"I presume you've come to assassinate me?" Dran (aka Doctor Dran Millnus, aka The Overlord, aka The Enlightened One) smiled as he asked, offering me a flute of wine that would certainly be swimming with the virus. I took it and placed it on the table next to me.
"Yes. Though that's not how my superiors would word it."
He laughed, sitting down on an overstuffed chair and sighing.
"No, of course not. You're the savior of mankind, here to preserve free will and prevent the enslavement of humanity."
I nodded. That was about right. Dran took a long sip from his wine, his smile fading somewhat.
"There's nothing I can say to talk you out of it, is there? I'm not a monster, you know."
I didn't answer, instead walking over to the balcony and looking at the countryside below. It was quiet, beautiful. In the distance I could see villagers raising a barn up together.
"I have concerns about the arts and sciences."
Dran stood and looked out at the town alongside me, now serious and businesslike.
"It's not a result of my virus, not directly. Everyone is as creative as they were before. With so much less conflict, though... well, war was always a driving force for technology and depression was a driving force for art."
I believed him. He was careful, thorough, and while my superiors had told me it was all lies I knew he didn't want mindless drones.
"I've been monitoring things very closely," he continued. "The virus is already dying out everywhere, with no signs of mutation. The only holdouts are the two of us and your masters. My commandos are all dead or infected, and they breached all of the other vaults beside the Americans. I came so close to my perfect world, until you found me."
He clutched the locket around his neck. My training causes me to tense, worried that it’s some sort of compact weapon or trigger for a bomb - but from my research I think it's more likely that it just contains pictures of his late wife.
"You're wrong, on a few counts. Your men failed to compromise Great Britton or China - that was my team, under orders from the President."
His face fell. "So they look to do what they accuse me of. I suppose that means you aren't here looking for an antidote."
"Not even if you had made one - and we both know you didn't."
He nodded, and sat back down. His eyes were rimmed with red. "So close, and yet so far. Now your masters will rule over the people with fear and hate... the people that I made submissive and kind. They'll be bullies, taking what they want."
"No, they won't. The other way you were wrong is to think my superiors are uninfected. I contaminated the water myself, and made sure it went undetected long enough to reach every leader and soldier. I believe you, Dran. I believe you have good intentions."
His eyes went wide as he felt the bullet tear through him. Poor bastard.
"I believe you, but I don't trust you. I have to be sure. Before you die, let me show you one last thing, my friend."
Pulling off my helmet, I take the wine glass from the table.