Shinra Inc. And Do-It-Yourself

By: Jason Tandro

The days were getting shorter; summer was over. Fall set in, most determinedly leaving scattered foliage and barren trees everywhere. Fortunately as Midgar had very few trees this was not so much a problem.

Rufus sat in the cafeteria on the 64th floor, eating a healthy lunch of a tuna sandwich and a bowl of chicken soup. It was not usually his custom to leave his office for lunch, but he had spent the day trying to evade Reeve.

It was the end of the fiscal year, which meant that Reeve would no doubt be pestering him to finalize and review the statements from accounting and make sure everything fell into perfect order.

They had a tradition, Reeve and him. Reeve didn't have to do the work, but Rufus didn't want to, so it always fell to the former. But this year, Reeve seemed adamant that this grand year-old tradition would come to a close.

Rufus almost spit out his soup when he heard Reeve's voice calling at him from across the café.

"Rufus!" Reeve called.

Rufus gulped down a hot bit of soup and exclaimed. "Reeve, how the hell did you find- I mean what do you want?"

"I knew you'd hide somewhere nobody expected you to go, so the first place I searched was the gym and alcoholics anonymous. I figured I'd check here too to be safe," Reeve quipped.

"Oh aren't you hilarious?" Rufus scoffed. "Look at me boys and girls, I'm Reeve the secretary who has no soul."

"Don't make this harder than it already is, Rufus. I don't even care if you pay attention to what's on the forms. I've already double-checked the numbers, I just need you to sign the damn things," Reeve explained.

Rufus sighed, pulled out a pen and began to sign sheet after sheet. The seven pieces seemed to take forever.

"Thank you for your continued service to this company, Mr. President," Reeve scoffed.

"Shut up."

The day turned into night and soon Rufus found himself heading home, which only comprised an elevator ride, but nonetheless there was a cathartic feeling about seeing the numbers go down.

His tiny bedroom, which was only small due to a personal preference of Rufus and not due to a space-saving concern, always cheered him up. His bed lay in the center of the room, the headboard against a solitary window. On the left side of the bed was his night-table and alarm clock, as well as the door leading to his private bathroom, which was almost as big as his room.

On the right side was a bookshelf and a media center as well as his desk and personal computer. It was everything Rufus wanted in a place where he essentially just slept and took small naps during the day.

Flipping through the channels on his flatscreen TV, he found himself sucked in to a marathon of one of his favorite shows, D.I.Y. The show was hosted by a bearded gentlemen whose name Rufus never bothered to learn. It was all about the simple and easy ways in which one could adjust, improve and so forth their home and workspace with just a little patience and a toolbox the size of a trailer.

"Today on D.I.Y. we're going to discuss some of the cool add-ons you can make to your office! Are you getting tired of your secretary constantly overloading you with memos?"

"Yeah," Rufus exclaimed, as though Choco-Billy Mayes could hear him.

"Well we're gonna show you how with a few pieces of lumber you can make a nice mail cubby for your desk," the man explained, picking up a saw and a piece of wood.

Rufus sighed. "A mail cubby? I thought this was gonna be an incinerator episode."

Reeve walked up the stairs leading to Rufus's office. He was carrying a very large breakfast. Normally the secretary did this for him, but he found it was always best to reinforce his service to Rufus after forcing him to do something he didn't want to. Let no man say Reeve was not a true diplomat.

Reeve almost dropped the tray when he saw what had happened to Rufus's office. The desk was covered and connected to a variety of strange contraptions that Reeve had never seen before. Rufus himself was putting the final touches on one, wearing a white t-shirt, blue jeans and a utility belt as opposed to his usual white suit and trenchcoat.

"Oh, hey Reeve. How's it going?" Rufus asked.

"Who are you and what the hell have you done with Rufus Shinra?" Reeve asked, setting the tray down on a small table next to the stairs.

"Well ever since we got off that desert island, I've been watching this show called D.I.Y just to see if there was anything I could have built to make our stay more comfortable," Rufus explains.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and the Desert Island]

"Okay… but uh, forgive me. How does that have anything to do with… this?" Reeve asked.

"It's time to stop living in the past," Rufus nodded. "I've got to think about how my life now can be more comfortable. Otherwise what's the point?"

"What's the point of what?" Reeve asked.

Rufus ignored this, as he did with all questions he couldn't answer. "Well come on, don't you want to see what these do?"

Reeve sighed. "Okay, let's see the worst."

Rufus first pointed out a small series of tubes that wrapped around his desk and lead down. He held up one finger quite dramatically and then started fishing envelopes through the various pipes. Reeve watched, rather impressed, as the pipes sucked the envelopes through them down through the floor.

"An inter-departmental mail system? That's pretty ingenious," Reeve nodded.

"Nope. They all go to the same place," Rufus explained.

Rather than ask why there was more than one pipe, he asked the more pressing question. "Where is that?"

"The incinerator. You see somebody hands me some busy work or useless junk I can act like I'm moving it along to the appropriate destination when I'm really just burning it!" Rufus smiled.

"I'd like to file a complaint about this mechanism," Reeve groaned.

"Oh good, you know where to file it," Rufus replied, pointing at the pipes. "Next up-"

Rufus stood up and walked over to a set of wires and pulleys near his bookshelf. Again, he held up his finger in theatric fashion and pressed a switch on the far left side.

The effect was instantaneous. Each of the pulleys began to operate and small trap doors opened up on either side of the bookshelf. On the left side a tray laden with a variety of snack foods rose from the ground. On the right came a large HDTV, with a DVD player connected to it.

"I call that my 'break button'. It's for whenever I need a break during the day," Rufus explained.

"And how often do you plan on pressing that button daily?" Reeve asked.

"Just once."

Reeve shrugged and nodded in a "well okay" sort of way.

"I figure now that the stuff is up here why should I send it back down, right?" Rufus added.

Reeve slapped his head and sighed. "And that last one?"

Reeve pointed to a small crane-like device hanging from the ceiling above Rufus's chair.

"Oh that does this," Rufus said, pressing a button on his desk.

Suddenly the crane lifted up Rufus and lifted him into the ceiling. A small metal door shut and Rufus called out through the drywall.

"I built a panic room. It's pretty much for whenever you show up. No offense," Rufus called.

"None taken. I'll be going now," Reeve sighed, heading down the stairs.

"This is great," Rufus chuckled. "Hey wait, I didn't install an exit button. Reeve!"