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Viewing Single Post From: v4 Sneak Preview #4
MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
If there was any time that job security could be any worse, this was it.

With the fourth season of Survival of the Fittest about to go underway, just about the entire staff had been forced to crunch a large amount of work into a disproportionately small amount of time, all while the number one contender for the scariest boss on the planet breathed down their necks. Just about nothing had been completely finished yet, and the to-do list was full of incompletes and projects that hadn't even begun yet. However, with these final few days, at least everything had fallen into place; if everybody could put that final leg forward to meet the deadline, perhaps even a congratulations from the big boss man would be in order.

They weren't all out of the woods yet, though. In one crowded, sweltering room made habitable by only one overworked ceiling fan, several young men were seated around a large table, feverishly assembling the explosive collars, all based on a completed prototype that had proven, thus far, to be completely tamperproof (as per Danya's wishes; the escapees were hardly something he liked to talk about). They had made over one hundred of the damned things with no signs of stopping. "Ugh, how many kids are we going to take this year?" a man by the name of Dennis Lourvey exclaimed. It was a joke, but they were all too hot and frazzled to answer or even chuckle.

After all the parts to three or four more collars had been meticulously clinked and clicked together, the door to the room (which was already propped open by a phone book in order to allow air circulation) was pushed open all the way to the doorjam, heralding the arrival of a portly man who had an immediately recgonizable, and practically tangible air about him. A couple of the men momentarily lifted their heads or craned their necks to look, but they all immediately knew who it had to have been.

Lourvey silently cursed his job. He could've been working for Intel, maybe IBM, and yet here he was, building implements of death for a terrorist organization. As far as the kids were concerned, he held them as 'out of sight, out of mind'; he didn't watch SoTF, and he honestly would rather be elsewhere, but it wasn't like he had a choice. There were no jobs for him right out of college, despite him being one of the best amongst the best in his field (micro-engineering, to be exact). As he was about to give it all up for lost, he was invited to a rather fancy party, where he was given an offer he couldn't refuse. In any way it helped, the pay was excellent.

Mr. Danya made no delay in striding up to the table, working his way counter-clockwise around the table to observe each techie as they toiled over the collars. Like everybody else, Lourvey did his best to pretend he wasn't there, just like the unofficial mantra: keep your eyes down, keep your hands moving, keep your mouth shut. Danya had been proving his fearsome reputation to hell and back all week, constantly barking orders, screaming at employees, issuing threats that everybody was all-too-wise to heed. That Mr. Danya was scary... but Lourvey knew that a quiet, restrained Danya could be even more terrifying in his own special way. Like that, you never did know when he was about to explode, and how badly things would turn out if he did.

"How many?"

The sudden break of the silence caused two of the workers, Lourvey included, to flinch. "O-One hundred and thirty s-seven, sir!", another worker said, looking up at Danya as he said this.

"Well, keep going!" Danya barked. At the very least, his mood seemed to be no more sour than it had been all week, and nobody was dead. Yet. "Need at least a hundred more! You're going to make extras so everything's covered when some of them inevitably don't work, so I can't have you sitting around with your thumbs up your asses!" Danya kept moving around the table, coming closer to Lourvey. "And you're SURE there's no way the little kiddies will take them off?", he sneered. "Don't need any more 'heroes' plaguing this show."

"Y-Yes!" This time, it was Lourvey's turn to speak. He had a hand in designing the improved collars, after all. "Once it's on, the collars are one hundred percent impossible to remove until you allow it!" In response to this, Danya only gave a slight 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' smirk. Lourvey held back a shiver as he saw that... what did that mean?

"Well, then, and di- KEEP WORKING!" Danya pointed to the others, as they had all slipped up and stopped what they were doing to listen. As the engineers all got back to work at the loud behest of their boss, Danya looked back to Lourvey. "And did you test this?"

"Well..." Lourvey wiped off a few stinging beads of sweat from his forehead with his sleeve, swallowing a bit of spit that had accumulated in his mouth. "It's sort of hard to test the explosives without them... you know, going off-" Danya's look hardened up as he said this, and Lourvey had to avert his eyes from Danya's if he didn't want a hole stared right through him. "B-But we have tested a couple of them, the detonation w-works perfectly!" He was stammering his way through his sentences at top speed to keep Danya happy; Lourve REALLY wanted to make it to his next paycheck. "And w-we can test the rest by hooking t-them up to a sp... s-specialized tester, that way we will know for certain that they'll go off!"

Danya seemed to relax with this information, even if only slightly. If Lourvey were in a better mood (and not terrified to wit's end by being in the man's presence), he would have described his demeanor as having gone from 'a polar bear who has decided that he's hungry, and you're food' to 'a tasmanian devil who thinks your face is ugly'. Feeling a bit of confidence shine through in light of this, Lourvey straightened a little in his seat. "All possible undesirable stimuli will result in detonation, guaranteed, and as always, they possess the capabilities for remote detonation... sir." Danya's jaw tightened a little, and his hand moved up to scratch his chin.

"Just get them all done, and get them all tested. Make it so I have NOTHING to worry about." With that, the heavy-set leader of the terrorists headed for the door. Just when Lourvey thought that the massive weight pressing on his chest would be released, though, he saw Danya turn around in the doorway. "And if your 'one hundred percent' has any of the children taking their collars off, even one..." His voice had gotten very quiet... this was the side of Danya that was found by many to be far scarier. "It's YOUR head!" Danya warned roughly, pointing a finger right at Lourvey. "It'll be ALL of your heads", he followed, swaying his finger a bit to point at each and every engineer in the room. Lowering his hand, he stepped back with a glare, kicked the phone book out of the way, and slammed the door shut.

The men worked in silence, enduring the growing heat for another ten minutes before any of them felt brave enough to walk to the door and prop it open with the phone book again. As unsettling as the little visit by Danya had been, it did kick their working into high gear. They all heard the man, after all; as far as they were concerned, not one of those little brats was going to remove their collar. Not while staying alive, anyway.
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