His colleagues are staring at him with sad eyes. Their sympathy is not really that useful to him. It’s not like it will pay his bills or his mortgage. Most of all he just wants to pack up all his stuff and get the hell out of the office as soon as possible. For a start, though, he simply leaves the marketing department and walks down the corridor to his own office. A bit later, Iguchi comes knocking on his door.

“Takeda-san. I’m terribly sorry we had to go down this path. I know how hard you and your team have been working. Your development work has been Spitzenklasse, but this was the only choice we had to save the company.”

Takeda stares blankly at Iguchi. Inside, he is no longer a box of TNT about to go off. He has flatlined. Outwardly, he is as unresponsive as a glacier in a permafrost region. You mean save yourself. The company is no more.

“You know, I can offer you one of two severance deals. You can be stationed in San Francisco on a 6-month temporary contract, acting as an advisor to the Telcotronics R&D unit. Or I can give you 3 months’ salary, no strings attached.”

While perhaps not aware of it himself, Iguchi has just added insult to injury. A pittance for his life’s work. The glacier on his face insta-melts, and the box of TNT inside him is reignited.

“Either way, there is no need for you to come to the office anymore.”

“You know what, Iguchi? You can take your charity package and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.”

Without uttering another syllable, Takeda grabs his stuff and stomps off, leaving behind his baffled ex-boss and Shinjuku Park Towers for good.

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