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, June 3, 2013

Chapter 222

Corporate Man leapt to his feet and took up a defensive position, raising his fists and flipping his necktie over his shoulder.  The seams of his power suit blazing bright.  He lowered his voice and said, “Alright, John.  Make your move.”
John Q Public sighed and shook his head.
“Again with the violence?” he said.  “This is high finance, not a cage in an abandoned subway station.”
“Yeah, I’ve been in that one,” said Franklin Buck.  “On one of the basement floors.”
“No, Corporate Man.  I’ve invited a few guests to our little gathering.  They’ve been listening in and I think you’ll find their opinions rather shocking.”
John Q Public held up a small white remote control and pressed the single black button that festered in its center.  The controller went red and an entire wall of the office began to rise.
“Recognize anybody?”
Behind the wall, in amphitheatre style seating, sat a group of people which, at first, Corporate Man did not recognize.  Slowly, as he studied their faces, familiar features began to emerge.
“You… You’re…. Felix?” he said, a little unsure.  “The jeweler.  And you three work at Jolene’s, right?”
“Yes.  That would be Margaret, Molly, and Tina,” said John Q Public.  “You may also remember Sally and Matt from Waldo’s.  Jed and Roger from the hospital where you were in residence.  Well, perhaps not.  And many others.”
“Why are they here?” asked Corporate Man.
“They are all individuals you encountered on your journey.  Most of whom you helped along the way.  I thought it fitting if they acted as your executioners,” John Q Public said.  He nodded toward the group with an eager, almost innocent smile.  Then he stood and walked over to the panel of guests and said, “How are you enjoying the show?”
“You’re an asshole,” said Molly, the young girl from Jolene’s.
“I know,” John Q Public said enthusiastically.  “Focus groups show that people really like assholes.  You can’t have a successful reality television show these days without a know-it-all prick.  Preferable a British one. But I make due.”
“John.  What are they doing here?” Corporate Man said, loud and stern.
“I though I covered that already.  But if you need me to prod this along…” he paused briefly, “I thought it necessary that you bear witness to all the good your labors have produced.”
Corporate Man narrowed his eyes and then, after a long moment, he nodded his head slowly and said, “Okay.  I think I see where you’re going with this now.  Though I doubt it’ll go the way you intend.  These people here have all been victims of callous, corporate greed.  They won’t side with you.”
“Oh,” said John Q Public.  “Then I guess that’s that.  You were right and I was wrong.  I’ll reform.  Maybe even start a non-profit charity or an organic farm to feed the hungry.”
Corporate Man’s face pinched into a sour, confused expression.
“What?  Just like that?”
“Sure.  Why not?” said John Q Public.  “Although… perhaps you’re right.  We should at least check with these fine folks first.  Since we brought them all the way up here.  Let’s start with Mike.  He was a security guard where you were being held.  You never encountered him, but he had dialogue with a certain lady of business calling herself Ms. Adams.  He was forced away from his post by a supervisor due to bureaucratic policy.  This allowed Business Woman access to your room.  Mike was fired.”
John Q Public strolled toward Mike and said, “So… Michael.”
“I prefer, Mike.”
“Yes, Michael, I’m sure you do.  As I was saying, do you feel slighted by the company that terminated your employment?”
“Yeah.  They bent me over for something someone else did.”
“Isn’t that always the way,” said John Q Public.  “And I understand that you’re still unemployed at this time.”
“I’m going to make you a proposition.  You can have your old job back.  You’ll get a twenty five cent increase but your vacation hours will start over as will your retirement since that was cashed out when you left.” John Q Public held up his hand before Mike could speak.  “Before you respond.  I would like Corporate Man to make a counter proposal.  Let it be reiterated that Michael, and all those seated with him, have been privy to the entire meeting thus far.  Corporate Man.
“Uh, um…” Corporate Man stammered.  “I wasn’t expecting… but…  Okay.  Come be a part of a start up business venture where employees are treated well and given a fair wage, excellent medical coverage, and a secure retirement plan.  You’ll start at twenty five percent over what you were earning before with three weeks of paid vacation.  The company will be employee owned so you’ll also receive stock benefits.”
“What’s the job,” Mike asked.
“Security.  The same position as the preceding offer, but within six months you will be in charge of your own team.”
“My!  That’s exciting,” said John Q Public.  “What will he do?  Well, Mike… What’s it going to be?”
“What’s this company you’re starting?” Mike asked.
“Doesn’t matter,” said Corporate Man.  “I have several avenues I’m going to explore once the business here is concluded.  The main goal will be to show that the wealth of a company can be more evenly distributed without sacrificing the health of the company.”
“Mike?” asked John Q Public.  “Can we have your decision, please?”