“Representatives are here to negotiate, Mistress,” the underling said.
“Representatives from where?” the Mistress asked. Her companions stood around her in the dark room lit only by candles.
“They say they are from the Canadian government.” The underling wrung his hands together with his back slightly bent and his head tilted in respect.
“What positions do they hold? Where exactly are they from in Canada? Are they representing a small, localized government or all of Canada?”
The underling shuffled his feet and he twisted his hands together even faster.
“I’m not su . . .”
She cut him off with a wave of her hand. “Send them in.”
The underling scurried out of the room. A moment later, he reentered with two men and one woman.
“What would you like to negotiate?” the Mistress asked them. She stood tall in the middle of the room. A beautiful woman that shimmered to reflect each of the representatives’ tastes.
“Please end this zombie apocalypse,” the taller man pleaded.
The Mistress looked at her companions. Each were expressionless, but she knew each of their desires. They had put away their differences, their petty squabbles, to come together and form the greatest threat against humanity.
“Once it has begun, it cannot be stopped,” the Mistress said.
“Then,” the woman said, “can you offer us protection in some way? Restore the power and batteries and everything else that failed with the zombie apocalypse?”
“How did you travel all this way without vehicles?” the Mistress asked.
The three representatives turned to the door. More of the Mistress’s companions entered. These were the companions that had been setup to oversee the situation in Canada. Companions were all over the world to ensure the success of their plans.
“We brought them, Mistress,” one of the companions said.
“Protection is possible,” the Mistress told the representatives. “And so is restoring the electronics to the place you specify.”
The three representatives smiled and looked to each other proud of what they had accomplished.
“What do you offer us in return?” the Mistress asked.
The smiles disappeared.
“What do you want?” the shorter man asked with a shaky voice.
“If you go to our clubs labeled RU in?, they will give you the protection you want. You may leave at any time and will always have the protection. In return, for everyone of you who receives the protection, one of you must stay in the club. Forever.”
The three of them looked at each other. There was no hint of success in them now.
The Mistress smiled. The companions smiled.
“How long must this be for?” the tall man asked.
“For as long as your people want protection,” the Mistress answered. “When one hundred of you have stayed on a permanent basis, we will restore the privileges you have come to enjoy – your computers, your vehicles, your phones, electricity, running water. But as I said, if your people want continued protection, you must not stop sending people to the clubs even after the one hundred have joined.”
The tall man bit his bottom lip as he looked to the others. The short man ran his hands up and down his thighs. The woman shuffled from foot to foot. Finally, the woman nodded to the two men. The tall man said to the Mistress, “You have a deal.”