Another day, another shift, another elevator ride.
Another slow ride on the elevator shaft. The president and his board of directors made it a slow ride - hated the ear-popping, hated the sudden ascent or decent, hated the sudden disappearance of what they believed to be the best view affordable anywhere.
The president stared out the window, arms folded as if scolding the view of the city, and kept rambling off about how they needed more everything - more things to sell, more divisions, more security, more production, more ears and eyes on the UCAS and CAS, more profit, more more more. No one present had the guts to remind him about budget deficits or the sudden increase in bombing runs on their complexes by God knew who - Shadowrunners couldn't afford bombers, and the their wetworks would have dirt, withing seconds of any attack, on whodunit.
One out of the four passengers had the guts to clear his throat. Quisling, of the president's favorite CEOs - driven to keep good PR to keep the populace from getting angry and dig up skeletons in their closets, all the while trying to lure in more workers and keep them working when they took the bait. Always driven, except for last month, where he suddenly placed all messages on hold, on grounds of "sickness", with no further explanation.
The president whirled around, irritation rising in his throat. "Qis," his pet name warped into an insult through clenched teeth, "what is it now?"
"Oh. I just think we should tell our board of directors about a disease making rounds. I believe I told you I caught it?"
The "it" was punctuated with a thud that rattled the platform, red lights suddenly flashing and one of the arcology's many AIs politely informing the passengers about an elevator malfunction - technicalities with the wires and chips - and to try to stay calm as they began trying to repair it.
"Fine," the president sighed, moving towards the door along with the other two passengers, his vice president and his oh-so-favored Chief of Security, so intently focused on the exit door and the ghostly lines of holographic messages to the passengers. "Just tell me what's it called. Every damn doctor you told me about had no fragging clue on whatever it was. I hope you're not making it up."
"Actually, it's quite real. I haven't quite recovered from it." There was a sound like ripping cloth, and a very audible whine of a Ripper knife activating its monofilament teeth. The others waved it away as the elevator malfunctioning again, eyes intent on the elevator door.
"It's called 'Chronic Backstabbing Syndrome'," Dover said.
When they finally found out why the president hadn't been answering any attempts to reach him, anyone next in the chain of command was hanging by their necks in the president's conference room.
(( Yes, this is another 'lol, the UCAS v. Corporations' non-canon thing. ))
"Those that live by the sword get shot by those that don't."