HANK: All these millions of dollars they’re giving us.
HAL: Billions, Hank. Billions.
HANK: Alright, billions.
HAL: I understand, Hank. It’s hard to maintain a little humility around here. But don’t forget. We’re living in a golden age. I hope you’re taking advantage of the masseuse.
HANK: Well, you take any chance you get. Hey, speaking of which, you want to see the new toy that just came in?
HAL: You mean, that $3 million weapon that will allow us to kill those Iraqis ten times faster?
HANK: Even better. Stuff for the Homeland. Special ordered, since they’re not buying our orange alerts anymore. This little baby will throw funny lights into the air. In fact, let’s fuck with California right now.
HAL: New Age exercise freaks. Fifth largest economy.
HANK: I know, but here’s the thing. Many of these Californians, particularly those in the southern region, are stupid enough to believe in lights. Watch this. I guarantee we’ll get a small cult and a Chronicle article out of it. You know Mt. Davidson?
HAL: That mountain with the big cross. From Dirty Harry?
HANK: Yeah, that’s the one. Well, since those San Franciscans have stopped believing in God, let’s put the General’s lessons to the test.
HAL: You got video on this?
HANK: Yup. See that kid with the frightened expression on his face? Well, he’s got a camera and he’ll be sending this into the newspapers. Maybe the kid’s an agnostic. But he’ll be believing something in the morning.
HAL: Is this ethical?
HANK: Who cares about ethics? We’re at war here.
HAL: Tell a lie often enough, flash a light frequent enough, and they’ll believe anything.
HANK: Hell, they can believe anything they want to. Just so long as they’re shitting their pants on a regular basis. Anything to keep our citizens under control. We need these safeguards right now because they’re starting to doubt Our Leader. So why not host a banquet of fear?
HAL: Serves 300 million, eh, Hank?
HANK: Intelligent Design. Accept no substitute.
HAL: You know what the best part about this is, Hank?
HAL: We don’t have to confirm anything.
© 2005, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.