Yannic woke. Suddenly wide awake but unsure why. He rolled over and checked his watch, the glow in the dark numbers bright enough to be read but not light the room. It wanted a quarter of an hour for the alarm to go off. He lay there for a moment. The alarm was still set for the time Kiriel had liked to get up. Up early and into stretching exercises then kata and a five stadia run. That was how she’d liked to start the day, keeping fit the better to fight the revolution. He no longer rolled over in bed at night expecting to find her there but the dull ache of her absence was getting easier to bear. Next week would be a year. In some ways he was glad she hadn’t been around to see Trode’s end. She had been one of his true believers and Yannic believed that his intention to take the throne would have broken her heart.
Now he was Emperor by default because they’d killed all the other acceptable candidates. All the properly educated candidates. The educational package the Imperial Family had put their children through, particularly boys, had stunned him. If his mother had chosen to surrender him to be part of his unknown father’s family instead of hers then that might have been his education. There were days when he felt grossly underprepared. He still did the early morning exercise though he only got to run on a treadmill these days. There were times when that felt like a metaphor for his new life.
Up and out of bed. Shut off the alarm before it went off. Bathroom, exercise clothes, gym. Nod good morning to the other men who got down here this early and did the whole ‘I don’t really want to talk to anyone yet’ thing. Stretches, exercises, get on a treadmill and run. Mind wandering. Is it a good idea to let Mirren run all over town with her hands full of cash buying clothes? Not too late to stop them going out round the shops today – no, Rensa did need clothes. Needed everything really. So much stuff had been given away after they’d taken over the palace that there was almost nothing left in the private quarters. He might need to check, had Rensa even asked about any of her old personal possessions? No need for her to ask about her family, she knew what had happened to them. When the twelve month mark came, he would have to make sure he took her to where they’d buried the ashes from the mass cremation, as he would have to remember Montjoy next week.
Bannoc. He wanted to give him a definite position, but he was too liable to fly off the handle at people still. He didn’t like Rensa, not for any personal reason but because of who she was. Yannic had hoped that Mirren would be able to snap him out of this mood he’d been in since the taking of the Palace, no, before that perhaps as far back as Montjoy, but no luck so far.
Off the treadmill, back to his room. Shower, clean clothes and breakfast. On a good day he could finish his newspaper and coffee before someone shoved something important under his nose. There were a few people on his administrative staff that he really didn’t want to know how early he got up in the morning.
Then to the office. There were times when he felt his predecessors had things easy – they told and people did. With the new regime everything had to be negotiated with stakeholders and sometimes he just had to put his foot down and point out the position of the stakeholder holding the upper hand. There were limits to how much wriggle the Central Unit of the CDS would give them. Then there was yelling followed by him pointing out that failure to follow the plan would lead to loss of choice. That was when the yelling generally stopped.
Consider options to meet the targets set in the plan. Rensa’s concerns about the storehouses had some justification, but not quite as much as she’d apparently feared. Apparently there had been a lot of conspicuous consumption carried out in front of the Princess devaunt that had not been reflected elsewhere. There were issues with the requirements for crop production that the revolution had promised to change but turned out to be so deeply embedded into other farming provisions that the untanglement was beginning to look almost insurmountable. It might be another ‘why’ issue to raise with Rensa.
Daily meeting with the Central Unit. Raised Tuluc’s proposal for increase in armed force capability. Central Unit surprisingly enthusiastic and lists additional related milestones in ‘Military Development Tree’.
“Hang on,” asked Yannic startled, “What’s that one, ‘Equatorial Planetary Railgun Net’? Isn’t that a hard set milestone.”
“Yes.” The Central Unit was as unemotional as ever. “The due date is fifty-two planetary years hence.”
“And this milestone tree has never been worked on because?”
“Primary administrator and senior active administrators to date have designated this program tree as requiring other development trees to be completed first.” The Central Unit did not have opinions, it had told him before, it had the results of analysis. If it had been human, Yannic would have thought that it was unimpressed by the thinking that had reached this conclusion.
Yannic made a decision. “I would like a printout of the requirements of each step in the ‘Military Development Tree’ and your analysis of our ability to complete that step at this time without impacting adversely on other programs. Note the likelihood of each step to impact positively on other programs.”
Yannic went to lunch with a stack of very interesting reading.