Author's Notes: This story was an AU challenge from the wonderful ladies of the Balthier and Ashe Livejournal community. The goal was to set the FF12 gang in the Roaring Twenties, and I've just shifted the timeline ahead into the Great Depression. A blind pig is another name for a speakeasy.

Chicago 1929 - The stock market has just crashed, leaving R.A. Banastre, Inc. in financial ruin. The corrupt New York-based Archadia Industries has just bought up all of their stock at the reduced rate and has virtually taken over. Raminas B'Nargin, CEO of R.A. Banastre is dead, and his heir, Miss A. B'Nargin has committed suicide, leaving Archadia to extend its talons to Chicago via its privately hired Pinkerton agents. Time passes...the time is now 1931. Can Chicago and R.A. Banastre be saved?

Blind Pigs

Prologue

From the Chicago Tribune Records of R.A. Banastre, Inc.

October 26, 1929

Wall Street Markets Crash; Chicago Industries In Danger

By R. Zecht, Tribune Staff Reporter

New York is in turmoil as the bull market has collapsed. Chicago is just starting to feel the pinch. The company with the greatest amount to lose is R.A. Banastre, Inc. (NYSE: RAB), the Chicago-based technology firm. The recent merger with Nabudis Chemicals has been a catastrophic loss for R.A. Banastre. Faith in Banastre has evaporated since the recent leadership shake-up in Nabudis after the tragic deaths of the Heios family in an automobile accident in Atlantic City. With Nabudis in chaos, R.A. Banastre was already on shaky ground, and early reports indicate that Banastre stocks will plummet to all-time lows when the exchange opens again today. Sell is the word of the day on the streets of Chicago. Will CEO Raminas B'Nargin be able to save his company and the jobs of his employees?

November 17, 1929

Bloodbath at R.A. Banastre Inc., Solidors Wipe Up the Mess

By R. Zecht, Tribune Staff Reporter

The city is in shock today after R.A. Banastre workers stormed the CEO's office at their headquarters on Michigan Avenue . Chief Executive Officer Raminas B'Nargin is dead along with most of his board members. The notification that many workers would lose their jobs in the recently announced Archadia Industries merger allegedly caused a massive and deadly confrontation. B'Nargin's Vice President of Research and Development, Mr. Basch F. Ronsenburg, was apparently disgruntled by the elimination of his position and incited the workers to revolt. Ronsenburg has yet to be found, and the Chicago Police Department has launched a full investigation.

Despite the bloody and chaotic events, Archadia Industries (NYSE: ARCH) CEO Vayne Solidor has pledged to continue efforts to merge his company with the troubled R.A. Banastre, urging Chicagoans to move past the loss of B'Nargin to welcome New York-based Archadia to the Windy City. Solidor's company has begun buying up the now cheap R.A. Banastre stock. He has promised to hire back deposed Banastre employees and will bring in Pinkerton detectives to keep the chaos out of the streets of our fair city. Crime, theft, and bootlegging have skyrocketed since the Wall Street crash. Our citizens are hungry, and Solidor vows to wipe out corruption in Chicago.

November 22, 1929

Last B'Nargin Dead; Solidor Merger Process Completed

By R. Zecht, Tribune Staff Reporter

Ashelia Amalia B'Nargin, 17, the heir of the late Raminas B'Nargin, has taken her own life according to sources close to R.A. Banastre Inc. Miss B'Nargin was attending classes in business administration at Northwestern University and was a Chicago society darling since her debut in 1926. Miss B'Nargin's engagement to Nabudis Chemicals' Rasler Heios made headlines last year until the young man's tragic death in Atlantic City. Friends described Ashelia as "her father's daughter through and through, a loyal Chicagoan, and an intelligent young lady." Archadia Industries CEO Vayne Solidor released a statement early this morning confirming Miss B'Nargin's suicide, stating that Raminas B'Nargin's will stipulated that ownership of the company would have been in Ashelia's hands upon his death.

With her loss, R.A. Banastre Inc. falls to its largest stockholder and with 75 ownership, Archadia Industries (NYSE: ARCH) will now take full control of the technology corporation. Secretary of the Treasury Halim Ondore will be in Chicago today to show government support for the Archadian takeover, and Treasury Department lawyers have reviewed B'Nargin's will to confirm the legality of Solidor's claims. Solidor is enthusiastic about the merger, and his Pinkerton agents have already begun rounding up criminals and crooks. Cook County Jail may already be facing an overflow issue thanks to Solidor's caring leadership.

November 20, 1931

Second Anniversary of Archadia Takeover; Spectacular Party Planned

By R. Zecht, Tribune Staff Reporter

The Windy City is abuzz with whisperings about the large event planned for November 22nd at R.A. Banastre headquarters on Michigan Avenue. Archadia CEO Vayne Solidor is already in town to celebrate the second anniversary of his company's merger with R.A. Banastre. All of elite Chicago society will be in attendance. Solidor bodyguard and Pinkerton agent Noah Gabranth has declared that security at this fete will be top of the line. There have been threats issued against Solidor's life by the insurgent Banastre Workers' Union, but Gabranth assures the Tribune that any criminal activity by the BWU will be suppressed with lethal force.

But is now really the time for celebration? Since Archadia's takeover two years ago, Banastre's fortunes have plummeted along with the rest of Chicago businesses. In fact, Archadia has cut employee wages by nearly seventy percent, and many disgruntled workers have gone missing. These same allegations dogged Vayne Solidor in New York, and his Pinkerton agents have some explaining to do. Crime is on the rise in Chicago despiteā€¦or because of Archadia-operated Pinkerton behavior. Rumblings about a call for a repeal of Prohibition in Washington have apparently set the city's speakeasy owners on edge, and the fete in two nights may be a powder keg this city has not seen since the Haymarket Riots of 1886.