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Chapter Thirty Six - Madame Rhyse

Updated on December 3, 2022

The Capitalist

I had Jeeves construct four more chairs as the table normally hosted two. I set the scene to be the least disruptive, the least emotional.

With Wagner playing, and a forest moodie scenting the air, I was ready to entertain six 'Gyes'.

I gave the nod to have them enter. They entered single file.

I nodded to each, and each put his hand on his heart, bowed his head to me;
gestures of extreme respect.

"Welcome," I say, using no name, "I hope you will enjoy my hospitality."

One spoke; "We are honoured to be here, Madame. Rhyse."

Jeeves rode up with non-alcoholic wine and they accepted the crystal with approval;

"To absent friends," I say; "To absent brothers," they respond, and we drank.

My eyes danced over them, all these Gyes . Six men, all physically identical. Yes, a bit of personality, but not that much disparity. One on the Gyes seemed the most like him, but of course I was being fanciful.

"If I may mention," one said, "Gye was most descriptive about your home on Belladonna."

I was unsure if he meant 'My' Gye, or one of the others I had entertained over the years.

"I think dinner is ready, shall we seat?" I reply.

They sat, discussed the meal, the music, and of course, the trade.

"We desire to purchase ships similar to Invictus."

"There is only one Invictus. Others are almost as effective. We would be willing to sell such ships for a rather lofty price, but could lease the Invictus to you for specific periods of time for....." and I quoted a price in my currency, which would be nearly one hundred times their own.

They did the math and realised it was an enormous sum.

"Yes, it is." I replied. letting silence hold a moment, then reached the point of the interview;

"Consider time." I verbally underlined the word. "Depreciation would effect the purchase price. ."

"Ms Rhyse, you appear to have a timetable," the most astute perceived.

"Yes, we do." I reply.

His eyes met mine as if reading fine print, and I could 'hear' him thinking;
"...You will inform us when...." he uttered.

I nod.

"We shall disseminate your words," said another.

I asked if they wanted more coffee, they declined, took their leave.

The interlude had not been as disruptive as I expected. Again, I was able to confirm that he, that 'my' Gye was truly gone.


Though they think themselves interchangeable, and live with a 'hive' mentality, they were not, or perhaps, he was not an absolute 'clone'.

My Gye Tomaka was different. There was a depth to him. A singularity. And yes, the man I knew, my Gye Tomaka, was gone.

Yes, clones they are and will be, with the same artificially induced memories and attitudes. However, there had been something different in 'my' Gye, that was not in others. A realness? A complete personality? A warmth? I don't know.

Over the years I have met many Gyes. I have met them as I did tonight in a group, and also singularly, as I had met 'my' Gye.

And none of these clones were 'my' Gye. There would never be one as 'my' Gye.

It granted me closure.
A sense of Peace.
A true death without possibility of resurrection.

I moved to my boudoir, undressed, went into a relaxing bath with a glass of white

I reflected on what was being said about me, about Hawking's relationship with Sagir. It was quite useful for them to misdirect themselves.

Business can only flourish when losses are a small fraction on a balance sheet, when Insurance premiums are unfelt.

When sending a ship from one planet to another is almost uninsurable, trade is not profitable.

During this 'Sagir' period in Hawking trade, profits were astronomical. A Milelong
could set out with near certainty it would arrive.

Insurance unnecessary when the Invictus handled security, when a Sagir stood
behind the weapons array.

For too long Dalmar had controlled space and by that control forced Sagir into piracy.

If Dalmar had not been so arrogant and complete in their hatred of Sagir, it would not have been necessary for Hawking Corporation to 'interfere'.

Having been forced to 'interfere' we now held the ascendant. The Dalmar economy was descending rapidly; Hawking rivals were paying more for Insurance than cargo.

I chuckled when I recalled a meeting with Captain Paulwell;

"You think your company is powerful
enough to topple the Dalmar Empire?"

Of course it was.


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