It is almost midnight, but here at the heart of Aeternia the Arx is a hive of activity. On all the floors below me I can sense the hum of people coming and going. Drones collecting data, watching viewscreens, going about the business of the Imperium.
I am secured in my quarters, alone until dawn. My lessons today concerned accounting and economy. And for once I was attentive. I was careful not to draw attention to my interest in the topic, for I know how my father reviews the classroom tapes, looking for signs. Signs of what, I am unsure, but signs I am unwilling to give him. Today I learned something of value. I am well aware that the Imperium is five trillion in debt, there is not one Imperial, citizen or drone who does not know it. Our client states know it.Our enemies know it. The thing I learned today is that the debt of the Imperial enterprise exceeds the value of its companies. This is a fact that could bring the Imperium to its knees. I am not sure if even my father is aware of this fact.
All the lumber, vehicles, minerals, food, products, luxuries. All the military apparatus. All services, power grids, construction, maintenance, schools, hospitals. All ticking along, somehow running on credit larger than the Imperium's, larger than our three client states’. Twice as large as its value.
Every last person in world is familiar with the shining star of our business conglomerate, Entia. Very few know how close it is to falling. And now I am one of the few.