No One Will Ever Know – A Free Covid Chronicles Story

Mark Zuckerberg sat in the darkened back office of his palatial mansion, bathed in the incandescent glow of his monitors. It was mid-afternoon in Palo Alto. The sun was bright, the sky blue, and the weather unseasonably warm and dry. A perfect Spring afternoon. Mark’s wife, Priscilla, their two kids, Evangeline Grace and Chen Mingyu, along with their dog, Beast, had plans to attend via Facebook Live an arts festival in Cupertino that afternoon.

It was all a ruse. Mark funded the entire festival through a network of German and Chechnyan art collectives, ostensibly as a celebration of the Apple brand and their “think differently” campaign. But he hand-picked the artists to employ a subliminal theme of conformity in an attempt to push the community away from social darling, Apple Inc, toward traditional, more authoritarian ideals. This, he thought, would devalue the company enough over time for Zuckerberg to purchase it through his holdings in Singapore, which would allow him to consolidate the substantial Apple iPhone market with Android, which he had taken over years earlier from his holdings in Belize.

“All too easy,” Mark Zuckerberg laughed to himself in the darkened office. The secret Facebook A.I. social engineering program, Mavet, had given him a list of the most influential artists with a totalitarian bent within a 500 mile perimeter, and that was that.

“Jobs would never have let me get away with this,” Zuckerberg thought.

Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder, was smart. He, too, knew how to manipulate people, to move chess pieces behind the scenes, to break the laws when necessary in service to a righteous goal. With Steve, it would have been War.

Now? Now, it was child’s play.

Soon, he would be in control of the worldwide mobile network, along with all the gps data, social network interactivity, and psychological analyses that came with it. All those “What kind of potato am I?” surveys had finally paid off.

But this? Being able to kill people in his free time from his home in Palo Alto, or with his phone on a yacht in the Mediterranean, or anywhere else with even basic technology and Internet access for that matter? This was the icing on the cake.

Mark Zuckerberg watched through the IoT portal in Mavet as his target moved from the living room to the kitchen, carrying boxes, putting away dishes, engaging in idle conversation. The Target had recently moved, with his family, to Bemidji, Minnesota. His kids were at their first day in a new school. The happy couple had just enjoyed several minutes of love-making, which Zuckerberg had dialed up from his connections to the Alexa program at Amazon, which he also owned, despite that pathetic, bald front man Jeff Bezos had led people to believe, so he could listen. Mark was an avid porn user, of course – a connoisseur, if you will – but it was the audio, the richness of the SOUND of people in the throes of ecstasy that really got him going.

The wife drew her husband in close for another kiss, and Mark wondered whether they might have another go. He zoomed in for a closer look.

“Those look like Bs,” he said out loud.

“C,” the voice engagement system for Mavet corrected him.

“Nice,” Zuckerberg said, and held the camera still until the couple broke apart.

Mark was disappointed. He’d hoped they have enough in them or another round. Had that been the case, Mark might have let The Target live another day. However, since he had been denied his bit of momentary joy, The Target would soon lose his life.

And no one would know it was him. No would EVER know it was him. That was the best part.

Mark Zuckerberg had kept his dirty, little, malevolent secret since he was a child. Where other kids thought of toys, candy, and cartoons, Mark thought only of death. He envisioned thousands of ways people could die in common, household situations. Falling down stairs, accidental electrocution, mishaps with cutlery. And that was just the start! He even drawn up complex scenarios in a notebook he kept hidden in a locked box beneath his bed so his parents would never read it.

He still had that notebook, all these years later, stored safely in a deposit box at Stanford Federal Credit. He was a silent member of the board there. When federal prosecutors went digging for hidden evidence, they always looked at the big banks first. Little banks flew under their radars. Always had. They were a great place to hide things, and no one was better at hiding things than Mark Zuckerberg.

The real monster came out when little Mark was just 12 years old. He’d gone to the Red Creek ravine in White Plains, NY with a friend. What was his name? Mark didn’t remember. There was a waste treatment facility nearby and the creek flowed quickly into it. Their parents had warned them not to go, but Mark was just too curious.

“Go out to the edge and look down,” Mark said, and his friend obliged. But his foot slipped on the muddy embankment. He fell, nearly going over the edge. Mark’s Friend grabbed and tree root, which stuck out of the side, and held on for dear life.

“Help!” he screamed. “Mark, Help!”

Mark ran to the edge, started to reach out his hand, and stopped. He looked him right in the eye, cocked his head sideways, like a scientist awaiting the results of a boring experiment, and waited.

“Mark! What are you doing? HELP!” His friend’s grip loosened. Fear and desperation washed over his face as he screamed as loud as his twelve year old lungs would allow.

Mark Zuckerberg just smiled and waited. IN his mind, he thought of the many different things that COULD happen. His friend could slip, of course. The roots could break. The tree could come uprooted and fall on top of him. There was always the possibility that Mark could push him, but that was too easy. Too much evidence for prying eyes if things went poorly.

When he DID eventually fall, he could bounce off the embankment, breaking his neck. He could land on the rocks three stories below and crush his skull. Or, if Mark was REALLY lucky, he could land upright, break his legs and his back, and bleed out over the course of two days. If the water was running fast enough, the kid could be swept into the waste treatment intake valve, get pulverized, and be converted into drinking water for half the houses in upstate New York.

This last option was what Mark hoped for. But he waited to see.

Eventually, Mark’s Friend lost his grip and fell, landing on his tailbone, breaking his back, which caused him to scream in pain. The sound of his screams echoed off the ravine walls, sounding like the barking sea lions he had seen in Fisherman’s Wharf when his family took him on vacation there last summer.

“Maybe I should move to San Francisco someday,” Mark though, and then dismissed it.

It turned out the water WAS running fast enough to sweep the body to the intake valve, and his friend WAS pulverized. But, before that could happen, his friend’s twisted body caught the entrance, causing his screams to gargle in the rushing water for a full two minutes before he got sucked in. Mark was happily surprised. This was an eventuality he had not considered. Much better than anything his mind could have invented.

“What I need,” Mark thought, “is a system that will analyze all possible scenarios, given multivariate possibilities, and come back with the best possible options, given certain parameters and current limitations.” Mark set his mind to solving this all-important problem over the weeks that passed as the community searched for his lost friend, and drank his remains to quench their thirsts while they did it.

No one knew. No one even SUSPECTED. No one ever would.

He continued working to solve this problem, meeting and killing hundreds of people over the years, and building systems that harvested people’s ideas, thoughts, desires, all of which served as their downfall. Mortals are limited by petty things like love and sympathy. The twin gifts of intelligence and curiosity were a gift of the Gods. Mark was a God, and Gods don’t get caught.

No one suspects them.

Now, Mark Zuckerberg had his greatest achievement; his Shining, God-like system: Mavet. Now, he could kill people around the world, indiscriminately, in grotesque and painful deaths, each of which is customized to the specific Target and situation at hand. The Covid Quarantines now provided him the opportunity to ramp up his efforts. For twelve year old kids in White Plains, NY, and for random, recently displaced FBI agents – as this man was – in Bemidji, MN. Every trace of his activities was hidden. He was too smart for that.

“Honey? We’re getting started. Are you ready?” Priscilla and the kids were waiting for him on the back porch next to the shed where he smoked his meats, among other things.

“Be right there, hon!” Mark said.

He smiled, clicked the button to begin the program, and got up to leave.

In Bemidji, MN, The Target and his wife retreated to the bedroom again. They had been through much in recent years, but things were finally looking up. Or so they thought. Whatever happened, they and everyone else scheduled for termination by Mark and his nearly sentient program Mavet, would never see it coming.

No one ever would.

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If you’ve read any of our Covid Chronicles Flash Fiction Eplode-A-Ganza pieces, please accept our heartfelt thanks for taking the time. If you’re not caught up with all of the Covid Chronicles, worry not! Scroll on down the page for the latest and greatest from all our Quarantined-and-slowly-going-more-insane-than-they-already-were authors. While you’re at it, check out pages for Joseph CourtemancheJamie GreeningKathy KexelDerek ElkinsRob Cely, and Dr. Paul J Bennett . If you’re half as impressed with us as we are, we’re twice as impressed as you.