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Title: You Don't Have to be Crazy Dead to Work Here (But It Helps).
Part: 5/22
Author: Jashyr
Genre: Horror/Black Comedy
Word Count: 50,000
Disclaimer: These characters are mine. They live in my head and make me do crazy things like entering NaNoWriMo...
Rating: PG-13? Probably.
Warnings: Some gore. Written for NaNoWriMo last year and while it has been re-edited the punctuation police are still looking at it suspiciously.

Chapter Five

The End of the Financial World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

James stood there proudly, hand still on the light switch, regarding Gordon’s still form with no small amount of pride. He was so caught up in what he saw as the fateful nature of this moment that he completely failed to see just how badly his staff were dealing with the scene in front of them.

Ged McPherson was the first of the management team to gather his wits and he advanced on James like an avenging Glaswegian angel. “What have y’ done, y’ sick wee man?” He shouted at his boss, invading his personal space and ending up practically nose-to-nose with him. For the first time Holt realised that maybe, just maybe, his staff didn’t quite see this situation with the optimism he did and a tiny amount of fear started in the back of his mind as the Scotsman towered over him.

He could just about see a dark hand land on McPherson’s shoulder as Piers, ever the peacemaker, attempted to calm the bigger man. “Ged, calm down a second an and let James explain himself. Piers moved around into James’ line of sight with an oddly imploring look on his face. “James, this has got to be some kind of strange joke right? You’re just testing our grace under pressure? Please tell me that this isn’t what I think it is.”

A strangled oddly burbling wordless cry escaped from Gordon’s throat and he slowly turned his head to watch the group by the door. Barbara fainted while the other board members went pale and made several involuntary steps backwards towards the door. There was a clanging as Dr Perez pushed Antoine back into the room then slammed and bolted the door from the other side leaving the management team trapped in the room with Gordon and James – and not really knowing which one was more inhuman.

“What have y’ done to him?” Whispered Ged, his eyes firmly fixed on Gordon’s now moving form.

James stepped back a little to give himself some space and smiled benevolently at his colleagues. “Just a little bit of necromancy provided by our new backers.” He nodded at the disbelieving stares that looked back at him. “Don’t worry, Gordon agreed to all of this, even signed the contract to leave his body to the company for uses in medical science. On his deathbed in hospital, of course, but we fully explained the ramifications of it to him. I think he’d be proud that he can still benefit the company after his death.

“Y’ sick bag of shite!” declared Ged launching himself at James and grabbing him by the lapels. Pulling back a fist he launched a punch straight at his boss’ face and James screwed up his eyes in expectation of a massive amount of pain.

The blow didn’t land.

In the silence James could hear a soft chanting from behind the door from Dr Perez in a language he’d only ever heard in his nightmares and only since the takeover, “U mame a gub, gestu kur da guz, alad ge lugal ke, ga e ed bi, lu da lul te. Te lul da lu, bi ed e ga, ke lugal ge alad, guz da kur gestu, gub a mame u.” He opened his eyes gingerly to see McPherson’s fist less than a centimetre from his nose but Ged was no longer moving. Instead he appeared to be frozen in time just milliseconds away from landing the punch, his face stuck in an expression somewhere between sheer rage and absolute horror.

James eased himself out from between Ged and the wall then gingerly edged away towards the door. Suddenly seeing the terrified looks on the faces of his other staff members he attempted to smile reassuringly. “See? This is the kind of power we have on our side now.” He gestured at Ged, frozen in place. “All of this magic mumbo jumbo is real. I’ve seen it and now so have you. How can you doubt it’s effectiveness or the fact that the person sitting at that desk over there is actually Gordon, come back to carry on in his official capacity for the company.” He went over, knocked loudly on the double doors and shouted, “Ricardo, it’s alright now. You can come back in!”

The soft chanting changed to another cadence, “ha egir, sig zil, gim sahar, igi gud ba. Ba gud igi, sahar gim, zil sig, egir ha,” and management team all scurried back as far as they could as the breeze bocks in the wall slid aside to allow Dr Perez entry into the room. Perez stopped chanting and the wall slid back into place.

“Now wasn’t that a wonderful demonstration of the sorceries of ancient Assyria everyone?” asked James brightly, “lets give Dr Perez a round of applause, shall we?” He started to clap loudly and the others followed suit with less enthusiasm, wondering just how unhinged their boss had become and if there was actually any way out of the room that didn’t involve breaking the door down before making a run for freedom. The boarded up windows looked even more solid than the doors and the only other way out was the fire escape beyond the electrified fence and Gordon.

Their attention elsewhere, practically everyone jumped when the undead corpse started to join in with the clapping. ”See, even Gordon agrees with me, surely that proves that he’s content with his current situation,” exclaimed James with the certainty of the newly insane as he walked over to stand next to Perez. “So, shall we let Ged apologise now?”

Nodding, Dr Perez pointed at McPherson’s motionless form and muttered, "Silig dug aka se, bad shu su se si. Si se su shu bad, se aka dug silig." Ged suddenly started to move again, having originally stopped in mid-swing his newly restored momentum sent him careering into the wall with a solid thud. Recovering he pressed himself against the wall while eyeing Perez and Holt with complete dread.

“So, come on then, Ged,” said Holt petulantly. “I know you heard every word of that. Is there something you want to say to me?”

“Yes, sir. Yes, there is,” stammered McPherson, glancing at each of the other members of the management team in turn. Khan was the only one who would look him in the eye and a glimmer of understanding passed between them before Ged turned his attention back to James. “Havin’ seen everything now I’m sure that Gordon would ‘a been the first to congratulate y’ on this new and improved method of employment,” he gushed with what he hoped was an appropriate level of enthusiasm. “I’m sure that he is proud t’ be the first person to prove his loyalty t’ the company past his unfortunate demise.” He held out his hand to James. “I’m sorry I overreacted. No hard feelings, eh?”

James’ smile broadened and he went to shake Ged’s hand. “Now this is what I like. Settling our little disagreements with civilised discussion…” He was suddenly yanked off his feet as Ged pulled on his hand and slammed one elbow forcibly into Holt’s face. Perez opened his mouth to start chanting but was tackled from behind by Khan who sent him crashing to the floor. James turned to Piers, Antoine, Brenda and April begging for help but they stood back, traumatised and unwilling to get involved.

The element of surprise gone, Perez struck out with a foot and caught Khan in the shin, making him lose his grip on the doctor’s neck. Lashing out with an elbow he struck the older man in the stomach and he doubled over coughing. The doctor stood over him and quickly chanted, “rah nabi gumur ilu, ha luhummu sa gal. Gal sa luhummu ha, ilu gumur nabi rah.” Khan’s coughing was suddenly worse and he started to vomit up dirty brown saltwater mixed with seaweed and the occasional small fish. His lungs filled with water and the blood in his heart turned to sludge. Within seconds he was lying motionless on the floor, his eyes open and filled with shock.

Still grappling with James and definitely with the upper hand, Ged suddenly realised that his compatriot was lying unmoving on the floor with Dr Perez turning his gaze towards him like a demon given form. Realising that he’d suddenly before the doctor’s main target he let go of Holt and ran towards the door, body-slamming the doctor out of the way as he charged past. Recovering quickly, Perez grinned malevolently and stretched out one hand to where McPherson was trying to break down the door. “Im ulu ak mul mul, zir ugu igi bala. Bala igi ugu zir, mul mul ak ulu im,” he chanted in a singsong cadence.

At the door Ged was suddenly aware that splinters of the wood were coming away from under his hands but were then growing tiny legs and running up his arms, biting and scratching like tiny insects. The carpet under his feet erupted into thousands of tiny biting ants running up his trouser legs, each sting burning like fire. He let go of the door and frantically tried to brush the insects from his body but the more he touched the more they bit. As the first few reached his face he desperately tried to grab them and fling them off himself but only succeeded in allowing the ones from his hands to jump across onto his cheeks. As he flung himself around the first insects scurried into his mouth, up his nose and inside his ears, quickly followed by more of them. For what seemed like minutes the insects continued to block his mouth and nose until he collapsed, gagging and violently gasping for air. Perez and Holt watched with amusement as he thrashed around getting weaker and weaker until eventually he stopped altogether. The insects poured back into the fibres of the carpet and disappeared into their murky depths.

Devoid of his entertainment James became aware that Geraud had vomited again, Barbara had fainted into an ashen Sullivan’s arms and April was crying inconsolably. He mused that maybe he would have to calm them down after the unfortunate mutiny.

“Now, lets all think about this rationally shall we? The others,” he motioned to the bodies on the floor, “weren’t really team players and no one likes people who don’t pull their own weight. Now we, on the other hand, are dedicated to making this business work, aren’t we?” His smile slipped for a second when they didn’t respond quite as quickly as he expected but as the signs of terror increased in their eyes they all nodded emphatically at him. “Well that’s settled then. Tomorrow will be the dawn of a new era in facilities management!” James turned to Dr Perez and indicated the bodies again. “Ricardo, will these two be any use to you?”

Perez looked down and shook his head. “I’m afraid not,” he replied, “they really have to have signed the applicable contracts and, to be fair, I don’t believe Internal Audit or Human Resources would be in particular need of the specific skills brought by the undead. However they will do quite nicely as Mr McKay’s meals for the next few days. I’ll get Grady and Kerr to throw them into the cage when we’ve finished here.”  

“Never mind, waste not, want not!” exclaimed James brightly. “Come on, you lot! We’ve got a whole lot of planning for the future ahead of us!” Dr Perez shifted the bricks aside again, then opened the door from the other side. James marched out of the room down towards the lift followed by the dazed, terrified surviving members of his team, all trying to ignore Gordon’s plaintive wails as it stared hungrily at the corpses left cooling in the cage room.


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September 2010

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