Pete’s Plan

Petesplan1Pete opened his eyes

He looked at his family as they stood around his bed. They looked sad now, but he knew they would soon find happiness again. He smiled. Karen, his granddaughter smiled and her eyes sparkled. A few moments later, they all began to smile.

Pete thought back to that day many years ago. He wondered; should I tell them my secret?

Pete walked to work

These four words tell you three important things about Pete.

Pete was an Air Breather. Air breather was the slur the Immortals used for the people that they had left behind. Pete didn’t mind that they called him an air breather. He wore the name with pride. He enjoyed life as an air breather.

Pete was a Radical. An automobile with a robot chauffer waited for him day and night. Even so, Pete still walked the 20 metres from his home to his work. He liked to walk. He liked to do things for himself. He liked to dream of a better world. That is what made him so dangerous.

Pete had a Job. Very few air breathers had jobs. Other than his father, who had his job before him, Pete had never met one. Pete operated The System. When something went wrong, he fixed it. Mostly, though, he just sat and watched. It was an oversight on the part of the Immortals. They didn’t really need him. Pete saw to it that they never realized their error.

Idle mind, Idle hands
Time to dream, time to think, and then . . . The Plan.
Time to plot, time to hope, and then . . . time to act.

The System

The System was where the Immortals existed. Within The System, they could live forever. Within The System, they could be completely free. Within The System, they could build their paradise.

With The System, they controlled the world.

Years earlier, the world’s elite had moved over, to live forever in The System. There was no need to leave anyone behind, but the elite wanted it to themselves.

They left little behind for the air breathers. It was not enough to survive, so the air breathers, despite the risks, turned to the underground economy. Enforcement was swift and harsh for those caught. They didn’t really have a choice.

Pete could live a good life with his job. He joined the underground economy anyway.
That was part of his plan.

Coup d’État

Pete sat in the little control room. He looked around the room where he spent so much of his time. Today was the day.

It had taken Pete many months, years really, to set the stage. First, he had to understand how The System worked. Then he had to prepare the changes. He shared his secret with no one, not even his wife. He didn’t want her to worry about him. She worried about him anyway.

Pete touched the control and started the process. It activated the first patch, and then the second. He sat back in his chair. More patches activated. The Immortals could still stop it, but they didn’t have long. They hadn’t notice the changes. If all went as planned, they never would.

Pete sat still as patch after patch activated. His shoulders began to ache. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He counted slowly and took another deep breath. The tightness eased. He opened his eyes again. The changes to The System continued. No one had noticed yet.

The last patched activated, and it was over. Pete had disconnected the Immortals from the rest of the world. In a matter of seconds, Pete had eliminated nearly all of the world’s economy.

It would make no difference to the air breathers. It had been a long time since that part of the economy had anything to do with their world. They were on their own now.
That was part of his plan.

The New World

Pete smiled. He was an optimist. He believed that now life would be better for him and his family.

Pete was enough of a realist to know that a new elite would emerge to replace the Immortals. He had already seen it begin to develop in the underground economy. He expected they would be just as selfish and greedy as the Immortals had been.

Pete believed they would be wiser. That is, once they knew what happened to the Immortals. He would make sure they found out. Anonymously of course.
That was part of his plan.

The Fate of the Immortals

It would only take a simple flick of a switch, and the Immortals would be gone forever. Like all air breathers, Pete had come to despise the Immortals. However, he was not a vindictive man. They were no longer a threat to the air breathers, so why not let them be.

The Immortals would still live forever. They would still rule the world; or rather, they would think they did. The outside world and the simulation Pete created looked the same to them.

The Immortals could make laws, break laws, make money, exploit people, and make wars. They would do it all within The System. None of what they did would matter to the air breathers.

That was part of his plan.

The Last Day

Pete looked at his family. He wondered again; should I tell them my secret?

No, he decided. It was too late now. He had something more important to do.

After one last look at his children and grandchildren, he turned his eyes to his wife. He saw her smile; the smile that meant so much to him. He reached out and took her hand. He squeezed it and she squeezed back. His hand relaxed. His eyes closed. But, his smile never faded.

That, too, was part of his plan.

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