The ruler of the universe as we know it sat behind a desk cogitating. All was going as planned. The usual suspects had been rounded up, and now all that was necessary was to draft charges to justify the roundup.
An aide simpered into the room — Chad was his name, wasn’t it?
“My Ruler, I humbly apologize, but I don’t understand why we are rounding these people up.”
The Ruler stared icily into the aide’s eyes.
“There is much you don’t know about these people, or you wouldn’t be asking that question.”
“All I’ve been able to learn is that they don’t agree with your policies on —“
“And isn’t that enough?” the Ruler snapped. “They are evil people who stand in the way of our glorious plans to save the people from themselves.”
“They have the same goals as you, they just have different ideas about how to accomplish them.”
“You dare to question my plan?”
“No, no, of course not. But they do,” said the aide. “Some of them are good people, they just disagree —“
“Good people do not block the doors of the feeding house so others cannot eat.”
“Yes, but they’re not doing that —“
“Don’t you know these are greedy people who want to keep all the food for themselves?”
“They’ve never said —“
“If I had the power, I would wipe their selfish faces from the earth.”
“They only disagree with you! They’re not horrible people.”
The Ruler paused in mid-rant and looked more carefully at the aide.
“How did you get in here? What fool hired you, of all people, to be one of my advisors?”
“Are you kidding, Ruler? You picked me, you brought me on board, we’ve been friends for as long as I can remember.”
“Yes, I recall now,” said the Ruler. “You’ve changed so much, I hardly recognize you.”
“What, me, change? Of course not. I helped draft the plan, I just don’t understand why we have to arrest all these innocent people.”
“INNOCENT?! Is that what you call those who object to the glorious plan?”
“They are conscientious objectors, not revolutionaries.”
“And you know this how? Have you joined them after all this time?”
The aide appeared to want to speak, but chose to be silent.
“How may I serve my Ruler today?” the aide said after a long silence.
“By reporting to the guard outside the door and having him escort you to processing,” the Ruler said. “I’m so disappointed in you, Chad.”
“It’s Brad,” the aide said. “But it doesn’t matter.”