Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In drones we trust.

"We paid how much money to Bill Clinton to speak at the partners' retreat?" Former Senator Evermore Breadman shouted at the managing partner of Prince and Prowling.

"Senator, this was all settled in the partners' meeting months ago--I can't help it if you weren't there and never read the memo."

"We had to fly all the way to Canada, for God's sake, and then we paid for Bill Clinton, of all people?  What are we, the law firm supporting Hillary Clinton now?"

"You're the one who's always telling us we can make money on both sides of the aisle," retorted the managing partner.  "Most of the partners were quite happy with the retreat, especially the junior partners."

"Because they're too young to remember when he was Bubba!"

"Did you see the photo they took of themselves in the Space Needle?  Toronto was a lot of fun."

"Montreal is a lot of fun!  Toronto is useless!"

"Well, that's a bit harsh, Senator, but if you really think the partners' retreat was so bad, I look forward to your serving on the retreat committee next winter.  I only drove in here because you said there was an emergency with SOTA-BUNK."

"The bunker has settled more deeply into the foundation, and my office window view is all screwed up now--look!"  Breadman pointed at his Pennsylvania Avenue view, which did look a bit crooked.

"Oh, my God!  Our building is sinking?!"  With that, the managing partner ran off to evacuate the contract attorneys who had been holed up in the State of the Art Bunker review center for 20 straight days.

Not far away, Bridezilla was not looking at the view outside her window--she was staring at the cellphone selfie she had taken with Bill Clinton at the partners' retreat.  (Sigh.)  She would have vehemently denied it could ever happen to her, but the mythic Clinton magnetism had slain her the moment she shook his hand.  (Sigh.)  She recalled how his voice sounded, how his hand felt, how nice he smelled.  (Sigh.)  She absent-mindedly played with the engagement ring hidden on a chain under her sundress, imagining what it might have been like to work in the Clinton White House!  Her very conservative fiance's caller ID abruptly invaded her Clinton photo, and she tried to get her Republican mind back on track.

Meanwhile, down in the basement Situation Room, Laura Moreno and the managing partner were trying to convince Chloe Cleavage that their client would not sue them for breach of contract if they evacuated the contract attorneys.

"We need to have structural engineers out here!" exclaimed the managing partner.  "Forensic architects!  Construction detectives!"

"Good grief, buildings settle all the time!" replied Cleavage (who was wearing a Marilyn Monroe type halter dress despite the 62-degree air conditioning).  "Who cares?  We are billing these people out for $9,000/hour!"

"Look, missy, I'm the one in charge here!" shouted the managing partner, who motioned Moreno to go release the temps.

"You're gonna regret calling me that!" retorted Cleavage.  "You should have more consideration for people who took a bullet for this law firm!"

"I got shot, too, missy!" hollered the managing partner.

Meanwhile, Moreno was entering SOTA-BUNK to tell the contractors they were being sent home early, then watched as they punched their time cards and exited through the male and female changing rooms--where they would take off their orange jumpsuits and be scanned naked for anything they might have tried to sneak out of SOTA-BUNK, before finally getting their own clothing, cellphones, and other personal belongings back.  The entire humiliating and dehumanizing process seemed pointless, since they were not even doing a body cavity search, and Moreno was fairly certain that these "best practices" had been devised not to keep client information unassailable but, rather, to render temps as flaccid, obedient, and spineless as legally possible without actually enslaving them as unpaid drones.  Prince and Prowling's newest staff attorney sighed deeply--about both humanity's plight in general, and the fact that the would now be expected to go upstairs and work until midnight on this stupid antitrust case.  Worst Sunday ever.

Several floors up, Felix Cigemeier was not having his worst Sunday ever--in fact, his fledgling drone practice had suddenly exploded this week after the Washington Post's expose' on the menace of domestic drones had resulted in a flood of new drone clients.  "The view out your window seems crooked," said Charles Wu (Cigemeier's only long-time drone client), who was tilting his head slightly.

"Excellent, excellent," said Cigemeier, without looking up from his computer.  "OK, I think I've got the new indemnification clauses worked out.  This will be fine for your purposes right now, but I have to advise you, we're worried that states are going to start passing strict liability laws."

"Of course," said Wu.  "I won't worry as long as I have insurance."

"You're in excellent shape for now, but we'll have to keep an eye on things.  The manufacturers would probably get hit with the class-action suits first, but their pockets are not that deep.  Plaintiff attorneys will be looking for large corporate drone users to go after, eventually."

"Nobody ever sues me," said Wu, truthfully, because his chi had always protected him.

"Well, we're fortunate that you bother hiring us to do anything, then!" said Cigemeier, who suddenly remembered it was Sunday night and he was at the office, so he abruptly stood up to get rid of Wu.

Out in the river, Ardua of the Potomac watched with more than a passing interest as Congressman Herrmark's rented yacht pulled into port in Alexandria.  On board, his Chief of Staff, Ann Bishis, had succeeded (after many sacrifices to Glaucos and Poseidon, and prayers to her pelican spirit animal) to convince the Speaker of the House and the Senate Minority Leader that the New Dominion Boat Club would be the perfect cover for a new fleet of domestic spy drones near the nation's capital.  Funding to build the New Dominion Boat Club of Alexandria was now on the way!  And the river demon would have a whole set of new--and dangerous--toys to play with....

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COMING UP:  Angela de la Paz versus the Chimera.

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