Friday, 15 March 2013

Friday Flash Fiction - Making Cuts

With wheir eyes locked over the board room table, Harkin the CEO and Damon the efficency expert faced off, swords drawn.

"This isn't what I called you for," accused the CEO, his voice flat and tense.

"It is," countered the expert. "You just didn't know it would end here."

The CEO circled left, light on his feet, maintaining his stance. "I didn't get here by being weak or slow."

Damon followed around the table, breathing deep and measured. "You didn't stay here by being necessary." For good measure, he made a short jab-feint towards his opponent, more a test than an attack.

Harkin jumped back a step at the feint, then stepped carefully forwards again, still circling. "The company's profits are up 13% this quarter thanks to me! The only reason you're here is to cut costs and make me look even better!"

"That is two reasons. Do you realise that your salary alone is a third of the company's expenses?"

"I earn that salary!"

"How? You haven't introduced a single initiative to the board of directors in a year." Damon gave the table a powerful kick, shifting it a centimetre or two. The CEO went onto his back foot, and Damon had his advantage. He leapt to the middle of the table, two feet at once, and Harkin made the predictable move of slicing low. The expert's feet were already gone, though, as he somersaulted over Harkin's head, landing behind him. He thrust his sword backwards before Harkin could recover from his wild slash and felt it slow as it pierced the other man's body. The CEO fell down, dead. It was a quick death, and would likely make the business section tomorrow.

The company would do fine, thought Damon to himself. The board of directors had been running the place for over a year, without any real help from this buffoon. Without his salary holding them down, they should do even better. He closed the dead man's eyes, lifted him onto the table and arranged his arms to hold his sword like a warrior's tomb. Dignity in death was important for the expert's consultancy.

He sheathed his own sword and collected his fee from the late CEO's assistant, advising her that she should probably seek new employment. She glared at him, hand on the hilt of her dagger, but she did not attack. Harkin didn't mind her anger. He was not in business to make friends, just to make quite literal cuts for efficiency.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I wondered once how corporate politics would feel if it involved literal weapons.
PPS - Probably not a lot like this, but I thought it was fun.

No comments: