Return of the Corporate Warrior

Christina gathered up her things from her office as she prepared to leave for the day. As she collected her items, she thought about the events of a year ago that had earned her this large office.

A year ago, she had been an ordinary middle manager in the company. One day, she discovered that a young troublemaker named David, who was one of the employees in her department, had beaten up a coworker named Paul in an argument over a promotion. When David refused to apologize and admit his guilt, she had taught him a lesson by beating him up. David had then turned to his uncle, William, who was one of the company’s vice presidents and had a strong degree of influence. William, enlisting the aid of thuggish henchmen, had tried to bully her into quitting, but she had beaten him up too, as well as his hired goons. The saga ended with William and his henchmen going to jail, David being fired, and Paul receiving the promotion he deserved. As for Christina, her actions were deemed impressive enough that she received William’s old position.

Now, at 28 years old, she was the company’s youngest vice president. She was also in a serious and sexual relationship with Paul, whom she had gotten to know quite well during the incident and had found quite attractive in both looks and personality. They had to keep their relationship quiet, however, as the company frowned on executives and lower-level workers dating each other.

Suddenly, there came an urgent knocking on the door. Christina opened it and was surprised to find Mr. Worth, president and CEO of the company, standing there. “Come in. What can I do for you?”

Worth looked around nervously, then quickly slipped into the office and closed the door behind him. “I’ve got a problem and I’d like you to help me,” he said. “This is going to be a strange request, but…we’ve got an industrial spy in our company and I want you to find out who it is.”

Christina looked at him in surprise. “A spy? Really? But why would you want to come to me?”

“Well, first of all, from the level of knowledge the spy has, one of my senior vice presidents has to be involved,” said Worth. “Besides me, you’re the highest-ranking person here who’s not one of them. But more importantly, I remember the way you dealt with William and I really like your…methods. I have the security team working on the case, but they’re mostly a bunch of incompetent blowhards who got into security because they didn’t have what it takes to make it onto the police force. But you…you know how to solve problems. I don’t have to tell you that there’ll be a substantial reward for you if you solve this.”

She nodded. “I’ll be happy to help you,” she said. Growing up in a rough neighborhood, she had developed a strong sense of justice and despised thievery and dishonesty.

“Good,” said Worth. He handed her a file. “Here’s everything you need to know about the case,” he said. “Don’t let anyone else see this file and don’t let anyone else know what you’re doing.” He turned to leave. “Thank you and good luck,” he added.

After the CEO had gone, Christina closed the door and sat down at her desk to read the file. The name “Worth Chemicals” was printed on it in small black letters. It seemed that chemical formulas were being slipped out from the company and right into the hands of BroadChem Industries, their biggest rival and a company that had a reputation for aggressiveness and underhanded dealings. BroadChem would make products from the stolen formulas and patent them as their own creations.

There were likely at least two people from Worth Chemicals involved in the betrayal – one who had the necessary chemistry knowledge and one who was a senior enough executive to have access to all of the security codes. There were many chemists employed at the company, but, besides Worth himself, only the three senior vice presidents knew all the codes. Profiles for each of these three were included in the file. She had experience working with all three of them, but she didn’t know any of them very well.

Jerry Roberts was the first name on the list. He was a friendly, easygoing guy who made a lot of jokes. Not really the type to be an industrial spy, she thought, but you never knew. The next executive was Carmen Linares. She was much more serious than Jerry, and very hardworking and ambitious. That ambition could be a motive, thought Christina. Then again, Carmen had always seemed very loyal and devoted to Mr. Worth and his company. The final name was that of Bart Berkman. Christina didn’t like him. He was an arrogant loudmouth who had actually been friendly with William (not surprisingly, since their personalities were so similar). He was also one of the few executives who had been opposed to giving her William’s old position. Christina found herself scowling while thinking about Bart Berkman, then caught herself. If she was going to solve this case and expose the traitors, she had to make judgements based on facts and not on personal dislikes.

She looked at her watch. It was past 6:30. Quickly putting the file in her bag, she gathered up the rest of her stuff and left the office, deciding to visit Paul. Her boyfriend was the only one at the company she knew she could trust completely. Also, he worked in the labs all day and might have an idea as to where the chemical end of the spying was coming from. She drove to Paul’s apartment and knocked on his door. When he opened it, she greeted him with a tight hug and a long kiss on the lips.

They made a cute couple, Christina and Paul. She was 5’3″ and 120 pounds, with long blonde hair and a muscular body. Although at about 5’6″ and 145 pounds he was somewhat bigger than her, thanks to Christina’s powerful and well-conditioned muscles she was stronger than him. She loved the fact that her boyfriend was turned on by her being the stronger one. Paul smiled at her after the kiss. “Wow, nice greeting,” he said.

“I like knowing the best way to say hello,” she responded with a wink. She then turned serious. “I need your help with something,” she said. She told him all about the problem with the industrial spying. When she was finished, Paul had a thoughtful look on his face.

“I think I know who the traitor in the labs is,” he said. “His name is Jake Herkimer. He’s been acting very weird lately. He snoops around the storage areas when he thinks no one’s looking, and he’s been getting a lot of phone calls that he acts very secretive about. He’s up to something.”

“Keep a close eye on him,” said Christina. “If you get any proof of what he’s doing, tell me right away. I’ll try to find out which of the executives is involved in the spying.”

“Another adventure,” said Paul with a grin. “Just like the time we busted William and David and their thugs.”

Christina smiled back, then said, “Would you mind if I stayed at your place tonight? We could pick up some food at the drive-thru and look over the stuff in this file. Then, maybe we could look over some things in the bedroom…”

“I’d love that,” said Paul. He loved it when his girlfriend was sexually aggressive.

The next day, after a night of passionate lovemaking, plus a small amount of sleep, Christina and Paul went back to work. Paul kept a close eye on Jake in the labs, while Christina carefully watched Bart, Carmen, and Jerry. She had made a plan to follow her suspects in the evenings, in the hope that the spy could be caught conducting his (or her) business after hours. Paul had made a similar plan to follow Jake after work.

When the end of the workday came, Christina got ready for her shadowing. To try to counter the negative personal feelings she had about Bart, she had decided to start with Carmen and do Bart last. She knew what Carmen’s car looked like, so she went out to her own car and waited behind the wheel. When Carmen came out and drove off, she followed at a safe distance. The surveillance was uneventful. Carmen stopped briefly at a convenience store to pick up a few things, then went straight home. Christina kept an eye on the house for several hours, but Carmen did not come out again, nor did she receive any visitors. Finally, Christina decided that since her suspect (and herself) had to be at work on time the next morning, it was time to call it a night.

She met with Paul the next day at work. He informed her that he hadn’t seen Jake do anything suspicious when he had followed him. When she got back to her office and checked her email, she found that Mr. Worth wanted to meet her in person to see how she was doing. She went over to the CEO’s office and greeted Karen, Mr. Worth’s secretary. “Mr. Worth said he wanted to see me,” she said.

Karen sent her right into Worth’s office. Making sure to close the door behind her, Christina greeted her boss, who was seated behind his large desk with a worried look on his face. He motioned for her to have a seat. “I don’t know for sure the names of everybody who has the capability to read company email, so I wanted to see you in person. I’ve just received word that BroadChem Industries is preparing to put a new product on the market,” said the CEO. “The formula for that product was, of course, stolen from us. The situation is getting worse. How are you coming along?”

Christina told him about following Carmen last night, and her plans to follow the other suspects. She tried to think of the best way to tell him about Paul and his suspicions about Jake. “I’ve enlisted the help of one person who I know I can trust completely,” she said. “He has an idea about the suspect on the laboratory end of things. The suspect’s name is Jake Herkimer.”

Worth frowned, thinking for several seconds. Finally, he said, “If you feel that your friend is completely trustworthy, then I’ll go with your judgement on that. However, you should have checked with me first.”

“I’m sorry,” said Christina. “But I don’t know the people in the labs very well, and he does. He’s been very helpful to me.” In more ways than one, she thought to herself, a naughty little smile appearing on her pretty face. The CEO gave her a puzzled look, at which she quickly removed the naughty smile.

Worth nodded in understanding. “I can see the importance of having one of the lab workers on our side,” he said. “I’ll see if I can find anything else on this Jake Herkimer guy. Keep at it. We’ve got to expose the spies soon or we’re going to lose a lot of money.”

That evening, just before work was over, Christina and Paul met to plan their surveillance for the night. “We’ve already watched Carmen and Jake,” said Christina. “We should do Jerry and Bart tonight. I’ll take care of Bart. He’s a pretty rough guy and I want to be the one to be there if he gets suspicious and turns violent.”

“All right, I’ll take Jerry,” said Paul. “Tomorrow night, I’ll shadow Jake again. If I watch him long enough, I’m sure I’ll catch him at something.” After a nice long kiss, the two of them set off on their assignments.

Bart drove straight home and Christina watched his house for several hours. She was just about to call it a night when she saw the front door open. Bart came out, got into his car, and drove off. She followed him carefully. Glancing at her watch, she saw that it was 10:08 in the evening. Where could he be going at this hour? After about fifteen minutes of driving, Bart pulled into the parking lot of an abandonded warehouse. Christina’s heart pounded with excitement. It certainly looked as if he was up to no good. She parked her car a safe distance away and crept closer to her suspect on foot. He had gotten out of his car and was pacing back and forth impatiently.

Finally, the sound of another car was heard. The newcomer drove up next to Bart and got out. It was a pretty but slutty-looking woman. Bart greeted her with a whistle. They then both climbed into the back seat of Bart’s car. Christina shook her head. “I got all excited and all it turned out to be was a horny guy out to get some cheap pussy,” she thought to herself. She observed them for a while longer to make sure that fucking was all they were doing, then crept back to her car and drove home. She called Paul to tell him what she had found. After laughing at the description of Bart’s late-night fuck, he informed her that Jerry hadn’t done anything suspicious while he had been watching him.

Christina had a hard time concentrating on her regular work the next day. She kept thinking about the spies. Finally, closing time rolled around and she got ready to go. Paul was watching Jake, and Christina planned to shadow Carmen again. She paused in front of Carmen’s office. Carmen was still in there, working late. She waited for quite a while, pretending to be busy reading documents whenever someone passed by. Suddenly, she heard hurried footsteps behind her. She whirled around and saw Paul running up, an excited look on his face.

Motioning for him to be quiet, they stepped out of Carmen’s earshot. “What did you find?” asked Christina. “I just overheard a phone conversation between Jake and the spy among the executives,” grinned Paul. “They were discussing which formula they were going to steal next, and what was the best time to do it. And here’s the best part – I could just barely make out the voice of the other person on the line. It wasn’t very clear, but it was definitely a woman’s voice. There’s only one woman among your suspects – Carmen.”

A puzzled look came over Christina’s face. “But it couldn’t have been Carmen,” she said. “I’ve been standing in front of her office for the past twenty minutes. She’s in there and she hasn’t been on the phone.”

Paul frowned. “But who else could it be?” he asked. “I couldn’t hear much of what the woman said, but she did mention knowing all the security codes.”

“Carmen’s the only woman who knows all the security codes, and it can’t have been her!” said Christina, pulling her blonde hair in frustration.

“Maybe someone really close to the CEO somehow learned the codes,” said Paul. “Like Worth’s wife or someone.”

“Worth isn’t married,” said Christina. “He’s really devoted to his work. The only women he even has a business relationship with are me, Carmen, and…” A sudden thought struck her. “Of course!” she said. “How could I have been such a blonde?”

“What is it?” said Paul.

“Karen. Worth’s secretary,” she said. “She’s the closest one to him. She could have learned the codes if she kept her eyes and ears open. We need to warn Worth.”

Suddenly, they heard a strange sound from behind them. It sounded a little like applause, but it was much quieter, as if it was only one hand clapping. Christina and Paul turned around. Karen was standing there, an evil grin darkening her normally attractive face. Her left hand was the one hand clapping. In her right hand, she held a Browning 9mm pistol pointed straight at Christina’s head.

“Very good,” the pretty brunette said in a quiet and deadly voice. “You figured it out. Unfortunately for you, you figured it out a few minutes too late.” She grabbed Christina and spun her around, then jammed her gun into the blonde’s back. “Now march,” she ordered. “One word or one bit of trouble from either of you and I’ll kill you both.”

They marched to the elevator. Most of the other employees had already gone home, but to be on the safe side Karen draped her coat over the gun so no one could see what she was doing. They rode in silence down the elevator and emerged in the underground parking garage. A car was waiting, its engine running. Two men were in it. The man behind the wheel was none other than Jake Herkimer. In the front passenger seat was a big man in a business suit.

“I got the nosy ones. Let’s go,” said Karen. She shoved Paul and Christina into the back seat, then got in after them, still pointing her gun at them. Jake quickly drove out of the garage and off into the night.

Now that they were safely alone, Karen relaxed. “I suppose you want to know how I caught you,” she said with a smirk.

“Nope,” said Christina in her most casual voice. She didn’t want to hand Karen an opportunity to gloat.

“Too bad. I’m telling you anyway,” said Karen. “I suppose I should start at the beginning. I’ve been Worth’s secretary for fifteen years. I work at least as hard as he does, and he makes ten times as much as me.”

“Ten times? That’s not that big a discrepancy, especially in this day and age,” said Christina. “J.P. Morgan said that top-level executives should be making about 25 times as much as low-level employees. And most CEOs these days don’t even obey those limits, the way their salaries are so ridiculously high. Mr. Worth is actually pretty generous. At any rate, whatever you’re getting is certainly more than a sellout bitch like you deserves.”

Karen drove her elbow into Christina’s ribs, hard. “Shut up!” she snarled. She hissed for a few seconds, then continued her story. “Then, I was approached by John Terry here,” she said, indicating the man in the front passenger seat. “He works for BroadChem Industries, and his company was very interested in acquiring some samples from us, for the right price of course. So I kept my eyes and ears open, and over time managed to learn all the security codes from Worth. He trusts me completely and never suspected that I was spying on him to learn the codes.”

“He didn’t trust you enough to tell you about the spy problem,” pointed out Christina with a small smile. Karen, predictably, smashed her elbow into the blonde’s side again. Christina decided that the pain was worth it if it pissed Karen off and took away from her self-congratulatory attitude.

“I said shut up! I’m the one talking here!” shrilled Karen. “After I learned the codes, I still needed a chemist, so I brought Jake in. Between the two of us, we’ve leaked a lot of good stuff to BroadChem in exchange for some excellent monetary compensation.”

“I’ve got a bug in Worth’s office,” Karen went on. “I heard your talk with him and I knew you were in charge of investigating things. I received a new bug today and was planning to plant it in your office this evening. But just when I was about to pick the lock, I saw you standing in the hall. Then I saw your boyfriend come running up. Oh yes, I can tell you’re fucking each other. I know everything. Anyway,” she continued with a chuckle, “when you named me as the prime suspect, I knew the jig was up. Luckily, I always carry a bit of insurance around.” She waved her gun.

“We’ve got a good deal going here,” said Karen. Her voice had become quieter and colder. “And we can’t have you messing it up.” She suddenly clonked Christina on the head with the gun, knocking her out. She then did the same to Paul.

Christina woke up with a terrible headache. She looked around and saw that she was locked in a large closet. There was no sign of Paul or their captors. She knew that they most likely planned to kill her and Paul, but she didn’t panic. Panicking would only make things worse. Instead, she thought of how to get out of this jam.

The first step was to get out of the closet. She remembered something she had seen a heroine do in an action movie. Reaching into her long blonde hair, Christina pulled out a hairpin. Inserting it into the locking mechanism on the closet door, she moved it around until she finally heard a satisfying click. The door came open. She walked quietly out of the closet and into a hallway. The next order of business was to look for Paul and set him free.

Suddenly, she heard voices coming from a nearby room. Approaching it, she saw that the door was ajar. She could see the three perps. inside. A table in the room was covered with decks of cards and boxes of Chinese food.

The thugs were arguing about how to best kill their victims and make it look like an accident. “How about we make it look like those two died in a car crash?” suggested Jake.

“I say we poison them and say it was food poisoning,” said John Terry.

“I don’t like that one, J.T.,” said Karen. “I think we should blow them up with an ‘accidental’ gas explosion. They work with dangerous chemicals all the time, you know.”

Listening to them, Christina felt like the dwarves in the story “The Hobbit,” who had been stuffed into sacks by trolls, who were discussing whether to roast them slowly, boil them, or sit on them one by one and squash them into jelly. Christina wished she had a magic spell that would turn all three thugs into stone. Then she decided that since they were distracted, now was her best chance to defeat them.

“How about this,” said J.T. He waved a deck of cards. “Whoever draws the highest card, we do his idea. Or her idea.”

“Fair enough,” said Karen. She reached for the cards and shuffled them. Jake then cut the cards. Karen held out the deck to J.T., who drew a card. “Eight of spades,” he said.

Jake drew his card next. “Six of diamonds. Damn,” he said. “Well, Karen, it’s all up to you.”

Christina was horrified at the way the thugs were casually planning a pair of murders. She readied herself for her attack.

Karen held up her card with a grin. “Jack of hearts,” she said. “Looks like we’ll be doing my i-”

With a shrill, feminine warrior cry, Christina launched herself through the air and landed a flying kick on Karen’s back, sending her sailing across the room. Karen landed in an undignified heap, while Christina landed perfectly on her feet. The blonde then performed a powerful spin kick that hit both Jake and J.T. and sent them both to the floor.

Karen got to her feet, an enraged look on her face. “You’ll pay for this, bitch!” she shrilled. She reached into her coat. Christina performed a lightning-fast front handspring that brought her directly in front of Karen, who now had her gun in her hand. Christina then did a quick crescent kick that sent the gun sailing across the room. “You’ve already got two buddies to back you up. Don’t tell me you need a gun too,” she taunted. Karen hissed and swung a punch. Christina blocked it with her thick forearm, then knocked her opponent down with a cheerleader kick to the face.

She turned to face her other opponents. Jake was still down, but J.T. had gotten to his feet. He was a big man, probably about 6’1″ and 210 pounds. “Bring it on, blondie,” he said, getting into a boxing stance.

Christina kicked him in the groin and smirked as he howled in pain. “Maybe that wasn’t fair, but three against one isn’t fair either,” she chuckled. She then drove a punch into his gut, followed by another one to his jaw.

Jake suddenly grabbed her from behind. “I’ve got her!” he yelled. J.T. advanced on her, but was knocked back when she kicked him in the chest. She then stomped hard on Jake’s foot. As he let out a howl of pain, she broke free and, without looking, drove her elbow backwards. Her attack caught Jake right in the solar plexus. Seeing both men stumbling around dizzily, she grabbed both their heads and slammed them together, hard. Jake and J.T. fell to the floor.

Christina turned her attention back to Karen, who had gotten up and was advancing on her, fists raised. Karen’s long brown hair was a mess and she had an enraged look on her face. The brunette, at 5’5″ and 125 pounds, was slightly bigger than Christina, but although she was quite fit she didn’t have the amount of muscle definition that the blonde had. The two women began boxing. Although both of them landed punches, Christina was clearly winning the fight. She landed two or three punches for every one her opponent landed.

Suddenly, Karen punched Christina right in the middle of her small, firm left breast. She then delivered another punch to the blonde’s other breast and let out a sadistic laugh. Christina, although her firm little 34B’s were hurting terribly, didn’t let the pain cause her to lose her concentration. Instead, she drove her knee into Karen’s groin with all her strength. Karen shrieked in pain and clutched her wounded sweet spot. “You want to play dirty, then I can play dirty too,” growled Christina.

Suddenly, she sensed a movement behind her. Without turning to look, the little blonde fired a powerful back kick that slammed into J.T.’s gut, ruining his chance to launch a surprise attack. She followed it up with a pretty spin kick that knocked J.T. to the ground, then turned her attention back to Karen. Karen kicked her in the chest. Christina grunted and stumbled back a little, but recovered quickly and delivered a vicious roundhouse kick to the side of Karen’s head. She then grabbed Karen, headbutted her, and knocked her to the ground with an athletic-looking cartwheel kick.

Christina whirled around. Jake was lying on the floor, moaning, but J.T. was swinging a punch at her, which she dodged thanks to her quick reflexes. She drove her right knee into his stomach, then slammed her left fist into his eye. She then balanced on her right leg while repeatedly high-kicking him in the face with her left. Her strength and balance would have provided a lovely show for a spectator, but for J.T. they were just battering him into bloody dizziness. She finally let up after about fifteen kicks. J.T. stumbled and let out a moan. Blood trickled from his mouth, and spots of blood also stained his business suit. Christina smiled at her skill, then performed a standing back handspring, kicking her opponent in the jaw as she flipped. J.T. fell to the floor, unconscious.

Karen was now on her hands and knees, about to pull herself back up to a standing position. However, Christina had other plans. She brutally kneed the brunette in the face, knocking her back down. She then fired off a couple of kicks to her head.

“AAAAAAHHHHH!” came a sudden shout. Jake, who had finally gotten up, was charging her with a loud yell. Christina calmly stood and waited, then, at the last second, stepped to the side and smashed her elbow into Jake’s head. As her opponent’s war cry turned into a cry of pain, she clocked him in the jaw with her medium-sized but very powerful fist.

Jake, groaning, rubbed his jaw. At 5’8″ and 170 pounds he was considerably bigger than her, but he was extremely out of shape. He swung a punch at her stomach. Christina tensed her hard abs. Jake howled in pain as his fist impacted the well-muscled wall. With a smirk, the blonde then delivered a punch of her own into his gut. Jake doubled over and screamed like a girl.

“Weak abs?” she taunted him. “Paul tells me you’re always sneaking candy bars and potato chips in the lab. Breaking the rules has consequences, you know, like making you fat and weak, and getting you hit like this.” She punched him in the stomach four more times to emphasize her point. When she was done, Jake found that the Chinese food he had eaten for dinner was coming out the same way it had gone in. Christina laughed and waited for him to finish throwing up. When he was done, she kicked him in the face, then crouched down and launched a brutally powerful uppercut. The impact knocked Jake to the ground, out cold.

Christina looked around to where she had left Karen, but the brunette was no longer there. Suddenly, Karen tackled Christina from behind, then wrapped her strong legs around the blonde’s waist. Both women grunted and moaned as they struggled. “How do you like my leg power, honey?” taunted Karen.

Christina drove her elbow into Karen’s face and followed it up with a vicious headbutt. That was enough for her to break free. She then wrapped her own legs around Karen’s neck and applied pressure. “My…legs…are…stronger,” hissed Christina. Karen struggled desperately, but the blonde’s thighs were much too powerful for her to escape from. Christina increased the squeezing power as Karen’s struggles grew weaker and fainter. Finally, the brunette slumped unconscious. Christina climbed back to her feet and looked around with a satisfied and sexy smile.

Then her smile turned to a frown. Jake was no longer there. She heard footsteps running down the hall and began chasing after him. Although she was faster, he had too much of a head start. Jake had reached the far end of the hall and was about to open the door when suddenly a leg appeared out of nowhere and tripped him to the ground. Jake, after banging his head on the hardwood floor, looked up dizzily and saw Paul standing over him. “Looks like your flight’s been delayed,” Paul smirked.

Jake climbed to his feet and let out a threatening growl. However, by that time Christina had reached them. She crossed her muscular arms in front of her. “You want to go at it again?”

“N…no, that won’t be necessary,” stammered Jake. “I surrender. And it was all Karen’s idea. She was the ringleader.”

Christina rolled her eyes. “Save it for court,” she said. She looked around. “You have any rope around here? Or should I just knock you out?”

“N…no need for that,” stammered Jake. “There’s some rope in the corner over there.”

While Christina kept watch over Jake, Paul got a length of rope. Jake and then J.T. and Karen were all tied up securely. After that, Christina called the police. “The cops are on their way,” she said as she hung up. She turned to Paul, an impressed look on her face. “How did you get out of wherever you were locked up?” she asked.

“Well, when I woke up, I found that I was locked in this smelly closet,” he answered. “I was trying to think of a way to escape and I had my hands in my pockets. Then, I felt this little bottle in my pocket and I realized that I had a sample of a chemical I was working on that happened to be very acidic. I poured it on the lock and the acid ate it away.”

“Mmm, my smart and sexy man,” she said, giving him a long kiss. Paul blushed. “How did you get out?” he asked.

Christina told him about her use of her hairpin. “Mmm, my smart and sexy blonde,” he said. They kissed again.

“Oh, get a room, you two,” said Jake.

Christina raised a threatening fist to him, and he became silent. “I guess that was a little cheesy,” she admitted. Turning to Jake, she added, “That doesn’t mean you have permission to be a loudmouth.”

Ten minutes later, the sound of heavy police footsteps woke Karen and J.T. from their slumber. All three thugs were handcuffed and hauled off to jail. After giving their statements to the police, Christina and Paul were finally free to go.

The next day, Mr. Worth met with Christina and Paul and personally congratulated them on their achievement. He declared that they would both be receiving very large Christmas bonuses that year, and he offered Paul a promotion to lab supervisor, which he gratefully accepted. As for Christina, Worth offered her a promotion to the senior vice president position that had previously been held by Bart Berkman, whom Worth had fired after learning of his prostitution habits.

The little blonde smiled at the offer. “That’s very generous of you, Mr. Worth, but what I’d really like to do is be in charge of security here. I don’t want spies infiltrating us again.”

“Consider it done,” said Worth. “I’ll give you the same salary you would have made as a senior vice president. Anyway, I was planning on firing the current head of security for massive incompetence. I think my cousin, who manages a McDonald’s, can get him a job there. It’d fit him better.” Christina and Paul laughed, remembering how their old enemy David had ended up working at McDonald’s after being fired.

The following evening, while watching the news at Christina’s place, Paul and Christina learned of the true magnitude of what they had done. Not only had they exposed Karen and Jake as spies and J.T. as their contact, but the arrests had led to a massive investigation of BroadChem Industries. The company was found not only to be stealing others’ research, but also to be doing some major fraud and cheating with their accounting. In the days that followed, BroadChem collapsed just like Enron, WorldCom, and the walls of Jericho. The CEO and CFO of BroadChem were arrested and hauled off to jail in shame.

Karen and J.T. were both convicted of espionage, kidnapping, and attempted murder, and were each sentenced to 30 years in prison. Jake pleaded guilty and testified against his former accomplices, earning him a sentence of 12 years.

After the trials were over, things finally seemed to return to normal. As Christina looked over the list of problems she had to deal with as head of security, she knew that she and Paul would have many more opportunities to hunt down more bad guys (and girls).