dreams I wish I never had

from my book, American Phoenix – written over ten years ago ..,.


President McHenry sighed a very deep sigh.  The Threats team from Defense, the one chaired by someone representing the real powers behind everything, had just put on his desk a plan they called – very unfortunately – Armageddon.  It called for letting lose a special strain of smallpox – a strain with no currently known vaccine – all over the world.  The idea was not new to him, he’d heard it before, the last time he attended a council in Davros – a council with the powers.   These  were the nameless financial people, the ones who ruled behind the scenes – the ones who had guided his political development and got him elected.

    Their idea was fairly simply – it was time to cull the herd someone had put it, and when he listened to that he had gotten very cold in his stomach, so cold he had had to go the bathroom and throw up.  These people frightened him like no one in the world had ever frightened him before.

    But there on his desk was the plan.  First a secret innoculation program, using a vaccine no one else had and based on already established lists.  Then the virus was to be released in certain areas, and as panic set in the new vaccines would be distributed.  But only 25%  were to be effective.  There still needed to be workers and soldiers at the bottom, but there were too many people in the world, and the best way to fix the situation was to kill as many of the unneeded ones as possible.  The plan had numbers and rules for dealing with the bodies and all kinds of cold, even cruel, details for what was essentially murder and violence on a scale no one had ever before imagined.

     There was concern it might set off an international nuclear war, but corrupt officials in various nations possessing that and other weapons of mass destruction were going to be offered cases of the real vaccine, as long as they understood what the deal was.  It was a risk, but a calculated one that might well succeed.  He’d heard that China was ready to go with the US at the right moment during the early days of the epidemic, and bomb North Korea.   As to India and Pakistan, the idea was to make them attack each other.  No one really knew how it was going to unfold, but since the truly wealthy and their various needed servants and political lackeys had places to hide, most thought they could survive, and then from these hidding places come out after a while and rule the ruins.

    Of course, no one was sure what the Islamists had, what kinds of weapons.  Or, how they would react.  Mostly it was assumed that they were not really prepared, and that with the convulsion that was to be delivered to the world, they’d soon be reduced to camels and their own water problems.  They didn’t know what was coming and might make a little trouble in the region, but not much.  A nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel was probably right in line with the Bible anyway.  At least he’d be safe, and his family.  That’s what counted in the coming days – personal survival.

    He glanced through the whole thing, a document a couple of hundred pages long, filled with charts and diagrams and maps and projections of this and of that.  It wasn’ a question of if, but of when.  The recommendation was to wait until early next fall, about 10 months from now, and start the epidemic just before the coming Presidential election.  It would be called a terrorist attack and become the excuse to delay the election, perhaps permanently restrict civil liberties and initiate a continuous state of martial law. 

    He found he couldn’t read it.  It was too callus, too heartless, in its language.  It reminded him of a much older text he’d studied in college about nuclear war, called: thinking the unthinkable.

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