#113 – The Ramble Room Mafia

Shadow: “I like black stuff that covers my face.”

Originally Published: 1/14/02 . 32 pages

Synopsis
Rufus and Algus start a club called MAFIA for short. They include only the richest people in the ramble room, and their job is to make as much money as possible! Will they scheme their way to more riches?”

Ramble Milestones
-First appearance of the Mafia.

Not only is this one of my favorite rambles, it’s also kind of an important one, because the MAFIA remains an important organization for the rest of the rambles. This one is funny and consistently so, which can be rare, especially in these earlier ramble days. When I was a kid snap bracelets were a fad, but they ended up banned from a lot of schools because the fabric would fray, revealing the metal underneath. Later they made a small reemergence in plastic, but it just wasn’t the same. It’s impossible for me to choose a favorite moment from this ramble, but if I had to pick right now I’d be torn between Laguna trying to get his son and pals to buy some bracelets, and Algus assuring Seph that he’ll soon be feeling rich and girly, so no worries there.

(in the ramble room, we have a large group of people including sephiroth, vincent, auron, shell, rude, edgar, setzer, rufus, algus, zidane, steiner, zell, wakka, tidus, irvine and reno. everyone is basically quiet, sitting around bored, except for tidus, wakka and zell, who are sitting in the corner, hunched over a piece of paper.)

Shell: *yawns* “Rude, I’m bored. Make noise.”

Rude: “Uh…what should I do, Shell?”

Shell: “Why is it I always have to tell you every little thing, Rude?”

Rude: “…Because you like it that way, Shell.”

Shell: *pause* “That’s right… I do…”

Sephiroth: “I’ve got something that’s worth talking about.”

Vincent: “Uh, angel, I don’t think you should–“

Sephiroth: “Guess what Lark claims she’s going to do?”

Rufus: “Redo the ramble room?”

Zell: “Eat an elephant?”

Sephiroth: “No, you idiot. Remain sex free till her twentieth birthday.”

(dead silence for a moment. then…)

Irvine: *wails* “What?!?!?! Nooooooo!!” *sobs* “I’m not gonna make it!”

Reno: *pats him on the back* “It’s okay, man. I’ll get you a stripper.”

Rufus: “Are you serious, Sephiroth?”

Sephiroth: “As serious as Vincent.”

Vincent: “…I did laugh the other day.”

Auron: “Laughter is the best medicine.”

Vincent: “So it is.”

Tidus: “Well, after what I’ve heard from the past few days–I’m betting she doesn’t make it.”

Reno: “Heck, I’d put money on it.”

Shell: “I’d put Rude’s money on it.”

Zidane: “I don’t know… She resisted me pretty easily.” *grin*

Algus: “That’s not too hard.”

Zidane: “Hey!!”

Steiner: “Be calm, Zidane.”

Sephiroth: “…Money, huh?” *rubs chin* “I say she’ll make it to the day before.”

Zell: “I say a month!”

Shell: “I say a week!!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

(an hour later, sephiroth has drawn up on 4 large pieces of paper the months of jan., feb., march and april. there are names written in the boxes that stand for the days, and amounts of money. it seems everyone in the ramble room is standing around sephiroth holding out money. the only ones not crowding in, are rufus, algus, setzer and edgar, who are talking in the corner.)

Sephiroth: *clutching a lot of bills in his hand* “For the last time, no more than two people per day, and the months of January and February are full!”

Zell: “Uh, hey, Seph? Did you think about what Lark would say if she heard about this?”

Vincent: “I said that an hour ago.”

Sephiroth: “No you didn’t, Vincent. And the answer is she’s not going to find out, Zell.”

Vincent: “I did so say it.”

Auron: “He did. I heard him.”

Sephiroth: “What are you, his lawyer?”

Seifer: “Hey, what are the odds she makes it?”

Sephiroth: “1000 to one.”

Ashley: *nudges seifer* “I told you.”

Sephiroth: “Okay, who’s got a bet?”

(meanwhile, across the room in the little huddle…)

Setzer: “Did you see all the money he’s making over there?”

Rufus: “Inspiring, isn’t it?”

Algus: “Although it is true that I have not been here very long, I believe it is plain to see that people here spend money as freely as a peasant at a thrift store.”

Edgar: “I sense you have some sort of idea.”

Algus: “Right you are, my good man. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea to invest cheaply in a product of high demand around here, and then sell it up at a markup that’s *still* a bargain to the consumer?”

Rufus: “Algus! You really do think like me!”

Setzer: “I see what you’re saying. But what’s in demand around here?”

Rufus: “Hell, don’t worry about that. I can *create* a demand. I’ll check my ‘connections’ and see what we can buy in bulk for cheap.”

Edgar: “I’m not up to doing anything dishonest.”

Algus: “It’s not as if we’re stealing from them! It’s just smart business.”

Setzer: “I *do* want that new yacht…”

Edgar: “Agreed then. Who else are we going to invite into the deal?”

Rufus: “Sephiroth for sure. Look at all that money he’s holding!” *drooling* “So much…”

Algus: “Right. Plus, he’ll help us sell whatever it is.”

Rufus: “Shell too. Not only is she loaded, but…” *pause* “She’s loaded.”

Setzer: “Who else? We should have someone who’s not the least bit shady.”

Edgar: “We’re not doing anything shady.”

Setzer: “Not *technically*, but you know people say stupid things.”

Algus: “Hmmm…”

Laguna: *from across the room* “Hey, hey! Kiros! What day should I bet on?”

Kiros: “Ward says he doesn’t care.”

(rufus, algus, edgar and setzer look over at him)

Laguna: “Well tell Ward I wasn’t talking to him!” *drops hundreds of dollars on the floor* “Oh, whoops! Not again!”

(rufus, algus, setzer and edgar all turn and smile at one another)

All four: “Perfect.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later that day, in an unmarked room, rufus, algus, edgar, setzer, sephiroth, shell and laguna sit around a round table. the lighting in the room is low. sephiroth is counting out his betting money.)

Algus: “I now call to order the first meeting of the Majestically Affluent Fabulous Investment Association. Remember that these meetings are top secret, and you cannot bring slaves, employees, friends or significant others.”

Sephiroth: “Try telling that to Vincent. All he does is follow me around all day while that other guy follows him. I feel like a friggen choo choo train.”

Everyone: *blink blink*

Sephiroth: “…Oh crap. Did I just say choo choo train?”

Algus: “…Anyway, everyone will be expected to contribute their equal share to the product, which we will henceforth sell at a reasonable price.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Like those rings in the vending machines at the supermarket?”

Rufus: “…Something like that. Anyway, I was calling around this afternoon, and I’ve come across the perfect product to sell.” *and then out of his pocket he takes…*

Setzer: “…A snap bracelet?”

Shell: “That’s so 1991.”

Rufus: “Come on, I can get boxes and boxes for next to nothing! If we sell them for a dollar each we’ll make a ton of profit! Plus, they come in a bunch of different colors and appeal to both sexes! Besides, you can never have enough jewelry.”

Shell: “Yeah, *nice* jewelry.”

Rufus: “At least think of the profit! Besides, they are kinda nifty.” *slaps his on* “Hehe, that’s so fun.”

Shell: *sigh* “Fine, I admit they are kinda cool in that ‘totally out but coming back’ way. I’m in.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Me too! My son and his friends will love them!”

Sephiroth: “If there’s metal in it, it’s good enough for me.”

Algus: “All for the snap bracelets?”

(everyone raises their hand)

Algus: “Excellent. You will now hand in your money, which I will give to Rufus to get the bracelets.”

Rufus: “We’ll have them out on the streets by tomorrow.”

(everyone hands in their money. shell and seph give cash. laguna hands over a check. edgar hesitates before handing over a check)

Edgar: “Here you are.”

Algus: “Oh, are you putting in his part?”

Rufus: *looks at the check* “This check has both of your names printed on it.”

Edgar and Setzer: *sweat drops*

Edgar: “Um…we have…a…joint account.”

Setzer: “It makes us look even…richer.”

Algus and Rufus: *blink blink*

Rufus: “…Okay then. Richer works for me.”

Sephiroth: “So how exactly are we going to sell these things?”

Rufus: “Easy. We’ll wear them and force the people who work for us or follow us around to buy them. When everyone else sees all these people wearing them, they’ll want to wear them too.”

Algus: “We’ll also urge them to ‘collect them all’. I hear that phrase used constantly in TV commercials.”

Rufus: “I seriously think that’s impossible in this case.”

Algus: “All the better.” *smile*

Sephiroth: *in amazement* “Wow, Rufus. You know, I didn’t think it was possible, but right now… I actually like you.”

Rufus: “Stick with Vincent.”

Sephiroth: “Not like that!!”

……………………………………………………………………………………….

(the next day the club members are back in their secret clubhouse surrounded by open boxes of snap bracelets.)

Laguna: *snaps one on his wrist* “Hey hey! These are fun!”

Edgar: “Do I dare ask who had all these snap bracelets lying around?”

Rufus: “…No.”

Algus: *inspecting one* “The craftsmanship on the item seems decent.”

Rufus: “What, are you appraising it?” *snatches it away* “These things are fine. And if the metal starts coming out, well, that’s not our problem.”

Laguna: *snapping it on his wrist again* “Ow! Something’s sharp!”

Rufus: “We’re not responsible for injuries. Besides, if anyone tries to sue, I have enough lawyers to choke a whale.”

Setzer: *gives him a disbelieving look*

Rufus: “I’m serious.”

Sephiroth: “He is. It’s scary.”

Shell: *putting on a bunch* “So do we each have to drag a box of these things with us wherever we go?”

Rufus: “At first. Until the word spreads.” *passing them out* “Now put them on.”

Sephiroth: “I feel stupid and girly.”

Algus: “You’ll be feeling rich and girly soon.”

Sephiroth: “Why would I still be feeling girly?!”

Algus: *blink blink* “I assumed you always felt girly.”

Sephiroth: “No!”

Algus: “Oh. My mistake.”

Rufus: “Okay, everyone. Just use the marketing strategy we discussed, and remember to carefully put all the money in the provided envelopes. I’m going to be keeping strict bookkeeping, and if even a dollar is missing, your ass is mine.”

Setzer: *disbelieving look*

Sephiroth: “Again, he’s totally serious.”

Edgar: “There shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t think the ladies could resist figures as dashing and Setzer and myself.” *they both smile oddly and fakely*

Shell: *gives them a weird look* “…Yeah…”

Rufus: “Look, I don’t care how you sell the bracelets. Just don’t pay people to buy them.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Right! Cause we’re trying to make money!”

Rufus: “Right you are! Remember this–we’re the richest people in the ramble room. Everyone depends on us anyway. And besides, we’re the elite ramble room MAFIA.”

Shell: “Mafia?!”

Rufus: “Yeah. That’s the acronym of our group name. Or, for short, we’re the Moneymakers Of Business.”

Shell: “That spells out MOB!”

Rufus: “Hey, we’re not breaking anyone’s legs–“

Sephiroth: “You’re not anyway.”

Rufus: “–and besides, you should be used to this. Your family’s Italian.”

Shell: “Hey! You watch it. We may act like we are, but being part of it is a totally different thing!”

Rufus: “Whatever. Just sell the bracelets.”

Algus: “And smile. Smiling is important.”

Sephiroth: “Do I have to smile?”

Rufus: “You do most of all. Just look at Laguna. He never stops smiling.”

Sephiroth: “Well he’s a dufus.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! I can fit fifteen of these bracelets on my arm!”

Edgar: “This should be as easy bedding a whore! A woman whore, of course.” *shaky smile*

Everyone but Setzer: *gives him a weird look*

Edgar: *still managing a straining smile despite the sweat drops* “What? Did I say something that seemed strange?”

Setzer: *hits himself in the forehead* “Oh geez, Eddie.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

(and so each of the group takes their large box of snap bracelets and hits the ‘streets’, aka, the halls of the ramble room. we’ll start with shell, who has already gotten rude to lug the box and has covered him head to toe in snap bracelets.)

Rude: “I feel stupid, Shell.”

Shell: “Don’t be ridiculous, Rude. You’re practically wearing money.”

Rude: “I wish I really was, Shell.”

Shell: “Okay, Rude. Drop the box here, smile and let me do the rest.”

Rude: “That’s a change, Shell.”

(they stand there for a minute, then Ashley and Noelle come over)

Ashley: “Hey, skank. What’s going on? What’s that stuff all over Rude?”

Noelle: “Is that supposed to grow hair or something?”

Shell: “No! They’re snap bracelets!” *demonstrates* “They’re totally back in style.”

Noelle: “Oh yeah? Where did you read that?”

Shell: “Seventeen, YM, Cosmo Girl, Teen, Teen People–“

Ashley: “Okay, we get the idea.” *tries one out* “Hehe, these are kind of fun.”

Shell: “They’re only a dollar each! It’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too!”

Ashley and Noelle: *blink blink*

Ashley: “You’re selling them?”

Noelle: “For what? Rude run out of money?”

Shell: “Rude never runs out of money.”

Rude: “If you say so, Shell.”

Shell: “I’ve become a business woman. My partners and I are selling these trendy items at a cheap price to keep you, the consumer, in supply at low prices.”

Ashley: *blink blink* “Did you consume an economics textbook along with those teen magazines?”

Shell: “Well, do you want them or not? They’re really hot items. It won’t be long before I sell out.”

Noelle: “Wow. I didn’t realize snap bracelets were in style again.”

Ashley: “All right, I’ll take a few.”

Noelle: “Me too.”

Shell: “Exxxxxxxcellent.”

(meanwhile, setzer and edgar have perfectly set up their little snap bracelet selling stand. they’ve set up a table and laid out everything they have in neat rows.)

Edgar: *surveying the display* “Do you think this looks too g–?”

Setzer: “Shush!!!”

(he points frantically to where reeve and tseng are coming over, hand in hand. edgar and setzer stare at them in amazement. reeve and tseng stop at the table)

Tseng: “Hi. Edgar and Setzer, right?”

Edgar and Setzer: *barely nod as they’re still in amazement*

Tseng: “I’m Tseng, and this is Reeve.”

Reeve: “Hi.”

Edgar and Setzer: “Hi.”

Tseng: “What are you guys up to?” *looks at the snap bracelets*

Setzer: “Oh, we’re selling these fabulous snap bracelets.”

Edgar: *nudges him* “They’re not fabulous so much as they’re…. masculinely attractive.”

Tseng: *blink* “…Right.”

Setzer: “Everyone’s wearing them.” *shows off his*

Edgar: “And they’re only a dollar. It’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too!”

Tseng: “They are kind of cool.”

Setzer: “Everyone’s going to be wearing them soon. If you get yours now you’ll be ahead.”

Reeve: *to tseng* “I’ll buy you one if you want one, sweetie.”

Tseng: “I can pay for it myself, honey. And besides, you should get one yourself.”

(edgar and setzer exchange a look. edgar nudges setzer)

Setzer: *clear throat* “Uh…I mean no offense, but…are you guys gay?”

Reeve: “Actually, I’m bi.”

Tseng: “You always have to say that right away, don’t you.”

Reeve: “Well I don’t want to mislead them! I’m not!”

Tseng: *sigh* “Yes, we’re a couple. As if it isn’t obvious.”

Edgar and Setzer: “Oh.”

Edgar: “Uh, Setzer and I like ladies ourselves.”

Setzer: “Oh, uh, yes. Love those ladies. Not that we have anything against gay people.”

Tseng: *thinking they’re a little strange* “Uh…that’s good.”

(he and reeve lean over to look at the bracelets)

Setzer: *clears throat* “So, uh, how long have you two been together?”

Tseng: “Almost a year.”

Reeve: “We kinda got married in Vegas last February, but we’re going to have another ceremony soon so that everyone can come.”

Edgar: “Truly? In front of everyone you know?”

Tseng: “Uh, yeah. Everyone.”

Setzer: “Wow. You’re both certainly very open about it.”

Tseng: *shrugs* “We used to hide it, but after awhile it just became sort of pathetic because everyone knew anyway.”

Edgar: “…Oh?”

Reeve: “Yeah, it’s kinda hard to keep secrets around here.”

Setzer: “…Oh?”

Tseng: “Yup.”

Edgar: “Well…that’s…very noble of you. Congratulations. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Setzer: “No, nothing at all.”

Tseng: *still thinking they’re weird* “Yeah, I know.” *turns to reeve and points to a bracelet* “I want this one, okay?”

Reeve: “Okay, I want this one.” *reaches for his wallet*

Tseng: “No, come on, let me–“

Reeve: “I’ve got it.” *hands over two bucks* “There you are.”

Edgar: “Thank you.”

Tseng: “We’re going to have our wedding soon–hope to see you both there.”

Edgar: “Oh, of course.”

Setzer: “Wouldn’t miss it.”

Tseng: “Right, well, see you later.”

(he and reeve put on their snap bracelets, join hands again and continue down the hall. when they’re out of hearing distance, tseng leans over and whispers to reeve)

Tseng: “I think they’re the couple Lulu was talking about.”

Reeve: “What? Are you kidding? They were obviously straight.”

Tseng: “Yeah. As straight as Kuja. Come on, Reeve! Don’t tell me you couldn’t see that! They were obviously trying to cover it up!”

Reeve: “Honey, I just think you want to think we know another gay couple besides Zechs and Treize.”

Tseng: “Reeve, I’m serious. You know how they say ‘it takes one to know one’? Well, I know that *they* are both gay.”

Reeve: “You’re crazy.”

Tseng: “Believe what you want, but you can’t be right all the time.”

Reeve: “I am when it comes to math.”

Tseng: “Yeah, well that isn’t even fair.”

(meanwhile, sephiroth is leaning against the wall next to his box, wearing his snap bracelets. vincent and auron are with him, of course, wearing the bracelets.)

Sephiroth: *snapping on a bracelet* “I bet these could be used as a weapon if you got desperate enough.”

Auron: “It’s always good to be properly equipped.”

Sephiroth: “Never leave home without your sword, I always say.”

Vincent: “Angel, I just cannot put any bracelets on my claw arm. They simply will not fit.”

Sephiroth: “That’s because you’re not shovin’ hard enough, Vincent!” *he snatches vincent’s wrist and tries to shove a bracelet on*

Auron: “Here comes Tidus, Wakka and Wakka’s clone.”

Zell: “Hey, ‘Roth! Sup? Whatcha up to?”

Sephiroth: “Why I’m selling these trendy snap bracelets, Zell, my friend! At only a dollar each, it’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too!” *snaps one on vincent’s real wrist*

Vincent: “Ow.”

Tidus: “Did he just say ow?”

Sephiroth: “No. He said ‘wow’. And the underlying phrase was, ‘what a bargain’.”

Wakka: “I’ve never seen anyone else wear these. But you say they’re cool, ya?”

Sephiroth: “Oh yeah. Everyone’s wearing them. Even me. And I’m like the only Final Fantasy character not covered in jewelry.”

Zell: *snapping one on* “They are kinda neat.” *takes a crumpled dollar bill out of his pocket and puts it down* “I’ll take five.”

Tidus: *shrugs* “I’ll take a couple too, I guess.”

Wakka: “Me too, ya.”

(the guys take out money and make their transaction with a grinning sephiroth. then they head off down the hallway with their bracelets while sephiroth gleefully counts the money)

Sephiroth: “I feel so good about myself right now.”

Vincent: “My wrist hurts.”

Sephiroth: “Shut up, Vincent. You’ll scare away the business.”

Auron: “Lark is coming now.”

Sephiroth: “Oh good. She’ll buy anything that’s shiny.”

Lark: *coming over* “Hey, babe. What’s going on?”

Sephiroth: “Selling snap bracelets. For only a dollar, it’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too!”

Lark: “Snap bracelets? These things rock!” *leans over to look at them*

Sephiroth: *gives vincent an ‘i told you so’ look*

Lark: “I’ll take one in every color.” *plops down money*

Sephiroth: “Great, Lark. Thanks.”

Auron: “Your patronage is very much appreciated.”

Sephiroth: “Damn right it is!”

Lark: “Well, you boys have fun selling your jewelry.”

Sephiroth: “How’s the no sex thing going, Lark?”

Lark: “Just fine, thank you. There better not be any more naked men in my room tonight.”

Sephiroth: “I can’t promise anything. Zidane’ll strip for a quarter, you know.”

Lark: “Poor guy. All right. See you later.” *she leaves*

Sephiroth: *gleefully counts money* “I almost feel like singing.”

Vincent: “…Now I am officially worried.”

Auron: “Just don’t sing the Hymn of the Fayth. I’m f***ing sick of that song.”

Sephiroth and Vincent: *blink in surprise*

Auron: *clears throat* “…And don’t do drugs.”

Sephiroth: “Don’t worry…I’ll steer clear of them.” *mutters* “Especially the ones you’re on.”

(meanwhile, rufus has his little display set out.)

Rufus: “This is the best idea ever. Better than the lemonade idea. And that was a damn good idea. I could buy myself another mall with all the money I’m going to make! Or another amusement park! Well, not another amusement park.” *he spots reno, irvine and elena coming* “Ooh, people! Some of which are obligated to buy from me!” *rubs hands together* “Exxxxxxxxcellent. Mr. Jingles is getting a new hot tub!”

Reno: “Hey, boss. What’s hanging?” *looks at the bracelets* “Please tell me you didn’t make these yourself.”

Rufus: “Of course not! But I stand by the quality as if I did!”

Elena: “Are these…snap bracelets?”

Rufus: “They sure are. And you and Reno and hereby ordered to buy at least ten, otherwise you’re fired. And Irvine should buy too, because they’re only a dollar and it’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too!”

Reno: “And you’re not only insane, but crazy too!”

Rufus: “A*hem*!” *taps the table and glares at reno*

Reno: “Aw, snap. There goes my booze money.” *digs out ten bucks*

Elena: *places down her money* “There you are, President Rufus, sir. They’re such nice bracelets.”

Rufus: “I know, Elena, and soon everyone will be wearing them.” *gives irvine a look* “Well. Don’t you wanna be cool?”

Irvine: “I can’t afford not to be.”

Rufus: “Then what are you waiting for?”

Irvine: *pays up* “Are you sure these are cool? Because last time people were wearing these, Saved By The Bell was still showing new episodes.”

Rufus: “Would I lie?”

Reno: *snort*

Rufus: “Don’t answer that.”

Irvine: *snapping one on with a shrug* “They are kinda fun, and they *are* cheap.”

Rufus: “Exactly. What more do you need than fun and cheap?”

Reno: “Booze.”

Rufus: *sigh* “Can you go five minutes without mentioning the booze?”

Reno: “Sure, when I’m sleeping. Or having s–“

Rufus: “Okay, I get the point. Just go away. You’re crowding the table.”

Reno: “There’s no one else around.”

Rufus: “Just go!”

(reno goes off mumbling and the others follow. rufus starts to count his money)

Rufus: “Oh yes, I am a genius! A genius beyond compare! Soon I’ll be a zillionaire, all thanks to snap bracelets!”

(algus, in the meanwhile, is standing with zidane and steiner, who are all wearing lots of snap bracelets.)

Zidane: “I can’t believe you’re not pay me for a whole week! I should quit!”

Algus: “Don’t be ridiculous. I gave you all those free snap bracelets.”

Zidane: “Snap bracelets aren’t money! How am I supposed to eat?”

Algus: “You cannot expect me to care about the well being of a simple peasant.”

Zidane: “I really should quit!”

Algus: “You wouldn’t dare.”

Steiner: “That was certainly nice of Master Vivi to buy so many bracelets.”

Zidane: “It was sure nice of Algus to give him threatening looks.”

Algus: “Rubbish. That was a very friendly look.”

Zidane: “Right. And I’m giving you one of those right now.” *glares*

Algus: “Oh, look. Here comes some business!”

Zidane: “You mean potential business.”

Algus: “No.”

(shadow and locke approach with interceptor)

Zidane: “Aw! What a cute dog!”

Shadow: “Don’t pet him. He bites.”

Interceptor: *yips happily and wags his tail*

Zidane: “Really?”

Shadow: “As if it isn’t obvious.”

Zidane: “Uh…it really isn’t.”

Algus: “Hush, slave.” *smiles* “Welcome, customers. You look like the type of peasants who like to keep in style.”

Shadow: “I like black stuff that covers my face.”

Algus: “…Yes, well. Since you look like you like to keep up with the fashion, I cannot let you leave here today without buying these amazing snap bracelets. Behold the snapping action.” *snaps it on his wrist* “Astounding, isn’t it? And believe it or not, they’re only a dollar each–plenty cheap enough for even you peasants to afford. And besides, it’s so little money for something that’s not only fun, but fashionable too.”

Shadow: “Did you hear something?” *looks behind him*

Locke: “Yeah, a mouthful of crap.”

Algus: “Now, now, do not mean to tell me that you have no interest in purchasing these high quality snap bracelets!”

Interceptor: *barks happily*

Algus: “See? Even your loyal canine companion wants one!”

Zidane: “He’s so cute!” *goes to pet him*

Shadow: “Don’t! He’s deadly!!”

Zidane: “Geez. It’s not like he’s the licky licky monster.”

Locke: “The what now?”

Algus: “Here here, don’t mind him. Now how many snap bracelets can I put you down for?”

Locke: “If I buy one, will you shut up?”

Algus: “Until the next time you come along.”

Locke: “Fine.” *plops down a buck* “Here.”

Algus: “Thank you, kind peasant. And how about you, Mr. Ninja, sir? We have some nice all black ones.”

Locke: “Shadow, just buy one so we can leave.”

Shadow: “I think I’m being followed again…” *puts down a dollar and gets his bracelet*

Algus: “Thank you very much.”

Locke: “Let’s get out of here.”

(he and shadow start to leave. interceptor doesn’t move)

Interceptor: *yips and wags tail*

Shadow: “Interceptor!!”

Zidane: “I think he wants to be pet.”

Shadow: “No, he just wants blood. INTERCEPTOR!!”

Interceptor: *tail droops as he trots off*

Zidane: *watching them all leave* “What a strange guy.”

Algus: *frantically surveying the table* “Steiner! Go after them immediately!!”

Steiner: “Is something wrong, Sir Algus?”

Algus: “There certainly is!!” *points down the hallway* “That shady character stole some of my snap bracelets!!”

Steiner: *gasp* “I shall reprimand him immediately!!” *runs off after them*

Zidane: *laughing* “Oh, this is fun.”

Algus: “Quiet, slave. Don’t make me spank you again.”

Zidane: *grins* “I think that’s the only thing I like about you, Algus.”

(meanwhile, laguna has set up his table. kiros and ward stand nearby, as usual.)

Kiros: “Ward says these bracelets are stupid.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Ward has bad fashion sense then, because these are the new things!”

Kiros: “Ward says he doesn’t want to wear his anymore.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Too bad! I have to sell them!”

Ward: “……….!” *points down the hall*

Kiros: “What is it now, Ward? Haven’t you said enough already?”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Here come my son and his friends!”

(squall comes up with rinoa and selphie. he tries to walk on by, but the girls drag him to a stop)

Selphie: “Hi, Sir Laguna! Tee hee!”

Laguna: “Hey hey! How you kids doing? You staying in school and staying out of drugs?”

Squall: “No.”

Rinoa: *nudges him* “Squall.” *smiles at laguna* “What are you doing, Laguna?”

Laguna: “I’m selling these awesome snap bracelets! They’re totally tubular and radical, dudes! All the hip young teens are wearing them!”

Squall: “What the hell kind of outdated slang are you using?”

Laguna: “Uh…they’re groovy?”

Selphie: “Heeeeeeey! These are cute!” *tries one out*

Rinoa: “Yeah! Try one on, Squall.”

Squall: “I’d rather die.”

Rinoa: “Come *on*, Squall!” *forces him to wear one*

Laguna: “They’re great, right? And only a dollar each! It’s, uh, so little money for something that’s so…uh…flavorful…uh, wait no, um…functional, wait, no, that’s not it either…”

Selphie: “I’ll take a few!”

Rinoa: “Me too!”

Laguna: “How about you, son?”

Squall: “Whatever.”

(they buy a few each and then go, squall walking ahead of the girls who are comparing their bracelets. laguna turns to smile at kiros and ward)

Laguna: “Hey hey! I did good!”

Kiros: “Ward says you’re a grammar nightmare.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

(meanwhile, in loser land, kuja, hojo, nida, scarlet, heidegger and stinky are sitting around. kuja looks bored. hojo is trying to feel him up. heidegger is tying a bow in stinky’s hair. scarlet and nida are playing a card game.)

Nida: “Haha!! Jack beats 9!” *collects cards happily*

Scarlet: “I know how to play war, Nida. And I can see. You can make an *effort* to stop being an ass.”

Nida: “I rock!”

Hojo: “So, darling…” *sneaks a hand on kuja’s thigh* “How is living with Seymour going?”

Kuja: *pushes his hand off* “It’s hell. Really. Worse than hell.”

Scarlet: “Well, haven’t you been trying to drive him out?”

Nida: “Haha! 10 beats 2!”

Scarlet: “Shut UP!”

Kuja: “Of course I have. But so far he’s just being so difficult. If he only wore decent make-up this would be so much easier. His stuff is so trashy that there’s no use in fiddling with it.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! I could eat it!”

Stinky: *snort*

Kuja: “Thanks for the offer, but no. I’ve come up with another way to get back at him, and I think this one will work.”

(just then seymour walks in, totally naked, his hair dripping wet. everyone stares at him except for nida)

Nida: “Ahhh!!! My virgin eyes!” *hides behind his cards*

Scarlet: *blink blink* “Holy…”

Kuja: *to himself* “It seems he does have his good parts after all.”

Seymour: “Where are the towels?”

Kuja: “Oh, you don’t get towels.”

Seymour: “Excuse me?”

Kuja: “Well, the towels are mine, so only the people I say can use them.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Pink, fluffy goodness!”

Seymour: “So are you telling me I can’t have a towel?”

Kuja: “Precisely.”

Seymour: “…Fine then. I’ll just walk around naked until I dry off.” *he leaves*

Hojo: *scrambling off the couch* “It figures that the one time I don’t have the camera ready…” *runs out*

Nida: *sniffle* “Is he gone?”

Scarlet: *sigh* “Yes.”

Nida: *uncovering his face* “I hate these new people! One walks around naked and the other one makes weird noises in the attic! Have you heard him? I don’t even want to know what those slurping sounds are!”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Kefka’s having tea with an octopus right now! Gya haa haa!”

Everyone: *blink blink*

Scarlet: “You know… I believe him.”

Nida: *terrified* “Me too!”

(hojo reenters with his camera, looking down cast)

Hojo: “He’s locked himself in his room.”

Kuja: “I think not!” *storms out of the room*

Hojo: “Ooh…” *eagerly follows with camera*

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Plan’s not working! Right, Stinky? Gya haa haa!”

Stinky: *sad snort*

Nida: *slamming down a card* “A king! Haha! Beat that, skank!”

Scarlet: *slams down her card* “A ace! Ha!” *takes cards*

Nida: *chin trembles* “Hey! You cheated!”

Heidegger: “Sore loser! Gya haa haa!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

(two days later…the MAFIA have gathered for another meeting. rufus has a stack of papers before him.)

Algus: “This meeting of the Majestically Affluent Fabulous Investment Association is now in session. Our secretary, Setzer, will now call the roll.”

Sephiroth: “This is stupid. We’re all here.”

Rufus: “Shush!! The roll!”

Setzer: *ahem* “Algus, President.”

Algus: “Present.”

Setzer: “Rufus, Vice President.”

Rufus: “Here.”

Setzer: “Edgar, Treasurer.”

Edgar: “Present.”

Setzer: “Sephiroth, head of Order and Discipline.”

Sephiroth: *rolling eyes* “Absent.”

Rufus: “Don’t make fun of the roll!”

Setzer: “Anyway… Shell, fashion consultant.”

Shell: *filing nails* “Here.”

Setzer: “And Laguna.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! When did we all get positions?”

Algus: “Yesterday, after you fell asleep.”

Laguna: “Whoopsie!” *rubs the back of his neck* “Sorry about that! What position do I get?”

Rufus and Algus: *exchange a look*

Rufus: “Uh… You can be…uh…the uh…translator.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Cool! What do I get to translate?”

Rufus: “I dunno. We’ll think of that later.”

Algus: “Fine. Mr. Secretary, make a note of it. Who has an act of business?”

Rufus: *brightly* “I do!” *grins* “Everyone will be pleased to know that in only *two* days of sales we *quadrupled* our money!”

Everyone: “Wow!”

Rufus: “I know!! I have checks for everyone.” *he gives checks to algus, laguna and shell* “Uh, have two questions before I give out the other checks… Sephiroth, what the hell is your last name?”

Sephiroth: *paling* “Uh, you better just make it out to cash.”

Rufus: “…Ookay. And Edgar and Setzer…uh…do you guys want one check?”

Setzer: *cough* “Uh, yeah. That’s fine. It’s just gonna go in our account anyway.”

Edgar: “Which is joint to make us look even richer.”

Rufus: “…Right.” *he hands out the other checks*

Algus: “Excellent. I suspect that we will continue to sell just as many snap bracelets in the future. Now, any other orders of business?”

Sephiroth: “Yeah. I want everyone to know that after he stole those three snap bracelets the other day, I can guarantee Locke won’t be stealing from us again.”

Algus: “Splendid.”

Sephiroth: “Well, I’m not head of Order and Discipline for nothing.” *cracks knuckles*

Shell: “What did you do? Take his thumbs?”

Sephiroth: “That’s for a second offense.”

Algus: “Anything else?”

Rufus: “I just want to remind everyone that today Setzer, Sephiroth and myself will be selling the snap bracelets in the ramble room, and tomorrow Shell, Algus and Edgar have selling duty.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! What about me?”

Rufus: “Uh…you can…uh…walk around the ramble complex and encourage people they need more bracelets.”

Laguna: “Can do!” *thumbs up*

Algus: “If that is all, I hereby adjourn this meeting, and we’ll meet tomorrow at the same time.”

Sephiroth: “Are we going to have to take roll again?”

Rufus: “Yes.”

Sephiroth: “Aw, come on.”

Rufus: “Setzer has to do *something*!”

………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later in the ramble room, setzer, rufus and sephiroth are standing behind their table arranging the snap bracelets. edgar is lounging on the couch, watching them. the room is otherwise empty.)

Edgar: “I say…where is everyone??”

Rufus: “Sephiroth, I hope you didn’t tell everyone the ramble room was filling with poisonous gas again.”

Sephiroth: “Hey, that was Twilight. I would have said killer bees.”

Setzer: *admiring the bracelet he has on* “I think I’ll buy this one.”

Rufus: “…I’m only saying this because you’re in the club…” *blink blink* “That’s purple.”

Setzer: “Yeah. So…?”

Rufus: *blink blink* “That’s *purple*.”

Sephiroth: *blink blink*

Setzer: “Yeah. So…what’s the matter with it?”

Edgar: *sharply* “Setzer, I *think* what he’s trying to say is that is not a color men usually wear.”

Setzer: *putting down the bracelet like it was on fire* “Oh!!” *sweat drop* “Uh, I was raised by my elderly grandmother. She forced me to wear girly colors. Sometimes I forget.”

Sephiroth and Rufus: *blink blink* “Oookay…”

(then the door to the ramble room opens and a bunch of people, including Noelle, Ashley, seifer, reno, irvine, tidus, wakka, zell, lark, tseng, reeve, selphie, rinoa and squall enter, chattering)

Rufus: “Why do they all have to come in at the same time?”

Sephiroth: “Because they all think with the same tiny brain.”

Setzer: “Uh…what are they doing?”

(he points over to where rinoa, selphie, Noelle, irvine and reno are trading snap bracelets)

Rufus: “Are they…trading them?”

Setzer: *gasps* “They’re doing it too!!”

(he points to Ashley, seifer, zell, tidus and wakka)

Rufus: *blink blink* “No… They can’t be!!”

Sephiroth: “No, they are!!”

(he points to where lark, reeve and tseng are trading)

Rufus: *sobs* “This can’t be happening!!! I can’t watch!!”

Setzer: “Eddie!!” *gestures for him to come over*

Edgar: *running over* “Did you see? They’re trading the bracelets!!!”

Rufus: *sobs louder*

Sephiroth: *pounding his fist into his palm* “This calls for some Order and Discipline.”

Setzer: “Let’s find out what’s going on.”

(he looks around the room for the first person whose name he knows, which happens to be tseng since he really doesn’t know anyone)

Setzer: “Uh, hey there! Tseng!”

Tseng: *comes over* “Oh, hi.”

Setzer: “Hi. Okay. Why are you guys trading bracelets?”

Rufus: *sobs* “No one’s buying anymore!!”

Tseng: “Oh. Well, we figured that between all of us we bought every kind of bracelet, so Reeve came up with the idea of just trading them. That way we can save money.”

Setzer: “Oh. I see. See, Rufus?” *turns to where rufus was standing but he’s gone* “…Rufus?”

Rufus: *beating up reeve* “You ruined me again!!!”

Reeve: “Ow! You’ll break my glasses!”

Tseng: “Hey!” *runs over*

(and so, while tseng tries to yank rufus off poor reeve, setzer turns to sephiroth)

Setzer: “…So much for the snap bracelets.”

Edgar: “Perhaps it will end up being all for the best.” *blink blink* “I never pictured Rufus as violent.”

Setzer: “Well, it’s not it for the club. We did make money. We could invest in something else.”

Tseng’s voice: “Ow!!! Rufus!!! No hair pulling!!!”

Setzer: “Or…not.”

Edgar: “…I’m sure we’ll think of something else to do.”

Sephiroth: “As long as it involves Order and Discipline, it’s all good.”

Setzer: “That means more to you than the money, doesn’t it.”

Sephiroth: “…Yes.”

Edgar: “I should think Algus will be upset.”

Setzer: “As upset as Rufus?”

Reeve’s voice: “Ow!!!!!! Rufus!!! You’re not supposed to kick another man in the crotch!!”

Tseng’s voice: “I’ll kill you, Rufus!!!”

Edgar: “Dear god, I hope not.”

THE END

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