Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Project: Evil – The First Site Visit part 1

Brian had been aware of the manufacturing facility in Basildon for some time, but hadn’t had a reason to visit it before. He stood at the front gate, marvelling at the ten foot high sign declaring how many days had elapsed since the last employee to attempt to report an injury had been shot.
‘Impressive,’ he said to Daw, noting that the number of days implied the facility had been operating safely since before biblical times.
‘The plant manager is a flaming liar,’ grumbled Daw pointlessly, as lying was a Corporate value, ’they shoot someone most days, whether they attempt to report an injury or not’, he said, irritated that he had to show his security pass to get into one of O’Feld’s facilities. Actually, it wasn’t his own security pass, but he reckoned the henchman he’d liberated it off wouldn’t need it now due to an unfortunate head injury and an appointment at the bottom of the Thames. Unfortunately it didn’t have the correct level of security, so he was reliant on Brian wanting to go where he wanted to go, which was a bind.
‘How about we look at the fabrication sheds, and not get taken wherever the guy who runs this outfit wants to take us?’ asked Brian.
‘Or how about we meet up with the plant manager as arranged?’ said Daw, adding, ‘We can discuss your bonus while we’re here,’ he said as they walked through the gate, leading the way.
They were met by the plant manager himself.
‘Safety helmets, goggles, gloves, safety shoes and high visibility jackets’ he said, holding out a large cardboard box. Daw objected physically, but Brian just complied, loading his safety gear into the box.  ‘Thanks lads, if the workforce see you in that gear they’ll all want some,’ he said.  He pointed to a sign in the corner of the yard, next to the liquid oxygen tank and the furnace – “In case of fire, run like fuck”. ‘If you’ve got any lighters, naked flames...’ he asked, looking at the two men, ‘then over there is where you’d have the most fun,’ he advised as the workshop manager joined them.
With the workshop manager leading the way, they entered the main fabrication shed. ‘This is where the rocket stages are being manufactured,’ he said, waving at the massive gantries loaded with hundreds of workers scrambling all over them.
‘Is that all you’ve done?’ asked Brian, checking his schedule. According to his plan the rocket stages should have been nearly completed, but all he could see was the gantries built to surround them.
‘Bit of a delay on stealing the rocket from RyanSpace,’ admitted the Plant Manager. ‘We were in the queue to steal one, but you can’t book a place for the scramble, so Gold Digit’s lot beat us to the mark.  We won’t take any baggage with us next time, so we can avoid the surcharges anyway,’ he said, adding proudly, ‘but the gantries are really well built now.’  Apparently it was the first time in the workshop history that construction gantries had been safe enough to work on. The workshop manager butted in, ‘I’m getting the guys to loosen random bolts, just to keep them busy,’ he said as they crossed the yard to the fourth stage fabrication shed.  Inside Brian looked up at the massive fourth stage of the rocket, almost complete from the outside and undergoing fit-out inside.  The workshop manager led them up a gantry and they entered through a white uPVC door with the number “72” in gold on the outside.
‘From NoDangerStyle UK,’ said the workshop manager, letting Brian and Daw into the main compartment, followed by the Plant Manager then wiping his feet on the mat inside as he entered.  ‘They’ve been very helpful on this project,’ he added.  Inside the compartment was dwarfed by a huge steel table. Brian squeezed into the seat behind the large table that had been erected inside the fourth stage unit, virtually filling the space.
‘The table’s only temporary, put in here so we had somewhere to hold this meeting,’ explained the Plant Manager squeezing in, adding, ‘we thought there would be more of you coming.  The workshop manager gave up trying to sit at his seat and elected to open the window behind him and sit on the window ledge instead, moving the vase full of flowers carefully to one side.

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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