Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

I create gods.

So far I’ve created sixty­eight.

If one puts an all­powerful deity in the middle of a primitive society, one can get a lot accomplished. It’s essentially a victimless crime except for the centuries of religious squabbles that can follow on some planets. And the slavery. And the persecution of the losing sects. But I digress.

Honder is the latest. Nine feet tall, golden skinned, shining eyes and a long beard. His mouthbeaks are glossy and his lowlimbs are tremorless. Appearance wise, he is the ideal for his race. Not only does he have a body in peak condition, he has the wisdom of a universal library tapped into his cranium. Every situation has happened, they say. With the library in his mind acting as a teleprompter, all answers are his to give. He is philosopher, cajoler, and truth teller. A puppet master doing the impossible as proof of a divine entity.

Quantum space storage folders and nanocomp mattermakers tucked up each of his four sleeves make miracles possible with a thought. Loaves, fishes, cures, plagues, and even local weather patterns are all his to give and change in order to manipulate his followers.

All of it, his appearance and his implants, is on loan from me. And the loan comes with strings.

I tell Honder from the comlink that it’s time to set the populace to work mining the minerals.

In this scenario, I’ve decided to have him tell the populace that he’s my little brother. I’ve had local Upgrades play as my son or daughter before as well. Whatever works. He knows the truth. That is, that I’m an alien and that this ‘magic’ is just all tech beyond his primitive understanding. That this is a partnership and we’re duping his people. He’s still filled with awe and drunk on the power, though. They always are.

The populace gets to work mining. I should have my quota before too long.

But as usually happens, the local Upgrade starts believing in his own myths and wants to rebel. Honder says “You have gone too far. The conditions in the mines are not good. You are damaging my people.”

I look at my databanks. My mineral quota will be filled in one year.

“Just one more year, Honder. Remember, if you co­operate, you get to keep the gear and do whatever you want with it.” I say

“No.” says Honder. “I will fight you.”

“How?” I ask with a chuckle. This is textbook scenario 3. I press the ‘rescind’ button, reducing Honder’s gear to fancy bracelets and ending his connection to the library. He’ll have to tell the people the first thing that comes into his mind now. And he’s not smart.

Honder reels in fear. “Give me the god power back.” He says meekly.

“Only if you comply.” I say, steel in my voice.

“Honder will comply. Honder happy to comply. Honder want power back.” already his IQ is spiraling down the ladder to the local norm.

I reinstate his power. I should have my mineral banks full on schedule.

Poor Honder. It’s the created messiah I feel the worst for, not the slaves.

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