An analysis in light of the events of Before Crisis (warning contains BC spoilers).
The purpose of this post is to explain the destruction of Sector 7 from ShinRa’s perspective. It is not meant to condone what happened or excuse the actions of those involved (President Shinra and all acting board members, including Reeve though he did not support it and excluding Rufus because he had no matter and nothing to do with it). Dropping the plate was inexcusable and unforgivable, but there were reasons behind it and it my purpose to explore those reasons.
I never thought of it as an internal political move—testing the Turks’ loyalty, as a move against Rufus—but that is a new world of chilling possibility.
My little two cents to what’s already been so eloquently covered; unless I’m reading the timeline wrong, the Plate Drop occurs only about two months after the final battle with Zirconiade. That is…not a long time. I tend to agree with fuckyeahshinra that fear was a huge motivator in the giving of that order, and I think the fear would have started to be enough to make the Turks somewhat compliant as well. Just two months ago, they thought they’d finally dealt with AVALANCHE, and it had cost them dearly but it was over. My headcanon also leans towards the idea that some of the B.C Turks must have been killed during the confrontation, and it’s possible that the remaining three aren’t yet actually aware that any of their comrades were just in hiding.
Also a really good point that the Turks, by the OG timeline, just do not have the manpower to get a good handle on how big Barrett’s Avalanche redux actually is. They definitely do not have the manpower to stop them from blowing up two reactors. That’s 2/9 of the city’s power (counting the Sector 0 reactor supposedly under the building, right?) and a lot of lives. It may well look like Avalanche’s goal is, again, to destroy the entire city. Which doesn’t make destroying a whole sector that great of an idea, but yeah, the fear behind it is palpable. Avalanche, there’s a reason people are calling you terrorists.
One thing I’ve always wondered, and I’m not sure if any Compilation canon made this clear, is whether or not the public ever became aware that it was Shinra, and not Avalanche, who was behind the Sector 7 drop.
In Case of Denzel it says that the Shinra employees and people living topside were evacuated from upper Sector 7 (and Denzel’s parents couldn’t find him, which was why they were still looking for him when it happened, and they refused to leave and died). If it mentions whether the evacuees were warned on the pretense that there would be another terrorist attack, or whether they were told the truth—I can’t recall… Anyone?
(Oh, man. The doom of Midgar and the ultimate futility of everyone trying to save or destroy it wrecks me forever.)