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, December 31, 2012

Chapter 156

The small, runty man hovered at the crack between the cubicle wall, his fist clenched and shaking.
“Go in!” he thought and he thought it with exclamation.  Why were they hesitating?  Isn’t this what one of them had asked for?  So, here it was and what were they doing?  Standing around thinking about it?
Just go in!
Finally, Corporate Man pushed the door open and peered inside.  He announced that it did appear to be a gym facility.
Of course it’s a gym facility!  That’s what the sign above the door states, doesn’t it?
Reluctantly, the Union entered the room designated Fitness Center and the runty man chortled to himself.
We are now open for business.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Chapter 155

“When these doors open we need to be ready for anything,” Corporate Man said as the elevator rose toward the twenty sixth floor.  “After what we went through downstairs we should assume that everyone is hostile and expect extremely aggressive confrontations.  Hostiles might be right outside the door and swarm in on us like a bunch of brain-starved zombies.”
Though he made a conscious effort to fight the urge, Franklin Buck edged away from the doors to the back of the compartment.  The motion of the elevator slowed and then stopped.  Commander Credit cocked a lever on his square-barreled gun.  A tone sounded and a small circular light above the doors blinked on.  Everyone took defensive stances and held their breaths.
The doors whipped open and the Union leapt from the elevator, snapping into attentive corporate postures.
The reception area was empty.
No one moved.
Then shoulders slumped, karate-chop arms dropped to relaxing sides, and respiration resumed.  They looked around at each other.  Smiles eased on to tense faces.  Then everyone jumped back into defensive postures, prompted by no sound or visual disturbance of any kind.
As muscles eased once more, Business Woman said, “Can we just assume that attack is not immanent and begin our?  Let’s start by looking for a washroom since we’re all soaked from that sharky mess.”
 Supply went to the empty reception desk, thumbed through a few files, and then moved to the computer, jostling the mouse.
“What are you trying to find?” Senior Executive said.
“I don’t know.  I was hoping there’d be some kind of map or list of offices on this floor.  Maybe a cheat sheet the receptionist used to direct visitor to their proper destinations.  Or even one of those fire-drill maps detailing the correct exit paths.  So we wouldn’t have to make a random search.  Hey.  Look.”
The Union gathered around the computer.  Supply was pointing to the monitor’s wallpaper image.
“Yeah.  Just a crappy snapshot of some office workers,” said Franklin Buck.
“I know, but look at the sign by the door.  It’s a gym facility.  There might be towels and things,” Supply said.
“How can you be sure that this photo was taken on this floor?” Commander Credit asked.
“Well, look at the décor,” she said, gesturing to the cold, grayish-white walls, the taupish cubicles and the muted bluish floors.  Then she pointed at the image on the screen.
“That could be any office in America,” said Business Woman.
“No, it’s this one,” said Supply.  She looked at Corporate Man as though he might confirm her assertion.  He shrugged and pointed out that it didn’t matter, their needs were still the same.  Gym, bathroom, janitor’s closet, any of them would be better than nothing. 
They moved out, searching the corridors for any sign of a doorway but finding only cubicle walls or gaps in cubicle walls which led into cubicles or cubicle-lined corridors.
“Umm…  Maybe I’m being paranoid, but I’m beginning to think that something’s not right about all of this,” Franklin Buck said after they had wandered for nearly twenty minutes. 
“Figured that out did you?” said Business Woman.
“Well, yeah.  Every office has doors somewhere.  And I haven’t spotted a single one.  Or a window.  And where are all the employees?  I mean, someone’s gotta be work–”
He froze as they turned a corner into a long corridor.  It seemed to span the width of the building.  On the far side was a group of office workers.  They were rushing around the corner at that end of the hallway and were out of sight so quickly that not every member of the Union had a chance to see them.
“Hey!  Wait up!” Franklin Buck yelled.
Commander Credit slapped his hand over Franklin’s mouth.
“Quiet Dollar Man.  We don’t know if those are friendlies or not.  No need calling their attention when we can track them.  Understand?”
Franklin nodded and Commander Credit released him.
“Hundred Dollar,” said Franklin Buck.
“It’s the One Hundred Dollar Man, not Dollar Man.
“Yes.  Impressive,” said Commander Credit.  “But technically, shouldn’t that be the One Hundred Dollars Man?”
After a few moments of glare-off, the Union rushed down the long hall, whisper quiet, and braced themselves as they turned the corner.
There was nothing there.
Not only was the corridor absent of people, but it was absent of corridor.  Instead, there was a small alcove and a door with a sign that read: Fitness Center.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Chapter 154

Many rumors circulate through the offices of the Jacob Center Tower.  Most are quite fanciful and far fetched, and inevitably fall short of the actual reality of what goes on inside that place.
It’s been said that there is a human shredder somewhere and that incriminating individuals who know too much soon discover its whereabouts.  And quite unwillingly. 
The pyramid shape capping the building is often the subject of rampant speculation as are the strange noises that emanate from the area that would be the thirty ninth floor.  Many say that they can hear strange bells ringing. 
Not much is said about the space comprising the twenty sixth floor.  Those working on floors twenty five and twenty seven often comment about the amount of scuffling that goes on in this adjacent space.  Many assume that there are rats. 
Whatever it is, it never stops moving.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chapter 153

“Move and I’ll jack your interest rate up so high you won’t be able to afford your minimum payment,” the trench coated man with the square-barreled gun said.  A puzzled look flashed across his face and he opened his mouth, as if to speak, but said nothing further.
Senior Executive pushed between the two men and said, “It’s Corporate Man.  He’s with me.”
The man lowered the square-barreled gun and said, “I… I thought you were dead.”
“Not for a lack of effort on their part,” said Corporate Man.
Business Woman stepped forward, put her hands on her hips, and eyed the man in the trench coat.  “So… Are you working for us or for them?”
“Me,” said Senior Executive.  “I hired him.”
“Um… Maybe this is a stupid question, but who is this guy?” Franklin Buck asked.
“Commander Credit,” said Fair Wage.  “An associate of a sort.”
“He’s kind of like a gun for hire,” said Supply.
“Yeah.  And his loyalties are fluid at best.  Aren’t they?” Demand added, glaring at Commander Credit.
“You still haven’t gotten over that?” said Commander Credit.  “What was that?  Two decades ago or more?  It was just business.”
“Maybe for you but–”
“Okay people.  Let’s put the past aside for a second and focus on the here and now,” said Corporate Man.  He looked at Senior Executive and nodded.
“I’ve been in negotiations with the good commander ever since I received the summons to the Break Room,” Senior Executive said, taking the visual cue from Corporate Man.  “We managed to finalize our agreement a few moments before the Union entered this tower.  It would have been nice to have his aid on this floor, but at least we’ll have some extra backup now.”
“Hey.  How’d you get up here anyway?” asked Franklin Buck.
“The elevator.”
“Wait, what about the stairs?”
“What stairs?”
“You didn’t climb that never ending staircase?”
“Why would I,” said Commander Credit.  “There’s an elevator.”
Franklin Buck blinked and looked abashed.  He opened his mouth.  Part of a syllable managed to escape, but then he closed his mouth again and looked away.
“How did you get past the retina scanner and the hand print identification?” asked Business Woman.
“Let’s just say that I’ve had dealings in this building before and benefit from past associations.”
The comments encouraged more than one glare.
“Why are you guys all wet?” Commander Credit asked.
“Can we just get into the elevator now?” asked Senior Executive.
Corporate Man seconded the idea and the Union joined Commander Credit inside.  Franklin Buck made an indignant gasp and gestured toward the panel of buttons.
“Is this… Are you telling me we didn’t need…  And the sharks and the crushing was…”
This continued as the elevator rose up to the twenty-sixth floor.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chapter 152

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

by Tom Landaluce

Section 6:
This Section Title Has Been Outsourced. 
(we apologize for any inconvenience)

The lighting was stark, as if no shades of grey existed between the swaths of black and white.  In the cramped room a man lay on a medical gurney, a blocky mechanical arm, recently attached to his shoulder, oozed a clear pus at the suture lines.  Antibiotics seeped from bruised flesh which extended halfway across his chest, up his neck to his ear, and down to his hip.
The man’s eyes were dilated and his lips cracked.  Tangles of wires and tubes from various medical and mechanical machines, life support and diagnostic, fell about him, draped from suspended equipment.  There was a smell, like axel grease and afterbirth. 
“Try wiggling your finger,” said a weasely looking man in a bright, shadowless lab coat.  His fingers clattered against the chunky buttons of roundish keyboards and ten-key pads.  A stream of green numbers filled the black screen of a small monitor, whirs and clicking noises sounded in accompaniment.
The index finger of the mechanical arm spasmed in a series of jittery clunks.
“Good.  When you have rested there is a battery of tests we need to run through.  It will take several hours but is quite necessary in order to properly calibrate your new arm.  As per your specifications, the imprinting mechanism–” the man in the lab coat paused and reached for a lever on the forearm of the mechanical appendage.  With noticeable effort, he slid it forward and then back again creating a distinct ca-chunking sound.  “–is functional.  A small housing underneath holds a maximum of twenty carbons.  Be sure to carry additional slips in a belt pouch.  It will serve you well in future business endeavors. Speaking of which…”
A form moved in the shadows and a silhouetted shape edged around the room.  It said, “Your upgrade was funded by an associate of mine and was done relatively free of charge.  He requires only a nominal monthly fee for the use of the equipment as well as a percentage of what you charge your clients for your services.  Additionally, when you are called upon to do a job for us, a discounted rate must be extended.  Wiggle that cybernetic finger if you understand and comply.”
At first, nothing happened.  Then the finger moved.
“Great,” said the man in the shadows.  “I’m glad this all worked out, Commander Credit.”
The shadowy man stepped into the light.
“I too have a military moniker.  You may call me Captain Apathy.”

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chapter 151

Franklin Buck raced to Corporate Man’s side, hunching low in the ever constricting space.  Fair Wage had regained his footing and was helping Senior Executive stand.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Franklin Buck said, slap-tapping Corporate Man’s face.  “Inflation's out cold so there’s no one to stop it.”
Corporate Man rolled onto his knees and pressed his fingers into his temples, eyes squinting. 
“Report!” he called out.
“Demand is still secure and Supply has already shaken off the attack.  Their size ratios are equalizing,” said Business Woman.  “Fair Wage and Senior Executive seem viable.”
“I need an exit,” said Corporate Man.
“It’s that way,” Fair Wage said, pointing off into the flickering darkness.  “It’s quite far.”
“Then let’s move,” Corporate Man said.  
The Union lumbered off.  Fair Wage and Corporate Man each grabbed a corner of Professor Inflation’s cape and dragged the limp form.
It wasn’t long before they were forced to their hands and knees in the shrinking space.
“We’re not going to make it unless we lose the professor,” said Fair Wage, the floor pressing his back up against the ceiling.  Corporate Man did not hesitate and released his grip on Professor Inflation’s cape.
“Where is it, Fair Wage?” Franklin Buck called out.  He was well ahead of all the others.  “I’m at the corner of the room and there’s no ex–”
The floor fell away beneath him and Franklin Buck tumbled away into the darkness.  He screamed.  The sound was deafening in the cramped space.
“What just happened?” Corporate Man yelled.
Franklin.  He disappeared.  Dropped through the floor,” said Business Woman.
“Into the sharks?”
“I don’t know.  Maybe.  Wait.  I hear him.  He says it’s okay.  We’re going in after him,” she said.  Business Woman, Supply, and Demand rolled into the void in the floor.  Senior Executive dropped in right behind them.
Corporate and Fair Wage were on their stomachs, army crawling, the floor still pressing upward, about to crush them into the ceiling.  They felt pressure on their chests and on their backs, friction now hindering their movements.
Then they toppled into the shaft and landed on something soft and spongy.
“Did everyone make it?” Corporate Man asked.
“Yeah, I think we’re all accounted for,” said Senior Executive.  “But where are we?”
A seam of light pierced the darkness as Fair Wage opened a door embedded in one of the walls.  The Union crept through opening, careful and cautious, and found themselves in a reception area.
“Good morning, and welcome to the offices of Incorporated Business Corporate Incorporated.  Section Thirteen here at Jacob Center Tower.  I’m Betty.  How may I assist?”
They froze. 
Most of the Union held their breath.
Betty didn’t seem to notice the awkward pause, nor did she seem eager to sprout blades from her fingers and attack.  Corporate Man finally took a breath and approached the desk.
“Well, Betty, we’re all finished here but they said we were needed upstairs.  Would you advise us where to go next?”
Betty smiled and said, “I suggest you take the elevator.”
She gestured toward a set of doors opposite here desk.  Corporate Man, expecting to see the entrance to a stairwell, was surprised by the elevator doors.  He thanked Betty and pushed the button marked with the upward pointing arrow.  The doors slid open and a man in a long trench coat flinched, his eyes flaring wide.  His hand flashed inside his coat and he shoved an odd, square barreled gun against Corporate Man’s chest.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chapter 150

In the lobby of the Jacob Center Tower a man in a long trench coat casually strolled toward one of the black corner columns of the building.  He removed an object from his coat.  It looked a lot like a credit card except there was a rounded bump in the center.  On the bump was a decal that resembled an eyeball.  It had cost this trench coated man a great deal to acquire the iris pattern.  He held it in front of the dark glass of the black column.  The man did not enjoy standing in this position because it made the asymmetry of his arms very noticeable.  He was pleased when the optical verification of the retinal scanner triggered and quickly lowered his arm.
The trench coated man put the card away and held the hand of his larger arm over the hand print identification area of the glass.  He’d also spent a fortune on the hand print graft. 
There was a hiss and a door slid open in the black column.  The man stepped inside.  The elevator was smooth, metal, and clean with plush emerald carpeting.  A slim vertical panel featured two quarter-sized buttons.  Below them was a series of smaller, pencil eraser shaped metal nubs.  The smaller buttons were inscribed with negative numbers.  On the two larger buttons were the numbers 13 and 26.
Using his smaller arm the man fingered a sequence into keypad embedded in his wrist.  He wanted to verify the funds transfer before committing. 
It was all there.
He didn’t grin.  Not really.  The thing that happened on his face was more like a grimace of barely detectible pleasure.  It was there for an instant and then it was gone again.
The man in the trench coat pressed the button marked 26.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chapter 149

Professor Inflation circled, his flickering image jittering in a wide arc.  Franklin Buck instinctively backed away, fearing that every flash of light would reveal a charging adversary.  The floor and ceiling were still converging but it was doubtful that he’d survive long enough for it to be a real concern.
“Pathetic,” said Professor Inflation.  “Your father never backed away.  Not once.  You’re not worthy to wear his tacky green suit.”
Franklin Buck stopped, his shoulders slumping slightly with shame.  Then, slowly, he raised his fists up in front of his face.
“Oh, that’s rich,” Professor Inflation said.  “Priceless even.  You’re ‘the dollar man.’  That might have meant something a long time ago.  When the dollar had more value.  Maybe if you were the One Hundred Dollar Man, or even the Ten Dollar Man, I might hesitate, might not do what I’m about to do.  But the Dollar Man?”
Professor Inflation moved with a slow deliberateness, making sure his actions could be seen in the strobing light.  He pressed a large button on his wrist gauntlet.  Marquee lights surged up and down the piping of the Professor’s pink suit and cape.
“Wow!  What a show huh?  You can see me now can’t you, Dollar Boy.  Are you ready?  You ready for what’s coming?”
Franklin had to hunch over as the floor continued to converge on the ceiling.  He squirmed a bit and answered, “I… I think so.”
Professor Inflation cocked his head and said, “Really?  Even with…” he gestured to the limp forms of the other Union members strewn about them.
“Well… Yeah.  I’ve been thinking,” the Dollar Man said.  “My name’s Franklin.  So why can’t I be the One Hundred Dollar Man?”
“Because that’s absurd,” said Professor Inflation.  “You can’t just suddenly declare that you have more value.  And change you name.”
Franklin Buck shrugged.
Professor Inflation charged.  A flicker image of the caped menace strobed through the dark, the marquee lights visible throughout the attack with the professor’s body disappearing into the black as the fluorescents blinked.
A snap kick flashed toward Franklin Buck’s head.  The image frozen in light one moment, gone in the following black; marquee piping continuing to trace the maneuver.  In the next burst of light Franklin Buck gripped Professor Inflation’s ankle, the kicking foot only four inches away from the Dollar Man’s face.  There was no change in the next few after images.  The two men remained locked in this stance for an eon of a heartbeat.  Then Franklin raised his free hand, elbow brushing against the ceiling, and called out, “Feel the crushing weight of ten thousand pennies!”
He hammered his fist across Professor Inflation's chest, driving the doctor of malign economics to the ever rising floor.  In the flickering light, Franklin Buck raised his hand again and said, “Fell the purchasing power of the One Hundred Dollar Man!”
The next hammering blow pounded the remaining wind from Professor Inflation’s lungs.  A third knocked all conscious thought from his brain.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chapter 148

Professor Inflation lobbed something toward Corporate Man and then ducked behind a column.  There were columns everywhere.  The entire floor was one gigantic space with hundreds of floor-to-ceiling columns throughout.  Long fluorescent bulbs, placed like grid work, illuminated the space with a sickly glow.
“Price Bomb!” yelled Corporate Man as he leapt aside. 
The object struck the ground with a metallic clunk, fastened to the floor like a magnet, and exploded soundlessly, sucking all the noise from the air.
Senior Executive held up his portfolio, shielding the Union from the Devalue-Void created by the blast.  Wind whipped around him, threatening to drag him forward into the financial sink but he held his ground and the Price Bomb fizzled out.
“Welcome to my lair,” Professor Inflation said from somewhere.  His voice echoed throughout the open space disembodied and threatening.  “And to your economic ruin.”
The professor dashed out from behind a pillar, reached up, slapped two silver discs on Supply’s knees, and dashed back behind another column.  From the discs came a high pitched breet and a flashing blue light.  Then sound, like a bug zapper, crackled as a high voltage charge buckled Supply’s legs and brought the towering woman to the floor.
She moaned and writhed.
Business Woman rushed forward to assist as Corporate Man tried to gather his team together amidst the confusion.  But it was too late.  Professor Inflation was out of the shadows again, attacking.  He grabbed Franklin Buck, pinning the newest member of the Union’s arm behind his back and jabbing a large needle under his chin, up into his jaw. 
Franklin screamed.  This caused the needle to jerk and scrape around inside him.  This caused him to scream even more.
“We are not having a stand off,” Professor Inflation said, pulling Franklin Buck in tight like a human shield.  “I will suck the value from this man with my liquidating needle.  I merely pause for dramatic effect and to tell you that I have a plethora of wonderful implements with which I will dismantle all of you.  As for this gentleman–”
But Professor Inflation didn’t finish.  His hand remained motionless on the plunger of the hypodermic needle as a diamond card pressed against his Adam’s apple.
Fair Wage rose up behind the Professor and said, “I’m immune to your tricks Inflation.”
Professor Inflation smiled, “ That may be, but I doubt your friends can claim protection against… RISING COSTS.”
There was a shudder throughout the floor and a pneumatic hiss steamed from all the columns in the room.  Then the floor moved, rising slowly towards the ceiling.
“And so the financial pinch will crush you all,” Professor Inflation intoned, gesturing in triumph with his velvety gloved hands.
Fair Wage snorted dismissively.  “That old bit.  Won’t work Professor.  You’ll have to come up with something better than that.”
Professor Inflation’s smile widened.  Then he feigned a look of puzzlement and said, “Oh dear me!  You wouldn’t, perchance, mean something like… this?”
He clapped twice with pink gloved hands and the lights went out.  A surge of panic coursed through the dark.  The Union Members called out to each other but everyone was speaking at the same time. 
“I’ve lost him,” shouted Fair Wage.
“Quiet everyone!  Center on my voice,” said Corporate Man.  “And move to my position.  Business Woman?  How’s Supply doing?”
“Can she hold the crush of this fiscal death trap?”
“I’m trying,” said Supply, “but the force is too great.”
“Where’s Inflation?” said Senior Executive.
“If I’m north and you’re south, he’s to the west of us,” said Corporate Man, holding the greed gun in his hand.
“Interesting,” came Professor Inflation’s voice.  “I’m not quite sure how you did that.  Doesn’t matter.  Useless.  I had no intention of killing you in the dark anyway.”
A bright light strobed, leaving freeze-frame images of the Union members imprinted on the successive blackness.  In the flickering of images the caped form of Professor Inflation rushed in from the concealment of the columns and surrounding dark.  The attack came in the space of three strobes.  On the first flash he was on the periphery.  On the second he was in amongst them.  The third flash revealed the decommissioning punch, or chop, or kick.
By the fourth strobe, he was gone.
One by one the Union members fell to Inflation.  Fair Wage was not taken directly, but toppled under the limp form of Senior Executive after the Professor had hurled him toward the old man in the ragged brown suit.
Corporate Man used the Greed-Gun to locate Professor Inflation’s position.  He turned to face his flamboyant attacker, dodged the first punch and swung a retaliatory blow, but when the light flashed on, his fist swept through empty space.  Inflation had Corporate Man in a submission hold before the light went out again.
“Down with the Union.  Down with Corporate Man,” said Professor Inflation.  He jabbed a knuckle into Corporate Man’s temple.  Corporate Man crumpled to the floor. 
Professor Inflation chuckled, low and maniacal, then said, “And now all that’s left is you… Dollar Man.” 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chapter 147

If little is known about the thirteenth floor of the Jacob Center Tower then it can be said that next to nothing is known about the third level of the thirteenth floor.  Only one person has ever managed to leave the third level of the thirteenth floor alive, but no one would dare ask him about it.
He wears a cape after all.
The only evidence of its existence is an expense report, hidden in some dusty file cabinet deep in the bowels of the building that reads like a numerical typo.  Why on earth did the third level of the thirteenth floor cost so much to build? 
What was in there?

Friday, December 7, 2012

Chapter 146

“No!” Corporate Man screamed, leaping into the room.  Supply caught him by the necktie and pulled him back up as more sharks poured in from the conference room. 
They fed in a primal frenzy.
The sounds of water churning and hulking fish slapping against each other as they slammed against the office walls went on for long horrible minutes.  A bloody foam lay on the surface of the water and continued to rise, filling the room, subsiding once it reached the ceiling.
The Union stood around the hole in the floor, gaping at the pool of recent violence; shocked and unmoving.
No one spoke.
A dark form burst up through the water and launched into the room.  It slapped against the floor and rolled onto its back, gasping and flailing, breaths only coming in hoarse gasps.
“Oh my god,” Business Woman called out.  “He’s alive!”
They rushed to Fair Wage’s side and examined him for bites and other wounds.  His hands bled, scraped raw on sharkskin, and his forehead had a split over his left eyebrow where he’d been slammed against something unyielding during the initial collision.
“How…  How?” asked Senior Executive.
Fair Wage smiled. “I don’t fear inflation.  It barely affects me.”
“But… all that blood,” Supply said.
Fair Wage opened his hand revealing a crystal clear debit card.  He said, “It’s a diamond card.  My purchasing power is quite formidable and that shark’s belly was quite soft.”
“I’ll keep that in mind,” Professor Inflation said, his voice booming and theatrical, “as I devalue each and every one of you.”

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Chapter 145

“I know a way,” said Supply.  She looked a Demand.  “Do you think you’re strong enough?”
“I have to be,” he said.
Supply grabbed Demand’s hands and said, “Business Woman.  You look after him, okay?  Don’t let him wash away in this mess.”
There was a sound, like computerized jingle-bells echoing across the voids of space.  And Supply started growing.  Seven feet.  Then fifteen feet tall.  As she grew, Demand shriveled and shrank.  Four feet, two feet, then six inches short. Business Woman snatched him out of the air before he fell.
Supply’s back pressed against the ceiling.  She grunted and strained.  Her legs crushed Union members against the side walls.
The shark’s head burst through the doorway.  Its teeth gnashed against Senior Executive’s shoulders, ripping the fabric of his suit jacket, but finding no purchase.
Supply yelled and elbowed the ceiling until it cracked.  She hit it again and a large section broke free leaving a gaping hole.  She pulled herself up through the opening.  Corporate Man joined her, dropping down from somewhere; necktie cape flapping over his shoulder.
“Quick.  Let’s get everyone up here!” he shouted.
Supply reached down and pulled up Business Woman, then Senior Executive.
“Hurry.  Hurry!  That thing’s almost through,” Franklin Buck cried out.
One of the Great White’s pectoral fins stabbed around the mangled metal door.  The huge fish writhed and twisted and it tried to swim through the opening; its mouth of razors snapping and biting.
Supply lifted Franklin Buck through the hole and reached down for Fair Wage.  The door gave way dumping the shark into the small space and right on top of their elderly companion.  The room became a blender of thrashing, biting, frothing chaos.  Flailing arms clawed desperately beneath the overpowering bulk of the huge fish.  The shark’s tail whipped back and forth through the water as it gnashed greedily.
Then the water turned red.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chapter 144

“The water’s stopped,” said Demand.
“Great.  So we’re trapped.  Up to our necks in water.  With sharks just outside,” said Franklin Buck.
Business Woman leaned toward Supply and said, “How are your doing?”
“Better.  It always takes it out of one of us when were have to transfer power like that.”
There was a deep ka-chunk sound and everybody froze, their breaths held.
The water started draining from the room.
“Oh thank god,” said Franklin Buck.
“No.  This can’t be good,” said Corporate Man.
 In moments the room was empty. Only a film of water remained.  It coated everything neck-high and lower.
“Well, I don’t care,” said Franklin Buck.  “It’s huge relief.”
The metal door groaned as if in answer to his statement.  The wall creaked under the tremendous pressure from the ever increasing volumes of water out in the conference hall.  A hinge buckled and fine spray erupted from a small gap.
“Are you kidding me?” said Business Woman.
Something large thudded against the door.  Another gap opened along the seam and more water hissed into the room. 
Then it hit again.
And again.
“It’s the Great White,” said Fair Wage.
“We gotta get outta here,” Franklin Buck yelled, almost shrieking.
“Calm down,” said Corporate Man.
“Easy for you to say with that special necktie you got.”
“Think, people,” said Corporate Man.  “How can we fight inflation?  Senior Executive and I have moved all our assets into safer commodities investments.  We’ve got–” 
The shark hit the door again, bending in the upper corner.  Water gushed into the room and a flash of triangular teeth snapped repeatedly on the other side.