The Interview

We were there for the interview.

The interview.

The one at Vectorien that everyone wanted.

Most didn’t get the invite.

I did.

No job title or position was specified.

The invite said: Vectorien Tower / 190 / 0900

Photos don’t do it justice. It looms over San Francisco like a monument.

You need to experience it personally.

I was there early.

We all were: sitting in the lobby.

Anxiety is weakness, Emon Nakamori says.

Rumor was that he would be there.

I flirted with a receptionist and noted her number.

Her name was Andi.

Displays of confidence are one way of asserting dominance.

People in low places can be useful.

At 0850, we were told to enter the elevators.

There were seventeen of us.

The elevator took us to the 190th floor, which is the roof of Vectorien Tower.

The ride was quick.

The doors opened and we saw the executives waiting.

Emon Nakamori was among them.

The sun was blinding and the wind was powerful.

We proceeded to the edge, where Emon Nakamori and the executives had gathered.

The view was magnificent.

“This could be yours,” Emon Nakamori said.

He introduced us to everyone in turn, including Bill Rabic, the senior public relations manager.

“You may be wondering for which position you are interviewing,” Emon Nakamori said.

“Unfortunately we have no position,” he said.

Then he laughed and pushed Bill Rabic off the building—

Bill Rabic fell.

We heard his screams fade.

“Now we have a position,” Emon Nakamori said.

Bill Rabic smashed against the ground.

Someone vomited.

Emon Nakamori said: “There is a file marked File-A in the lobby. Whoever brings me File-A becomes senior public relations manager. Everyone else will die. You may not take the elevator down, but you may take it up. There are no other rules. Good luck.”

We scrambled for the stairwell.

On the stairs we began our mad descent.

A man fisted a woman’s hair and bashed her face against a railing.

A woman pushed the frontrunner so that he fell and broke his neck against a wall.

Soon she was dead too.

Fifty floors down and it was safer to stay in the pack.

Then one of them tripped me.

I lost my balance.

I hit another—

Together we tumbled.

He punched me and leapt down the stairs.

I knew I could not win the race.

But I had a notion.

I called Andi.

“There’s a file. File-A,” I told her. “Emon Nakamori needs it on the top floor. Bring it now!”

I ran up the stairs.

I made it just as Andi was exiting the elevator.

I was out of breath.

Andi neared Emon Nakamori.

The pack was somewhere down below.

Andi had File-A.

As she handed it to Emon Nakamori, I basked in triumph.

“Congratulations,” said Emon Nakamori—

But not to me.

“It was me,” I pleaded.

“The rules were straightforward,” Emon Nakamori said.

Andi is the senior public relations manager.

And I am dead. We all are dead.