Company Rules


Killian stands ten paces away from a shrouded and seated Jerome.

Killian:”Don’t act surprised that this is happening. I never misrepresented myself to you or anyone else for that matter.”

Jerome:”You’re misreading my body language, Killian. It’s actually a combination of disappointment and fear.”

Killian (chuckling):”I’ll take that. Means I’m halfway home.”

Jerome:”Oh, it does.”


Jerome (fidgeting in his chair):”Though this chair is rather uncomfortable, given the shackles.”

Killian:”Safety over comfort, Jerome.”

Jerome:”Not my safety and not my comfort.”

Killian:”Now who’s misreading the situation.”

Jerome (sighing):”I have my flaws. They may prove the death of me.”

Killian:”Miles to go. Miles to go, lad.”

A silence settled over the vast warehouse.
Killian paced over to the industrial window and looked out over the empty lot. He spoke quietly, as if to himself, but it was clear he was directing it at Jerome.

Killian:”I’ve never boiled people down to types. Always struck me as lazy, but it’s also one step closer to underestimating a person’s power, or maybe strengths is a better word.”

Jerome:”Positive attributes.”

Killian:”Okay. Positive attributes. I am mulling over yours right now. It’s a short list, if I’m honest.”

Jerome:”Whatever they are, that’s not what got me here, obviously.”

Killian pauses for moment, then turns around and steps a few feet closer to Jerome.

Killian:”That is where you are wrong. And that is why your biggest asset, your ability to think quickly, is currently your fatal flaw.”


Killian:”You know that. Don’t play ignorant.”

Jerome:”I know you have a reputation for taking care of delicate situations, but this isn’t delicate. I made one too many passes at a married woman. Simple and embarrassing, but she never strayed and I let it go.”

Killian:”You say you let it go, but the stream of texts from unknown numbers makes me think there’s something deeper going on.”

Jerome:”I won’t deny it. Pathetic guy with a head full of benzos does a dumb thing.”

Killian:”Thing. More like things. For the last month. I know you don’t want me to read the propositions back to you. It is unfortunate for you. Deeply unfortunate for you that I monitor all of the staff phones.”

Jerome:”Come on. You never did something stupid under the influence?”

Killian:”Not the point. You signed an agreement and we take our agreements seriously. It’s not a court of law here. This isn’t justice.”

Jerome:”Then why do anything to me? Run me off.”

Killian:”As I said, this is not justice or even retribution. I’m sparing you further shame. I’m helping a woman live without fear.”

Jerome:”She’s not afraid. She’s oblivious.”

Killian:”But I’m not and I set the examples around here.”

Jerome:”Thought you didn’t reduce people to type?”

Killian:”I don’t. I am a tool for the C level suits here. Blunt or razor, I get the work done.”

Jerome:”I’ll go with blunt.”

Killian:”You are out of choices. It’s the ones you made that brought you here tonight. Simple to see the outcome now.”

© 2022 Jeff E. Brown. All rights reserved.

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