Shadow I.T. #5 - The Finale
The case that had led me a merry dance from masturbating men in subterranean toilets to joint-rolling janitors on rooftops appeared to be coming to an end as El Jefe led me to the subterranean lair of the Shadow I.T...
As he flung open the door of their lair, I threw a hand over my face and shrieked...
Admonished El Jefe.
I took my hand down and mewled piteously like a cat that's licked garlic butter.
Inside the room was a hive of activity. There were no windows. All of the walls were painted white and were covered in a multitude of arcane squiggles and shapes, like a tattooist had gone berserk on a drunk hen party.
There were six overweight guys with varying degrees of beard tapping away at assorted excel spreadsheets. By the stripe on their passes I could see that they were from...
In you get, come on?
I made a face as I stared into the room as if my doctor had used more fingers than appropriate for my prostate exam. What the hell was this? Did El Jefe genuinely expect me to just walk in there? I have been in some tough situations but I don't mind admitting, this one was giving me the hog shivers.
I jerked my head in a no way, José fashion. He tutted and gesticulated impatiently inward.
But El Jefe... Those people in there... They are from the business???
El Jefe flicked a glance in the room.
Yeah, so what? This is the Shadow I.T. team. You're gonna join them. Time to pull this lot into 2018.
My right hand clenched and the spoon, hidden so expertly up my sleeve, fell into it. It looked like things were gonna get ugly. He was gonna learn, if you play loosey goosey with the BoomDawg, you're gonna get spanked and when I go a spanking, I always use a spoon.
El Jefe looked beyond me and smiled a cold and lizardly smile.
Bring him in.
I was barged roughly from behind, the spoon clattering to the floor. Dammit! I staggered forward into the room and turned to face my attackers with a snarl.
Two software developers from my floor bundled in behind me and closed the door. Sad-Arse pouted.
It's Darcy not Sad-Arse.
You joining us here in the dungeon then BoomDawg?
I looked at Kipper, he was an oily bastard and no mistake. That's why I called him Kipper. Well, that and the fact he smoked. I cast a darting glance between him, Sad-Arse and El Jefe. The way out was well and truly barred.
Alright then. You got me. Lay your cards on the table.
El Jefe smirked at Kipper.
Go on, give him the background.
Kipper inflated his chest and in a voice that sounded like a toothless bear eating a hogie began the tale of the Shadow I.T.
The business, they weren't getting the service they required from the I.T. department. So a few of their brightest started creating spreadsheets to record and manage their transactions off platform.
We all winced together, Sad-Arse crossed himself.
It didn't take long before these spreadsheets became large and unwieldy. Soon it was a full time job and needed more and more people maintaining them. I.T. never knew. They added complex macros and all sorts of stuff to do things they needed. Now they can't live without them.
I looked disbelievingly at them.
So that's the Shadow I.T.? A bunch of spreadsheets that the business can't live without? Are you kidding me?
El Jefe stepped to the fore. A triumphant gleam in his eye.
Of course that's all it is BoomDawg. I mean, what else did you think it could be?
I gazed at him.
He knew I knew he knew.
I noticed the slender but deadly looking silver pen in his hand.
It hadn't been there a moment ago. Kipper and Sad-Arse had moved to flank me.
El Jefe pointed at me with the pen.
So, would you like to join us then? Sort out this mess once and for all?
A bead of sweat ran down his temple. There it was. Plain as day. The ultimatum.
Join us or DIE...
The tension built. Even the business people were still. Everyone was waiting for my answer. If I had the spoon I might have stood a chance of fighting my way out but I hadn't drank enough coffee to take down that many without it.
Alright. I guess I'm in.
The tension in the air shattered like frozen piss flung at a wall.
El Jefe slid the silver kill pen back into an inner pocket. They gathered around me and started talking about desk moves and project plans.
I nodded, defeated for now. Shortly after, El Jefe slipped out leaving me with Kipper and Sad-Arse to throw some ideas about. The acrid smell of pish in the air from all their chat reminded me I needed the toilet. I opened the door and stepped back out into the basement mail room.
It was over.
I slouched toward the toilets. The Shadow I.T. had evaporated like smoke on the wind.
It looked like it had all been for nothing. There was no sinister organisation, hell bent on world domination. Just a few business monkeys making excel spreadsheets in the basement. Bollocks.
I was about to round the corner of a stack of crates when I heard voices. Was that El Jefe? I peeked around the corner. El Jefe was there talking to an old man vaping out massive clouds of 'smoke'
So yeah, I put him on the Shadow I.T. team.
The vaping man nodded and blew out a large vape smoke cloud. I narrowed my eyes, you weren't allowed to smoke in this building. Not even vape. This guy had to be important. The vaping man looked around and tucked his vaping device away.
As they walked off to the elevator, the vaping man's reply uttered in a weary rasp electrified me...
Good good. Now we can get Project Cirrus moving...
Project Cirrus? I knew it, there was something stirring in the bowels of this organisation! Something Shadowy. Something even more sinister than I had previously suspected.
Far away I thought I heard a smoky saxophone start up. I whipped my Fedora out as if from nowhere and stuck it on my head.
Project Cirrus? I am onto you fuckers. This aint over. Not by a long chalk.