The Lackluster Debut

“The Lackluster Debut” features three executives from Medicamen Pharmaceutical persuading the Director Alan Johnson of the The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to mandate their newest drug for public use to combat a newly-infectious disease. The executives seek the mandate because the American public isn’t taking the drug as the company hoped for.

Director Johnson knows what the pharmaceutical company wants his department to do is wrong, but he knows if he can’t back down from their request. Doing so would bode bad for his career and the department’s reputation. So he battles the predicament before him: Give into Medicamen and force the public to take their drug, or tell the public about the company’s plan?

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“Although we’re getting the latter,” Mr. Robertson speaks, “we’re not getting much money from the former. The public isn’t taking our drug as you projected they would. Thus, we’re not making much revenue from it because per the contract we only get the government’s ‘assistance’ if the public takes our drug.”

“Yes, that’s true,” concedes Director Johnson. His air of repentance dissolves into uneasiness with a dash of fear.

“Don’t you see how big of a problem that is for us? We dedicated our scientists and researchers on this task, spending nearly a billion dollars in research and development costs. We paid for overtime, hiring additional personnel, and retrofitting our hardware and manufacturing processes to meet your demands. You know that we’re a publicly-traded company, Director Johnson, and our investors and stakeholders are quite upset about the lackluster debut of our drug. This has caused our stock to slip slightly before becoming flat.”

“Well, that’s better than sinking stock prices, right?”

Mr. Robertson moans in response as Mr. Chen shakes his head slowly. The lone woman fires a sharp look with a furrowed brow.

“Sorry. That sounded better in my head.”

What Made Me Write The Lackluster Debut?

Seeing how the U.S. government handled the COVID-19 Pandemic was the inspiration behind “The Lackluster Debut.” I thought the government was doing what the drug companies wanted when it came to the vaccines. The drug companies saw how much money they would make because of the citizens’ fear. Yet, they could make more money if they were forced to take the vaccines. And that’s the route I took with the short story.

I wrote this story in parts, uploading each periodically on Wattpad when I used the service back in 201. I no longer use it now. The reason I wrote the story this way because things kept changing with the government, the drug companies, and the vaccine mandates.

Plus, I got more ideas about fleshing out the Director Johnson character, and giving him a deeper backstory. Of course he’s modeled after Dr. Anthony Fauci but I know little about Fauci’s background. And I didn’t want to learn. I wanted to create something new with Director Johnson, and showcase how his wife participated in his decision-making. I enjoy how the husband and wife team interacts with each other. They are the favorite part of the story for me. I would like to learn more about them but nothing else came to me about their relationship. Thus, I knew there was nothing left to write about the pair.

Where Can You Find This Story?

You can download the short story in PDF format by clicking the button below: