Once the rest of the sweaty and toweled men finished laughing at the Asian delegate’s grandiose statement, he smiled broadly.
“How familiar are all of you with the concept of designed diseases?”
“This again?” the representative from North America said, groaning loudly as he looked around the room to see if the rest of the group agreed with his annoyance. “All of us are familiar with them. All you ever do is talk about your amazing bespoke viruses and the only thing we’ve got out of it so far is a South Park episode about SARS blankets.”
“SARS?” the delegation from Australia joked. “That was, like, twenty years ago, right?”
The Asian delegate looked frustrated, but still held a certain confidence about him as he continued. “I’ll admit that the SARS epidemic was a tad less exciting than we had hoped, but we have a new SARS, a better one.”
“Next,” the South American representative said with a wave of his hand.
The Asian delegate’s shoulders slumped and he pouted. “Guys, come on. I’ve really got something this time, I promise!”
The African delegate closed his eyes and pinched his nose in frustration. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned from all our attempts at instituting a pandemic, it’s that you can’t have a deadly disease without just simply killing everyone off before they can infect everyone. Ebola had people literally spewing out of every orifice and we still couldn’t get that stuff to spread.”
“Our African brother is right,” the European delegate chimed in. “We’ve tried biological warfare through diseases. They simply don’t work like they used to. Now, if we could just find a way to bring back the Black Death, then we would–“
“You’re always talking about your stupid plague,” the North American representative cut the European delegate off. “That was over 500 years ago, buddy. Get over it.”
“I’ll get over it as soon as you get over talking about your stupid slave trade,” the European delegate shot back. “We killed hundreds of millions of people.”
“Yeah, but where’s the control there?” North America responded. “You just killed people off. That’s the whole problem with these diseases. How can you control people if you just kill them off? Remember when we allowed you to bring over smallpox? You almost destroyed my entire continent.”
“And mine!” South America chimed in.
“That was a pretty funny prank,” Australia laughed.
“Gentlemen,” Asia said calmly, “this is why my new disease is so perfect. It’s deadly, but only in one percent of the population.”
“Then what the hell is the point?” Europe shot back. “Even if everyone got sick, you’d still only be looking at seventy-eight million people. That’s barely more than we lost during the 1918 Influenza Epidemic.”
“I’m with Europe on this one,” North America replied. “People barely even talk about the Spanish Flu anymore.”
The Asian delegate’s wide grin returned as he realized he finally had them where he wanted them. “Right, but here’s the thing. It’s super infectious and most of the people who get it won’t ever even know they had it.”
“This is incredibly boring,” Africa yawned. “Didn’t I hear something about you guys having murder hornets over there ready to release? Let’s talk about that.”
The Asian delegate’s grin dropped and he muttered under his breath. “The murder hornets aren’t ready yet, like I keep telling you.”
“Perfect. Next,” South America said, waving his hand again. “Does anyone else have anything?”
“I’ve got some wildfires I think I could get to cover a major part of the globe in smoke,” Australia added hopefully.
“Interesting,” South America replied. “I’m not sure what we can do with smoke, but you’ve got those drop bears, right? Anything we can do with them? Maybe have them escape on a plane or something?”
“Um,” Australia said sheepishly. “So, we may have exaggerated a little bit about the drop bears.”
“I really think you should hear me out,” Asia cut in once again. “I’ve got a whole big plan and everything.”
“You Asians and your plans. I mean, sure, bringing the United States into World War II was great and everything, but you’ve got such great options for social unrest over there that you’re hardly using,” South America added. “Just look at North America and Europe. They’ve been installing some of the most polarizing leaders of all time, and look at how angry their people are getting.”
“Don’t forget about how we’re bringing racism back,” North America said with a cocky grin.
“Right, racism. That’s always a good one,” Africa laughed.
“Don’t worry, my disease will also bring racism to the forefront.”
The group laughs loudly.
South America took a deep breath and gained control of himself again. You really need to spend a little less time hanging out in your poppy fields. Are we agreed to see where we can go with these wildfires, at least to start?”
North America jumped in excitement. “Actually, I had this really awesome idea I had been working on in that vein. What do you guys know about gender reveal parties?”