Let's see if holding myself accountable will work as planned.
The idea behind this is that you're a regular office worker trying to navigate an accidental decision to hire supervillains.
I have 8 main endings planned, along with some deaths if at all possible.
I seem to have a lot of beginning stuff to get through before any real choices are made, but I might have a way to get around that.
I'll post the first scene here once I've given it a once-over.
Your commute was surprisingly free of fireballs, portals to other dimensions, or monster slime. Though that’s usually a sign that something big will happen in a few days or so, you were grateful nonetheless. You even had time to grab a Starbucks and a sandwich instead of the awful office coffee you normally settle for.
Before you stepped into the office, you even thought that it would be a good day. But you should have known by now that Mondays can never be good.
Now, you’re standing frozen in shock at the figure before you. The skin around her eyes is grey, like something’s trying to claw its way out of them. She leaches the colour out of everything around her. This is Wraith, the scourge of your city, who has caused millions of dollars worth of destruction, ruined countless lives, and made your commute unbearable.
She’s cursing at the printer.
All your colleagues seem to be giving her a wide berth, but none of them are outright screaming in panic. Did she hypnotize them or something? You’re pretty sure that ability isn’t in her roster. You catch Dave’s eye as he’s heading to the water cooler.
“Is she…” you whisper, gesturing to the supervillain in your office.
“I don’t know,” Dave replies helplessly. “Ask Linda.”
You decide to take the long way around to Linda’s office, because even if cutting past Wraith would get you there faster, you want to get as far away as you can from the angry villain. You try to think of what to say to the HR director—you have no clue what prompted this decision. Linda’s open-minded, but she isn’t insane.
You knock on Linda’s door, realizing how unsheltered your cubicle is compared to it. If Wraith decides to take you all hostage, you would rather four walls between you and her.
“Come in,” Linda calls, sounding a little frazzled. You oblige, opening the door.
When she sees you, she melts in relief. “Cameron, what good timing! I was just going to ask you to come here!”
You chuckle nervously.
“Sit down, sit down,” she says. “So, do you want to start first?”
“Yeah,” you say, irritation creeping into your voice. “Why is Wraith here?!”
Linda looks unfazed by your outburst. “I know some people are upset with the decision, but like you said, we can’t just continue to hire people who fit the status quo. Hence Carol. I looked over her resume and we both agreed that a job in HR would suit her well. Although I didn’t exactly understand the new policy you suggested, she seemed grateful for it. That being said, do you have any ideas on how to avoid exclusion? You yourself said we needed to create a more inclusive culture—”
“Hold up,” you interject. “You’re saying this was my idea?”
“Why wouldn’t it be? You gave that lovely presentation in April, remember? You said you wanted to make the workplace more ‘ethically diverse’.”
A growing feeling of horror creeps through your veins.
“Linda,” you say, incredulous. “That isn’t what I said.”
“What do you mean? I posted some new job ads that said we were accepting of people branded supervillains and people with criminal records. I mean, obviously not if they haven’t finished their sentence yet, but we have a lot of new hires—”
“I said” –you take a deep breath, perhaps to avoid losing your sanity—"I wanted to make the workplace more ethnically diverse.”
The room is silent.
“Oh,” Linda says, her voice small.
One minor inconsistency. The protagonist seems to be Linda's superior or at least someone in charge of making policy. Why is he working in a cubicle, while Linda gets an office?
I'm still unsure of what I want Cameron's role to be, so thanks for the tip! I modified the sentence for more ambiguity while I figure things out:
Linda’s open-minded, but she isn’t insane.
You never thought you’d envy the fact that Linda’s office is right next to the fire escape, but as you knock on her door, you guess there’s a first time for everything.
I really like the "ethically diverse" bit and enjoyed reading the first scene- it would have made for a great short story, too. My only suggestions are to italicize "ethnically" to emphasize it and single quotation marks around "I wanted to make the workplace more ethnically diverse" for the quote within a quote. Hope you finish the story!
I think thats a hilarious idea. Its very original from what I can tell. I don't think I've heard of something where supervillains decide to get normal 9-5 jobs. Your first scene is a nice introduction to the setting and lets readers get a sense of the norm in the setting. Obviously, we know super villains are a real threat and many of them are now seeking employment. I'm interested to learn why/ how this all came to be. I wish you luck in your writing!
I got a lot of background work done this week, including outlines, character studies, and making the game itself, along with some minor revisions.
I do have a little bit of writing to show today:
“Matt’s not going to like this,” you say to Dave while waiting for the coffee to brew.
“I want to see his face when he realizes what happened, but, like, out of the blast radius.”
It’s an open secret at your office that Phoenix, the city’s most well-known superhero, works here. If Matt’s suspicious disappearances and inability to ever be seen in the same vicinity as Phoenix weren’t telling enough, there’s also the fact that he can literally fume—everyone has seen the ripples of heat coming off him when he gets angry.
Considering the destructive potential you’ve seen on the news in his battles, you wouldn’t be surprised if he blew this place sky-high when he learns that Wraith—sorry, Carol—now works here. Their feud has been going on for months, maybe even years. You’ve considered moving because of it, but the rent has hit the floor here and you can afford your apartment for once.
Of course, being able to afford rent might soon be the least of your problems. Matt just walked in.
Carol has since moved to her cubicle, so the destruction isn’t immediate. One might think that her draining power would fit right in with the general soul-sucking atmosphere of the office, but Matt picks up on it quickly. He looks around frantically and meets your eyes. You rush over to him before he tries to attack Carol, though quite frankly you’re not sure what you’d be able to do to stop him. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to have chosen that course of action.
He grabs onto your wrist, presumably to emphasize his point. “Cameron, Wraith is in the building, and we need to evacuate everyone. I don’t know what she’s planning, but—”
You cut him off. “Matt,” you say with an exasperated sigh, “She works here now.”
Matt drops your hand. He stares at you for a long moment. “What?”
“Yeah, I know,” you reply. “I made coffee. Come get some and I’ll explain.”
Whoops! I didn't post last week, though I have been getting some writing done. I'll post two pieces of writing today to make up for it.
This one I've been having a little trouble with. I'm trying to get the conflict to bubble over into the two looking like they're going to duke it out right then and there, but I'm having trouble building up to it. Let me know what you guys think of this so far!
Next on the agenda is a discussion about the super bonus. Not the most exciting stuff, but you’ve had quite enough excitement for the whole month.
Once everyone has filed in, you realize there is a problem.
Both Matt and Carol are in HR.
Both of them are in this meeting.
The super bonus is for all the employees that continued working despite the increased activity. Matt already gets a lot of side-eye during these sorts of discussions. Having Carol in the room certainly won't help matters.
But exclusion isn't allowed, even if you're talking heroes and villains in a discussion about the damage they cause. It's company policy, and if you start excluding people, that opens the door to a whole host of problems.
So you’re just going to have to make sure they don’t kill one another.
If you had teleportation powers, you would be out of here in a flash.
“Here’s how meetings typically go here,” you say, unlocking a cabinet and pulling out a wooden stick with a speech bubble painted on it. “Whoever has the conversation stick is the only person allowed to talk. You can only hold the stick for a maximum of five minutes. If you talk without the stick, or if you hold onto it for more than five minutes, then I use this.” You pull out the air horn, capable of causing simultaneous chaos and order.
“The last few months have been destructive in terms of super activity, as I’m sure many of you have experienced.”
Matt and Carol glare at one another, but nobody speaks.
“Because of this, the government mandated a bonus for those still coming to work. We gave our employees this bonus, but now the mandate has been repealed. Because of this, we can no longer apply for help with providing this bonus. Our finances department says that we may be able to continue providing this bonus—but there’s a problem. Insurance has gone up, and our policy is no longer covering damage from supers.
“The battles are still going on, despite what the politicians may say, and so taking away the bonus when people are coming to work in what’s practically an open war zone wouldn’t be a fair move. Not to mention we’d potentially lose talent to other companies still paying out the bonus.
“But not insuring the building during this time could potentially prove just as catastrophic, if not more. If we lose it to a battle, then we don’t exactly have the finances to rebuild it. That would mean hundreds of jobs lost, and this branch would probably close for good.
“So, what should we do?” you say, placing the stick down on the table.
Matt is the first to grab it. “There’s got to be some other way to work around insurance. We can’t just leave people out to dry like that. We need to put our people first.” He places it back down on the table.
Carol snatches it up. “But what does ‘putting our people first’ even mean? I do think that’s a nice sentiment, don’t get me wrong, but does that mean topping up people’s salaries? Or does that mean ensuring that they don’t lose their job? Keeping this branch intact would be a lot better for everyone, even if that means a few hurt feelings.”
The stick is barely on the table for a second before it’s in Matt’s hands once more. “It isn’t just about hurt feelings, Carol. It’s about showing that we’re there for people, that we value our employees. A lot of companies in our field are still paying out the bonus, and if we withdraw right now, it’ll look like we’re stingy and were only paying the bonus because the government ordered it.”
I have!, It isn't completely revised, but there will be something!
Here it is!