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, March 13, 2013

Chapter 187

“So apparently these booths were used for lap dances in the old days,” said Bull Market squirming around chairs that rode up against glossy leathered walls and crowded around a small table.  “That’s why the room’s so small.  Normally there’s only two or three chairs in here at a time.  It’s not so snug then.  OH!  Here it is.  Look.”
Bull Market gestured to a television screen which hung from the wall like a framed landscape.  On it was a man making a series of complex gestures and emphatic facial expressions.  That man was Bull Market.  Text scrolled across the bottom of the screen displaying financial figures. Pie charts and graphs popped in and out of the upper right corner.
“Watch this.  I dump a tech stock just before the price plummets.  Made a killing.”
The image reset, displayed the same footage, but this time in slow motion.  A voiceover, which was far too excited for the material being shown, offered a play by play of the event and then went on to examine gains figures and percentage yields.  He passed it back over to the studio and three people in slick green blazers discussed the amazing portfolio of the man called Bull Market.
“Awesome!  Wasn’t that awesome?” said Bull Market.  Before any response was made, a waitress, dressed like a very skilled secretary, arrived with food.  The Union, realizing how starved they all were, forwent politeness and etiquette and converged on the platters like chortling pigs.
“Good God, when did you guys last eat?” Bull Market asked.
“Thirteenth floor,” Business Woman replied.
Bull Market looked confused.
“What day is this?” asked Corporate Man.
Bull Market looked even more confused.
“I… I don’t know,” said Bull Market.  Then he smiled.  “I haven’t thought a lot about dates and stuff.  You know, with all this money making I’ve been doing.”
“Yeah, you mentioned that.  And we saw you on the instant replay,” said Corporate Man.  “But what is this place exactly?  It looks like Wall Street.”
Bull Market laughed.  “Wall Street’s like a backwater, country road compared to this place.  Everything happens here first.  If the Dow Jones drops, or NASDAQ shows a gain, you can bet it’s because of what we did here the day before.  This is the true stock market.”
“Can you show us?” asked Senior Executive.
“Well, yeah, obviously.  I mean you guys wouldn’t be here if they weren’t going to let you compete.”
“Then let’s go,” said Corporate Man.
“Wait, wait, wait.  No rush.  I’m still eating,” said Business Woman.
This comment spurred a collection of head tilts, deep sighs, eye rolls, grins, and even some nods of approval.  Those nodding followed the gesture with an increased shoveling of food into mouth.
“Market’s closed right now,” Bull Market said.  “It’ll open up again in the morning.”
A moment of silence followed.  As much silence as can be expected while at a table full of heartily eating business types.
“Are there hotel rooms on this floor?” asked Senior Executive.
“Oh yeah.  Hey!  You should all come back to my suite,” Bull Market said.
“That’s tempting, but we should get some rooms and get some sleep,” said Corporate Man.  “I don’t know when any of us has had a chance to sleep recently.”
“No, you got to come.  Besides, these rooms are huge.  We could have them bring in a few more beds and we’d all fit.  With room to spare.”