A weird, scary, mystical, unbelievable story that will keep you turning pages. A story you will thoroughly enjoy, but will not always understand what you are reading.
The Company Man
Robert Jackson Bennett
Hayes is a company man. He works for McNaughton Western Foundry Corporation – linchpin of Evesden and, according to some, of the world. McNaughton owns everything in the town. McNaughton’s products are far advanced for the times. They have airships, large machinery that can be heard running day and night. What Hayes did for the company was a mystery for everyone. James Evans, deputy director of securities, said Hayes job was to be a “backroom boy,” who saw to it that sensitive matters did not become unfavorable for the company’s interests. Brightly, who is head of the company, chose to say Hayes was “a fixer” or “our man in the field, but here at home”. They did not trust Hayes, but they needed him. Hayes is addicted to opium and spends almost every night at the Eastern Evening Tearoom, located in Dockland, a shady part of Evesden, – high on opium. Hayes suffers from severe headaches that cause him to have visions.
Hayes’ job puts him in a unique position so when a body is discovered in the Construct Canal – a bad part of town, Detective Donald Garvey, Haynes police officer friend, calls him for help. This isn’t the first time he has been involved in a murder investigation. The man looks like a well respected individual – not one of the people who generally inhabit the area. This is the 486th murder of the year. Who is doing all the killings? Is the Union behind these murders? The company is having problems with the Union – riots, sabotage, and general mayhem. Mickey Tazz is rumored to be the one spearheading the trouble. Is he a real man or a myth?
Evesden is built over large trolley tunnel that run the full length of the city. Workers in the tunnels say they hear machines talking to each other day and night – they never stop. When a trolley car arrives at its next stop with all passengers on board dead, Hayes starts an investigation of his own. How had the people died and in such a short time. The time from one stop to another is only a matter of seconds. Hayes interview a number of McNaughton workers and discovers there are in fact machines in the tunnels. He can’t determine what is controlling the machines, but they do appear to be talking to each other.
There is a huge fire in Evesden and when the flames die down, Hayes steals a car and drives out of town. He drives until he sees a sign that reads “See Kulahee Cave, Birthplace of Genius”. Kulahee was the inventor and founder of McNaughton. He gets out of the car and starts walking. He comes across a body of water and looks down into nothing but darkness. He feels strangely cold, a feeling he felt in the city – that strange pounding machinery, deep underground, in the tunnels. He looks again. There is something down there – something black looking back – something that had laid there for uncounted years, sitting in darkness, and waiting. He grabs his torch and dives in. The machine is enormous – huge, long and thin. Deep within were things moving, delicate threads, tubing and minuscule great-works churning away quietly and smoothly. A voice tells him to touch. He touches the machine and a voice inside of him roars, ‘I AM A MESSENGER, SENT FROM AFAR, YOU MUST LISTEN TO ME, YOU MUST LISTEN’. And the world lit up.
What is going on here? What is McNaughton doing? What are in the mysterious boxes being unloaded at a secret dock in Dockland in the dark of night? Have they invented machines that literally talk to each other and can control the world? Read the story – you will be amazed at the ending.
The language is filthy, but the story is captivating. If you love mystery, magic and imagination you will love this story.
Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is an 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top..
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.