Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Project: Evil - The first Site Visit part 2

‘Is that one of the NoDangerStyle UK windows, as well?’ asked Brian, admiring the weather seal and the mock leaded glass. The workshop manager nodded and pointed to the handles.
‘Proper chrome effect plastic, too, none of your tacky gold effect. That wouldn’t have gone as well with the beige interior,’ he pointed out, waving his hand expansively around the cramped room. ‘We’ve still got to fit this out, mind, once this table is dismantled.’ Brian had questions about the fit-out, mainly because there wasn’t a specification for a rocket stage that nobody had anticipated because it wasn’t needed. Luckily the workshop manager had decided to make his own decisions for the un-needed and unwanted piece of space junk.
‘We can accommodate the henchmen in here, along with some panels showing pointlessly random flashing lights – I over-ordered those for mission control so I may as well use them in here. It’ll keep the henchmen occupied until the air runs out,’ he said, pointing to the various locations he intended mounting the units. That pre-empted Brian’s next question.
‘How long will the air last?’ he asked, looking for liquid oxygen condenser units, air scrubbers, micro-filter units and overhead panels for oxygen masks to drop down from in an emergency. He couldn’t see any fitted yet, let alone the plasticised instruction sheets informing the henchmen how to fit a mask.
‘Until about fifty thousand feet,’ answered the Plant Manager, ‘unless you want to inject additional funding for a life support system?’
‘How much would that run to?’ asked Daw, suddenly interested as replacement henchmen recruitment was one of his biggest cost drivers.
‘In a unit this size?’ asked the workshop manager, looking around the cramped space and making eye contact with his boss, drawing in air with a faint whistle, while counting off on his fingers. ‘Work on a straight million per henchman,’ he said, adding, ‘let’s call it twenty million all in, including VAT and backhanders,’ he said, tapping his pen on the pad he’d scribbled meaningless numbers on.
‘We don’t pay VAT, we don’t pay any tax,’ said Brian.
‘And I was only planning on fielding four henchmen,’ said Daw. The workshop manager bristled, then hurriedly scribbled some more random numbers on his pad which he surreptitiously showed the Plant Manager before answering.
‘OK, guys, you drive a hard bargain. Ten million, no questions asked.’ Brian thought it sounded reasonable – OK, he didn’t have a budget to cover it, but that hadn’t been a barrier so far anywhere else on the project. However Daw wasn’t convinced.
‘Scrub the life support; provide them with large paper bags they can fill with air just before launch. If it gets really difficult, they can open the window,’ he said, pointing at the workshop manager’s seat. Brian and the workshop manager considered that for a moment before agreeing, the Plant Manager just shrugged so they moved onto the next item.
‘What about the dungeon?’ asked Brian.  He’d emailed Lurch’s request a few days earlier, but so far hadn’t received any reply.  It was a workshop, so he knew the workshop manager would have access to hammers, chisels and blocks of stone, so there was no reason to have not answered the question already.
‘We’ll modify the combustion chambers, when we steal them,’ answered the workshop manager quickly, adding, ‘it’s the only way we can accommodate your requirement to have it two floors down.’
‘There’s no way anyone could survive in that environment,’ said Brian, looking up sharply.  Daw looked up too.
‘It’s a dungeon, for the purpose of torture, for goodness sake.  Nobody’s supposed to survive.  What’s your point?’  Brian considered it for a moment, then realised that Daw was right.
‘So, what else is causing issues?’ asked Brian.
‘It’s the monorail,’ answered the workshop manager, ‘we haven’t enough height in Mission Control to mount it so that the pointless golf buggies can pass underneath. I just don’t know why everyone has to have these modes of transport inside a mock volcano,’ he moaned.  Justifiably, as far as Brian was concerned – the complex was smaller than the floor space of the average supermarket, with a similar numbers of morons milling around.  But O’Feld wanted a monorail and golf buggies; it was the industry standard.


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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