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.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The concluding volume of The Tragic Death of Corporate Man: a hero for capitalism; champion of the working class is available now. Go to https://www.createspace.com/4148636 and order a copy now. If you find yourself way out of the cool-loop and still need volume one, here's the link for it as well. https://www.createspace.com/3903289
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
“How much longer do you think it will take them to reach the top?” asked Business Woman.
Senior Executive shrugged. Corporate Man and Commander Credit had gone on ahead, climbing the metal-rung ladder into the darkness above while the rest of the
Union waited on top
of the false elevator at the bottom of the shaft. Discussions had lead them to a conclusion
that this was the best course of action considering their experience with the
ever descending staircase between the lobby and the thirteenth floor.
Senior Executive reviewed his portfolio on his smart phone and Business Woman chatted with Supply, their discussion often returning to the relationship of Supply and Demand. Demand tried to ignore them but couldn’t help feeling irritated by divulgences of matters he considered personal in nature.
A beep sounded on Senior Executive’s phone.
He read the text and said, “They’ve made it. They’re on the 39th floor.”
There was a feeling of relief and an urge to celebrate. This was immediately crushed by the realization that they now had to undertake a dark, thirteen story climb up a ladder of metal rungs.
Monday, February 25, 2013
Also in the dark, but in the other direction, was Franklin Buck. And he was falling. Not straight down a shaft, but in a curling tube, like a water-park slide, only much steeper. And without the benefit of the water. Or the enjoyment.
The slide didn’t alter its course, remaining on a continuous downward corkscrew. The friction had burned for the first few minutes but the tube walls eventually became greasy. This decreased the burning sensation but increased the speed of his descent. With the added velocity came the nausea. He’d been falling long enough to be sick once already and he could feel t queasy roiling in his stomach return. Still, at least it didn’t burn so much anymore.
He felt bad for the next person to fall down this tube. They’d have to slide through his puke. Then his mind, through a process of deduction, pieced together a solution to a question that was, he hadn’t realized, nagging him.
Where had the grease in this tube come from?
The solution that assailed him involved the breakdown and decomposition of vomit ejected by previous riders of this dark corkscrew drop. The greasy smear that would result. And he was forced to admit that there was a dank stench in this place. He was also forced to endure another set of wracking heaves as his stomach added to the lubrication all around him.
Friday, February 22, 2013
“We can’t just leave him,” Business Woman shouted.
“He’s gone, sister. There’s nothing we can do for him,” said Commander Credit.
“Lift up this ladder and let’s go down there.”
“Can’t. It’s sealed off. Frozen. Probably by an electro magnet or something,” the Commander said.
“So we abandon him?”
Commander Credit said nothing.
“What about Fair Wage,” asked Supply. “Do we go on without him, too? Without trying to help?”
There was a long moment in which none of them spoke. Then Commander Credit said, “They’re both dead. We press on.”
“We don’t know that,” said Supply. “Fair Wage could be–”
“Torn in half,” said Commander Credit. “From the inside out.”
“But he could–”
“No,” said Corporate
Man. “He’s dead.
Fair Wage is gone.”
asked Business Woman.
“I don’t think there’s anything we can do for him now,” said
“Come on. We should keep moving.” Corporate
He climbed the metal rung ladder up through the elevator’s ceiling and disappeared into the dark.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Tragic Death of Corporate Man
a hero for capitalism;
champion of the working class
by Tom Landaluce
Bull/Bear, the Crash, and the Bowels of the Building.
When considering the urban myths attributed to floors thirteen, twenty-six, and thirty-nine, a special note should be made about the layout of the floors immediately above and below floor thirty-nine. Specifically floors thirty-seven, thirty-eight, forty, and forty-one.
Architecturally, there is no reason for these floors to be devoid of central offices and corridors. If one could locate accurate blueprints of the
the impression one might get
is that middle section of each floor is, indeed, accessible. However, if one found themselves exploring,
they would be hard pressed to locate any office space occupying that area or
any hallways traversing this central region. Jacob Center
The phenomenon is less obvious on the thirty-seventh and forty-first floors as the diameter of this inaccessible space is much smaller than the floors above and below, respectively. It has been reported that as one nears this middle ground one can detect the sound of ringing bells and a clamor akin to the applause of a sporting event. This has led to a belief that this central space houses a secret horse track and the bigwigs entertain large groups of foreign investors at illicit racing events. Suspiciously absent, though, is the odor of horse manure. This casts the horse track theory into question amongst those concerned.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Senior Executive said into his phone.
There was a flurry of motion as wall panels popped away, shifted position, and slammed into place creating a long, wide corridor. When the motion ceased a straight hallway, leading to a door with an exit sign above it, lay before them.
“So… Care to explain?” asked Franklin Buck.
“Oh it’s quite simple,” said Senior Executive. “The more you outsource key positions or departments to alternate work forces or companies, the more you devalue the primary business. This makes it susceptible to take over by its own subsidiaries.”
“I offered the maintenance workers higher paying positions with my newly formed cubicle-wall installation and removal business. Once I controlled enough of the workforce, I used my contacts to engage the Outsourcer stand-ins and formed another company employing them. Then, when enough Outsourcers were on board we… Well let’s just say we terminated our contract with current management and now hire ourselves out on an independent basis.”
“You know, that’s great,” said Business Woman, “but do you think, maybe, we can get out of here and the two of you can discuss business strategies later?”
Senior Executive bowed slightly and gestured toward the exit.
did not hurry down the hallway, but they didn’t walk at a leisurely pace
either. As they neared the exit a faint
noise came bleeding through the walls and the floors hummed beneath their
feet. Franklin Buck put his ear to wall
but said nothing of the frothy pig sounds and labored breathing that he heard.
Through the exit was a small room with a set of elevator doors.
“I’m hoping this isn’t the elevator that brought us up here,” Supply and Demand said in unison. “The one that didn’t go any higher than twenty-six.”
The doors opened and they crowded inside, each noting the single button on the small metal panel. The number thirty-nine was engraved upon its surface with an arrow pointing up.
“That’s a relief,” said Franklin Buck, stepping up to the panel and pushing the button. “Though I wouldn’t mind going back down and getting out–”
But he never finished his sentence. A trap door opened up beneath his feet and he fell screaming into a dark shaft.
Corporate Man dove at the hole, but the trap had snapped shut. He clawed at it ineffectively.
“Push it again,” he shouted. “We’ve got to get him out of there.”
Business Woman pressed the button again and a trap door opened, but not the one in the floor. This one was in the ceiling. It swung open and smacked Demand in the back of the head. A metal ladder slid out of the hole and clanged against the floor, obstructing the downward passage, sealing them off from the One Hundred Dollar
Friday, February 15, 2013
The Outsourcer sauntered down the corridor and into a room full of half-walled cubicles. They wouldn’t be tracking him now, and the ones the greed-creature didn’t dispatch, he would hunt down at his leisure. But for now, he was going to take a well earned coffee and cigarette break in his office.
There were two letters on his office door. M and E. It used to read MINE, but he found the message came across just as clear this way and only cost half as many letters.
He opened the door and walked inside, but it wasn’t his office. The room was empty and the walls were bare. The only distinctive features in the space were three doors at the opposite side. The Outsourcer swore and turned to storm out but his office door no longer led into a room of half-walled cubicles. There was a stubby, dead-end hallway there instead.
“Hey! Assholes!” the Outsourcer shouted. When an attendant did not appear at his summons he turned toward the three doors and walked to the one on the left.
He took a deep breath and opened it.
The attention of more than thirty Chinese Outsourcer stand-ins flashed toward him, their faces fierce, eyes flared.
“You peckers better get back to–”
They hissed and charged at the door. The Outsourcer slammed it shut and raced to the door on the right. Behind it, poised and ready to pounce, were fifty of the Outsourcer stand-ins from
They surged forward, screaming.
The Outsourcer staggered back, groped for the handle of the middle door, and fled inside. An empty, extremely long hallway lay before him. The Outsourcer ran down it as fast as his stubby legs would carry him.
He risked a glance back, positive that a mob would be right behind him, but the corridor was empty. There wasn’t even a door. He continued running. At some point he became aware of a thundering, chortling sound which grew louder the further he ran.
The end of the hallway was still an agonizingly long way off, but that didn’t prevent the Outsourcer’s bowel from giving way a little bit when the furious greed-creature rushed around the corner, howling with rage.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
“What was that?” Franklin Buck asked. They were approaching a hallway intersection. Behind them the foul, monstrous Greedy-Wage clattered and smashed walls and continued shouting and making horribly offensive noises.
“Just a little something… businessy,” said Senior Executive. His smart phone trilled again and he answered, “
India. What’s the good word? Fantastic.
Stand by for further instructions.”
After several short conversations, uncountable hallways and cubicles, and an unbearable symphony of wet howls from the pursuing greed-beast later, Senior Executive lifted his smart phone to his mouth and said, “Signal hallway maintenance. Project Greed. Signal
Senior Executive stopped running.
“What are you doing? Go! Go!” shouted Commander Credit.
“It’s all taken care of,” said Senior Executive. He turned, facing back the way they had come and the approaching, flailing creature that Fair Wage had become.
The Greedy-Wage thing roared and launched into a renewed sprint, slamming the walls with its moist, mealy appendages.
“Junior! No!” shouted Corporate
Senior Executive glanced over his shoulder, the greed-beast bearing down on him. He flashed a quizzical grin and said, “Junior? Really?”
The hallway between Senior Executive and the Greedy-Wage thing exploded with an inward shifting of carpeted panels and maintenance workers. The passageway was quickly reassembled leaving a wall on the far side of Senior Executive. It shuddered from a sudden, violent impact, but held. A chortling roar erupted from the other side and a series of pounding, squelching thumps banged futilely and eventually fell silent.
Another bellowing roar preceded a thundering, clumping sound as the Greedy-Wage beast barreled away down a newly configured corridor.
“They’ll keep him moving for a long while,” Senior Executive said, turning toward the rest of the
“How did you…” Franklin Buck started and then fell silent.
“What about The Outsourcer?” asked
Senior Executive shrugged. “
Monday, February 11, 2013
“What’s happening to him? What’s going on?” Franklin Buck squeaked.
“Take a guess. You saw what we saw,” Business Woman said. “Those things are inside him. Nothing good’s coming that’s for sure.”
Fair Wage threw his head back, his arms shot out from his side, strained and epileptic. There was a tearing, ripping sound, like perforated paper, splitting pant seams, and high pressure flatulence.
His body spasmed, slammed back against a carpeted wall, fingers digging into the fibers. Fair Wage’s eyes went wide and pleading, glancing at his teammates, bouncing from face to helpless face.
A soft whimper.
Then a paralyzed silence.
A gash tore him open from crotch to throat, splitting his chest wide. A noxious gas and a mist of vaporizing blood sprayed from the ragged wound. A brown mass convulsed inside Fair Wage’s torso and then it climbed out roughly leaving a skin husk in a frayed brown suit on the floor beneath it.
The mass had a face and terribly greedy eyes. When it spoke it used the voice of Fair Wage only deeper and choked with gurgles.
“I feel…. Better,” it said.
“Fight it Fair Wage. You can–”
“Fair Wage?” the thing growled. “Not hardly. I want more!”
It roared and in that terrible moment its mass doubled, swelling until its head nearly touched the ceiling and it’s outstretched arms pressed against the sidewalls.
Corporate Man stood his ground and yelled, “You’re the best of us Fair Wage. The honest one. The–”
A squelchy, slapping thud snapped through the corridor as a big messy greed-infected fist slammed into Corporate Man, hurtling him down the long hallway where he nearly collided with Franklin Buck.
Franklin Buck, not needing any sort of physical prompting, had turned and run at the moment the Greedy-Wage first chortled its initial sentence. The rest of the Union adopted The One Hundred Dollar Man’s tactic and broke into a sprint in an effort to catch up to Franklin, though their main goal was undoubtedly to increase their market share in distance from the horrible greed-thing.
They scooped up Corporate Man in mid-stride.
The Greedy-Wage chased after them, howling and snarling its belchy-farty sounds and threats.
Business Woman yelled as they closed the gap on him. “Get back there and stop that thing with your
called back without actually turning around.
“I don’t see you doing a whole lot.
Any of you. I mean what the
hell? We’re economic superheroes. Why are we just running around chasing and
fighting instead of doing something businessy?”
“Business isn’t all about copper coinage,” said Senior Executive as they caught up with
Franklin. They raced around a two tight corners,
through a small set of cubicles, and down another hallway.
“Well, what else is it then?” Franklin Buck asked, panting.
“Oh there are all kinds of hostile maneuvers and power plays.”
“Like retreat,” said Business Woman.
“When it’s tactically advantageous,” said
His breathing was rough, but his speed hadn’t
suffered from his encounter. Corporate Man.
“Yes. And there’s negotiation, acquisition, merger, and–” Senior Executive said but was cut short by a loud trilling breet from his smart phone.
Mexico. Are we go?” he said into the device. After a moment he added, “Good. Stand by for instructions.”
Friday, February 8, 2013
He wasn’t quite sure if he could hear the sound through the microphones of his surveillance system or if his mind simply imagined it from the reactions of all the people on his monitor screen. It didn’t matter. The Big Bossman had heard that sound before and understood what it meant and the utter terror it inflicted on those in the vicinity.
And he smiled.
The next part would be entertaining, he was sure. Lots of panicked fleeing and property damage. The inevitable loss of life; perhaps even some limbs.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
“Let’s try something different this time,” said Commander Credit. How about we all go on the offensive? Not just me.”
His comment was met with looks of bitter assent and the
out into practiced positioning, ready to engage preplanned maneuvers.
Franklin Buck had to fake it.
Commander Credit pulled open the panel and Corporate Man lunged through the opening. But there was no one behind the wall. Business Woman and Senior Executive spun into defensive postures, facing empty hallways, expecting panels to shift and Outsourcer proxies to pour in.
“I don’t get it,” said Commander Credit. According to this reading, we’re right on top of him.”
There was a subtle shift in the stance of each Union member. Their attention turned to the ground beneath Commander Credit’s feet.
No one breathed.
They shifted, ninja-like and in unison, positioning themselves around Commander Credit. Corporate Man and Business Woman leaned down and carefully felt for a trap door; a secret panel.
Senior Executive and Fair Wage arranged themselves behind Business Woman. Supply and Demand acted as backup for
Franklin Buck instinctively took up the covering position for Commander
Credit in case the attack came there and felt proud of himself for doing so. Corporate
Corporate Man found a seam in the industrial carpeting and mouthed a countdown to Business Woman. On three he tore the carpeting away and Business Woman lurched forward, fists cocked.
But there was only sub-floor and glue remnants beneath the carpet.
“Jesus you guys,” said Franklin Buck. “Made my ass all clenchy with that–”
The ceiling panel above Commander Credit shattered and The Outsourcer dropped onto the shoulder of the cybernetic arm, hammering with fists and feet. He snatched the greed-gun, leapt onto Senior Executive, delivering a kick to Business Woman on the way. He chopped Senior Executive on the neck while thrusting a foot into Corporate Man’s chest, then dove onto Fair Wage, smacking both Supply and Demand while in mid air.
The Outsourcer wrapped his legs around Fair Wage’s throat and shouted, “Don’t move or I’ll snap his neck.”
Cautiously, The Outsourcer examined the greed-gun, tightening his choke hold when Fair Wage tried to move. Then he sniffed the air. His eyes pinched with a sudden realization and he snuffled the greed-gun, an enthusiastic chortle escaping his throat.
“I know what this is,” he said in an oily voice.
Fair Wage groped at the legs wrapped around his neck. The Outsourcers nonchalantly reached down and flicked Fair Wage’s nose.
“I know what’s in here,” he said and slammed his fist into the toy gun.
Corporate Man and Business Woman surged forward but The Outsourcer tightened his leg-grip and hissed, “Back! Back!”
The small, runty man fished the greed chunks out of the ruined toy gun and held them like a fistful of dirty dollars.
“I wondered what happened to him,” said The Outsourcer, jostling the pieces as if estimating their weight. “Do any of you truly comprehend what it is that you’ve brought here?”
The Outsourcer unclamped his legs and yanked on Fair Wage’s hair. The old man screamed but his call was silenced. The Outsourcer forced the remnants of The Greed into Fair Wage’s mouth.
It was like cookie dough mixed with hair and mashed up spaghetti squash. It tasted like filthy pinched pennies and the greasy collar sweat of unscrupulous financiers. It stank of exploitation and cow manure.
A dozen cubicle walls flew open and a score of Outsourcer stand-ins rushed into the corridor slapping and hissing. The ensuing struggle between the
Union and the Outsourcers
was violent and brief. This was not
because one side decisively triumphed over the other, it was because the fight
was merely a diversion set up to grant the actual Outsourcer his escape. The altercation was cut short when a near
seismic gurgling noise erupted somewhere deep within the body of Fair Wage.
Monday, February 4, 2013
His face felt like rising bread dough and his nose pulsed with an agonizing pain. He knew he’d get those raccoon-eye bruises from this. And he knew how pathetic he’d look. Some people could pull off that battered, I’m-a-bad-ass, you-should-see-the-other-guy look, but he wasn’t one of them. It would be awhile before he could score chicks again.
That freak. That credit card freak had known he was there. Tracking him somehow. The Outsourcer tried to review the sequence of events, but his puffy, marshmallow consciousness could only recall starbursts of pain.
“This way. Down this way,” a familiar voice came from someone. The Outsourcer peered through a seam in the cubicle paneling. The
and that irritating credit card guy, were striding up the hallway on the other
side of the wall. Coming right toward
him. There was some sort of gun in the
credit guy’s hand. A yellow light on the
gun blinked repeated. As they came
closer a red light ignited accusingly.
The Outsourcer’s mood flared, matching the fiery red of that damnable flashing light.
They were tracking him.
That was cheating!
Friday, February 1, 2013
“Down this way. Hurry!” Commander Credit said, holding the greed-gun apparatus out in front of him. He and the rest of the
Union rounded a corner and
were halfway down the hall when the Commander stopped. He swiveled to his left.
“Look! Down there,” said Franklin Buck, pointing to the end of the hall and the small, runty man who stood there.
“After him,” Corporate Man shouted, but Commander Credit held his hand out and stopped him. Then he yanked a panel off the wall nearest him. A small, runty man with a thin moustache was standing on the other side. He hissed and three similar runty men with, more or less, similar moustaches stood behind him and echoed the hiss. They bolted like frightened deer, scattering down a dimly lit hallway, banking into separate side corridors.
rushed after them.
“Should we split up and take them?” Senior asked.
“No,” said Corporate
Man. “Keep us on the real one Commander.”
Around the next corner they saw The Outsourcer disappear into a ventilation duct. A group of maintenance workers moved a section of cubicle paneling across the corridor, blocking the way. Simultaneously, two sections were pulled away and secured in different positions creating new passages going in opposite directions.
“Which way?” shouted
Commander Credit stopped to consult the greed-gun.
“Neither,” he said. Then he strode up to a section of wall and tried to yank it free. It didn’t budge, so he set about dismantling it with tools from his cybernetic arm. Senior Executive approached the remaining maintenance workers and began questioning them.
“Hurry. Hurry,” said Franklin Buck.
“You want to do this, Dollar Boy?” Commander Credit said as he popped the section of wall free. A hand slapped him across the face. A dozen runty men hissed and then bolted away, bounding down the newly opened corridor.
“Little shits,” Commander Credit yelled, charging after them.
The rest of the
Union poured into this new section of darkened
passageways. The scurrying, runty-men
disappeared behind vents, panels, and other trap doors embedded in the pseudo
continued the chase and soon arrived at a junction of five passages. Runty men stood at the far end of each hallway. Middle finger raised.
Carpeted panels swung in and out from various positions along each corridor, concealing each of the five Outsourcer men.
“They just flipped us off,” said Franklin Buck.
Commander Credit checked the greed-gun. His face pinched and he tapped the side of the apparatus. Then her turned around and said, “Back this way.”
More panels swung in and out of the walls and runty men crisscrossed the corridor space, waving obscene gestures, before disappearing out of sight again.
Commander Credit slumped against a wall and shook his head.
“I don’t get it,” he said. “My readings must be off. The Outsourcer isn’t showing up anywhere. I don’t know what to–”
But he didn’t finish. Instead he thrust all his weight into the wall paneling behind him. It gave way, slamming into the empty space beyond, landing on something small and hard.
There was a low grunt, followed by a yowling howl. Commander Credit lifted up the section of wall. A dazed runty man lie beneath it. Commander Credit grabbed The Outsourcer by the collar and yanked him to his feet. Atthe same time the Commander’s snapped his torso forward, his head delivering a nose crushing butt.
The Outsourcer fell to the floor, spurts of blood geysering from his damaged nasal cavities. The walls around the bleeding man opened up and a troupe of runty men bounced into the corridor. Two of them swept up The Outsourcer while the rest flung themselves at Commander Credit.
The first couple of attackers suffered a great deal under the ferocity of the Commander’s defenses, but soon their numbers drove him backward, through the opening in the wall, and into the hallway where the rest of the
The runty men slid the caved in panel back into place and the only sound the
could hear through the restored wall was that of scuffling feet and half-hearted
expletives delivered through a collapsed nasal structure.
“Well, open it back up,” said Business Woman.
“Won’t help,” said Commander Credit. He held up the greed-gun. Indicator lights were in the green again. “They’ll have already reconfigured the corridor and The Outsourcer won’t even be in that direction.”