Walking through the marble lobby of Bash Industries was like walking the red carpet, at least if you were Sebastian. From the moment he entered the building to the moment he closed the door of his office behind him, people could not keep their eyes off of him, and they always came up with some excuse to approach him. If he didn’t love the adoration so much, it would have been exhausting. But on this specific morning, Sebastian was on a mission as he descended in the elevator from his penthouse to the lobby of Hawthorne Heights. Of course, the elevator he came down on in the morning was not the same one that any old person would use to travel between all 160 floors of the building. This elevator was separate, it traveled directly to his living area, and it could only be opened with a retina scan. Sebastian would typically get off his elevator and walk across the lobby to the main elevator, stopping every few steps to shake a hand or give someone a slap on the back. Today he wanted to cross from point A to point B with as few interruptions as possible, so he had phoned down to the security desk earlier that morning, instructing them to clear the lobby.
Sebastian’s public office was located on floor 100, and with the lobby empty and no one slowing down the main elevator, he was strolling up to his secretary within three minutes.
“Good morning, sir!” Janelle sprang up as soon as she saw him, catching the suit jacket he dropped from his hand and replacing it with a steaming cup of coffee. Sebastian knew for a fact that Janelle had no idea when he was going to show up in the morning, and because she knew he liked his coffee boiling hot and fresh, she just made pot after pot every few minutes until he showed up. He realized that he could make her life easier by shooting her a message before he left his penthouse, but that wouldn’t be as much fun, and it was imperative that everyone be kept on their toes around him.
“Janelle, make sure I am not disturbed at all for the next…” Sebastian pulled up his french cuff and glanced down at his platinum watch, “at least two hours”
Before she could respond, Sebastian swept into his office and closed the door, muffling the sound of ringing phones and shuffling papers from the executives who shared the floor with him. If he had to be somewhere other than his penthouse, Sebastian didn’t mind being in his office. It was tastefully decorated with leather club chairs by a blazing fire, dark mahogany walls, with forest green and gold accents throughout the room and a chess set made of pure gold perched on a vintage steamer chest. The room gave the perfect masculine, lone wolf energy he exuded, and his favorite part was the floor to ceiling bookshelves. Not because he was a big reader, but because two of the massive bookshelves slid open to reveal a control room, complete with wall to wall screens and some more comfy chairs to relax in while he kept an eye on his assets, and made his plans.
Sebastian went directly into the control room, which he called the “pocket” room, simply because he had a much larger version of this same control room in his penthouse. Some days he liked to sit in the room and randomly watch different people, but today he had a specific asset he wanted to check in on. Just two nights prior, Salvador Greenley had been in this very building, taking a spin in the Memory Maker. Greenley was the most well known and successful motivational speaker in the world, and although he owned many homes in many different territories, he had made a special trip to Corver City to try Bash Industries greatest innovation for himself. Sebastian grimaced and shook his head, thinking about the memory that Sal had wanted implanted into his brain. Needless to say, Salvador Greenley was a sick individual. But, he was a sick individual with a lot of clout, money and influence, which equated to power. Now, that power belonged to Sebastian, and Sal didn’t even know it.
It only took a few taps on the keyboard and Sebastian was able to see Sal in real time on the screens, footage provided by the zone drones. When Sal had left Hawthorne Heights after his Memory Maker session, Sebastian had programmed a drone to follow him, wherever he went. This was a multi step process. The drone was just there to ensure that the first step had been activated. Sebastian was happy to plant any memory in the brain of any customer who paid for the pleasure, who was he to judge what weird or perverted things people wanted in their brains? But it was special customers like Salvadore and others like him, with influence and sway over the general public, who got a little something extra programmed into their memories. That was Phase One, and in Phase Two, all Sebastian had to do in the control room was make sure the programming had been successful, and that he had another active minion in the Sebastian fan club.
Up on the screen, Sal was having lunch with a beautiful young woman on a patio overlooking a clear blue sea. Sebastian recognized the landscape as Dominion Blue, a resort territory on the Ferulean Sea and an area in which Sebastian knew Sal owned property. Sebastian also knew the young woman sitting with Sal was not his wife, but that was none of his business, he had more important things to worry about. He watched an intoxicated Sal wave his beefy arms around in the middle of telling some elaborate story, and spilling wine all over the table and his date. Sebastian dialed a number on his cell phone, and Sal, on the screen, stopped waving his arms so that he could retrieve his phone from the back pocket of his pants.
“Hey buddy!” Sal answered the phone, and Sebastian saw him shush his date with a finger to the lips.
“Sal,” Sebastian spoke into his phone warmly. “How have you been since your little trip on the memory train?”
On the screens, Sebastian watched Sal get up from his table and walk away from his date, turning his back to her so that he could speak more privately. “Oh buddy, it’s been great, let me tell you! I keep reliving it over and over again, I mean, that one part where..”
“Say no more,” Sebastian cut Sal off. “It’s kind of like when you make a birthday wish, it’s better if you keep it to yourself”
Sal laughed, throwing his head back. “So what do you need from me, buddy?”
“You know that boat you just bought, the one you were telling me about when you were here?” This was the fun part. If Sebatsian was an animal at that moment he would have been a cat, and Sal would be the mouse that he was playing with before devouring him whole.
“The Impulse, yeah… she’s a yacht, my dude” Sal responded, laughing again.
“That’s right, The Impulse!” Sebastian laughed along with Sal. “I am so glad to hear she’s a yacht, because I don’t have a yacht yet”
“Okay?” Sal was confused, on the screen Sebastian watched Sal’s date pulling on his sleeve and pouting at him, trying to get him back to the table for their meal.
“I want your yacht, I want The Impulse. Can you make that happen?”
“Definitely, buddy! I’ll call my guy and have her signed over to you this afternoon!” Sebastian watched a ripple of confusion spread over Sal’s red face as he quickly agreed to hand over his brand new prized possession to Sebastian.
“Perfect. You know what, I want you to go and have the papers drawn up now, and then I want you to put on one of those snazzy captain hats and drive it over to me yourself.” Sebastian had to pinch his own arm to stop from laughing out loud. No matter how many times he did this to someone, he still got such a kick out of it.
“Consider it done, buddy!” Another micro expression of uncertainty briefly creased Sal’s forehead as these words left his mouth, but it was gone as quickly as it had arrived.
Sebastian hung up the phone and allowed himself to roar with laughter as he watched Sal brush past his girlfriend and walk away from her and their lunch, leaving her completely perplexed and not very happy. The Impulse was just a nice bonus, something that Sebastian didn’t need, he could buy ten yachts himself if he wanted to. But he knew that stupid boat was important to Sal, the guy hadn’t stopped talking about it. The bonus implantation process in the Memory Maker had been successful, and now Sebastian knew it. If he could simply ask Sal to give up his most prized possession, he knew he could get that idiot to agree to do anything. Everything was falling into place, exactly as Sebastian had planned.