By Then He Would Have Made It a Part of Their Belief System

Excerpt from the novel Infiltrator icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12 by S.M. Stirling icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12

S.M. Stirling's "Infiltrator" book cover. [Formatted]


     Ronald Labane lay on the wide hotel bed, fully dressed and so tired he was dizzy. But every bit of him, except for his too-tired face, smiled. He was a success! A raging, by-God success and no denying it. Ziedman and Roth had shown their film and it was the hit of the film festival. He’d been invited to every bash in town, shaken the hands and held the attention of some incredibly monied people, and hopefully gotten his message out to the millions. Time would tell.
     Ziedman said his agent had received nibbles from several distributors and their film had been mentioned on all of the entertainment news shows. They’d even shown him sandwiched between Ziedman and Roth, and he’d looked pretty good.
     Ronald lay still and basked in the glow while the room felt like it was spinning very slooowly.
     These people he’d been meeting were smart, creative, and shallow. At least shallow by his standards. It looked to him like he could become their flavor of the month if he wanted to—a sort of green guru to the stars. He almost smiled, but his face was much too tired. He’d never smiled this much in his life.
     If things go the way I think they might, it’ll be worth the pain, he thought. Tomorrow morning he had an appointment with an agent, someone with pull, who’d expressed an interest in representing his book. He could see it all now, his entire future unscrolling like a movie. Oh, God! I can hardly wait.
     An end to pesticides and herbicides, the outlawing of chicken and pig factories and the indescribable pollution their owners got away with causing. An end to genetic engineering of crops and food animals. The enforced use of alternate energy sources, clean sources. A simpler, healthier life for everyone. More self-reliance, less automation, and a far less consumption-mad society.
     He allowed his mind to wander, imagining every home with its own vegetable garden, people canning their own food, making their own clothes. Everyone busy, involved in their communities, concentrating on the important things in life while their televisions stood idle.
     Except for certain hours on certain days of the week, he thought. We’ll have educational programs on recycling and composting and the problems of the third world.
     Ron shook his head at the wonder of his vision. It would take time, it would take patience, and sadly, it would take blood. There was no way around that. If people didn’t literally fight for a cause they never accomplished anything.
     It will have to be a worldwide phenomenon, he thought. Coordinated to break out on the same day. Perhaps he could start with some sort of computer virus, or several of them, working in waves, breaking down communications. Stop the bureaucrats cold and you’ve made a good start.
     But first, get the message out there, get the ideas into the popular mind, convince them that this was the right, the good, the only alternative to their own personal poverty and death. That was the ticket, make it personal. Then, when things began to get violent, they’d find themselves half agreeing with his guerrillas, even against their will. Because by then he would have made it a part of their belief system.
     A good beginning, Ron thought, closing his eyes and drifting down into sleep. A very good beginning.

Leave a Reply