Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Just Another Christmas Story" Part 20

            To say that the man was not happy would have been an understatement to say the least. He was used to being crossed every once in a while, but not like this. Not when his own men were involved. He had lost four of his own in this one.

            “How did this even happen?” he yelled at the people that were seated around the table. “All that work for nothing! We really needed this shipment.”
            The people around the table knew that it was best to remain silent at this point in the meeting. There was nothing useful to say right now, and to do so would probably result in severe punishment. Instead they would just weather the verbal thrashing until he got around to the part where he told them what he wanted done. If this was anything like past experiences, it would probably take ten or fifteen minutes for the boss to exhaust himself and get to that part.
            But this meeting wasn’t like past experiences. The boss seemed a lot more perturbed than usual, and he got to the point much faster. Apparently there was no time to lose tongue lashing his lackeys.
            “We were about to have an auction, and that shipment was going to be the bulk of what was sold,” the boss said. “I can cancel the auction, but one of the items was already spoken for. As an organization, we never renege on a deal, that’s why so many people deal with us, so we need to go and find the item that we’ve already sold.”
            “Have we offered something else in exchange for the one that we don’t have to sell any longer?” of the men around the table asked. It was a bit of a risk for him because considering the attitude of his boss he was taking his life into his own hands.
            “Don’t you think that we’ve already explored every possibility here except the one that I’m telling you right now?” the boss asked in a heated tone. “I don’t like this situation any better than you do, but we already agreed to this deal, so we need to stick to it.
            “Regis, you will take your usual unit along with your choice of three of the new guys. We might as well break them in correctly. You’re task will be to recover this item.” The boss held up a picture for a moment, then slapped it down on the table. “All of the information that we have will be delivered to you. You have two days to recover the item and have it back here.”
            “We’ll have it, sir,” Regis said. “Consider it as a Christmas present.”
            The boss grumbled and left the room. The people around the table waited for a few moments before slowly following him out. Regis rose from his seat and walked towards the head of the table. Sliding the picture that had been flung there towards himself, he scrutinized it carefully. He never forgot a face when it was firmly lodged in his mind. After several moments, he picked up the picture and tucked it into his pocket and followed his colleges out of the room.

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