of Enterprise Fuel Solutions, dated 9 January 2015
RESTRICTED TO C-LEVEL PERSONNEL
- Mr. Charles C. Wainwright, CEO and chairman.
- Mr. Derek Peters, CTO.
- Mx. Samekh Samadrael, special consultant.
- Mr. Anthony R. Jackson, CQO
- Ms. Jenna M. Anderson, C█O
- Mr. Q, ███ & ██
- Ms. Marcia DeWitt, executive in charge of Antarctic drilling
- A man without eyes hovering just outside the window, role unknown.
- A blood-red raven perched on an otherwise unoccupied seat.
- A small jade pyramid Mr. Peters placed on the table and then denied ever having seen before.
- A sacrificial goat.
- A book full of lies that dared any present to read it.
- The remains of the previous CTO.
- Ms. Lucinda Roberts, CFO.
- The unwavering quartz orb that periodically manifests in the boardroom.
- Mr. Jackson’s shadow.
ITEM. Remains of the previous CTO. As board members seated themselves, Mr. Jackson expressed some distaste over the mangled mass of flesh in the corner of the room believed to be the remains of the previous CTO. Mr. Wainwright concurred, expressing the opinion that the foul stench of offal was attracting flies and maggots, and asked that the corpse be removed. Ms. Anderson objected, describing Mr. Wainwright and Mr. Jackson as “weak” and “incapable of the tasks laid before them.” A vote was held, and the board voted 9/13 in favor of removing the corpse, with two abstaining. Mr. Jackson objected to allowing the sacrificial goat and corpse itself to vote, but Mr. Wainwright held the point to be moot as their votes cancelled each other. The book full of lies expressed the opinion that it was full of secret truths and spells of forsaken power. Mr. Wainwright directed all present to ignore the book. The corpse was removed by cleaning staff.
ITEM. Opening sacrifice. Mr. Wainwright asked the board members to light their ritual candles and hold them aloft. This was done. Mr. Wainwright then led the goat into the prepared pentagram and slaughtered it while the board chanted the Hymn of the Sightless Worms. The blood-red raven shrieked twice, and all present knelt for a period of two minutes, after which the sacrifice was deemed to have been accepted. The book full of lies promised Mr. Jackson that it held within it a rite that could call his deceased husband back from the shadowy lands of death, but Mr. Jackson pointed out that his husband was alive and well and the book grew silent. Mr. Q was seen furtively taking notes, but claimed to be penning a letter to his daughter. Mr. Q does not have a daughter.
ITEM. Antarctic drilling difficulties. Ms. DeWitt updated the board on the progress of Antarctic drilling efforts.
SUBITEM. Mechanical failures. Ms. DeWitt explained that the repurposed flesh-mining equipment had been designed for use in the fiery pits of hell itself, and were ill suited to Antarctic temperatures. Additionally, she reported that five drilling rigs had been “subsumed” and refused to elaborate on the point.
SUBITEM. Anti-drilling activism. The board enjoyed a good laugh and Ms. DeWitt presented Mr. Wainwright with the head of a prominent anti-drilling activist on a pike. Mr. Wainwright proceeded to clap his hands in glee and ordered the head mounted on his desk. Mr. Q offered his assistance as an interior decorator, which Mr. Wainwright accepted.
SUBITEM. Fissures. Ms. DeWitt reported that strange fissures have been sighted opening in the Antarctic ice, and that workers who drew too close were ensnared by a mass of bright black tentacles. Most of these workers, Ms. DeWitt added, were returned to their quarters within a week, with one ulna removed and no memory of the past week but otherwise seemingly healthy. Mr. Jackson raised concerns over the continued employment of fissure victims, noting that the loss of an ulna could severely hamper productivity. Ms. DeWitt concurred, recommending that the workers be quarantined under the pretense of an ebola outbreak, to avoid raising awkward questions from their families. The cost of imprisoning dozens of workers indefinitely was briefly debated, and Mr. Wainwright recommended that the fissure victims be fed to the ice beasts after a week’s quarantine. A vote was held, and Mr. Wainwright’s proposal was adopted by a 8/11 vote.
ITEM. Ms. DeWitt’s husband. The book full of lies called out to Ms. DeWitt, offering her a potion to rekindle the love of her distant husband. The situation was resolved without a vote when Ms. DeWitt pointed out that she is unmarried and, additionally, that she is gay. The book again grew silent.
[At this point, the meeting was briefly interrupted by a disheveled man who burst into the boardroom, cradling a large rooster in his arms. He stared at the board and began shouting in what was later determined to be Hungarian before being removed by security. The chicken remained disturbingly calm and collected during the entire ordeal. Meeting resumed after Mr. Wainwright took a discrete sip from a pocket flask.]
ITEM. [CAWING]. The blood-red raven began cawing loudly. Mr. Wainwright listened attentively for several minutes, and recommended several minor alterations to the proposal. These were adopted by consensus. The raven’s proposal was accepted by a 7/11 vote, with Mr. Q abstaining, as he was engaged in whispering in code into his cufflink, which he later denied contained any kind of radio.
ITEM. Demise. Mx. Samadrael proposed a policy requiring all employees to spend seven minutes each day silently contemplating their own eventual death and the inherent fragility and worth of their lives. Ms. DeWitt expressed tentative support for the policy, but cautioned that it could adversely impact turnover rates. The proposal was debated and adopted by a 10/11 vote. The book full of lies spoke to Mx. Samadrael in a coarse and unfamiliar tongue (later determined to be a dialect of ancient Akkadian). Mx. Samadrael responded that the book should not invoke memories it could not comprehend, their voice shaking with barely-contained fury. The book once more grew silent.
ITEM. Congressional investigations. Mr. Wainwright updated the board on the ongoing investigation by the Senate Committee on Extradimensional Activities, and recommended the Corporation commission the assassination of key senators to end the investigation. Ms. Anderson objected, suggesting that the Corporation should threaten the children of key senators, and wait to order assassinations until the senators in question had indicated they would not cooperate. The proposal was debated, with Mx. Samadrael supporting Mr. Wainwright’s proposal, arguing that the bittersweet tang of death would remind the surviving senators of the preciousness of their lives. A compromise was reached whereby key senators would be viciously assaulted by mercenaries and their children kidnapped, but neither party killed. The board voted unanimously to adopt the compromise proposal. The book full of lies cawed at the blood-red raven, which cocked its head for a moment before shrieking in response. The book again grew silent.
[At this point, Mr. Peters, Ms. DeWitt, and Mr. Jackson became transfixed by the small jade pyramid, and scenes from great historical atrocities began playing out in the light it refracted, as the scent of sweat and blood filled the room. The situation was resolved without a vote when Mx. Samadrael whispered four secret words and the pyramid grew silent. Mr. Peters delicately placed the pyramid in a brown burlap sack, which he then deposited in a waste receptacle. Mx. Samadrael remained withdrawn for the remainder of the meeting, and excused themselves ten minutes later.]
ITEM. Ongoing IT issues. Mr. Peters reported recent software upgrades have caused ongoing problems with interoffice communication, noting that the companywide adoption of Windows 8 caused serious issues with older fax machines, crushing spheres, printers, and discipline chambers. Mr. Peters recommended authorizing funds to replace older technology as a “future-proofing” initiative. Mr. Q chuckled ominously, but when pressed waved it away as “nothing, I just thought of something funny,” expressing “complete support” for Mr. Peters’ proposal. Mr. Q continued snickering at intervals for the remainder of the meeting. The proposal was debated at length and ultimately tabled until a full analysis could be performed.
ADJOURNMENT. The meeting adjourned early when something vast and dark and terrible dropped out of the sky and slammed itself repeatedly against the boardroom windows, each impact producing a sound disturbingly like hundreds of children crying out in terror and the wet smack of meat against steel. Mr. Wainwright leapt from his seat and began shouting angrily at the shape while the other executives fled for their lives. Mr. Q leapt from the fire escape and was caught by a black helicopter, which departed for destinations unknown, while the man without eyes simply vanished from view as quickly and eerily as he, or perhaps, it, had arrived.
Addendum. Mr. Wainwright has not been located since the time of the incident and in the meantime CFO Lucinda Roberts has taken over as acting CEO. The book full of lies claimed to know Mr. Wainwright’s location, but was told to return to its office or face disciplinary measures.