"Four of you remain," I said to the remaining four. "You are perhaps the most talented, most mysterious and most expendable four people in the Universe. But two of you are going to prove to be a bit more expendable than the others and will be fired....right now."
"Let's find out who it should be," I suggested and pulled out the evaluation cards from my briefcase. "Here is what your interviewers noted about you."
"After reviewing your résumés and looking over the notes left by your interviewer," I stated, "it's going to be a difficult decision."
Claire added, "You're just, like, all really good and stuff. Really."
I continued, "But it's time to get rid of two of you."
Jon gasped again.
"Nepharia," I looked at the evil face, half-hidden by the far more evil cloak. "You've performed quite well. You kidnapped me. You gave us YouTube cats. Your logo was cool and three-dimensional."
"Jon," as I spoke his name, the so-called gladiator gasped. "A great performance from you as well. Uncle Yoder's, a MonkeyBoy in your subconscious Force cave battle, and consistently good work despite an Irish hangover."
"Gyrobo," I looked next to the clownbot. "It's no secret that you've managed to really shine throughout this competition. What is that? Titanium finish?"
"I'll never tell," he answered coolly.
"Well, regardless, you've done good work. A battle of wits with your physical examiner. Traveling through time. Threatening to force Angus McGriddle into owning a dog."
"Professor," I said turning my attention to the pretend crippled. "You designed great hats for your team. Showed great directing ability. Quayle hunting. A very good job, Charles."
"Thank you," he replied.
"So, that's why my job is really tough at this point," I explained. "I've got to axe two people right now. Jon, I was disappointed you didn't kill Serpentor yourself. It doesn't seem like you've had as many lifetime kills as Professor X, who's had almost three thousand, according to his self-written résumé. While you do good work, and you manage to really shine on the business side of things, I don't know how suited you are to the other half of the double life required by The Company. So, Jon, you're fired."
"You can go now," I said. We all watched as the Action Man leave the boardroom.
"Whew," Xavier sighed. "I really thought I might get fired today. Stupid Dr. Manhattan. He's just upset because I made him wear clothes."
"It's not over yet," I announced. "There's still one more person to fire."
We could hear Jon gasp from outside the boardroom.
"Gyrobo. You've proven your knack for mystery during this competition," I complimented him. "You've not only managed to complete the mysterious tasks themselves, but you did while the mystery of your own life swarmed around you. However, if there's anywhere that you're lacking, it's in team management. You haven't been able to lead your team to victory. The Company works on the principle of 'One of us, One of Them,' which one you are, I'm not sure. But the point is we need someone who can make those around them better.
"Nepharia, you've managed to do that well. For an evil Sith, you seem to be really good with teamwork. You've got a great set of skills, and really are a vital tool in any circumstance. But I'm concerned how effective you are as a leader. Though you did win Yoda's task as El Jefe.
"Xavier, you're on the opposite end of this. More fit to lead, but you lend nothing to your teammates, aside from your orders. However, what you lack in physical skills, you more than make up for with mental ability. You've won a task as El Jefe, but also lost one. But the loss was most likely the fault of my family rather than your leadership. You did a good job, even on that task.
"This is the toughest decision yet. I'm going back and forth on this. I'm still not really sure who to fire, but I have to fire someone.
"I think you're great. I think you've done a great job all through this competition. But I have to say, Nepharia, you're fired."
Nepharia powered down her lightsaber, deciding not to kill me, and left the boardroom.
"Congratulations, Charles and Gyrobo. You're the final two. And you'll be going up against each other in one final task to prove who has what it takes to be The Company Apprentice. But first, it's time to pick your team."
The boardroom doors opened and in walked Wolverine, Ciera, Jon and Nepharia.
"You each get two, and we'll take turns picking. First pick goes to whoever calls it first."