Pluribus 20

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Pluribus 20
By DJ Cline

September 22, 2031, 11:00 PM.

Don needed some quality VR helmet time with Seldezky.

Don strapped on his helmet and gloves in Wakima’s San Francisco conference center. George Seldezky was waiting for him in Shanghai, already spinning those documents around in cyberspace.

George started. “So, you finally found the link between the dreaded military industrial complex and Netrosonics.”

Don scorned. “Dreaded? Nobody dreads them anymore. They’re gone. Kaput.”

“When I was a child in Moscow, my mother used to scare us with stories about them.”

“Wouldn’t that be the KGB?”

“No. My father was KGB. He was dangerous only when he was sober.” He pointed to a flock of documents flying in formation. “Here are all the related documents. It wasn’t unusual for their defense department to bury special projects in ordinary ones. I had to look for bits of money that couldn’t be accounted for. The real breakthrough was your linking the Savior Circle to Netrosonics. It made perfect sense.”

“Great! Explain it to me.”

“It seems that Dr. Andrew Loman, an Army psychiatrist worked from a military base in Idaho with money from black budget programs like MK-Ultra. You know, Cold War psychological experiments in manipulating human behavior. He started treating patients from a nearby Raven Indian reservation. They had a high incidence of what was then defined as mental illness. Nowadays you would just write it off as cultural differences, but in those days they got to treat it as illness. This doctor got funding to look into their altered states of consciousness. He figured out a way to manipulate his patients and then tried to apply it to outside groups. He helped found the Savior Circle.”

“Savior Circle fronted as a religious organization. It accepted anonymous donations from black budgets. Most of the congregation had no idea what was going on. They may have all had a bolt loose, but it was the same bolt so they did not know. Ah, the joys of mass psychosis. The doctor teamed up with the Antzens and the experiment entered its corporate phase.

Meanwhile, there were abuses. The doctor was later charged with having inappropriate relationships with his patients. There were reports in the news he used drugs and hypnosis. There were even rumors he did this to his own family. The doctor is dead, but I must warn you that anyone in the upper echelons of this organization or family members raised in it can be extremely manipulative. Remember those brainwashed people who went into that Building 3 and blew it up.”

“Why the warning?”

Seldezky selected a document. “Because I found the daughter of Dr. Loman. She lives across the Free Trade Zone border in Idaho. It is still part of the U.S. and I don’t know if your friend Mr. Kalki will have clear jurisdiction. As part of the FTZ treaty, people who want to collect Social Security benefits have to move to U.S. territory. The Raven Indians are getting lots of money renting to these relocated older people. It seems the height of irony, but the daughter wound up living on the same reservation her father took his experimental subjects from.”

“Serious karma. Tap will love it.”

“Remember. She is dangerous. Don’t let her try to explain her way out of this.”

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.

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