By Michael F. Mercurio
We met in secret.
Like-minded individuals infiltrating every aspect of the industry, we had finally attained a global dominance. In the end, they had to go through us to purchase their vice.
It wasn’t easy. The summit was held every month for fifty years, since the inception of Internet-based social networking.Outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are what initially made it all possible. Ultimately, we ended up creating our own social network:Paxgate.
Paxgate was made available to the public, but only to an extent. Its true aim was to seek out additional candidates into our world-wide organization. As more influential figures were added to the fold, it became a simple matter to completely take over the business – no matter which company was producing the product.A quiet restructuring here, a controversial downsizing there – this was all it took to gain a complete monopoly on the product.
These companies had only one element in common: Weapons.
And in the end, we controlled them.
When the final statistical reports came in, we of the Paxgate organization were overjoyed. We quickly began mass producing our items on a grand scale, selling them to all sides, without exception. It didn’t matter if they were third-world nations in the midst of a civil war, or a major power securing their border. Saber rattling generated our bread and butter.The greater the strife, the more profit we made, and the greater our influence became. There were many casualties as a result of our double, triple, and quadruple dealings. This was the price we all knowingly paid -and paid it gladly, as we felt the ends justified the means. It wasa bold venture, after all.
As the world slipped into chaos, the vote was taken, and the final objective was initiated.
Every weapon distributed by the various arms dealers around the world now contained one key feature – a feature that was exclusive to those produced from subtle transactions made through Paxgate. It was a debilitating one.
Each instrument of death was designed specifically to fail upon firing, once a master switch in our base of operations was thrown. In one fell swoop, every armament on the entire planet would be rendered utterly useless. War would finally become obsolete.
On the day of the scheduled switch-off, a celebration commemorating the event was held. Men and women worldwide who secretly worked for Paxgate threw parties and cooked feasts for their confused – but relatively happy – spouses. Then, at the approach of midnight, they sat at their computers, counting down to when the switch would be thrown.
In ten seconds there would be everlasting peace. Then nine, then eight, and so forth. Enraptured co-conspirators held hands, eagerly watching the countdown. Finally, at “one,” the master switch was pressed by the Paxgate founders – now rather old, and their arthritic hands shaking as much from age as from excitement.
And it worked. Every weapon on the planet suddenly stopped functioning. Guns ceased firing, and missiles launched as duds. There was a global quiet for a time on all war fronts. Soldiers looked at each other in bewilderment.
Finally, there was peace. Everything was silent.
It lasted for approximately five minutes. Then, combatants proceeded to spill each other’s brains using the butts of their rifles.
We never claimed we were very intelligent.