Fiction: The Negotiation

August 18, 2016 Fiction , POETRY / FICTION

UPI photo



Tom Gumbert



“So, the job as I understand it, is to secure the southern border, is that correct?”

The man across the table adjusted his red silk necktie and nodded.

“Big job, the border is massive, the terrain, rough.”

“Can you do it?”

“You know that we can, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this conversation. We’ve proven ourselves for over a decade. We’ve protected embassies and kept regimes from being overthrown. We’ve quelled civil unrest around the world, including your neighbor to the south. We’ve all but eliminated piracy from Horn of Africa. We’ve trained police and security forces around the globe and hired only the best ex-military, police and special skills security personnel. The question isn’t can we do it, the question is—Can you afford to do this?”

The buyer cleared his throat and leaned forward. “We can’t afford not to. Our border must be secured from their drug trafficking and the peasants coming here for our healthcare, burdening our taxpayers. Is that fair?”

“Fairness and ideology are not my concern. My concern is the contract, though I’m surprised you aren’t using internal resources. Nonetheless, we must be given the ability to carry out our orders without fear of prosecution or litigation. We can’t have the bleeding hearts and human rights groups interfering.”

“We don’t want to expand the government,” the buyer shook his head. “But,” he smiled, “I think we can control public opinion. We have an entire network working diligently on creating the fear factor and we’ve recruited a candidate whose sole position is this issue.”

“Interesting, but voters can be fickle. I wouldn’t count on your boy winning.”

“Oh, he won’t win,” the buyer said with a dismissive wave. “God forbid. No, his sole purpose is to keep the focus of the country on this, and only this, issue. By doing that, he’ll force the real lawmakers to grant the funds and the laws to make this a reality.”

“I’d like to believe you, but your citizens, well, they seem a bit hung up on this antiquated idea of freedom, often referring to an equally antiquated document called your constitution.”

The buyer smiled. “Not to worry. Fear is the greatest motivator known to mankind and we will ensure the fear and the means to achieve our goal will be handed to us in a beautiful package with bows.”

“Great. Then we agree in principle, but the devil is in the details. To do this, we’ll need sufficient armament, equipment and manpower. Per our previous conversation, I’ve worked up a contract template. Once we agree on the specifics, I’ll provide the numbers.”

The buyer accepted the hefty document and read the first line. This agreement between services provider Global Order & Protection, and the buyer, the government of Canada, for the purpose of securing the southern border of said government against illegal entry.









Tom Gumbert

Tom Gumbert lives near Cincinnati, OH with his wife Andrea in a log home overlooking the Ohio River, in an area that was part of the Underground Railroad.

His work has appeared in over a dozen publications in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and he co-authored the anthology, “Nine Lives.”


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