As Jason Bergman strolled into the office on a fine Friday morning, his demeanor was chipper and calm. He wove through the hallways of Trope Inc. while listening to Rush’s new cassette on his Sony Walkman. He had been with the Trope Inc. establishment for over a decade and Jason swore that 1989 would be his year to make his mark. Jason smiled at his fellow coworkers in the usual cheerful mannerisms deemed acceptable in most professional establishments. Some early birds had already settled down into their desks. Consuming their early morning cups of Joe and making preparations for a full day of work. Jason found his cubicle which was recently deemed the “scuba department” by fellow coworkers. The name seemed to fit what Jason and his associates worked on.
“Mornin’ Jason!” said a chubby man with a balding head and a bushy brown mustache. His name was Eric and he had been working with Jason for little more than a decade now. He was always earlier than Jason and he worked in the cubicle to the left. Today he was wearing a brown striped button shirt. Jason would never say it out loud but it made Eric look like a charred marshmallow that fell on the grill for about five seconds. Jason laughed a little and replied back. “Good morning to you Eric.”
“Did you see one of our projects has finally come into play?” Eric said.
“Really, which one?” asked Jason while putting his bag down. Jason and Eric had been working on a few proposals for the higher-ups for quite a long time. To know that one of their programs was accepted peaked his morning interest. He impatiently fidgeted his fingers as if he was a drunk waiting for a fresh bottle of gin. Eric, noticed Jasons intrigue and smiled. The mustache created a pealing upward curtain effect on his bulbous face.
“Wouldn’t you know it, it happens to be your very own baby… Leviathan.” Eric said while handing Jason a paper. Jason took hold and quickly started reading. The Leviathan project was one of Jasons personal favorites. One he’d been fantasizing about getting into production for some time. The very idea of this “going live” flooded Jason with thoughts of hypotheticals and potential pay raises. That’s how you make it big in this industry. Just get that one project to make its mark and then lady fortune will take over. Jason knew this was his chance. Too long had he and his department been working midst the shadow of the other branches. They had all been riding “high on the hog” for some time but now… it was he and Erics chance to make a name for themselves! The “scuba department” will finally make its mark.
“Looks like everything’s in order. Deep sea mining company… check. We have our hero? Check. Wow, we even have the doctor and hot lady?” Jason said while happily scrolling the paper with his eyes. “See Eric, I told you underwater scenarios would work out for us. The math says it all.” Jason said. Eric shook his head and raised a hand as if passing approval to Jason.
“Who is the head authority on this one?” Jason asked Eric.
Eric’s smile seemed to flip when Jason asked. “Looks like we have Ms. Martin.” he said.
“Oh, well she was great last year with project Sunglass.” Jason said with a hint consideration in his voice. This was Jasons second proposal to be accepted and to be perfectly honest, the first project titled DeepStar didn’t go over to well. It made sense that the board would want a person of authority to come in and make sure everything went in order. Jason simply shook the thought away and continued reading the paper.
“Looks like everything is good. So far we have about three or four deaths.” Jason said waving his head up and down as if all the stars were aligning.
Eric interjected “Yes, we have our Latino death and…” Jason interrupted with a surprised look on his face. “Wow, this Justin Jones is surprising.”
“Yea, he’s holding on pretty well. Everything that has been thrown at him has certainly failed to… bump him off.” Eric said.
Eric quickly turned to his computer and strummed in a couple keys with his fat fingers. The screen illuminated and a live feed manifested on the screen. There, on the screen appeared to be a massive man made craft that was obviously deep down in the ocean. A mirky film seemed to cloud the entire display but dim lights from the mammoth sized submersible gave it enough light to see. Everything was calm and unmoving from the outside. Just an occasional fish would swim by or deep sea debris would float in front of the camera.
“How about you give me a shot from an interior camera?” Jason asked Eric.
Eric quickly clicked on the keyboard and dropped down an array of numeric IDs that columned down like a spreadsheet. “Looks like the surviving four are arming themselves in the tool deck. I think camera LV-24 will get us a good look.” Eric said while pointing to the screen and then selecting the particular ID.
The screen flinched out from the outer shot and onto a group of people. Without even questioning, Jason knew who was who. One man had a circular saw and looked rugged and obviously the hero. Jason approvingly nodded and let the camera show each member. The next shot showed a lady and another man with other weapons. But he nor the hot lady meant anything. All Jason cared about was the one with the blow torch, Justin Jones.
“Do you think… do you think he will make it?” asked Jason to Eric.
“Oh man Jason, you know that isn’t my specialty. I just run the recording devices.” Eric hesitantly said.
“Come on Eric, you’ve been watching the feeds all day. You see where they are now, he could make it!” Jason said while lightly slapping Erics shoulder.
“Well, this is 1989. Crazier things have happened.” Eric enthusiastically exclaimed.
“That’s my guy! This will be a first in history!” Jason said as if preaching to the entire office.
Jason and Eric both watched the screen like children at the movie theater. The group on the screen moved to new locations and were battling some strange underwater monster that resembled an anglar fish. Blah blah blah blah… nothing new to see here. It was fulfilling it’s obligation and killing each person one-by-one. Jason and Eric would look at each other with extreme pride on occasion. Especially when it came to Justin Jones! The guy just kept putting up a good fight and gave Jason a sense of hope.
“You know what, let all the other deps. complain. This creature is awesome. Stan did an amazing job at concocting this thing. Kudos to Stan and his department.” Jason said with a certain contempt at past sentiments. The truth was, the creature design and development for the Leviathan project was more of a joke in the neighboring offices. Jason was told the design was a rip off of the same creature from project Thing… just done like a fish. But who cares, it looks good and it sure would scare the hell out of anyone.
Finally the group on the screen was dwindled down to only three people. The hero, the woman and Justin Jones. The three had obviously had their last encounter with the creature and were on their way to the surface of the ocean. Leaving the submersible to implode and kill the monster. Jason and Eric were shaking with nervousness. Never in history did the office produce a scenario where this would happen. ‘There should be a first time for everything.” Jason said.
“But there won’t be a first time today.” said a voice from behind them.
Jason and Eric turned with a jolt and behind them was a fine looking woman. Eyes blue as the sky and skin soft as clouds. She wore a business suite and her hair was pulled back so tight to make sure not one strand would protrude outward. She stood there with a smirk on her face. Eyeing Eric and Jason down as if they were children. Before Jason could utter a word, Ms. Martin interceded.
“I don’t know what you think you are trying to pull Mr. Bergman. But let me assure you. Justin Jones will not survive your concept.” she said and taking a step closer to Jason and Eric. Eric shrunk down in size and turned his shoulder as if protecting himself. Jason simply stared in disbelief.
“I suggest you drop any idea of Mr. Jones coming out on top.” she said in a disciplining manner.
“I don’t understand? He has come so far and fought so hard. He’s the only one on the damn wreck that speaks an ounce of logic.” Jason said without thinking of the consequences. “Can’t we… just this once?”
“You know the laws, you know the traditions. For appeasement, the likes of Mr. Jones… person… cannot survive.” Ms. Martin said as she turned away as if demonstrating an elite apathy in debating with lower employees. She stopped and took a long hard look into Jasons eyes. Time seemed to freeze in place and Jasons heart trembled like an earthquake. She then glimpsed at Eric and as if he was another desk trinket and passed him over to stare at the screen. She smirked the edge of her mouth and said “We will make sure he doesn’t live. Our dive team is making sure of it.”
She proceeded to turn and then walked casually like the world bowed to her presence. She suddenly stopped making Jason and Eric gasp for air. “Oh yes, I am also regretfully informing you both that your departments value in this establishment is… being re-evaluated.” she said in a way to imply a satisfying demeanor.
“I don’t understand? What does that mean?” Jason asked. On the screen the surviving group had reached the surface and basking in the hot sun as a rescue chopper approached.
“Your underwater scenarios are not producing the results the higher ups desire. It’s only a matter of time that your projects are… terminated.” She said.
Jason stood there in disbelief. He knew the underwater monster scenarios were a risk but they had their own charm. “I don’t understand, aren’t these settings good enough? Don’t we produce the same amount of results as the bug aliens?” Jason pleaded.
“I am sorry, it is out of my hands. These projects are not profitable. You will be moved and given new tasks. Now if you don’t mind I have to be some place within the next twenty minutes.” Ms Martin said as she walked away.
On the screen the Leviathan monster made his last appearance. Like Ms. Martin said it seized Justin Jones and as expected… he perished. His body sinking back the murky depths of the ocean. The hero then grabs a TNT stick and hurls it into the monsters mouth and then gets away. Triumphantly headed for safety as a conquering hero. Completely forgetful of Justin Jones dying.
Jason kicked the waste basket in his cubicle. Pissed off and feeling like the entire world was caving in around him. Eric just sat there solemn and head aimed downward. Justin Jones was a good man and he deserved better. How can the higher ups make a rule so foolish and pathetic.
Jason looked to Eric and for a long moment they both remained quiet. Jason teared up a little. Over his projects lost, over that bitch of a boss Ms Martin but more for Justin Jones. He knew what this was and he knew there was nothing he could do.
He simply took a breath and said “I call bull shit!”
Thanks for reading this stupid post. I have a goal with all of my challenges. That goal is to take every challenge and create a short story with it. But this challenge was tough. But I thought, what can I do where I express a bull shit scenario in a horror movie that I have always wanted to talk about. Well that would be 1989’s Leviathan and the death of Justin Jones! MOTHER FUCKERS DID HIM WRONG!
If you haven’t seen this movie then go ahead and check it out. It’s actually quite good and deserves more recognition. But the ending! THE ENDING IS TERRIBLE! The dicking they give to Ernie Hudsons character is so wrong that it pisses me off!
So I thought, how about a story where a business is in charge of producing horror situations and this particular workers are the proud creators of the Leviathan project. So I went with it and this is what I got!