10:15am, Manhattan Investment Bank
The delegates rise with the team from the grande, centre-piece, Mahogany boardroom table. There is a cheerful atmosphere & all parties are smiling at each other. The boss shakes hands joyfully with the chairman of the conglomerate as everyone exchanges congratulations on a job well done. The team individually approach the other team members of the delegation & express their appreciation to have done business with them. Still laughing & conversing in small talk, the delegates slowly walk out of the boardroom & into the lobby, closely followed by the team. The proposition presentation was an absolute success. The representatives of the investment bank provided a sound & enticing investment opportunity that overly impressed the conglomerate-delegation. The ownership of the largest manufacturer of brakepads & braking systems around the Black Sea, has now changed hands & will be merged with similar factories the conglomerate controls. The area will offer a greater range of products & streamline central operations, optimizing general oversight & management of the conglomerate. 3,000 jobs are expected to be axed in the deal sealed at $2.6bn. The business development manager, together with the analyst & forecast evaluation specialist will each earn a bonus of $185k. The portfolio manager & the top sales/marketing executive each netted $300k. Their boss is coolly euphoric, though not showing it: She's pocketing a whopping $3.8m.
As some delegates & team members hang around, the boss enters her office and walks to her desk. 'I'll be with you in a moment, chairman, I just need to check if your resort in Florida has confirmed our leasing of the VIP.' She picks her cell phone from her Nubuck, limited-edition, designer handbag & sees a notification of a missed call. Something inside tells her to give it priority. A director & her P.A. enter the office as well & start discussing something, in their native language, but they seem to be shocked by something. The boss calls her voicemail, then gestures her team to be quiet as they all come in now, followed by the rest of the delegates. The forecast evaluation executive takes the remote that's lying on the black, suede leather couch. He points it at the 32” wide TV & switches it on. The boss finally connects to her voicemail box & starts listening to the recording, while looking out of the large glass-wall, at the skyline. The professionals all watch a report, reacting even more distressed. Some women become emotional & others console them. By the time the recording ends, the boss instantly becomes emotional but keeps herself together. She turns & walks through the lot & stands a few feet away from the wall-mounted screen. The channel is repeating footage of the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsing and racing down to the Earth. At that point, her brain goes * ping * & the mental control machinery breaks down. Her high-end phone drops to the floor, disintegrating by the casing. A rumbling barrage of apocalyptic-terror hounded tones rush from the diaphragm, through her neck as she opens her mouth wide, 'HAA-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!'