There was once an evil King, who desired nothing less than complete and utter power over his subjects. To achieve this, he hatched a plan by which he would implant in every person, a device through which he could monitor and, ultimately, control their actions. But the King, in addition to being ambitious, was cunning. He knew that many people would object to having the device implanted. So he engaged a team of Advisors, subjects sympathetic to his plans, to study the people closely, and to develop and then implement his "Implant and Control" plan. The Advisors studied and analyzed and eventually their Chief announced a four-point plan:
First, sire, we're sorry but the name "Implant and Control" has to go. We believe the people can be subdued and implanted, but there is no point in making the job harder than it needs to be! So instead we propose the "Inform and Care" plan.
The King looked a little subdued, because he'd been quite proud of the original name. But he saw their point, and nodded in agreement. The Chief Advisor continued
Next, we reckon that a large number of the people will accept the implants, with only a little initial fuss, if they are paid to do so. It doesn't have to be a lot and it doesn't even have to be now. We can promise payment in the future. And in fact, we'd spin it a little by making payment (and, therefore, implantation) seem normal. We'll tell everyone that they will be all be paid unless they do not get the implant. This is, after all, the "Inform and Care" plan.
The King frowned. He wasn't too keen on concessions being made to these subjects of his. He was King after all, wasn't he!? But, his Advisors pleaded their case, stressing just how much power the implants would give him, and he eventually, if a bit grumpily, agreed.
Now sire, don't get mad, but it is clear from our studies, that even with the renaming and the promise of payment some individuals will resist strongly and will even hide to avoid implantation. However, those individuals are in a minority, so our advice is that we simply ignore them and leave them un-implanted. It will let us focus on the vast majority that we do control. There's little to be gained from trying to include these few stragglers.
The King stood up slowly from his throne, his face growing dark. The Advisors, terrified, backed away which, with them being wise Advisors and all, was very wise. "Little to be gained!" he roared. "Have you people learned nothing?" The Advisors shrunk into the corner where he had, well, cornered them. One of their younger, less experienced number poked another in the ribs and whispered shakily, "I told you he'd be mad. I so told you he'd be mad." The Chief Advisor turned and gave them both a look as if to say "Really? You think now is the time to argue over who's to blame!?" The King roared on, "Fools! Absolute Power is only Absolute if it's Absolute." The younger Advisor was about to point out the tautological nature of the King's utterance, but a smack from the Chief Advisor probably saved several necks. "We cannot and must not have any remaining unimplanted subjects. They would fester on like an uncured disease, ready to spread out again at any time across the entire rest of the land." He gazed from Advisor to Advisor, ensuring there was no remaining unquashed doubt. "NO!" he hammered it home. "There will be no exceptions to my Implant and Control plan!" A swift kick from the Chief Advisor was sufficient to silence the persistent youth, who had been about to remind the King that they'd already agreed to change the name. The King sat back on this throne, wearily shaking his head, and nodded to the Chief, indicating "Try again. Carefully."
Humblest apologies sire. Our knowledge of the world pales in the face of and must always be informed by your great wisdom. I believe we do have a proposal that avoids leaving anyone unimplanted.
The King narrowed his eyes but, pursing his lips in expectation of another fiasco, nodded for the Chief to continue.
Sire, we believe that although it would be possible for some people to remain hidden from us, they can do that only if they also remain hidden from everyone else. But few if any wish to live completely alone, so through their relationships with others we can find and implant them. By their companies, sports teams, schools, and groups of any sort and size will they be revealed. We can achieve our aims through their relationships, sire -- through their relationships.
As the Chief finished speaking, the King sat motionless, and still grim-faced. A ripple of worry shivered through the Advisors, but a settling hand from the Chief told them to stand firm and wait. They watched and watched, every eye on the King's face. Then the King's eyes unnarrowed, and his pursed lips softened, first into a gentle smile, then a rapidly broadening grin, and finally erupted into a raucous, throne-shaking laughter. "Excellent! That is sublime!" He roared in delight, inviting the Advisors to join him in his mirth. "Relationships!" he savoured. "Superb idea!" The Chief Advisor smiled modestly and replied, "Of course, our ideas are fueled ultimately by your wisdom my lord!" The King winked back, "Of course they are my boy! Of course they are! But enough hilarity, go out into the land and get on with the plan!"
The Advisors packed up their papers and instruments of study, and made their way towards the throne-room entrance, ready to implement the "Inform and Care" plan. The Chief Advisor, leading the way, had almost left when the King, who had sat back on this throne and was still chuckling, sat bolt upright and yelled, "Wait! You said a four point plan." The Chief stopped and looked back to the King, apparently confused. "But you gave me only three." yelled the still puzzled monarch. "What was the fourth point?" A look of realization came over the Chief's face, and he turned and led the Advisors back to stand before the throne again.
Humblest of all apologies, sire. In our earlier foolishness over those who would hide from your plan, our fourth point was overlooked. But sire, oh sire, what a point. If you liked the third point, you are going to love the fourth.
By now the King was in an excellent mood, and he grinned a suspicious but expectant grin. "Go on then, you Advisor-ist of Advice-giving Advisors you. Amaze me!" The Chief smiled, resisted the temptation to unseemingly rub his hands together, and continued:
Sire, we know that absolute power is your aim here. But -- and forgive my familiarity -- I believe that you should expect a method that requires little or no effort on your part. After all, lesser Kings need to work to achieve allegiance. You, greatest of all rulers, should not have to exert yourself"
The King looked puzzled again. "I don't understand. How are we going to get the people to be implanted if ... well, if we don't get the people implanted?" The Chief smiled the King's favourite cunning smile, "We do it sire, by having them do it to themselves." Confusion still clear on the King's face, the Chief continued:
Sire, while we worked on our studies of your people, I took the liberty of engaging some of your best magicians to investigate the possibility of a method -- a spell if you will -- by which the people themselves could be made to want to be implanted. It took great efforts apparently, and I should warn you that it involved dabbling in some of the darker arts which, until now, even we have avoided. But the results were even better than I'd hoped.
At the mention of the dark arts, the King looked back at the Chief with a mixture of suspicion, fear, but also intrigue. "How so?"
The spell is one both subtle and gradual, but working across generations and between individuals. Its effects will be small at first, however over time the effects will grow: from parent to child to grandchild; from teacher to student; from employer to employee; even among the closest of friends. Eventually, sire, the spell becomes self-sustaining -- self-infecting perhaps is a better word. In fact there will be no longer a need even to cast the spell; the people will cast it upon themselves. Those under its influence will congratulate themselves for being under its thrall, and they will call to the ever-dwindling few who remain unenchanted to join them in their serfdom. And once onder the spell, they will not only accept implantation and your control, they will demand it. They will implant themselves. They will crave it and, and a result, they will crave you.
The King was speechless. His wide eyes betrayed his respect, but also his growing lust. The Advisor knew his moment was here and he pressed the advantage home:
Sire, do you see that the best of all outcomes would be if your power was wielded so subtly that your people not only accepted it, but they even sought it, and loved it? Absolute power over your people, and their absolute love and acceptance in return. Sire, you will be as a God!"
Now the King was no fool, but his Advisors were smarter (that is, after all, how they got to be Advisors). They knew that the King's power meant, ultimately, their power and so even their earlier apparent slip had been a well-conceived, if risky plan to create in the King's dark heart a momentum to reach for a power so great that even the King himself conceived of it. And the lust now blatant on the King's face showed their plan had worked. "Make it so!" he panted, "Make It So!"
So the Advisors went out across the land and cast the spell. As they predicted, its effects though slow to manifest, were deep and increasingly strong. From generation to generation, from parent to child, and even, in that deepest, most intimate, most precious of relationships -- from lover to lover -- the enchantment spread, and the people demanded their implants. "Give us our implants!" they cried. "Those people have implants, we demand a right to implants too."
And there was a smile on the face of the King, and his heir and their heirs after them; and smiles too on the faces of his Advisors, and their heirs, and their heirs after them. And the people slept under the enchantment.