The Monologue

I’m Doctor Samuel Tan. You probably recognize me from my numerous interviews, my now-defunct talk show on that awful cable channel, not to mention my picture on the cover of Omni Science magazine’s “10 Scientists to Watch in the New Millennium” issue back in 1999.

I dropped off the public’s radar for a few years, because I’ve been working on a special project.

What I’m doing is intended to bring peace. That’s all I ever wanted—all any of us ever wanted. Building a utopia isn’t easy, not even for me.

As a child, my IQ had been measured beyond genius level—the largest ever recorded. With proper schools and training, my brilliance grew. I graduated with several doctorates, in a variety of sciences, and moved into research.

Fate had given me the mental acuity to solve some of the universe’s most challenging problems, and I met each one head on. I won grants and awards. I felt as if nothing was beyond my grasp. Along the way, I invented a quantum constructor that revolutionized industry by building machines from the atom up. Soon, I had the money and the resources to do anything.

I wanted to do something big. I needed a challenge. Idle hands, as they say.


Perhaps it’s fortuitous you showed up here—to my island, my home. I don’t normally allow guests. I prefer the solitude to the overcrowded, suffocating towers of civilization.

Yes, of course there are others here. I employ a staff of two hundred, roughly. But I rarely speak with them. I have other people for that. Only the most urgent matters are brought to my attention. This leaves me with plenty of time to think.


My project, my three-step plan, began more than a decade ago. I bought this island and put my mind to work on the greatest problem of all: world peace. The concept was deceptively simple. But in truth, peace could not be achieved until several other problems were solved.

I had surmised that humanity fought for survival because survival was a struggle. I thought that by removing the struggle and ensuring survival, I would end the need for conflict.

Over the course of years, I wrote a compelling treatise outlining how peace could be achieved. I believed three conditions needed to be met:

  1. An end to hunger
  2. An end to disease
  3. An end to pollution

By ending hunger, we could fix the human condition. My island became a testing ground for new foods and higher-yield crops that could grow in conditions from flood to drought.

By ending disease, we could fix the human body. Here, on this island, I discovered secrets to long life hidden in the human genome.

By ending pollution, we could fix the environment. I repurposed my greatest invention to act as an environmental cleansing system—on a small scale, of course—and it worked perfectly. I cleaned the land, air, and ocean within a twenty-mile radius.


I think you’ll find those knots are quite formidable. I used to be a Boy Scout, you know. I’m sorry if you’re uncomfortable, but I can’t have you running loose around my compound. I have a number of experiments going on here, as I explained. I don’t want you interfering with anything.

Now where was I?


I soon realized war wouldn’t be abolished by my simple three-step plan.

We had done this to ourselves. We had created a civilization based on amassing wealth, indulging excess, and living with no concern for the consequence of our lifestyle on the planet as a whole.

As a result, we created hunger. We created disease. We created pollution. We created war. These were the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And we had brought them upon ourselves.

Humanity would continue to overpopulate the planet. By feeding everyone, eradicating disease, and extending lifespans, I would exacerbate the problem and create an even greater strain on resources.

Humanity was not to be saved. Humanity was the cause of all its problems.


I’m not the villain here.

You must have seen it. In all your heroics, trying to save the day alongside Captain…What’s-his-name…you must have seen the futility of your efforts.

How many times have you saved a remote village from ethnic cleansing, only to watch children die of starvation? How often have you stopped wildfires or floods, but failed to stop corporations from poisoning our oceans and rivers?

You and your mentor—for all your vaunted powers—couldn’t stop it, because you were too close to the problem. You didn’t see the solution.

I did.


The only solution was to stem the growth of humanity. Like a rampant virus, humanity had run amok and nearly destroyed its host. We needed to control the virus, stop it from doing any more damage.

I returned to my research and looked for a solution. For the Earth to have a chance, the human population needed to be culled by ninety-nine-point-three percent worldwide.

So, I set to work and devised a gas that—when dispersed in the atmosphere—would react with human biology to produce a mild sedative. Everyone in the world would go to sleep. Then my new three-step plan for humanity would go into effect:

Step one: Transportation fails. Planes would plummet from the skies. Cars would swerve off the road. Trains would collide. Ships would smash upon the shore and sink to the depths.

Step two: Infrastructure burns. The resulting fires would destroy buildings, bridges, roads and railways. My estimates for casualties were high—at least in populated areas.

Step three: Humanity crumbles. While everyone slept, my gas would attack the host body. The very young and very old would stop breathing. Then the weak and infirm. Eventually, everyone pre-disposed to certain disease states would be removed from the population. In the end, less than fifty million would survive.


You don’t get it, because your small mind can’t conceive of anything beyond your arbitrary morality. Yes, a lot of people will die, but they will not be suffering. They will go to sleep and that’s that. They will no longer be starving or sick. This will end their pain!

In the long run, this is a win-win for humanity and the planet.


Those remaining zero-point-seven percent will be the inheritors of a new world. With my resources, I can ensure the environment will be clean in a generation or two. Food will be abundant. And the fight against disease will get a boost from my selective scrubbing of the gene pool.


No, it’s not horrible. Don’t you see? We are doomed to die anyway. At least this will guarantee a fresh start for those who survive.


When I unveiled my new plan, they thought I was crazy. But great men and women of science were often mocked for changing the world. What did they think of Galileo when he said the Earth moved around the sun? What did they think of Jonas Salk when he wanted to eradicate polio by injecting children with the inactive virus? Charles Darwin, Nikola Tesla, and Barbara McClintock were all considered crackpots.


They are coming for me now, to my home, my lair.

I see your friends on the horizon. The so-called heroes of the Omega Guard: Candela, Mighty Monarch, Citrus Rose, Rockhill, Weather Girl, and all the rest of them. Even your precious Captain What’s-his-name. They think they can stop me.

Don’t they see? I’m the only one who can fix things. It’s up to Dr. Samaritan to save the world.

All I have to do is press this button.

And there’s nothing you can do to stop me.

Kevin Wohler is a copywriter and novelist living in Lawrence, Kansas. During the day, he works at a digital marketing agency in the Kansas City area. When time remains, he likes to tell stories of the weird and bizarre. And sometimes, he writes them down for others to read.

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