Master of the Universe

He had an enlarged prostate and painful bowel movements. He was an ugly man, at least on the inside, but popular with beautiful gold-digging woman. He was proud of his drug enhanced sexual prowess, which was somewhat less than impressive. Men were jealous of him. If it is, as Machiavelli said, better to be feared than loved, Dan was at the top. Those who knew him best—his wife, children and mistress—found him to be disgusting.

He was Master of the Universe.

In a best case scenario, Dan had two decades left of his worse than useless existence. In the blink of eye, he would be gone and forgotten. The thought never crossed his mind.

He was busy doing important things. Buying companies. Selling companies. He had his hands in all the big deals. Like that money-losing medical division, which, when his subordinates ran the numbers, was an obvious target to sell. He pumped up publicity about a new “wonder drug” under development by Zellender Pharmaceuticals. Dan was unable to sell Zellender, so he closed it and sold the parts. The parts were worth more than the whole. Shrewd move.

His conscience and fingernails were clean.

Dan wasn’t really a bad guy. He was doing his job, fulfilling his function. That called for a kind of pragmatism that trumped empathy. Naziism, communism, slavery and capitalism are systems that ultimately prohibit human considerations.

Sadly, Dan got that rare illness that could have been treated by the discontinued Zellender drug. In the end, Dan did the finest thing he’d ever done, clearing a very low bar by a wide margin. His heart, liver and corneas went to some people who needed them badly. Fortunately, Dan’s parts were worth more than the whole. Shrewd move.