Ermin Gild stared at the numerous screens set up in his spacious office, news feeds playing on every one. His hands tightly clasped together, chin upon his knuckles. Dark bags under eyes that darted to every blur of motion.
Mounting migrant asylum demands. Rising concerns over terrorist violence and potential lockdowns. Discussions of KSRU raids. Disturbances at the northern agricenter. A missing CAV-keep.
After a few minutes of attentive screen-gazing, a woman wearing a long skirt, frilly top, and thin, pale violet scarf entered the room. She knocked gently on the doorjam and waited.
“What is it, Theresa?”
“The Board has come to a conclusion.” Gild straightened in his chair and looked towards the woman intently. “They’ve decided against Kryos’ recommendation. The Chancellor ordered a city-wide lockdown, effective immediately.”
Gild closed his eyes, sighing with mild frustration.
“Of course they did. Old fools. He played them like cards.”
“What do you mean?”
Gild rose and began pacing slowly about his office, hands in his pockets.
“As you know, trade with the Eastern Federation has proven highly profitable and has allowed our company to circumvent reliance on Kryos’ Industries for manufacturing.”
“Given this, and the partisan’s recent interferences, he’s been rather hawkish on border issues. Wants it shut. Tightly.”
“The Board fears the public has begun to view Kryos as an autocrat, and them, ineffectual beaurocrats. They needed to muster a display of power against Kryos, or at least convince the public that they had done as much. And I, as you also know, have, for several months, been urging them to do just that. Aided by Ponos’ fanaticism and Raka’s reaction of Kryos’ rather… extreme handling of the insurgents. Kryos was aware of this, of course, which is why his vote was seemingly uncharacteristic. He was counting on being contested.”
“He voted to keep the city open to ensure it would be closed.”
Gild nodded, amused and annoyed. After several moments he withdrew his left hand from his pocket and glanced at the clock on his affin module and languidly turned to the woman with a look of concern.
“Has anyone found Professor Grazen yet?”
She shook her head. He nodded dourly.
“I’m heading out for an early lunch. I plan on drowning my troubles in copious quantities of alcohol. Care to join me?”