Rufus Shinra. His father. And the everlooming concept of fear and power. Three events. Three connected pseudo-drabbles.
"Son of man, You cannot say, or guess, for you know only A heap of broken images..."
Even slammed against the wall, held up by the collar of his shirt, Rufus Shinra had never been one to be afraid.
Perhaps if he felt differently, some semblance of what others in his situation would feel facing with the corporate dictator for all of Gaia, he would have grovelled. Feigned attention in meetings where yes-men nodded and scrambled for funding. Perhaps he would not have sat back as was per usual, relishing the problems the company was facing, hoping for more details concerning approval ratings and flaws in security. The terrorists. They were back. Or had they really even left? Whatever the case, the prattling had grown boring, the measures to take care of said terrorists were poorly thought out.
And his father had noticed, trampled forward bull-like with nostrils flaring, something hot and abrasive welling upon his features. He wore anger the same way Rufus wore detached composure. A tailored coat made of only the finest materials.
"You think you know better how to deal with this problem, boy?" His voice, grated like steel wool and the veins in his neck bulged viciously.
"Think is such an... ambiguous word dear father..."
Perhaps something dangerous flashed in eyes that so closely resembled his "woefully deceased" mother. A flicker of threat unwavering, leaving him pressed against the wall. "You know nothing."
And soon thereafter, Rufus was being led off on the tarmac, a sudden business trip to Junon his new responsibility. But everyone could see it was a farce. Close enough to be under control, but far enough to be out of father's hair. The leash set. Still, Rufus did not give up, nor did he worry. Because with every reactor bombed, Shinra's grip was slipping. Father's smug grin would disappear.
And he would fear.
"With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine..."
The moment came sooner than expected.
But it was such an empty win.
The man lay sprawled, insect like, pinned upon his prized mahogany desk, mouth slack and eyes glazed over with death. There was surprisingly little blood for someone with a katana protruding from his round form, but Rufus supposed there was scientific reasoning behind such a fact, and either way his father was dead.
It was such a pity to have to throw out an exquisite piece of furniture like that...
"So it seems I am the president now, dearest father of mine..." He paced, hands folded at his back, duster billowing. After being confronted by Cloud Strife, he had returned. Returned to "tie up loose ends." Sunlight poured through clear balcony doors in a manner that would seem almost ironic if Rufus had actually felt remorse. Some feeling of loss that could not be attributed to the fact that some maniac had killed his father and not him.
Such an empty win.
But dead was dead, wasn't it? And surely no matter the cause, the deed was done. Cell phone now in hand, he dialed, sneering at the body before patching through to some nameless employee. He wanted the body out of his sight, and everything in the office replaced. Burned, if possible, until smoke rose and dissipated. This was a new administration, after all.
"See. That was my first presidential order." He leaned against the desk, crazed look shining briefly, speaking to the corpse. A team would arrive shortly to do whatever it was they did in these situations. Rufus cared little. Staring at the ceiling he laughed. He still hadn't won. Not yet. But eventually.
"Soon you will be gone. Memories. A name in a textbook....
"You will fade into nothing."
"And I will show you something different. // I will show you fear in a handful of dust."
"What. Is this?"
There was the slightest hint of confusion, yet Rufus already had an inkling of what the plain golden urn, nauseating in presence was for. What it held. But that didn't answer why it had appeared at his desk. He had made it abundantly clear what should be done with the remains.
Apparantly someone, soon to be fired, thought they knew better.
Now he was stuck with it.
He went back to his paperwork, halfway wondering what his father had wanted... Out of curiosity's sake. But it seemed the older Shinra had thought himself invincible.
A fool in life was also a fool in death.
Minutes later, he couldn't take it. It was staring at him. Rufus could practically feel his father's presence, criticizing penmanship. There had to be an out and it took him a moment to think of one. The bathroom.
Cold metal pressing against clutching fingertips, he opened the urn... Stared in fascination at the ashes. Such a large man left... so little behind. Did the contents vary from person to person? Or -- That didn't matter now. What mattered was the disposal of memories that left a sour taste in the back of his mouth, even as he tipped the can and watched ashes swirl in a final act of defilement. They spun like tempestual clouds. Vanished. Gone. Forever.
But not entirely.
Physically gone, his father would still visit even years later. Mocking his son's failures. Lingering in his subconscious. The fact was, even in death it seemed Shinra had never truly feared his son. Never given him what he wanted. Bent over porcelain and metal, Rufus had shown him fear in a handful of dust...
And even that proved to be nothing.
Just a vague glimpse into his own struggling, internal wasteland.