Misdirection and the Gullibility of the American People


Dr. von Ratner eyed the incubators through the two-way mirror. They sat in the waiting room, arms crossed over their chests and trembling, terrified, but not of him or of what he was about to do to them. No, they feared the consequences of their own actions. They believed he was here to help.

Von Ratner nodded to the incubator on the left. “Send that one home. It’s too early for her. Tell her she needs to think about it, but she’ll realize this is the right choice. Get her to come back in a few weeks.”

The assistant went into the waiting room and sat next to the incubator he’d indicated. She held the incubator’s hand and spoke soothing words and offered a tissue so the incubator could wipe her eyes. The incubator nodded and left a few moments later and the assistant returned to him.

Von Ratner indicated the incubator in the far right corner. “That one. That one is perfect. Bring her to me.”

Von Ratner smiled as the incubator came into his waiting room “This way, my dear. It will all be over soon.”

He performed the procedure he’d done thousands of times before, heedless of the incubator’s comfort or safety, concerned only for the prize she carried inside her. In a few short minutes, he’d harvested the parts growing inside, piece by piece, as the organism writhed and struggled, helpless against his tools.

He sent the incubator away and carried his prize into the frozen storage. “Get my contacts on the line. Tell them I have an intact specimen. Viable limbs and organs, available for transplant immediately. And bring me another one.”

Getting paid to remove specimens was profitable on its own. The government paid him to continue providing services. The incubators paid him to get rid of their “problems.” The money had made him wealthy already. But when he’d discovered the black market rates for selling the specimens he’d removed, his profits nearly tripled.

Of course, he’d told his associates. There was money to be made by all, and the more incubators they could convince to enter their offices, the more profits could be made. And the beautiful irony was that no one could stop them, because they based their services on the “rights” of the incubators. As long as no one really knew about the specimens they harvested and sold on the black market, they could continue farming them and put everything under the header of “rights.”

“Sir, we have a problem,” the assistant said. “One of the other assistants caught us on video, harvesting the specimens and haggling about the price.”

Von Ratner’s heartbeat sped up. Would they shut him down? Could “rights” still trump his farming practices when people found out?

“Create a narrative. Imply that the video was cut and pasted to put things out of context and make it seem worse than it is. Then spread the idea that this was an isolated event, and not an industry-wide practice.”

The assistant obeyed, as did the assistants of the others across the country, and for awhile everything was fine. Until another video surfaced, and another.

“This cannot go on,” Von Ratner said. “Minimizing the damage didn’t work. We must now try distraction. What else is going on that could take the focus off our work?”

The assistant scoured the news for just the right story to distract the people. “Ah ha!” she said at last. “Some rich slob poached a lion in Zimbabwe.”

Von Ratner rubbed his hands together. “Perfect. Spread the news. In a matter of hours, no one will care that we’re using women as incubators and harvesting their unborn children for fun and profit.”



About Avily Jerome

Avily Jerome is a writer and the editor of Havok Magazine. Her short stories have been published in various magazines, both print and digital. She has judged several writing contests and is a writing conference teacher and presenter. She writes speculative fiction, her ideas ranging from almost-real-world action/adventures to epic fantasies to supernatural thrillers.

9 comments on “Misdirection and the Gullibility of the American People

  1. Yet, unlike the magician who purposely draws attention to the hand doing misdirection, Von Rattner and the assistant didn’t have to do ANYTHING for the plan to work. The media and the gullible public did it all on their own.

    • Indeed. And while the public is calling out for the execution of the poacher, no one is interested in the fate of the monsters who are harvesting human body parts.

      • No one is? Oh, God is. Let the vengeance be His, for it shall be most exquisite. He will repay. Perhaps in kind. Like what they do the helpless, only again and again and again. Without end. Over and over. Forever. If your excellent, excellent piece of short work here was born out of your own wrath at these atrocities and the monsters (apt word) who practice them, contemplate if you can the fury of YHWH. May the horrors they wreak on the unborn be the portion of their own cup they’ll choke upon.

  2. Why does it have to be either/or? Why can’t we both be outraged at the death of a lion and at the death of an innocent unborn child? Personally, that’s the big deal to me, the child’s actual death. If junking humans for spare parts is wrong *before* birth, it is also wrong *after* birth. If the ends of saving lives justify the means after birth, particularly when the decision is made by a relative, that goes for before birth, too.

    By the standards of accepted medical practice, their mistake is not asking the parents if they wanted their unborn child to be an organ donor. Other than that, you simply have the fact it was wrong to abort the child in the first place. This is a nightmare for abortionists b/c organs come from valuable humans, not from disposable tissue.

    The terrible truth is, we pay more attention to the lion’s death rather than to how vulnerable, voiceless humans are treated because we’ve been desensitized.

    In other news, when did we go from a country under the rule of law to a country under the rule of frenzied mobs?

    • It doesn’t have to be either/or.
      By all means, be outraged at poaching and at the eradication of a species.

      But don’t be outraged about a lion and ignore the murders of babies.

      By all means, demand justice for the poacher.

      But don’t demand justice for him while ignoring the people who are getting away with trafficking human body parts.

  3. If ever there was evidence of the power of storytelling, this is it. A masterful job!

  4. […] Misdirection and the Gullibility of the American People — Avily Jerome […]

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