by Max Barry

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by The Resurrection of Yugobatania. . 6 reads.

"Regularly Scheduled Programming"

Mr. O had been paying attention to the tabloids closely. All the major headlines were filled with reports of a devastating chemical attack on the Tanabonian capital of Seattle. He was most pleased. The tests had worked. He'd been itching for a major field test for months. Fate had brought upon him that fateful day an opportunity to do so.

Those two low-life criminals had done well. News stations had shown horrifying scenes of dead citizens lying across the streets, their motionless bodies rotting, and their skin peeling off. He had no remorse for them. This was his redemption, his magnum opus, a chance to attain revenge against those who had wronged Yugobatania. Tanabon was just the beginning. After pestering Yugobatania for so long with their highly democratic ideologies, it had become an annoyance, and a threat to Yugobatanian ideals.

There were other sleeper agents that OCorp had sent out. Soon, there would be more attacks. No one would know where they would strike next. It could happen at any moment. A new age of terror would spread throughout Strangereal. One could say that this was an idealogical war, borne out of a hatred of all things democratic, and a love for all things that had the word "money" in it.

In truth, that was not the real reason he caused the attacks. No one actually knew the real reason. As in human nature, assumptions are created, and these assumptions were slowly being accepted as truth. Yet, only Mr. O had the real answer upon why he caused the attacks. And he was not willing to share them anytime soon. He would just let people keep making their own assumptions, while his own truths be buried under it.

His top advisors had warned that this could lead to a repeat of the unfortunately named Circum-Cision War, and even more national embarrassment. But, Mr. O had insisted that Operation Red Tide go on.

Gas masks still had to be used, as the gas had seemingly lay dormant, taking hours for it to dissipate. He had not been expecting that - his virus was only supposed to last for about an hour or two. Well, flaws could be fixed. Then again, perhaps they could use it to their advantage...

Suddenly, his secretary burst into his office.

"What is it now Laura?" he said, slightly annoyed. He never liked it when people entered without announcing themselves.

"I'm sorry Mr. O, but this is urgent. It's from President Flores."

"Flores? Hmph."

He seemed slightly amused. She handed him a file, puzzled. Mr. O usually was berating her for barging into his office during his private hours. But now he was acting strange. Mr. O opened up the file, revealing a printed out letter of President Flores' presidential statement made earlier today. Mr. O took quite a while reading it. His secretary became tired from standing there, patiently - and anxiously- waiting for his reply.

Finally, he looked up at her. His face was oddly calm. That was because he was expecting something like this.

"We give in to their demands."

That wasn't what she was expecting. She had expected Mr. O to give this grandiose speech, perhaps along the lines on why we should never give in to the enemy or something. But this? This was a bit absurd.

"But Mr. O, wha-"

"You heard me. We do what they want. Look back in the past. Solomon had failed to see that things could have been made so much easier if he had accepted OSEAN's original demands."

"I...I'm not sure where you're getting at, Mr. O."

"I can see that. Now, let me explain: if we were to refuse their demands now, what would happen? War would be declared against us, our forces would have to mobilize, and our plans would be foiled. Oh, and we would lose even more money from our economy, and we would enter a Great Depression. But, if we accept what they want, we can move on from this small event, and continue on with Red Tide. This will only be a one time thing. The next time a nation demands something from us, we answer in force. Do you understand?"

His secretary nodded her head.

"Good. Now, I want you to get the Economical Affairs Department to extract 25,000,000 E-Brins, and send it to them through our offshore shareholders. That money could be easily recovered by increased tax rates and whatnot."

"What about the two terrori-"

"Ah, ah," he interuppted, waving a finger in the air. "We know I don't like that word being used around here."

"Er...what about our helpful individuals? They demanded that we turn those two we sent to Tanabon in."

"Oh, that's simple. We just find some two men who fit their descriptions and frame them. No one has given any sort of detailed explanation about what poor Markov and Rodin looked like. Only that one was hefty, and the other skinny."

"Ok...then what would happen if they were to be interrogated? What then? They might spill the beans, and explain that they were framed."

"I'm far ahead of you Laura. As you know, we've recently implemented those new ID chips we install at birth, or surgically implant later in life. The two individuals we chose to replace Rodin and Markov have those chip installed. Would you like to let me in to you a little secret?"

She nodded, as Mr. O leaned forward.

"Well, we can control them. Anyone who has the ID chip installed can be controlled via electronic signals connected to all major portions of their brain lobes. It's simple stuff really. We perfected it years ago, we just didn't have the chance to use them, until we got into control of Yugobatania. Now, if they do spill the beans, we could easily insert the Terminate_All command. And if you might guess from the name, think of it like a suicide pill for the brain. Once entered in, poof! Their body breaks down into some very serious, yet quite entertaining convulsions. We trick the brain into thinking that it is experiencing a stroke, therefore automatically shutting down all major systems. It's just a little backdoor we installed in case something like this does happen."

His secretary unconsciously reached her hand by the right side of her neck, feeling a very tiny box on her skin. She was becoming a bit more self-conscious about that ID chip she had installed recently.

"Don't worry, you're fine," he said, chuckling. "Now, go on complete their demands."

His secretary made her way to the door. She stopped, and turned around.

"What will happen next?"

He leaned back in his chair, smiling.

"Why, we follow our regularly scheduled program, of course."

She turned around, exiting the room. The Red Tide has just only breached the surface.

The Resurrection of Yugobatania