Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 17 February 2012

Project: Evil - The Trade Convention part 1

            Brian looked up at the NEC entrance and the banner proclaiming the ‘UK’s Premier Megalomaniac Convention’, with the tag line ‘Nobody Destroys Planets Better’. He looked at Daw.
‘So, who’s the keynote speaker?’ he asked. Daw took a brochure out of the backpack of a passer-by and flicked through it.

‘Minister for Trade and Industry, same as every year,’ he said, turning the brochure around to view the Megalomaniac Pin-Up. ‘Nice pussy,’ he said, appreciatively.

‘The pin up?’ asked Brian, trying to look over Daw’s shoulder. Daw closed the brochure.

‘No, the Minister for Trade and Industry. Mrs O’Feld’s sister lives with him,’ he answered, rolling the brochure up. ‘Bloody pervert, but that’s cats for you, no accounting for their taste.  And the rule is that you have to steal your own brochure,’ he said, prodding Brian with the rolled up document.

‘But aren’t they complimentary?’ asked Brian, looking at the piles of brochures sat inside the entrance, behind the flunkies stood ready with barcode scanners. His brow furrowed as he realised that although there was a throng of delegates milling around the front entrance, hardly any were entering the building. In fact the only person he saw enter using the delegate badge was public sector man, who’d rushed off the bus before it stopped to try and make sure he had the pick of the freebies.  Brian watched as several delegates walked purposefully to the side of the entrance and disappeared around the edge of the convention centre. Daw gripped Brian’s arm.

‘Nobody pays to get into one of these, unless they’re from the public sector or mentally unstable,’ he said, steering Brian to the edge that the group had disappeared around.

‘But doesn’t that include pretty much everyone from our industry, then?’ asked Brian, wondering if Daw was a closet normal. Daw paused, pulled out the O’Feld Industries HR handbook, flicked through until he reached the rules regarding conventions.

‘My mistake, “public sector AND mentally unstable”,’ he quoted, closing the handbook and slipping it back into his pocket, adding, ‘so the AND is pretty much redundant, I guess.’

They followed the small group and saw that one of them had a fire exit propped open using a fire extinguisher, a choice that Daw clearly approved of, and was letting the others in.  They noted that the man worked for Doktor Negatif as they slipped past him, so Daw popped his business card into the man’s top pocket as they passed.

‘That has your contact details on, I suppose?’ asked Brian as they stepped into the vast hall.  Daw looked back at the man, who had picked the card out of his top pocket and was perusing it closely.  Pulling the latex glove off his hand and dropping it into a nearby waste bin, Daw shook his head.

‘Nope, it’s got the name of the nerve agent he’s just introduced to his system through his skin and instructions on how to contact one of my minions for the antidote.  Once he gets to the centre that can save him he’ll have two choices, one involving signing a contract for us and seeing another day, and one that doesn’t.  Don’t take anything off another delegate at one of these shows,’ he answered, pulling up to the stall for the Chartered Institute of Evil Personnel and Tyrannical Development.  The stall announced the CIEPTD’s latest initiative; ‘How to get the best out of your personnel – a guide to organ harvesting.’

Brian could see that Daw was going to be some time at the stall and after confirming that they didn’t have any information on antimatter he decided to take a look around the other stalls.

‘I’ll be…’ he said to an engrossed Daw, who looked up absentmindedly from the pamphlet on Employee Retention he’d just picked up.

‘Oh, sure,’ he said, returning to the photographs of studded manacles.  ‘See you around lunch time,’ he added, lost in his world. 

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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