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Biological Warfare

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"Nesa, how long can you keep leftovers for?"

Nesa Conway looked up from the document she was examining for typographical errors to see the too-familiar figure of Zack Fair, SOLDIER Second Class and domestic disaster area, standing before her desk holding a container of some kind.

"It depends what the leftover is," she said. "What was it, and how long have you had it in that biological lab of a fridge of yours?"

"Ummm... I think it was mac and cheese," Zack said, looking at the container. "If it's mac and cheese, it's about a week old."

"If you can't recognise it, it's not safe to eat, Zack," Nesa said. "Now, are you going to clean out your fridge, or do I have to come in there with the most cloying vanilla fridge spray I can find and do it for you?"

"Not the stuff you used in the third-class rec room?" Zack pleaded. "I can still smell that, and it's been a month since you cleaned it."

Nesa smiled to reinforce the threat. "Clean your fridge, Zack, and don't forget the rest of your kitchen as well. The facilities inspection is next week, and if I can't see the floor, I'm going to be condemning the room." She returned to her perusal of the document.

"You're a cruel woman, Nes."

"It's in my job description," she said, quite unruffled. "Right under the parts about accomplishing the impossible by close of business each day and performing the miracles required to keep the Shinra military running rather than grinding to a halt due to paperwork."

"I don't see why we have to have these facilities inspections, anyway," Zack grumbled. "The Turks don't have 'em."

"The Turks don't live on site, Zack. They have apartments out in Midgar proper and they're part of an on-call roster. Members of the military are expected to remain within barracks while off duty, except for approved leave, and members of SOLDIER are provided with appropriate living quarters for their rank. As part of your conditions of service, Shinra has to make periodic checks of the facilities provided to ensure they're up to spec - which means, Zack, we have to be able to see and access said facilities."

"Why can't we have the cleaning staff in, like the offices and stuff?"

Nesa sighed, and put the document down. "Leaving the size of the bonus we'd have to pay any cleaner in order to get them to even enter your rooms to one side, let me ask you a question: do you like the smell of commercial cleaning products?"

"What?"

"I'm serious. Think about the public toilets in Midgar city. Think about that smell as part of your daily living environment. Do you want that?"

Zack's nose wrinkled in disgust. "Ewww. Can't we get them to use something different?"

Nesa shook her head. "Not at a low enough cost. Let's put it this way: you know how the entire SOLDIER corps heads out for manoeuvres with the general military once a year? For two weeks at a stretch?"

"Yeah, happened a couple months back."

"Well, it's done so we can get the carpets cleaned here at the tower without every SOLDIER in the building bitching about chemical sensitivities. It's easier and cheaper to send all of you guys the hells out of the building, have two weeks for the place to air out and the last of it to clear out of the air conditioning, than it is to try and find a carpet cleaning firm who'll use something which won't kick off SOLDIER sensitivities for what Facilities considers a reasonable price."

"It's that bad?"

Nesa nodded, picked up the document once more, and returned to her proofreading. "Now, go clean out that fridge of yours, before I have it removed and transported to the sciences section for Professor Hojo to study, along with your good self."

Zack pulled a face. "Hey, Seph, your secretary just raised the bar on evil again," he yelled, as he made his way out of the office.

The door to the General's office opened, and General Sephiroth stood in the doorway, attempting not to smile. "I knew there was a reason I'd employed you, Miss Conway."