deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 125

Fiction by Sylvester Wrzesinski

Moderator: Xveers

deWulf Corporate Democracy Turn 125

Postby Xveers on Thu 01 Oct 2015 23:29

Office of the Chief Minister
Chair of the Corporate Council
Lowell City, Fenris
Capital of the deWulf Corporate Democracy

The office shined before SPM Rollen's eyes. Polished black hardwood, inlaid with silver and sealed by a thin gloss of hard-wearing crystal. To his left and right were twin rows of plinths, each capped with a single artefact or sculpture. Rollen guessed that there was enough wealth in this single hallway to buy a Baltic-class Battleship outright. Certainly at least a Director-class Heavy Cruiser. He mused as he waited more "Not even dust in the air".

Waiting, of course, was just one more way to illustrate whose time was more important, and Rollen rolled his feet forward onto the pads of his feet. If he was some vice president or functionary it would probably have worked. But Rollen was no minor paper pusher, and he grinned. He might be in hazardous country, but he was on the offensive here. And initiative counted just as much as the terrain.

"The Minister will see you now."
Rollen nodded once in acknowledgement to the attendant. A flunky, but a polite one. Good staff. The door was opened for him, the charcoal grey door swinging open for him to use. Brisk steps carried him forward and out of the hallway into an office that made the hallway look a peasant hovel. Surrounded on three sides by floor to ceiling glass panels, it had a commanding view of Lowell, towering above the other skyscrapers. Forward the view looked out over the expanse of the northern sea, the city spread out to either side. Rollen allowed himself a small grin as he walked towards the desk front and centre; he really could see his home from here.

Chief Minister Rheinbach watched Rollen as he entered with the steady stride of a relaxed predator. A familiar look, and one that more than a few entrants had. But nobody ever had left the same way.

"SO what brings you here, Rollen. Usually you have your errand boy Donnal delivering the paperwork."
Rollen couldn't let the bait slide by. "He's my adjunct, not my errand boy. If you want to compare him to unquestioning servitude, you can have your doorman stand next to him sometime."

"Please. He is my butler, not a glorified doorstop. I trust him to work with discretion." Rheinbach paused a moment. "I suppose if you wanted to properly hammer a message home, you would have one of your pet blobs running the mail."

THAT hit a little closer, and Rollen's teeth grated as he bit back a more forceful reply. Okay he thought, You want to play hardball, fine.

"Very well then." Rolln slipped his left had across to his right, slipping into the thin cloth case and extracting a small sheaf of printed paper. He handed it over, the cover sheet having the deWulf Corporate Navy Logo and a single phrase: "Report on the application of Article 17 of the Articles of Incorporation"

Rheinbach looked at the report. His brow furrowed as he read past the preamble and into the meat of the document. It was only five pages, once you got past the cover. Rollen could see Rheinbach's eyes widening steadily, pupils focusing tighter as he strained to understand the document placed before him.

"Rollen... you can't be serious here. This... this violates half the laws the Corporate Democracy has! What's this... temporary nationalization of industry? Military control of strategic resources?"

Rollen stood impassively as the litany of charges was read, face looking like it was carved from basalt.

"And you don't stop there! Conscription. An unlimited credit draft for the Navy. No-bid contracts. Liquidation of government financial holdings. You're even making mention here of seizing corporate assets that aren't voluntarily- and those are YOUR words for it, 'voluntarily surrendered for the duration of the current crisis.` Breaker, Rollen, what are you trying to do? Decapitate our entire government in one go?"

"If that's what it takes to save it, yes."

"So you're saying in order to save the State, you may as well destroy it?"

"I suppose you want to go out there and tell the people that you don't want to win the war?"

Rheinbach clenched his hands on the sheaf of paper he had been handed. Damn him, he thought. And Damn his navy.

"You'll pay for this in the end, Rollen. There's no way around that, and this war won't last forever. Sooner or later..." This was no empty threat, Rollen knew. The fire would eventually have to be fed.

"If we lose, then it dosen't matter. If we win, then I'll deal with it when it comes to that."

"You mean when we win, Rollen. When."

"I meant what I said, Rheinbach. I meant what I said."
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