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A failing company brainwashes its employees and their families into thinking that the company is well known and blossoming. Only two employees have avoided the brainwashing, and must survive in a company full of misguided employees who, through a brainwashing error, will react aggressively to anyone who tells them the company is falling apart... [ENTRY TO THE VORTEX COMPETITION]

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8. Chapter 6: End

Three Days Later

‘This is it,’ Hans whispered regrettably. ‘We do it today.’

‘We do, indeed,’ replied a sober Jacob. ‘When we get to the top floor, the boss will realise what we’re doing, and somehow get everyone to attack us.’

‘Well…I’m willing to end this corruption,’ Hans said. ‘I’m not exactly in favour of dying though.’

Jacob smiled. ‘Then don’t.’

They left their desks and headed for the elevator, where they pressed the button for the top floor.

No robot accompanied them this time, and they were thankful for that, as the elevator moved faster without it.

As they ran along the walkway, the voice they dreaded echoed through the building.

‘Attention, employees!’ the boss’s voice rang out. ‘Two fellow employees are at the top of the building! They want to cause the collapse of Technofirm!’

Jacob and Hans exchanged glances, and the heard a horrifying sound.

A thousand frenzied screams sounded from the bottom floor as the mention of the company falling apart drove the employees to the brink. They flooded towards the staircases, and Hans swallowed heavily.

‘I’m not going to have enough bullets, am I?’

‘Just hold them off,’ Jacob replied, placing his hand on Hans’s shoulder. ‘If you’re lucky, they might start attacking each other.’

Taking a deep breath, Hans readied himself at the top of the stairs, pointing the pistol for the bottom step, ready for the first employee-turned-maniac to move within range.

***

Jacob knocked heavily on the boss’s office door, trying to force his way in. He remembered a mention of the private elevator and hit harder at the door.

It buckled, and then gave way, though not before Jacob had crippled his arm.

‘Where are you?’ he roared, fighting away the pain.

The boss’s chair turned, reminding Jacob if the villains in secret agent movies, and the boss regarded him with bloodshot eyes.

‘Look what you’ve done!’ the boss yelled, pointing at a CCTV feed.

Hans was firing shot after shot at the horde of employees, but more kept coming, getting closer and closer.

Jacob drew the knife from his pocket and pointed it at the boss. ‘This is your doing! You brainwashed them! Your selfish desire to save this stupid company caused this!’

‘I don’t know what you mean?’ the boss laughed.

‘Yes you do! This building is in a worse state than it was before!’ Jacob snapped.

‘You…you can see…see what it really…looks like?’ the boss stammered, suddenly afraid.

‘Yes, I can! I’m prepared to die here! Are you?’ Jacob replied.

The boss quivered and dropped to his knees. ‘But…my company!’

‘It’s over!’

‘You’ve killed your fellow employees!’ the boss cried.

‘You killed us all when you invited us into that machine!’ Jacob yelled.

He knew he had his boss’s life in his hand.

He knew the employees were beyond saving, their minds broken.

He knew what he had to do.

With one deft movement he smacked the boss around his head knocking him unconscious and, though it was no easy feat, placed him in the machine.

Jacob took one last look at the CCTV feed and saw the employees scrambling over Hans’s torn body.

They would go to the office next.

Jacob started ripping out wires in the machine, and sparks flew everywhere.

One by one he joined the wires together, and attached them to the intercom system, which he turned on as he did so.

They way he wired them ensured an overload when the intercom was turned off.

He heard the madness-driven employees screaming down the corridor and hurried to the intercom.

Hoping someone would hear him he said:

“My name is Jacob, and this is the end. For so long my fellow employees and myself have suffered, our spirits broken under our boss’s iron fist. He speaks of dark times, and they’ve come. Now. Thanks to me. Crushed against broken walls and suffocated by grasping hands, my saving grace was, and always has been, the oxygen produced by a small plant; a plant that carries the name of my lost son: William. The power of this place is broken, but the bloodstains on my hands…they will never wash away. This is the end.”

As the employees charged into the room he released the button, and an unbridled surge of power rushed through the machine.

The employees-turned-monsters grabbed hold of Jacob and clawed at him, smothering his mouth and pressing him against the cracked walls of the building.

‘This is the end,’ Jacob gasped. ‘My wife. My son. I will see you soon!’

The energy in the machine built up too much and the machine started to shake violently.

As the explosive potential was released, the boss managed one final shout.

‘NO!’

 

The End

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