Books written by Ray Sullivan

Friday, 27 April 2012

Project: Evil - the Stakeholder Meeting part 2

‘Brass Digit came up with a competing idea; one involving Governments using up all of their reserves to bail out the banks who had gambled away most of their own customers’ cash on improbably unbelievable bets and paid the rest as bonuses to themselves. Then the Governments spent money they didn’t have by borrowing from the banks at ridiculously high interest rates, the banks they had just bailed out, so that they could continue to bail them out. Effectively the Governments bankrupted themselves in the process, except there wasn’t a bank that could afford to let the Government debts slide while still paying themselves ludicrous bonuses. I didn’t stand a chance that year.
‘Then,’ he said, scattering his pens across the desk in frustration, ‘Brass Digit goes and suggests the bloody Coalition, winning the Daft Idea of the Year Award for two years running as well.’
‘It wasn’t worth entering the competition until you come up with this idea,’ said Daw, holding the project plan up.  ‘So, what about these gonads?’ he asked.  Brian could feel his pulse start to race; he’d had the message from the Youth Opportunity Worker for a couple of days, in fact the expense receipt for the tip the boy had insisted on was in the pile that O’Feld had been waving around a few minutes earlier.
‘Well, it seems we have had a bit of luck,’ said Brian, holding up the document marked “Top Secret.”  ‘It seems we’re not the only organisation needing large amounts of armadillo gonads; the RSPCA is running a fund raising competition to generate cash to protect endangered species.  They’ve accumulated pretty much all the armadillo gonads in the world in one giant glass jar.  You pay a pound to guess how many gonads there are and the closest guess gets a prize.’  O’Feld seemed quite interested in Bund’s implausible idea.
‘So, all we have to do is guess the right amount of gonads?’ he asked, hoping Brian had a photo of the jar – this was his favourite kind of game, apart from hangman.  He particularly liked getting the prisoners who were trying to guess the letters build their own gallows in his version.  He’d been thinking of inviting Slippy for a game.  The EVIL Officer had been sent an invitation already.
‘No, guessing how many are in the jar is the competition; that would win us £100.  What we need to do is steal the jar,’ answered Brian in frustration.
‘Well, how much is that a go?’ asked O’Feld, looking at the Finance Director to check they had the funds, who shrugged before surreptitiously pulling his underpants out to check the company top line. ‘How much would we win, and how many goes do we get?’
‘We don’t pay,’ exclaimed Brian, exasperated, ‘we just steal and we get just the one go.’
‘So why are they holding the competition?’ asked Daw, suspiciously, ‘you say it’s to protect endangered species?’
‘Apparently they’ve had a run of legless crocodiles to look after, dumped in an alley near here,’ answered Brian.  O’Feld stared at the Head of Catering.
‘You said they were in the Fisherman’s Pie,’ he accused the Catering lead, who shuffled nervously.
‘Chef didn’t know how to cook them, plus he hasn’t a pan large enough for a crocodile, let alone three.’
‘So, where is this jar?’ asked Daw.
‘Never mind the jar, what was in the Fisherman’s Pie?’ asked O’Feld, who’d had double helpings.
‘A couple of fishermen,’ replied the Head of Catering flatly.  O’Feld wiped his brow, looking relieved.
‘Thank God for that,’ he said.
‘The jar is in the window of a prestigious shop in Knightsbridge,’ said Brian, watching O’Feld quiver as he realised which shop Brian was talking about.
‘This is a tough one,’ he said at length.  Brian thought he understood. 
‘Public location, busy street, no parking,’ he said.
‘Parking’s not a problem,’ said O’Feld, pulling his blue invalid parking pass and waving it before laying it on the table.  ‘It’s the store, the expense.  Every crook I know feels ripped off after going in there; it’s like having a master-class in daylight robbery rubbed in your face,’ he said.
‘I’ve got a plan,’ said Brian, ‘that means I can walk out of there with the jar in broad daylight,’ he said, scanning the room nervously, waiting for the challenge.  Any challenge would be bad, but the one that started with ‘OK, let’s hear this plan...’ would be fatal, as a minimum.
‘Is it legal?’ asked O’Feld.  Brian swallowed hard.
‘Unfortunately, yes,’ he answered, banking on O’Feld not wanting to know the details of a legal plan.  As he hoped, O’Feld, Daw and the rest of the stakeholders half turned away from him.
‘If that’s what it takes, then do it,’ said O’Feld, adding, ‘just don’t let anyone know who you work for,’ he said.  ‘Now leave the room and don’t come back unless you have a jar of armadillo gonads,’ he said, dismissing Brian.
As Brian closed the door behind him he heard O’Feld move on to the next item on the agenda.  Then he heard the question from the room that caused him to start running.
‘Where the hell is that blue pass I had a minute ago?’ erupted O’Feld as Brian legged it down the corridor.


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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