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Posted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:26 pm
A Shinra News graphic appears with some slick music. After a moment, a well groomed young man in an expensive blue suit appears. He is Marty Amer. His mantra is "fair and balanced". But from boardroom to bedroom, he is known as the mouthpiece of Shinra, Inc.
"Good evening. My name is Marty Amer and this is Shinra News Evening Edition. And now a quick word from our sponsor."
A commercial advertising the virtues of Mako energy flashes across the screen. "Cleaner, cheaper, more abundant, more efficient. Mako energy is the key to a brighter future!"
The news anchor appears again.
"And now the news. Our top story this evening, President Shinra's office announced the President again summoned the ambassador from Wutai to officially protest Wutai's treatment of Shinra and its personnel in Wutaiese territories. The President's office noted Wutai continues to charge unfair punitive tariffs on Shinra imports and Lord Godo himself has come out in favor of Wutai's burgeoning 'Tradition First' movement which advocates a rejection of Shinra products, including Mako energy!"
Re: Shinra News
Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:32 pm
"What do you think, huh? Sounds like things aren't going too well with Wutai."
Cid shrugged and picked at the soggy remains of his baked potato. "Why the hell should I care?"
"For starters, it might negatively affect our imports from Wutai," replied his coworker from one of Shinra's manufacturing facilities in the Junon region. Both of them were currently in Midgar for corporate training and a department-wide Weapons Dev. meeting. "They could start withholding raw materials in protest-- stuff that can't easily be found anywhere else in the world. If these materials get more expensive as a result, it'll be bad for the Company. We wouldn't have as much flexibility to build whatever we want."
"Huh. Guess I can see that being a problem... if you're right, that is. I mean, you're hardly an expert on this kind of thing."
"You know, you could at least pretend to be interested in current events."
"Too much work. Right now, all I care about is what I'll be doing next, and when I'll get paid." Cid looked out the diner's window; Sector One's streets were dark, and whatever stars might've been in the sky were drowned out by the bright lights at the construction site in the middle of the city. He picked up the check their waitress had left them, figured out what he owed, and tossed the appropriate amount on the table. "Can't wait to get out of this fuckin' city and back to Junon. See you tomorrow?"
"Yeah. Don't forget, we're meeting our new project lead first thing!"
"Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Wouldn't miss it for anything."
With a wave back to his coworker, Cid left the diner.
Re: Shinra News
Posted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:10 pm
Jon slowly widened his eyes and, raising his face, admired the upper plates. "Evenin' already, huh?"
How could the man in the suit tell? It's been dark for a while now. He sought an opening in the plates so that he could find the dark blue sky and the shimering stars. He gave up as soon as he heard a man walking by the street. There was something about him that made Jon extremely uneasy. Maybe it was the way he walked. Perhaps it was his strange haircut. Whatever it was Jon saw in this man made him creep to the alleyway next to the TV store. Hiding behind large garbage bins, he waited as the stranger passed. After some time had gone by, he checked if there was no one else on the street. "There's more and more of these freaks around 'ere!"
Jon spat to the ground, tightened his torn gloves and resumed his place. He blamed Shinra Security Deparment: "If they actually did their job, there wouldn't be any of those weirdos walkin' on my streets!" Jon didn't feel safe with newcomers. They didn't know the inherent rules of the slums, and were often very dangerous.
He then saw an elderly man walk out of a building and head his way to the TV store. Jon took this as an oportunity: he folded his left arm and raised the sleeves of his brown old coat until all you could see was his elbow. As the man passed by him, he raised his right hand and spoke in a wailful tone, to which the aged man burst out: "Begging to old people! Have you no shame?!"
The old man continued his way across the street, leaving Jon alone with his plaintive murmurs. He unfolded his arm and turned to the TV. It was very entertaining for Jon to see the news anchor. He was his only source of information. He was also the only person that didn't scorn or pity him. His decisive and strong tone was the only company Jon ever had for some time. His words reassured him, his expensive suits were a sight to admire. But Jon easily gets bored by what the news anchor says, and so he doesn't usually listen to the whole thing. He prefers it when the ads show up.
The man in the suit was still talking. Stories of distant lands, energy, production and presidents. Jon got bored of it. He said goodbye to the news anchor and left the place.
Re: Shinra News
Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:30 pm
(OOC: Wait a minute, Specimen-- you're playing characters both here and in Wutai? That seems to go against SO81's rules...)
The following day, Cid made his way to the still under-construction Shinra Building, ignoring the drone of the cranes, not to mention the warning shouts of the foremen on site when he veered too close to restricted areas. His destination was the 14th floor, which, at the time, was occupied by the Weapons Development department. His team's meeting was scheduled to be the first one of the day.
After grabbing a mug of what ended up being the worst coffee he had ever had in his life from the break area, Cid entered the conference room. He was the last person to show up, but he had arrived just in time, so the stares of his colleagues didn't faze him.
He leaned back in his chair and listened as the Weapons Dev. bosses outlined their plans for the Junon region: new training mechs for the military academy, additional elevators and other structural improvements to Junon's facilities (being made in conjunction with Urban Dev.), and the development of a new type of cargo plane called "Gelnika", which piqued his interest. Another item which Cid took special notice of was a vague passing mention of an underwater construction project.
Toward the end of the meeting, one of the Weapons Dev. execs said, "Because of all these new initiatives, we've decided to place one of our department's rising stars in charge of all developments in the Junon region. Please welcome your new supervisor, Scarlet Bouchard."
A blonde woman, whose apparel seemed more appropriate for a night on the town than an office building, stood up from the back of the room and introduced herself, and told everyone that she looked forward to working with them. Cid was still so new at Shinra that he didn't know anything about this lady, but, glancing around the room, the expressions on some of his more seasoned coworkers' faces were a less than encouraging sign.
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:28 pm
Every time he returned to Midgar he had to get used to the all-pervading smell of Mako again. Not that it was entirely absent from Junon, but the sea air and smaller reactors helped. The city smelled of soot and Mako. The Shinra building smelled of low grade cleaning products and Mako, and you could tell the relative ranks of the floors from how the break rooms graded from the scent of cheap coffee and cigarette smoke to that of fine spirits and cigars.
The reception and lower floors were heaving, the result of an unfortunate coincidence of conference scheduling and army recruitment influx. Sephiroth used the confusion to slip away from the rest of the newly arrived SOLDIER candidates. This year there were faces from his own classes, cadets two years his senior. He wondered vaguely if any of them would notice he was gone.
He used his own keycard to access the express elevator. The card was programmed to allow limited, personalised access to various areas of the building - in his case, the employee apartments, military supply and training rooms, and more unusually, certain areas of the Science Department. The exact location of each of those tended to shift with the constant construction work. According to popular gossip the plans had been radically altered three times in as many years, each time under the President's direct orders, and got more grandiose with each iteration.
Sephiroth headed for his own quarters. If he didn't access the room with his own card and passcode promptly he would get into trouble. It might not seem like it to the casual observer, but he knew his whereabouts would be being monitored closely.
The apartment was small and plain, but comfortable. They were designed for short-term stay, for employees visiting from outside the city or those who needed to work shifts or long hours. Sephiroth had been staying in similar rooms during his stays in Midgar since he had got his scholarship (Shinra sponsored, of course) to Junon academy. Not that he spent much time in them - most of his was time heavily scheduled with training, testing, private tuition and study.
Unpacking took next to no time. It was not as if he owned anything much that was not provided by the company on site, wherever he was. When he was done, he flipped open his company phone to check on his new schedule.
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:09 am
Shinra does indeed keep tabs on it's most important 'investment'. Unannounced, uninvited, without a knock, Hojo came through the door almost as soon as Sephiroth began to check his schedule. After making sure the door was shut tight, Hojo turned around and ... said nothing. The scientist just looked at Sephiroth, like a master inspects a work of art in progress, seeing ahead to the finished product. And then, the glazed over expression disappeared.
"Your latest evaluation, superb as always. But, just like the other ... lesser subjects," even highly trained members of SOLDIER were only test subjects in Science's grand experiment after all, "you lack experience, seasoning."
Without waiting for a reply, Hojo went on.
"I'm thinking we'll have you do something, something BIG! Whatever it is, it'll validate SOLDIER for any of the doubters who remain in Public Safety and Weapons Development. And then, finally, the President will give the go-ahead for full production!"
Hojo glazed over again and smiled at his own brilliance. And then again came back. "Questions? Comments?"
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 5:09 pm
Sephiroth quickly stowed his phone as Hojo can in, and resisted the vague urge to stand to attention: the professor has berated him numerous times for taking action more fitting "some mindless military animal". He didn't make any protest as to the invasion of his privacy, because he never expected any. Nor did he expect any kind of greeting, and certainly not small talk.
Instead he kept his expression neutral and tried to steadily meet the man's gaze. It worked on most people. But with Hojo he could never quite manage it. Sephiroth's eyes flicked away momentarily, and he just know the professor would take it as some kind of victory.
...Plenty, but none that would be prudent to bring up. "What if I don't want to?" might be cathartic, but annoying Hojo on his first day back would never be worth it. "Why me?" would be another. There were more experienced SOLDIER members, and surely a demonstration from them would be a better indication of the SOLDIER process's merits than from... whatever he was. SOLDIER, but not SOLDIER...
No, questioning the "brilliance" of the professor's ideas was never a good move. He needed a better grasp of what he was getting into. More information.
"Did you have something in mind, Professor?"
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 7:56 pm
"Something in mind ..." a sly grin crossed Hojo's face. "This war business, the President and Heidegger are keeping things very compartmented. Public Safety knows, obviously. Over in Weapon's Development, something is moving. But Science is never in the loop on these things. Yet. Perhaps we could make something happen, move things along. I'm sure the President would like that. No doubt all this uncertainty with Wutai is hitting stock prices, and his bank accounts."
That glazed over look again, as Hojo focused. "A plan is forming, I can feel it. But it's still hazy."
A grunt, and he was back again. "Yes, we'll see how things develop. For now, follow your program."
The chief scientist paused as if he was going to say something more. But then he turned and slipped out of the room.
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:47 am
After the big meeting, there was a smaller, more informal one in the employee lounge, where Scarlet introduced herself (again) and went into more detail about the immediate plans for the Junon area. Assignments were doled out, and that was the end of it. Interestingly enough, Cid's team would have a few days off before getting to work assembling SOLDIER training mechs. Cid made a note of the dates and asked his immediate supervisor about taking a chocobo back home during that time; fortunately, the latter didn't have a problem with that.
Once Meeting #2 was adjourned, Cid found himself with nothing to do. He decided to head back to his room, located on the Visitors' Housing floor, and get changed to go out. This was his last night in Midgar, and, at the very least, he wanted to spend it somewhere other than the Shinra Building, drinking a decent cup of tea.
The elevator dinged, and Cid got out. A creepy looking guy in a lab coat was coming down the hallway. Cid paid him no mind as he started toward his room.
Re: The Shinra
Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:44 pm
Hojo came down the hall. Out of Sephiroth's presence, the scientist's mind was on more mundane matters, like how to gain President Shinra's favor and all the benefits being cozy with the head of Shinra, Inc. would bring to himself and Science. Hojo glanced at Cid as a Shinra Ag inspector might size up a piece of meat, but with a little more effort! For a brief moment, something in Hojo's mind raised an alert that Cid may be worthy of future study. But the rest of Hojo's brain quickly dismissed the thought and Cid himself. His greeting to Cid as they passed was little more than a forced grunt.