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The Business of the Apocalypse

This story, and the events in it, is purely fiction.

I sat in my underground office, reading the now-trending post on Twitter. A pleasant smile tugged at the corners of my lips; I had to give it to the person: he was right about majority of the things he said, but he was also wildly off the mark about the most important aspect—the reason for the outbreak.

My phone buzzed, I looked at the screen and it was the Chinese President. He was probably calling because of the same post I was reading. I allowed the buzzing to continue, and at the last moment, picked the call.

“Mr. President,” I said, transferring the call to the speaker on my desk.

“Hello, Mr. X,” he began, “I gather that there’s a rather disturbing news making the waves on the Internet.”

“By ‘disturbing news’ you mean the post I am currently reading on Twitter?”

“Yes, I believe it’s the same one. We have to find a way to quell the spreading of the information. I do not want the US and the UN to—”

I cut him off. “Do not worry yourself, Mr. President. I have the situation under control. I beg you to trust me.”

“But—”

“Have I failed to fulfill the promises I made to you and the Circle of Six?” I asked, anger creeping into my voice.

“No, of course not,” he replied. He clicked off instantly, probably mortified by my tone. He was the weakest person in the Six, yet his role was one of the most vital, that was why I kept up with his constant fear. But soon he would be removed, permanently.

I sighed, closed my laptop and reclined on the chair. Without meaning to, I went back to six years ago, to the remote city of Wuhan, where it all started.

********************

26th November, 2014,

I looked around the table, at the five other people—three men and two women—seated with their gazes fixed on me. I almost felt like God because should these people agree to become part of my team, I would be the most powerful man alive.

“Ladies and gentlemen, you’ve all been called here because each of you has the opportunity to rule the world with me. I specially chose you because of the positions you hold in your various fields. More importantly, I chose you because of your hate for the godless country, America.

“I have a plan, one that would cripple the US and the rest of the West. But I cannot do it alone. That is where you come in.”

I glanced around again, taking my time to look each person in the eyes, establishing a sense of importance in them. They were all expectant, all eager to be part of the future.

“Mr. President,” I continued, addressing the Chinese President, “your country has the largest population on the planet. That offers us one major advantage—invisibility. We will be needing your help with a major biotech research, which when successfully completed, will bring the West begging for mercy, and huge profits to our individual pockets.

“Miss McCain, your biolab in Wuhan has been chosen to be the birthplace of our instrument of domination.

“Professors Hillary and Okoro, your expertise in the field of virology will be central to all we’re planning. I’ll give the specific details about what you have to do later.

“And finally, Miss Cooper, your influence in EU will come in handy when we have to infiltrate Europe.”

I paused again, allowing them to mull over what I’ve just told them. I could see the wheels in their heads turning, trying to understand what I was saying. But no one among them would have the full details of the plan, only their own part. I don’t trust anyone, that was what kept me where I was.

“Don’t worry, each of you will be sent specific instructions on what to do later today. On that note, thank you all for honouring my invitation; I assure you that by the time we’re done, your thirst for vengeance will be sated,” I concluded. I stood up, signaling that the meeting was over. They all stood, and filed out of the office; I called my secretary and instructed her to escort them out of the premises.

Alone in the office, I settled down to the business of sending each person his or her own part of the mission. It was a delicate matter, choosing these people, but it was one I was proud I’d perfected. For the past fifteen years I’ve painstakingly planned on how I would get my own pound of flesh from the amorous body of the US, and now it was a reality.

I closed my eyes, recalling how I’d been held captive in the hands of the Taliban, how my family had pleaded with the US government to negotiate my release; but of course I was told that “the US government does not negotiate with terrorists.”

I was devastated; I could not believe that a country I’d given up everything for could turn her back on me when I needed her the most. I resigned myself to my fate, accepting the fact that I would die a Taliban hostage.

But I was offered a chance to live, one I grabbed without a second chance. It was a simple bargain—convert to Islam and live. Without thinking twice, I converted and was set free. I spent five years as a Taliban fighter, destroying American lives and properties, but it was not enough. I had to do more, America had to pay in blood.

I finally escaped from the clutches of those extremists, and went underground into international drugs and arms trade, amassing wealth, and getting ready. And now I was ready.

After I was done sending each person the details of his or her part in my plan for revenge, I closed my laptop and left the building, and headed to my private hotel.

My plan was simple: create a global pandemic, cripple the Western economy, buy off their companies at very low prices, and have them crawl at my feet for mercy. The choice of Wuhan as the origin of the pandemic was simple—population density and its animal market. The virus would be reported to have started from the consumption of one of those creepers the Chinese gobbled up, something that would be hard to disprove given the state of hysteria in the world.

****************

True to my plans and predictions, the world is currently where I wanted it to be—chaos. With the exception of Italy (which was vital to the spread of the virus across Europe), America is the worst hit country after China. And with the release of the antidote three weeks ago, there would be no new cases. The official report would be that China has successfully combated the Covid-19 outbreak, but we know that truth.

And with companies in America and Europe being bought by my Chinese companies, I am suddenly feeling like the king of the world.

My phone buzzed again. I thought about leaving the call unanswered; it was probably the Chinese President calling again, but a quick glance at the screen made me to sit up instantly. It was Professor Okoro. He was now the only person in charge of the labs since Professor Hillary unfortunately died of the disease.

“Hello Professor,” I said.

“There’s been a huge problem. All the patients who have been administered with the antidote have all shown severe symptoms of brain damage, increased physical strength, low pain threshold, tissue decay and aggressive behaviour,” he rattled off quickly, panting. I had the distinct feeling that he was running.

“I do not understand, Professor. What exactly are you saying? Is the antidote ineffective?” I was particularly worried about not being able to produce a cure I could sell to the countries that could afford it.

“This might sound like the stuff of movies, but I think we’ve created zombies. They are impossible to contain, and attack humans with—”

The next sound I heard was the scream of the professor; there was a sickening sound of flesh and bones being munched.

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