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Universal Reality

Jovak leaned back in his chair. The coding changes were complete, the beta testing had detected no faults, and with this one last keystroke, implementation would begin. It was a drastic change to the software but it would prove the versatility of the test subjects. He stretched his twenty-four arms, wiggling the twelve fingers on each and pressed the button.
Sehsurak noticed and walked over. "You look happy. You implemented the new changes?" Sehsurak was the coding group's senior reality design engineer.
Jovak retracted his arms quickly. He tended to keep his head down and to himself. "Yes, the inhabitants won't know what hit them."
"They were becoming complacent." Sehsurak leaned down and plugged into the artificial universe. "Ah, they have sensed the change."
Jovak nodded. "I made it apparent that their new leader was not selected properly. Already, there is tension."
The Group Leader laughed softly. "Excellent work, Jovak. If this goes as expected, I have no doubt that you will be promoted to Grade Four."
Jovak glowed with pleasure. "Thank you, Group Leader."
Grade Four! His brood mate Fleral would be greatly pleased. It had been her suggestion not to hide the rise of a dictator. Not an easy thing to accomplish within the parameters of the software's dictates. An entirely separate subroutine modifying many of the basic tenets of the original program. Once complete though, it allowed the primary government's leadership to be taken by illegal means. It was a masterstroke.
Group Leader Sehsurak was focusing on the brewing conflicts. "The reality's governments had become too predictable--the number of test subjects was becoming too large for the software to manage."
Jovak nodded. "As we speak, Group Leader, the war tensions of even the most passive of the reality's inhabitants are climbing to a fever pitch."
"Excellent. Far better than Feldnap's economic disaster."
"Agreed." Jovak felt sorry for his co-worker, but he had warned Feldnap that the inhabitants were too adaptable to let a banking collapse lead to war.
Group Leader Sehsurak disconnected from the reality and nodded once. "Inform me once the population is reduced to a third. I shall be attending the Director's luncheon."
Jovak bowed and genuflected with the proper respect. Inside he was jumping up and down with delight. It had been hard work but if the Group Leader was pleased, then all the long hours had been worth it.
As Sehsurak floated away, Jovak returned his attention to the turmoil he had created. He smiled, the cilia on his abdomen vibrating and glowing with chartreuse delight. The major power's government leader was behaving as planned. The ill-conceived and irrational policies were proving divisive, polarizing the populace and making conflict inevitable. One of the secondary powers was already making moves that would likely escalate into a serious conflict. Jovak was hoping for an escalation into a nuclear engagement between the major powers. Impatient as always, he could hear his brood mate saying.
Jovak nodded to himself, agreeing with her, but it was the fastest way to the desired results... and his promotion.
The End
This story was first published on Monday, September 10th, 2018
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