Chapter 2

•May 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Brian Bladswell brought a neatly folded handkerchief to his forehead, lightly wiping away the cool sweat gathering on his brow. He glanced around, inspecting the fittings and decorum of the Executive lift, which was currently speeding to the top floor of Regulator Tower One. His eyes locked on to a small amount of dust gathered near the operation keypad. He leaned close, and lightly blew the dust away. He began looking for other imperfections, no matter how small.

“Stop that,” he whispered harshly to himself, refolding the kerchief and tucking it away. He was feeling nervous, and had to relax; he was on his way to an important meeting with Mr. Goodman. Mr. Goodman was Executive Most High of Ceracorps’ New Berlin branch. Brian couldn’t help being nervous; Mr. Goodman only saw executives in person if he was promoting or firing them. Of course, an executive could never be fired; they knew too much. ‘Terminated’ was a better word.

When an executive ceased to function properly, they were removed. Punishment ranged from ‘volunteering’ as test subjects to outright execution. Brian knew he was going to be terminated. His sector’s efficiency had dropped .05% in the last three months. He was losing his edge, and Mr. Goodman knew it. Given the amount of new products being developed, it was all but certain that he would be a test subject. He would have preferred being shot. Test subjects were never treated humanely.

The lift came to a halt, the doors opening ominously to reveal a stark white hall, contrasting with the solid black which comprised most of the building. He swallowed softly, and moved forward, staring at Mr. Goodman’s door. He wasn’t going to beg, as he’d heard of so many others doing. If he was going to lose his post, he was going to do it in a dignified manner. He thought of all the young executives, imagining them as sharks, and his old position as a piece of meat dangling above the water. It would be filled soon, without any real loss in productivity. The thought gave him an odd sense of relief.

He knocked lightly on Mr. Goodman’s door, and an aged, frail voice greeted him; “Come in.” The door slid open, revealing an immaculate white room. Unlike the hall, this room was decorated with photographs, plaques, framed documents, and an occasional Ceracorps emblem. Brian stepped in, and the door shut quietly behind him. “Please, sit Mr. Bladswell,” the old man said, indicating a comfortable-looking chair in front of his desk. Brian did as he was asked. “I’ve asked you here because I have some concerns regarding your position,” he stated. “Yes, sir,” Brian answered.

“Your efficiency has been slipping over the last few months,” Mr. Goodman. “Yes, sir,” Brian answered, his palms feeling very damp as he clenched his fists in his lap. “I’m promoting you, Mr. Bladswell, to head of research and development,” the old man stated. “Yes, si- What?” asked Brian, shocked? The old man gave him a warm smile, knowing how nervous the young man had been. “I believe your loss of efficiency is due to lack of motivation and interest. How long have you been head of marketing?” Brian’s brain had shut down for a moment, and he had to think quickly to answer. “Four years, three months, one week a-” “Too long,” Mr. Goodman interjected.

“I, too, once worked in marketing,” he began. “At first, it is exciting, seeing exactly how many credits we rack up as the day goes by. But, after a while, it becomes boring. I had only been department head a year before my efficiency started slipping.”  Brian though on the words he was hearing. Indeed, marketing had become excessively boring. He had been able to predict the profits of every week for the last two years. “The department head for research and development has recently retired, and I need a replacement.” Brian internally cringed. Being ‘retired’ was one of the worst fates an executive could face. It was reserved for traitors and thieves.

“I have been observing your dedication to the company,” the old man continued. “It humbles even me. You have never missed a day of work. You work weekends. You have more than a year of vacation time unused. You’re just the man I need for R&D. Do you accept the position?” Brian’s face was blank, but inside he was crying for joy. He had always wanted this position. He had dreamt of this day, but thought it would never come. He would be a fool to refuse, probably a dead one at that. “Y-yes sir, Mr. Goodman, when would you like me to transfer?”

“At your leisure, Mr. Bladswell; I would like you to take a week off to relieve the stress of working in marketing. Relax, enjoy yourself, and transfer next Monday.” Brain had to try very hard to keep his features calm. He stood up, and bowed politely to Mr. Goodman. “Yes sir, I will do so. Thank you very much.” Mr. Goodman smiled. “My pleasure, my boy, my pleasure.”

Utmost relief flew through Brian’s body as he stepped into the elevator. Research and Development! His dream was coming true. So often while working in marketing had his mind drifted, thinking up new ideas and products. He was almost disappointed that he was on vacation time. He sighed softly as the lift began its decent, leaning back against its side. He smiled softly, something he had not done in quite some time. Four years, three months, one week, and six days, to be exact.

Brian spent the week locked in his luxury suite in the middle of the inner city. Soft jazz music played in the background as he paced, writing in a small composition notebook. So many ideas were flitting about in his head; he had to get them all down on paper. He just about jumped out of his skin when the doorbell rang, so entrenched in thinking was he. He set the notebook down, and walked slowly to the door. He looked through the spy hole to see who it was. A warped image of a young man in a bellhop uniform greeted him. There seemed to be something in his hand. Brian opened the door about an inch, peeking out.

“Yes?” he inquired. “Executive Bladswell, I have a package for you from Regulator Tower Two, R&D department.” Brian opened the door fully, and the bellhop handed him the package before turning and walking away. Brian watched him disappear into a lift, and ducked back inside his room, closing and locking his door. He laid the package on a small obsidian table, and entered the kitchen, deciding to have something to drink to calm his nerves. He poured himself something stiff, and sat at the table, looking at the package.

He opened it carefully, and found a stack of files. He knew what they were then. They were the files regarding the current R&D projects. It was standard procedure for the new department head to receive a copy of all files related to the department. He didn’t need to look through them, though. He was a level three Executive, and had had clearance to R&D files for more than a year. He had kept a close eye on the department, and knew full well what was being researched. Still, the top file caught his eye. He took it off the stack, and opened it. They seemed to be schematics of some sort. He looked at the top of the first page, and read the words “Ironman Project.” His heart raced, and his eyes grew wide.

The project codenamed ‘Ironman’ had been initiated in the late 21st century by a large council of Ceracorps scientists and World Government representatives called the Regulators (this term would later become the name associated with Ceracorps enforcers). They were charged with the task of creating the ultimate fighting machine in anticipation of the upcoming war against Russia, the last Free State on the planet. Government spies had uncovered a secret Russian experiment which, if successful, would greatly increase the efficiency of their soldiers. This enhancement would take the form of a skintight bio-electric suit, which would fit underneath their combat armor. It would greatly increase strength and agility by stimulating their adrenal glands, which would also render them virtually immune to pain, fatigue, and fear.

The Regulators decided to go one step further than the Russians, and designed a series of bio-mechanic implants, which would wire directly into the nervous system. The Regulators also decided to include nanotechnology, which would perform such tasks as increasing the efficiency of muscle tissue (the idea of increasing muscle mass was rejected, as it was possible that the subject would gain so much muscle that they would lose agility), increasing the speed of the flow of electrons to the brain, and repairing minor injuries, such as hairline fractures or flesh wounds. They demanded that the project be immediately tested on humans, wanting to finish it and attack before Russia’s project was complete. In the end, over 500,000 ‘Ironmen’ were produced, and the domination of the world was finally complete three weeks into the war

Why would they send him this file? The project was completed, finished; there was no need to see this. He glanced at the dates written on the schematics, and almost dropped the file. Apparently, R&D had been ordered to recreate the implants, because the dates indicated that this project had been going on for the last year. It was then he understood why his predecessor had been retired. He had ordered his department to cease research on the project, against Ceracorps wishes. Brian set the file down, taking a long sip of his drink. This was going to be an interesting position.

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Impromptu Poem

•May 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I am in the nowhere
Somewhere in the nothing
Invincible and fragile
Defeated and unbeaten

Where have I been?
Sleeping, it seems
Content to lie and
Bleed and regress

Awaken! She calls
Be alive! She commands
The furnaces burn
The engines rumble

The heart! It beats!
Despite you all
Your endless taunts
Your fucking greed!

You can’t hold me
You can’t stop me
My spirit burns
An eternal flame!

Awaken! Alive!
Hero and saint!
Monster and villain
All of what is

Furious, I rise
Defiant, I roar
My pages shall bear
My being, my heart

Words, they will flow
Tales, they will spin
I’ve found a pulse
Again, I breathe

Journal or Scrapbook?

•April 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

What shall I write here? Shall it be observation on my daily life? Shall it be creative works? Perhaps, just perhaps, it shall be both.