Jake, a green dragon from Minneapolis, started working at the company I was employed by in 1997. At first, everyone, including me, thought he was a pretty neat guy. No one had ever seen a dragon except for a few nerds that got beat up on our lunch break regularly. And even those poindexter assholes had never seen a green dragon.
The trouble started about a month after Jake hit the 39th floor, working in the Executive Sales Management section. During an office party one night, everyone was bugging Jake to breathe fire, set something on fire, fire this, fire that. Ignorant twats that they were, they had no clue that a green dragon spits acid instead of breathing fire. Breathing fire is for RED dragons, but whatever.
Tommy McKindless learned a lesson that night. The lesson was “don’t get drunk at an office party and beg Jake the big fuckin’ green dragon to spit acid and make shit melt to amuse me/us.” Let’s just say that the paramedics couldn’t distinguish between Tommy, the cubicle he was standing near, or half of the men’s bathroom.
No one hated on Jake then, as it was an honest mistake (well, we thought so then… Tommy WAS an asshole, and his wife was known to sleep around the office, and not just Dalgren Information Systems, where we worked. She was a bit of a… well, you know). Jake took it pretty hard, or pretended to, and everything was quiet for another three months, until Jennifer Ortiz came to work pregnant one day, and let the word slip that it was Jake’s.
Jake denied it, of course, and if you’ve never met a dragon, they are professional liars. Kyle, Jen’s husband, was furious, but, I mean, what’s he going to do? Fight a dragon? This is fucking 1997, remember, not 997 where he can just run home and grab his rusty sword and shitty leather armor in hopes of at least giving a dragon peritonitis or something while being mashed and chewed between massive, razor sharp teeth.
Pretty soon, people’s lunches started missing. We thought it was some prankster, or just some douchebag who was too cheap or too lazy to bring / go get his own lunch. Or her. A lot of us thought it was Mya from the secretary pool. That is, until we caught good ‘ol Jake the green dragon with a nasty bit of egg salad caught between two fangs, and a Diet Dr. Pepper that he’d kifed from the break room fridge on the 37th floor.
Then in June, Mr. Tapper’s wife came down sick. Tapper, the CIO for Dalgren, he listened to his wife’s lies for five months until it was clear she didn’t have a tumor, unless you consider a hybrid half-human / half-dragon growing in her belly a tumor. Tapper did. You probably read about that on HuffPost or saw it on CNN. Killed his wife in cold blood. I won’t go into details, but it was pretty grisly.
For the next twleve years, this is the shit that went on at Dalgren. By 1999, everyone pretty much hated Jake and wished someone from management would come down and hand him a pink slip. Of course, that never happened, because no one fires a huge green dragon that can either bite you in half as if you were a twinkie, or can melt you into a puddle of smoking ooze thanks to his acid-y breath stuff.
Some of us guys talked about learning how to fight with swords and full armor, but that was just drunk talk at the bar after work. What we mostly talked about is how come these stupid women we worked with, married ones, single ones, fat ones, skinny ones, didn’t matter, all of ’em went for Jake as if he were that Ryan Gosling guy. They couldn’t keep their hands off him or their legs closed around him.
Yeah, it’s a pretty disturbing thought trying to figure out how a six thousand pound, scaly, acid-spitting, flying dragon could have sex with human women. What we didn’t know then was that dragons are all pretty sorcerer-y and can shapeshift into human form if they have certain genetic markers or something. We got most of our info from the internet, which is about as reliable as a giant green dragon wandering around a cubicle farm. It wasn’t like we could ask him about it and walk away without missing a limb that he’d either bitten off or melted off.
Anyway, sometime around 2009, Jake got caught pilfering funds out of an expense account. The CEO and the board came down hard on him, then Jake came down hard on them. Six board members were never found (and no one felt like doing some forensic checking on a pile of bloody, chunky dragon excrement to maybe test for some DNA), three got melted into the floor/walls, and two jumped from the 46th floor. Or were thrown. My money is on them being tossed out of a broken window. Or maybe their bodies broke the window before falling to the earth 46 floors later.
Jake received his walking papers, remotely, and everyone stayed out of the office for three days just in case he showed back up to exact revenge. Workplace shootings are frightening, but workplace dragon-ings… there’s really nothing to describe it that can do it justice. When Jake didn’t show, we all went back to work, and everyone got on with their lives.
But Jake, he’s a dragon. And dragons… are fucking assholes. You don’t think Jake the huge green acid-spitting dragon was going to just walk away without some kind of retaliation, did you? No, of course not. So Jake, instead of flying over everyone’s house and melting or dissolving it, maybe landing on the roof and eating any women and children inside first, or even showing up to the Metro Life Tower where Dalgren had floors 31-52, and going berserk, he calls a fucking lawyer.
Next thing you know, Dave Harvey, the ambulance-chasing shitbird on TV that’s always shouting about how you deserve your money NOW, shows up and starts making everyone take a goddamn deposition. “Did you ever engage in bullying of Jake?” “Did you ever notice your co-workers treating Jake in a discriminatory manner?” “What kind of rumors were regularly passed around between colleagues that painted Jake in a negative light?”
I wanted to reach across the conference table during my depo and just strangle the shit out of the smug little motherfucker, but messing with an attorney is about as good as fighting with a bunch of cops trying to arrest you. Cops will beat the shit out of you physically. A lawyer will fuck you in so many ways that you’ll think you passed out drunk on a U.S. Navy ship.
That isn’t even the kicker, though. Jake, great guy (dragon) that he was, sued three of the women from Dalgren for sexual harassment, child support, custody, whatever you can think of. Jake… he had big balls. I mean, literally, he’s a big fuckin’ green dragon. But figuratively as well. The dude didn’t know the word “quit.” After the lawyer, he hired a couple of private detectives to snoop around on some of the upper management. Rumor has it that he caught a couple of idiots in compromising situations, which caused them to turn on their human coworkers, and you can imagine the feuding and fighting over that one. It was one giant fucking shit storm.
Five years later, Jake’s lawsuits were all finally thrown out or resolved (probably settled for a decent amount of cash, or maybe gold and jewels, since dragons seem to be into that kind of stuff). Everyone assumed it was all over, and everyone could breathe a sigh of relief.
Until Jake, in a drunken rage, decided to kill as many of us as he could within a twenty-four hour span. An enraged drunk is scary. An enraged dragon is scarier. An enraged, drunken dragon is pretty goddamn frightening. An enraged, drunken, vengeful green dragon that can spit acid is terrifying, but when you add in two of his college roommates, a blue dragon named Gary and a red dragon named Tiffany, then you can image that it was more terrifying than whatever is more terrifying than terrifying.
Since we live in modern times, and we have no knights or wizards or magical armor / swords / shields to fight dragons, a lot of us died. I escaped harm, but only because I resigned from Dalgren back in 2012. I saw the trouble coming. I didn’t want to be one of the three hundred nineteen Dalgren employees that had been eaten, dissolved, frozen, or burned to death. Or dropped to their deaths from a few thousand feet up. Remember, dragons can fly.
Not only that, and I guess a lot of us didn’t know this, all dragons are wizards or such, even beyond the shapeshifting thing.
There’s a lot we don’t know about them. The one thing we do know about them is that they are assholes. So next time you’re gonna write a story about how awesome or helpful or friendly a dragon is, remember Jake. Jake is a good lesson on why dragons should not be allowed to integrate into human society. Jake is still out there somewhere. Last I heard, he was working for Bank of America as a customer service rep.
If you’re an employer, just do yourself and your employees a favor, and DON’T HIRE DRAGONS. I know, they’re pretty cool looking, and they’ll give you a ride just to get the job (or your weed, they smoke a lot of weed for some reason). But seriously. They aren’t worth the trouble.
If you’re a writer/director/animator/illustrator, go fuck yourself if you ever do any dragon shit. Dragons are not cool.