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Right after I finished my last bite of cake, I heard the familiar buzzer that signified Daddy's coming on the screen. It'll probably be another one of his 'Illuminated Lessons' he keeps talking about. Some of them are really good, some I just don't understand for a while. Daddy made a quick motion with his fingers which signified I was about to hear something that he'd never repeat to anyone. I sent Billy and Sarah upstairs. After they were up, Daddy smiled his warm, fatherly smile and said "Howard, do you know what today is?", he asked.

"It's my birthday!", I answered, still glad I got what I wanted again. I'm being hyper and a touch childlike, I know, but I get this way when I get lots of cool stuff. Besides, an Illuminatus behaves however the fuck he wants, unless he's trying to manipulate someone. I know one guy who bites his nails far too much, I know a girl who runs her fingers through her hair constantly, and there's a first level who has a habit of rocking forwards and backwards in his chair. (He claims it's natural, but it almost looks like it's meant to hypnotize..)

"Yes. It is. And it's your tenth birthday. Guess what I'm giving you today." The way he said it left no doubt in my mind what it was.

Adrenalin pushed through me like a freight train on steroids. "Your power is transferred to me and I start becoming the Dominator of Earth!" Actually, that's a misnomer- I'm the Inheritor of the solar system, effectively. Earth is just what the tradition required when people didn't know you could walk on the other planets.

I felt really happy, in the purest kind of way. The world was being passed down to someone who would know how to run it- and that someone was me! Even an Illuminatus can be overwhelmed by potential luxury, if it's luxurious enough. God takes a back seat to this. I wouldn't start really using my power until later though; everything will basically run smoothly until I see reason to change it. That's what this training is all about, to get me to become better at what I'll be doing. It's a great job, and someone's gotta do it.

"Yes. As the 193rd Dominator, I begin the transfer of power to the 194th. You will have full control over all the world- everything will depend on you." He spoke the words with foreboding in his voice, but I didn't care. I was made to be ready for it, after all. "Your complete rule will come in the period of five short weeks, Howard- I remind you to use this island for all it's worth. You need to learn Illuminated thinking for yourself before you can use it on the world. I presume you are using your new gifts to their fullest?"

"Yeah! I've got to prepare Billy though. He's.. well.. why didn't you tell him- or me?"

"Because I wanted you to understand something, Howard. Nature, outdated that it is, still has the 'freedom' instinct among its progeny, even with engineereds, we can't take it out. If we try to breed or engineer it out, it produces apathy, stupidity, and laziness, and Northberg hasn't managed to understand the exact relationship yet." They will, eventually. As the Illuminati, we make a point of understanding everything. Information isn't power; information creates power, in much the same way as weapons. "And, Inheritor, it is your job to make sure that instinct is kept in check. For the implanted ones, it is very easy- the farm workers you'll need will not be so simple."

"Unimplanted? Then how will I control them?"

"You'll get all the Enforcers you need." Enforcers being the hominid automatons Illuminati use for operations and various menial tasks. No personality, no publicity, no parents, no psychology, no problem.

"Yeah, but obvious threat value aside, Enforcers won't be much help on their minds.." I prefer more manipulation than simple 'I have more power than you, so get to work.' when dealing with situations like that. Complex computer simulations have helped in that regard.

I saw him put his hand up in the direction of the stairs- he knew what his gesture would look like to me even though on his side he was pointing at nothing. "What do you think he's for, anyway?" Of course. It's a dirty job, and some servant has to do it. Let him do whatever gruntwork.

"Now, if you have anything you want to know about this- anything- just ask me. I'm now here for you, not vice versa." That scared me a bit.. me being here for him sometime in the past? I didn't press the issue, even for someone who's supposed to know everything, there are things I really just don't want to know. "Yeah, how many workers?", I asked.

"About a hundred, give or take. We still don't really know- it's different for each Inheritor." The trees on the edges of the island are not more than thirty years old. They go down for clearcutting and then the self-sufficiency stuff is put up. When we don't need it anymore, they get replanted for the next one of us to use- we've been doing this for the last eight hundred years or so when we discovered the island from a Korean boat. And these workers would be part of the plan, either kept as future pawns after the training is done or simply exterminated. I don't like killing people, it's a waste of resources, time, and ya gotta clean it up. Even when there's so many of them, I can always find uses for them. I did it for Daddy a bunch of times.

"Anything else?", he asked.

"Yeah. Why did you give India the nuke anyway?", I replied. Having a Dominator actually personally approve a world-control decision is big news. And like all big news, it was in the Real News- the worldwide newspaper with the smallest subscription. Today's edition is around here somewhere.

"Well, like I said, I want to see this planet unified. Making India think they're on the same ground as the First World makes them much more complacent. And besides, we had to even out the power balance some. Nuclear deterrence is a good way to make people think things are at least somewhat evened on their own, with mutually assured destruction and all of that." He grinned. "Actually, considering how mentally unbalanced the fake governmental heads are, I'm surprised even our controls stop the people from thinking that we're all gonna die in nuclear fire. But people will believe if they want to, and if they see any situation as having a 'good ending' to it, they'll endure Hell to get there. Remember this lesson well, Howard... I think it will aid you sooner than you expect. Also, don't forget to read Billy the initiation out of the book."

He winked out of the screen unexpectedly like usual. It's annoying until you get used to it.

I grabbed the book, on a second thought picked up the guide, and ran up the thickly carpeted stairs into Billy's room.

As I opened the door, seeing Billy and Sarah together, I thought, maybe they were... no, they couldn't do anything I wouldn't have wanted them to. Besides, Billy's at my point in getting to puberty anyway.

I opened the book and read out of the first page all the stuff to make sure he won't do anything harmful. He was still scared out of his wits, and the implants can't do anything about that.

I still don't get why he's so scared. I mean, yeah, he woke up in a place unfamiliar to him and he hasn't been told in advance jack shit, but he should have figured out by now that I'm not going to do anything really bad to him. And it's not like he's new to control or anything- most of his life has been controlled by the agents of the agents of the agents of the agents of our agents through the school system anyway, and he probably already knows that. Then I remembered what Daddy told me a few months after my eighth birthday about the freedom illusion and how they all must think they're free or they'll start rebelling. It's a good thing Daddy can mass-manufacture the implants now, but he (wait.. now it's I) seriously has to work on that freedom illusion bit. It'll take at least weeks for it to wear off from Billy, unlike Sarah who started as basically one of us anyway. Maybe I'll step up the "need control for freedom" bullshit laid down by Daddy for the rest of the world, until it reaches a state of complete black-is-white belief like Daddy got close to but couldn't quite do. All it is is redefinition, re-evaluation, and a gradual change of philosophy- both in our camp and the normals' minds. I know I'm better than him at doing that world-controller politics stuff though. Each generation is supposed to be better than the last in our organization, and I'm specifically made for the task.

"It's okay, Billy. I'm not going to torture you or anything. You're my friend. I love you, dude. C'mon, I'll give you the grand tour.", I told him, and all of it was true. I haven't had any real company my age since... since Daddy brought me to talk to that normal when I was six, and he was retarded or just plain stupid. And as for showing Billy around, I'd be showing him stuff I didn't even know myself- the guide was given to me today. I suppose all the doors that didn't exist (but I could tell where they were anyway simply by placement) before in the house will be wide open now. Probably a whole lot of flat-out kickass (the term is versatile enough to encompass all of it) stuff I never even saw before- what was in the presents is likely only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, my immaterial power is greater than my material power, but the problem with immaterial power is that you can't hold it in your hands and use it physically.

I thought about it, decided to bring Sarah along too, and we went down the stairs to check the place out.

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