“When you give people what they want–no–what they need, they’ll believe anything you say.”
His words echoed in my head as I was dragged, in chains, through the park at the center of the universe. The figures that I no longer recognized were staring at me with judgemental eyes.
“Money grows on trees? It does right now! Why? Because I said it does, and they believe me!”
I turned my gaze away from them and looked forward at my final destination; the crowned head of the evergreen goddess, her cavities completely stuffed with recently decreed illegal tender.
“Hell, tomorrow, if I’m feeling like it, I might say it’s rocks… then, suddenly, people are burning their leaves and digging in the dirt… you understand me? Do you get what I’m saying to you?”
I recalled being one of them once, watching someone like me. We threw stones at them then, but no one was throwing stones at me now as no one dared to throw away their life savings.
“Value is only given to something because enough people believe it and the one thing people believe in the most is security. Give that to them and they’ll do anything you want as long as you make them feel safe, and do you know how you actually make people feel that they’re safe?”
The guards led me up and into the cranium of the decapitated giantess, binding my chains to her inner-workings. Despite being long since dead, I could still feel her presence all around me.
“You blame someone or something else for your shortcomings rather than admit to any wrongdoing. Above all else, you don’t make any sacrifices of your own; you sacrifice others.”
I watched through the holes in the head of the colossus as the figures outside, one by one, tossed torches in at me. The foliage around me began to burn and the smoke clouded my eyes.
“You need to look strong, to be a protector, and someone that people can trust. If you lose that, then you’ve lost the people and all of your power. You must always stand above them, always.”
As I started to choke and cough from the feeling of the smoke entering my lungs, and my flesh was beginning to boil from the fire, I looked through the tears welling up in my eyes at the reality in front of me that I was too blind to see clearly before. Hundreds of scared people who’re just glad that they’re not me, wearing tattered suits and living in makeshift huts in a desolate wasteland. Surrounded on all sides by structures of concrete and steel, with only one of them allowed to still remain somewhat intact. From its highest peak, I saw him looking down at me.
“I know, deep down, you understand the importance of all this… and the market thanks you.”