Sometimes an organizational setup grows, sets its ways, and becomes so traditional that once-necessary jobs become unnecessary. But it is sometimes quite hard to spot just which man is the unnecessary one. In this case ... not the one you think!
ive to build, plus the fact that nearly every G-type sun had an Earth-like planet in Bode's Third Position, had made scattering to the stars almost an automatic reflex among men.
It had also shattered the cohesion of Mankind that had been laboriously built up over several millennia. The old U.N. government had gradually welded together the various nations of Earth under one flag, and for nearly two centuries it had run Earth like a smoothly operating machine. But no culture is immortal; even the U.N. must fall, and fall it did.
And, during the chaos that followed, a man named Jerris Danfors had grabbed the loosened reins of government just as Napoleon had done after the French Revolution. Unlike Napoleon, however, Jerris had been able to hold his power without abusing it; he was able to declare himself Emperor of Earth and make it stick. The people wanted a single central government, and they were willing to go back to the old idea of Empire just to get such a government.
The head elected leader of the Terran Empire has been making erratic decisions, most recently invading a neutral planet to aid rebels trying to overthrow the democratically elected government. His son is convinced someone is manipulating his father and approaches an old family friend to help get proof.
Unfortunately, this story pretty much describes how things get done in any government. It ain't pretty, but it's efficient.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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