The next day, Peter called Marsha Tenenbaum. “Yes,” he said. “I want you to continue running MedicinaTech for the time being. I’ve got personal business I need to take care of, and it’s going to occupy my time for…well, quite a while. I’ll let you know when I can come back and take over…Sorry, I can’t go into that right now. I have to go now. Talk you to later…Bye.” He hung up and left for Mississauga.
When he arrived at the Mississauga Exposé building, he just barged past everybody in the lobby, past the receptionist who tried in vain to stop him and ask if he had an appointment, and rushed into an elevator.
Michelle said she was chairing a meeting today, Peter thought as the elevator went up to where he knew, from past trips there, all the heads of the newspaper worked. He got out of the elevator and went through the halls, looking through the glass walls to see which room she was in.
At the end of the hall, he found her. It was easier for him to find her by the look of confusion on her face than by her face itself. Utterly lacking experience, she could only look awkward there. He barged in.
“Michelle!” he shouted, interrupting a presentation that she looked bored watching.
“Peter!” she said with a smile, relieved to have an excuse to get out of the meeting. “Excuse me, everyone. Something’s come up. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“That’s OK, Michelle,” the unruffled presenter said as she walked out of the room with Peter.
“They’re not mad at me for my little intrusion?” he asked.
“Of course not,” she said as they walked down the hall, him looking for an empty room with a computer. “They’re all emotionless carriers, like your staff. They can totally do that meeting without me.”
“I thought so,” he said as they walked into an unoccupied room. “I figured they could run everything without you, as my staff can without me. I mean, why would they want us running things when they know we don’t know how to do it?”
“Good question,” she said when he sat in front of a desktop computer and turned it on.
“And in a minute, I’ll give you my answer,” he said. “Occupying us with our parents’ businesses will distract us from watching what the Bolshivarians are planning. Check this out.” He found a recent video on YouTube: George Villiers-Joseph and Karol Sargent in China.
Michelle’s eyes almost popped out of her head. “Oh, my God,” she gasped. “They survived?“
“Yes,” Peter said. “Someone got them out of South America just in time before the bombings and bug spraying. As you can see, this video is dated from last week, and it hasn’t been censored, like so many other videos and web pages that normally would have been taken off the net by now.”
“You mean, President Price and her people aren’t censoring the net anymore? Why?”
“Because they’re losing their power over the world.”
“Well, that’s good news,” she said, grinning. “Now the Bolshivarians can heal the Earth, and we can help the poor of the world.”
“True, and as we know from the news, these changes for the better are really being made. But at what cost?” he said. “Who are the Bolshivarians improving things for?”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh, come on, Michelle. You’ve seen those automatons working for you, as I’ve seen them working for me. Watch this.” He clicked PLAY.
George was chairing a meeting with Karl in a hiding place somewhere in China. The video panned across all the people in the audience, mostly Chinese with that all-too-familiar emotionless stare in their faces. George began to speak.
“As you all know,” he said, “the heightened danger to Bolshivarian life here, brought about by the nuclear holocausts and the genocidal extermination of so many of us, has necessitated a radical change in our strategy. No longer will Bolshivarian entry into human bodies give our carriers a choice to join us or die. We will simply take control of our hosts’ mental apparatus completely.”
“There you have it, Michelle,” Peter said. “Our worst fears realized.”
“Oh, no!” she said.
“All of you in our audience are carriers, your wills all under 100% Bolshivarian control, which also ensures that you understand my meaning without needing Chinese translation,” George said. “This use of mind control was a hard decision for us to make, but we’ve been given no choice. Too many Bolshivarian lives have been lost–deaths in the billions!–to allow us to take any more risks in the name of ‘liberty’.”
“Tory tried to warn us,” Peter said, pausing the video. “He told us not to trust George…and I put an axe in Tory’s head.”
“I can understand the Bolshivarians needing to protect themselves,” she said. “But…this can’t be.”
“In spite of all the good we’ve seen them do, including saving our own lives…twice…still, I’ve always had a nagging doubt in the back of my mind about them. Are they doing all this healing of the Earth for us, or for themselves?“
“That sounds like Price’s propaganda.”
“I know, and you know I’ll never trust her or any of the ruling classes of the Earth, but this video spells it out, all in black and white, so to speak. You won’t like hearing this, Michelle, but those psychic communions we have with our ‘parents’–I don’t think they’re real.”
“They’re real, Peter!” she said in a voice of sobbing anger.
“I know how you feel, and I know how painful it is to–“
“They’re real!” she shouted, tears forming in her eyes.
“I’m sorry, but the Bolshivarians fabricated them with their technology.”
“No!” she bawled. He held her as she wept.
“Let’s hear the rest of the video,” he said, then clicked PLAY.
“As for the non-carrying sympathizers of the world,” George said. “As long as you remain loyal to us, you need not fear having your free will taken from you. No more threats to Bolshivarian life, and you will be left alone. But if a non-carrier is to take any more Bolshivarian life, as Karen Finley did, and Tory Lee tried to, then we’ll have no choice but to take control of all sympathizers. Our safety, as the saviours of the Earth, has become paramount!”
Applause could be heard from all over the room, including Karol’s clapping hands.
Neither Peter nor Michelle clapped.