“We fight fire with fire. They aren’t the only ones with a supply chain.” Voice one.
“But the vaccine for this season’s flu shot is already made.” Voice two.
“But not…” Voice One.
“The packaging” Voice two. “How?”
“Inert compound on the inside of the packaging when it comes in contact with sterile gloves the compound get’s transferred. The sterile glove’s exterior surface becomes the mechanism for infection.” Voice One.
“Infected with what? Hope? There is nothing to counter the mind control elements of their compound.” Voice two.
“Paranoia. We increase the fear. Better living through amplification. We enhance the effects. Where their compound is carful, calculated and controlled. We push it over the top. The effect will be devastating. The careful polarization of beliefs and fears will escalate wildly out control. And most importantly, we remove the need for anyone needing a leader, a savoir. The other side wants fear to provoke the blind following of their messiah. We will give them chaos, where no one is trusted. Friend will fear friends. We will pit parents against children, all will be enemies of everyone. Let chaos reign.” Voice One.
“So much death. Wouldn’t it be better to try and control the situation, present our own leader our own hero?” Voice two.
“You think we can still control the situation, noble, but foolish. We are behind on them, they are ahead. We are in a speeding car, with no brakes, we can only try and pick where we crash. Our goal is to, survive the crash by deciding where to crash, and then kill the bastards who started this.” Voice One.
“My role?” Voice Two.
“Use the the test market.” Voice One.
“Delivery timeline?” Voice Two.
“15 -18 days.” Voice One.
The pause was so long Riley thought they had left. One of them cleared their throat.
“It’s that desperate is it? Leadership just came up with the plan? Was it even piloted? A proof of concept? Fine tuned? This feels rushed.” Voice Two said.
“No time, it’s now or never. If we don’t get it into the masses we’ll have no impact on the coming phase of Trifecta’s plan. We were caught flat footed with this.” Voice One.
“No we weren’t, we ignored the early warning signs. We should have been moving on this in December.” Voice two.
“I agreed then, and I agree now.” Voice One. “Other’s agreed with your assessment as well. You were elected to the governing committee yesterday. You’re to return with me.”
Again a long pause.
“After finish this task. It must succeed and we need the results. I’ll join you and the committee later.” Voice Two.
Riley waited a long time until both voices were gone. The room was dark. Fearing even to move, they waited. Focusing on breathing quietly for this long was exhausting. Time was limited, but in a war where information rules, getting the conversation out gave Riley plenty of time. Trifecta never used the same location twice, so there was little chance of them returning. Finally, muscles cramped into numbness, they carefully flexed to try and get the blood flowing again. It was some time before Riley could move, down the narrow ventilation shaft and head into the building.
The smell of salt water greeted Riley’s nose slipping out of the service corridor into the mall proper, they let a smile slip onto their face seeing the pirate ship.
“Pull your mask up or I’ll have to ask you to leave.” The mall cop said.
Jumping up, a blush lit up Riley’s face. Gripping the mask hanging around their neck they pulled it up. The euphoria of getting actual information from members of Trifecta made them sloppy.
With a muffled, sorry, to the mall cop, Riley headed to the escalator of the movie theatre, pulling their phone out, turning it on and bringing up the ticket for the late showing of Tenet, they bought some popcorn and settled in.