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New Blood for the Portal of Evil

So, the temp agency hooked me up with Firetop Mountain PLC again. But I’m a maverick who can’t play by the rules, a loose cannon, a rogue cop, a lone wolf… well, no, that’s a different series. It’s The Regional Accounts Director of Firetop Mountain, and this time I’m going to play it by Fighting Fantasy rules: combat is multiple rolls of Aptitude+2d6, loser takes 2 Endurance, stats are rolled like in FF (6+d6 for Aptitude and Luck, 2d6+12 Endurance), and so on. I have a good feeling about this new gig!

My starting stats: 7 / 14 / 11. Okay, so I’m that office worker that we all know, who’s clueless and gets little done, but makes good coffee and has the good fortune of having a brother on the Board, so can’t be fired for incompetence.

I buzz my way in to the front door, and schmooze with the receptionist. She’s pale white, has no pupils, and is drinking a glass of blood. This puts me off my breakfast, but I can’t really complain on account of the Vitally Challenged Americans Act. Besides, it’s good to have connections. I meet my manager, who has a mild case of conjuctivitis and saw fit to come to work anyway and share it with everybody else. How… nice of him.

I sit down at my cubicle, and am told not to leave for any reason, not even to go to the bathroom. Yeah, it’s just like my gig at Amazon – you can go to the bathroom, but every 11 seconds you’re further behind on quota. I turn on my computer and get to work, on chatting up the guy in the next cubicle. But he’s not interested, so I sit back down… and find that my lumbar support is made of razor blades! No, I don’t mean merely poor ergonomics – I mean razor blades, slicing into my back, and gushing my blood generously onto the floor!

As I grab for some Kleenex, the power goes out. I swear, even if I were motivated to get any work done, I would never get any work done. I grope blindly in the dark and find the restroom and some paper towels. In the emergency light, I see that the trash can is some sort of chute or tunnel, into which I was just pushed. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh…..


I land inside a giant porcelain pool. No, not a pool but a giant toilet with a scrub brush the size of a Christmas tree. Eew. I haul myself out, and resume toweling myself off, praying that my gashing open wounds don’t pick up some sort of infection from exposure to the toilet water. Eventually I give up on trying to plaster my body back together with paper towels, and make my way into the hallway hoping to find a first aid kit.

Instead, I find the server room. Not surprisingly, it’s staffed by a troll. I worked as a sysadmin for many years and frankly, I turn into a troll after a few hours on the job, so I’m not at all taken aback by this. I keep moving, and find a stationery cabinet. In a clear violation of OSHA guidelines, a pile of Post It Notes and a roll of duct tape will have to suffice as first aid. However, the blood loss finally catches up with me, costing me 5 Endurance (9 to go).

I stagger back into the hallway, and run into one of the interns, who is also a minotaur. I try to chat him up, but he has a chip on his shoulder about some racial profiling or some such from some other folks, and our proactive brainstorming session fails to achieve a consensus. That is to say, he kicks my ass and punches my timecard for me… permanently.

My temp gig ends here.


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First published January 26, 2020. Last updated December 15, 2020.