What Is Permanent Damage?

Every day on my way to my desk, I passed by a door with the words “PERMANENT DAMAGE” written on it.

No one ever went in or came out—not that I’d seen anyway, and I’d been working at the firm for about a year. I asked people about the door, and the sign. They said there used to be another firm occupying our floor and the two below it. That door supposedly led to a defunct elevator that shuttled executives between the floors, leading directly into what used to be their fancy offices. Or it led to a laboratory space. Or some sort of obstacle course? The rumors abounded. Now those spaces were claimed by other firms. The words referred to the project that resulted in the shuttering of the company.

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