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, April 15, 2013

Chapter 201

The labyrinth didn’t necessarily follow the same path as the ledge-maze above.  For instance, there were circular doorways that tunneled through sidewalls allowing passage where, up on top, there was no such option.  More than one corridor that at first appeared unbarred became impassable when the walkway became a decline, dipping far beneath floor level, and terminating at a steep wall.  And there were pits in the floor that dropped away into blackness.  If one were to test the depths of these dark holes by dropping something down one of them, a dismembered hand of an unlucky day trader for example, it would be an unnerving amount of time before a thudding report sounded from the bottom.
“Damn that’s deep,” said Business Woman, wiping blood from her hands on the suit of a nearby, hand-amputated corpse.
“Can we jump it?” asked Demand.
Business Woman tilted her head, shoulders slumping, and said, “You want to try?”
“Well... not really.”
“What are we going to do?” asked Supply.  “Go back?  I think Bear Market’s back there.”
“Yeah.  Can’t go back,” said Business Woman. 
“I could grow and get you guys out of here.  There’s often an excess supply of luxury items during a crash so it wouldn’t be that difficult.”
“No.  Then you’d be trapped down here alone and we’d still be lost but up there with The Crash.  Maybe if you were big you could see better and lead–”
Business Woman stopped.  She stared at the pit and bit her lower lip.
“Well we can’t–” Demand started.
“Hold on.  Give me a second here,” said Business Woman holding her palm toward Demand.  A low, rumbling growl echoed off the trench walls.  It sounded close.  “Okay.  Demand.  Focus on increasing the demand of a particular commodity.”
“Like what?”
“I don’t know,” said Business Woman.  “Just pick one.”
“You mean… Oranges or something?” Demand asked.
“Sure.  Whatever pops into your head first.”
Demand scowled and took a deep breath.  His jaw clenched and his hands bunched into fists.  The floor vibrated, a slight tingly hum are first, and then an excited, pleasure-bed shudder. A section of floor rose up from the pit and locked into place, almost seamless with the rest of the trench floor.
“Come on, quick, before Bear Market catches up to us,” Business Woman said as they sped across the new floor.  Then, as if on cue, a roar echoed off the walls, loud and close.
“Wait a second,” said Demand, turning back.  He held his hands up, palms outward, and eyes pinched shut.  There was a crack, like a rifle shot, and the section of floor fell away, leaving a pit once more.
“So he can’t follow us,” Demand said.
Bear Market charged around a corner and into view, flailing his clawed, syrupy-red paw-hands and roaring.  He skidded to a stop at the edge of the pit, howled wildly, and slammed his arms against the floor, claws gouging jagged ravines across the smooth surface.  Two snuffling grunts sent sprays of ravenous saliva and day trader red into the air.  Then he bolted back down the corridor, the way he’d come.
“Too bad,” said Business Woman.  “I was hoping he’d fall into the pit.”
“That just what I was think–”
But Demand didn’t finish.  Another deep roar cut him off.  And then heavy pounding footsteps.
Bear Market burst into view, charged down the trench corridor, and leapt over the pit like a pouncing cougar.  His hairy, blood matted body slammed against the floor and slid toward them leaving a scarlet trail.
And then he was up, springing forward.  Howling and snarling.  Terrible teeth bared, ragged with scraps of torn suit fabric and stockbroker flesh.