Trevor Frederickson, who sometimes managed to forget for hours at a time that he had once been Ma’evoto of the Cheyenne, leaned back. The chair leaned with him, reconfiguring automatically. The holographic display shifted as well, so he could continue reading without interruption. “ ‘All naive, busty tavern wenches…’ whoever heard of a naive bar server?” A flick of his finger deleted the paragraph. “ ‘All non-instantaneous deathtraps…’ really? Note.” A new holographic screen popped up, adding a bluish-sheen to his bronze skin. “Wu, research old vids with drowning pools, trash compactors and/or gas chambers for next month’s marathon. Send.” The second screen winked out. “There’s gotta be something behind that one. Okay what’s next. “ ‘All slain enemies will be cremated as soon as possible…’ um, doh. Necromancers are rare, but annoying…” He skimmed down the next few entries. “1.45 MB file size? Padded? … oh, here’s a good one. Note,” another screen opened, “first level priority, hire architects and surveyors I can trust to make sure I have accurate blue prints of the…”
Light flickered at the corner of his eye. “Yes?”
“Sir, Mx. Lu is here to speak with you.”
He sat up, the chair following a few moments later. “Send hir in!”
The handle on the old fashioned door opened and Wu stepped in. The man in behind the desk allowed himself a rare moment of procrastination. It was always worth taking a moment to look at Lu Jia Wu.
Wu was a small person with what zi said were “classic” Han features. It was a matter of pride that hir family were the true inheritors of the Middle Kingdom. Trevor doubted that the scattering of golden scales across Wu’s face was really “classic,” but they turned hir already handsome face into a work of art. Or, at least, Trevor thought so. Wu’s dress, as always, was antique and androgynous. Today zi was wearing what zi called a “man’s Western business suit”. Like the scales, Trevor was pretty sure the pale yellow color wasn’t part of the ‘classic’ style. But it made a delicate contrast with Wu’s warm beige skin. In the modern world, the blatant lack of geometrics was a declaration of Wu’s lack of gender. Though Trevor was never quite sure—
Wu cleared his throat.
“Yes, I’m delaying.”
Zi bowed, but kept hir eyes on him. “May this humble one give hir report?”
“Kay-kay, I’ll be good! Just tell me we have good news.”
“Your servant has the best of news. They have conceded. As of 1142 Greenwich you are officially the ruler of the world. May your reign last 1,000 years.”
“We did it!” He ran across the room and Wu caught him a bear hug.
“You did, my friend. You led the way and won the prize.” Wu’s voice rasped in his ear, heavy with grief and memories. “Even when this one thought it impossible, you persevered.”
“Not alone, Wu. And I couldn’t have done it without you at my side. And everyone else at my back.” He stepped back. “Kay. We planned for this. Is everyone ready?”
“Of course. The transition team is prepared, notification has gone out to all team leaders, and this one has confirmation that the military is standing down, awaiting your orders. We move at your word.”
“Perfect!” Trevor threw a formal robe with interlinking black-and-red circles on over his casual office outfit. “Let’s go.” Halfway to the door he froze and dashed back to his chair. “Computer, order poster-sized print out, framed, of edited document ‘Evil Overlord list’.”
A yellow ‘acknowledged’ light blinked.
“Now I’m ready.”
“Evil overlord list?”
“It’s for my new office. Something to entertain visitors.” Wu just looked at him. “You’ll like it I promise!”
Wu sighed. Zi tapped the sigil temp-branded on hir wrist. “All units, move out.”
They left the office. Five minutes later a convoy emerged from the underground bunker, headed for the headquarters of the World Government.