Shinra Inc. And Communism
By: Jason Tandro
Concept By: The Funny Guy
72 hours before commencement of Due Diligence with DevCom.
Reeve was pouring over documents in the conference room preparing for the meeting with the DevCom lawyers. His own attorneys were also present, but Reeve insisted upon handling the matter personally. He had learned long ago that if he wanted something done right, he would have to do it himself.
Today's meeting was not actually part of the due diligence. More a pre-meeting. Just so that they could all get to know each other as the negotiations would undoubtedly be a long process. Reno opened the door to the Conference Room and he and Rude entered.
"Hey guys," Reeve waved pleasantly. "We're about to start the planning meeting here. Was there something you needed?"
"It's New Years Day. Ordinarily this room would be full of wine coolers and beer," Reno explained.
"Oh yes," Reeve chuckled. "I'd forgotten that grand old tradition."
"Ah well there are plenty of places to get drunk in this tower, even with Heidegger and Palmer gone," Reno sighed.
"Well, as long as you're here would you be interested in staying. You all have played quite a big role in the company meetings in the past," Reeve suggested.
"That's not entirely true," Rude replied. "Usually we're just there to be seen."
"And to make fun of the rest of you," Reno added. "Or for security and frankly after seeing you pile driver Rufus through this table I think you're able to handle a couple of lawyers if negotiations turn hostile."
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And The Gay]
"Fine, fine," Reeve sighed. "Enjoy yourselves."
"Always do," Reno quipped as he and Rude left.
Reeve sat down at the table reviewing the agenda. He didn't know why he was bothering- he'd both written and by now memorized the agenda. However it gave him something to do to pass the time. A few minutes after Reno and Rude had left, there was a knock on the door.
"Come in," Reeve called.
In walked a man in a gray suit carrying a briefcase. Reeve recognized this man from his dossier; it was Alan Messier, the Chief Financial Officer of DevCom. He was a pale, light-haired man. Somebody who had obviously lived most of his life indoors in dimly lit office buildings. He wore a pair of square glasses, which he was now adjusting slightly with his free hand as he walked in.
"Mr. Tuesti, so good to finally meet you in person," he said, walking around the table and extending his hand to Reeve.
Reeve shook his hand firmly, albeit briefly, and then pulled out a seat for Alan. "The pleasure is mine Mr. Messier."
"We're going to be seeing a lot of each other over the next few weeks, feel free to call me Alan," Alan replied sitting down and opening his briefcase.
"Ah. Well, uh, Reeve," Reeve said, slightly taken aback by the strange combination of assertiveness and politeness. This man was clearly a professional through and through.
"So, Reeve, I understand that there have been some changes in Midgar since we last corresponded?" Alan asked. "That may affect financial circumstances?"
"Mayor Bosker ran a campaign during the emergency delegations a few days ago. He insisted upon putting less of a focus on a democratic republic and believes that the system allows for corruption," Reeve stated.
Alan scoffed. "Hmph. He's not concerned with democracy, he's concerned with Capitalism. It's a common tactic amongst people who don't have wealth that they seek to ensure that nobody does."
This seemed a rather simplistic statement and Reeve couldn't help but express his opinion. "Well a socialist system does not necessarily impede the free market, it's just reorganizing the finances within the state."
"And yet you will find your company taxed to the death by the new regime. I want to be perfectly blunt Reeve. I like you and like Shinra Incorporated. But if we are going to be absorbing aspects of your company, we want to make sure that we are not going to lose our biggest market to communism," Alan replied.
"What does that have to do with anything?" Reeve asked, not able to keep a note of annoyance out of his tone.
"Think about it from our point of view. Under every communist regime the state controls all capital. Which means anything we develop the state would first control all sources of and then dilute amongst the citizenry. In other words we won't be able to get our full value out of the Midgar market. Which, of course, means that your stock and value to us plummets rather severely," Alan replied.
"I'll agree it's not an ideal system… what are you at getting at? Is DevCom cancelling the agreement?" Reeve asked.
"We're not cancelling it, otherwise I wouldn't have bothered coming. We're amending it," Alan explained.
"How so?" Reeve asked, wondering how he could have possibly thought that this was a pleasant person to do business with.
"Since we take a greater risk by purchasing your development team in the current political climate we've reduced our offer by 12%, which we still feel is a very generous offer," Alan explained.
"12%?" Reeve shouted. "We were barely clearing our debt with the initial deal, which is what the whole purpose was. With a 12% cut we'll still be over 25 million gil in debt and what remains of the company would not have adequate profit to pay it off, we'd be eaten alive."
"That," Alan said, with a maddening air of superiority. "Is not our concern. You have the option to lower overhead and maybe scrape yourself out of debt in a few years and don't forget that with your partnership with us we would be adding some of our finances to yours."
"That is appreciated, but again, we can barely afford to operate this year unless we clear out our existing debt. I actually expected not to make hardly any profit this year at all but eventually we'll come back as companies always do. But this is not an agreement that I can accept, under any circumstances," Reeve said.
Alan looked at his watch, snapped his briefcase and then stood up. "Due diligence begins in 72 hours, Reeve. Unless you can somehow pull off a miracle and stop Bosker's campaign for communism, our offer stands at the 12% decrease. If you do not accept by then we will terminate our agreement and your company can simply go bankrupt."
With that, Alan walked out of the building. Reeve had never dealt with such an infuriating man before in his life. Well, that was not entirely true.
==Rufus Shinra's Apartment==
70 hours before commencement of Due Diligence with DevCom.
"Why do people keep coming to me?" Rufus asked, eating a burrito while sitting on his couch. "I could have sworn I quit."
"I've noticed your can-do attitude seems to alter like a light switch," Reeve murmured, annoyed.
"Look, it's business Reeve. And that douchebag Alan does have a point. If Bosker's campaign is a successful then it'll be a lot harder to sell stuff around here," Rufus explained.
"But a 12% cut? Even 4% would still leave us in debt," Reeve sighed.
"So, what did you want me to do about it? I mean I've been researching about alternate energy sources and have even spoken with some other companies, but that's not going to impact the political situation in Midgar," Rufus said.
"I heard that you were familiar with Bosker. Couldn't you maybe talk to him?" Reeve asked.
"No way. Last time I went face-to-face with that guy he offered me a brownie and… well I ended up paying 800 gil for a sheet of aluminum foil and talking to a barracuda that wasn't actually there," Rufus replied. "Freakin' hippie."
"Well then you know what the only option is. You have to campaign against him," Reeve explained.
"Are you nuts?" Rufus asked. "Look I'm not popular with the people, especially since our underwater reactor fiasco."
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Accountability.]
"True, but you can make people realize the inherent dangers of Communism and maybe people will vote for you on a 'lesser of two evils' ticket," Reeve suggested.
"More like a 'let's get screwed over by the devil we know' ticket. Look man, the people in the slums feel unfairly treated by Shinra. Do you think they're going to vote me back into power?"
"You're right. We need somebody with political experience, and somebody who was able to keep people happy enough even when we were screwing up," Reeve pondered, rubbing his chin.
Rufus looked at Reeve with a knowing expression. "Oh no. You can't be talking about-"
==Dominos House, Mideel==
53 hours before commencement of Due Diligence with DevCom.
"Him," Rufus groaned. "Domino, the glorified librarian. You really think he'll be able to put on a campaign that will beat fun-loving Bosker?"
"We have to try," Reeve said, once again knocking on the door.
Domino opened up the door, revealing the same lined faced and weakened body that had once sat in the Shinra Tower pouring over tomes. He seemed slightly darker because of the sun of Mideel, but otherwise the same as Rufus remembered him.
After a few hours of explaining the situation to him, Domino was unsupportive to say the least.
"Look, I'm retired now and I'm not going back to alter a political situation just so that your company won't go bankrupt," Domino hissed.
"The people need you. And I guarantee you there is more at stake than just Shinra Inc. Communism is a breeding ground for inequity," Rufus explained.
"Capitalism is a breeding ground for inequity," Domino pointed out.
"Yeah, but ours sounds cooler," Rufus muttered lamely.
"What Rufus means is," Reeve cut across. "That with Capitalism, so long as the system is not abused, you are able to reap as much profit from your work as the work you put in. Under communism the rewards are the same for everyone so there is no incentive to work harder."
"But what system isn't abused?" Domino asked wisely.
"Domino please. Just go back to Midgar and tell the people what you would want to do with the city. We never gave you the opportunity to truly be a mayor and that was one of our biggest mistakes," Reeve said. "Wouldn't you rather be known as the Mayor who revitalized Midgar than the man who spent the prime of his life booksitting for Shinra?"
Domino sighed and rubbed what little remained of his hair. "Well… I can't deny it might be fun to try for one last good campaign. After all I'm a Politician. We always want one more win. Alright, I'll come back with you and do all in my power to keep to city a democracy."
==Emergency Delegation, Debates==
24 hours before commencement of Due Diligence with DevCom.
The debates for the emergency delegation were held in a small conference hall in Sector 4. The Legislation of Midgar had only recognized Bosker before today, but there were two late entries in the ballot. One of them was, of course, Domino and the third was none other than Don Corneo, who was now returning his home in the Sector 6 Slums now that Shinra had fallen apart.
The three men stood behind podiums on the stage. Rufus and Reeve sat in the front row, watching as the men got organized. Only Domino actually wore a suit and tie. Bosker was wearing a rainbow hoodie made out of hemp and sackcloth pants. He had been wearing sandals, but had kicked them off. Don Corneo wore his usual pimp attire, complete with cane and fur coat.
"Okay, so tonight's debate before the emergency elections tomorrow morning will give the people an idea of what we are going to do with this city now that Shinra Inc. has effectively fallen out of power," the announcer said.
Rufus casually flipped his middle finger in the direction of the announcer, who didn't notice it.
"Our first candidate, Mayor Bosker, who is backing the Socialist movement wants evenly divided state capital and expenses. Our second, Domino, former Mayor of Midgar, believes that Democracy is a better option in terms of politics but believes that there must be reform in the system. And our third, Don Corneo, also supports democracy… um…" The announcer seemed lost for words at the statement that he was reading. "And says that if he is elected he'll throw one hell of a party."
"And then there were two," Reeve said, folding his arms.
"I don't know. I do like parties," Rufus nodded.
"First question: What do you believe is the root cause of the decay in Midgar?" The announcer asked.
"Well, first of all, I think the main problem is there isn't enough love. I mean, like, how can we all grow as people if all we're taught is hatred. Now I loved Shinra. And I see my good buddy Rufus right down there in the audience and let me tell you, he and I had some great times together. Like there was this one time I gave him a brownie-"
"Stick to the question, Bosker!" Rufus shouted, slightly embarrassed.
"Oh, right! But, like there wasn't really much love in the company itself, you know. And like I feel that there was all this 'regulation' and 'rules' and things and I don't feel that that's conducive to peace and love. I feel like people should just, you know, get along and stuff."
The crowd remained silent. This was, apparently, not the kind of response they'd been expecting.
"Is he serious?" Reeve asked.
"I told you, man, a freakin' hippie," Rufus sighed.
"I believe the problem lies from a lack of adequate regulation. There was unfairness in the system and inequality because we put too much store in the government. If we have a strong central government then it only enables governmental corruption; something that we most definitely saw in Shinra," Domino explained. "But surrendering individual achievement and rights under a communist regime is dangerous game and whether or not Bosker realizes it, will give the government more power to control. You'd be trading one villain for another."
There was a smattering of applause for this statement, which Bosker had not received. Then it was Don Corneo's turn to speak.
"I think the problem is that people care way too much about politics instead of getting some. Vote for me and there will be two hookers for every guy!"
"Get that idiot off the stage," The Announcer moaned, as the crowd booed and began throwing things at Corneo. Two security guards came on stage and forcibly removed Corneo who began shouting obscenities to no one in particular. "Question Two: What would you do differently?"
"Whoa. I like didn't really think too much about that. Could you, like, gimme a minute. Because I mean like I know we need to fix the problem, but like- how we do that? That's not really like the kinda thing I usually think about," Bosker said.
There was stony silence throughout the hall. Reeve pulled out his cell phone and called Alan. "Hey Alan. We're using the original agreement. To hell with your 12% cut."
2 hours before commencement of Due Diligence with DevCom.
"Wow, so Bosker lost to Domino by a landslide, huh?" Reno asked.
"Yep. And DevCom reconsidered their offer. Because the market is now secured, they are going back to their original agreement," Reeve nodded.
"Well that's just fascinating. I guess those guys will be here any minute now, eh?" Reno asked.
"That's right. So what are you doing here?" Reeve asked.
"Oh, nothing," Reno rubbed his head.
"You were looking for booze weren't you?" Reeve asked.
"No," Reno shrugged, somewhat guiltily. "I'm gonna go… not… be… here."
"You do that," Reeve said. Suddenly, the phone rang and Reeve hastily answered. "This is Reeve."
"Hey Reeve, it's Rufus," came the voice on the other end of the receiver. "Just wanted to wish you luck during the whole due diligence thing, and I've got some news to report."
"Regarding our little," Reeve looked around the room. "Side project?"
"Yeah, you might say that. You know me, I'm nothing if not a good networker right?"
"If by that you mean you're on MyFace 24-7."
"Whatever, don't knock it. Well I found a friend who happens to be in the research business herself and may actually have a solution to our problem. Do you feel like maybe next week taking a trip to Corel?"
"I'd love to. But who do you know who lives in Corel?"
"I'll explain later. Anyways, good luck man."
Reeve hung up the phone. He sat down in the chair and straightened his tie. "Alright," he said to himself taking a steadying breath. "It's time."