Combat Diary Chapter 7
Heidegger hobbled through the metallic, half-completed hallway. Here and there, parts of the wall were missing. There were still some primary support beams in place, scattered about. Some of the lights flickered above him, annoyed at the constant lack of power. Apparently, the electricians underestimated the need for power in a 70-story building. That was part of the reason there were holes in the wall: the electricians had to add more wires and outlets. The other part of the reason was that the building wasn't even 100% done yet. The whole 70th floor looked more like a warzone as oppose to the office of President Shinra. In fact, it was being redesigned to be one whole, large room; A last-second decision on President Shinra's part.
Heidegger stopped suddenly at the sight...
No, it couldn't be... not her, not HERE!
The shoulder-length blonde hair... The only-half-buttoned red blouse... it was her, and she instantly turned to face him.
"Oy, Heidegger, whatchya looking at?" Scarlet asked the young lieutenant rhetorically. She was sitting at a receptionists terminal in front of the president's office.
"Don't tell me you got 'promoted' again?!" Heidegger spat, half-annoyed.
Scarlet gave a small chuckle, "Aw relax, ya brute. The president's secretary called in sick... one of those guys yesterday was her brother, she's gonna need some time off now that he's dead meat. So I get to fill in for her."
Heidegger raised an eyebrow. "Would it hurt to have just a little respect?"
"ooohh yes, it WOULD hurt..." Scarlet feigned, raising her head a bit and massaging her chest and legs, "...it would hurt SOOOO bad, ooohh, oohhh..."
Heidegger just stood there observing the scene for a second, turning red and feeling his hormones getting excited...
"Agh! Stop that!" Heidegger cried, shaking his head. "I... I gotta meeting with Mylard and the president." And with that, he started towards the door...
"Auuuhhh, waitasec!" Scarlet swiveled in her chair and got up, "You, uh, can't go in there."
"Why the hell not?! I was called in for a meeting at noon, it's noon, so I'm gonna..."
"Uhm, the president said not to let anyone in, and to hold his calls... I think the meeting's been rescheduled, too. I haven't seen Mylard around, either," Scarlet said frantically.
Heidegger gave this some thought, and came to the only logical conclusion.
"Lemme guess, you wanna make me late for the meeting so that I'll look bad, right? Well, it ain't gonna work, you overpaid whore!" Heidegger proclaimed as he strut right to and opened the door...
"EEEEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!!" came a cry from within!
Heidegger instantly jumped back, closed the door and turned around, his eyes wide from shock and face as red an apple from embarrassment.
Heidegger thumbed towards the door, "Who's that?" he asked.
Scarlet simply sat back down and shrugged. Heidegger eyed her angrily for a moment...
"YOU SET ME UP!" The large young man blurted accusingly. And with that, he flung himself at Scarlet, aiming to ring her neck!
Scarlet, in response, reached into her duffel bag, and pulled out some bizarre-looking instrument. She quickly aimed it at Heidegger and pulled the trigger...
Heidegger found his body assaulted by large growths of ice, his movements temporarily halted, and the pain of having his body temperature dropped by half in just a few moments.
Then, it was over. Heidegger was on the floor, bits of frost on his beard. He took a moment to re-collect himself as his body temperature returned to normal. Blood leaked out from his mouth, and most of his upper-body ached. He tilted his head at Scarlet...
"W-what th' h-hell was th-that?" he asked with nothing but curiosity, while still shaking off the cold.
"I call it a 'Mako Gun'. Basically it casts a random, 'second-level' spell. It's not perfect, though. Sometimes it doesn't work, sometimes it casts Cure..." Scarlet replied with pride.
"...You made that yourself?"
"Yea-up. And by the way, I didn't 'Set you up'."
Heidegger got up and put on a smile, "huh". He dusted himself off and stretched out his arm. "Maybe you DO have a future in weapon development after all..."
Scarlet was going to reply when the door opened. The two turned around to see a young woman, no older than 22, putting the finishing touches on putting her blouse back on. She wore a hallow smile on her face, which was partly obscured by her strawberry-blonde hair. The president came up behind her and patted her on the rear...
"I'll call you sometime over the weekend," The president proclaimed, pointing at her and winking.
The woman just put more effort into her fake smile and walked off.
Heidegger dared to speak up... "uhm, sir, should I have someone escort her out of the building?"
"No, it'll be all right," The President said with a nod. He turned to Heidegger, who instantly lowered his head. "And YOU need to learn to knock," he half-joked.
There was an uncomfortable silence as the two men stood there. President Shinra spook up after a minute, "Where's your boss, Mylard?"
"No idea... sir," Heidegger said in an obedient tone. Shinra turned to Scarlet...
"Scarlet, -pretty name, by the way- patch me through to Mylard's office," he said, not so much to her, as his eyes were directed at her chest. Scarlet turned around, pretending not to notice or care. She dialed a few numbers on her speakerphone.
-KZZKT- "Hello?" came a nasally voice, definitely not Mylard's. There was some kind of... screaming(?) in the background.
"Uhm, yes, I'm looking for Mylard?"
-Kzzkt- "This is the science department, you cow!" Again, more shrieking could be heard. The sound of someone getting thrown against a wall was just barley audible.
"Hojo, what the hell's going on in there?" The President asked, recognizing the voice.
-kzz-zzkt- "Heh heh heh, let me put it this way: What has three legs, four tentacles, about 3 dozen teeth, six eyes, is about 10 feet tall and has an appetite for Wutians?"
The President gave an unseen shrug. "er, no.."
-kzzkzt- "Well, neither do I, but I'm TRYING TO FIND OUT! HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE... oh-oh, AAIIIIIEEE!!! Put me down, you freak of nature! I made you, and I can destroy you!... ...somehow... HELP!" -klkt-
The trio just looked at the speakerphone for a moment. It came back online a moment later.
-kzzkt- "... good lad, Sephiroth. Though quite frankly, I wish you had left it in one piece. Oh, President! Uhm... well, I'll be going now!" -klikt-
"Well... that was... amusing," the President stated, at a loss for words. Then he looked at Scarlet, "Oh, yes, Mylard. This time, patch in the CORRECT numb..."
President Shinra turned to see Mylard coming down the hall, in a half-jog. "S-sorry I'm late, sir!" The man had mustard on his chin, and was still chewing food as he spoke. He saw Scarlet, "Hey!" he said, with a wink. Scarlet tried not to roll her eyes.
"Now, gentlemen, if we may, we have some things to discuss..." The president motioned for them to go into his office. The two instantly obeyed and marched in, the President right behind them. He peeked out the door and looked at Scarlet. "If anyone calls, take a message. No visitors, either... and I mean it, this time. Catching me in a meaningless fling is one thing, but we can't have people eavesdropping while we're discussing military secrets. Understood?"
Scarlet turned to face him, her hands in her lap, and her arms slightly pushing out her cleavage. She gave him a sincere nod followed by "Yessir." The president took one more look at her blossoming form and went back into his office.
Scarlet returned to her computer, trying to remember what she was doing before Heidegger burst in. She let out a sigh as she looked at herself. Why did she whore out like this? And to all those older men, yet. She was almost 17; She should be in school, not climbing the cooperate ladder through sleeping around and showing off. And the most ironic part about it was that she doesn't know where this behavior came from.
Her father was a laborer for a mining company. He was respectable, though not the brightest bulb in the pack. Her mother, Jencia... well, that was a bit more complicated. She had two children: Scarlet, and her older half-brother, Eryk. (What, you were expecting Indigo?). Eryk was older, the product of too much booze and teenage hormones. However, Jencia and this other man had -and raised- the child... but didn't really love one another. Jencia later found Scarlet's father, and they fell in love and married. Eryk's father also found his own wife and started his own family, but still acknowledged the boy, which is better than how most of these types of situations turn out.
So Scarlet couldn't understand why she acted the way she did. She stopped going to school, ran away from home, and just went where life took her. Based on her youth and looks, she got propositions from many men, even the "pimps" who "owned" the slums. With the right connections, she could have been rich and retired by the time she was 21. But she never bit. She would have rather suffered than sold her self out. Especially given the kind of anti-social, bad-looking, overall-gross older men who tend to pay for those kinds of services.
But then one day, she applied for a janitorial position at Shinra, Inc. Within days, just based on her looks, she was bumped up to an assistant of some office head-manager she couldn't remember. She dealt with the occasional touch and flirting. No one wanted to go too far, they would get into too much legal trouble. Plus, people higher-up had designs for her. The higher she got, the more touching and not-so-subtle sexual references she had to deal with. The more she had to deal with, the more she got used to it, and even let it happen. One night, she did end up in bed with a low-level executive. Rumors spread, and she either had to put out or risk losing her job. A year before that, there would have been no question about it, she would have left. But here, she was comfortable... and as much as she hated to admit it, she knew she could use her body to manipulate others. In fact, she didn't even care that she was the company whore anymore now. Yes, she had manipulated the system by manipulated men's systems. And one woman's. Yes, it was all her...
..so why did she feel so empty and used?
Scarlet snapped out of it. No use dwelling on the past. Just get this report done. She tried to force herself to work. She sat and typed for a while, but not able to completely concentrate.
Scarlet's head shot up, surprised. She looked around... that sounded like a child, but she didn't see anyone...
"Behind you, silly-butt!"
Scarlet turned around. There stood young Rufus. He looked at her innocently with a slight smile. "Hey, you shoul' button up, you'll get cold!" The President's son advised, noticing the state of Scarlet's blouse.
Scarlet smiled. She wondered if he'll still be that considerate once he hits puberty. She did as the boy advised, and buttoned up her blouse so that only one button was undone. "Better?" she asked, cocking her head to the side and holding out her arms.
"Yeah! Hey, wanna play?" Rufus asked, hope gleaming bright in his big blue eyes.
Scarlet didn't want to disappoint the boy... "We-ell, I do have a lunch break owed to me right about now, wanna have a lunch date?" She offered playfully. Rufus put his hand to his mouth.
"I didn't bring any food."
"It's okay, you wanna to share my sandwich?"
"hmm... what kind?"
"Uh..." Scarlet reached into her duffel bag once more. She had a tuna salad sandwich, but she didn't tell him that. Rufus hated tuna salad. She picked up the peanut butter and jelly sandwich she packed, just for him. Rufus usually came and visited her when on break from his private tutoring, and Scarlet came prepared.
" PBJ! Here ya go!" Scarlet said with probably too much enthusiasm. Rufus didn't take notice. He simply hopped on Scarlet's lap, his back to her, and began eating. Scarlet scratched his orange hair-covered head playfully. He cocked his neck up and looked at her.
"You're pretty!" He blurted. Scarlet didn't miss a beat with her own reply.
"Well, so-are-you!" She stated matter-of-factly
"Nuh-uh! 'Pretty' is a girl-word! Call me 'handsome' or somethin'." Rufus retorted. He lowered his head to keep eating.
Scarlet had about a dozen replies ready, but she didn't use them. She just sat back and pulled the young boy to her, holding him in her arms and letting his head rest on her chest. Scarlet let out a deep sigh. It was not often that she could enjoy another persons company without them either wanting her or despising her out of some demented kind of jealousy. Rufus was one person on a very short list of people who treated her with any kind of genuine affection. She didn't know how much longer that would last. Probably at least another five years... Maybe six or seven, depending on when the young boy started becoming a young man and started noticing women. And while Scarlet didn't want to over-do the "manipulation" bit, she had to admit, having the son of the most powerful man in the world -who though heir ship would probably become that himself- in the palm of her hand would most likely benefit her in the long run.
The two just sat there for a while, both in their own little worlds. Their separate thoughts clouded their minds from the outside world. The motion of Scarlet's breathing and the rhythm of her heartbeat relaxed the prodigal son and soon put the boy to sleep. Seeing him in that state made Scarlet herself tired, and she just couldn't help closing her eyes...
Author's note: I was reading this, and, I dunno. It seems to come off kinda perverse. And near the beginning, that was kind of the point, as you had guys scooping Scarlet out and such. I do feel kinda bad describing a 16-year-old like this, but I've known girls who've acted this way -if not worse-, and if you think Scarlet is bad, then you need to go to a rave sometime. THOSE girls -some of 'em- are bad! Anyway, near the end there, I tried to give Scarlet a sweet side, and I didn't intend any kind of sexual connotation. I mean, c'mon, the boy's 6, for crying out loud! No one's that big a perv! (Except maybe certain members of the human population who should be hung by their genitals with barbed wire...)
In any case, there was no real reason for this chapter, short of some character-building. It's just sometimes you get ideas that don't fit anywhere else, and sometimes a break from the action makes for good story-telling. In fact, I've noticed that whenever Scarlet is in any fanfic, she's never shown in a positive light at all. And while the "whoring out" is far from original, I tried to shine a bit of light on her situation, that she just lacks common sense more than anything. Obviously, she's smart enough to know how to make weapons and use people, but sometimes people who are smart just don't have alot of common sense. Also, I don't think she was always the super-bitch she's portrayed as in the game, so I tried to reflect that, as well.
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic