Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Project: Evil - Bidders' Conference part 1

Project: Evil Chapter Nine - The Bidders' Conference part 1
Brian looked around the conference room. The Bidders' Conference was the cornerstone of any major project and this was where the brave decisions were going to be made by potential bidders for the various infrastructure, major engineering and catering contracts for the project. If any ate the buffet they wouldn’t be tendering, it was that simple. Daw sidled up alongside Brian.
‘Have any lied on the pre-bid questionnaire?’ he asked.
‘They all have,’ answered Brian, ‘and as far as I can tell they’re all wholly inappropriate for the bids.’
‘Excellent, O’Feld will be pleased, said Daw, sitting. ‘How does this work, anyway?’ Brian sat next to Daw at the front, facing the sales teams assembling in the hall, each team eyeing up the potential opposition suspiciously.
‘Well, I run through the Corporate video to introduce us, then recap the tender document they’ve all had access to,’ said Brian, ticking the stages off on his fingers.
‘Did we send that to them?’ he asked, concerned.
‘Of course not. We let a rumour circulate, then they stole it from our Basildon offices.’
‘The Finance Division? Did they get any sensitive material?’
‘Na, after the Finance Director’s wife washed away our accounting system the Finance Director put extra security in place. Not only does he carry the master copy of the accounts in his trousers, a security copy is sewn into his underpants. Neither was in the office when they were burgled.’ Daw heaved a sigh of relief; the Executive bonus projection was on that scrap of paper. It had taken him nearly three weeks to gain access to write it on when the Financial Director wasn’t looking.
‘So, is that it?’ asked Daw, looking at the tender document, all four hundred and three pages thick.  Page one stated the specification for the rocket system – big, powerful and capable of deploying antimatter weapons.  A method of heating the antimatter would be good, super heating it would be super, and would therefore score higher.  A launch pad, mission control, pointless monorail system and crocodile enclosure were added in tiny print at the bottom of the page in an ink that looked suspiciously like crayon.  Page two through to page four hundred and two stated the catering requirements.  The last page was a misprint; the menu from the local kebab house had ended up in there instead of the specification for a warning system capable of alerting O’Feld’s men to a variety of unlikely life threatening situations.  Brian took the tender document out of Daw’s hands and flicked through it.  He was particularly proud of it.  He returned his concentration to Daw’s question.
‘No, there’s the silence after that,’ he said.
‘Silence?’ asked Daw.  ‘We have people who can make them talk, if that’s what you need,’ he suggested.  Brian laughed.
‘Not this lot, these aren’t human, they’re salesmen.  They only come to the Bidder’s Conference to suss out the opposition.  Speaking is considered a weakness, it gives away some of your game plan, shows the other teams what you’re thinking of pitching.’ 

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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