The Abridged Atlas Shrugged

"It sure is hard to find good men now-a-days. I wonder what the hell is going on," Dagny smirked to herself as she entered the towering monolith to capitalism that was the headquarters of Taggart Transcontinental. "There are so few men like Hank Rearden, the man who single handedly invented a new greenish tint metal that is far stronger than steel," she said bursting in on her brother. "There are too many like you, Jim," she mocked.

"Well, if that's the case, you so-not-a-woman-and-I-can't-believe-a-woman-wrote-this, why don't you go redeem yourself by sleeping with him. By being his servile little mistress you'll serve the cause of capitalism far better than you have," Jim mocked.

Dagny smirked in her mocking way. Yes, she thought, she had tried that with another man, and it seemed so right until he, gasp, went to the other side. He became a slacker. Hank. Hank, Hank, Hank. Don't you know you're all I dream about though I don't actually do anything about it until page five-hundred? "I know what I want Jim, but what do you want?"

"Who is John Galt?"

"Don't say that! It's people asking that question that leads me to believe something sinister is happening in society. I think he's the destroyer." She mocked herself silently inside. How could a grown woman think such a thing? Oh, who was she kidding? She knew that women weren't much better than children anyway. Everyone knew that. It was a fluke she had any position in the railroad at all.

"It is I, Francisco d'Anconia, of the oldest most wealthy copper fortune this side of the Atlantic, and don't I want you to know that I'm pissing it all away for a grand reason that I won't tell you!" His perfect physique burst through the door in a mocking manner few could achieve but which he achieved perfectly. He had seen someone do the act before and fail and, after a single try at six months old, he was better at mockingly bursting through doors than anyone on the planet.

"Slacker," Dagny screamed with indignation and a pointed finger.

"Yes Dagny, you silly silly woman, I may seem a slacker to you, but after ten pages of explanation you will know that it is you who slack and it is I who serve a higher cause which will not be explained for another seven hundred pages. Remember, I am a d'Anconia which goes without saying that I know what I am doing," he mocked. He was so perfect at mocking. No man mocked like Francisco. How she wanted to be back in his arms. Were it not for... no! He was a slacker! The very embodiment of slack yet... yet he slacked with purpose. Even that was perfect. No man slacked like Francisco.

"What in capitalism's name is going on here," Hank yelled with bursting anger from the bottom of his manly lungs as he lunged through the door. It wasn't as perfect as Francisco's mockery, no man could touch that, but it was with the kind of power only a capitalist could muster. Dagny fluttered with lust.

"What the hell are you all doing in my office," Jim demanded weekly, the only way a socialist could demand.

"Hank, we must talk," Francisco said in a softly mocking way. Hank's heart fluttered with love he suddenly felt for the man. Even if he was a slacker, could my heart be wrong, Hank asked himself. He reached for Francisco's hand, wanting to hold him close.

"No," Dagny screamed with indignation and a pointed finger. "Please, I want him to take me and show me what a weak little girl I really am! That's what all women want!" Hank looked torn.

"Hey everybody," said a quiet voice from behind Hank. Hank took up most of the doorway with his manly capitalistic bulk. The crowd parted like the sea and a well groomed handsome man with a shock of boyish blond hair stood at the foot of it.

"John, you're not supposed to show up for eight-hundred more pages," Francisco said mockingly.

"Well, I got bored with the wait and figured what the hell. So... who wants to know what this is all about?" John smiled and every man's heart in the room melted. Dagny felt the overwhelming urge to become his servant and to clean up after him. That's what all women wanted after all, she figured.

"I do," Rearden capitalisticly demanded.

"Well, I couldn't deal with any government intervention in business and think that any kind of socialist tendency is kind of a bad idea, so me and my buddies, who all just happen to be the rich, powerful, and industrial, went on strike to bring the world to its knees." John said as he tossed back his blond hair with a light twitch of his head.

"For what purpose," Jim nearly cried. Socialists are such babies, thought John mockingly.

"Well, I don't like having to pay taxes or think about anything other than business. And, because I'm such an inexplicably charismatic guy, I figured I'd just get my industrialist buddies to back me," John said with a hint of mockery.

"Look," Jim sobbed. "The world is crumbling without you guys!"

"Well, once it's toast, we'll get to work but until then, who's up for some skiing in Colorado?"

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