The 200,000-seat stadium in China shook with the cheers and foot stomps of the chosen employees of the Kim Corporation, the Family. They all had been voted on by their peers at work to attend this pep rally. It was touted as a stakeholders meeting but really there was no time in the script for dissension. That was taken care of in the various private meetings held throughout the three-day extravagance.
Grace and Edward Kim did lots of negotiation, handholding and even some strong-arming in these meetings where people aired their grievances. Most were minor complaints but they needed to be dealt with swiftly and decisively if they were to remain small.
Hip-hop music played over the loudspeakers lending a bassline for the feet to stomp in rhythm. Streamers and balloons fell from the ceiling. The large plasma screens showed cameras panning back and forth across the crowd.
On the stadium’s fifty-yard line, stood a high backed leather chair that looked more like a modern throne than office equipment. It stood on a five-foot-high dais. The people seated closest to the small stage were the VIP’s. Five thousand were the Family’s most powerful managers. They kept the company running. These were Grace’s most loyal employees.
Except one VP had tried to use their power to break away from the Family and start his own corporation with stolen secrets from the R&D department. Needless to say, he was made an example of and the rest had learned their lesson well. No one had dared to betray the Family again.
The crowd grew even louder when she entered the stadium from one of the entrances on the floor. As she made her way to the dais, she shook as many hands as she could. People reached for her, trying to get one touch of her flesh or her clothes, some part of her. They needed a bit of her essence, to take home with them. Her bodyguards were thick around her, trying to keep the people from tearing her apart in order to have a piece of her.
It took her an hour to get to the dais. The music kept blaring as she waved out at the crowd. The screaming grew louder than the music as she greeted each section of the stadium. The huge plasma screens now showed her bright smiling face. The director readied the cameras for the live broadcast. Her remarks would go out to all the Family and the rest of the world that cared to watch. All the major networks in the world made time to broadcast the meeting.
Grace sat down on her throne. She held her hand up for quiet. Within minutes the entire crowd settled into their seats and waited with expectation and bated breath. With deliberation, Grace put on her microphone and stood. Spine straight, shoulders back, her deep brown eyes scanned the now silent gathering. She turned smartly and gazed at the masses behind her.
“Welcome all my brothers and sisters,” she began in Korean, her voice booming through the sound system. She repeated the greeting in several other languages. A phalanx of interpreters was seated in the luxury boxes. Grace would conduct her speech in French, the language of the majority of her Family, but not all spoke French as their first language.
“It is so good to see you all here in one place, ma Famille!”
A roar went up from the crowd. “Ta Famille! Notre Famille!”
“Il est notre temps! It is our time!”
“I want to thank you for being here. Taking the time to come out and meet with me. It has been a taxing few months. Our enemies have risen up against us.”
There were boos and other negative sounds from around the world. She held up her hand and the stadium quieted.
“But we have met them head on!” she said in an even calm tone.
They stood to their feet cheering once again. It was deafening.
An upraised hand from her once again quieted them to silence.
“We will not be deterred from the course that has been set before us. No one will keep us or our neighbors from living the dream. We have found the path. They will follow or they will die.”
Another thunderous cheer went up. This time she let them applaud themselves out. She sat on her throne and waited.
Once things died down she stood back up.
“With your help, we can remake this world into what it is supposed to be – heaven!”
Grace smirked. Heaven, indeed she thought. It was something to shoot for. Perhaps in aiming for it, they could possibly achieve utopia. The people needed vision. They were aimless without it. She would provide it to harness their energy and will.
After all, she was the Jopok, boss of the Family.