Shinra Inc. And Pointless Achievements
by: Jason Tandro
Author's Note: Well here it is, my 50th story. In the back of my mind I hear somebody going "And about three of them are any good." Well I'm very much aware that quantity does not equal quality, I have been very proud of the work that I have put on here. Sure there are a few cheap crack fics like Highwind MD and IM of Death which I wrote just for fun more than anything else, but I feel confident when I say that the majority of my work has been, at least, readable. So here it is. Story Number 50.
Reeve wasn't sure what was going on, or why in the world he had to go up to the Conference Room on a Saturday. He was surprised to find that he wasn't the first one in the room; Scarlet and Tseng had already made it in, along with Hojo who was already in house observing cultures for his latest abomination over the weekend.
"I'm surprised Elena isn't with you," Reeve chuckled.
"She is," came a small voice from behind Reeve. She was holding coffee for her, Reeve, Scarlet and Hojo. "Just wanted to stop by the cafe first."
Hojo mumbled a word of thanks as he took his coffee and Scarlet nodded appreciatively. Tseng planted the perfunctory kiss on Elena but seemed a little out of place.
"Something wrong, Tseng?" Elena asked.
"I think I know why we're all here," Tseng sighed.
"Am I late?" Heidegger asked, carrying a large bottle of Rum. "I was busy observing field exercises. My lord that is boring work."
"No you're fine. We're just waiting for Reno, Rude and Palmer now. And, of course, the man of the hour," Reeve replied.
"You can hold your applause, ladies, I'm here," Reno strutted in with a smirk until Rude pushed his back to get him to move faster.
"We had to put a priority assignment on hold for this," Rude explained to Tseng. "Don't we get some kind of opt-out? I mean this assignment has to be done by the end of the day."
"That assignment doesn't involve a hostile takeover of a bar does it?" Tseng asked seriously.
"Come on, boss man, you handed the paperwork our way yourself. It's that drug dealer in Junon," Reno explained. "We've only got his position for 14 hours. After that he could be across the ocean."
"President's orders are still orders," Tseng groaned.
"About that, you were about to tell us why you think he's called us here," Reeve noted.
"I'm not late! I'm not late! I'm not late!" Palmer shouted. His face was covered in sweat and he was carrying his tan jacket in his arms rather than wearing it.
"No, you're not," Scarlet nodded.
"Rufus isn't here yet," Heidegger added, kicking a seat towards his friend.
Palmer took it without bothering to announce why he had been so frazzled. There was a momentary silence, as though they expected Rufus to be shortly behind him, but when a few minutes passed, Tseng took the floor again.
"I was on MyFace the other evening-"
"During work hours? How unprofessional, Tseng," Reno smirked.
"Actually yesterday was my day off, idiot," Tseng shot back. "Anyways, I was on MyFace and I happened to check out Rufus's profile page. He had posted something about budget cuts and I wanted to see whether or not he was serious."
"He wasn't," Hojo growled continuing to tick away at a clipboard he held in his hands. "Why do you think I'm here on a Saturday?"
"Quite," Tseng nodded. "But then I noticed something. I'm the only person here who actually friended Rufus on MyFace, so I was the only one to see this. He currently has 99,992 MyFace friends."
"That's a lot," Scarlet nodded, impressed. "But then he is the president of a multi-billion gil company."
"No, don't you get it? Minus myself, how many people are in this room?" Tseng asked.
Everybody did a visual scan of the room and comprehension dawned on them.
"You mean?" Reno was cut off by Tseng's agressive nod.
"Yes! If the eight of you befriend him on MyFace he'll have 100,000 MyFace friends," Tseng explained.
"You mean he called this meeting just so that we would-" but again, Reno was interrupted by Rufus walking into the room.
He looked as though he'd just gotten back from a salon, his hair was unusually bright, his teeth had been freshly whitened and his clothes were neatly pressed and brilliantly clean.
"Oh lord," Tseng groaned, resting his head in his hands.
"My friends!" Rufus announced loudly. "How great it is to see you on a Saturday!"
"If we friend you on MyFace can we go home?" Hojo demanded.
Rufus tried to appear shocked, but didn't quite pull it off.
"M-MyFace? What are you talking about, I just wanted to have a friendly chat with my friends. After all that's what friends do, right?"
"I've always been under the impression that we were your subordinates, Rufus," Tseng commented.
"Yeah, we're support staff, but you're still our boss," Scarlet added.
"And us Turks are just-" but Rufus raised his hands for silence. Reno scoffed and whispered to Rude. "Damn it, can't a guy finish a sentence around here?"
"Don't be silly everybody!" Rufus smiled. "With all we've been through. You've helped me in so many ways."
"And you've repaid us with budget cuts, unpaid overtime and putting us in positions where our lives are in danger," Reeve commented.
Rufus seemed to be growing a little annoyed, but smiled politely as he said: "Hahaha. Shut the hell up, Reeve. I mean to say you know this isn't true. I've always held you people in the highest of esteems. Remember how I constantly support you? Always making you feel good about yourselves?"
In the back of Hojo's mind, a quote surfaced immediately: "Oh what'll I do without your precious suggestions for mutants? Got a coffee maker that spits sulfuric acid? What about a backpack that melts into the skin? Got a crayon made of rat poison you wanna give to a baby who gave you a dirty look?"
Reeve had a similar thought: 'The terrorists are people too', 'we shouldn't drop the plate on the terrorists', 'Hey Rufus, let's let the terrorists go."
And Palmer: "It seems like all you do is wander around the floors begging for resources. You're worse than a rat. 'Say Hojo, can you spare some machines?' 'Heidegger, you don't need ALL that money do you?' You suck!"
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Security]
"Uh, sure, if you say so," Heidegger sighed, apparently thinking that the best way to end this was to just let Rufus have his little speech.
"Sure!" Rufus smiled. "So if you were really my friends, you'd want to support me, right?"
"Oh wow!" Elena smiled standing up. "You're right. I can't believe I haven't done more! I'm gonna go home right now and drop you an email discussing my feelings. And I'll even add you on MyFace!"
Rufus grinned. "Really? That's great!"
"Yeah, you know, it makes sense for you to be able to contact me when you need me if I'm your assistant," Reeve added. "I'll email you my current contact info, and I'll even add you on MyFace."
"Perfect!" Rufus nodded.
One by one, the staff of Shinra Inc. managed to say the right things to leave and continue their Saturday's, with the exception of Hojo, who sat resolutely ticking away at his clipboard.
"Well Hojo... do you have anything to say?" Rufus asked.
"Yes. I was your friend on MyFace, but then you blocked me because you 'didn't want my freaky image damaging your social rep,'" Hojo smirked. "A shame too, sounds like you only needed one more."
Rufus groaned desperately. "I should never have blocked hotgirl69!"
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Cyber Stalking]
"You know, if you gave me a bigger budget I could hire a weekend worker. And I could make his employment contingent on making you a MyFace friend," Hojo said.
Rufus's eyes lit up like Christmas, and with a hearty smile he patted Hojo on the back. "Consider it done!"
The following Monday, Reeve walked upstairs to Rufus's office. Rufus had one of the largest smiles Reeve had ever seen on his face.
"So you made it to 100,000?" Reeve asked.
"Are you kidding me? Once I hit 100,000 I became a 'Featured User'. I've been getting so many friend requests I've had to do mass acceptances! I'm at 456,000 right now! And I'm expecting another 22,000 before lunch!" Rufus smirked.
"Oh good. So are you happy?" Reeve asked. "Do you feel better? Do you think that 456,000 people saying they're your friends makes you closer with any of them? Do you think that at the end of the day anybody is going to care about numbers and statistics as a means of social validation?"
Rufus smirked. "Of course not. But a net worth of 4.2 billion gil, three private homes, 47,122 direct subordinates and ownership of the city do help."
"Again, those are all just numbers," Reeve shot back.
"Just numbers? Just Numbers? Listen to me, life may not be all about the accumulation of wealth, but don't sit there and call my empire just numbers! I have more value in my pinky finger than you have in one pant leg!" Rufus shouted.
"You're mixing your metaphors again, sir."
"Are you happy?"
"That's a stupid question, Reeve."
"I have everything I could possibly want!"
"Are you happy?"
Down the hallway, Rufus, who was now standing, could see Tseng and Elena embracing. Tseng had given her a new necklace that he had purchased.
"I have work to do," Rufus grunted, sitting back down.
Reeve seemed a little ashamed of himself, shifting his feet uncomfortably.
"We're all behind you Rufus," Reeve nodded. "We just want you to rely on us more."
Reeve left the office. Rufus sighed deeply and looked out the window. As he looked over the city a smile spread across his face. "Oh what am I sad about? I'm a billionaire!"
To Be Continued in Episode 6!