Shinra Inc. And Bankruptcy

By: Jason Tandro

All in all, it had been a pretty bleak holiday season so far. Reeve, as the new CEO, spent most of his time in the office that had once been Rufus's. He spoke with countless potential investors for hours at a time. To cease additional financial burdens Scarlet and Heidegger's departments stopped all production of new products which meant that the heads themselves had essentially nothing to do. They spent most of their time sitting in the employee café listening to Palmer chat on excitedly about how good it was to have people sitting with him finally.

Nothing short of a SOLDIER team could stop Hojo from continuing to create new monsters; so that's what was done. Hojo wasn't arrested, but his lab was locked and he wasn't allowed in. The Turks still had to perform their usual security functions but other than that they were in basically the same boat as the others.

One evening in mid-December, Reeve called a meeting: his first ever. There was something strange about sitting at the conference room table and not seeing Rufus sitting at the head. Reeve was careful not to sit in his chair, but rather chose to stand and pace the room behind the chair. This was partly out of respect for Rufus himself, but also out of a desire to avoid to awkwardness of the situation.

"Okay," Reeve said, moving about the room. "I think we might be able to stabilize the company."

There were no cheers or offers of congratulations. They all knew exactly what this meant. They would be split up into different companies now. This was what they'd been dreading for weeks now.

"There is a budding research company called DevCom that was founded by two extremely rich men. They've offered to buy our R&D Department, which means Hojo will now be under their employ. The Shinra military will be parceled out battalion by battalion to various cities across the world including Nibelheim, Mideel, and even Wutai," Reeve frowned at the annoyed look on Heidegger's face. "Yes, Lord Godo is having a good laugh at us right about now. You, Heidegger, will still control each unit separately but direct them from a distance and technically they will be in the direct service of their city. You'll act as mainly a personnel checker and serve in advisory capacity."

"What about my Turks?" Tseng asked.

"You will now be the primary security team for our reactors, the one thing that is remaining under Shinra control," Reeve said.

"Then what about Weapons Development?" Scarlet asked.

"And the Space Program?" Palmer chimed in.

"The Space Program, believe it or not, has found a venture capitalist who wants to take on the entire staff. When I advised them that the entire staff consisted of you they tried to shortchange us, but I'm quite the negotiator," Reeve nodded.

"So what did you make by getting rid of me?" Palmer asked.

"Oh they didn't pay us anything. They were trying to convince me to pay them to take you off our hands," Reeve replied.

"Who is this venture capitalist?" Scarlet asked, watching Palmer slowly turn red with mixed fury and embarrassment.

"That old pilot Cid Highwind. Says anybody who wants to go into space he'll pay any price for… until he found out it was Palmer," Reeve nodded.

"I have something to say," Palmer barked. "You all have spent the past two years ruthlessly mocking me and trying to break my spirit!"

"That's not true!" Scarlet protested.

"Of course it is!" Palmer shouted back. "You make fun of me constantly."

"No, I just mean it's been going on for a lot more than two years," Scarlet explained.

Palmer's face turned a dangerous shade of red and he bellowed in frustration. "Now that this company is ruined, to hell with all of you! I'm going to go live my dream of going into outer space whether Cid likes it or not and you'll see what I can accomplish!"

"No we won't. Because we won't be watching. Because we don't care. Because we hate you," explained Hojo.

Palmer stormed out furiously. Everybody looked back up to Reeve.

"Well, that's pretty much it. Scarlet, Heidegger, Hojo. It's been a pleasure working with you. I wish you the best in your endeavors," Reeve said.

"Reeve…" Scarlet sighed.

Reeve turned his back to the table. "I was able to save this company by sacrificing a lot. I don't expect anybody to think of me as some kind of hero or financial genius. Quite the opposite in fact. I feel more like the messenger of death right now than anything else. Maybe that's why Rufus picked me for this job."

Scarlet wiped her face, she looked about to cry, but remained strong. Even the normally unsympathetic Hojo seemed disturbed by Reeve's attitude.

"Well as this is our last day together we may as well have a party, right?" Elena suggested. "You know, a goodbye party?"

"More like a, Congratulations, We're All Screwed party," Tseng said, folding his arms.

"I went to one of those. It was very accurately named. Left happy," Reno smirked.

"You texted me about it for two weeks after, and you didn't even take a girl home with you," Rude shrugged. "Just felt some girl up in a bathroom."

"It was glorious!" Reno said, as if daring Rude to try and besmirch his memories of the occasion.

"Anyways," Elena said, rolling her eyes. "Reeve, you should go invite Rufus. It won't be the same without him."

Reeve nodded.

Rufus no longer lived in the tower. He had purchased a Studio apartment in Sector 6. He could have easily afforded a nicer place, but Reeve supposed it reminded him of his old place. Reeve hadn't spoken to Rufus since his impromptu resignation during their Gold Saucer trip.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Amusements]

How was he supposed to do this? Oh hi, former boss, would you like to come celebrate the fact that your destroyed our company? Before Reeve had a chance to knock though Rufus opened the door and yelped in shock. The bag of trash he had been carrying fell to the ground and Rufus crashed back into the wall behind him.

"Damn it, Reeve, you scared the hell out of me!" Rufus shouted.

"Sorry, sir!" Reeve said, helping Rufus up.

"You couldn't have just knocked? Instead of waiting for me to randomly come out?" Rufus asked.

"I was only there for a minute, sir," Reeve grunted.

"Quit with that 'sir' stuff. I'm just Rufus now," Rufus said. He brushed himself off and closed the door. "May as well have a seat."

That was easier said than done given the cramped living space, but they made do, Reeve taking a seat on the recliner that sat in front of Rufus's TV and Rufus taking a seat on the edge of his bed.

"So what brings you down to my neck of the woods?" Rufus asked.

"Christmas cheer," Reeve replied sarcastically.

"Yeah this couldn't be more depressing if you tried, man. Christmas is in three days and my company is shutting down," Rufus grunted.

"We're, uh, having a goodbye party. Elena really wants to see you there," Reeve thought this sounded slightly unimpressive and so added. "We all do. This sucks and we'd like to all be there one last time. Well except Palmer, he's already gone."

Rufus nodded. "That's not a bad idea I suppose."

Reeve sighed. "But you're not coming are you?"

Rufus rubbed his head. "What am I supposed to do? Go say 'hey guys sorry you all lost your jobs because of my incompetence, but what the hell right? Let's have a damned party.'"

"There were many factors in our downfall. Not… They're not all your fault," Reeve said, thinking it would come across as both insincere and patronizing to simply say 'It's not your fault.'

Rufus ignored this. "I heard about the splits. So when do they take place officially?"

"Well it's Christmas weekend, so the following Monday. Five days," Reeve shrugged. "Of course given these circumstances I doubt anybody will show up for the office Christmas party."

Rufus chuckled. "It's a shame. I was looking forward to seeing what monstrosity Hojo thought up for this year's celebration."

Reeve stood up. "Are you sure you don't want to come to the party Rufus?"

Rufus folded his arms and shook his head. "I can't, Reeve. I'm sorry."

Reeve sighed and held out his hand. "Rufus."

Rufus took his hand and shook it. "Reeve."

"It's been an honor working with you, sir."

"Yeah," Rufus mumbled, letting go of Reeve's hand.

Reeve left the studio and Rufus shut the door behind him. "Five days," he said to himself. He looked out the window and watched Reeve walk down the street.

"I've got five days to try and save my company."

To be continued in Season 4! Episode 1 comes out Christmas Day!