“The whole city?”
“The whole city.”
“From this tiny office?”
Gath was not amused. He’d bashed his head on pretty much every single door frame as he’d made his way to the office of the ruler of Palaestra. He was supposed to have a new job but he didn’t even know what to call it. Was he now a ruler of Palaestra himself? A mayor? A president? He wasn’t sure.
“How in the name of the Light does the Raptor do it?”
Retvik shrugged as he wandered over to the empty chair. It was barely big enough for Retvik to fit his chisled backside into, let alone Gath and his massive ass.
“She has assistants, you know!” Retvik smiled. “Hm. Utilities. Astynom. Building and Planning. Imports and Exports. Lot of stuff. Luckily the court system is done externally using the Maza courts in Portalia City. Astynom and policing is what I am worried about the most…”
“Why?” Gath asked as he narrowly avoided bashing his head against the ceiling fan. Luckily, it was off. Which probably explained why the office was so warm.
“Well the Astynom is tied up with the DBA and I do not like that.”
Gath finally found a place where he could stand up properly, and started flicking through a large pile of paperwork. “If they do the job, they will be fine. But this… this is a lot of paperwork.”
“What paperwork?” Retvik asked as he found another large pile. Gath handed him several sheets of paper and Retvik noticed they were all similar. “These are all land purchase and building requests…”
Gath continued to flick through them, removing requests that weren’t ridiculous. “These are all from Cassids wanting to buy huge plots of land…” He pulled out one particular request. “This one is from a Cassid requesting to purchase and then bulldoze three square kilometers of forested lands!”
“Why would they…” Retvik paused mid-sentence.
“Are Cassids trying to buy out Vriskera?” Gath asked as he flicked through a few more requests. “How is that even possible?”
Retvik sat awkwardly on the chair behind the desk, realised it would probably collapse under his weight then changed his mind and stood up again. “Probably because… I remember this from the last time I was here… The lands around Palaestra are owned by the Raptor, and everyone rents the land from her, whether it is for several months or several decades.”
“So the Cassids want to rent all the land?”
Retvik tutted. He’d noticed quite a few repeating names on the requests. “I do not think that is the case. There are a lot of names here. A lot of companies too. But they are all related to a single company.”
“Let me guess. One of those horrible experimental companies that use the term “Research and Development” as a guise for their evil doings?” Gath growled.
Retvik looked up at Gath and nodded. “Yes. One of those companies.”
Gath found a blank piece of paper and a pen and started writing on it. “Alright. We should make a list. First off, we set up a rule stating that a new request can not be made until at least a month after a former request was denied. Second, we set up a system to keep an eye on these companies. Thirdly, we find a way to keep these companies out of Vriskera in general. Fourthly, we purchase some new furniture for this office.”
“You dislike these companies.”
“They are scum. They… they have hurt many beings. They hurt Vel.”
Retvik sighed. “I see… But we cannot make this personal. We make this personal, the Cassids will rip us apart with their fancy-ass lawyers. We need to proceed with caution.”
Gath smiled and patted Retvik on the shoulder. “Do not worry. I have a handle on my feelings.”
“Good,” Retvik changed the subject entirely. “Anyway… we need to get to work running this place. Like, properly. We will have to find time elsewhere to exact revenge on whoever harmed Vel.”
Gath blinked, then nodded in agreement. “You are right as always, Retvik.”
“Well, not always…” Retvik grinned as he put his arms around Gath. “But for the times when I am wrong, you are always right in my place…”
The two Rethans smiled at each other, then hugged tightly.
“Right…” Gath sighed, spoiling the mood. “We should get to work.”
“Good idea,” Retvik continued to smile as he let go and started going through paperwork. “The quicker we start, the sooner we finish, the sooner we can go home and enjoy ourselves…”