Birthday At The Bar

Herbert had just celebrated another birthday, alone, at a bar. He freely dispensed shouted wisdom to all within ear-shot. “Let us have a moment of science!” he declared. “It is a scientific fact,” he slurred, “that scientists that have more birthdays live longer!” He slammed the shot glass down loudly. This was his eleventh shot.

The other patrons looked on at the scientist with bloodshot eyes and a thick unkempt mustache.

“Furthermore,” he continued belligerently, meeting the gazes of the annoyed and bemused drunkards. “Each and every one of you are part of a science experiment right now. Will you survive the new variant or not? This all depends upon your level of intelligence. How many, i must ask, how many of you drunks are also flat earthers?”

They all laughed hysterically. “Oh, shit!” Sheer panic shot through Herbert’s mind. Why were they laughing? “i assure you, this is a serious matter. There are flat earthers all around the world!” This elicited further laughter. Outraged, he drew his pistol and then holstered it. He didn’t make it this far only to lose his cool over a bunch of disrespectful young punks.

“There’s gonna be some fuckin’ bloodshed here.” Anger returned and the gun was raised again. The laughter turned to screams.

“Sir? Sir!” the bartender snapped his fingers. Herbert was slumped over his drink at the bar. Nobody was laughing at him. Nobody seemed to notice he was even alive. “Can i call you a cab?” Herbert put a twenty on the counter and stumbled out the door.

Mad Scientist Hit By Truck

Herbert planned his siege as he pedaled the stolen bicycle to the dinosaur museum. The world depended upon scientists to enforce facts. Everything was upside down. “People no longer respect credentials; they respect memes. Everyone is their own authority today and now the world is falling apart,” Herbert said, hair blowing in the wind.

It was exhilarating.

Herbert was one of the few capable of saving the human race from itself. His plan was simple. Take control of the dinosaur museum. Make it the operational headquarters, the ground zero, for a scientific revolution. “We need a scientific dictatorship over the minds of the ignoramuses!” He spread his arms out, Christ-like, and looked to the stars.

“I’m ready,” he told the universe. “i am ready to sacrifice my life for mankind.” An Uber driver appeared out of a sidestreet and Herbert crashed directly into the side of it, his face planting onto the passenger-side window as his hips slammed the handlebars as the bicycle flipped. Herbert blacked out to the sound of screeching tires, his nose streaming blood onto the street. His spirit levitated above the inert body. He watched the driver and passenger exit the car, attending to his own twisted and bloodied form on the road. Higher he ascended, looking up. Was this a dream? The moon and the stars appeared closer than should have been possible. He glanced down from an impossible height with no sense of vertigo as he experienced atop the 5-g tower earlier. He looked at his hands. They were transparent, barely even there. Listlessly he drifted into the clouds. Then one particular star caught his attention. As an astronomer, he identified it as Sirius, the dog-star. It flickered red, white, green, then blue. Seconds later, Herbert’s ghostly form stood atop a thick white cloud that glowed in the moon’s light. Directly in front of him, the star’s light condensed into a discernable form.

An angel?

“Herbert.” the authoritative voice boomed in his head. “It’s me.”

“Jesus?” Herbert asked, kneeling on the cloud. His transparent hands clasped.

“Nope. I’m the ancient Greek who started the rumor that boats go over the horizon, thus proving the earth to be round like a ball. Look at the horizon, Herbert.” He looked in the direction the ghostly apparition pointed. a commercial airliner, about 5 miles away was quickly disappearing into the darkness. “Watch the plane, Herbert. It’s just above the level of the clouds. Watch,” the ancient Greek said. The light grew smaller, dimmer, and then disappeared. “What was i supposed to notice,” Herbert asked. “It didn’t go down, over the horizon. It was above the level of the clouds we’re on. Herbert, do you understand? If you don’t, you can’t move on,” it replied.

“Look, you’re an ancient Greek. You didn’t have the advantage of a space agency to tell you the nature of the world. Talk to Eristhothanes. I’m pretty sure he proved it with a couple of yardsticks,” Herbert said. “Herb. It’s not that simple. I guess it’s not your time.” The apparition dissipated like a puff of smoke.

Then vertigo hit him.

Faster than physically possible, the scientist hurled back down to earth. His eyes scanned the darkness for ambulance lights to indicate where his injured body lie. Nothing. Just darkness. Faster he fell, impacting the spot where he had the accident, right into his aching, bleeding body.

“Where’s the ambulance?” he groaned. Really, he wondered, a hit and run? “What has his world come to?”

The bicycle was nowhere to be found. “And they stole my stolen bike?” His telescope case was strapped across his back and his pistol was at his side. Perhaps his hair was in greater disarray than usual but appearances aside, he was not shaken.

Bloodied, bruised, cast out of heaven, the arrogant and grotesquely unqualified scientist hoofed it the rest of the way to the Museum.

Dingo Dogs and Settled Scores

Herbert was hungry again. He was feeling cornered. Reaching into his wallet produced
a crumbed and ripped five-dollar bill.
A dog was walking by. He recognized it. He whistled to get its attention. It was a scrawny dingo with a leather collar.
He looked up and down the street. He was heading for a small square-shaped building on the far side of town.
He looked back down and back up. The dog was still there. It was staring at him. “i wonder where its owner is?” he said aloud.
The building was a shack he rented for science experiments.
He was heading there to check up on his replication of the Cavendish Experiment. He looked at the dingo.
His stomach growled. They were a few miles from his destination. “Gotta go, friend,” he said.
He stepped past the dog. When he arrived he found the building was crawling with flies. He had ducked and jumped as they scuttled and flew down the front steps.
A familiar bark told him he had been followed.
He walked to the entryway. No one was visible. The dingo was more nervous than Herbert at this moment.
He sniffed the space around the entryway. “Something’s rotting.” Did he leave a ham sandwich behind last time he was here, he wondered? He turned the key in the
lock and opened the door. One step inside he heard a woman’s voice.
“Hey, Herbert.” It was Vanessa. “Close the door behind you. Leave the dingo outside please!” she was stern.
And he instantly could see why.
The two metal balls were on the floor. The hooks which had previously held them were suspending a corpse by holds punctured in the wrists.
“My g-g-g-g-g-g-g-god,” Herbert stuttered.
“God has nothing to do with this and you know it,” Vanessa shrieked. The dead man’s bowels are strung down between his stiff legs. Flies were swarming about the pool of offal on the floor between the metal balls.
Vanessa picked up a dagger and started to unbutton her blouse. She put her lips to his ear. “a little demonstration will speed things up.” As she spoke her breasts touched his. Herbert moved his limp hands away from her. “It’s okay, I’m here. I’m here.”
And now, without the use of his hands, he had strength.
His eyes flickered back to Vanessa’s. “Explain to me why you used my laboratory as a torture chamber again. I thought we had an agreement.”
“I know, Herbert, but you’ll understand when you see who it is. We caught a big fish this time.” She leaned in and whispered a name which sent chills up his spine:
“Marcus Goldfinch.”
The leash attached to one of the hooks that still held the dead man’s hand detached itself somehow and the corpse swung back and forth stiffly.

“Let’s do lunch,” he suggested. “Let the dingo feed while we’re out.”

The two friends exited the shack, allowed the dingo in, and walked hand in hand to Burger King.

War on Stupid

Not even a glass of brandy would calm Herbert’s nerves tonight. He walked over to the window and reflected on his surroundings.  He gulped and glanced at his reflection. He was a brandy drinker with brown fingers and spiky elbows. His nose glowed red above his thick greasy mustache. He looked at the computer screen. The video showed slope-headed buck-toothed flat earther with a bowl-cut. The mental defect was expounding on flat earth theory.

“I cannot tolerate this anymore. This is a war on stupid.” He pointed his finger at the screen like a pistol and pulled on an invisible trigger. He took a swig from the bottle and then pulled out the pistol from his belt. He held it sideways, like a gangster.

“Herbert, put the gun down,” Susan looked afraid. She set down a bag of groceries on the table.

He stared uncomprehendingly. “Susan,” he slurred, “What’s your take on global warming?” he hiccoughed and the weapon discharged. Neither were prepared for what came next. They looked at each other with equally dumbfounded expressions.

“This flat earth lunacy has made you dangerous, Herbert,” she said. Then she snatched the weapon from his grasp.

“Susan, did you know that if no air resistance is present, two objects will reach the ground at the same time if they are dropped simultaneously from the same height?”

“No Herbert. I mean yes, sure. What does this have to do with anything? You just nearly killed us or me or both of us!” She raised the weapon’s barrel pointing at his chest. She noticed his Science Man tee-shirt. “Why are we talking about falling objects Herbert? Stop changing the subject.”

“Do you know WHY these objects will fall at the same rate?” he pressed, taking a deep drink from the bottle.

“No, why Herbert.” her voice shook.

“Because GRAVITY BITCH!” Herbert lunged.

Susan took a step back but not far enough to dodge the brandy bottle swung by the neck at the end of Herbert’s reach. It arched a full one hundred and eighty degrees before impact. The bottle hit her like a hammer sending her cartwheeling over the couch.

The pistol hit the floor at the same time she did.

Herbert’s Dark Past

Surely Herbert wasn’t always this crazy. What drove him to these extremes? We’ll start back in 1975, when he was in his twenties.

Herbert had always loved pretty Pondscumville, with its shallow gene pool. It was a place where he felt at ease. He was so at east he found himself drinking again, which was never a good idea.

“Herbs drinking again,” his wife, Jenna, would say. He was a violent drunk.

Her friends saw him as a massive monster. Jenna walked over to the window and reflected on her dull surroundings. Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Mathias Plumb.

Jenna gulped. She was not prepared for Mathias. As Jenna stepped outside and Mathias came closer, she could see the smooth glint in his eye.

Mathias gazed with affection. He said, in hushed tones, “I love you and I want a resolution.”

Jenna looked back guiltily. “Mathias, I just don’t need you in my life any more,” she replied. ‘Hebert will kill us both. They looked at each other with relaxed feelings, like two old friends enjoying a gracious snow storm with jazz music playing in the background, with Herbert drinking himself to a stupor.

He was not in the same universe as his wife nor their friend who politely rolled Herbert’s drunken, puke-covered body onto his back. Later he’d recollect the previous night’s events but there were always the blank zones.

He was in one of these the night of Mathias’ mysterious disappearance but that’s another story.

In The Name Of Science

“Science is how we purify nature,” he said to the students, teachers, and parents at the dinosaur museum.

Herbert had always hated the uneducated. They displayed their ignorance at the museum with their asinine questions indicating they paid scant attention in class. It was a place where he felt psychotic.

He was an angry, cantankerous urine drinker with bulbous thighs and scaly pectorals. The more honest in the crowd saw him as an unkempt, unnatural unstable. The teachers (liars for the most part) only saw his white smock and scientist badge.

“Listen to me!” He said much more forcefully. “Science is how we purify nature! This means that some of us,” he gestured at the dinosaur skeletons, “will have to go to make room for better, purer, life forms.”

A little girl spoke up: “But Mr. Capital S Scientist, the dinosaurs were killed by an asteroid, not by scientists!”

“Listen, hussy,” Herbert began. “Once, I helped a stray kitten recover from an accident. That’s the sort of man I am. But if the dinosaurs were around today, I’d advocate for working them to death like the Flinstones or just gassing them.” He shrugged.

Herbert walked over to the window and reflected on his wonderful surroundings and the awestruck faces of the children who were meeting a real life scientist.

“Some of you children are not going to leave your mark on the future,” he said. “Just look at your parents. You can see that you’ve already reached the end of your genetic line so enjoy the ride. The future doesn’t need you. Others, and I can see the taller and more intelligent among you from the more privileged classes here, will make it to the future and beyond. Life extension is just around the corner.”

Then he gestured to a replica of a stuffed bird, thought to be extinct. It was the figure of a Dodo. “The rest of you,” Herbert gulped, “will go the way of the Dodo bird.”

As Herbert spoke, a teacher came closer. He could see the weak glint in her eye. She was a mousey little woman with oversized glasses and dry hair.

“Geez, could you put on a little makeup?” Herbert blurted.

“Mr. Scientist, I don’t think the children appreciate the tone of this conversation,” She slammed her fist against Herbert’s chest, “You’re talking eugenics! Are you a Nazi?”

Herbert looked back, fiery rage in his eyeballs. He fingered the boney contours of her brow. “Bitch, “I am a scientist. Say it with a capital S,” he replied.

Suddenly, she lunged forward and tried to punch Herbert in the face. Quickly, Herbert grabbed the stuffed Dodo by the beak and tail, placing it between them as a shield.

They looked at each other waiting for the other to move. Herbert’s thighs trembled and his flaccid pectorals wobbled. She looked lethal, like a cornered ferret. He tossed the Dodo into her arms and drew his pistol from his belt.

Then she let out an agonizing groan and collapsed onto the ground. The crowd scattered, screaming, yelling, and ducking for cover.

Herbert fired indiscriminately. His aim was terrible. A brontosaurus skull, suspended with wires from the ceiling, came crashing down amidst the gunfire and scattering museum goers.

“I am a holy warrior,” he mused, reflecting on his willingness to kill for his beliefs. And why wouldn’t he? 

“Science is how we purify nature,” he said aloud.  “Hmm. When did I start talking to myself?” he wondered.


Herbert went to the beach to watch boats go over the Earth’s curvature. He brought a telescope and his lunchbox. In his backpack, he had his new super-hero scientist disguise he had bene working on. Should he see any anti-science Flat Earthers there, he’d be ready.

Herbert went to the beach to watch boats go over the Earth’s curvature. He brought a telescope and his lunchbox. In his backpack, he had the new super-hero scientist disguise he had been working on. Should he see any anti-science Flat Earthers there, he’d be ready.

Hours went by and he watched the boats disappear from view. “Yes, that proves it! It’s all the proof I need!” he exclaimed. He gestured to the onlookers, “The boats are going over the curve. The flat earth has been debunked.”
Nobody seemed to care.
One individual said, “Please, Sir. Put on your mask. You’re endangering us all with your anti-science nonsense.” The individual, a short nerd with a ponytail and weak excuse for a goatee poking from beneath his mask, wagged a finger at the scientist.
“Anti-science? I’m the only one debunking flat earth every day, son.” Herbert stood up, his yellowish-white boxers partially covered by his drooping underbelly.
“I’m talking about your face, Sir. Your uncovered face is endangering us all. Haven’t you heard about Covid-X? The deadly new strain?” The finger-wagging continued.
“Listen here!” Herbert grabbed the younger man’s fingers, squeezed, and popped them at a right angle, snapping them like celery. He cried out in pain. “When you fuck with me, you fuck with science. You hear me?”
Others were watching. He picked up his telescope and reached into his back. Inside, was a mask, much like Batman’s mask, but this one was white, made from a lab coat. He instantly covered his face so that nobody would put him on Tik-Tok. He was unconcerned about any possibility of them calling the police.
Once he had his mask in place, he took the telescope in both hands, and hooked it over the young man’s head, choking him. “Listen up!” he growl-yelled, imitating Christian Bale’s Batman as best he could. “There’s a new hero on planet earth. It’s not the one the globe wants, but it’s the one the globe needs.” Satisfied his message was sent, he let his victim fall facedown into the sand. He put his cape on, made from white lab coat, but embroidered on the back was SM, and below that in smaller lettering:


Herbert’s Savior Complex

Herbert was a simpleton and a scientist. A conformist and a follower in most respects, he had the utmost respect for symbols and certificates and associations of people far smarter than he. Nobody seemed to notice how dumb he was. His confused unfocused and meandering statements would be taken for profundities to profound for the layperson.

Luckily for him, his moronic nature was easily obfuscated by his credentials. Things would likely have gone much, much smoother for him were it not for his savior complex,  made all the more complicated by the fact that Herbert was not only a scientist, but again, a simpleton.

For all his shortcomings, Herbert looked the part: he had the hair of Albert Einstein, the oblate spheroidal body of Neil De Grasse Tyson,  and the demeanor of an old befuddled scientist lost in thought. But he wasn’t really lost in thought but rather in search of the sorts of ideas which would distinguish him from his colleagues. For if there was anything that defined this clown, it was a desire for prestige.

So he was ambitious and underqualified. So what, you may ask? How is he any different from ninety percent of indoctrinaire establishment scientist? The answer to this, and the very thing that makes his story stand out is that unlike ethical scientists, Herbert had a dark side. His soul was tainted by jealously. Maybe it was the chemistry set experiment in grade-school which left permanent scars and disfiguration in areas best left undescribed. But it was his dark side that would take him to the edge of madness again and again.

Everything he did wrong was misinterpreted as “genius”; his mumbled word salads were hastily jotted down in notepads by lower-level scientists, thinking to extrapolate some arcane tidbit of astrophysics unapproachable by regular minds. His detailed images of a supernova were actually the result of zooming in on a traffic light. But nobody noticed and he received the prestigious NASA Astronomy Pic of the Year Award. 

For his entire life, nearing seventy now, nobody suspected that Herbert was a ridiculously inept moron. Perhaps it should be no wonder at all that he developed the need to save the world from unscientific ideas and thoughts. 

“I hate the Internet,” Herbert said, facing down a deluge of misinformation about the shape of the Earth. His doomscrolling continued, video after video promoting the so-called Flat Earth theory.   

He was developing a superhero costume: spandex leotards, a cape, an SM for “Science Man” on the chest, and a pointed wizard’s cap, or perhaps an astronaut helmet. Perhaps he could stop the flat earthers by exposing them in their lairs. Surely these weren’t ordinary people to be so consumed by the desire to express wrong information. There must be something more. Russian bots? Deep State funding?

Herbert was determined to root out and destroy scientific misinformation.

He remembered what his dear father, a scientist, said about the family line back when he was five years old: “Herbert, you are descended from some of the most feared inquisitors of the Holy Inquisition.  We must maintain the purity of the establishment worldview. It is up to science to prevent the heretics and misleaders to corrupt official doctrines and orthodoxies.”

Herbert was only five at the time but he remembered clearly, even now, sixty-five years later, the sense of urgency his father imparted on him:

“Papa, are you saying science must fight and win a holy war against the forces of ignorance and anti-science?” the young Herbert asked.

“Yes, Herbert,” his father said, handing his son a box of science projects, “You’re going to grow up to be the greatest defender of Science the world has ever known. Learn our ways, get your credentials, and then destroy the non-believers.”

Herbert snapped out of his reverie. It was now 2021 and the world was in grave danger. Climate change, pandemics, space junk: the world needed a hero more now than ever. All he needed was a superhero costume and a non-lethal weapon. “Father,” he said, looking up at the ceiling of his laboratory. “I will not disappoint you.”

Herbert clicked over to Amazon to find a costume. 

The plan was simple yet far reaching: stop misinformation at its source, by all means necessary. To allow it to continue would be to condemn the Earth and her residents to certain doom. He imagined himself as a cross between Bill Nye the Science Guy and the Batman.

Chapter 2) Herbert Climbs A Tree To Detect Earth’s Curvature

It was nearing midday when our hero Herbert set off to disprove the Flat Earthers once and for all. Their ridonkulous theory was gaining traction among the youth in the absence of rigorous scientific training in the classrooms. He spotted a mask on the ground and angrily swiped it up, putting it in his back pocket. 

“Covid may not wipe us out, but the resultant stupidity will,” he said to the mailman that just happened to be driving up.

She was properly double-masked and helmeted for space junk protection.  “Hello, Herbert, I have a package for you. It’s a heavy one.” He brought out a dolly and wheeled a box out of the back of the mail truck. 

“Yes, yes. There’s lots of science in that box,” Herbert said, nodding. “Glad to see you’re being scientific and wearing the helmet, in addition to the double mask.”

The mail-carrier didn’t appear to notice the lack of masks or helmets on the scientist who droned on with facts such as, “Every day thousands of fish, birds, ducks, and the occasional whale washed up on the shores of the world’s beaches, tangled in man’s improperly disposed of biomedical waste.” 

A gentle breeze stirred the leaves carrying down tree pollen into the path of Herbert’s naked face. He suddenly sneezed hard, sending spittle onto the masked face of the mail-carrier, who stood aghast. 

“Bless you,” She mumbled.

Herbert the inconsiderate super spreader set to do his scientific work. He didn’t bother to look back as the Covid-X, a yet unidentified strain, crawled up into the mail carrier’s nostrils, instantly triggering an immune response followed by anaphylactic shock. The mail carrier died, alone. Herbert was long gone.

Strapped across his back was a box which contained a telescope, a white smock, zip ties, a stun-gun, several types of drugs. He attached a can of mace and a pistol to his tool belt, put on the smock, strapped the telescope over his shoulder, and set out for the nearest tree. 

The neighborhood he lived in was not exactly conducive to this sort of experiment. The first tree he attempted, a cherry tree, wasn’t high enough to see the Earth’s curvature. The second one, a maple, gave him the altitude he needed to see the horizon above the surrounding homes and landscape. The problem here was visibility; too many leaves in the way. The third option was the especially tall evergreen behind the 7-11. 

He passed the mail truck on the way to the convenience store and noticed the mail-carrier slumped over the wheel.

“Lazy,” he said, shaking his head. He sneezed again, reached into his back pocket for the used mask, and blew his nose noisily into it, saturating it with that advanced and deadly strain—Covid-X—unlike anything to the world has ever seen.

But why didn’t it affect him, you may ask?

Simple. Unbeknownst to anyone but his black market vax dealer, Herbert was a vaccine addict.  It wasn’t a “high” from the vaccine he sought, but rather the rush of safety and imperviousness. After multiple and dangerous vaccines, he started feeling mutations. Little things at first. Seizures, panic attacks, hallucinations, and at times, a sense of impending doom. But he was never more than an injection away from restoring that preternatural feeling of invincibility. For Herbert, the highs outweighed the lows.

So this ignorant and dangerous super spreader arrived at the 7/11. He stared up at the tall, slender evergreen.

It was well maintained: every branch was of uniform thickness and length. A ladder had been bolted into the side of it he could see. It was surrounded by a chain-link fence with barbed wire on top. 

He would need a means of scaling the fence if he was to climb the tree, scope the horizon, and spot the curve. “I’m getting too old for this,” he said.  He entered the convenience store and went straight for the coffee. “Excuse me, manager?”

The masked clerk shook her head. She was overweight and wore a flat earth t-shirt.  “What do you want? Why would you come in here without a mask?”

“Science, woman.  I have to access the fenced-off area behind the building,” he said authority, pointing to a badge on his smock. “Gravity debunks flat earth by the way.”

“Dopeland Dinosaur Science Society? What kind of authority does that give you?”  she sighed. “You’re not an astronaut.”

“You flat earthers are effing up society!” Spittle flew out of the scientists mouth. The clerk rubbed her eye.

Give me a ladder and I’ll be on my way.” He presumptively walked out the back door. She followed, stopped at the janitor’s closet, and met him outside with the ladder. 

“You really need to mask up,” she said. “And you need to pay for your coffee.” She was unsteady on her feet.

“What’s wrong with you? You look like you could use a vaccine,” he said, not even pretending to sound like he cared that the clerk was probably sick with Covid-X.

He placed the ladder against the fence and climbed up. “Lady, you have no idea what the world is facing. Leave me to do my work.” She went back in through the back door, leaving him with the ladder. He climbed until his waist was level with the top of the fence but the razor-wire was still in the way.

From here he could see that the tree was in fact a cleverly disguised 5-G tower. Fooled me, he laughed to himself.

He stood atop the fence, one leg on either side of the bladed coils. From there, he pulled the ladder the rest of the way up and leaned it against the “trunk” of the 5-G tower. He struggled up the ladder and then took hold of the rungs on the fake tree. His path up was clear. He would annihilator the flat earth theory before sunset, Science willing.

From atop the tower, he could see the distant peaks, maybe one hundred miles away. Wrapping his spindly old legs around a metal branch, he unslung the telescope. “Now, time to put the flat earth theory to rest.” He pointed it at the most distant peak. Then beyond. He could faintly see the outline of some windmills. 

“Hmm. Those are surprisingly vertical, considering their distance.”

He did the calculation in his head. Eight inches per mile squared times a hundred miles put these towers over the curve. Accounting for the height of the 5G tower, it’s not all that surprising to see them. Probably refraction, he mused.

Confused, but not deterred, he continued to make observations. 

Perhaps the setting sun would give him the opportunity to debunk the seeming flatness of the globe as seen from the human perspective.  The arrogant old jerk remained perched atop the tower waiting for a chance to document the terminator line of the setting sun or perhaps to witness an International Space Station flyover. 

Consumed with hate and bereft of common sense, the jackass found himself stranded, more or less. 

“Hey, sir? You need to mask up. People are dropping dead like flies around here!” It was a police officer a hundred feet below.

“Really officer. I’m immune. Trust me.” Herbert said, dismissively as always. 

“Haven’t you heard? The mail-man was killed by the mystery super-spreader!” the officer replied.

“You’re not suggesting?” Hebert said, suddenly aware of the implications. “Are you saying that I killed the mail-carrier and all those other deaths attributed to the mystery super-spreader? Do you even believe this media-driven drivel?”

He grew uncomfortable. Could his vaccines be making him infectious? Who could he discuss this with? His dealer was working behind a proxy and his vaccines were always drone dropped in the dead of night. “Wow,” he thought back to the mail carrier slumped over the wheel. “Did I do that?” He shook his head. “It was always going to come to this,” he said to himself, removing a pistol from his smock. “In the name of science, my work has to continue.” He pointed the weapon at the officer.

Super-spreader of Covid-X or not, Herbert was going to slay the flat earth if it killed him…