Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

mwjfoster t1_iu9ag8r wrote

The first time it happened was an accident. I was working as a manager at Panera Bread and our dinner rush had started. Our drive thru was wrapped around the building, trailing out to the highway. A line had formed at our front counter and was backed up out the front door.

One of my associates, Darren, was a real piece of work. He was mouthy, lazy, and uncooperative. On this particular night, Darren was working on consolidation, the position responsible for putting the orders together. Sandwiches were piling up behind him, salads lining the salad bar. I'd tried coaching him several times, but he would just insist he'd get to them. With no other option, I moved Carol there and pulled Darren into the back.

"Dude, don't even start with me," Darren said before I'd opened my mouth.

"You have to work harder," I told him.

"What's the point? Tomorrow's my last day. I'm coasting, dude."

"Just because you're quitting, that doesn't mean you can just take it easy, Darren."

"You know what? I'm done. Good luck with this mess." He turned and started walking out of the office.

"Darren, stop!" I yelled after him. I don't know what made me do it, but I reached out and grabbed him by the back of the neck. I guess two years of putting up with his bull had finally gotten to me. When I gripped his neck, I felt an odd sensation. As though electricity shot from my brain, down my arm, and into his.

All of a sudden, I could see through his eyes. I could his feet aching from his falling apart shoes.

Even after I removed my hand, it felt like our minds were linked. I could control his actions, but could also control my own. He felt like he was part of me.


Now, it's not an accident. I've discovered my ability to create and control my own hivemind. Sure, most people have abilities, but none have been as powerful as mine. Since the Great Change, when a nuclear power plant in Beijing exploded and sent a wave of radiation over the world, people had been displaying supernatural abilities. It's estimated something around 90% of the world's population had an ability. Most people's ability was something like low level flight or telekinesis. Some had devastating powers such as the ability to control the elements or weather.

Once I discovered my ability, I took Darren as my first minion. At first, I wasn't sure what I would do with it. Controlling other people seemed like an ability for a super villain. It was when my mother was murdered that I found my true purpose. There's so much evil in the world, so much hate. I could erase it.

I began my conquest, slowly adding more and more people to my hivemind. My only drawback was that I had to physically touch the back of their neck to do so. It's taken three years, three long years, but I've amassed a hivemind of 100,000,000. Nearly 1/3rd of the United State's population. Being able to send out a simple command like "act as yourself" allowed me to stay hidden for a long time, but I can hide no longer.


I pause, waiting for the Eric Jackson, the 51st President of the United States, to keep speaking into my phone.

"Well?" he asks. His voice has that slight hoarseness some older men get.

"I'm not backing down, Mr. President. We are Legion. We are everywhere. It would be easier to join us."

"You're taking away free will, son. I know what you think you're doing is noble—"

"When someone murders someone," I say, cutting off the president, "you put them in jail. You take away their free will."

"And the millions you've enslaved? What have they done?"

"Nobody is innocent. Not even you. Mr. President, think of what a worldwide hivemind could accomplish. If we did away with war? With crime? If all people of all countries came together, we could solve any world issue: world hunger, famine, poverty. It will be utopia."

"It will be meaningless. What is life if we can't choose for ourselves?"

"You don't understand my ability. How could you?"

"I'm a telepath, son. I can hear the thoughts of your slaves. They're screaming to be set free."

This is true. I can hear those thoughts, though I shut them down. Every prisoner yearns for freedom. But they'll soon see. Once all seven billion people on Earth are under my control, they'll see they're better of under my control than being themselves.

"If you won't back down, I'll have no choice," says the president. "We will have to attack. Let them go. Just let them go, and we'll—" His words are cut off as I hang up the phone.

Hear me, my minions, I think into the hivemind. We are being threatened. Bring me the President of the United States. Bring him to me, now.

I choose to look through the eyes of Wilbur Hendrix, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Having seen the evil of mankind firsthand as the head of Homeland Security, he believes in my vision of utopia. He doesn't scream for his release, shielding him from the President's ability. He's looking at the President now, sitting in the Oval Office of the White House.

"He won't give in," says the president, his lined face falling. "We'll have to attack. I want troops mobilized to his fortress. We're taking him down today. I want orders to shoot him on sight."

"Come with me, Mr. President," I make Hendrix say, "we'll take you to a secure location."

What the president doesn't know is that I'll be there, ready to grab his neck as soon as he lands. I won't stop until every human on Earth is under my control. Until I've eradicated all evil. Free will is a curse humans can't be trusted with, and I am the cure.

Note: This story was edited to remove a plot hole.


UltimateSpinDash t1_iuac1yw wrote

Wait. If the president is a telepath, wouldn't he be able to tell that Hendrix is part of the hive mind?

Wonder if there is some mutual 4D chess going on.


mwjfoster t1_iub1nqy wrote

Whoops. I completely missed that. My bad. We'll just assume the MC is making Hendrix actively think normal thoughts.


Strange_guy_9546 t1_iubs742 wrote

It's actually easy, being a hivemind host he can just send low level commands, like "repeat verbal signals after me"

similarly how the finely crafted trojan can fly under the antivirus' radar


versenwald3 t1_iu9fbyj wrote

what an arc! I love the ending sentence, great work.


mwjfoster t1_iu9hqj7 wrote

Thank you! I'm really proud of that line, if I say so myself.


Idontluvmenoonedoes OP t1_iuatzst wrote

This was practically spot on to what I had been imagining. Loved the journey you took me on!


mwjfoster t1_iub1r1t wrote

Thank you! It was a pleasure to write. I really enjoyed the prompt.


Richmond1013 t1_iu9k318 wrote

Hoping the MC wins because if MC doesn't it feels a generic good guys win


mwjfoster t1_iu9llpx wrote

This is the extent that I'm writing on this prompt, but I would have the MC win. It would just be a hollow ending, because he realizes that in his conquest to bring the world under his control, he's alone. The only truly sentient human being on the planet, surrounded by people who obey his every whim.


JAMSDreaming t1_iueib4x wrote

Woah! I love it, I love it so much! An extremist kind of villain protagonist... although I have seen a bit of a plot hole. If the President is a telepath and can hear the screams of the servants... why can't he hear Willbur's screams?


mwjfoster t1_iueqhyx wrote

Someone pointed that out to me. I thought about editing it, but I'm not sure. Wilbur believes in Oliver's (the MC) vision so he isn't screaming to be set free. As head of Homeland Security, he knows only too well the evil in the world and thinks this is the cure as Oliver does.


mwjfoster t1_iuer5jf wrote

I decided to change it after all.


JAMSDreaming t1_iuesv85 wrote

Oh, wow. It looks better now that it explains why can't the President see the trap.


mwjfoster t1_iuet48f wrote

I agree. And I think the idea of having some minions who truly believe in his idea of utopia was a stroke of genius, not to pat myself on the back. It adds an extra layer of control for him. I like to think of them as his trusted lieutenants in a sense.