Written by Berkhart :: [Thursday, 21 May 2009 08:50] Last updated by :: [Tuesday, 20 May 2014 19:10]
Her corner office had become unusually quiet since the summons arrived. It seemed as if nobody wanted to associate with a woman in the midst of such damning controversy. Lian tossed the congressional subpoena aside with contempt, and glared at a nearby television. Not surprisingly, her face and name were everywhere on the financial channels, thanks to her role in the ongoing economic woes. Fair or not, Lian had become the poster girl of Wall Street excesses.
CNBC reported on her week long vacation to Aruba …
The front page of the New York Times listed her recent purchases during a $84,000 clothes shopping spree …
And everybody was still up-in-arms over her ordering a company jet to pick up pricey Red King Crabs from Alaska …
To Lian, all the controversy over such mundane indulgences seemed much ado about nothing. She saw herself deserving a level of privilege others couldn’t possibly understand. As a result, Lian absolutely seethed over what she saw as uncalled for persecution.
She listened to some talking head report the very latest in her downward spiral:
“We have learned from sources close to the investigation, that one of Lian Zhang’s closest colleagues, Steven Penner, has agreed to testify for the government, and provide damning evidence against her. Our source claims Mr. Penner’s testimony will likely force Zhang to seek a plea agreement to avoid prison … “
Lian turned off the television. Incredulous, she refused to believe her actions were wrong in any way. For reasons completely foreign to Lian, she had become a pariah.
It hadn’t always been that way though. Only months before, Lian had been celebrated as the financial community’s wonder girl. Originally, a poor peasant from China, she had come to the United State looking for opportunity. In no time, the brilliant girl found herself graduating from Harvard, and very much in demand. Soon she had everything she could ever want.
The corner office …
Idolized by all around her …
And thanks to her blend of genius and super model looks, fame …
Throughout Lian’s meteoric rise to the top, her face appeared everywhere: Financial magazines, the major news outlets, even a controversial spread in Playboy.
But then, just as quickly as her incredible success occurred, it all came fell apart. Lian’s fall, was mirrored by her company’s downward spiral. All of its holdings were dissolving into negatives, as clients turned away from the now infamous company. For Lian, this was as humbling as her own trials.
Hoping to distract herself, she paged through a stack of reports. Each line presented nothing but more bad news though. Most glaring of all to Lian, a contract the government declined to renew. She would have discarded the page, but something piqued her interest.
Lian’s brow furrowed, as she spoke the contract’s title, “Human Potential Enhancement (HPE) Project” …
. . . . .
Even with her career in jeopardy, Lian Zhang still possessed considerable influence. As a result, when she summoned the head of the HPE Project, he was standing before her in under an hour. While holding the program’s summary sheet up for the scientist’s benefit, Lian grilled him.
“What does this mean?” she demanded.
The scientist cleared his throat before answering. “It is … or was a project one of your companies undertook for the Defense Department.
Lian glanced over the laboratory reports for at least the thousandth time, losing herself in its amazing claims. Forcing herself to refocus, she asked the man across from her, “And this data is legit?”
The suddenly grinning woman tented her fingers. “Nobody outside the organization knows about this?”
Lian leaned over her desk ever so slightly. The scientist involuntarily shifted back in response. By god, this woman is intense, he thought. Worse, he knew where she was leading their conversation.
“The test trial could theoretically take place anytime?”
The scientist tried to discourage Lian, but she would have none of that.
“You will … I repeat, you will bring the formula to me. Do you understand?” she asked in her most intimidating tone.
“Y … Yes ma’am” The scientist was no match for the Dragon Lady of Wall Street, and as he hurried away, Lian smiled proudly. She hadn’t felt this satisfied in weeks …
. . . . .
Another hour hardly passed, before the scientist returned to his employer’s office. As he stood before Lian, she eyed the syringe in his sweaty hand.
“That’s it?” Lian asked, barely able to keep an excited tremble from her voice.
The scientist nodded.
He approached his employer reluctantly, hoping she would change her mind. Lian had no intention of that though, and unfortunately, the scientist lacked the courage to deny her what she wanted.
A single injection into the forearm was all it took. In those few seconds, the formula immediately began to transform Lian’s body. Her cellular structure, nervous system, and brain waves were all altered in ways beyond the comprehension of even the serum’s creators …
“Good god! This is incredible!” Lian marveled.
Unable to resist temptation, she slammed her tiny fist into her Brazilian Rosewood desk. The blow cracked the rare, extremely dense wood, and a second caused the desk to explode in a shower of splinters.
“Ha, ha! I’m getting stronger by the second!”
Faced with a seemingly insane super woman, the scientist could take no more, and fled in terror, but if Lian noticed, she didn’t seem to care. She was caught up in the volcanic surge of power flowing through her body. It took only seconds for the calculating, hyper-ambitious woman to turn her thoughts to the world outside the office …
A moment later, Lian’s sultry cackle echoed through the upper floors of the high-rise.
. . . . .
Steven Penner had no idea what he was in for. His secretary sent word that he was to report to Lian’s office “immediately”. Due to the ongoing legal issues, it was inadvisable to meet with her, yet he found himself compelled to do so.
Inside her office, his attention was immediately drawn to the remains of the ruined desk, and then to the smirking Lian. She sat in her large chair, shapely legs crossed, and remained silent. Feeling small and guilty under Lian’s gaze, Steven did the only thing that seemed appropriate: he apologized... “I’m sorry Lian, but the government left me no choice. You have to understand, if I don’t testify I’ll be finished.”
Steven squirmed under his colleague’s impassive gaze. She was always so intimidating, but for reasons he couldn’t explain, Lian seemed even more so at that moment. Feeling the need to continue, Steven, hoped to appease her.
“This isn’t personal Lian...I hope you can forgive me”
Lian arched an eyebrow. “Forgive? You really want my forgiveness?”
“Of course”, Steven managed to gulp.
Her famous, predatory smile made the nervous man shiver. Lian casually examined one of her fingernails for a second, before saying, “Then why don’t you prove it? Beg for my forgiveness. Right now … “
Dark, almond shaped eyes penetrated Steven’s very being, and he felt a sudden tug at his mind and body.
“Beg worm. Get on your hands and knees, and beg for my forgiveness”
Steven gasped, clutching his head. Lian’s smooth, cool voice was inside his thoughts. He could hear it, but she wasn’t moving her lips.
“Impressive? No?” Lian boasted silently. “Just one of my new talents”
Lian allowed Steven to squirm, while absorbing his thoughts … learning his deepest secrets, and feeding off the delectable feelings of his sudden terror.
“Now, get down on all fours and BEG!”
Steven fought, tried to resist the cruel, mocking voice, but it was impossible. Some how, Lian Zhang was not only invading his mind, but controlling his body. Unable to fight her command for more than a few seconds, Steven dropped to his hands and knees.
Against his will, the words she wanted to hear came forth, “I beg for your forgiveness mistress!”
“Not good enough. Crawl to me, like the disloyal dog you are”
Lian’s reluctant, but helpless puppet obeyed. She watched Steven make his way toward her, until his face was less than an inch from her foot. The indomitable super woman allowed Steven to stare at the leather boot for a moment, before making her next demand.
This time, she spoke it aloud...savoring every word, and the incredible powers at her disposal. “Now. Kiss. My. Boot”
Steven again fought for his freedom, but Lian’s will was far too strong. In the end, nobody could resist her, and she knew it.
As Steven licked the soles of her boots, Lian sneered, “You’re familiar with the term ‘hostile takeover’ Steven?”
She didn’t care if he replied or not, so the power mad CEO continued, “Well today I’m going to conduct a hostile takeover … of WORLD wide proportions!”
. . . . .
There were already hundreds of media gathered outside. They had hounded the vilified Lian for weeks, reporting on her every move, while delighting in her apparent downfall. Even more noticeable than the reporters, was the ever present protestors. Thousands turned out every day, venting their anger at Lian’s abuses and indulgences. When the opening moment of the event finally occurred, they would all have a front row seat …
An explosion near the 44th floor of the WS Building interrupted the commotion on the streets below. Reporter and protestor alike craned their necks skyward, watching as a tiny shape emerged from the rapidly dissipating clouds of dust.
. . . . .
Lian’s heart was pounding with excitement. Maybe it was a bit risky to fling herself through the wall of her office, but somehow she knew there was nothing to fear. Much to Lian’s pleasure, her small frame plowed through the steel and concrete barrier with absolute ease. She expected to feel something, but there wasn’t even the slightest resistance.
“This power is so … so delicious” Lian sneered, as she found herself floating effortlessly in midair.
She stared down at the streets, her newly augmented vision allowing her to see everything with incredible detail. Smirking, the super powered CEO decided to give her audience all the Lian Zhang they could ever want. With supernatural grace, the slender woman slowly descended toward the ground, while lazily circling the office building in wide arcs …
An awed silence greeted Lian’s appearance. All eyes were glued to the glamorous woman as she hovered a few feet above the crowd. The sounds of protest were long gone, replaced by “oohs” and “awes”. Lian’s perfect form was clad in the most extravagant of fashions: Manolo Blahnik boots ($14,000), a short cut Adimor black dress ($8,000), and a pair of $900 dark sunglasses.
It was the kind of over-extravagant outfit she had become infamous for …
Lian played with the thought of controlling the minds of everybody in the throng, but she reconsidered at the last second. No, she decided, it would be all so much more entertaining for them to watch what she had planned next …
. . . . .
The Congressional hearing chamber was packed. Senators sat at the head of the room, while their aides hustled back and forth. The spectator’s gallery too was jammed with a mixture of both the curious and angry. Only one seat in the entire chamber sat empty, and that was the one reserved for Lian Zhang. Her absence spawned outrage from all the assembled personalities.
His face reddened with populist anger, the committee chairman banged his gavel. “Let the record show” he announced. “That Ms. Zhang has failed to comply with an official subpoena. Therefore, she has been found with contempt of Congress.”
The moment the chairman’s gavel struck a second time, the Capitol Building was shook to its very foundation. As its occupant struggled to remain standing, nearly deafening sounds of destruction echoed throughout the entire building, as clouds of dust flooded the halls and chambers. After one final thunderous tear, the Capitol became silent.
A near hysterical voice could be heard outside of the hearing chamber, “My god! The dome is gone!”
. . . . .
Lian always loved to make an entrance, and as she had flown toward Washington, various ideas sped through her head. It wasn’t until the Capitol Building came into view though, did she make her decision. Lian hovered over the historic marble structure, a scornful smirk on her face.
“Wait till they see this” she thought.
Very casually she positioned herself at the base of Capitol Dome. Eager to test her newfound strength, Lian dug powerful fingers into the marble surface, and lifted.
Her efforts were immediately rewarded, as a jagged crack tore through the dome’s foundation. From there, it was frighteningly simple for the super executive to heft the towering marble tonnage over her head. Lian held the Capitol dome aloft for a moment, marveling at how its weight seemed so inconsequential against her indomitable strength.
“Far too easy” she boasted, while shifting nearly ten million tons of marble and iron to her left hand.
Lian moved her prize to her right, pondering how best to dispose of the dome. Gazing across the National Mall, the smirking woman’s super vision wasn’t necessary to see the Washington Monument off in the distance. The wicked grin on Lian’s face grew a little larger, as she reared her arm and Capitol Dome back.
She was amazed that something so massive was so easy to handle, and with complete control, the cruel woman flung the Dome through the sky. It traveled over a mile in only a couple of seconds, before plowing into the Washington Monument. The relatively slender spire disintegrated upon impact with Lian’s humongous projectile. Despite the collision, the Dome continued on its path, before hitting the ground, and rolling several thousand feet.
By then, confused and frightened spectators gaped up from inside the Capitol. They watched as the vilified CEO floated above, hands on her hips in a pose that
. . . . .
Her fingers blazed across the keyboard, while her mind processed information at speeds equal to the computer’s ability. Smirking, Lian enjoyed that her super powers extended into cyberspace as well as the physical world. She manipulated mountains of data, and in no time, the uber-executive reordered the world into one more to her liking …
First the world’s largest corporations fell under her thumb …
Microsoft … Toyota … Apple … General Electric … Exxon …
“Exxon? Yes, I think the world’s oil supply would be much safer if it was under my control”, Lian mused.
It took mere seconds for the insatiable super-executive to assume complete ownership of every last drop of oil. Even as Lian moved on to her next targets, she used her complete monopoly to raise the price of oil by $2,000 per barrel.
Lian didn’t stop at energy, but rather, she continued to gobble up anything and everything else that caught her fancy: communications … pharmaceuticals … defense contracting …
Seconds later, as she accessed government networks, the sinister woman discovered the military’s command and control system. Ha, I have my own private army now! She thought.
On and on it went …
Within a matter of minutes Lian seized every critical resource and commodity on the planet. The power she consolidated through the computer nearly rivaled her own physical abilities. Even as she became wealthier than any human on the planet could imagine, Lian hungered for more. A few keystrokes allowed her to drain the bank accounts of every person in America, and transfer their money to her. It was unnecessary, of course, yet Lian couldn’t resist the temptation, as her greed was insatiable.
The Age of Lian had begun …