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.

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.