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, September 17, 2014

Addendum 17

            Corporate Man sat at the desk in his Donald Jackson office, mind whirring like a cash counting machine.  It had been over an hour since the bosslady sent him out of her office.  In that time he should have been able to come up with a clear strategy to take her, and that butcher Pink Slip, down. 
            So far… nothing.
            So far the only things he’d been able to keep his overly active mind focused on were ways to trim hours in his department.
            So far the best he’d come up with netted only a three percent increase in four weeks.  Would that be enough?
            He slapped his face and shook his head.  Focus!  He needed to alert Miss Pension about the situation.  Maybe get the Union in here to clean up this mess.  No.  He had time.  If he could just focus on this Corporate Whore situation he’d have it fixed by the end of his shift today. 
            What if he told Tess that he needed her to resign?  Told her that it was all part of his plan for Great American Business Company.  It would free up another forty hours.  What kind of increase would that generate in the bonus structure?  His fingers flew across the ten key, receipt tape clacking out the callous percentages.
            He ripped the paper from the machine, crumpled it quickly, and tossed it into the trash.  Why was he wasting time with such thoughts? 
Focus!  Come on!  Focus.
If Tess left the company then all her work would be dumped on the others.  One of them would surely crumple under the strain.  He or she might ask for a reduction in hours, or quit outright.  That would–
ARRRGH!  Focus!
He stood up, grabbed his jacket, and left the office. 
He would go back to his apartment.  He would place a call to Miss Pension ahead of schedule.  He’d get all available Union members on this.
As he walked to his car the euphoria of the drug called Bonus noticeably diminished.  It was like the moment when prolonged hunger finally turns to nauseous pain.  He patted the pocket of his suit jacket, almost absentmindedly. 
The pouch of money was there.  And the syringe. 
He felt comfort in this.
Twenty-five minutes later he was home, phone in hand, knuckles white, several digits of Miss Pension’s special line dialed in.  His breath was ragged in his chest and cold sweats appeared on his brow, his palms, his feet.  Even his upper lip. 
            He put the hand set back in the cradle, walked to the bathroom, splashed water on his face, and rubbed the back of his neck.  His hands started to shake and a chill set in.  He needed to call someone.  To get some help.
            This was going to be rough.
            And gross.
            This was going to be worse than last time.  This might kill him.
            This was entirely avoidable. 
            He needn’t shoot up.  All he had to do was finger the money in that envelope.  Direct contact with the powder that laced those bills would set him right.  Then he could focus on the task at hand.  Get a call in to Miss Pension.
            No.  He couldn’t do that.  Couldn’t let her see him like this.  Addicted.  No he needed to suffer through this by himself.  The indignities he was about to face were all but unbearable.  And super gross.
            And he needn’t face them at all.  Just one little touch.  Simply run a fingertip across one of those powdered bills.  That would fix him up.  That would stop the nausea, the pain, the shakes.  All of it. 
            But it would start again later.  He knew that.  Might as well get it over with now, right?  Suffer the withdrawal.  Get clean.  But there was Pink Slip to consider.  He would be too weakened to fend her off.  What if she came when he was bent over the toilet retching?  His head might end up in the bowl.  Drowned or decapitated.
            He sat on the toilet seat and rubbed his eyes and tried to think.
            When he opened his eyes again he was on the couch, syringe in hand.  Light glinting seductively off the greenish fluid inside the glass cylinder.  Corporate Man was so shocked by the sudden switch that he nearly dropped it. 
            He rolled the syringe back and forth between his fingers.  This was stupid.  He didn’t even know how to do this properly.  How hard could it be?  Just find a vein and go for it.  He shook his head.  No.  He was no junkie.  He was Corporate Man.
            Cramps doubled him over and his bowels nearly let go of their festering contents.  He itched and he ached and, above all else, he yearned for that greenish fluid.
            Just this once.  Just use it to get well and take that whore out.  Just find a vein and slip it in and–
            A prick of pain flared in his arm, just below the elbow.  And the needle was in.  His thumb pressed on the plunger and a few milliliters of Bonus scorched his veins.  It felt like fire, like electricity, racing up and down his arm.  He nearly screamed, but the pain was gone almost as soon as it had come.

            The ecstasy, the absolute dirty pleasure of it, raced to every extremity of his body.  It was as if all his cells were humming, were vibrating like crystals.  His vision blurred, replaced by unlimited golden light.