From Feckniss’s cubicle much lower down the world on the third floor of the Lotus, the phone line clicked, then droned. Guru Deep had ended the conference call. A few minutes later, Feckniss’s gray-suited manager Blanders stepped into the cubicle. He stood next to the “ILLUSION IS REALITY” poster, which some said was the true mission statement of Deep Inc.
“What’s going on, sir?” Feckniss knew they could speak freely. At this late hour, no one else was in the Lotus except for Blanders, the assistant Nia Fox, and Guru Deep himself, the man in the orange suit at the top of the Lotus, London’s highest skyscraper and currently the world’s tallest building. Despite the third floor being empty, for a moment Feckniss thought he heard a snicker, brief yet packed with cruelty and condescension. Then he thought of Guru Deep, and Feckniss shuddered with awe and relief.
Guru Deep hadn’t said a word during the briefing call. He never did, but anytime Feckniss and Blanders were in a meeting, the line was open to Guru Deep’s office. Only Blanders and Feckniss did the talking, but Guru Deep’s silences resounded more than any words, a presence like a stalking tiger or a thunderhead filling the horizon. But Feckniss could imagine him standing there: Guru Deep. The Great Leader, He Whose Third Eye Saw All The World That Was And Could Be, was the President and CEO of Deep Inc. Dealing in finance, self-help seminars, travel guidebooks, breweries, and other initiatives—that Blanders hinted at but never explained—over the last few decades Deep Inc. had become of the world’s largest and most powerful companies.
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