Prime Minister Oden crossed his office, a glass of single malt in his hand. He looked to his Minister of Peace one last time, silently checking if he could persuade her to take a drink of her own. Despite the after hours nature of the meeting, the Minister chose to forgo the offer, for formality’s sake. It was a frustrating habit of hers that Oden found terribly irritating. Of course, she never voiced her concerns regarding drinking during official business. He shrugged with a smirk and lowered himself into one of the plush leather chairs.
“Ahh,” he sighed, “genuine leather. Rare,” he winked conspiratorially, “and considered slightly barbaric by some, of course. Still, it’s fitting for the office of the man who controls the fate of the entire solar system, don’t you think?” He flashed a wry smiled at her.
“The chairs are comfortable, yes sir,” Anat Meron admitted, tight lipped.
“You know, Miss Meron, this office could be yours one of these days,” he chuckled, scratching the left side of his salt and pepper beard before taking a sip from the glass. He had noticed a tad more salt than pepper lately, but paid it no more mind.
“I plan on it, sir,” she agreed matter-of-factly. “We have more pressing issues than idle chatter, though, do you not agree?”
“Oh, yes, right,” he placed the glass on the small table beside his chair and rubbed his eyes gently, the cool and damp fingers soothing his aches. Her formal patterns of speech were fine in front of the council, but after hours? Did the woman not rest? He stifled a sigh.
“You wanted to discuss the Jovian situation some more.” Boredom colored his tone as he glanced around the warmly decorated room. “Somewhat off the record, if I recall. I honestly don’t see any further problems past the usual objections, so you’ll need to explain your concerns to me, my dear.”“Mister Prime Minister,” she sat stiffly upright and eyed him carefully, straining to ignore the condescending nature of his response, “when first it was announced that the colonies of the Jovian system would be both looked upon as one collective state within the Union, and that it would not have voting rights in council, there was tremendous revulsion boiling out of that system. It was not unlike a storm, lashing out as vicious as that ominous eye in their almighty Jupiter. The riots, the damage, the conspiring and the stoppage of work, it was all very widespread and vicious! The authority of Grand Minister Token was wholly rejected, despite our insistence that he was, in fact, in charge.
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Gary Bloom.The future of science fiction ebooks is here.