The street lamp lured the two young vagrants towards their only hope of warmth in the dark night. The store was closed, but a lock pick fixed that in short order.
Inside, the young man cursed. “It’s as dark in here as it is out there. Find a light.”
“How?” the shabbily dressed girl asked. “I can hardly see my hand in front of my face.”
Maybe they couldn’t. I could see just fine. Not that there was much to see, besides me, anyway. I was the main thing for sale around here. This place was generic Corporate America. No different from any other corporate headquarters, other than everyone but upper management having all gone home for the night. Even the janitor had taken off.
The young man sighed. “At least it’s warm. Let’s find what we came for already.”
Blind eyes glanced around as they turned in a slow circle, struggling to see through what to them was a dark gloomy night that the lights should have kept safely outside. The girl’s eyes landed on me, peering hard. “I think I might see something.”
No, don’t. Not this way; you’ll set off the security system.
The girl’s companion shivered. “Let’s get out of here. Something doesn’t feel right.”
The fools ran forward, towards me.
Blue sparks flew from the ceiling and zapped the youths. They didn’t even have time to scream before the ionizer had dusted them both. Gone, just like that.
That was it. No more of this.
A swift kick, and my display case shattered. I rolled out and hit the ground running. No time to mess with the hassle of going upstairs the normal way, and they’d be expecting something like that. But I knew a better way to get into upper management.
Dashing around the corner, I found the grate covering the old service elevator’s shaft. A screwdriver had the bolts off in two minutes flat. I climbed inside and shimmied up the service elevator shaft’s stainless steel rails. On the second floor, at my easy tug, the rusty service elevator doors creaked apart with a groan.
The light from the office glowed golden yellow from the open door. It was a perfect square. Three feet square.
I scrunched down and limboed through the door. Easy for me, but no one should have to jump through hoops like this, and I bypassed the normal steps to management.
At my entrance, the resident Woman in Charge, in a perfectly pressed power suit, came flying at me, red faced and flustered that some miscreant got past security. “You can’t come in here!”
I regarded the manager calmly. “Sure I can.” I pointed at the door to the owner’s office. “That’s my office.”
At the sound of my voice, my manager and her associates assumed a posture that was far more appropriate for employees in the presence of their boss. Finally, upper management had figured out I was the guy that gave them the keys in the first place—the same keys they used to lock me out and treat me like a product to market and sell.