"Goddammit Ted, I told you not to lower the cycles that far!” Bill knew he was shouting into his phone but didn’t care, “How can we keep people scared if the numbers are falling?”

    “We were trying to make it look like the vaccines are working Bill, you know that.” The deep reply was strangely calming. maybe it was the strong accent? 

     Bill felt his flash of anger subside. He was getting better at controlling it every year.

     But he was still angry, the uptake numbers were too low to meet his calculations, “But if the population is not scared they will stop lining up… declare you made a mistake and lowered the cycle count too far. Tell them the virus is spreading undetected now. Scare the idiots! Just up the cycles Ted, get more fucking positives. Or I will find someone who can!”

     Bill hung up, feeling that familiar satisfying thrill hanging up on world leaders gave him.

     He glanced out the window of his private jet. They were coming in to land. For a moment he reflected on what the French President had said at the post-conference Dinner. He had been quiet, as if the man was afraid someone would hear, which Bill thought idiotic. Everyone at the Dinner was up to speed on The Agenda process. The man had whispered something about not being able to control the narrative. The demonstrations were getting more bothersome and he believed it was because the people were waking up to the lies they were being told.

     Bill had scoffed at the time, but even as he had done so he had felt a twinge of fear tingle the hair on his head.

     The sun painted the ocean with dabs of blood as the horizon’s angle changed for the descent. Bill shook away the sudden unusual trepidation that followed the remembrance of that twinge of fear. It did not matter how many learnt the truth. It was too late, the survivors would soon all be thoroughly enmeshed into his new Operating System for the world.  And he would be even wealthier than ever.

     His phone twanged in his hand.

     It was a news story… that pesky new website that pretended to be a news network. Bill’s eyebrows lifted as he saw the headline, ZOMBIE ATTACK!

     Curious, despite the obvious clickbait title, he read a little further. A crazed man had attacked and eaten the face off a convenience store worker in Chicago. Weird, but why did such a strange story  show up in his feed?

     He read further and saw the trigger, the man had been recently vaccinated.

     Bill felt his anger rise again. How dare they make that link? Even though he himself knew why. The Operating System had varying effects on different people as it shut down the pineal gland. Most became simply docile, more obedient subjects than even generations of social programming had achieved. But some… some lost all social inhibitions and became violent before they died.

     With a shiver Bill remembered the video he had seen of the trial monkeys. It had both excited him and terrified him. If enough people turned like that… maybe he had misjudged?

     The sudden jolt and screech of tyres hitting tarmac jerked Bill from his sudden doubts and his usual confidence returned. He was the top of the pile, the head honcho, richer and more powerful than any man alive, even the President, hell he owned the President. 

     As his jet rolled to a halt another twinge of fear hit Bill’s scalp. The Families still dictated his actions. Despite his enormous wealth, it was they who ‘allowed’ him to proceed with the Agenda. Bill allowed his anger to rise a little, drowning out the fear… even they would eventually be dependent on his new Operating System. The Families agreed to him building it for it full-filled their need to maintain control, and they all agreed there were far too many useless eaters destroying the planet with their never-ending hunger. 

     Bill stepped out of his jet into the warm sunshine of the Tropics. His Operating System was perfect. It would not fail.

(To be continued)

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