Chapter 1 – Introduction

You arrive at Pegasus Tower fifteen minutes early, because you’re nervous. You haven’t had a job interview for a while – not one you haven’t made a complete idiot of yourself in, at any rate – and you’re determined not to screw this one up.

As jobs go, this one is so far below your paygrade as to be insulting, but you’re at the point now where anything is better than nothing. The gaping void on your CV is starting to tell, and your job centre advisor is threatening to send you on unpaid ‘work experience’. So here you are, in your best interview clothes, standing outside a concrete office block at the edge of the business district, the wind and the rain whipping around you as you struggle with opening the heavy glass door into the building.

After a quick tussle, which leaves you more flustered than it ought, you finally squeeze through and almost fall flat on your face on the large mat just inside the door. You can’t help but think that the picture of a winged horse woven into the mat looks more like deranged bat. You recover, shake yourself down, and carry your briefcase over to the reception desk.

Over to your left are two lifts. To your right, a small waiting area with chairs, a couple of tables, and tired-looking vending machine that promises much but, in your experience, is likely to deliver little. Behind the reception is a line of movable partitions: stacks of redundant office furniture peek out over the top of their beige fabric.

One of the lifts opens, and a man in blue overalls wheels out a trolley with a filing cabinet strapped to it. He trundles it towards the screen, and you’re suddenly aware that the receptionist is speaking to you.

You apologise and fumble in your briefcase for the letter. You hand it across the desk, and say you’re here about the night-time security job. You catch an odd expression on her face that is gone as quickly as it arrives. She points to the waiting area, and tells you she’ll phone upstairs.

You go and stand awkwardly next to the vending machine, when you notice that the little screen is announcing that all the drinks are free. You’ve a choice between tea, coffee, hot chocolate and something proclaiming to be tomato soup but which looks like a cup of neon slime. You’re feeling a bit cold and damp, so a hot drink might help.

Do you order a:

Hot chocolate