A LONG TIME FROM NOW IN AN OFFICE BUILDING FAR AWAY:
Our heroes are introduced to their first enemy (because what would an epic story be without an…er…epic battle between good and evil); a group of extremely intelligent, over-achieving know-it-alls. Unsure of exactly what to do they follow man’s basic instinct. War. A long battle ensues. Many hardships are met along the way. A member of the alliance is lost. Will they ever recover? Probably! The Coalition of Allied Personnel, the over-achievers bent on taking over the corporate world hope not though. And that’s kind of where we get our story from. Yay! Armed with the collective intelligence of four valedictorians the CAP looks as if failure is far away. This is the first in a mid-length series of…CUBE WARS!
Alexander Bauer’s Personal Log Monday, 11-30-19
I have begun my first day of work as an Architect at Casco Industries. After college, and various unskilled jobs, this all seems very strange to me. I hope college was worth it. They make a lot of money, architects do, still…I am disappointed somehow. I envisioned going out, doing some hands-on building, I guess. But a desk job suits me, I like working on the computer…and internet access.
I have managed to commandeer a company flash drive on which to save this personal log. It is my hope that it will assist me in achieving a perfect level of productivity…or just give me something to do.
My cubicle is very sparse right now. All I have is a desk, a table, a filing cabinet, a chair, and finally and most importantly, my computer. The software’s top of the line but I have nothing to do. It’s like sitting at the helm of a spaceship staring wistfully at the controls and the stars. Unfortunately, I also have no friends here. I’ve been told that I’m part of a larger design team, but I have yet to meet my comrades.
Our boss seems a worthy foe, a by the book automaton with an apparent all seeing eye. He seems corporately pleasant enough, but when he speaks it sounds like he just plays a recording while moving his lips and making hand gestures. He’s a real grinder, the type with the perfect wife, and the perfect kids that he’s not raising because he spends all his time at the office. It isn’t even funny. I’m laughing anyway though.
Anyway, its almost time for Star Trek to come on so I will sign off.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal Log Tuesday, 12-1-19
My perseverance has finally paid off. I have completed the HR forms of doom so (after a long day yesterday) I was finally able to work with my group. They are an odd bunch to say the least, I was only able to meet with them for a few hours today, but I feel I learned a lot.
The leader of the group is a man named Andrew Crawford. He said was always tall for his age, and at six foot nine, I believed his claim. His lifelong dream was to become a pilot but they couldn’t fit him in the cockpit. Which is a hilarious word by the way. Anyway, he began his search for another career and ended up here. (I may have accidentally glanced through some of their psychological profiles yesterday. And by ‘accidentally,’ I mean I wasted three hours flirting with the Human Resources lady until I watched her type in her password. I don’t know if my boner will ever come out again). Anyway, I now feel more knowledgeable about the people I work with.
The next person in the group is Crawford’s good and stunningly attractive friend Andrew Corp. Corp was into gymnastics in high school, and went to meets often which is kind of what gymnasts do. However, upon being beaten with a springboard by an angry fan during the 2004 State Championships, he suffered a career ending knee injury. He seems to be of somewhat unstable mind, but I guess if you work in an office building and aren’t either batshit insane or a catastrophic asshole, you’re doing it wrong. It could be owed in part to a last name one letter and a switcheroo from being ‘crap.’ The world will never know. (Unless I write about it later).
The third member of our team is the wiry Michael Billings. He is…let’s just say he’s an oddity, albeit technologically intelligent. In college he managed to hack a network administrator’s password to access the entire network. From there he was able to wreak unholy havoc on the auto-correct function of every school computer. Imagine…a world there ‘the’ becomes ‘bag of douche,’ where ‘it’ becomes ‘hairy nutsack,’ and where ‘and’ becomes ‘Mel Gibson, king of the Jews, demands your obedience!’ School officials got to live in that world, and it was glorious. Needless to say, he got into a little trouble. The university forced him to work as the school’s part time janitor for a year. Although I don’t making someone with an admittedly dirty mind a janitor is the wisest strategy.
The fourth and final member of our team (not including me, otherwise he would be the fifth…yay math!) is Mark Shamberg. Though he seems to be the most normal of the bunch, he’s resented by everyone in the group. I guess it’s true what they say. In a flock of black sheep, the white sheep is the outcast. And then you shave the sheep and have a bunch of bald sheep. Which must look weird. Who says that? I say that. Shut up, I can be a ‘they’ if I want. Little is known about him seeing as how he is fairly new to the company as well.
There were are, five strong, like the Planeteers, although we can’t conjure a man in blue spandex and red underwear…yet. (Foreshadowing.)
I must depart. (Star Trek).
Alexander Bauer’s Personal Log Wednesday, 12-02-19
Yay! The week is half over. There was some concern at the office today. We have been given a large project for a major client…and so has the other half of our row of cubicles. We are pitted five on five in an architectural and engineering fight to the death.
There is a man who wants a house. He has decided that this house shall have three bathrooms, three bedrooms, a utility room, all the major rooms (living, kitchen, etc…), and an outdoor shower. The arrangement of the rooms is the major source of difficulty. It will be easier to list the specifications. Stand by:
- Utility room must be 40 ft2
- Bathrooms must be on the same wall as the kitchen sink and the utility room.
- Living room must be large (What the hell does that mean?)
- Deck must be approximately 350 ft2
- Total house area must be 1,500 to 2,000 ft2
It’s a little like putting together a lubed up jigsaw puzzle.
Earlier today I once again abused my access to everyone’s psychological profiles. (And I didn’t even have to sleep with any fugly HR ladies!) This time I checked out our competition. They are frightening. Like a serrated condom. They were all valedictorians of their class. They are all sane, (perhaps not a great advantage) and have been with the company for five to ten years each. After I passed this information along to my group, we decided to win this battle by any means available. Crawford and I snuck into each of their cubicles and placed hidden cameras. They’re almost a week ahead of us! We have to do something about this but what?
The group is spending the night in the office building to watch the video feeds, and to strategize for a potential assault.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Thursday, 12-03-19
Suspicious happenings today. Our cameras have all disappeared. At least from their offices. We can no longer watch them and steal their ideas. Everyone in the group suspects a traitor. I personally doubt Shamberg’s loyalty. Talk of formalizing our alliance has occurred with some hesitance, but I don’t know what it will amount to. I have taken the liberty of leaving sleeping materials in my cubicle. No rest for the criminally insane.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Friday, 12-04-19
We received some disconcerting news earlier today. The cameras we hid in their cubicles have made a sudden reappearance. They were found active in four of our five cubicles. The camera in that dirty traitor Mark’s cubicle was present, but unpowered. A pathetic decoy. Though he denies all accusations, everyone assumes his guilt.
Rather than simply remove the cameras, the four of us decided to take a page from Billings’s collegiate notebook. With his help, we created different viruses and uploaded them back through the camera feeds into our enemy’s computers. Mine commandeered the volume settings and text to speech center and repeatedly plays recordings of profanities at ear-shattering volumes. Ever wonder what it sounds like when Stephen Hawking tells you he’s going to take your anal virginity? Of course you do! Billings’s disabled all mouse functions in the computer receiving it. Simple, but annoying and effective. Crawford’s reconfigured the keyboard settings to rotate language daily. Hope they’re multilingual! Finally, Corp made it so every time someone hits save, the computer shuts down. A true work of art. I think that will give us a few days to catch up.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Monday, 12-07-19
After a great weekend, I have to go back to that shithouse. Hmm, what do you know, only took a week. Today we disposed of Mark. His traitorous ways no longer burden us. We held him down on the copier and scanned his ass. The great part is, our company copier’s scan function can be mass-distributed.
“Hmm, I, random employee, have received IMG0293736 from the Canon Copier. I don’t recall scanning anything, I shall open it to investigate…blammo! Skinny white male ass.”
The company decided to “pursue a different direction,” and fired Mark. And he might have been sued for sexual harassment by a few people. Or crimes against nature. I forget which.
Today is also a momentous day for another reason. I have penned and we have all signed the Declaration of Alliance. I feel like John Hancock. Not as funny as cockpit, but up there. We have also made plans to change the configuration of our four cubicles, merging to become a super cubicle. More on this later as Star Trek now beckons.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Tuesday, 12-08-19
We have taken out the center walls that divide our cubicles and formed one big cubicle and fashioned a lockable door from the table that used to be Mark’s because that’s what we planned to do yesterday. Not content with the general level of cubicle security, especially from airborne attacks (aka, none), we took the extra walls and put a roof over our heads as well.
Crawford ordered new staple guns and issued two to each in our group. They can put a stable through a piece of sheet metal. We are prepared for battle.
We’ve made a few additional modifications to our fortress, cutting a four inch hole in our roof of cubicle walls. I brought in an electric wheelchair motor, and modified Mark’s old desk chair. Two of the extra staple guns have been mounted on the chair which has been bolted to the roof. I then took an old sheet of windshield glass, cut two holes in it and put it in front of the mounted staple guns to make a rotating staple gun turret. Unfortunately, due to the fact that there are many cubicles on this floor there are many blind spots.
Evidently our enemies have gathered intelligence and mounted some material on the outside walls of their cubicle to make penetration difficult. We do not like it when penetration is difficult. This will nullify the effectiveness of our turret for base assault.
On a bright note, we have taken control of the hallway, although due to Mark’s defection and departure, our group finds itself outnumbered five to four. We may have to travel outside our fortress to find additional allies. I am enclosing a diagram of our turret and will continue to do so with the many other things we will undoubtedly create. For now…
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Wednesday, 12-9-19
We have quelled an attempt by them to penetrate our interior. (Sorry, I used my quota of penetration jokes for this chapter). We believe they were only testing the efficiency of the turret as one of them made a rather stupid break for our door. I happened to be the lucky gunner at the time and I showed no mercy. Fourteen shots were fired, twelve connected. That’s 85.7 and a whole bunch of other numbers percent accuracy bitches! Four leg hits, four torso, two arm, and two head (the upper head).
Our weapons research has also progressed. I bought a thousand water balloons and began filling them with ink and created a prototype launcher for them. Though throwing them proves effective, the Balloon Launcher adds both distance and accuracy. One of their members stepped out and was immediately plastered with ink. It was like glorious octopus porn.
They may be less advanced than us when it comes to weapons, but their armor is quite impressive. Not only have their fortress defenses been improved, but they seem to have developed some sort of body armor that has made conventional staple weapons almost completely useless. Fortunately, thanks to me, they are no longer “conventional” staple weapons. (This sentence is the first in a long book of ego stroking, get used to it). I have added new springs to all of the handguns to make the automatic and substituted the balloon launcher in the turret until we can improve those guns as well.
We have decided not to make a demonstration of the staple guns’ power. Better them to still think them ordinary and live (or die!) to regret it. We don’t want to give them any time to adapt. Not unlike the Borg.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log, Thursday, 12-10-19
We have reason to believe that the enemy has formed a strategic alliance to mirror our own. Evidently they call themselves the Coalition of Armored Personnel (CAP). We call them CRAP. We have the collective maturity of fourth graders. I feel this can only be an advantage moving forwards. We have simply become known as The Alliance. To understand the situation, you must first understand the layout of the floor, from henceforth known as the battlefield. Or probably still the floor since that is easier to type. As I explained, our row is two cubicles wide and ten long. We are at the south end of this stretch and they occupy the north. Two identical rows of cubes lie to the east. That means that excluding the departed Mark, there are now twenty nine workers on the level including us.
Today, we experienced what sounded like a paperweight barrage from the east. Fortunately, our defenses proved to be adequate. I scrambled up to the turret to mount a defense, but the barrage came from one of its blind spots. Because of the arc the paint grenades carry I was able to launch a few in the right direction and succeeded in driving our attacker away. Though it was unsettling, we will not be beaten just by people throwing heavy objects at our fortress.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log, Friday, 12-11-19
My latest contraption is nearly complete. I have created a barrel type mechanism for the stapleguns that will be reattached to the turret for improved accuracy. I have also been adding extra springs and have created a larger ammunition holder essentially allowing them to fire automatically. That’s right, machine stapleguns. By Monday the modifications should be finished and we will have two of them mounted on our turret to add to the paint-grenade launcher. I have also been experimenting with a high speed projectile weapon. While the grenade’s arc gives them more versatility in aiming, it is rather easy to avoid the low speed of the projectiles. In short, we need more firepower.
Despite our advances, the war is not going well. We believe the enemy has gone recruiting and that we are now outnumbered ten to four. We need to gain allies and quickly.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log, Monday, 12-14-19
The machine stapleguns are complete and now grace our lovely turret. (Because describing war materials as lovely is perfectly acceptable). We have also mounted some cameras on the outside of our fort to use for external sensors. Is all this talk about mounting making you horny too? Hmm.
Despite the mentioned technological advances, today was not a good day. At approximately eleven in the morning all of our external cameras were hit by primitive ink grenades. Then the windshield on the turret was hit, blotting out all of our external sensors. Rendered defenseless, we were pelted on all sides by anything they could throw or shoot at us. The northeast roof panel took a fair amount of damage before we again had eyes. Luckily, I had installed some windshield wipers on the turret earlier thus regaining its effectiveness rather quickly, but the other cameras remain useless.
On a more positive note, we have recruited one Arthur James Connors of which A. J. is short for. You didn’t honestly expect me to continue typing Arthur James, did you? He appears to be bordering on insanity, and his face often shows it, but he is brilliant when it comes to weapons design. I have been doing some tinkering, and A. J. and I should have the high speed projectiles done by tomorrow.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Tuesday, 12-15-19
We have made high speed warheads out of plastic cups with a rubber fitting and nozzle over the opening. The cups are then pumped full of ink and attached to a pack of rocket engines. With me providing cover in the turret (now equipped with the rocket launcher) Billings and Corp were able to safely venture out onto the floor to clean the sensors and install automatic aiming mini guns, a genius idea of Mr. Billings. Corp has begun outlining invasion strategies and I think there might soon be an allied offensive.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Wednesday, 12-16-19
Victory! By putting a small amount of acid in the grenades, we were able to burn a hole in the CAP’s fort. We found seven people inside, but only one member of the original coalition. They have all surrendered and agreed to quit their jobs, fortunate for us…and for them. If we have to, we will take things further in the future.
That brings the population total to five Alliance members, twelve Coalition members, and six neutral. It also means that we control the entire western cubicle chain. Our fortress is now a series of two by two cubicle forts connected by doorways. Each of us gets our own alcove in which to work and we’ve begun delegating major duties. Crawford is the official, unofficial leader, Billings is our secretary of defense and surveillance, Corp is military strategist, A. J. is in charge of inventory, and I am the chief engineer of weapons design and manufacturing. Each two by two section of our fortress has been fitted with a turret and all of the turrets now contain a computer surveillance system in addition to their weapons so we can snipe and work at the same time. Unfortunately, however, we are losing support on the floor. We should move quickly to sway the neutral parties.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Thursday, 12-17-19
A. J. and I have begun the construction of a super-weapon. I ordered industrial springs the other day for the purpose of creating a gun similar to the high speed projectile launcher, but with even more devastating force. Instead of launching staples, or grenades, or high speed ink projectiles, it has been designed to fire five pound spherical paperweights. Construction began today when the springs arrived and should be finished sometime next week. I’ll put it bluntly. This war needs to end. Now. Then I’ll put it in their collective anuses (anii?) with a paperweight.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Friday, 12-18-19
The creation of the super-weapon is ahead of schedule. It will be operational on Monday. I feel like Darth Vader with the death star. In a surprising twist of rationale and sanity, this particular superweapon will be shockingly devoid of obvious design flaws. Smart, eh? Unfortunately, its large size has presented us with the problem of getting it up on the roof. In anticipation of this, I had asked A. J. to go overboard on ordering ammunition. Hey, there’s still tons of project budget left to blow, even considering the two-G hookers, I mean…
Mike, Corp, and Crawford have been keeping up a constant barrage while A. J. and I construct the weapon. In the hall outside our fortress. Yeah it kind of sucks, but our gunners have the enemy so occupied, they can’t fire on us and defend themselves at the same time. This has also had the added bonus of scaring the neutrality right back into anyone that was thinking of affiliating themselves otherwise. Four more Coalitionists surrendered and quit as well. Somewhat disappointing, I have a trigger finger that itches. And it wants to pull triggers too. Our day will come.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Monday, 12-21-19
The super-weapon was completed early today and the results have been astonishing. The cannon, as we call it, devastated the entire middle section of cubicles. It has been knocked into something that suspiciously resembles a series of grey felt cubicle walls that have been knocked over.
The cannon takes up the majority of space atop our fortress. We had expected the war to end today, when we discovered that they had developed a powerful weapon of their own. It looked like a normal grenade at first, until it exploded and disabled all of our computer activity with some kind of magnetic pulse. This included all computers, the automatic turrets, the external camera sensors, and unfortunately, the cannon. It needed a computer to regulate the coiling and recoiling of springs that produced the projectiles’ high velocity.
We have all been working on a way to eliminate the computer from this design, but our efforts have as of yet been unsuccessful. (Obviously). On a brighter note, only a two by three cubicle section remains on their end and we have made the war five on five with no neutrals. Corp and I decided that we didn’t care to solicit their likely insincere loyalties and opened fire. Whoops.
Alexander Bauer’s Personal log Tuesday, 12-22-19
Though our efforts to de-computerize the cannon were unsuccessful, we were able to reverse the effects of the pulse and have gotten all our computers back online. We booted up the cannon and opened fire on the remaining members of the coalition. There was no mercy. There was much victory. There may have been some donuts. We knocked the walls of their remaining cubicles to the ground and began to celebrate our triumph. Then The Boss walked on to the floor.
“That project was due yesterday,” he reminded us. We hadn’t forgotten. “I don’t have it, you’re all fired!” he yelled.
“We will fight,” I answered.
“You will lose,” he growled as he walked back into the elevator.
We have won the first great war, but the next will be even more difficult. Management is on the fourth and highest floor and we don’t even have a presence there. They will not be set back monetarily as our enemies were, and surely not as technologically stupid. The fight coming is tough, but for now, we will celebrate into the night.