"Six poets," Ralph looked at the computer relay from
downtown, "four novelists, a rapper, two basketball players, and a preacher."
"That's not too bad," Mallory was prepared. "Here it
The bus traveled with its aspirants to fame and fortune,
the leaders in their fields, past miles of wheat fields. The road was dirt, and the bus traveled slowly.
Through authoritarian cameras, a privilege for Robertson's
gold part of town, he watched at this moment from his abode downtown. This bus would bring fourteen people to be killed and
disposed of by Ralph and Mallory. To Robertson, as he watched and listened to these idiots, it was apparent Mallory disliked
killing and Ralph enjoyed it.
"You know," Mallory stood ready near the entrance door.
Each person from the bus would enter one at a time, "the bosses know what we do."
"They don't care what we do," Ralph was on the opposite
side of the entrance door. Alternating one after another, as each entered either Mallory or Ralph would greet the person.
Then, one efficient shot to the back of the head and a quick removal of the body. If fourteen arrived on this bus, Ralph
would kill seven today. Nevertheless, he could usually do one or two more.
"You like this job," said Mallory.
"Yes. I do."
"I do it because it is necessary."
"This keeps the population under control," said Ralph.
"We are supposed to have another helper."
"We will. For now, let's do the extra work and not complain.
I also am curious about that guitar player. What was that all about?"
"All I care about is getting more workers here. I'm under
stress. I'm tired, " said Mallory. "I actually wish I could do something else. I feel trapped."
"The bus is here. Can I do the first one?"
When the first applicant entered, the sound proofed door
was closed behind, and Mallory distracted the person.
"Welcome. Congratulations," beamed Mallory.
"Thank you," this was the entrance to Masters of Opulence
Talent Agency. The world was a beautiful place.
Ralph smiled and shot the person in the back of the ehad.
Cleaning people entered from a side exit. The body and any sign of violence were removed.
"That's one," said Ralph. "If you want, I could do the
next one, too."
Robertson ran this section of town. He figured he knew
what he was doing; he could accomplish tasks as well as anybody. In this case, inhaling mist and studying the guitar, Robertson
focused on the main issue. An applicant had gotten off the bus. This seemed to devalue the bus. One thing could lead to
another. If the peasants devalued fame and fortune, that was bound to have consequences, thought Robertson. He inhaled mist.
And the consequences were bound to be bad rather than good he recognized ruefully. He hated this particular guitar aspirant.
Senator Jones at age 89 realized that everyone was right.
He functioned in a privileged position (although difficult, Jones believed) so Senator Jones at age 89 wanted to change his
habits and survive. His survival would benefit the city and the state. War might be coming anyway so that would need to
be considered, also, somehow. Senator Jones had one main, current interest: ----- ----- , show business name "Q", an aspiring
guitar player fit for Robertson's fame bus. "Most of all," said Jones, "I want Q found. Tell Robertson that Q is to be protected
and monitored at all times once he is found."
"We think," said Ralph, "Robertson's using the guitar
on TV might lure the guy."
Mallory already finished the last for the day and was
closing down. He overheard the inquiry by Senator Jones himself about Q, the vagrant who got off the bus two days ago. By
a fluke, aspirant Q, a guitar player, was still alive but nobody knew where the guy was.