Not so long ago, The Hamelin Corp was in shambles; debt-stricken, under the allegations of legal counterfeit. They owed millions in settlement to their partners and the competitive entities that sued them. The forgery and the news of embezzlement spread across the market like fire. Investors pulled out their money, alliances broke their vows, breached their contracts and the media hammered the management on daily prime time.
“Enough,” said the bald CEO with the bauble of a belly, thumping on his desk, “I want a list of all our employees who have contributed in this corporate theft by noon this morning and I want them all out by tomorrow.”
“I mean,” he scratched the coffee brown mole on his forehead and flared his nose at his secretary as if looking for pre-approval for what he was about to say, “biting behind my back is one thing, alright? But hollowing the system from within, while being a part of the system is unacceptable. Because at the end of the day, I know what a Snake would do, but this is the work of a rat. Did I say a rat? I meant Rats. It’s a work of a bunch of rats. They ratted us out. Fucking rodents!”
He shook his head. Dabbed his forehead with handkerchief.
“Sheila, Brandon, Tom, Dick, Harry… in that order, can you please make sure we have the list of names by tomorrow? I don’t care if you do it by yourself, go to the cops, invent a time machine and go in the past, or hire a freelancer with expertise to crack cases of this nature. I want these rats out of The Hamelin Corp by tomorrow afternoon. Get on it. Now!”
So the management team went on a hunt for a squad. They looked from monolithic oppressors of the embezzlement world to a ragtag of demonic who’s who of the counterfeiting universe, to the juggernauts in the world of anti-theft. The Tom Hardy’s and the magnanimous representations of the ne’er-do-wells of the celluloid screens. But at the end of the day, the team had no one else but themselves. Except for Brandon.
Brandon had gone home, he said, Fuck The Hamelin Corp! And he collected his desk items in a carton, and left. While leaving, the Deadpool merchandise fell from his box like baits for rodents.
A rat like man, scurried from the next cubicle, picked it up and put the toy on his CPU. While the other rats, circled his cubicle in awe and nibbled on the bread crumbs they had brought from the cafeteria.
“So? What do we have? How did we do? Updates! Anyone?” The CEO enquired that evening.
“We have got nothing boss.” Tom Said.
“Yup Nothing.” Said Sheila.
“Nothing at all, boss!” Said Harry.
The CEO, loosened his tie and lit a cigarette. Looking at everyone in the room, he said, you know what this means right?
“What?” Said Dick.
“It means, we got to call Piper. Piper Snowden.”
“No, not the Piper, boss.” Said Tom while munching on his evening snack.
“Why? You got a better idea?”
“Then shut up and dial Piper. Tell her The Hamelin Corp beckons. And that there is bacon in the cafeteria. Just add that flavour in your verbal note, will ya?”
Within one hour, striking through the door, holding a laptop in one hand and a coffee mug in the other, where her name was misspelt as ‘Pepper’, entered Piper.
“Piper, welcome.” Said the CEO, “See, the problem we are facing is – ”
“Un uh – ” Piper cut him off, “I know the problem. It’s all over the news. Tell me how much am I getting for this job.”
“50 Grand. Does that sound okay to you?”
“Done.” Said Piper. “Show me a cabin and you will have the list of all the fraudulent employees in one hour.
Sheila raised her overly drawn eyebrows.
Tom munched on the evening cookies.
In the evening, the CEO called a townhall meeting. He had the list of all the frauds in one hand given to him by Piper. And in the other hand, well he did not hold anything in the other hand. The other hand just dangled loose and limp under an unnecessarily long trench coat.
The CEO called out the names one after the other. Piper held the door for the rats, handed them their termination letters. Told them they would do better somewhere else.
They all left the room; the fat ones, the not so fat ones, the little ones, the big ones, the ugly ones, the rats, the mice, the possums, the minks, the skunks. A a total of 144 were denounced guilty. Some of them seemed heartbroken, swore they were innocent. A few hiccupped, choked on their words, told the management to trust them. But the CEO gloating on his accomplishment, said, “Well, sorry! You aren’t as great at your work as you think you are. So get the fuck out!”
Once, he was done with the firing, he called the press and said The Hamelin Corp doesn’t compromise with the company ethics and the code of conduct. We have figured out the bug in the system and we have taken care of it. We had to also let go of our valuable employees. The list goes on in hundreds. We have redeemed ourselves. We are clean now. Clean, clean, clean! Colin Clean!
In the discourse of self-gloating and media and mob appeasement, he completely ignored the 50 grand he owed Piper. And when Piper demanded her fees. The CEO paid her 20 grand and thanked her for her services.
“I see what you did there” Piper said, “We never learn from the fairytales. Do we?”
The CEO gloated. Harry Gloated. Sheila looked concerned. Tom was just done eating the cookies.
Brandon barged in the room.
“Sorry,” he said. “I had left my Deadpool merchandise on the desk. Came to collect it. Piper let’s go.”
And just like that, Piper and Brandon walked out the door, with 20 grands in their pocket, the entire The Hamilon Corp data and at least a 100 innocent employees ready to join them on their new venture.