G #5 How to Make a Hamcuber

Rufus: “Just check the list and find your station! Time is hamcubers, people!”

Originally Published: 3/2/09 . 35 pages

Another one of my favorite gaidens. I introduce a bunch of new characters in this one that never really did much of anything. 2 are from Enchanted Arms and 2 were based on friends. The golems used in this one all had nicknames we actually gave them when we played Enchanted Arms. Their real names were stupid.

(outside the ramble room, algus, sephiroth, dante, and cid are gathered and staring across the street. why? because next to the three townhouses that dante, snake and the ffxii guys live in are five brand new townhouses.)

Dante: “I swear those were trees yesterday.”

(rufus exits the ramble room all smiles)

Sephiroth: “Rufus, is this your doing?”

Rufus: “I thought everybody knew the porch swing was my thing.”

Sephiroth: “Not the stupid porch swing! Those new townhouses across the street!”

Rufus: “Oh yeah. Those. Well, there was so much demand for more housing, so I had those put up.”

Cid: “#@$@#$%#%^$%&#$%#@!”

Rufus: “Oh, everybody’s all moved in already. I was heading over there to check on them right now.”

Algus: “Allow me to accompany you, Rufus. Perhaps I can find myself a potential slave.”

Rufus: “Sure, why not? The more people I have following me the better. Then it looks like I have a posse I could send after them if they don’t pay their rent.”

Sephiroth: “You do. They’re called the Turks.”

Rufus: “Yeah, but do you see them anywhere?”

(so everyone goes across the street. rufus walks over to the first place and knocks on the door. koudelka answers.)

Cid: “Koudelka?!”

Koudelka: “Hi.”

Rufus: “Mind if I come in and make sure everything’s in order?”

Koudelka: “Knock yourself out.”

(he and algus go inside)

Cid: “You didn’t tell me you were moving here!”

Koudelka: “You didn’t ask.”

Cid: “Just you and Halley?”

Koudelka: “And Yuri.”

Cid: “Yuri? Can’t he afford his own place?”

Sephiroth: “With what Rufus charges for rent? You’d have to be a sucker not to have five billion roommates.”

Dante: “I rent from Rufus.”

Sephiroth: “One of the many reasons why you’re an idiot.”

Koudleka: “Oh. Trust me. I’m getting quite a deal.”

Cid: “How’d you swing that?”

Sephiroth: “Blackmail?”

Koudelka: “That sounds sinister.”

Sephiroth: “That’s it, isn’t it?”

Koudelka: *to cid* “If you want to come in, come in.”

Cid: *comes in muttering* “That’s not what I was thinking.”

(he comes inside and he and koudelka walk away. seconds later rufus and algus exit.)

Algus: “What happened to the foul mouthed hooligan?”

Sephiroth: “We lost him.”

Algus: *shrugs* “I fail to see what the real loss was.”

(they go next door and knock. the door is answered by gippal.)

Dante: “Gip? What’re you doing here?”

Gippal: “We just moved in. Now we’re neighbors!”

Dante: “Who’s ‘we’?”

Gippal: “Me, Maxi, Chris and Edward.”

Sephiroth: “Edward?! You serious? Does Koudelka know her baby daddy is right next door?”

Dante: “It’ll be great to have you guys nearby.”

Sephiroth: “There goes the neighborhood.”

Rufus: “How’s everything? All the appliances working?”

Gippal: “Everything seems great to me.”

Rufus: “Okay, great. If you need anything… I’m sure there’s somebody in the phonebook to call.”

(gippal goes back inside and they head next door.)

Sephiroth: “Rufus, you let just anybody move in, don’t you.”

Rufus: “Not true! I have a stringent screening process!”

(he knocks on the door. nightmare opens it.)

Sephiroth: “Okay, now I *know* you’re lying.”

Rufus: “Everything in order?”

Nightmare: “Nemesis is running dishwasher right now! Nightmare has never seen machine that cleans dishes for you!”

Algus: “You poor, poor…….armor suit.”

Sephiroth: “Both of you are living here?”

Nightmare: “Nemesis good roommate. He knitted afghan for couch!”

Rufus: “Yeah, yeah, that’s fantastic. Just pay your rent on time so I don’t have to evict you. I’ve done it before, and I’ll do it again.”

(they move on to the next townhouse.)

Sephiroth: “Rufus, how can they afford to rent from you? I thought they were constantly broke!”

Dante: “Yeah. They hang out with my brother. That’s pretty damn bad.”

Rufus: “Well, to be honest I gave them a bit of a price reduction on the rent. But I like to think of it as an investment. With those two scary god-knows-whats walking around, no one’s going to rob this neighborhood.”

Algus: “Security that pays *you*! Brilliant, my friend!”

(they knock on the next door. atsuma answers.)

Algus: “You?!”

Atsuma: “Hey, buddy! Did you come by to visit?”

Algus: “I most certainly did not! How on earth can you afford to live here?”

Atsuma: “I’m rooming with some friends from school! My one friend is super smart, so he gets, like, money from the school for like…stuff.”

Everyone: “Uh…huh…”

Atsuma: “So you guys wanna come in and hang out? I’ve got bagel bites! Those things are awesome!”

Algus: “I wouldn’t come into your home if I was dying of thirst and you had the only water for miles.”

Atsuma: “Know what else I’ve got? Sunny D! And enough glasses for everybody!”

Rufus: “We’re not coming in. Is everything working in there? Everything running? Nothing on fire?”

Atsuma: “Why would something be on fire?”

Sephiroth: “Because with Rufus—“

Rufus: “Hey, I recommended a good renter’s insurance policy when they signed the lease. So I am *not* liable.”

Atsuma: “So should I fire up the microwave and pour big glasses of Sunny D for everybody?”

Everybody: *says nothing and walks away to the next townhouse*

Atsuma: *calls* “Is that a no? No on the Sunny D? ‘Cause it’s fresh!”

Dante: *mutters* “Guess he’s never heard the phrase ‘no means no’. Wouldn’t wanna be a drunk girl at a frat party with him.”

(they knock on the next door. otacon answers.)

Sephiroth: “Congratulations, sir. You’ve chosen to live on the block of freaks.”

Otacon: “What?”

Rufus: “Don’t mind him. Just your friendly landlord checking in to make sure everything’s okay in your new home. And I use the word friendly loosely. Very loosely.”

Otacon: “Well, everything’s fine. No complaints here.”

Dante: “You live here by yourself?”

Otacon: “No.”

Everyone: “………………”

Dante: “So you have a roommate then?”

Otacon: “Sure. Roommate. Yeah.”

Dante: “Can we meet him or her?”

Otacon: “Him. And no. He’s in the shower.”

(suddenly snake pops out of the bushes.)

Snake: “Otakon! Thank god you’re here! Together we can launch a full scale investigation on the terrorists in this neighborhood!”

Otacon: *hand to head* “You!? What are you doing here? How do you know where I live?”

Snake: “I live right over there.” *points*

Otacon: “What?! Oh no!”

Rufus: “You already signed a one year lease.”

Otacon: *wails* “I’m doomed!”

Snake: “You still live with your mom?”

Otacon: “Stepmom! And she lived with me! But I had to move out. There was…some awkwardness.”

Everyone: “………………..”

Otacon: “We never should have slept together. Suddenly she was too good to make me an omelet!”

Everyone: “…………….”

Dante: “Um…I don’t remember asking for details.”

Sephiroth: “I don’t know why you’d wanna volunteer that information to anyone. Ever.”

Algus: “I’m throughly disgusted. Must we stand here any longer?”

Rufus: “No. Let’s go.”

(everyone but snake turns to leave.)

Dante: “He reminds me of the guy from Psycho.”

Rufus: “Great. Now I’ll have nightmares for months.”

(they leave. snake looks at otacon.)

Snake: “Otakon! Let’s synchronize our watches!”

Otacon: *slams the door in his face*

Snake: “Pretending you don’t know me, huh? Brilliant strategy. We’ll fool them all!” *ducks back into the bushes*

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(2 days later. Sephiroth comes out of the ramble room to find dante about to come inside.)

Sephiroth: “Where do you think you’re going?”

Dante: “To find you.”

Sephiroth: “Of course you are. Unfortunately I don’t have time to waste on conversations with big time losers.”

Dante: “Alucard’s been watching that guy Otacon’s place – he hasn’t seen any roommate.”

Sephiroth: “Sounds like he needs a hobby.”

Dante: “Well he doesn’t have much else to do when it’s sunny out.”

Sephiroth: “Still. At least it’s obvious where the Belmont’s got their knack for spying.”

(then rufus comes out, and he doesnt look happy.)

Rufus: “Well they did it! The workers from my factory went on strike!”

Sephiroth: “That was a long time coming, I’m sure.”

Rufus: “They think they can get more money out of me? Who do they think they work for?”

Sephiroth: “Someone generous it seems.”

Rufus: “Anyway, it’s not really a big deal. More of an inconvenience. I have a new set of workers all lined up.”

Dante: *mutters* “Poor bastards.”

Rufus: *handing sephiroth a paper* “You can report tomorrow morning at eight.”

Sephiroth: “Not funny, Rufus.”

Rufus: “Who’s being funny? The clause in the contracts of all my current and former employees gives me the right to put them to work at any time for any reason.”

Sephiroth: “What?!”

Dante: *snort* “Maybe you should actually read what you sign next time.”

Rufus: *hands him a paper* “Might want to take your own advice, because the same clause is in the lease you signed.”

Dante: *jaw drops*

Sephiroth: “Ha ha! Now we both have to suffer!”

Rufus: “And so do the rest of my tenants and everybody else currently or formerly employed by me! But don’t worry, it’s just until the strike is settled.”

Sephiroth and Dante: “We’re doomed.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(the next day, outside of rufus factory, we have a large line of unhappy people waiting for rufus: sephiroth, vincent, zack, cloud, tseng, reno, rude, reeve, elena, cid, scarlet, heidegger, palmer, dante, lloyd, balthier, basch, vaan, snake, koudelka, yuri, otacon, gippal, maxi, edward, chris, bryatt, zidane, franswa, zell, hugh, nightmare and nemesis.)

Tseng: “Elena? What are you doing here? Don’t tell me Rufus is forcing *you* to work here!”

Elena: “No…but I felt bad. He really needs help.”

Tseng: “…What is wrong with you?”

Reeve: “I can’t believe Rufus is making us do this. I hated having to cross that picket line.”

Rude: “*You* hated it. Somebody hit me with their sign.”

Reno: “I’m not too worried about this. I figure I’ll get injured in the first ten minutes, and I’ll be home before lunch.”

Tseng: “I wouldn’t bank on that, Reno. Rufus isn’t going to let you go for stubbing your toe this time.”

Reno: “That’s okay. I figure I can stand to lose a finger.”

Reeve: “Are you serious?”

Reno: “I mean just look at your pinky finger!” *wiggles it* “It doesn’t do anything. I won’t miss it.”

Tseng: “Reno! You can’t possibly be willing to lose a finger over this!”

Reno: “I don’t know… I have been drinking a lot this morning.”

Rude: “That’ll help dull the pain.”

Reno: “Bingo!”

Elena: “Don’t encourage him!”

(meanwhile)

Sephiroth: “I can’t believe I’m stuck working in Shinra’s factory! This kind of work is dangerous! Somebody could lose a limb! Can you even imagine what that would be like? You’d be a freak!”

Vincent: *frowns*

Sephiroth: “And why are there so few people here? Rufus has run tons of failed businesses over the years! What about the stupid amusement park he had?”

Vincent: “You mean the one named after you?”

Sephiroth: “On second thought, that place was awesome.”

Cid: “I don’t think anybody signed contracts that time.”

Koudelka: “I can’t believe this. Like I have nothing better to do. Why can’t he just give his striking employees what they want?”

Cid: “Because it’s a few extra bucks a month! And he’s Rufus #$%@#$% Shinra!”

(meanwhile)

Zidane: “Where the hell is Kuja? Didn’t he work at Rufus’ department store too?”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! He fled the country!”

Scarlet: “He said he won a vacation. I wish I had money. Then I could have ‘won’ something too.”

Bryatt: “This might be fun. Kind of like a trip back in time to the industrial revolution.”

Zidane and Scarlet: *give him a weird look*

Bryatt: “…Yeah. I just realized what a sh*tty trip that would be.”

(meanwhile)

Nightmare: “Nightmare wants to know where straw guy from gas station is!”

Nemesis: “……….STARS!”

Nightmare: *eyes widen* “Oh. Right. How could Nightmare forget that?”

(meanwhile)

Franswa: *sigh* “I should be at the restaurant right now doing prep.” *pause* “I wish Rufus would give me a break. He’s one of my financial backers!”

Zell: “Yeah, but you also worked for him twice. That’s like, double jeopardy.”

Franswa: “…I don’t think that’s what that means.”

??????: “Hey, Zell!”

(franswa and zell turn to see atsuma coming towards them with two others. one is a tall, handsome guy with dark hair in a long ponytail and glasses. the other is a very effeminate man with blonde hair wearing make-up.)

Zell: “Hey, Atsuma! What up?”

Atsuma: “We’re here to work for Rufus! This is so awesome! You know what I’m gonna do with the money I earn? Buy stuff!”

Guy with glasses: “Are you going to introduce us to your friends, Atsuma?”

Atsuma: “Oh yeah! Franswa and Zell, this is Toya and Makoto, my friends from school. I talk about them kinda a lot.”

Zell: *leans over and whispers to franswa* “I told you they were real.”

Atsuma: “I got more friends coming later. Do you know when lunch is?”

(thats when a limo pulls up and rufus gets out. everyone quiets down, but you can still hear the striking workers yelling things in the background.)

Rufus: “Good! Everybody’s on time! I hope you’re all ready to work, because the pay is low, the hours are long and the work is hard. Any questions?”

Zidane: “Yeah! What are we making anyway?”

Rufus: “Quality Rufus brand hamcubers!”

Zidane: “You’re kidding me! Who is buying those?!”

Rufus: “Anything else? Yes – cop who was responsible for burning down my discount center.”

Chris: “Can we do overtime?”

Rufus: “Uh, I guess so. But don’t be expecting bonus pay.”

Chris: “That’s fine. I’d like as many hours as possible.”

Rufus: *blink blink* “Where were you every time I needed workers and only weirdoes showed up?” *shrugs* “Okay, good. Everybody should have the same attitude! Now everyone go inside, find your station and meet your work buddy!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(inside the factory, rufus stands at the front, and everyone checks a list on the wall before heading to their assigned work station.)

Rufus: “Just check the list and find your station! Time is hamcubers, people!”

(some people, like zack and cloud, nightmare and nemesis, bryatt and tseng, reno and rude, and gippal and maxi are happy to see they’ve been paired together. others, like elena and zell, cid and basch and balthier and franswa are content. others, however, are not so thrilled…)

Scarlet: *arrives to see she’s been paired with palmer* “Ugh. And I thought this couldn’t get worse.”

Palmer: “This is fantastic! I could tell you all my ideas, and maybe President Rufus will listen to you without threatening to throw coffee in your face!”

(meanwhile, reeve arrives to find…toya.)

Toya: *extends hand* “Pleased to meet you. I’m Toya.”

Reeve: *shakes it* “Reeve. How did you have the misfortune of meeting Rufus?”

Toya: “Some classmates and I are renting from him. And you?”

Reeve: “I’m supposed to be his architect and city planner. When I designed this factory I never thought I’d be working in it.”

Toya: *puts on glasses* “Those are always the things that can’t be planned, aren’t they.”

Reeve: “Heh. You’re right.”

(zidane arrives to find lloyd, holding the torn off pocket from his pants in his hand.)

Lloyd: “Damn pocket! You open when I tell you to! And not a minute before!”

Zidane: *looks up at the ceiling* “Please tell me what I did to deserve this?”

(meanwhile, poor vaan has arrived at his station to find heidegger. vaan grimaces as heidegger is excitedly peering into the chute next to their work desk.)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! I hope food comes out!”

(koudelka walks up to her station to see edward.)

Koudelka: “Oh god no.”

Edward: “Koudelka! What are you doing here?”

Koudelka: “Suffering. Clearly.”

(otacon arrives to find snake. he immediately slumps his shoulders and starts whining.)

Otacon: “Oh come on! The universe can’t be this cruel!”

Snake: *peering in the chute* “This must be the secret shortcut! If only my hips weren’t so big…”

(hugh arrives to find chris.)

Chris: “You look like a good worker.”

Hugh: “I am related to the Belmonts.”

(yuri walks up to find the feminine looking makoto. he breaks out in a grin.)

Yuri: “Well, well, well. Looks like it’s my lucky day.”

(reno has his arm shoved all the way up the chute.)

Reno: “Whatever comes out of this chute is bound to injure me!”

Rude: *pulling him away* “Not on my watch.”

(vincent, meanwhile, is walking over to his stand and sees atsuma standing there. vincent stops and sighs, shaking his head before he walks over.)

Atsuma: “Hey! Looks like you and me are gonna be work buddies!”

Vincent: “……Yes. Lucky me.”

Atsuma: “I feel lucky too! Now I have two jobs! My guidance counselor told me no one would ever wanna hire me!”

(and finally, sephiroth walks over to his station….to find dante waiting there.)

Sephiroth: “What?! No! Is this a joke? Because it’s not funny.”

Dante: “Hey there……buddy.”

Sephiroth: “Come on! Who made these arrangements?! Rufus! Rufus!! You son of a bitch!”

Dante: “Oh come on. You love me. And besides, it could be way, way worse.” *points*

(sephiroth turns around to where dante is pointing to heidegger and vaan. heidegger is trying to fit his mouth over the entire opening of the chute while vaan stands there looking terrified.)

Sephiroth: “Maybe he’d wanna switch partners.”

Dante: “You’d rather be with a lard ass than a hot ass?”

Sephiroth: “I’ll take the blonde kid. You’re the one who belongs with Heidegger.”

Rufus: “Quiet everyone! Time for instructions on how to make this quality Rufus brand product.” *sigh* “Sephiroth, why are you already making threatening gestures at me?”

Sephiroth: “I want to switch partners!”

Rufus: “No switching! I spent a lot of time assigning everyone a partner!”

Reeve: “Did it involve a hat?”

Rufus: “Shut up, Reeve. Okay, everybody watch this video and pay attention. Because I am *not* playing it again.”

(he puts the video on, and the shinra logo appears, accompanied by a cheerful voiceover.)

Voiceover: “Congratulations on being hired by Shinra Inc., one of the best companies to work for!”

Reno: “How many lies is this video gonna tell?”

Rufus: “Shut up, Reno!”

Voiceover: “You’re about to learn how to assemble a quality Rufus brand hamcuber in 5 easy steps!”

(and then there’s an animation. a clump of hamcuber parts fall out of the chute. then 2 rabbit like creatures cram a bunch of wires into one side of the two plastic cubes. then they push both sides of the cube together to form the full cube. then they put the cube and an instruction sheet in a box, and the other person tapes the box shut.)

Voiceover: “This has been a Rufus Shinra production. Also available on DVD, Final Fantasy 7 vs. Final Fantasy 8 the movie aka The Rufus Shinra Story aka the Greatest Story Ever Told. Order yours today!”

(‘the end’ appears on screen. rufus shuts the video off.)

Tseng: “That’s it?”

Rufus: “There was a limited budget. Any questions?”

(many hands go up, just as the first clump of hamcuber parts drop from everyone’s chute.)

Rufus: “No? Well, better get started!”

Reeve: *looking at instructions* “Rufus, these instructions aren’t in English. Or any language I remotely recognize.”

Rufus: “It’s not my fault you don’t read Rabbid.”

(he goes to leave, but before he can 2 guys walk in accompanied by two creatures – one is crazy pizza man, and the other appears to be a man in a huge suit of armor.)

Atsuma: “Hey, Jace! Hey, Jester! You brought Crazy Pizza Man? Awesome! I know what I’m having for lunch!”

Heidegger: “Me too! Gya haa haa!”

Rufus: “Late? On your first day?”

Jace: “Sorry. We had a test to take.”

Jester: *grumbles* “Yeah. At ‘Entrap’ University.”

Rufus: “Well get to work!” *looks at the armor guy* “Who’s that?”

Jace: “Oh, this is Gutsio. He’s one of my golems.”

Gutsio: *says something in spanish*

Jace: “……He only speaks Spanish.”

Rufus: “Whatever. Play with your toys on your designated break period. I’m late for a very important meeting with a very impatient teddy bear stylist!”

(he leaves. jace and jester look at each other.)

Jace: “What are we supposed to do?”

Cid: “I saw the #$%^@$#% video and I’m *still* not sure.”

Rude: “Welcome to working for Rufus.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later. it’s break time, and everyone is talking. first…)

Yuri: “That chick I’m working with is totally hot.”

Edward: “Not as hot as Koudelka.”

Koudelka: “Edward go away. It’s bad enough I have to work with you at all.”

Yuri: “Plus, she’s a university student! A student, Koudelka! Bet I could teach her a few lessons myself.”

Koudelka: *sigh* “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but dream boat is a dude, you perv.”

Yuri: *paling* “No she’s not.”

Koudelka: “Yeah *he* is.”

Yuri: “How do you know?”

Koudelka: “Um, the whole psychic thing?”

Yuri: “That doesn’t mean you have x-ray vision!”

(meanwhile, zidane is talking to bryatt.)

Zidane: “Lloyd broke 11 of our hamcubers! 11!”

Bryatt: “Why?”

Zidane: “Because he’s an idiot! One pinched his finger, another one fell on his foot, one he broke because he said it didn’t like him.”

Bryatt: “It probably didn’t.”

Zidane: “I’m gonna make sure Rufus takes it all outta his paycheck, not mine. And same goes for the tape dispenser he broke!”

(meanwhile, vaan is with gippal and maxi.)

Vaan: “I swear he ate at least 6 of them. I’d turn my head to get the box, and when I looked back it was gone!”

Maxi: “No way.”

Vaan: “Why would I make this up? And I know most people won’t be getting their instructions.”

Maxi: “He ate those too?”

Gippal: “That, or he was using them as napkins.”

(over to sephiroth and vincent.)

Sephiroth: “Out of all the people to get stuck with! Dante?! I should get tested after this. I’m pretty sure STD’s are extremely contagious!”

Vincent: “Don’t be ridiculous, angel. Besides, at least your partner is…”

Sephiroth: “What? Skanky? Ugly? Diseased? Skeevy? Sloppy? Ugly? Did I already say ugly?”

Vincent: “…Mentally capable.”

Sephiroth: “Even that’s debatable.”

Vincent: “My partner could not figure out how to properly close the hamcuber box.”

Sephiroth: “That’s ridiculous! There are only two flaps!”

Vincent: “I know.”

(meanwhile, atsuma, toya, makoto, jace, jester, zell, franswa and reeve are standing around talking. crazy pizza and gutsio are there, and nightmare and nemesis are eavesdropping.)

Zell: “So is Enchant University a military school?”

Toya: “Sort of. But we learn more than how to fight.”

Jester: “It sounds cool, but it sucks.”

Atsuma: “It’s really hard. Jace and I met when we both needed help in this class we were both taking.”

Jace: “That was five semesters ago.”

Makoto: “And Atsuma has still yet to pass that class.”

Atsuma: “I’m hoping this is my lucky semester!”

(everyone looks at toya, who is shaking his head no.)

Atsuma: “Jester and I met in detention!”

Jester: “I don’t do my homework.”

Reeve: *gasps* “Really?!”

Atsuma: “We call him Jester ’cause his real name is like impossible to pronounce!”

(toya again shakes his head no, but before he can speak, rufus comes over.)

Rufus: “How’d the morning go? Everybody make a lot of hamcubers?”

Reeve: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen cheaper materials in my life.”

Rufus: “Thank you, Reeve. Those kind of materials weren’t easy to find.”

Reeve: “I didn’t mean it as a compliment.”

Rufus: *looking at gutsio* “What is that thing? A bodyguard?”

Jace: “It can be! It’s a golem! They can be used for almost anything.”

Gutsio: *speaks spanish*

Toya:” We make them at school.”

Rufus: “You make robots at school?”

Atsuma: “Sure! They’re easy to make as long as you have the right materials!”

Rufus: “Wait… So this idiot can make them?”

Toya: “Anyone can. They’re quite easy.”

Rufus: “Yeah, but what about the materials? Do you need stuff that’s dropped by one rare creature in the far reaches of the snowy mountains or something?”

Makoto: “No. You can buy them.”

(rufus’ eyes go wide. he starts to walk around gutsio, inspecting him. gutsio watches rufus somewhat unhappily.)

Rufus: “Tell me more.”

Toya: “Well, there are all different types.”

Atsuma: “They take orders real good!”

Jace: “Yeah! They’re totally loyal. And you can have them fight, or do stuff, create stuff, make stuff….”

Makoto: “They’re excellent learners.”

Rufus: “Do they need any kind of food or sleep?”

Jace: “Nope!”

Rufus: “What about feelings? Got any of those?”

Atsuma: “Yeah! You don’t wanna catch Crazy Pizza Man when he’s angry!”

Rufus: “I see…very interesting.”

Jace: “I have a whole bunch of golems besides Gutsio here! There’s Butterfly, Seraphim, Diegalion, Guts 2.0, Mega Penga – he freezes stuff!”

Atsuma: “He’s the coolest giant penguin ever!”

Rufus: “He’s a *what* who does *what*?” *a bell rings* “Break’s over! Back to work!”

Sephiroth: “Can I talk to you about switching partners?”

Rufus: “No!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(back in the factory, nightmare is looking down.)

Nightmare: “Nightmare was hoping other armor man was long lost cousin or something. But is only robot!”

Nemesis: *pats him on the shoulder* “STARS.”

Nightmare: *gasp* “What if Nightmare is robot?”

Nemesis: *gives him a look*

Nightmare: “……Nightmare does not seriously believe that.” *mutters* “Nightmare has no delusions of grandeur.”

(over to zidane and lloyd…)

Lloyd: *throws hamcuber to the ground breaking it* “Dammit! Stupid wire!”

Zidane: *pissed off* “Seriously, Lloyd? What now?”

Lloyd: “It scratched me!”

Zidane: *yells* “Rufus! Lloyd broke a hamcuber!”

Lloyd: “Hey! What gives?!”

Zidane: *hisses* “I am *not* taking the fall with you and your habit of breaking everything!”

Lloyd: “I do not break everything!” *smashes box* “Stupid box!”

Zidane: *yells* “Rufus!”

Lloyd: “Stop it, Zidane! You’re gonna get me in trouble!”

Zidane: “Good! Then maybe I could be partners with the pizza face robot! Or the one who only speaks Spanish!”

Lloyd: “But he could be insulting you right to your face and you wouldn’t even know it!”

Zidane: “Anything’s better than this, Lloyd.”

Lloyd: “It’s Chet now!” *hamcuber parts fall from the chute and land on his hand* “Dammit!” *throws it to the ground* “Stupid hamcuber!”

(meanwhile, yuri and makoto are working quietly and efficiently)

Yuri: “…So…it must suck having to work and go to school.”

Makoto: “I don’t love it, but I kind of need the money.”

Yuri: “It can’t be fun doing both.”

Makoto: “It is hard.”

Yuri: *grins* “You know what else is hard? My–“

Koudelka: *from behind him* “Don’t do it, Yuri.”

Yuri: *coughs violently* “Ugh, um, had something in my throat. So, you, uh, single?”

Makoto: “My heart is taken, if that’s what you mean.”

Yuri: “Not really.”

Makoto: *dreamy sigh* “I know someday Toya and I will be together.”

Yuri: “Yeah, but won’t it be fun to practice until then?”

Makoto: *stares* “Are you coming onto me?”

Yuri: “Are you a girl?”

Makoto: “No.”

Yuri: *mutters* “Dammit Koudelka.”

(meanwhile, over to reno and rude…reno pulls his hand away from the chute.)

Reno: “Oh no! This machine just ate half of two of my fingers!”

Rude: “Don’t start this, Reno.”

Reno: “I’m serious, man! Look!” *holds up hand*

Rude: “…You’ve just bent back two of your fingers.”

Reno: “No! The machine mauled me!”

Rude: “Then where’s the blood?”

Reno: “It was really hot in there, so I guess my wounds were ca…cadavered… er…canonized… er…catheterized… uh…what’s the word?”

Rude: “Codorized?”

Reno: “Yeah. That.”

Rude: “Nice try.”

Reno: “Dammit.” *starts working again* “Why couldn’t I have an idiot as a partner?”

(finally, over to sephiroth and dante. they are working in silence, and sephiroth looks pretty grumpy.

Dante: “Let’s play a game.”

Sephiroth: “Like what? Guess how many diseases you have? Because I don’t think numbers go that high.”

Dante: “Haha – No. Look, we’re stuck here. Might as well make the best of it.”

Sephiroth: “So what kind of stupid game are you suggesting?”

Dante: “I like to call it: what are they thinking? I pick someone, and then you make up what you think they’re saying or thinking. Then we switch.”

Sephiroth: “That’s a fancy way to say ‘let’s make fun of people’.”

Dante: “You in?”

Sephiroth: “Fine, but I go first.” *looks around* “Atsuma.”

Dante: “……………………”

Sephiroth: “Well! We playing or not?”

Dante: “That’s my answer. He’s not talking right now, and I don’t think there could possibly be *anything* ever going on in that brain.”

Sephiroth: “If it even exists.”

Dante: “Exactly.”

Sephiroth: *tiny smile* “Fine. Your turn.”

Dante: “Oh goody. Uh…how ’bout Zell?”

Sephiroth: *looks to where zell is talking* “‘I’m disliked by pretty much everyone, but my mom says I’m cool’.”

Dante: *chuckles* “That was mean.”

Sephiroth: “This is your game. My turn! Chris.”

Dante: “‘I’m saving money to fight Umbrella. Did I ever tell you? I’m going to fight Umbrella. In Europe. Umbrella, Umbrella, fucking Umbrella’. Okay, Lloyd.”

Sephiroth: “‘Dammit, stupid box! Stupid hamcuber! Stupid foot! Stupid brain! Stop calling me Lloyd! My name is Nelo Angelo! I mean Chet! I mean Leslie! Or whatever stupid name I made up this week’! Okay, do Reeve.”

Dante: “‘Did you know these machines are made of 100% iodized metallic titaniumite? That’s a very rare substance only found in the snooze bore mountain range’. Alright, Heidegger.”

Sephiroth: “‘Gya haa haa! I wonder what people taste like’! Maxi.”

Dante: “‘My last boyfriend was a good for nothing cheating loser. Well, he was good for *one* thing’. Snake.”

Sephiroth: “‘Otakon! I think this factory is producing terrorist weapons! Invent something to shrink me so I can investigate what’s inside this chute!’ Otacon.”

Dante: “‘Shut the hell up, Snake. If I could invent something to shrink you, I would. That way, I could step on you’. Rufus.”

Sephiroth: “‘This is sure better than paying those other workers five extra cents an hour’. Reno.”

Dante: “‘I wish booze would come out of this chute’. Nightmare.”

Sephiroth: “‘Nightmare is missing important Nutcracker audition for this’! Nemesis.”

Dante: “‘Stars, stars, stars, stars, stars, stars, stars’.”

(by this point they’re both laughing hysterically. other people are turning to look at them in confusion. rufus blows a whistle.)

Rufus: “No laughing! Nothing about putting a hamcuber together is funny!”

Reeve: “Um–“

Rufus: *blows whistles* “No commenting! Back to work!”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(meanwhile, after work, nightmare and nemesis arrive home. nightmare looks very tired.)

Nightmare: “Nightmare can’t wait to lie back and enjoy cocoa!”

Nemesis: *points to clock* “STARS!”

Nightmare: *gasp* “Yes! It is almost time for ‘Dancing With the Stars’!”

(meanwhile, to the ffxii guys…)

Vaan: “I swear he ate at least 15 of them, not to mention most of the instructions, a box or two, and, at the end of the day, his tie was suddenly missing!”

Basch: “Nonsense! No man could eat like that.”

Vaan: “Then where did all that stuff go?”

Balthier: “I got along fine with my partner.”

Vaan: “Well la-dee-da for you.”

(meanwhile…)

Gippal: “I can’t believe Chris volunteered to work overtime.”

Maxi: “Especially in the dark! Rufus said he couldn’t spare the money to run the lights all night!”

Edward: “How’s he gonna see what he’s doing?”

Gippal: “I wouldn’t wanna buy one of those hamcubers.”

Maxi: “Would you *ever* buy a hamcuber?”

Gippal: “No.”

Edward: “What the hell does it *do* anyway?”

(meanwhile, over at the ramble room, zidane is sitting on the porch with bryatt and zell. otacon is outside his place, dragging the garbage can to the curb.)

Zidane: “I’ve been watching that guy, and I’ve never seen *anyone* come and go from that place except him.”

Bryatt: “Somebody needs to get out more.”

Zidane: “You talking about me or the mystery roommate?”

Bryatt: *shakes head*

Zidane: “Don’t make fun of me! It’s weird! He’s weird!”

Zell: “Maybe his roommate is a super hero or something. Named Invisioman! And his power is–“

Bryatt: “Turning invisible?”

Zell: “Yeah! You and I think alike!”

Bryatt: “Now *there’s* a scary thought.”

(otacon heads back towards his place, when you know who pops out of the bushes right in front of him. otacon grabs his chest and stumbles backwards.)

Snake: “Otakon! We should discuss our findings after working undercover at the terrorist factory.”

Otacon: “Snake! You scared the crap outta me! Get a life!”

Snake: “You’re  right… There are others watching.” *glares at ramble room group* “We’ll regroup later.”

(he ducks back into the bush. the 3 guys exchange looks.)

Bryatt: “…Maybe we should go back inside.”

Zidane and Zell: “…Yeah.”

(meanwhile, toya and makoto are in one of the rooms at their place. toya is studying very hard. makoto is dreamily staring at toya.)

Makoto: “Maybe you and I could take a trip when the semester’s over. Just the two of us.”

Toya: “I don’t think so.”

Makoto: “We could go somewhere nice and secluded.”

Toya: “That’s not going to happen.”

Makoto: “The perfect romantic getaway.”

Toya: “I’m not interested.”

(makoto nudges toya’s book so it falls on the floor.)

Makoto: “Oops. Clumsy me.”

(toya sighs and goes to pick up his book. makoto then casually knocks his own book to the floor.)

Makoto: “Whoops.”

(so makoto gets down on the floor, cornering toya under the desk and against the wall.)

Toya: “Makoto, we’ve talked about– uh, hey! Atsuma!”

(atsuma, who was strolling by the room, stops in the doorway. he’s eating a popsicle.)

Atsuma: “Toya?” *looks around* “Did you die and turn into a ghost?”

Toya: “Down here.”

(he crawls out from under the desk along with an unhappy looking makoto.)

Atsuma: “Oh!” *pause* “You guys playing camping or something?”

Makoto: “I wanted to play a game, but *Toya* didn’t want to.”

Atsuma: “I’ll play with you! I love pretend camping! Let me just go get my sleeping bag!”

Makoto: “I don’t want to play anything with *you*.”

Toya: “Shouldn’t you be studying, Atsuma? You have a big test tomorrow.”

Atsuma: “I’m not worried! Everything I need to know for the test is right in here.” *points to his heart*

(makoto and toya look at each other.)

Toya: “I think I better quiz you, Atsuma.”

Atsuma: *whines* “Oh come on! I know my math real good! Honest!”

Toya: “…It’s a science test.”

Atsuma: “…Oh.”

(meanwhile, over to koudelka and yuri.)

Yuri: “I bet if I close my eyes, I won’t even know the difference.”

Koudelka: “You say one more word about it in front of my kid, and you can spend your night at the center, trying to wrestle the remote from Radius.”

Halley: “What’s a hermaphradite?”

Koudelka: *glares at yuri*

Yuri: *sweat drops*

(and finally, over at dante’s….dante is eating some pizza while lloyd impatiently heats up some food in the microwave. alucard sits at the table with dante.)

Lloyd: “Come on, come on, come on, come on!”

Dante: “You break that microwave and I’ll break your face.”

Lloyd: “Just because it’s being slow doesn’t mean I’m gonna break it!”

Dante: “You said the same thing about the hair dryer.”

Lloyd: “Okay, that thing was being spiteful!”

(the phone rings. alucard answers it.)

Alucard: “Hello?” *sigh* “Hi, Sephiroth. What do you want? …What? …No, I heard you. I just…” *he holds out the phone to dante looking confused* It’s Sephiroth. He wants to talk to you.”

(dante grins, gets up and grabs the phone, walking into the other room with it.)

Dante: “Hey! ‘Roth man! What’s up?”

(once he’s gone, alucard and lloyd look at each other. alucard still looks totally confused.)

Alucard: “What exactly happened at that factory?”

Lloyd: “I got bit by like 4 hamcubers! And nobody cared!”

(alucard opens his mouth to speak, but instead he just closes it again, shakes his head and leaves the room.)

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(the next day, everyone is working at the factory again. sephiroth and dante are chatting away.)

Sephiroth: “So while it might not be the best shampoo on the market, I think it makes my hair look pretty damn good. Besides, it comes in a big bottle, and I don’t exactly keep my hair short.”

Dante: “I’ll say. It must take you at least an hour to wash it.”

Sephiroth: “I can get it done in fifteen minutes.”

Dante: “Really?”

Sephiroth: “It’s been a life long process.”

(then rufus enters, accompanied by jace and many golems that look like gutsio.)

Rufus: “Everybody’s fired!”

Almost everyone: “Hooray!”

Chris: “Noooooo!”

Lloyd: “What?! Come on! I didn’t break so many of those stupid whatevers! Besides, Zidane made me!”

Rufus: “Shut up, Lloyd. You’re all being replaced by golems.”

Reeve: “So instead of giving your striking workers what they want, you’re using robots instead.”

Rufus: “It’ll be the factory of the future!”

Chris: “When will we get our paychecks?”

Rufus: *waves hand vaguely* “See my secretary about that.”

Rude: “But you fired her.”

Rufus: “Get to work, golems!”

(so the golems march in like an army. rufus leaves and everyone else scrambles out of the way.)

Maxi: “They remind me of that old bartender we had at the club for awhile…uh…what’s his face. Bomberman. Remember him?”

Gippal: “Remember him? He fell out of my locker dead!”

Jester: “Dammit, this sucks. If I had a job, I could drop out of ‘Entrap’ University.”

Atsuma: “I was gonna buy so much stuff!”

Toya: “I was looking forward to the money as well.” *puts on glasses* “Maybe if we talk to Mr. Shinra, he’ll give us jobs somewhere else.”

Makoto: “You’re a genius, Toya!”

Toya: “I know.”

Dante: “So I guess that’s it.”

Sephiroth: “Yeah.”

Dante: “I’ll call you sometime.”

Sephiroth: “Yeah…uh…how about I call you.”

Dante: “You wanna come over and hang out later?”

Sephiroth: “I can’t. I’ve got…an early meeting in the morning.”

Dante: “What?”

Sephiroth: “See ya.” *leaves*

Dante: *shrugs* “His loss.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later, at shinra hq, jace, jester, toya, makoto and atsuma show up to see rufus. he’s on the phone.)

Rufus: “I’m telling you, Algus, these golems make the best workers. …No, I wouldn’t get one as your slave. …How are they going to taste your morning oatmeal? Look, I gotta go. I’ll call you back.” *hangs up* “Yes? If you’re looking for your paychecks, they’re being mailed.”

Toya: “Actually, Mr. Shinra, we were wondering if you had any other positions open we could apply for.”

Rufus: “You all want to work for me?”

Toya: “Yes.”

Rufus: “Really? Er…of course you do! Everybody does! The question is, are you qualified enough for Shinra Inc.?”

Toya: “We have our resumes.”

(he hands them over. rufus starts reading them.)

Rufus: “Jace, it says here that you have management experience.”

Jace: “Yes, sir. I was an assistant to the assistant manager at my Uncle’s pickle store.”

Rufus: “I need someone to manage the golems at the factory so they don’t rise up and rebel like that movie with the robot amusement park. You’re hired.”

Jace: “Yes!”

Rufus: *looking at the next resume* “You seem very organized, Makoto.”

Makoto: “I have my make-up collection organized by type, brand, price and color.”

Rufus: “I am in desperate need of a new secretary. Can you work a paper shredder?”

Makoto: “Yes.”

Rufus: “You’re hired!”

Makoto: *smile* “Thank you.”

Rufus: *looking at the next resume* “Whose only work experience has been at ‘Hooters’?”

Jester: “That would be me. I was a bartender. For a week.”

Rufus: “I don’t know if I can use you… We don’t have a bar here, despite how Reno was using the 4th floor utility closet.”

Jester: “Please, sir! I’ll do anything! I don’t wanna go to University anymore! I’m just gonna flunk out anyway!”

Rufus: *sigh* “Fine. Maybe you can assist the Turks or something.”

Jester: “Awesome!”

Rufus: *looking over the next one* “This is a very impressive resume, Toya. High school valedictorian, honor club president, have had several positions assisting your professors… I think you’d be a good fit with Reeve. He needs an assistant. His office looks like a bomb hit it.”

Toya: “I won’t be a disappointment, sir!”

Rufus: *starts reading atsuma’s resume with a grimace* “Is this written in crayon?”

Atsuma: “The box had one of those sharpeners in the back!”

Rufus: “And did you spill something on this?”

Atsuma: “Eating four slices of pizza at once is really hard.”

Rufus: “Uh huh.” *pause* “It says you’re currently working as a stripper?”

Atsuma: “Yup!”

Rufus: “I…wouldn’t aim much higher. The rest of you can start tomorrow. Oh, and don’t expect health insurance or a 401k.”

Students: “Hooray!”

Makoto: “What are you cheering about, Atsuma? You didn’t get hired.”

Atsuma: “Why would I wanna get hired? My feet already touch the ground pretty good. If I were higher…I wouldn’t be able to.”

Everyone: “……………….”

Rufus: “…Get him out of my office.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later, reeve, tseng, reno and rude are sitting before rufus in his office.)

Rufus: “So, I am getting a secretary, Reeve you’ll be getting an assistant, and Tseng, your group will have an assistant, too.”

Tseng: “An assistant? What am I supposed to have him do? We barely have any work as it is!”

Reno: “He can assist me in picking up chicks.”

Rude: “Do you have the budget to hire new people?”

Rufus: “I own the company. I can do whatever I want.”

Rude: “When I wanted a raise, you said you didn’t have the budget.”

Rufus: “…This meeting is adjourned.”

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

(later, sephiroth and vincent are taking a stroll by the condos.)

Vincent: “Dante called for you earlier.”

Sephiroth: “Ew! What did he want? Me to pay for sex with him, since he’s almost a hooker?”

Vincent: *blink blink* “I am confused.”

Sephiroth: “What’s confusing? The fact that people seem to like him despite the fact that he sucks?”

Vincent: “The other night you couldn’t stop talking about what a fun time you had working with him.”

Sephiroth: “………………………….Wow, Vincent. You *must* be confused. Maybe you should see a doctor.”

(alucard and dante come out of the townhouse.)

Dante: “Hey, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “Advertise yourself elsewhere, skank!”

(he and vincent go away while dante laughs. alucard looks confused.)

Alucard: “What happened there? The other night you talked on the phone like old friends for 3 hours!”

Dante: “While we were ‘forced’ to work together, I guess Sephiroth figured he could get away with being friendly with me. But once that was over, he realized he could never admit to the world that he actually *likes* me.”

Alucard: “…I don’t know if I should laugh or be sad.”

Dante: “It’s okay, Al. It was fun while it lasted, but honestly… I wouldn’t have us any other way.”

THE END

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