Books written by Ray Sullivan

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Project: Evil - The Counter Proposal part 3

‘If the pension is so good, how come you’re still working at eighty-two?’ asked Brian, watching Bund squirm.
‘OK, it’s only the Daily Telegraph reporters and Daily Mail readers that actually believe its gold plated, but it isn’t bad if you manage to reach retirement age.  My current forecast for retirement is,’ he said, pulling an iPhone out and opening an App for calculating days to retirement.  ‘Shit, the Government’s just added another three weeks,’ exclaimed Bund, switching the phone off in a fit of temper.
‘What if I refuse?’ asked Brian.  Bund shook his head.
‘Not an option, I’m afraid.  If you don’t work for us, we’ll tell O’Feld you do.  But if you do work for us, we’ll tell him you don’t,’ he said, sitting back, folding his arms.  Brian considered the options.
‘If you tell O’Feld I don’t work for you, he’ll assume I do.  He assumes everybody lies,’ he said, sure he’d worked the logic out.  There was a pause as Bund crunched the data before he nodded slowly.
‘I see, I hadn’t figured on the evil megalomaniac O’Feld having a distrusting disposition, but I can see how a guy like that could be a little flakey,’ he said, adding, ‘so would it be better if you work for us, and we tell him?’ he asked.  ‘That way he’ll assume you don’t and you’re in the clear.’
‘I don’t know, how would it work?’ asked Brian, certain he wasn’t going to win this one. ‘Do I keep up with the Facebook page, posting developments?’ he asked, wondering if he’d have to unfriend Daw and friend Bund.  Then he remembered that the O’Feld Industries Facebook page was the opposite of normal Facebook pages – you had to unfriend everyone anyway.
‘No, that wouldn’t be sensible.  Apart from anything else, we’re a sophisticated organization; we’d expect you to use Twitter,’ he said, holding up another mobile phone.
‘So, you got stuffed on the Blackberry contract, too?’ asked Brian looking at the phone held up in front of him.  It was starting to look like the good guys and the bad guys weren’t so different after all – but then he remembered where the Public Sector Guy had learned his craft.
‘Say, how are you guys fixed for klaxons?’ he asked.  Bund shrugged; it seemed a reasonable enough question.
‘Swamped by them, a different tone for every event in the building.  We had to let our procurement specialist go in the end,’ he said. ‘It was the warning klaxon that went off every time I entered the building that did it for me – who would need something like that?’ he asked, raising both eyebrows concurrently for the first time since the conversation started.  Brian shrugged, he was damned whichever way he worked, whoever he worked for.
‘OK, where do I sign?’ he said, watching as Bund pulled a sheet of paper out and laid a pen across it carefully.
‘Just put your moniker here, here and here,’ Bund said, pointing at the various places requiring a signature.  Brian scanned the document carefully.
‘I don’t want unemployment insurance,’ he stated, adding, ‘I’ve now got two jobs and at least one doesn’t dismiss you in a conventional way.’  Bund nodded sagely.
‘Then just sign the other two places,’ he said, picking the pen up and unscrewing the cap.  ‘Shit!’ he said as mustard gas poured out of the nib.  Picking up the sheet of paper he fled the café, followed closely by Brian and the two octogenarian minders, spilling out onto the high street.  Brian warily took hold of the pen offered by one of the minders and, leaning the sheet of paper on Bund’s curved back, he signed the two places, remembering to tick the box to ensure he wasn’t placed on a marketing list.
‘I’ll be in touch,’ said Bund, unlocking the door of a Skoda Octavia.  He saw Brian’s look.  ‘Oh, Aston Martin’s in the Secret Service workshop,’ he said.
‘Having something really sneaky fitted, like a new weapon system?’ asked Brian.  Bund looked shocked.
‘No, it’s just having a service, secretly, in the workshop.  I don’t want the boss to know I’m using work facilities for personal use.’ he answered, closing the door. 
‘M?’ asked Brian.  Bund wound the window down.
‘What?’ he asked.
‘M? Your boss?’  Bund shook his head.
‘What about him?’ he said, turning the engine over, cursing as it didn’t catch.
‘He’s called M, isn’t he?’ asked Brian, aware that a few of the Starbuck’s customers were now staggering out of the door clutching their throats.
‘No, it’s Bill, has been since Fred retired, aged ninety three.  No idea how he’s going to survive on his pension,’ replied Bund, still trying to crank the engine into life.  ‘I don’t suppose you could give me a push?’ he asked.  Brian spat on his hands and leaned on the rear door of the Skoda and with the two minders helped bump start it.  Eventually the engine spluttered to a start, so the minders got in the back seat, stowing their walking sticks in the front passenger compartment.
‘Toodle-oo,’ waved Bund as the car kangaroo’d down the main street.


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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