From the author: A vision of a possible future for Canada.....
CANADA INC. 2, 055 words
By David Perlmutter
It took some time to get to the office that day. Given the ongoing corporate warfare between us, America and Britain, the skies aren’t exactly safe for anyone to travel anywhere beyond a few kilometers these days. There’s always the chance that someone’s going to get hold of one of those portable nuclear weapon-launching bazookas and hit any plane traveling us hard enough to wipe it and everyone on board off the face of the map. So we can’t really take a lot of chances, even when the Interplanetary Police is doing so much to protect the skies above us on our behalf.
So, as a result, most of the delay was the result of us going through the standard boarding practices. You know- no excess levels of carbon bi-products, no absconding with more than your share of natural resources, no electronic devices on at any time. That sort of thing. Lots of people held up the line bitching about that last one, since they had their stuff on all the time and didn’t know how to turn the damn things off at all. We lost a couple of hours due to that one. (Sigh.)
Sure, I could have used my VIP status and gone first class. That’s the kind of thing being the daughter of the CEO of Canada Inc. typically gets you. When I was a kid, that stuff really helped you get attention and popularity real quick. Not that I wanted all of it, especially since lots of kids tried- and failed- to take advantage of me due to it. But now that I’m a teenager, the whole having to control the destiny of thirty million people slaving away in the snow mines to provide the precious water needed to keep the rest of the world intact doesn’t seem so glamorous- or ethical- anymore.
Which is why I went incognito- in coach.
Because I’m my dad’s only daughter- his only child, I should say- the responsibility for keeping Canada Inc. going was going to land right on my shoulders in a few years. Not that I couldn’t handle it. Maybe I didn’t have big enough breasts or pretty lips or bright eyes or bouncy hair, but I did have my dad’s backbone of steel, and that’s all you really need to run the thing. Or so he said.
In any event, I was finally going to have a sense of what I was going to get myself into today. Dad had promised me once I reached “a certain age” he was going to let me in on how things really worked at CI. I had now reached that certain age, and the day for me to learn things for myself was today. Which was a real thrill and opportunity for me. Security is a big thing around the place, with everything locked up tight as a drum. They didn’t let people have any sort of electronics whatsoever at headquarters, and they didn’t even have CCTV to keep track of themselves. Theoretically, they could get away with murder. And that, along with myriad other crimes, was what the Galactic Patrol was often accusing them of doing. They didn’t have any proof, of course, but the rumours swirled. They’d contacted me before Dad did and….asked…me to report anything….well…”difficult” I saw while I was there. I wasn’t really in a position to refuse, because they could make difficult for us if I refused. So I accepted, but, of course, I didn’t tell did. He’d hit the ceiling if he knew.
All I had to do was get through the tour he had planned, absorb what I needed to know, not see what I had been ask to look for, and everything would be okay.
Dad was there when the plane landed. Without any sort of fanfare, which his wont, he quickly whisked me into the building, and we started to walk around.
“I’m glad you’re finally acquiring an interest in the old job, Jenny,” he told me. “You know, this whole CEO thing is going to be yours someday.”
“I know, Dad,” I said. “That’s why I wanted to be able to see it for myself. So I’ll know what I’m getting into.”
“Dad”, a.k.a. Benjamin Hotspur, CEO of Canada Inc.- the third largest country/company in the world, after America Inc. and China Inc.- nodded approvingly. We made quite a pair, he in his Brooks Brothers suit, I in my persimmon-coloured jumpsuit and white ankle-length boots.
But the pleasure he felt at my compliance would be nothing in comparison to what I planned to unleash on him later. First things first, though.
“Well,” he continued, “as you can see, this warehouse is our central processing plant. We send our men up to the mountains to harvest the snow from the peaks. We keep the snow refrigerated at the right temperature for a few hours, and then we put it in vats once we melt it. After that, we refrigerate the water for a week or so, and then we bottle it. Then Canada Inc. Refrigerated Bottled Water is in business again. With this haul, we make nearly 300% more than we did as a simple country, and we don’t have to pay taxes or any of that dumb stuff they used to stick us with...”
I held up my hand to stop him.
“That’s great, Dad,” I said. “But I know all about how the bottled water is made. What I want to know about is our family history. You know, how the Dominion of Canada was overthrown by our family and Canada Inc. set up in its place.”
Dad was nonplussed about this, and he paused for a moment in thought. Then he continued.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a rather complicated story...”
“I don’t care, Dad,” I responded. “Did you really think I was some stereotypical teenager who yawns when anyone even starts telling a good story? Please, Dad! I need to know this stuff- so tell me!”
“All right,” he said reluctantly. “I will.” He straightened his tie and began to speak.
“It all really begins with your grandfather, Stephen Hotspur, about fifty years ago. Now, you probably know already that your grandfather was....somewhat...ambitious...and....ruthless...”
“Somewhat? Grandpa was a cold-blooded killer...”
“I asked Mom.”
“Okay. Well, back in 2012, your grandfather was Prime Minister of Canada- the last person to hold that office before Canada Inc. succeeded it and he became its CEO. In any event, he ran into some problems as PM- namely, that his legislation program was unpopular, his party members were corrupt, and he methods of retaining office were somewhat suspect...”
“Right. So, one day in Parliament, when the Speaker called on him, he announced that he had a group of machine guns turned on the opposition benches from the empty Visitors Gallery. That was when the government of Canada fell...”
“I know, Dad. I believe Grandpa indicated that he’d kill “any motherfucker who moved”. And then he killed all of them, anyway!”
“But what happened after that? The history books at my school and the library don’t say anything of substance about how the country fell and the company was founded...”
“You sure you want to know?”
“Well, Grandpa expanded the call he made to kill all of the opposition members in Parliament to all the members of the opposition- including those who didn’t or couldn’t vote in the last election. And he had all of them killed. The country was firmly in the hands of the Conservation Party now, and Grandpa could now do exactly what he wanted without anyone stopping him, just like he always dreamed...
“He moved the capital from Ottawa here to Edmonton, seeing as it was the old home town and all, and then he dropped atomic bombs on every province- save Alberta, of course- so that he could centralize the country and all its problems under his leadership. Then, he started on that eugenics kick of his, getting rid of the remaining non-whites so that he could look into his country’s future and actually like it, for once.
“Then, of course, came Canada Inc.
“He decided to incorporate Canada and use our biggest asset- our natural resources- and make them into a profit-turning institution. He set up private dams for the rivers and lakes and diverted the waters into private reservoirs for the exclusive use of Canada Inc. and its clients. He did the same thing with the few trees, rocks and shrubs that had survived the nukes intact- that’s why the other provinces have very bare landscapes these days- and put them to use as exotic novelty items, like button-rests for elevators and other such things. But then came the piece de resistance. He recruited what was left of the Canadian space program’s satellites and installed heat lamps on them. The satellites were geared to the phases of the moon, and spun on rotation towards melting the mountain peak snow that was out of reach to us for so long. Through the heat lamp cycle, we were able to harness the water that resulted from the melt every month. And that’s continued through to now.
“Grandpa died about twenty-five years ago, before you were born. That’s when I took over the business, and I’ve been running it like clockwork ever since, thanks to the fine work of the descendants of the Liberation Party and Non-Diplomatic Party members Grandpa chose to keep for his slaves. And, one day, darling, it’ll all be yours.”
“That’s what you think!”
It was time to reveal the truth. After I spoke, I removed the brown wig I’d been wearing, and turned off the voice simulation software I’d used to simulate Jenny Hotspur’s voice. Because I was not Jenny Hotspur. I was- and am- Cosmic Candace Flynn, the orange-haired, black-eyed law-enforcement wizard of the space-ways!
“Cosmic Candace!” Ben Hotspur shouted. “How did you....?”
“Disguise is one of my skills, fella!” I snapped. “I did a pretty good impersonation of your daughter, don’t you think?”
“What have you done with her?” demanded Hotspur.
“Don’t worry. She’s safe.” I whistled, and Jenny Hotspur came out, dressed and looking like I was then, but in red. “She came to us because she wanted to stop the madness your father got rolling. There’s only one way to take down an Earth corporation, Hotspur, and that’s to get me and the Interplanetary Police involved! I recorded everything-EVERYTHING- you said to me just now, so we’ve got enough evidence to shut down Canada Inc. for good- and re-establish the country and government of Canada WITHOUT YOU IN IT. My colleagues are, even now, taking the boot, as it were, to your business, and we have enough proof to put you and your whole family- save Jenny here- in jail for life.”
He tried to make a break for it, but I pulled out my Hamilton/Brackett Equalizer- the most powerful laser-gun in the universe- and pointed it at him. We’d given Jenny one, too, when she joined us- and she did the same thing, albeit a bit reluctantly.
“Don’t even try to escape, Hotspur!” I warned him. “She and I are taking you down.” I turned back to Jenny, because, looking back at her, I saw tears in her eyes.
“No!” she said. “Not my own father! Please! It was bad enough that you tricked him...”
“Help me do it,” I growled, unsympathetically, at her, “or, so help me, you’ll be NEXT!”
“Let me speak to him before we do it, then,” she insisted. I did, and she came forward to face him.
“I’m sorry, Daddy,” she said, her voice a choked sob. “But I had no other choice...”
“You did!” he countered accusingly. “You could have told me you were working with them...”
“SHUT UP!” I ordered, pointing my gun at him again. “You don’t deserve that kind of sympathy- especially after all the wrong you and your father did to this once-great country! And it can be great again, once you’re off the face of the Earth!”
I motioned to Jenny and she, still softly crying, stood beside me. We fired our guns, and the cruel reign of Canada Inc. came to an end – forever.
This story originally appeared in Original to this site.