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.

After nearly a decade of imprisonment, Corporate Man returns to find the economy in ruins and his deadliest enemies in control of all but a fraction of society's wealth. He embarks upon a quest to set right the wrongs of the business world; a task that will ultimately destroy him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Chapter 88

Mr. Jones stood unmoving.  This time, though, he had not slipped into another trance.  Instead, he was both surveying the state and inventory of his secret hideout and basking in a warm nostalgia of fond experiences.
In the small room was a desk console featuring an old computer screen sunken into a slanted panel with dozens of glowing, blinking, or otherwise brightly colored buttons arranged on a vertical strip alongside the monitor.  A round speaker was embedded below, its black metal cover popping upward like a bowl sized tea strainer.
Mr. Jones reached forward, turned a small whirring crank for a few moments to charge the computer battery, and slid open a panel at the bottom of the slanted console revealing an odd keyboard with chunky, tan-colored keys.  He touched the escape button and a loud ratcheting sound purred beneath the contraption.  After a minute or two a blinking green square appeared in the upper left corner of the black screen.
After a brief pause Mr. Jones typed: CLOCK IN
A scroll of green characters, a mix of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, rolled up the screen.  Then a series of prompts appeared, each displaying a code and a percentage that began with one percent and climbed steadily to one hundred.
Tanya shook her head and muttered, “God, Jonesy, how about an upgrade?”
“Hey, this stuff was state of the art,” he said.
“Yeah, in nineteen-eighty whatever.  That outdated PDA thing you bought is lightyears ahead of this technology.”  She slumped against the wall and then sat on the floor.
Twenty minutes later the computer program was up and running.  Mr. Jones typed c: and pressed enter.  The flashing prompt moved down a couple of lines and resumed blinking at the end of a list of characters.
Mr. Jones keyed in opening procedures at the prompt and the screen displayed a few lines of code and another prompt.
He typed d:security and the prompt changed again.
Then he typed unlock doors.  This sort of computer work went on for a long while with Mr. Jones eventually powering up the generator, turning on the lights, opening the water pipes, testing the plumbing that fed the sink, toilet, and showers, and conducting power to various electrical appliances housed within the secret base.
Tanya was more than forthright with her opinions about his antiquated system during this time.
Mr. Jones ignored the snide remarks, focusing on his keystrokes.  Eventually he opened a small door at the back of the security/entrance room.  It led into a narrow hallway with one door at the far end, another centered on the left, and two more on the right.
“The toilets should be working,” Mr. Jones said as he walked toward the door at the end of the hallway.  Eager to relieve her strained bladder, Tanya jumped up, raced into the hallway, and went to the door on the left.