Fleet Street was lit up like a Christmas tree. Simon Hackel stood on the 3rd-floor balcony of the KonXio headquarters and stared down at the bustling thoroughfare that lay before him.
Fleet Street was the most celebrated shopping street in the New Washington area and it was almost permanently swamped with all sorts of wild and wonderful people. Hackel glanced up at the Flyway and the hundreds of mopeds that zoomed through the city. He could hear the faint echo of their engines whirring high in the sky above him. However, the sound of the mopeds was dominated by the orchestra of Fleet Streets regular shoppers.
First, there were the gangs of students from the local academies who seemed to spend more time at the local bars than attending classes.
Then, there were the business people like Hackel who spent every waking hour within the crowded streets of Zone 11, all competing to outspend each other on political campaigns and to construct the latest new technology. None of them could ever think to compare with KonXio, as every single person in the city of New Washington was said to own the KonXio MirrorX, the most advanced device the world had ever seen. And one could not forget the beggars and buskers( In Hackels, eyes there was no distinction between the two) who seemed to delight in assaulting peoples ears with their bland music.
But loudest of all was the protesters.
Hackel felt his face contract with anger. Just thinking about them set him on edge. Every day, more and more seemed to flock to the steps leading up to KonXios headquarters, and with the demonstrations came the press.
Hackel had still not spoken to them and it was beginning to come off as strange. Soon they would be saying that he had something to hide.
They'd be right about that.
He turned to his desk behind him and placed his hand on its smooth, curved, surface. He felt the energy from the machine flow through his body.
He began to carefully assemble a sentence in his mind. The machine proposed different ways of phrasing what he was trying to say. Several minutes later he removed his hand from the desk, now armed with the most dangerous weapon man had ever taken advantage of. Words.
He smiled to himself. He could almost see the headlines. Within the next
3 hours he would convince those protesters outside that KonXio was on there side. Within the next 3 days, he would convince the world that KonXio was on their side.
Then he could get back to work.
Hackel made his way to the ground floor of the office. The lobby was crawling with employees. He picked his way through the crowd, acknowledging the polite nods he received from his co-workers.
As soon as he stepped foot outside of the building, he was instantly surrounded by the reporters. Questions were hurled at him from every angle. He put on an assertive face and spoke clearly.
"I'll answer questions one at a time, or I won't answer them at all. Is that clear?"
It was as if he hadn't even opened his mouth at all. Hackel raised his voice over the din of the reporters.
"One at a time!"
Their voices began to die down. A small weasel-like man on his right squeaked loudly.
"Mr. Hackel, what is your response to the allegations put forward by Dr. Bernstein?"
Hackel turned to the camera and responded.
"Richard Bernstein, up until 2 months ago, was one my most trusted employees. "I've known him for most of my adult life. "
He paused, allowing the reporters, and undoubtedly millions of New Americans to digest this. The public knew almost nothing about his own relationship with Bernstein so even something as simple as that would be news to many.
"This day 4 weeks ago, Bernstein suggested that I, along with many executives within this corporation, are currently engaged in a conspiracy.
His accusation? That I, along with many others within KonXio, am attempting to spy on the New American people through KonXio's social media platform. Bernstein has also accused me of attempting to use this information that I would gain from spying against the interests of New America.
This is a lie, and it is a lie that is intended, to rip this corporation to pieces.
There was, however, a conspiracy within KonXio. The man behind this was scheme was Bernstein himself."
That was lie number one.
Hackel continued on.
"Bernstein has always been power hungry. There is no euphemism I can use to describe this quality of his. His plan was to leave this corporation for Wiz Electronics, our one true competitor. His next step was to smear me, along with our company, with lies. He would then take his position within Wiz Electronics executives, and watch as our stock plummeted, and the stock of our competitor inevitably rose."
That was lie number two.
To his left, another reporter immediately spoke up.
" Mr. Hackel, how can you prove that these allegations are true?"
"One only needs to examine the history of Dr. Bernstein and to examine his motives. As the CTO of Wiz, he is set to earn 25 million dollars over the course of the next six months." As you already know, Bernstein communicated frequently with Wiz electronics over the past several months. He has said that the purpose of those meetings with Wiz executives was to advise them to be more transparent about their data collection policies and to warn them about his impending decision to accuse KonXio of so-called "espionage on the New American people."
Once again, Bernstein has lied. I shall take no further questions."
Hackel pushed his way through the crowd of jostling reporters to the elevator that led to the speedway high above. As he gazed across the 18 lanes of mopeds speeding past, he reflected that he had plenty of work to do. Within the next few days, he would have to convince thousands of Americans to despise Richard Bernstein. KonXios supercomputers were already combing through an ocean of data, hoping to find something on Bernstein. It would probably be necessary to make something up. But once Bernstein was dealt with, there were more important things that called for his attention. The most vital of which was to sell a lie to the entire country.
And what a lie it would be.
He was going to make the New American people shatter the government.
And you can already guess who would be there to pick up the pieces