Shinra Inc. And Fake News

By: Jason Tandro

RufusNet had been operational for a mere week when the disaster struck. [Author's Note: See Shinra Inc. And Clickbait] The page run by Rufus had been initial designed to just grab people's gil and make a quick gil but Rufus learned of the power of pure raw hatred combined with the internet and had turned the site into something far more devious.

It didn't happen all at once though. Even up to the day prior to the disaster he was still having trouble coming up with his magnum opus. Scarlet, as ever, was busy overseeing this doomed venture in the hopes of getting a front row seat to failure. Rufus mistook this as implicit support and began venting to her.

"I don't know if I can do this," he sighed dejectedly one evening.

"You can't oust your colleague and friend by sicking the masses upon him over a completely made up story just to win back a job you didn't even do?" Scarlet asked.

"No I have no problem with that, I'd sell any of you down the river for a Klondike Bar," Rufus said. "I just don't know if I can find something to make up that is horribly infuriating that we aren't actually doing."

Scarlet ignored his former sentiment to address the latter. "Do we have a monopoly on evil then?"

"Uh, basically, though I think Hojo owns the majority of shares," Rufus grunted. "I mean I was going to make up a story about us funding research to create more monsters but-"

"We actually do that."

"Exactly. So then I was like 'well how about us kidnapping orphans to serve in our military'?"

"We do that too."

"Right! So then I was like 'Well we could say our reactors are destroying the planet, and even with the switch to the new energy source...'"

"I get it, I get it. Man when you list it all out like that we're a pretty shitty company, huh?"

Rufus sighed. "I know right. I mean each individual thing didn't seem so bad. I mean we made money and people I didn't know got hurt. No big deal. But all together like that..."

The two shared a moment of quiet introspection before remembering that they were both rich and also didn't really care about anybody outside their social circle.

"So, I wonder how the people feel about us. I mean at this point they are probably used to us being evil." Scarlet shrugged.

"Yeah, I mean they probably expect us to be terrible, and we've definitely beaten most of the spirit out of them by now I'm sure, even with Reeve's limp-wristed approach to the military," Rufus nodded.

"We'd basically need to convince the people that we were really an okay company and that everything that's been revealed about us has been a lie before we could rile them up about something else," Scarlet explained.

An idea began to formulate in Rufus's tangled web of a mind. "Yeah... I think I have it now."

~*SI&*~

"Outrage rocks the city tonight as an undisclosed source attempts to defame Shinra Inc. President," Scarlet read from the local paper. "An anonymous source has been spreading claims that Reeve Tuesti the current president of Shinra Electic Power Company Incorporated has been employing illegal Wutaian immigrants."

Scarlet set the paper down and rubbed her forehead protractedly.

"Okay, maybe I didn't clearly think things out," Rufus offered.

"You... said we hired illegal aliens," Scarlet said.

"Right."

"From Wutai."

"Yep."

"A province controlled by Shinra."

"Uh huh."

"Let's be honest here. Did you just write yourself into a corner trying to be clever and wind up making a huge mistake?" Scarlet asked.

"Well I thought it was going to be fun," Rufus grunted.

"Do you want to just pretend this didn't happen?" Scarlet asked.

"Probably would be for the best." Rufus sighed.

"Maybe next time before you start something you should be prepared to finish it," Scarlet instructed.

"Wait!" Rufus exclaimed. "I've got it!"

"You're going to spread a rumor that Reeve sucks in bed right?"

"Well... it'd be good for a cheap laugh."

"Yeah, but would it actually resolve anything?"

"... No."

"Move on to your next thing, Rufus," Scarlet sighed.

"Like what?"

"Like trying to get the company back the old fashioned way. Ludicrous bald-faced attempts that fail upwards."

"We used to have more fun with this, huh?"

"Used to," Scarlet nodded. She turned and walked out of his office.

"Heh... well. What do I do now?" Rufus pondered looking out the window.