Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Project: Evil - Induction part 3

Project: Evil Chapter Three – Induction part 3
'Slips, trips and falls are statistically the three most common sources of injury and death in this country,' extolled the bald-headed advisor, 'and the least suspicious to the police', he added.  He rummaged in a box on a table next to him and held up a length of cheese wire.  'However, occupational risks are the real bane of my working life, he said.  'If I had a tenner for every henchman...'
             'Hench-person,' interrupted the Head of Diversity, who had sat to one side.

'If I had a tenner for every Hench-person,' corrected the advisor, sighing heavily, 'who suffered cuts to the knuckles strangling enemy hench-er-people and secret agents I'd be a rich man by now,' he declared, unsure if referring to his own gender was likely to spawn another interruption. 
'Our industry is renowned for its danger,' he said.  'Low handrails around illogically high walkways expose many of our personnel to unnecessary hazards, for example.  It's not unusual for hench-er-people to spontaneously fall over these low obstacles at the first sound of gunfire.  It's a matter I constantly raise with our structural engineers but generally to little effect.'
He rounded off by showing diagrams of various weapons.  'Generally, the end with an open tube is the dangerous bit, technically called the barrel – avoid standing in front of it,' he said to an audience barely able to stay awake.  Such was the degree of boredom, nearly everyone in the room missed the call for lunch.
Brian viewed the options curiously.  The typed menu stated the choices to be Hun-an Bean Soup, Steak and Kidney Pie and Vegetarian Curry.
'What's in the curry?' he asked the unsavoury looking server behind the counter.  The server paused, then answered.
'Bob, one of the trainee Henchmen,' he answered, uncowed by the Head of Diversity stood three persons down the line.  'Boss found out Bob was a Veggie, which is against his contract.  Had him slain as per rule three and served up for lunch.  He's in the pie as well,' he added.
'Bob's kidney's?' asked Brian, surveying the remainder of the options.  The server nodded, grinning.  Brian pointed at the soup. 'What kind of soup is Hun-an Bean?'
'What it says,' sniffed the server, turning to look at the menu.  'Actually, that's a typo,' he said turning back.
'Ah,' said Brian, critically aware the queue behind him had grown quite long.  'Bob?' he asked, not waiting for an answer.  'The curry, any onions in it?'  The server pulled a face and shook his head.

'Might be some pureed onion for flavour, but you'd never find a sliver in there.  It's madras, by the way.'  That clinched it for Brian, so he pushed his plate towards the server, who piled pilau rice onto it, followed by several dollops of Bob madras.  He held up a couple of deep fried, spherical snacks.

'Bhaji's?' asked Brian.

'Deep fried sweetmeats,' replied the server.  Brian declined and sat down.
The frightening-looking public sector guy sat opposite Brian, licking his fingers clean of Bob Sauce.  'How did you know I was public sector,' he asked, pulling his loosely tied tie further down his unbuttoned collar while kicking his left sandal off.
'Just a guess, possibly the way you walk,' suggested Brian, mopping up the last of the curry with a Naan Bread.  The public sector guy nodded while chewing messily.

'Hey, this is great – free food,' the guy said.  'I love this place, the people are great...'
'The people are self-confessed psychotic murderous arch-villains with an inclination to destroy the planet,' interrupted Brian.

'Yeah, great,' agreed the public sector guy, 'what do you do?  Design industrial scale blenders suitable for feeding enemy agents into, one by one?'

'Project Manager,' replied Brian, 'Planet Scale Devastation Projects,' he boasted.
'Project-s,' repeated public sector guy, emphasising the plural, 'like in multiple projects each capable of devastating the planet?  Like being able to devastate the planet more than once?' he clarified needlessly.

'I guess,' said Brian, 'I hadn't thought about it that way.  Sounds kind of cool, doesn't it?'
'Totally awesome,' replied public sector guy.  'If you ever need anyone to provide stationery products such as paper clips in support of one of your – many – planet devastating projects then I'm your man.'

'Stationery products?' mused Brian aloud, 'like in ring binders, notepads, pencils?'
'Absolutely.  Twenty five years in stationery product and dispensable item supply to the Ministry of Defence, there isn't a logistical stationery problem I haven't solved regarding largely unnecessary items,' he bragged, chewing on a sweetmeat.  'Say, I wish I'd met Bob, he sure had some balls,' he said.  'Stationery and pointless alarms,' he added, wiping his mouth again.
'Sure, I can supply alarms for any occasion; piercing beep for smoke, howling roar for fire, grating croak for sole enemy agent intruder entering without a weapon and on paper hopelessly outnumbered',   Brian looked carefully at the man – small scale, small mind, pointless skill-set.  Absolute linchpin material, a project killer if not on-side.
'I'll keep that in mind,' he said.

The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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