoholic cheese?" Rude asked. "That's a thing?"
Elena smacked her head and walked away while Reno tried to explain the various ways in which that was a bad idea. She rounded a corner to be alone but saw that Scarlet was, in fact, already there, completely nude.
"Hey!" Scarlet shouted, covering herself.
"I'm sorry!" Elena said, averting her eyes. "I didn't know anybody was back here. Why are you naked?"
Scarlet slipped on her dress and scoffed. "I figure while we're waiting for the plane I'd get a tan and since we're stranded no point in getting tan lines, right?"
Elena nodded. "That's actually a good idea, I suppose. But in present company that might be a bad id- Palmer!"
Scarlet turned to see some bushes shake. The sound of footsteps crushing the powder beneath them ran off towards the main camp, but Scarlet and Elena rounded the bend and caught him.
"What the hell were you doing?" Elena asked, holding Palmer by the throat.
"I was just takin' a leak!" Palmer gasped.
"Don't give me that crap, you were peeping on me!" Scarlet shouted.
"No, I swear it was nothing like that!" Palmer cried.
Scarlet grabbed Palmer's ear, gave it a hard twist and dragged him back towards the main campsite.
"Palmer was just spying on Scarlet!" Elena said with as much contempt as she could put into mere words.
"Spying?" Heidegger asked.
"I was tanning… and he was peeping on me," Scarlet explained, omitting a crucial detail.
"Palmer, for crying out loud, not even two years ago you were at the brink of a sexual harassment suit, and now you're doing this kinda crap?" Rufus groaned.
"You know I think we need to lock him up or something. I don't feel safe knowing he's free to do what he likes," Scarlet hissed.
"Lock him up where?" Rufus asked. "It's a desert island."
"We can't let society break down just because we're stranded. Make an example of him. Use old parts from the plane to make a brig! Island law!" Elena said.
There was a murmur of assent from the stewards and staff. So within a matter of a couple hours a cage was assembled from airplane wreckage and Palmer was thrown within. The day turned to night and no help came.
The Second Day
"I'm just saying it wasn't all that good," Hojo sighed. "I've had bananas before and those tasted nothing like them."
"Those weren't bananas they were papayas," Reeve corrected.
"Papa-what now?" Hojo asked.
"Papaya. They're a round, sweet tropical fruit. Wait a minute, didn't the fact that they were round give you a clue?" Reeve asked.
"I thought they were oval plantains," Hojo retorted.
"That's not a thing," Reeve groaned.
"Whatever it was it was the lousiest banana I've ever had," Hojo insisted.
"Those weren't bananas!" Reeve shouted.
"Or papa-thing-a-majicallit," Hojo snapped.
"And you're a scientist," Reeve mumbled. "You know that bananas and coconuts aren't the only tropical fruit right?"
The two arrived back at the camp carrying two sacks laden with the round fruit. Reeve tossed one to Rufus and grabbed his own.
"These were all we could find for food," Reeve sighed. "They'll have to do."
Rufus took a bite and spit it out.
"Oh sorry!" Reeve cried. "I thought they were all ripe."
"No it's not that," Rufus gagged. "What's with these? They're the worst bananas I've ever had."
"Do you people cook?" Reeve snapped, walking around to the far side of the island.
"Reeve!" Scarlet snapped.
"I'm sorry! You should let people know beforehand!" Reeve shouted, running back.
The Third Day
"Hey, can I have another papaya?" Palmer asked, sticking his stubby hand through a small gap in his cell.
"We all eat together. What makes you think we're gonna give a prisoner extra rations?" Rufus asked. "Besides thanks to that tarp covering you've got more shade than anybody and you move less so you should need less sustenance."
"Well phooey!" Palmer huffed. "Why am I in here for accidentally seeing Scarlet naked and Hojo isn't in here for causing the crash in the first place?"
Everybody looked over at Hojo, who was in the process of feeding some papaya seeds to Grunk. He looked around at everybody and cursed. "Oh thanks a lot Palmer!"
Within moments Hojo was thrown in the cage and Grunk was locked in a small box next to him.
"I'm getting concerned Reeve," Rufus sighed. "You said the air force would be looking for us by now. What's going on?"
"I don't know. Let's stay on the beach a couple more days but after that we might have to start thinking of other ways out," Reeve rubbed his chin. "It won't be easy."
The Fourth Day
"Ow ow ow ow ow," Scarlet grunted with each step she took towards a small tarp covered tent.
Reeve took a look at her beet red body and sighed. "You got a little sun burnt, Scarlet."
"Really, I hadn't noticed," Scarlet hissed. She lowered the straps over her shoulders and sat down in front of him. "Just do it."
Reeve rolled his eyes and began to apply the aloe vera gel he had packed with him. He heard Scarlet moan with relief as he applied the gel.
"Oh come on!" Palmer shouted, watching the scene.
"Hey Rufus!" Tseng shouted, looking out over the sea.
"What is it?" Rufus whined. "Who died and made me boss?"
"Your dad," Tseng replied immediately. "But uh, I think you should know we might have some trouble heading our way."
He pointed out over the sea where grey storm clouds hung over the horizon forebodingly.
The Fifth Day
The monsoon season had hit. And as anybody who has ever had a bad sunburn before knows, every drop of rain is in equal measure relief and torment. Scarlet would jump out into the rain for a few moments and be on the brink of tears from the pain of the pelting drops but then the coolness would set in and she would feel wonderful. Of course she would dry off quite quickly and then run back out. This dance went on for most of the morning.
"Okay, these are the last in season papayas we could find. Sorry, Rude, no coconuts for your alcoholic cheese experiment," Reno sighed.
"A man can dream though," Rude nodded.
"That's it?" Reeve asked. "This island must not be very big if we've already used up all the edible food."
"And seriously, where the hell is that transport you promised?" Rufus snapped. "Five days we've been stuck on this island! What the hell?"
"The ocean is very big and our flight path means we could have crashed on any number of islands. Be patient," Reeve pleaded.
The Sixth Day
The storm had washed away most of the shelter, but somehow the cage still stood in place. Hojo and Palmer could not shut up about their bad luck in this regard. There were exactly four Papayas left and Rufus held them all to himself. The others had to make do with the scant supplies they salvaged from the airplane; packs of peanuts, small crackers and for some reason somebody had found the need to pack twelve boxes of chocolate chip cookies. Palmer never said they were his, but he got a sour look on his face whenever he saw somebody eating one.
"Cookies are not food," Tseng sighed, biting into one. "This won't sustain us much longer."
"I'm gonna go… use the bathroom," Rufus said, excuse himself, and yet taking a small circular object with him. He had decided not to eat his fruit in the presence of others who had to survive on less.
"I've got it!" Hojo exclaimed.
"Got what?" Reeve asked.
"I have been running some tests all yesterday. Based on the climate of this region there should be clear seas for the next week. If we can build a raft we'd have a week of free sailing time and that should get us at least to Wutai continent," Hojo said.
"Really?" Scarlet exclaimed.
"Good work!" Heidegger applauded.
"I don't like the idea of leaving here. If you get lost you're supposed to stay put," Reeve sighed.
"Let the man speak!" Reno shouted. "I like the idea a lot."
It was put to a vote. Reeve lost.
The Seventh Day
The raft was completed. It took a great bit of work to make a raft that could fit almost twenty people, but it did the job. It even had a small central area covered by a tarp for Scarlet to avoid any more sun.
"Are we sure we wanna do this?" Reeve sighed.
"You can wait here if you like," Rufus nodded. "We'll tell them where to find you. If we can remember what island this is."
"I get the point," Reeve groaned, stepping on the raft. Reno and Tseng pushed on either side of the raft, a surprisingly easy feat considering the number of people on board. The sea did most of the work for them. The stewards and stewardesses began to paddle and soon they were away from the island.
The open sea was, however not as forgiving as Hojo had assumed. In fact the remnants of the storm were still moving the sea quite harshly. Waves that seemed taller than the Shinra Tower began to pelt the tiny raft.
The Eighth Day
"I told you it was a bad idea," Reeve groaned, spitting out some water.
"Well done, Hojo. This is the second time in a week you've screwed us over," Rufus snapped.
"Hey now! Does nobody care that I lost poor Grunk to the sea?" Hojo asked, putting his hand over his heart.
"No!" Was the resounding cry over the crowd.
Just as everybody was moving towards Hojo with a murderous glint in their eye, a sound broke over the waves. It was faint at first, but grew louder and louder. Propellers. They looked up and saw an exact replica of their plane flying smoothly over the island. A rainbow shone down from above as the rain cleared.
"Oh my god," Rufus gasped. "Don't you get it? We're in a parallel universe! The plane never crashed!"
"I think that's just the Mark 2 coming to check on us," Reeve sighed.
"Heidegger's dead. God why did he have to die. I mean I didn't like him, but some people I guess thought he was funny," Rufus cried.
"What are you talking about?" Reeve asked. "Look they're circling back."
"And what the hell was with that golf course? Did you just run out of ideas? Were you sitting around the eighth hole going 'oh crap we didn't submit our story for this week, and just threw that on?'" Rufus moaned.
"Look, troops are rappelling down! We're saved!" Reeve shouted.
"Oh god, and the fact that the show went nowhere. Why do you have to drag us on for six years, huh? What's wrong with a beginning, middle and end? It's not enough the have a season-end cliffhanger you have to do that at the end of every damn episode. It's worse than M. Night Shyamalan!"
"Dude, what the hell!" Reeve shouted, smacking Rufus across the face.
Rufus seemed to come to his senses. "I'm sorry. It must have been the heat exhaustion."
"Must be. What was all that crap about a TV Show? And that Shyamalama-ding-dong guy?" Reno asked.
"I'm not sure," Rufus groaned. "Come on, let's just go home."
The trip to Wutai was postponed indefinitely. Rufus refused to go anywhere by air after that horrific event. The few times he was forced to use a chopper he brought a back filled with every possible survival tool one could imagine.
Scarlet eventually got over her sunburn, but never quite got the tan she was hoping for. Reeve advised her to avoid direct sunlight for a while and she did like the plague.
The Turks went back to their formal duties which now included making sure that Hojo was only doing approved experiments and keeping an eye on where Palmer was keeping his eyes.
Heidegger lost fifteen pounds and started running again. Even Rufus has to admit he's never been more athletic in his entire military career.
Cynthia hooked up with Hojo a few nights after their rescue. However as it turned out he was right about her and ended up having to sell some chemicals to cover his debt. He did not complain once.
And Reeve had to take a week off after making a fruit salad with lemons and hearing Rufus exclaim that they were the worst papayas he'd ever had.
[Author's note: I've actually never seen an episode of Lost past the first season.]