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.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Chapter 126

The Tragic Death of Corporate Man
a hero for capitalism;
champion of the working class

by Tom Landaluce

Section 5:
Betty Bots, Sharky, and the Big Squeeze.

The stairwell glowed blue like the numbers on a digital cash register display.  There were no guard rails and the steps were backless platforms which added to the company’s unease.  The most disconcerting aspect of the endless stair was its positioning in large shaft.  It did not hug the outer wall of the chamber or curl tightly against itself.  Instead, the steps hovered at least two feet away from the exterior walls and left a five foot void running down the center.
The trip was slow going.  Fair Wage was winded after the first couple of flights and frequent rests were necessary.  The journey seemed to last for hours; days if someone had bothered to ask Fair Wage.  It was even suggested that the staircase ran all the way to the top of the building.
“The stairs are moving,” Business Woman said.
Everyone froze.
She was standing a few flights below with her arm held over the drop, touching the exterior wall.
“Well, it’s stopped now, but when you were all climbing it felt like the wall was moving up.  This suggests that the stairs are probably going down.”
“You’re joking,” said Supply.
“Afraid not.”
“Oh god.  How many more flights do we have to go?” Fair Wage gasped.
“I don’t know,” Business Woman said, “but I suggest that the majority of us stand still while Fair Wage and Senior Executive continue the climb.”
“Wait, what?” said Fair Wage.
“Yeah, what’s that going to accomplish?” asked Senior Executive.
“Maybe nothing but, in the business world, procedures are often put in place in order to screw the majority.  So when most or all of us move, we all get screwed.  If only a couple of people move…”
After a long pause Corporate Man said, “That actually makes sense in a ridiculous sort of way.”
He nodded and both Senior Executive and Fair Wage continued the climb.
“Why Fair Wage?” asked Demand.  “Shouldn’t we give him a break?”
“Well, in all likelihood, the stairs will move against us as soon as the majority resumes the climb.  This way Fair Wage won’t have to mount so many steps.”
A few minutes later Senior Executive called down, “Hey, we found it.  There’s a landing up here with a door.  It’s only about ten or eleven flights above you.”
The party made their way up to the door.  The stairs remained stationary so long as Fair Wage and Senior Executive stood on the landing. 
When they were all gathered in front of the door Corporate Man said, “I don’t know what we can expect on the other side, but if these stairs are any indication the environment will not be friendly.  Be prepared and stick together.”
He reached for the handle and opened the door.