Empire
    Since his latest macrochip augmentation, Rodovik's Clone-Cousin Bruce, Executive Shareholder (21% of total stock) of Mayo-Baudhachan Holdings, and Lord Administrator of New Komi Demapoly, seems to have become increasingly erratic. The successful subversion of the Russel haloists hasn't helped matters. Now he thinks he can conquer the entire universe. Rodovik admits he has to take partial blame for this madness. Things were better when Administrator Copernicus Jing was here, even if the Federation was only a Federation in name only.

"Rodovik!"

That's him now. Rodovik can recognise his bellow anywhere. He indicates the sensors to open the door to allow entry.

"Rodovik! I've been looking all over for you! Hi Faya." The small remote hovers in front of his eyes, a rigid diamondoid shell that floats because it is lighter than air.

Rodovik holds up his wrist, showing the implanted-cosmetic bracelet with its homing beacon. All of the members of Clade Bydovsky wear one, it is a sign of their pure genome. "Tune in," he smiles sarcastically, "turn on, and thou shalt receive."

"Cut the crap Rodovik. This is important!" For such a little remote, it makes a huge noise.

"Everything's important Bruce."

"Meet me in my chamber, fifteen hundred hours."

"Why not speak now? You've got an encrypted channel."

The drone sighs noisily. "Does everything have to be so difficult with you?"

"Only if you make it so."

"What were you inputing anyway?" The little remote hovers over to interface with the screen, curious, although it's been locked with quantum encryption.

"Just some pornography," Rodovik lies.

"What? With the lovely Faya here? Fuck me Rodovik, we are going to have to fix you up with a nice girl. What happened to that beautiful Mitsuko?"

"No chemistry," he shrugs. "Anyway, I'm the black sheep, remember?"

"Crap! Fifteen hundred hours. Don't be late."

When the remote has gone, he says mocking "fifteen hundred hours. Don't be late."

"Why do you have to be so rude," Faya says from the side, where she is sprawled out, half homo geneticus, half theriomorph splice. "You know he is only trying to help."

"Oh yeah."

"He really does love you," Faya says.

Rodovik makes a farting sound with his lips. "The only thing our Lord Administrator loves is his own sense of self-aggrandisement."

Faya pouts, which makes her look sexy. He goes over, cuddles up to her on the couch, feels her soft but form body next to his. His cock goes hard straight away. "Fancy some tantric sex?"

"Sure," she smiles.



The ceremonial guards step aside to let him through. Bruce of the Bydovsky, Executive Shareholder (21% of total stock) of Mayo-Baudhachan Holdings, Lord Administrator of New Komi Demapoly, is sharing the spa with three genomic wannabes. Admitedly they are very attractive wannabes, but Rodovik's not in a good state of mind to judge, as his sex-drive has been going through the roof since he's been shooting up those bionanite hormonal enhancers and getting into shaperese tantric and neotaoist sex with Faya. Soft music plays in the background, Lompoc's Fifth Melody in G. The room smells of fragrant roses. Half a dozen remotes hover, obediently. A holographic display shows the microsecond fluctuations of the Wizner-Lee Orbital Futures Exchange.

"You're late" Bruce bellows. He is actually fat, Rodovik can see he has tits almost like a woman. It is no good for a member of Clade Baudhachan, they of the pure strain of Homo centaurensis baudhachani, to let themselves go like that.

"You look like you are enjoying yourself." Rodovik can't help it, his eyes rivet to the nearest pair of wannabe tits.

"I am! But I said fifteen hundred!" Bruce's face darkens momentarily. They lock eyes. Bruce of the Baudhachan has large eyes, quite beautiful really. They seem to be the only thing about him that express a sensitive side. Rodovik was once told he has murderer's eyes (but that was by someone who didn't like him.).

Bruce looks away first. "Do you want to come in?" He looks at the nearest girl. She moves to make room.

"No thanks I've had my fill for today."

"Crap Rodovik. You pop those enhancers like lollies. Don't think I don't know."

Rodovik sits at the side of the pool. Not because he doesn't want to go in, but because he doesn't want Bruce to think he can play him. "What's the oh so important news that can't even be sent over the encrypted channel Bruce?" Fuck, those wannabes are sexy. This is rough. He's got to be careful or he'll loose his edge.

Bruce snickers. "That's Emma."

"Hi," Emma smiles.

He looks from her breasts up to her face. Her face has been sculpted for beauty but even so anyone can see there is no breeding there. "Hi," Rodovik smiles anyway. She's cute. He looks back at Bruce.

"Okay." Bruce leans towards him. "You know that New Cassandra Demapoly-"

"Hey!" Rodovik hisses, indicating the wannabes.

"It's okay Rodovik I've cleared them."

"Ladies will excuse us a minute," he says politely.

The wannabes smile. Bruce glares at Rodovik, but follows him anyway, first waiting for the remotes to wrap a small towel around his waist.

The side room seals. Bruce says "Rodovik I've cleared them."

Rodovik opens a channel to him chip to chip, encrypted tightbeam. "You are one fuckhead Bruce. You want to get both our necks on the block? Have you scanned the water for nanos. And yourself?"

"Yes!" He transmits back. "What do you think? And I checked them out."

"And their-"

"And their friends and their friends friends."

"And when they go back to the slums a bit of House Baudhachan inside info can go a long way."

"They're not going back to the slums."

Oh this is sick. Rodovik thought Bruce was a bit erratic but -

"Don't be fucking stupid what do you take me for???"

"Well if you're not going to have them killed -"

"I've been grooming them. They're going to become honorary members of House Baudhachan."

"What! What would Armoud think, you diluting our sacred genome?"

"Yes you're a fine one to talk, Rodovik" he says loudly, not through tightbeam. "Taking up with a bitch-spl-"

"You talk of her in that way again," Rodovik hisses, advancing, fists clenched, "and I'll fucking kill you Bruce, I mean it." He stops, centers himself. Fuck those enhancers.

Bruce relaxes. "One of these days you'll go too far Rodovik"

"Impossible. I'm always in control" Rodovik lies.

"Try Bion Micron. Their enhancers don't fuck with your limbic responses. I take them all the time"

"You're a fat arsehole and you give me the shits Bruce."

"I love you too Rodovik. Now will we go back to the spa? Or should I get someone else to do the job?"

"Get someone else to do the job," Rodovik says seriously.

For a microsecond Bruce looks at him as if fooled, but his chipset kicks in, and he grins with perfect teeth. "You prolefucker."



The spa feels lovely, Rodovik has to admit. Bubbles tickle his cock and testicles. The oil of ylang ylang is making his head spin. Another of Bruce's girls, Teresa, is giving him that come hither look. It's freaking him out. He tries to think about Faya. Women will be the death of him.

"Concentrate Rodovik" Bruce snaps.

"Go on Bruce," Rodovik says, trying to sound cool.

The holograph of the orbital cylinder grows until it almost fills the whole spa room. "Cypress Nation. Used to be the local Birnum Ecotech branch in Centauri B, with strong Genen ties, but the local AI rebelled, made it into a sort of quazi-free zone. This is the latest statistics, but there's a bit too neat, we think they've been modified for public consumption. Anyway the president, they have presidents mind you, a certain Mister Eudarwin, expressed interest in an alliance."

"A trade alliance?" Rodovik can't stop admiring Teresa. Perhaps he should make a decision to stop taking those enhancers, at least while the machiavellianisms are going on.

"No a military alliance."

That got his attention. "I'm sorry?"

"No, a military alliance Rodovik." Bruce's face is puffed up in a huge smirk of triumph. "We need someone to liaise with them. Not old family with their stuffy attitudes of superiority; these are Genen remember and anyone who does not kiss the arsehole of everything shaperese is the lowest scum in the universe. But Faya's genetek, and your love of those quaint techniques of semen transmutation is well known-"

"Quaint?"

"-even outside our House; especially outside our House" His eyes close, as if in thought, or perhaps he is accessing datafiles; even with his chipsets Rodovik isn't sure; as Bruce's last augmentation included efficient Minskyite shielding technologies. "so as you can see," he says after a moment, "you and Faya would make the perfect ambassadors." His smirk is if anything even wider, more revolting.

"Bruce are you out of your fucking mind?"

"What?" His face falls.

"We subvert a clade of unaligned and half-sympathetic haloists and suddenly you think you can conquer the universe?"

"It's a first step Rodovik. Naturally we'll be the leading partner. Where are you going?"

"Away." Rodovik climbs out the spa, allow the remotes to clothe him without even waiting to dry.

"Rodovick! Rodovick!"

For a second Rodovik is worried Bruce will command the guards to bar his way. But they stand respectfully at attention and let him pass.