Restart Story

You make your way to the car and place the final load in your hatchback, preparing to leave. As you start your car, the parking lot fills with police who pour out of their squad cars and surround you, their guns aimed squarely at the area surrounding your face. You promptly find yourself arrested. You consider talking your way out of it, which gets you tazed.\n\n[[Continue|8D]]\n
[[Written for the Choosatron|http://choosatron.com/stories-to-play/]]
You file for unemployment. It takes several weeks for an unemployment hearing, after which the judge sides with your former boss. As it turns out, all that money your boss saved by firing you was enough to buy a Corvette and hire a lawyer who specializes in denying unemployment. Meanwhile, your bills are piling up and you're running out of food.\n\n[[Find another source of income.|2A]]\n[[Put your trust in the system and appeal.|2B]]\n
You used to work for a small company. Times were hard and the owner needed a new Corvette. He had to free up some capital by firing a few workers, so he ranked his employees in order of their receptiveness to his proclivity for unwelcomed sexual advances and decided to let the bottom three go. You were the bottom one.\n\n[[File for Unemployment.|1A]]\n[[Get a new job.|1B]]\n
You interview for several positions at several other disreputable businesses. The owners make a point of asking whether you are single or married, and if you like Corvettes. You begin to suspect that someone, somewhere, offers an expensive course in how to run a business badly, and that every douchebag with a trust fund takes it, and that they plan out their midlife crisis in advance as part of their final grade.\n\n[[Accept another position under another d-bag.|2C]]\n[[File for unemployment after all.|1A]]\n
You drift miserably between call centers, burger joints and used car dealerships. Every job is the same and each seems to pay less than the last. You still can't make ends meet and you feel an overwhelming urge to take matters into your own hands, to take control as they say.\n\n[[Find another source of income.|4C]]\n[[Ask your current boss for a raise.|4D]]\n
You think you could just invest, or broker goods and services, or maybe buy an ice cream truck if you just had the startup capital. But you're broke and you already pawned all of your stuff. If only there were some way to raise some capital...\n[[Continue|3A]]\n
The quickest, easiest source of goods to sell is the very same place that first began to ruin your life: Your old place of employment. If you could just get in, load up on office supplies and get out again without being caught, you'd have the startup capital you need. You think about it for a moment, and consider that it might just qualify as poetic justice.\n\n[[It's poetic justice. Plan a B&E at your old job.|4A]]\n[[It's too risky. Continue to seek an alternative income.|3C]]\n
You're in. You walk quietly down the narrow hallways to the place where your old cube sat among countless identical others. On the way, you pass the office where your old boss used to sit, overseeing you and your fellow workers. You notice the door is open. You also notice that your boss is inside. His arms are folded across the desk and his head is down on his arms. He appears to be sleeping.\n\n[[Continue the heist, being quiet so as not to wake him.|6A]]\n[[Turn around and get out before he wakes up.|6B]]\n[[Kill him in his sleep. He wouldn't hesitate if it was you.|6C]]\n\n
You spray the choicest, most insulting slander against your old boss you can think to spray. You do it in big bold letters. Some neighborhood kids notice your work as they walk by and they stop to watch. By the time you finish, a large crowd has gathered to admire your work. The kids think you're pretty good and invite you to go out tagging with them.\n\n[[Go tagging with the kids.|6E]]\n[[Tell them thanks, but no thanks. Go home instead.|6D]]\n
You almost type in "5555" but then you remember, no matter how unclever that actually is, it's still too clever for your old boss. At the last moment you type in "1234" instead. The door unlocks and opens. \n\n[[Continue|5A]]\n
You return home, planning to fix yourself some top ramen and enjoy a show you Tivo'd. Then you remember you already pawned your Tivo. And your television. Time passes and you are unexpectedly arrested on murder charges. As it turns out, your old boss wasn't sleeping. He had experienced a heart attack and died at his desk. Foul play is suspected, and the building security cameras point to you as the most likely suspect.\n\n[[Continue|7C]]\n
You continue loading up your arms and carrying one load after another out to your waiting hatchback. You tip-toe like a Tex Avery toon past the open door every time you pass. You almost think you've committed the perfect crime, then the police bash in through the door and start pointing guns at you. You drop what you're carrying and attempt to talk your way out of this, but instead get yourself tazed.\n\n[[Continue|8D]]\n
Although the prosecution's case against you is weak, you are still broke so you have to rely on a public defender to clear your name. That doesn't work out so well. In the end, the jury eats out of the prosecutor's hands and you find yourself in prison on charges of murder and vandalism... but at least you won't have to worry about paying for food and lodging anymore.
Unfortunately, your boss wasn't sleeping that time you broke into the old office. He had experienced a heart attack and died at his desk. Foul play was suspected and your highly recognizeable artwork pointed to you. Although you hire an expensive lawyer and the murder charges don't stick, you still do a good deal of jail time for breaking and entering, as well as willingly ignoring a dying man in need of help.
"Hello," you say. The call is from ADT Security, who monitor your company's silent alarm. They're calling because someone tripped the alarm and they want your authorization code. You hesitate while you consider your options. The caller waits patiently for your response. For a while. Then they sound like they're waiting ever less patiently.\n\n[[Say, "Everything's under control. Situation normal."|8A]]\n[[Tell them the security code is "1234".|8B]]\n[[Hang up and flee.|8C]]\n
You run to the car, nearly tripping over the case of new Swingline staplers you just dropped. You reach your car and speed away as fast as you can. Just as you exit the lot and turn the corner, you see squad cars racing your way in the distance. They fly by you, sirens screaming and lights ablaze, and screech into the parking lot. As you drive, you see them in your mirror. They jump out of their cars with their guns drawn and storm the building.\n[[Continue|10A]]\n
The next day you check the news and find an interesting headline. Apparently, after all those firings, your boss had to start working a lot of extra hours to make up for the loss in workforce. In order to keep up, he'd gotten hooked on cheap truck stop speed and that afternoon, while he was working in the office, his body just couldn't take it anymore and collapsed. If you hadn't broken in when you did, he would have died as he lived: Behind his desk, doing nothing.\n[[Continue|11A]]\n
Gauche Criminal
You drift miserably between call centers, burger joints and used car dealerships. Every job is the same and each seems to pay less than the last. You still can't make ends meet and you feel an overwhelming urge to take matters into your own hands, to take control as they say. You decide to demand a raise.\n\n[[Continue|4D]]\n
You remember an urban legend about a guy who makes $100,000 a month selling things on eBay. You think you could pull that off, but you already sold everything of value you owned. If you're going to do this, you'll need to sell something to get the startup capital.\n[[Continue|3A]]\n
The judge laughs you out of his office and sends you home. You pass a fellow along the way with a cardboard sign. He's asking passing motorists for help. You decide to ask him about his career, hopeful that you can glean enough inside knowledge to jumpstart a career of your own in the panhandling arts. After many, many questions, he gets tired of you and sticks a knife in your ribs. You slowly bleed and die on the roadside, unnoticed by the many middle-aged men speeding by in Corvettes.
Time passes and your new boss begins to realize you're never going to find his advances charming. He's never going to win you over. Maybe if he just had a new Corvette... Eventually, you are fired again.\n[[Find another way to make some money.|3B]]\n[[Look for yet another soul-crushing job.|3C]]\n
You return home, planning to fix yourself some top ramen and enjoy a show you Tivo'd. Then you remember you already pawned your Tivo. And your television. Time passes and you are unexpectedly arrested on murder charges. As it turns out, your old boss wasn't sleeping. He had experienced a heart attack and died at his desk. Foul play is suspected, and your tagging points to you as the most likely suspect.\n[[Continue|7C]]
Your boss explains that he would like to give you a raise. He really would. He really thinks you deserve it. However, Corvettes aren't economy cars and the price of gas isn't going down any time soon. Also, several of your coworkers have very expensive tastes in jewelry, clothing and other gifts befitting a mistress. While he can't offer you a raise, he does have a nice mink coat that you could have if you just loosened up a little. You sigh and resign yourself to this way of life. You frequently sell the gifts on eBay to make up for that raise you're never going to get.
You interview for several positions at several other disreputable businesses. The owners make a point of asking whether you are single or married, and if you like Corvettes. You begin to suspect that someone, somewhere, offers an expensive course in how to run a business badly, and that every douchebag with a trust fund takes it, and that they plan out their midlife crisis in advance as part of their final grade.\n\n[[Continue|3D]]\n
You're tired of all these idiot bosses ruining the world for good, honest hard-working people like yourself. You don't know how to beat them, though, so you decide to join them. You'll start your own business. That'll show them. Now all you need is some startup capital.\n\n[[Continue|3A]]\n
It doesn't take much planning. You're pretty sure you can get back into the place because you doubt they've changed the entry codes. This you believe because you were the only person in the company who actually knew how to do it. And, even if they have changed the general codes, your boss will have a personal entry code that's something like "1234" or "5555" because he was never capable of handling more complex information than that.\n\n[[Use the old entry code to gain entry.|5A]]\n[[Assume the boss used the default "1234" for his code.|5A]]\n[[Assume he cleverly changed his code to "5555".|5B]]\n
You see your plan through, sneaking into the building and loading up on office supplies, then sneaking back out to your car before starting the next trip. With your arms full of printers, monitors, paper, pens, staples and anything else you can carry, you tip toe like a Tex Avery toon back and forth in front of the open door. You are about half way through when the phone rings.\n\n[[Answer the phone and act like you work there.|7A]]\n[[Ignore the phone and continue looting.|7D]]\n[[Drop everything and flee the scene of the crime.|7E]]\n\n
You turn around and sneak out as quietly as you originally snuck in. On your way out, you notice a lone can of spray paint laying on its side near the building. It looks like there's still some paint left in the can. And that big, clean white wall sure looks plain and dull without any decoration.\n\n[[Forget the spray paint, just leave and find a new job.|4B]]\n[[Spray some offensive graffiti on the wall.|5C]]\n
You briefly entertain the thought, but you've already committed yourself to about as much crime as you can handle. Instead you simply watch him sleep for a moment as you daydream happily about doing him in. After that happy thought, though, it's time to make a decision.\n\n[[Continue the heist, being quiet so as not to wake him.|6A]]\n[[Turn around and get out before he wakes up.|6B]]\n
If the police hadn't arrived just when they did, he would've died, but they were able to bring in paramedics and save his life all thanks to you. You're not unhappy that he lived. Not at all. You just wish someone else, anyone else really, could've been the one to save him. Somewhat bitter and somewhat satisfied over your inadvertent good deed, you relax at home and quietly begin taking stock of the various office supplies you will soon be selling on eBay.
You have fun defacing public and private property all over the city and you find that you are generally quite good at this. Time passes and you hone your art, gaining attention and becoming one of the city's pre-emminent graffiti artists. Receptions are held in your honor. Prints of your work sell for thousands. You finally feel secure about your future!\n\n[[Continue|7B]]\n
They keep you on the phone, asking for details about just how the silent alarm was tripped and what you are doing there after hours on a weekend. You cheerfully answer their questions for a while before realizing that they're just trying to keep you talking until the police arrive. You drop the phone and run for the door just in time to see the police bashing it down, guns drawn, and bearing down on you.\n\n[[Continue|8D]]\n
You run to the car, nearly tripping over the case of new Swingline staplers you just dropped. You reach your car and speed away as fast as you can. Just as you exit the lot and turn the corner, you see squad cars racing your way in the distance. They fly by you, sirens screaming and lights ablaze, and screech into the parking lot. As you drive, you see them in your mirror. They jump out of their cars with their guns drawn and storm the building.\n\n[[Continue|7E]]\n
They say, "Who is this? What's your operating number?"\n\nYou panic and blurt "5555" but they aren't fooled. Just as they hang up on their end, you hear them shouting to someone in the background to alert the police. You know as you hang up that the police will be there any moment, and you're pivoting precariously between your freedom and a lengthy prison stay.\n\n[[Drop everything. Run. Get out now.|9A]]\n[[Just take this one last load out to the car, then leave.|9B]]\n
It turns out that your boss wasn't sleeping. He had experienced a heart attack and died at his desk. Foul play is suspected. Although the prosecution's case against you is weak, you are still broke so you have to rely on a public defender to clear your name. That doesn't work out so well. In the end, the jury eats out of the prosecutor's hands and you find yourself in prison on murder charges... but at least you won't have to worry about paying for food and lodging anymore.
by Rob Callahan\n[[@robcallahan|http://twitter.com/robcallahan]]