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, 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.”