"The Cult of Synergy"
A short story by William Hrdina
Synergy- "The working together of two or more people, organizations, or things, especially when the result is greater than the sum of their individual effects or capabilities."
The Cult of Synergy, as we fondly refer to ourselves, meets in board rooms- long after even the most hard working schmoo has gone home to his wife and 2.3 kids. If you've ever been driving down a city street in the middle of the night, and looked up into the topmost windows of a high rise and thought you saw a light- and maybe some sort of commotion- then chances are you've caught a glimpse of one of our meetings. The members of my club are, to outside appearances, just like everyone else you see walking the halls of corporate America. But looks can be deceiving- indeed- this is one of the cornerstone ideals of our organization.
I am writing this down as a type of confessional. So I suppose its inappropriate of me to be so vague. In the spirit of the document I need to just come forward and admit who I am, what I know. For I am not just a member of this club- I'm the president. Not only that, I am personally responsible for what might be the single greatest accomplishment in our centuries old history.
Ah, see there, I let something slip. My organization does indeed go back quite a ways. We make all the other historical conspiracies look silly –the Masons- the Rosicrucians- the Knights Templar- the secret cabal of Kentucky Fried Chicken Workers who take baths in the dish sink- they're all Johnny come lately's to the secret society game- at least in comparison to us.
My organization started at the very dawn of humanity. If prostitution was the first profession- ours was surely the second. We are the Cult of Synergy. We were the ones who matched the hookers up with the animal hide manufacturers.
We taught the hookers to say, "I won't let my bare ass touch any tiger hides not prepared by Uggh in the damp cave down by the pond." In exchange for free samples of the aforementioned tiger hides from Uggh. Of course our people got a few tiger hides too- you know, for the effort.
When, in the early days of religion, the gods demanded sacrifices, we were the one's who inked the deal with the goat, pig, and boar people. We had the suppliers tell us what number of animals could be consistently supplied to the animal sacrifice market and met with the religious hierarchs to coordinate the celebration feasts to meet the demand. If lambs were lean one year, then by contract the priest would say to the people the oracle had spoken and told the people to slaughter more pigs and less lambs. Boom, problem solved.
You see? Synergy.
War? That's largely a result of our longstanding deals with varying groups of arms manufacturers and coffin makers through the generations. Can't really make a living sharpening spear points if the fruits of your labor aren't constantly getting broken off in the skulls of whatever group of people happen to live on the land next to yours.