Books written by Ray Sullivan

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Project: Evil – The Mindless Bloody Finale Meeting part 4

Project: Evil – The Mindless Bloody Finale Meeting part 4

 ‘Crocodiles have escaped,’ he pointed out, ‘they got fed up waiting for Bund to outwit them so they’ve decided to eat their keepers and pop over.  They shouldn’t be too long,’ he lisped.
‘Of course they’ll be long, they haven’t got any legs,’ replied Brian, exasperated at having to think of every single thing.
‘Which means they’ll be really easy to capture and kill,’ suggested Bund, peeking into the armoury.  ‘Say, how come you haven’t got any weapons?’ he asked, surprised.  He was used to facing ridiculous levels of opposition; facing an unarmed mass of henchmen was something he really wasn’t prepared for.
‘Of course we’ve weapons,’ stormed O’Feld, pulling the armoury door open to reveal shelf after shelf of empty racking.  ‘Bloody Pikeys, is there nothing they won’t steal?’ he asked.  ‘Right, Bund, it’s the laser beam for you,’ he said, nodding at Lurch to grab Bund and drag him away to the Secret Agent Interrogation Suite – Lurch had wanted to call it a cell, but agreed to disagree with Brian after the project manager had brought on board a team of style consultants as per PRINCE2 standard methodology.  ‘Are you coming, Brian?’ he asked.  Brian tried to think of legitimate reasons for staying where he was, knowing he was unlikely to succeed.
‘I thought I ought to coordinate the project, you know, floor walk it.  There may be a need to set off some set-piece explosions that should destroy the power feeds to the launch sequence but will just make the computer pseudo-random light sequence falter,’ he suggested, wondering what the big deal was with making computers flash complicated and meaningless sequences of lights that absolutely nobody could possibly monitor in any meaningful way.  It had occurred to him that if the sequences were truly useful, then a computer would be the ideal device to monitor them.
‘Explosions are for later,’ shouted O’Feld, adding, ‘probably after the total annihilation of the facility but before the launch,’ he said, supervising Lurch dragging the octogenarian to the suite.
‘OK,’ said Brian a little nervously, ‘but I think I’ll unplug the kettle first,’ he suggested, guessing that the kebab stall rotisserie motor will have been eaten by Froshdu by now..
When O’Feld reached the Interrogation Suite he found the sound deadening material was really worth the investment – he’d had argued that it was good for morale to hear someone being tortured but Brian had dug his heels in.  Surprisingly, O’Feld let him remove them again before the concrete had set.
‘This is fantastic,’ said O’Feld, beaming.  ‘That klaxon was really getting on my tits,’ he added, flicking the laser beam on/off switch rapidly, watching the thin white light burst on and off in reply.  Bund stood polishing his spectacles with his shirt tail carefully before pressing the sticking plaster holding the left arm on back into position as he offered them back up to his face.
‘So, Mr O’Feld,’ he said, trying to remember the stock line, ‘do you expect me to talk?’ he asked, tipping his head for the standard megalomaniac reply, straight from the handbook.  O’Feld looked at Brian, who’d just walked in as Bund had asked the question.
‘Well Brian?  Do we?’ he asked.  Brian swallowed hard as he knew the likelihood of the laser cutting a toenail was remote; a whole person was unthinkable.  Once O’Feld realised he’d been duped on the laser procurement, which had been intended for an eye clinic, Brian expected to be cut in half by more traditional methods.  To try and stall he pulled out the project plan and spread it out in front of them all.
‘Well it’s not on the critical path,’ he said, cursing himself for not including it, then consulting another document before adding, ‘and I don’t think it’s on the risk register if he doesn’t,’ he answered.  O’Feld seemed relieved.
‘Thank f*ck for that, cut the shit in half,’ he said.  Brian felt a wave of relief wash over him.  If Bund couldn’t provide any faeces to order, Brian certainly could.  He was sure the laser should be able to manage a turd at least. 
‘Don’t look at me,’ said Bund, ‘I missed my Complan this morning, even if I could manage a shit, it’d be as hard as rock.’  Brian started to think up a diversion so that he could substitute one of his own dumps when the Facilities lead walked into the Interrogation Suite.
‘Great news, boss,’ he announced.
‘You’ve stopped the self destruction sequence?’ asked O’Feld.  The Head of Facilities stopped in his tracks.
‘Wouldn’t that be the head of Security’s job?’ he asked.  O’Feld looked at Daw, who shook his head.
‘No, for two reasons.  First, the self destruct equipment is part of the fabric of Mission Control; that’s a Facilities’ responsibility.  Second, you had the Head of Security shot months ago,’ he said, consulting his personnel roster.  The Head of Facilities looked desperately towards Brian.
‘It’s not mine officially until project handover,’ he said.  Brian had to concede a point there, but he had one way out of the situation.
‘Strictly that’s true, but as we’re now using the Facility in a live environment, it’s not a project anymore.  We should have a close-out meeting, but we can do that after we’re vapourised,’ he suggested.  O’Feld was looking a little irritated with the bickering.
‘Never mind all of that.  What’s your news?’ he shouted at the Head of Facilities.
‘Bus stop is completed, a day ahead of schedule.  Didn’t even need a project manager,’ he sneered.  Brian felt he needed to defend his position.
‘So when’s the first bus due?’ he asked, knowing that the Head of Facilities wouldn’t have thought it through that deeply, expecting a barrage of bluster and bullshit; or “management speak” as it was known.  He was surprised, though.
‘There’s a bus waiting, engine ticking over, just waiting for the driver to finish his break.  He should be back in half an hour,’ he said.  O’Feld looked at his watch as a calm voice broke over the tannoy.
‘Oh, there you are.  Eight minutes to self destruct.  To be honest, I’ve lost the plot on the launch sequence,’ she said.
‘Eight minutes!’ exclaimed O’Feld, looking at the Head of Facilities.  Does the driver know how long he’s got if he stays in the canteen.  The Head of Facilities didn’t even check his notebook for this one.
‘He certainly does, but he’s a union man.  He’s entitled to half an hour break, he says, and he’s going to take it.’
‘This is total bullshit,’ said O’Feld, looking at Daw.
‘Actually, it’s European law,’ he said, not sure if he was clarifying or agreeing with O’Feld, deciding he was doing both.
‘Why don’t we catch the bus?’ asked Brian, withering under the glare from O’Feld.
‘I don’t run away while my facility self destructs,’ he sneered.  Daw looked at his watch.
‘Actually, you usually do.  True, you usually leave it way too late but you do leave, muttering something about a sequel,’ he said, adding, ‘I’m in, if anyone knows how to drive one of these buses.’ 
‘I think I know,’ volunteered Brian, hoping it was a London bound bus – he’d witnessed one of them being driven recently.  If it was Margate bound he could have a problem.  O’Feld looked like he was about to resist when the calm voice floated over the tannoy.
‘Oh f*ck, f*ck, less than seven minutes to go until self destruct and I haven’t done all the things I wanted to do.  I could have been a sat nav voice, or a railway announcer.  Life is so cruel,’ she said, panic clearly surfacing.  That was it for O’Feld.
‘Let’s get the f*ck out of here before she hits the bottle and gets all maudlin,’ he said, adding, ‘and where the f*ck is Bund?’  Everyone looked around suddenly, but the old git had disappeared while they’d been bickering over the bus.
‘Probably running around the monorail or high-jacking a golf buggy,’ suggested Brian, throwing his project plan away.  He’d not anticipated Bund escaping while there was still seven minutes left. 
The group made their way to the bus-stop, halted early by the Head of Facilities to admire his handiwork.
‘That’s quality chromium plated steel,’ he gloated, adding ‘and top quality Perspex for the cover.’
‘And that’s the driver,’ interjected Brian, relieved as the destination sign didn’t mention London.
They bundled onto the double-decker, with Daw heading straight for the rear seat, followed by O’Feld.  O’Feld pulled out a packet of cigarettes, but was chastised by the driver, who had clearly watched their every move as they boarded.
‘You can’t smoke downstairs,’ he remonstrated.  O’Feld huffed and started to make his way to the spiral staircase leading up to the upper deck.  As he made his way down the length of the bus,  Froshdu waddled up, lumbering onto the step breathlessly. He looked longingly at the occupied bench seat at the rear of the bus and his face dropped when Daw pushed his satchel onto the space between himself and the window.
‘Is there anything to eat?’ he asked as he brushed past the driver, distorting the side panels as he waddled.  While O’Feld attempted to squeeze past Froshdu and Brian, who was sat halfway down the bus nearest the window, the bus driver raised his cap, pulling up his fake collar and revealing his wrinkled neck.  Brian started to stand to alert the management team but was jammed against the bus sidewall by the scientist he’d helped to torture, then recruit. Just as he was about to shout a warning, bars slid up the sides of the windows and the front of the bus, separating Bund from O’Feld and his team.  O’Feld huffed in annoyance and started to climb the spiral stairs as Bund pulled away from the facility.
‘I wouldn’t sit upstairs,’ suggested Brian, remembering his last bus trip with Bund at the wheel.


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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