Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Shrewd King 6.3: We are on our own

The party was over for most folks. They had gone home. They rose with the sun. Worked all day. And then during the long days before the Solstice they hit the rack with the setting sun.

John Wilder intended to stay up as long as possible. He was an extrovert and was energized when he was with people. He also realized he had exactly one chance to make a good first impression.

The bonfire was down to embers with a few gentle tongues of flame licking at the charred logs. Wilder was talking with Rick Salazar and trying to get a feel for him as a person.

At first, Wilder was put off by the fact that Salazar fancied himself to be a know-it-all. After listening longer, Wilder noticed that Salazar was careful to separate what he believed to be true, what might be true and what other’s said they believed to be true.

As they covered more topics, Wilder found that Salazar shared many of his own opinions. Perhaps that should not be a surprise. After all, both had seen the Ebola epidemic coming before almost everybody else. Both had prepared for it and both valued productive land above all else.

“What are your thoughts about “help” coming?” Salazar asked.

Wilder risked a quick glance in his direction to see if it was a serious question. “I rate the chances to be about zero.” Wilder said.

Salazar grunted. “Makes a difference in how we manage things.” he said.

“Why do you think that?” Salazar asked.

“There is a good chance that the Ebola epidemic was not an accident.” Wilder said.

“Funny” Salazar said. “I never took you for the tinfoil hat kind of guy. Why would you think that?”

“Let me tell you a story first” Wilder said. “Thirty years ago there was a rash of product tampering cases in a city of over a million people. Seven people were poisoned and died. The investigators recalled all of that product in the city.”

“The product was a very common pain killer. They probably collected five million bottles of that medicine. They found four more contaminated bottles. Most of the bottles were from a couple of lot numbers and one of the four additional contaminated bottles came from a person whose wife had been fatally poisoned” Wilder said.

“What does that tell you?” Wilder asked.

Salazar thought about that for a minute and then said, “The guy who had two contaminated bottles was pretty unlucky.”

“Actually, the guy with the two bottles was convicted of murdering his wife and six other people.” Wilder said.

“The odds of him having one bottle was eleven-in-five-million. The odds of him having two bottles that were contaminated were one-in-twenty-five followed by 11 zeros.” Wilder said."Twenty-five followed by eleven zeros is more than three hundred times the population of the earth."

“Consider the fact that the first evidence of Ebola occurred in Minnesota and San Diego at exactly the same time. Coincidence or enemy action?” Wilder asked.

“We just weren’t bringing in that many refugees from areas with active Ebola. I can’t be very precise because I don’t have access to data, but my gut feel is that the odds of it being enemy action are somewhere north of 80%” Wilder said.

“China?” Salazar asked, aghast.

“They got monkey-hammered too, economically and population wise. I would bet money that it wasn’t China.” Wilder said.

“The Norks? Radical Muslims?” Salazar guessed.

“We may never know. It could have been some of our own ‘greenies’” Wilder said.

That made Salazar shiver. “Who would benefit from the US and most of the civilized world being hit with Ebola?”

Wilder shrugged. “Maybe somebody who was not as smart as he thought he was and he couldn't outrun the genie he let out of the bottle. Maybe somebody who was losing his grip on power and insanely decided that if he lost power nobody would have some."

"The point is that we got Pearl Harbored times a thousand." Wilder said. "I am not holding my breath waiting for the United Nations to show up to help us. More likely, any foreign forces that show up will be to divide up the corpse."



  1. I just reread Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six. It has a similar scenario, like several other fictional books - of course, in those books the good guys tend to stop the epidemic at the last minute in fairly spectacular fashion.

    I easily identified ways that the bad guys in Rainbow Six could have made their epidemic much harder.

  2. Yep, ego/fear CAN send somebody down a path they never planned...

  3. Never underestimate the power of ignorance or stupidity with the integer 'lazy'... TSA can illustrate that for you. Or any other alphabet government agency...


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