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, May 8, 2013

Chapter 211

The inner tube beneath Corporate Man shifted and his feet failed to find adequate purchase for the attacking leap he had intended.  Instead, his arms flailed and his torso twisted in a manner that was far from heroic.  His attempt to engage his necktie came a moment too late and he sputtered against the wall, pathetic, clumsy, and eventually submerged.
“I told you,” said the man in black.  “I said, ‘Just wait and it would be a less awkward exit.’  For those of you still on your tubes I would urge you to look to Corporate Man as an example of the forewarned awkwardness.”
Corporate Man climbed back onto his inner tube and they waited for the water to finish filling the elevator shaft.
After forty seconds, or so, Franklin Buck asked, “Apathy?  As in Captain Apathy?  My father mentioned him.”
“Yes.  But as some of you may recall.  I was promoted.  I’m a General,” said General Apathy.  “How is your father these days, Franklin?”
Franklin Buck’s face darkened and his jaw flexed.  “You know exactly what happened to my father,” he said.
General Apathy shrugged.  “Quite true.  More than you’d want to know I’d wager.  But you exacted your revenge.  Hopefully that takes some of the sting out of it.”
“What do you mean?  What revenge?”
“Your performance on the thirteenth floor.  The way you man-handled Professor Inflation.  Quite poetic.  Fit for a Hollywood movie,” said General Apathy.  When Franklin Buck looked away without responding, General Apathy continued, “You mean you didn’t know?  That’s rich.  And here I get to be the bearer of such wonderful news.  Consider your father avenged, One Hundred Dollar Man.
The water level finally reached a point where the Union could climb out of the pool without much effort.
“And I see you’ve reclaimed his gold standard,” General Apathy said as Franklin Buck pulled himself from the water.  “It would seem as though all wrongs done you have been righted.  As for the rest of you, would you like to continue on in wet clothes or would you prefer a quick dry off?  We can even have new suits here within the quarter hour.”
The Union stood staring at General Apathy, filtered, geothermally-heated glacier water dripping from their torn suits.
“So…” said Corporate Man.  “Are we gonna do this?”
General Apathy’s face took on a confused but bemused expression.
“Do what?” he said.  “Choose from the options I mentioned?”
“Then please explain.”
“Well, fight, I guess,” said Corporate Man.  “You know… Attack each other.  Battle to the death.  That stuff.”
“Why?” asked General Apathy.
“Why what?” Corporate Man said.
“Why battle to the death?” said General Apathy.
“Well, isn’t that… I mean, I…” Corporate Man said.  “It’s kind of how this whole place has worked so far.”
“Nonsense,” General Apathy said, rolling his eyes and shaking his head.  “Who have you killed?  Who’s dead?”
“How about Fair Wage?  Supply and Demand?” said Business Woman.
“Unfortunate things occur during conflict, but the point of each exercise was not death,” said General Apathy.
Corporate Man cocked his head, narrowed his eyes, and said, “Are you saying that, after everything we’ve been through, all we’ve overcome, we’re not going to fight?”
“Precisely,” said General Apathy.  “This floor is the executive suite for the entire company.  You’ve made it to the top.  And here at International Business Corporation Incorporated we don’t fight.  We aren’t savages.”
“Then what do we do?” asked Business Woman.
“We have a meeting, of course.”
“That’s it?  We have meeting?” said Corporate Man.
“I believe my prior statement should have confirmed that,” said General Apathy.
“After all you put us through?” said Senior Executive.
“Oh, I’m sorry, but I don’t recall inviting you up to the office.  You came of your own accord and if you encountered difficulties during your trespass I do apologize.”
“So there’s no else waiting to attack us?  Mr. Unemployment isn’t going to crawl out from a floor panel when we least expect it?” said Corporate Man.
“I should think not,” said General Apathy.  “I wish I could accommodate your request but, like I said, we don’t operate in that manner on the top floor.  And besides, Mr. Unemployment is a little busy right now don’t you think?  I doubt we could get him here if we wanted to.”