Shinra Inc. And Due Diligence
By: Jason Tandro
The glorified fact checker that was DevCom's representative in the Due Diligence phase of their acquisition was named Peter. This was an appropriately boring name for a man who may have been the most boring person Reeve had ever met. He was an older gentleman with crew cut brown hair a simple brown suit and matching eyes.
The mere sight of him made Reeve want to just take a nap in his office, and he was beginning to appreciate how Rufus found it so easy to sleep at the worst possible time.
"Reeve I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you while we wrap up this due diligence," Peter said. "I have some basic questions for you and we'll try to keep this as brief as possible."
"So I just answer the questions then?" Reeve asked, expecting there to be some horrible clause or add-on.
"For the most part," Peter said without elaborating. He pulled out a clipboard from his suitcase and leaned back in the chair opposite Reeve's.
They had chosen to have this meeting in Reeve's office. Normally Reeve would have had the meeting in the conference room but after his previous encounter with a DevCom employee he found it would be appropriate to remind them that he was a powerful businessman, albeit one whose company was struggling. It was unusually petty for him, but his ego had gotten the better of him.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Communism]
"Okay, so first we need to know if Shinra Inc. has any outstanding liabilities," Peter said.
"Liabilities?" Reeve asked. "Are we talking in terms of financial liabilities, because you do know the company is going bankrupt, right?"
Peter chuckled appreciatively, apparently thinking that Reeve meant it as a joke. "What I mean is more like safety hazards, problem employees, and so forth. Something that might be a problem for DevCom."
That was a broad subject. Reeve didn't know where to begin.
"Well in terms of problem employees, most of our employees here are very happy and hard-working."
"What about in the past. Have there been any things that have caused poor morale?"
Reeve wanted to say "well they certainly didn't like hearing the company was going bankrupt," but he was afraid Peter would laugh again and then he would certainly have to punch him. But he looked back thinking about what had caused stress for his employees in the past.
"The employees don't like Black Friday," Reeve said. Peter cocked his head questioningly. "Well things don't usually work out for us on that day."
And the faint sound of alarm bells, echoed in Reeve's head, alongside with Rufus's voice screaming.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Black Friday]
"I see, what else?" Peter asked.
"Well the employees went on strike about a year ago," Reeve recalled.
"What did they strike over?" Peter asked, scribbling on a notepad.
"It's not just health care! We want more vacation time! We want a retirement plan! We want the employee incentive programs!" Tsengs voice changed from one of indignation to that of bewilderment. "And for some reason Rude really wants a Gold Pass to Gold Saucer. He said something about having season tickets to the event square."
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Benefits]
"Health care," Reeve summarized.
"I see. What about safety hazards. I heard that these Mako plants can be quite dangerous," Peter asked.
"Well DevCom isn't buying the plants," Reeve said. "In terms of safety hazards, DevCom only has one that I can foresee. Dr. Hojo."
"Dr. Hojo? He seems like a brilliant man of science."
"Well, that's one aspect of him…"
"He's a breeder, right? Makes new species of animal on the side?" Peter says. "DevCom believes that innate talent could be quite useful."
"They're more in the manner of monster than animal, per se," Reeve amended.
"You have to admit, after little Timmy got mutilated in the playground, kids took the whole education thing a lot more seriously. Remember my slogan? School: Go there or die horribly," Hojo said the last line with unnecessary glee.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Claus (Twelve Nights, Chapter 8)]
"Oh good! I was beginning to think my concoction would have no effect on humans! I think I'll call it Deathanol! For those pesky… living people." Hojo laughed.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and the Conference Call]
"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.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Cell Phones]
"I see," Peter said, rubbing his chin. "Do you think we should lay him off?"
"Well if he can be contained, he's brilliant. I'd just limit the amount of geological stratums I'd let him visit," Reeve continued. "And keep the chemicals to a minimum."
"What about Scarlet?" Peter asked. "Is she a good employee."
"Oh yeah, she's a model employee," Reeve said.
Palmer scoffed. "Well at least I don't spend countless hours on MyFace playing ChocoVille like Scarlet!"
Scarlet hissed. "Hey, it's just rude to ignore an invite and once you start playing… it's hard to stop. Have you guys played it… it's great."
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Netiquette.]
"Very well, then. Are they any potential lawsuits pending against the company?" Peter asked.
Reeve rubbed his hair. "Ah, well…."
"According to you a man came in carrying a gun and dragging a large bomb, right?" Hojo asked.
"Yeah. The lights were off in my room and when I saw him I jumped down my emergency escape hatch and had the Turks take him out," Rufus replied.
"That was Timmy, the janitor. He was carrying a broom and a trashcan and mistook your room for the storage closet!" Hojo hissed.
"How small is your bedroom?" Scarlet asked.
"I don't like having too much space. I'm like agoraphobic or something," Rufus moaned.
"Wait, you sent the Turks in?" Heidegger asked. "That was Tseng."
"Yeah. I knew it was Timmy. But he was the bastard who tried to steal my wallet that other time," Tseng grinned.
The board room fell silent for a moment and then Rufus coughed. "Okay, well then I guess no harm, no foul."
"A man is dead!" Reeve whined.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Security]
"Palmer made a few lewd comments near the secretary's lounge, but Reno has slept with more than 130 women in this tower! His behavior is lackluster at best."
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Sex]
"Don't you understand that this waste is destroying the ecosystem? And that's just the beginning. It's affecting the entire bay, killing fish and plant life. The Junon fishermen are starving because their source of income has been ruined, people can't go swimming there, and it's the middle of summer."
"Oh boo hoo," Rufus groaned.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Accountability]
"Elena and Scarlet kissed?" Rufus gasped. "And I missed it! Do it again, ladies!"
"Hell no," Scarlet cursed.
"What do you think we are? Prostitutes?" Elena asked.
"No, I think you're lesbians. Share the love, bitches," Rufus smiled.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And The Gay]
"Okay then," Peter said. "Well since most of those seem to involve employees that DevCom won't be taking on it shouldn't affect us."
"Rufus. They all involve Rufus," Reeve sighed.
"I've been meaning to ask why he left the company," Peter asked. "Off the record, of course."
"Well he felt guilty about bringing the company down with him."
"He was the boss. How in the world did he spend his time here?"
"An inter-departmental mail system? That's pretty ingenious," Reeve nodded.
"Nope. They all go to the same place," Rufus explained.
Rather than ask why there was more than one pipe, he asked the more pressing question. "Where is that?"
"The incinerator. You see somebody hands me some busy work or useless junk I can act like I'm moving it along to the appropriate destination when I'm really just burning it!" Rufus smiled.
"I'd like to file a complaint about this mechanism," Reeve groaned.
"Oh good, you know where to file it," Rufus replied, pointing at the pipes.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and DIY]
"Says the man who spent the last two weeks building a beggar-pult on the helipad instead of working," Reeve sighed.
"Beggarpult 2000, Version 3.1!" Rufus corrected.
"That's on its third version?" Reeve asked. "How exactly has it changed?"
"Well the real breakthrough was when discovered what torque is," Rufus explained. "The rest fell into place after one of us looked at a blueprint."
"I see. And the point 1?" Reeve continued.
"Paint job. I think black and red is just so much more terrifying," Rufus smiled darkly.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Homelessness]
"What an unbelievable waste of time," said Peter aghast. "He wasn't, um, you know sick in the head or anything like that?"
"Invisible Bob. He's my best friend. He told me the truth about all this," Rufus explained. "Only those who are touched by God can see him… hehehe… he told me to burn down the tower, but I couldn't do that… oh no I wouldn't… WHY ARE YOU STARING AT ME BOB… oh no, shouting… I need another dose… wait where are you going Bob… come on back Bob… we'll play a game… fire… hehehe… so fire…. Burning burning everything away!"
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Energy Drinks]
"I don't know about that," Reeve shrugged.
"Ah well anyways. Good thing he no longer works here, I suppose," Peter nodded.
"I guess so," Reeve sighed.
"Well I have all I need for right now. We'll be in contact," Peter said, shaking Reeve's hand.
==Two Days Later==
"Why did I let you drag me out to Corel?" Reeve asked.
The dust blowing through the mountain pass town was making it difficult to breath, let alone see, and yet the two men walked down the road towards an old beat-up looking shack where Rufus had insisted that a friend of his lived.
"Because your heart lights up whenever you see me," Rufus replied mockingly. "Because somebody here might have the secret to rebuilding Shinra Inc."
"But seriously you haven't told me who this girl is that we're meeting," Reeve said.
Rufus sighed. "Okay, since we're about to meet her I guess I'd better tell you her name at least. It's," and Rufus half-mumbled the name. "Teresa McBrand."
"What was that?"
"Teresa McBrand," Rufus said more forcefully.
Reeve knew that name but he didn't know where from. And he didn't like that. Then it hit him out of nowhere. A horrible memory that he'd hoped he would have repressed by now.
[Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. and Cyber Stalking]
"Okay, okay, relax Mom. I started chatting with her after my life went to hell and it turns out she's a miner and a geologist. And she's been studying an alternative to Mako energy," Rufus defended himself.
"And we're about to go talk to her. Great." Reeve groaned.
"Look I think she knows what she's talking about," Rufus asked.
"To be clear, we're relying on your judgment?" Reeve asked.
"Boys," came a soft voice as the door to the shack opened. Out stepped a woman in blue jeans, a dark brown collar shirt and goggles draped over her head. She wore thick mining gloves and had a bandana around one shoulder.
"Teresa?" Rufus asked. "See dude! I told you she was hot!"
"I'm just glad she's actually a she." Reeve sighed.
Teresa chuckled. "And a pleasure to meet you too. Let's talk."