Nick kept thinking someone around him had BO. Eventually, he realized with a sudden fear, that it might be him. He was wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt and he was pretty sure he had only worn it once before. It was hardly wrinkled, but his new set of polyblends really didn't wrinkle. He went into the bathroom and when he saw no one else was in there, did a thorough self-odor analysis. He couldn't smell blatant body odor, but it was so hard to tell yourself. He walked out of the bathroom, determined not to think about it anymore. Then he caught a slight whiff or thought he did. It was like having a ghost with body odor doing flybys around you.
He went into the stairway and headed up to the 27th floor. Kimberly Goldstein, an Associate Planner in Merchandising couldn't print. What the hell was a Planner, Nick thought? What useless crap was she printing? He could already guess what her problem was. And sure enough when he rounded the bulkhead and approached her cubicle, the first thing he saw was her monitor with the news ticker scrolling by, the Instant Messenger window open, some ridiculous background image and probably much more hidden away, all running, all clogging up memory and the executable pathways.
Kimberly was wearing a too tight skirtsuit and was talking on the phone. Her red nails were splayed across the black lacquer of the handset. When she saw him, her face went through a whole cycle of expressions: gentle surprise to slight annoyance to satisfaction to slight annoyance and then fake gentle surprise.
"It's the IT guy, I gotta go."
Nick thought he had seen just the slightest hint of physical repulsion on her face in the middle stage, but he couldn't be sure. She put the phone down and pushed her chair away from the desk.
"It won't print," she said.
"So I see," replied Nick, tapping his pencil on the clipboard. Tapping it onto the line on his sheet of work orders, tapping it on her name, wishing he could tap it right into her barely functioning brain.
"I should be able to fix it pretty easily," he approached her computer, leaning over slightly. "But even before I look into it, I can see that you have a lot of things going on here."
He turned around and looked at her. "Ms. Goldstein, I'm sure you've already heard this lecture from one of my co-workers, but I'm going to have to repeat it."
She feigned naive anticipation, like a seventh grader held after class. He waited. She popped her gum...
Incorporation is a fictional thriller taking place in a large multi-national corporation in the late '90s. It traces the paths of two players in very different ends of the corporate hierarchy. One is a lowly IT Help Desk employee, whose humble demeanor in the office belies his sophisticated nocturnal hacking. The other is an ambitious, female executive, entering the cutthroat world of corporate intrigue. As she rises higher in rank, and he insinuates himself deeper into the company's network, deeper than he could have imagined, their two stories intersect intimately and unexpectedly.
Incorporation is about 91,000 words, has gone through three complete drafts and is ready for review by an agent and publication. Please email me if you are an agent and interested in reading the entire manuscript.
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