“Due to the Republican Party’s revived interest in author Ayn Rand, noted editor Blag Dahlia (the Dwarves) has unearthed a piece that has remained unpublished until now. We present it here in an effort to educate those who might learn from it, and confuse those who might not.”
by Ayn Rand
Edited by Blag Dahlia
Jack Gaul stood six foot four inches tall or one thousand four hundred sixty eight feet and four inches tall from the rooftop of the building in midtown Manhattan that he had built with his own powerful hands. He found it exhilarating to be this far above the madding crowd, those inconsequential if marginally human figures that moved so far below him, something like ants, but not as resourceful.
He surveyed the sweltering city from the rooftop, as was his custom every day at 3:30, and smoked a big Havana cigar, after all that was his right. So much had been made of the evils of tobacco, as if a plant could be anything other than a perfect vessel for human consumption. If consumers wanted it, well then who but a fool or the federal government (weren’t they one and the same) would presume to put an end to it?
“Free lungs, free markets,” he thought.
Gaul puffed great willowy circles of carbon dioxide into the sky and watched them disappear over the Chrysler Building and through the hole where the World Trade Center used to be. Those ungrateful bastards! When we discovered them (or was that the British) all they had was sand and resentment. Silently, he saluted the memory of the Towers and vowed revenge and remembered that he was supposed to get a massage later after a haircut.
The cellular phone affixed to his belt buzzed thrice, a signal from his secretary that an urgent call awaited and he trusted his secretary implicitly. In time that trust had turned to fondness, then admiration which had eventually given way to a raw urgent lust culminating in a dynamic coupling upon the very desk where he had invented the X-1000. Life was full of these synergistic coincidences, more delightful in their way than irony that smacked of coffeehouses and welfare brats, whiners and free loaders all.
He took the stairs three at a time ripe with the feeling that destiny beckoned. Muffy Creig looked attractive, but businesslike in an outfit that hugged her well-toned curves in a way that was suggestive yet still well within the bounds of propriety. Her impeccable taste was one of the things that had caused Gaul to leave his tired, careworn and soon to be ex-wife for the vivacious and upwardly mobile young go-getter. The other was her integrity.
“Mr. Thane on line one.”
Gaul’s normally ruddy complexion turned sallow and his heart rate climbed as respiration increased, blood boiling. The crease in his handmade Italian pants went rigid and a small drop of telltale sweat escaped from the armpit encased within a silk shirt that now felt like the cocoon from whence it had come.
Thane ran Amalgamated Industries, a nameless faceless behemoth that had fallen on hard times. Founded late in the nineteenth century by corporate pioneers with a can-do mentality, the once proud monopoly had passed from their tender care to the hands of the government during the slightly left of communist Roosevelt Administration. By then it was the 1940s, an era that had nothing but a really big war to recommend it.
Since then, the ineptly run AI monopoly had suckled at the federal teat to stay afloat, periodically marauding through the ranks of scrappy entrepreneurs who, through hard work and the miracle of natural selection, had managed to create something of value. They would sniff that value out and then, in collusion with the executive branch of the rotting tree of American democracy, claim it in the name of the greater good. Gaul thought fleetingly that there was no greater good than the single moral premise that no man may obtain any value from another man by resorting to physical force unless he was much, much stronger than that other man. And Gaul knew that he was much, much stronger than Ron Thane.
“This is Gaul.”
“Hello, Mr. Gaul. Ron Thane, Amalgamated Industries. I wanted to speak with you about the X-1000…”
“Hold it right there, Mr. Thane. The X-1000 is neither for sale nor rent nor lease. It belongs to no man but me and under no circumstances will I part with it, not for love or money, both of which I have much more of than you. Good day!”
Gaul could feel Muffy’s eyes boring a hole in the back of his head and his loins quivered mightily as he slammed the receiver into its cradle. In that split second he made a decision, figured out how to execute it, dispensed with all the sentimental mush that might have impeded that execution and resolutely stuck to his guns instantly.
“Miss Creig,” he said, “get my wife on the phone.”
Stayed tuned for Part Two exclusively here on PWV, you fucks!