Peter had high hopes, yes, but he was a pragmatic man and he knew that there would always be people who simply didn’t care what he had to say, and that was okay. He didn’t want to collect people like so many Darryl Strawberry rookie baseball cards. He wanted those who wanted to be with him more than anything. He would never lie to them, he would never hurt or extort them and, for this, he would get precisely what he needed to get.
That night he had walked down the hill and made sure to shake each person’s hand who wanted to, even hugging those that were comfortable with such a thing. He would, again, not force anything on anybody. He knew what people were going to, and in fact already were, saying outside of this place so he decided that he needed to take care of this with swift action. He calmly walked up to a young lady named Samantha who, among many other things, managed the social media accounts for Peter.
“Samantha, I was wondering if anyone had been asking you to come and see what we are doing here, especially anyone who seems to think there is something untoward or disreputable occurring.” His voice was calm and reassuring, making sure she knew that he did not blame her for any of these people’s misconceptions.
“Yes Peter, there have been several rather….insistent…reporters who have decided that you are holding us all here against our will, or extorting us for money or some such. I tried to allay their fears, but of course, I am just one of the brainwashed masses, so why would anyone trust a word I have t say on the matter?” The smile and in her voice showed on her voice at the nonsense these people believed and it was important everyone see that there was nothing wrong here.
“Please Samantha, if you would arrange a press conference and a tour for anyone who wishes to come and see what we are doing here. They will be given free rein to speak with anyone, go into any building, even bring in doctors to make sure you are all well. My only request is that they film their interactions so that we can make sure they are not simply lying about what people are or are not saying. If anyone wishes to leave you will give each of them our thanks and a $1000 from the top right drawer in my office. There is enough for each and every person here if that is their decision.” He smiled at her as he watched her make notes and nod as he finished.
“Of course Peter, I will make sure to get started on it right away.” Samantha left off to do what he had asked and Peter made his way to the office he had set up for himself. Literally actually, he had helped build the building, lay the pipes, do the wiring. He walked in and sat down with a smile on his face and opened the top right drawer and took out the Monopoly money that was stacked deep in there, the $100 bills only. He whistled a second and put the stack of nearly new looking United States $100 bills back and closed the drawer.
As he said, no one was here against their will.
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