Corporate Man is called in to investigate reports of vile, unethical business practices at Great American Business Company. What he finds there just might destroy him (except we all know the ending to The Tragic Death of Corporate Man so it should be fairly obvious that it can't really destroy him, though it can come close).
Enslaved by the Bonus Whores is an all new Corporate Man Adventure Serial. Chapters will post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Mr. Jones started from his sleep. He massaged a knot in his neck that had formed while sleeping upright against the seatbelt in the moving vehicle.
“We’re about three miles away,” said Tanya from the driver’s seat.
Mr. Jones nodded and tried to shake off the grogginess and the unpleasant after images of the dream; of the memory. He pulled his PDA from his pocket, accessed the internet, and checked his newly purchased stocks.
“There’s been a two percent growth in my portfolio already,” he said. Then he clicked a few buttons, bought some more stocks, and put the PDA away.
Tanya pulled the car off the highway and into a scenic turn out. They were fifteen miles north of the city. The countryside was rugged and mountainous. A river cut between the jagged faces and the road mimicked its path, occasionally crossing from one side to the other via bridge.
“I never understood why you kept your hideout way up here,” Tanya said as they got out of the car. The steady sound of rushing water echoed between the gorge walls.
“Simple. Why would anyone look for ‘corporate man’ out in the countryside? They’d expect a downtown office or something.”
“Would’ve been more convenient,” said Tanya.
“Yeah. I was a little arrogant and over confident about my abilities back then. I didn’t think my necktie-cape would falter and assumed I could always fly right into town whenever I needed.”
“Sucked against The Crash as I recall.”
“Which you eagerly pointed out to me back then,” Mr. Jones said. Then his eyes squinted. “It’s funny you mention him. I was just dreaming about 1987.”
“Oh god,” Tanya said.
“Yeah I know. That was a bad one. When he tore off–”
“No. My outfit. Those shoulder pads.”
Mr. Jones smiled and shook his head. “Did you ever wear anything that wasn’t embarrassing a decade later?”
“I liked my first outfit, back in the forties. It had a classic, clean look to it. Or maybe I’m just being nostalgic for that era since it was all so new for me. With so many women entering the workforce because of the war, it was only natural that a counterpart to the great Corporate Man manifest herself. The early sixties also had some charm to it, fashion wise.”
They made their way down a narrow dirt path that dropped rapidly through the rocky terrain toward the river. It culminated at a cluster of jagged slabs about thirty feet above the water. From their they climbed over the sharp stones to some large boulders near the river’s edge. Beneath an outcropping, visible only when standing a few yards away, was the opening to an abandoned mine shaft. Six inches of water obscured the floor of the entrance. In the spring, during heavy run off, it might be completely submerged.
Tanya and Mr. Jones crept into the mine shaft, forced to duck low as it was only four feet in height at its tallest. Once inside, the shaft rose sharply and climbed into the darkness. Tanya pulled out her cell phone and used the illuminated display to light the way.
The corridor eventually leveled off and then bored directly into the mountainside. Wooden support beams jutted into the path at uneven intervals. After several hundred feet the corridor stopped at a wooden door with wrought iron hinges and plating. Absent, though, was anything resembling a door knob.
Mr. Jones felt along the wall until his fingers found a slight lip in the stone. He pushed forward and the rock depressed. He then slid the false panel to the side revealing a green, spherical button. The button flared with a brilliant glow as soon as the rock panel locked into an open position.
Mr. Jones pressed the button.
It blinked off and on and then a loud click sounded deep within the granite followed by a steaming hiss. The stout wooden door fell away and a series of lights sputtered to life inside the doorway revealing a small room within.
Tanya and Mr. Jones went inside.