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Chapter Nineteen - the C.e.o. of Hawking)

Updated on September 10, 2018

Madame Anisette Rhyse


"I will meet with the Dalmar delegation, but on Earth," I enunciate, stressing 'will' and 'Earth', so the functionary comprehended.

I inquired of myself why I did not retain a personal aide, instead drafting whomever
available. I reminded myself that personal aides often become a bit too personal.

"Ms Rhyse," came a voice. It was Mr. Robar, the Chief Financial Officer of Hawking Corporation. He had assumed the position at the retirement of Mr. Gold.

"I will speak with you shortly, sir. Please have a seat in the outer office," and I made a brittle smile.

When he had backed out, I directed the individual who was acting as secretary: "Please inform the staff, all the staff, no one is to speak to me, at me or for me without my direction."

"Yes, Ma'am," submitted the young man who was fulfilling the function.

"And what is next on the agenda?" I prompted.

"Hawking Savorn is requesting funds for further research."

"Into what, if I may be so bold as to inquire?" I ask and watch him colour. "Never bring any matter to my attention which is not fully documented. Now send in the C.F.O."

"Yes Ma'am," he replied.

"And take an hour break, I will speak to him alone."

As the young man left the room, I rose from behind my desk, moved to the less
formal alcove. The light of day poured through the windows, warmed by hidden pink lights.

Mr. Robar entered; perceived the empty seat behind the desk. A bit alarmed,
swiveled his head, saw me, ambled over. I point to a chair.

He babbles a few moments, trying to gain control of the situation.
Then goes to the balance sheets, focusing on the "....problem of Sagir."

"What problem, sir?" I ask.

"The problem, Madam, is the unprofitable trade we have commenced with Sagir."

"Our trade with Sagir, sir, is profitable."

"Ms Rhyse, how can trade be profitable when..."

"Sir", I interject, "when Hawking builds an Opera House, or sends a ship of food
to starving people, that is a hemorrhage of funds, yet, we mark it 'charity'. "
I took a breath, and clarified; "All matters concerning Sagir are my personal concern. Hence, if I deem the trade profitable, it is profitable."

"Calling a sow's ear a silk purse does not..."

"Mr. Robar, you are dismissed." I say.

"I will make an appointment to see you at a more convenient time..."

"Sir, I do not believe you comprehend the definition of dismissed. You are
fired, sir. Your services are no longer required."

"F..fi..fired?"

"Jeeves," A large and ungainly robot stepped forward, "Please see Mr. Robar out.
Have personnel manage his retirement. And send Mrs. Howard to me, immediately."

I waited until twenty seconds after Robar's departure before rising, going to the
bar, pouring myself a glass of Sherry.

As I stood before the portrait of Robert Hawking, my hand slipped into my bodice
and I touched the 'Key' I wore on a thin platinum chain. {They don't understand,
do they Gye?} I think.

Mrs. Howard flurried in. She had been employed by Hawking longer than I.

"Ms Rhyse?" she asked with her usual alarm. (Paranoias Hystericus ) is what
we'd called her, Mr. Hawking and I.

"Mrs. Howard, please make note. I do not desire a Chief Financial Officer who
encroaches in company policy. Decisions are made by Mr. Hawking. They are
not subject to discussion nor dissension."

Sixty nine per cent of shares in Hawking are in the name of Robert Hawking.
Fourteen percent are in my name.

"Of course, Ms. Rhyse!" she exclaims.

"Please have Mr. Robar replaced, enter that he was fired for insubordination.
Offer him a post at a subsidiary on Bathel at standard rate."

"Certainly, Ms. Rhyse!"

"And have my yacht readied, I am bound for Belladonna."

"Shall I send the documents for Mr. Hawking's signature?"

"Of course." I reply.

She waited an extra few seconds then went out.

Robar should know being fired from Hawking meant he would experience difficulty
gaining a comparative position. Any legal challenge might result in his incarceration.
Hawking Corporation was concerned with matters of Interplanetary Security.
No Court could inquire into the domestic affairs of H.C.

"Ms Rhyse," came Mrs. Howard's voice over the intercom.

"Yes?"

"Do you wish security on your travel?"

"Yes," I reply, "The Vanguard will do..." The Vanguard held a Eugenic I needed to meet.

I moved to the desk, dealt with messages until informed my yacht ready. I went
to the roof, was flown to the Space Port, boarded. My robot took us out.

I know why Mr. Hawking has banned humanoid appearing robots. If Jeeves
looked like a man I would converse with him. As he was made of titanium,
he did not provoke discussion.

I went to my room, a hot bath. Jeeves served me herb tea, and I relaxed.

In an hour, the fragrance of dinner summoned. I emerged, used my oils
and creams, dressed in a satin robe, came to the table. Jeeves served
me, and I ate slowly while Mozart played in the background.

I suspect my behaviour of this afternoon would have my staff and my enemies
questioning my acumen. Robar was the perfect 'foil'; a man who thought lineally
in a three dimensional world.

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