By Vi Key Veil
For once a story came easy this week when Ettore Kalsi, leader of Galactic Medical and First Prince of Praxius came to me, offering himself before the media for the first time since his taking on the role of Confederate Senator. We ran into each other on our way in, he wore a fedora style hat and a long coat over what appeared to be an imperial navy uniform. He exuded a calm greater than any I had ever associated with him. He seemed truly happy.
“You're Majesty, Senator, what exactly should I call you?” I asked.
“Call me Ettore, please.” He opened the door for me and lead me to the conference room used by the board of directors. “Make yourself comfortable.” He says, taking off his hat and coat.
“Thank you for finally agreeing to do an interview. I've been calling your office every day since the incident with Captain Fang.”
“I know, I read the first part of your special report on me, it was an interesting piece.” He smiles, crossing his leg and leaning back, hands together at his waist. “I'd very much appreciate it however, if we could avoid the topic of that incident. There are many of topics which we may discuss.”
The King strong armed like the best, and be bowed. “Fair enough. Can I ask why according to a great many witnesses Amanda Kalsi died, and yet until a few days ago she walked around Praxius and Mercator living and well? Can you explain her resurrection?” I can play hard ball too.
He laughed, he knew what I had done and he appreciated the maneuver. “The women who died, the mother of my son, was actually a clone of my wife. Fang's idea of a joke.”
He said the name and I knew what it meant, change the subject. “Your ex-wife?”
“I suppose she is now, yes. We came to a mutual agreement.”
“And you get full custody of Jack?”
“He is not her child.”
“Right.” Clones make everything confusing. “Will you be jumping back into the dating scene?”
He laughed again, flashing the smile that Amanda had surely fallen in love with. “Not right away. I have work to do, at Galactic Medical, and within my family. At some point, sure. I think I'll rather like the single father routine though. At the same time I don't want to deny Jack a mother. It's a complicated decision.”
“How is Jack? Would you like to give an on the record explanation to his rapid aging?”
“We believe it was caused by the fact that his mother had rapid aging characteristics, as they are common in clones. These genes got passed on and caused him to suddenly and rapidly grow and age. Galactic Medical dedicated its top doctors to ensuring the genes were deactivated, allowing Jack to age normally for the rest of his life. The miracles of modern medicine.”
He was remarkably good at ending a line of questioning. “Since they seem to be coming up a lot, can you tell me about your clones?”
“Trying to get me in trouble Vicky?” He said, only half sarcastic. “The clone of Amanda commissioned a pair of clones based on me. We call them Alpha and Beta and we have allowed them to live their lives as they see fit.”
“Fair enough, Ettore. How has your role as Senator changed the way you do business?”
“On some levels, not at all, and on others, very much. As a part of a larger group there's a lot more repercussions and consequences for our actions. The Confederacy is a loose alliance though, so we're never forced into anything, and it provides lots of flexibility. I believe everything works to everyone else's benefit.”
“And yet rumors also speculate you are looking into other alliances?”
“No, not exactly. Friend's of ours are trying to get something going and I promised to be unbiased when I considered their offer. Though we also have our agreement with Andromeda Security and Star Forge, and the CIS constitution promises us the power to form outside alliances. As I said, it is flexible.”
“You serve as one of two Senators for Galactic Medical, the other being Duke Leo Iscander. It was recently announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from his duties as Executive Chief of Staff, can you explain his reasoning?” I asked him.
“Leo is on vacation.”
“That's it?” Ettore nodded and smiled. “Okay then... are there any upcoming plans you'd like to announce?”
“Yes, actually. We are going to be further expanding Praxius, westward. A new hospital, with a trio of new factories, a second prison and plenty of new housing, not to mention entertainment. But we also have plans for a new temple, as our new position in our confederacy has showed many people the books of kampar, and the religion seems to be picking up steam in our neck of the woods. Damn popular ewoks if you ask me.” He laughed. “It will double our production capacity on the planet and allow us to completely replace our Vendaxa holdings all onto one planet, Berebosuil. This centralization will allow unprecedented efficiency within our production departments.”
“You've been boasting about this centralization for months, I'm glad to see it come to fruition. I would like to thank you for this interview.”
“I'm sure it will be popular.” He stood and we bid our good byes. I knew he was still hiding something, and he was getting better at it.