The executive boardroom at Global Dominance Corporation International was somber and subdued. Outside the monolith corporate headquarters of the defense contractor, an array of two dozen American flags were flying at half-mast.
“Remember September 12, 2001? When the nation came together and gave us a blank check?” said CEO Wilbur X. McKraken. “What a wonderful time it was! They were hurling money at us. Profits soared. Best year of my career then.”
The executive team sighed wistfully.
“Yeah, true,” sighed CFO Sarah J. Feldstammer. “They were like, here ya go, kids, go crazy. Murder tons of people in revenge. Go invade somewhere. Park the whole damn military there for decades. We don’t care who, just do something, and do it for good long time. We leveraged not one, but TWO land wars out of 9/11. That’s some serious cash. I bought a third yacht that year.”
Chief Lobbyist Gordon G. Burton wiped a tear from his cheek, smearing his bronzer tan.
“I barely had to work those latter months of 2001. Senators always come cheap, but back then, they came almost free. Usually I’d bribe ‘em with cash, maybe pay for a visit from a pre-teen hooker. Then they’re yours to command. They wanted so badly to pay us to bomb someone, one even offered to send ME a pre-teen hooker.”
The executive board chuckled sadly.
“And now? It’s all dried up,” he said, before leaning his elbow on the fine marble table, pinching his eyes with thumb and forefinger, and weeping.
CFO Feldstammer rubbed his shoulder, comforting him.
“Well,” sighed CEO McKraken, “There’s only so long you can milk a cow. There’s only so long you can go to a well. And while the checks are still flowing, our sacred duty to The Market requires we earn more and more. We had a good run, team, sure did, but now it’s time to say farewell. No. Wait. This isn’t a good bye, it’s a celebration of a time well-lived.”
He lifted his coffee mug. “A toast! Never forget the profits of 9/11!”
The other executives raised their mugs and repeated, “Never forget the profits of 9/11!”
CEO Wilbur sat down. “Now, looking toward the future. What could be even bigger profit stream for us than 9/11? What’s our next cash cow? Come on, hit me.”
“Too risky,” countered McKraken. “But good. Keep ‘em coming.”
“Too old school.”
“Threats from Russia?”
“Been there. Done that.”
“Fear of China rising?”
CEO McKraken paused.
“Now you’re on to something.”