Shinra Inc. And Reunion

By: Jason Tandro

Author's Note:

The original episode slated for this slot was Shinra Inc. And Piracy, but try as I might, I just couldn't put together a plot for that concept that fit in with the existing story. In its place I give you a little catch-up to get you over the hump of the season as we wind our way down towards the final six episodes of the story.

Rufus, Reeve and the Turks had decided to take a break from their plan to revive the company just long enough to go visit Scarlet, Hojo and Palmer in Rocket Town. The morning was filled with the lovely sounds of the town: the hungover bar patrons puking in the alleyway, the local lovebird couple making unnecessarily loud love with each other and people knocking each other down in their hurry to get to work, school, or the nearest window to spy on that couple.

"So, I hear Heidegger will be joining us too?" Tseng asked.

"Yeah, from what I understand he's due to oversee the guard in this town, so the timing is kind of perfect," Elena explained.

Heidegger was, in fact, sitting in a lawn chair near the rocket site, next to Palmer. The two were sharing a box filled with alcoholic beverages. Perpendicular to them was Cid, Scarlet and Hojo. Cid was having a smoke and Scarlet had been reading a book.

"Hey guys!" Reeve said, waving his arm somewhat awkwardly.

"Wow, you brought everybody," Scarlet smiled, setting her book down. "And somebody I haven't seen before."

Cissnei walked over to Scarlet and shook her hand. "Cissnei. I'm the one you tried to get fired three years ago."

Scarlet blushed. "Well, I… I don't know, it's been a while."

"It's okay, you thought I was working for the enemy."

"You were working for the enemy. You helped Zack escape and then you fished him information… and I thought you died anyways," Scarlet realized.

"Why does everybody always bring that up? Seriously how could you not notice me? I mean I kept a low profile, but hello?" Cissnei griped.

"Okay, no, seriously, I would like to know. What happened?" Rufus asked. "Reno didn't explain properly. I thought my dad signed off on your execution warrant."

"Yes, he did. And Hojo can tell you what happened to the firing squad that was supposed to get rid of me," Cissnei explained.

The group turned to Hojo. It was now Hojo's turn to blush. "Well. There may have been an accident."

"An accident? With what?" Rude asked.

"Remember my mutant snowman project?" Hojo asked.

[Author's Note: See Shinra Claus (Twelve Nights, Chapter 8)]

"Yes." Reeve said, folding his arms.

"Well… where do you think I got the people to form those snowmen?" Hojo asked.

There was a brief silence.

"Why the hell do people work for Shinra? Bubonic Plague has a lower mortality rate," Rufus whined.

"So, uh, party right?" Cid asked. "To celebrate the soon-to-be launching of this beautiful ship?"

"Oh yeah, DevCom green lighted the project," Rufus nodded. "No hard feelings, Cid."

"None taken, I'm sure you meant well. Well I'm sure you didn't mean well, I just don't give a shit. We're flyin' next month!" Cid smiled.

"Why the wait? Isn't the rocket ready to fly?" Reno asked.

"Well we have to wait for the right time to launch. Weather makes a huge impact, of course and there are seasonal attributes that must be taken into account. A summer launch is more predictable, or so the theory goes," Palmer explained.

"Well we look forward to that," Elena smiled, wrapping her arm around Tseng.

"So Heidegger, what have you been up to?" Tseng asked.

" I quit my job," Heidegger explained.

"You quit?" Was the cry heard from most of the people, even those already sitting, except Reno who was heard to remark something along the lines of "Sure you weren't fired?"

"Yes, I grew tired of trying to lead units with no loyalty to me," Heidegger grunted. "If I'm going to lead men to their deaths, it's important to know if you can trust them."

"What are you gonna do?" Scarlet asked.

"I'm going to take a Sabbatical. I've got plenty of money, I figure I'll stay at home, take up online gaming and watch reruns of old television shows," Heidegger said.

There was another brief pause.

"You've got some motivation, buddy," Cissnei smirked.

"I have Hot Pockets," Heidegger said, folding his arms.

"And now let's get down to business. Why have you called us all here? Surely not just for the happy reunion," Scarlet said.

"Well," Reeve began. "Rufus and I have thought of a way to restore the company."

Everybody perked up, but nobody interrupted him.

"Using a new technology that Bosker and Geneva discovered we are able to make our Mako plants much more profitable and even environmentally sound," Reeve continued.

"But how can you afford the cost to update these reactors?" Cid asked. "That kinda work isn't gonna be cheap, and I don't figure DevCom will loan you boys money."

"Hey, why are we talking about top secret company plans to somebody who is clearly in DevCom's pocket?" Reno asked.

"I don't know," Rude shrugged. "I'm just here for the free booze."

"And don't you have some Due Diligence issues to worry about here? If word ever came out that you were withholding this info from them, I bet there'd be one heck of a lawsuit," Cid said.

"Okay, I'm gonna stop this crap right here," Rufus said. "Cid, we're not gonna try and stop your launch. Go ahead, do what you will. I'm just trying to rebuild my company."

"Your company?" Cid asked. "I thought you stepped down. Isn't Reeve the CEO?"

A third silence, but this one wasn't quite so brief.

"I mean… well, when the time comes you'll step down won't you Reeve?" Rufus asked.

Reeve rubbed his chin. "Oh… well… I hadn't thought that far ahead."

"I'm the one who ran the company!" Rufus shouted.

"You ran it into the ground, I found the way to bring it back!" Reeve shouted back.

"What are you talking about? It was I who brought us out to Corel to meet… uh, hotgirl69," Rufus trailed off.

"Forgot her name already have you?" Reeve asked, nonchalantly.

"Yeah, it's amazing. Three weeks and pop; right out of my head," Rufus sighed.

"Teresa," Reeve helped.

"Thank you," Rufus nodded. The two resumed shouting at each other. "If I hadn't started online dating her, we would have never known about this!"

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

"If you didn't waste money like a sailor first night at port, we would never have crashed!" Reeve shouted.

"Well fine," Rufus grunted. "You're the boss, buddy. But I'll make you a bet. We still have to find a way to shore up the funds to start building those new reactors. Whoever raises the most money by the time Cid gets back on land will be made the CEO."

"You see? This is the problem. You act like serious business problems can be solved by childish games and tactics!" Reeve shouted.

"What are you chicken?" Rufus asked.

"Fuck you, I'm not chicken, you're on," Reeve said, shaking Rufus's hand.

"Oh this will be fun," Tseng sighed. "I'm sure their dick-waving competition won't affect our day-to-day work lives at all."