Man, it is really raining today.
I’m hanging out in my office, bored. I don’t really have a lot on my plate – just doing some market research and what I call associative cognition, which I could also call staring into space. So far today I’ve downed five cups of coffee and a Cinnabon Diabetes Special, browsed through some trade publications, answered email, and bid on a Big Jim doll that I wanted on Ebay.
A little background information on Big Jim action figures. In the 70’s they were Mattel’s answer to G.I. Joe, and tended to be a little more sports/martial arts oriented and gayer. I had one when I was a kid called the Big Jim Double Trouble Commander. The figure had a face-changing device; push a button on its back and the face switches from a bemused, stoned expression to a constipated grimace. Double Trouble! I loved the Double Trouble Commander because he was the only toy whose gimmick was the simulation of emotion. With all the other dolls, you push a button and they fire a dart or they karate chop or something, but with this one you pressed a button and the doll expresses emotion. It was a fantastic toy. I saw it on Ebay and had to bid on it.
Anyway, I’m sitting there immersed in associative cognition when Aaron Clarke knocks on the door.
“Mr. Mackenzie,” Clarke says, and I jump, startled.
Aaron Clarke is on The Company’s Board of Directors but he looks like he should be the head of an English department at some Ivy League school. His muttonchops and spectacles make him look like an owl.
Oh yeah, and I think he’s part of a sinister conspiracy among the executives of The Company, and could be a supervillain. (see post The Ninth Floor, 11/28/04)
“Aaron, hi, come on in. Sorry, I was just zoning out.”
“I trust you have grown accustomed to the view, Mr. Mackenzie?” Clarke says.
“Yeah it’s beautiful,” I say. “Please, call me Connor.”
Clarke smiles in a humorless way and inspects me over his bifocals. "I have a need for your unique skills, Mr. Mackenzie." Somehow him calling me that pisses me off.
"What can I do for you, Mr. Clarke?" I say, a little coldly.
"As you know, InterBionics is opening a west coast office here in Evergreen City. You're familiar with the building, I imagine."
"Yeah, I know the building," I say. It's that old brick building in Old Town that they're converting, the one where I had a humiliating "fight" with a ninja who was planting KOMA bugs there. (see post I Hate Ninja, 9/18/04) I never did figure out what that ninja was up to or who he worked for.
"They're having a gala next week to celebrate the opening of the building," Clarke says. "Since you and Margo have established a relationship with Interbionics, I would like you both to attend. That wouldn't bug you too much, would it? You seem like a night owl; I didn't think you'd mind."
Okay, is it just me or is everything Clarke says a double entendre? I have a feeling that he's fucking with me and he doesn't think I'm smart enought to notice.
"Sign me up, Mr. Clarke," I say, smiling. Of course I'll go; I think Interbionics is run by a bunch of Aryan supervillains that are up to no damn good. (see post Turbine City Update #2, 9/9/04)
Of course, I think my company is also run by supervillains, too.
Am I paranoid, or is everybody really out to get me?