Shinra Inc. And Cell Phones

By: Jason Tandro

Suggested By: licoriceallsorts

Author's Note: I no longer work at a hotel. I now work for a regional cell phone company as a call center care rep. Basically I'm the guy you call and bark at about your phone not working or your bill being too damn high because you don't understand proration, early termination fees, activation fees or even how the rate structure works… No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?

But even I from the inside have to admit that sometimes some companies make really stupid decisions on how to market their product, or how to treat their customers. And upon revisiting the Genesis Awards Forums after about eight months (.net/forums/ , if you haven't joined yet, and you write Final Fantasy fanfiction or really ANY fanfiction, then you must join. It's like a law or something….) I saw licoriceallsorts awesome signature image (which you can totally check out by visiting the Genesis Awards Forums).

Well this was the main inspiration for this story, so many thanks to licoriceallsorts who is also an incredible writer, so you should totally check out their work!

Rufus slapped his phone shut and pounded his fist on the desk. He let out a bellow of frustration just as Reeve walked into the room.

"Trouble, sir?" Reeve asked.

"My stupid cell phone is out of whack again! Keeps telling me the call can't be completed as dialed… AND I'M TRYING TO CALL MY VOICEMAIL!" Rufus shouted.

Reeve walked over to his desk and picked up the phone. After a few simple clicks on the phone he began to dial again. He handed the phone over to Rufus. "Enter your passcode."

Rufus shook his head, as though refusing to believe the situation, but when he put the phone to his ear, the voicemail guide buzzed back at him. Rufus hung up the phone. "Okay how did you do that?"

"Same thing happened to my Horizon Wireless phone. And their customer service is terrible, so I had to toy around with it myself until I figured it out," Reeve explained.

[Author's Note: Jason Tandro does not advised tinkering with your phone yourself as you will most likely only make it worse, and probably cause it to explode somehow. He does however think that Verizon can go eat a]

"Dick move Reeve," Rufus cursed. "Now I look incompetent."

"What do you care?" Reeve asked. "Your phone is working now, right? I swear when my contract ends I just need to switch over to Dash."

"Dash? You mean there are other phone companies besides Horizon?" Rufus asked.

"Of course there are," Reeve replied. "Just because Shinra hasn't bought them all out yet doesn't mean that they-"

"If there are independent cell carriers they must be stopped!" Rufus said, once again pounding the desk. "Monopoly is useless if you don't have all the pieces."

"What does that even mean?" Reeve asked, sorely regretting his offer to assist.

Rufus paced around the room, his hands behind his back. A smug air of self-satisfaction on his face, as though he were boasting about his own superior wit. "Think about it. If people have choice, they'll go to the company that offers lower prices and better service."

"Right," Reeve nodded.

"And if we don't own those companies, then how do we benefit?" Rufus asked. He closed his eyes in preening, but failed to stop walking, resulting in him tripping over a pot plant and crashing to the floor.

"So rather than try and improve our service, you just recommend we buy out all the competition?" Reeve asked.

Rufus grunted as he stood up. "Yeah, that's kind of the idea. Ow, ow, ow."

"I'm concerned," Reeve said, not bothering to assist Rufus. "A little healthy competition never crumbled a business."

"Oh you poor misguided cretin," Rufus said, resuming his smug air. This time he ran groin-first into his own desk.

"Stop closing your eyes when you walk!" Reeve shouted.

"You know, I know we have this conference room here for a reason, but seriously, we don't have to hold every meeting here," Hojo whined.

Hojo sat next to Scarlet who was playing with her smartphone. Palmer sat on the other side of her, eyes green with envy as his fat thumbs mashed the keypad, playing a small, poorly designed Tetris game on his old flip phone. Tseng, Reno, Rude and Elena all had identical flip phones, although they were much nicer looking than Palmers. They also supported email function, as on-the-go emailing was crucial to the Turks.

Heidegger had a simple face phone, with an annoying (and outdated) push-to-talk feature. Occassionally there would be a hiss of static, or the sound of one of his cohorts barking out a greeting to try and get him to respond. Heidegger was fumbling with the cursed thing trying to get it to stop. Reeve was busy texting away on his slider phone, punching away at the QWERTY-keyboard with experienced ease.

"Hey guys, I did actually call you here for a reason other than an opportunity to play on your phones," Rufus said. "On that note, where's yours Hojo?"

"I don't have a cell phone anymore," Hojo replied.

Everybody looked up from their handhelds. Even Reeve, usually the most level-headed of the bunch, raised his eyebrow skeptically.

"You don't have a cell phone?" Rufus asked.

"I rarely leave my laboratory, landline is cheaper anyways," Hojo replied.

"Wow, somebody's out of touch," Scarlet sneered.

"Oh don't act so high and mighty because you bought a Druid. Yes, I'm sure it's lovely that you pay 100 gil a month for the privilege of playing Angry Chocobos, but am I the only person here who remembers what phones were designed for?" Hojo asked.

"You're just jealous," Scarlet smirked, launching another chocobo with her finger.

"You people, you just… these are toys to you!" Hojo cursed.

"Oh come off it," Heidegger laughed. "I happen to know the only reason you don't have a cell phone is because no carrier will take you anymore."

Hojo slammed his fist on the table. "I don't want them anyways. They're incompetent."

"What happened?" Elena asked.

"Everytime he had an issue with his cell phone he would call and threaten the care representatives lives with mutants. Most reps laughed this off until he unleashed one of his monsters on the Hooker Mobile Building," Heidegger chortled.

"That was you?" Rude asked.

"Technically it was Stabby De Psychobo, my crossbreed between Chocobos and pure evil," Hojo explained.

"Good riddance, I had a four-year contract with those assholes," Reno laughed.

Rufus rubbed his head. "We're getting a little off topic here. "

"Anybody know any other good games? I'm getting a little tired of Angry Chocobos," Scarlet asked.

Palmer thrust his cell phone in front of her face. "Here. It's called, try to survive on an old piece of shit phone like this."

"Chill out Palmer," Tseng said, repressing a chuckle.

"People!" Rufus demanded. "We're trying to determine whether or not buying all the other cell phone companies in Midgar would be a profitable venture."

"You want to just buy them all?" Reno asked. "Well, no shit that'd be profitable."

"Yeah, did you really need to call a meeting for that?" Rude asked.

"It's almost like you find unbelievably contrived reasons for us to be in the same room, just for your own amusement," Heidegger grunted.

"You know what I don't like you guys anymore," Rufus said, sitting back down. "Besides buying these companies isn't in our budget so I don't know what I was thinking."

Hojo's eyes glinted and he stood up. "I CAN DO SOMETHING USEFUL FOR A CHANGE!"

"What are you talking about?" Rufus asked.

"Just leave the competition to me," Hojo smirked.

Two care reps sat at their desks. Will auxed out of his phone for his break and leaned back in his chair. He leaned over to his friend, Dane.

"Dude, we're getting so many calls about all the other competitors going down. The only ones left are ourselves and Horizon Wireless," he said.

"That's weird. What could have caused like six different carriers all to shut down in the same week?" Dane asked.

"Hey what's that?" Will said, standing up.

Peeking over the top of Dane's cubicle was a large black chocobo.

"What the hell is a chocobo doing here?" Dane asked.

The chocobo's blank expression didn't last long before its talons thrust into Dane, impaling him in an instant.

"Oh my god!" Will shouted.

The chocobo set Dane's cadaver on the ground.

"Kweh… mother fucker," The chocobo said, moving slowly towards Will.

[Author's Note: Don't feel bad for Will and Dane dying. They were pricks.]