Shinra Inc. And Alternative Energy

By: Jason Tandro

Author's Note: Yes, this is only three weeks late, but after all, it wouldn't be a story of mine if it weren't horribly postponed. This was supposed to be a Christmas Day release for Season 4, so forgive that it is slightly out of season now.

This story carries over from Shinra Inc. And Bankruptcy so if you haven't read that (or for that matter Shinra Inc. And Amusements) I'd recommend doing that now. If you can't be bothered, the basics are Rufus quit as CEO because the company went bankrupt. He left Reeve in charge who divided the company assets to different sources to preserve Shinra Inc. However it is the company's darkest hour.

Also note that I initially slated Communism to be the starter episode, but the concept kind of got away from me. Rather than there being some deus ex machina solution to Shinra's problems I'd rather take some time to make the story more realistic in its resolution. Besides I think I can have a lot of fun with the current format of the company. So this season will all be about the efforts to restore the company to its former glory.

Here is my lineup for this Season:

Episode 01: Alternative Energy

Episode 02: Communism [Suggested Fic!]

Episode 03: Due Diligence

Episode 04: Hippies

Episode 05: Cissnei [Suggested Fic!]

Episode 06: Piracy

Episode 07: Part-Time Jobs [Suggested Fic!]

Episode 08: MMORPGs

Episode 09: Politics

Episode 10: Space

Episode 11: The Old Boss [Suggested Fic!]

Episode 12: The Wedding [Suggested Fic!]

=Shinra Tower=

Christmas Eve
3 days until the dissolution of the company.

Reeve sat as the desk on the 70th floor of the Shinra Tower. He was still getting used to being CEO of the Shinra Electric Power Corporation. He couldn't deny that, were it not for the dire circumstances under which he took power, this would be a great job. He essentially was just an overseer to make sure everything got done properly, which Reeve was naturally gifted at having the best organizational skills in the company.

Still, the sound of Christmas music playing while the company was falling apart was rather unnerving. This too, of course, came at a bit of a personal cost for Reeve. Reeve had been well aware of the eco-terrorist group AVALANCHE and their attempts to shut down the Mako Reactors. Reeve had even understood that many aspects of Shinra were horribly corrupt. But at the same time the people affected by the company were his friends and co-workers.

Earlier that day Reeve and Scarlet had been having coffee in the employee café. He had asked Scarlet what she was planning on doing with herself, as no company had yet offered to buy the Weapons Development team.

"Well, DevCom says they might have a place for me and some of my staff," Scarlet said. "But I'm concerned about giving private companies access to modern superweapons."

"Don't you think that Shinra was the bigger threat?" Reeve asked.

Scarlet gave him a skeptical look.

"Scarlet, let's be candid here. I am not saying that I support terrorism, but don't you think that we were more dangerous? I mean suppose that our Mako Reactors are harming the planet? And there's no question that our military…"

[Author's Note: I am not making any sort of political reference to the United States here. The game has already done that for me and forced my hand, so please don't think I'm trying to be preachy here, I am just trying to write realistically based on the pre-existing motivations of each character which is, again, based on the game. ]

"I can see your point Reeve, but still," Scarlet didn't know what to say.

"I think that with some work we could maybe find an alternative means of energy. If we could turn Shinra Inc. into a company that people can be proud of again, then we might have a better chance of saving it," Reeve said.

Scarlet still had that skeptical look. "I don't know Reeve. I don't know how I feel about that. I mean, first there is no real evidence that Mako Energy harms the planet aside from the pollution of the reactors and we had been developing cleaner processes for that already. Aside from that do we really have the money to try and completely re-imagine the company?"

"No, but DevCom does, and they're paying good money to take our current R&D. What if we could plant the idea in their heads?" Reeve asked.

"You mean miraculously finding an alternative fuel source in four days and then fabricating records which DevCom's lawyers would decimate in the due diligence process?" Scarlet asked.

"You think I'm an idiot," Reeve grunted.

Scarlet's expression softened and she patted his hand. "I think you're a good man, and you aren't afraid to follow your conscience. But you're too idealistic Reeve. This is business."

Reeve stood up. "I know that. Since when did business become a euphemism for heartless gain at the expense of morality?"

Reeve had felt bad about he left things off with Scarlet. She was, after all, one of the few people he could really have a reasonable conversation with and he had let the emotions get the better of him. As he began to fiddle with the control panel, looking for the intercom, Hojo walked in.

"Hi Hojo," Reeve nodded, pressing the first button. As a television and snacks appeared from nowhere, Reeve recognized this as Rufus's "break" button that he had installed about a year ago.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and DIY]

"Hello Reeve," Hojo nodded. "I just wanted to give you my last report before I turn everything over to DevCom."

Hojo handed Reeve a folder full of scientific jargon which Reeve could only partially understand. However, not willing to get into an involved discussion he simply nodded and said. "This looks good."

Hojo smirked skeptically, seeming to understand that Reeve couldn't comprehend his work, but he replied with a courteous. "Thank you."

Reeve handed the folder back to him, and an idea hit him. "Say, Hojo. You've been working with the Mako Reactors for years."

"Yes," Hojo nodded simply.

"Have you ever seen, heard of or theorized about alternative energy sources?" Reeve asked.

Hojo shrugged. "There was never a need for it. Mako is effective, versatile and virtually limitless in its application."

"Before Mako came along we had other means of energy. Fossil fuels, gas, electromotor, hydro power. Even wind and solar power are being used to this day," Reeve nodded.

Hojo folded his arms. "I've heard of these complaints from several of the companies most, um, vocal critics. Simply put there is no single fuel source outside of Mako that can generate the power needed to run a city of this size, much less all the other cities like it around the world."

"Then what about multiple sources?" Reeve asked.

Hojo looked impatient now, but, with a sigh, responded. "That would be impractical from a business standpoint. If all you want is a scientific opinion then yes, combined energy sources could generate the power needed, but you would require almost four times the staff and resources as it takes to man the Mako Reactors. "

Reeve rubbed his hair, but nodded submissively. "Very well."

Hojo frowned. "For the record, Reeve, I think you're doing quite well as the boss. If you find some way to restore the company to its former glory I'd be happy to work under you."

"That's only because DevCom won't let you make monsters anymore," came the voice of Reno as he walked up the stairs behind Hojo. He was accompanied by Rude who remained silent, although shaking his head as though he felt embarrassed about interrupting this moment between the two.

"Oh shut up, Reno," Hojo hissed. He turned back to Reeve. "Best of luck, Reeve."

Reeve nodded in farewell to Hojo and then turned to Reno. "What are you all doing here?"

"It's our job to protect the reactors, but also the President, which if you've forgotten is now you," Reno replied.

"And why do I need protection just to go home for the day?" Reeve asked. He then thought that sounded a tad rude, and so added, "Not that I mind hanging out with you guys."

Rude moved over to Reeve's other side. "Tseng thinks it's for the best, sir. An unstable time like this could prompt a terrorist attack."

"And for the record, we think it's awkward as hell too," Reno smirked. "Follow me, Mr. President."

=Rocket Town=

Christmas Eve
3 days until the dissolution of the company.

"So, Palmer, you're working with me again," Cid Highwind said, taking a drag off a cigarette. Palmer and he sat on the catwalk of the old Shinra 26 rocket. While the two men had had more than their share of differences and disputes, there was a common goal in this rocket. That was usually enough for the two to at least be civil.

Years ago the rocket had been designed by a team of engineer's of which Palmer had been the head. Twenty-five variants were all but complete failures, but the Shinra 26 had promise. Not four years ago they had prepared a launch of this rocket , but one of the engineers- Shera- had remained in the engine room during the countdown phase. Cid aborted the mission to save her life, but from the pressure of the ignition the rocket remained tilted on the platform from which it was supposed to have blasted off.

"I don't know what you expect to do though. Without Shinra's funding we can't afford a space program," Palmer sighed. "If only you hadn't aborted the mission."

"You'd rather I have killed Shera?" Cid asked, frowning.

"No, but Shera shouldn't have been there in the first place," Palmer grunted. "What was she doing anyways?"

"She said one of the oxygen tanks was defective or something, I don't know. You're preaching to the choir on that one though," Cid took a sip from a beer and handed a can to Palmer.

Palmer took it with a word of thanks and took a sip. "But seriously, how do you expect to go into space?"

"Rumor has it you have a bit of a nest egg yourself. Something about 22 million gil you earned teaching Rufus how to dance?" Cid smirked.

"But I used most of that money already," Palmer explained.

"On what?" Cid asked.

"Don't ask," Palmer replied, embarrassed.

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

"Well do you have anything left?" Cid asked.

"About 2 or 3 million gil, but that's not nearly enough to do all the research we need," Palmer replied.

"Palmer," Cid interrupted. "What the hell do you call that?" Cid pointed towards the Shinra 26.

Palmer shrugged. "A rocket ship."

Cid nodded. "That's damn right. A fully functional and more important already paid for rocket ship."

Palmer's eyes grew wide with understanding. "You mean launch the Shinra 26?"

"All we need is more fuel for the rockets, some work done on the launch pad to ensure a straight shot and a crew. And you already have a pilot," Cid nodded.

Palmer rubbed his chin eagerly. "It could be done."

=Sector 6, Rufus's Apartment=

Christmas Day
2 days until the dissolution of the company.

Finding quick fixes to enormous money problems was, surprisingly, not something that could easily be accomplished in five days. Rufus had already used every ounce of his cunning, which included and was limited to scouring the internet for get rich quick schemes. Three pyramid schemes, two scam emails and a partridge that laid golden eggs later Rufus found himself no solution but he was 40,000 gil poorer.

There was a knock on his door and he opened it, forgetting that he was only wearing a bathrobe and hadn't shaved in four days. It was Tseng and Elena.

"Oh hello guys. If I'd have known you were coming I would have baked some pizza rolls," Rufus sighed.

"We just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas," Elena said holding up a wrapped present.

Rufus grunted. "That's really thoughtful of you, but I don't have anything to give," he paused. "Aren't you guys mad at me? I mean I destroyed the company."

"Reeve is actually doing a pretty good job of saving it," Tseng said. "We all still have jobs and Shinra is still in the power game. We're just not the global entity we once were."

"Yeah, I heard Bosker is having a good laugh right about now. He actually has to start doing his job of mayor," Rufus asked.

Tseng cursed. "Oh it's worse than that. He's suggesting that free market is what allowed Shinra to become so powerful and overtake the world. He is actually suggesting that we turn Midgar into an anti-capitalist, socialist state."

"He's resorting to communism? And using my company as the basis for why it should exist?" Rufus asked and while he sounded indignant there was also an unmistakable air of amusment in his body language.

"And he's already gotten a lot of support," Elena hissed. "If that happens we're considering moving the company out of Midgar, for our own safety."

"We'd want to move you out too, obviously," Tseng replied.

"Ah, I don't think Bosker would do anything overtly violent. He's not like a terrorist or nothing," Rufus replied.

"What do you mean?" Tseng asked.

Rufus chuckled. "Oh man, have you ever met Bosker? He looks like a tough guy, with his bodybuilder physique, but he's a total Hippie."

"Hippie? As in-"

"Crystal gripping, pot-smoking, sitar-playing , poetry-reciting, tree-hugging animal-loving Hippie," Rufus replied.

Elena chuckled. "And he's trying to take over the city?"

"Oh my god, you know I was mad, but thinking about it, watching Bosker try to handle the needs of the people might be kind of fun. I mean the dude wouldn't hurt a fly. I actually saw a mosquito bite him and rather than swat at it he said, 'get your fill little one' and waited for it to finish," Rufus laughed.

The three burst out into laughter, Elena dropping Rufus's present onto the couch in hysterics.

"So, haha, in short I don't think you need to worry about a hostile takeover. I think he will try to coexist in peaceful harmony with you. The worst he might do is try to hug you," Rufus smirked.

"Anyways, open your present!" Elena insisted.

Rufus opened up the parcel which contained several different objects. The first was an elaborate model of the Shinra Inc. Tower.

"This is amazing," Rufus nodded appreciatively.

"We don't want you to forget about us," Elena smiled somewhat sadly. "I've got some things in here to remind you of our times together."

"This is a toilet seat cover?" Rufus asked pulling out a piece of paper.

"Remember three years ago when we had that 'Going Green' meeting and you said we could no longer use those?" Tseng asked.

"And this is that crazy book that Palmer read out of when we had that poltergeist in Shinra Tower. Remember the Church of Bob?" Elena smirked.

"Speaking of Palmer this is one of those bogus Elevator Passes you made," Tseng chuckled.

"And this is the photo of all of us in the hot tub on that vacation we took together," Elena added, holding up a photo.

"Who took a picture of that?" Rufus asked.

"We confiscated that from Palmer before he left, so I assume he must have," Elena shuddered. "Moving on. This is a dry-cleaning bill I found in your desk from Black Friday two years ago. Remember when the fire got started and we all got soaked?"

"And lastly this is that New Age CD that Elena made for you when we were trying to help you cope with Stress," Tseng said.

"Wow, guys, this is really cool. But I'm not gonna forget about you guys. And I haven't given up on Shinra yet, " Rufus said.

"Really?" Elena smiled.

"I was going about it stupidly. Trying to find some quick solution. That's not going to happen. Reeve has an idea about trying to find some alternative fuel source and he contacted me last night. He and I are gonna be taking a trip over to Cosmo Canyon where they study this stuff. If we can find an alternative energy source that is cheaper to manufacture than Mako it might be our ticket back into becoming the company we once were," Rufus said.

"That would be some kind of Christmas Miracle," Tseng sighed.

"It's not gonna happen overnight Tseng. But you know what, I'm done feeling sorry for myself. I my dug myself into this mess and now I'm going to do whatever it takes to dig myself out."