Leigh could not keep his rage from spilling into the crystal link for all the minions to sense, but he did try to keep his indignation from leaking. He served the master, of course. The master had his complete loyalty, naturally. The master had full command of Leigh’s considerable skills and abilities.
But why in the god’s name did the master want this from Leigh? Of all the tasks the Eidolan could have given him, why this? Was this not the least useful thing that Legh could do in the god’s service? This new assignment would take Leigh away from valuable projects, keep him from completing his previous projects, and prevent him from beginning new projects.
*What now, oh mighty leader?* Yechez floated close, as if he wished he could take a swipe at Leigh’s mind.
Leigh’s head snapped up, and he nearly didn’t bite back the retort.
“Right now, you stupid idiot, I need time to think. Since you never engaged in that particular activity, I don’t expect you to understand that it can take time. So Leave me be until I call for you!”
Yechez made a soundless snarl and retreated. He didn’t dare not, since the god had placed Leigh over him. Had placed Leigh over all the Reeves and Riven and embodied slaves. As a “reward” for being the smartest and most capable servant, Leigh had the pleasure of commanding all the Eidolan’s servants.
Never mind that the bridge would not be completed. Never mind that the Spectral Riving Optimizer was barely functional and still needed work. Never mind that the servants needed constant supervision by someone with a brain.
He would have to delegate. Leigh hated delegation. He could never find anyone smart enough to manage things who wouldn’t consider himself so smart that he could alter Leigh’s instructions and designs. The shards would ensure that no servant worked against Leigh, but that didn’t mean Leigh would find someone who would obey without being creative.
Think, man! Don’t be an emotional wreck like these fools whose incompetence landed you in this position!
Leigh took several deep breaths and counted to fifty. A list. He needed to see what the data were in order to organize and analyze things. Calmly, he sat at his workstation and pulled his notepad close. He picked up a writing stick and stared at the page.
1. Determine number of forces. All divisions.
2. Determine needs of Hollows.
3. Determine current command structure.
Leigh frowned, then moved the third item to second place. He needed to know what idiots were responsible for the current fiasco and set them straight. Then he could better manage the physical needs, especially his own.
During his brief employment at university, Leigh had considered aiming for a dean’s position. Was this much different? Surely it could not be much worse than running a college full of idiots; both groups would need the same sort of critical oversight. Leigh had excellent sight.
He straightened his shoulders and gave more attention to his list. In a few moments, he had several more items. Better to not add too many things just yet; he didn’t know what he needed to focus on yet. No sense wasting his limited time on non-essential projects that the feeble-minded could do without him.
Turning in his chair so that he faced the opening in his workspace leading to the cavern, Leigh sent a summons. He gathered his thoughts as the Reeves gathered before him. They’d already learned that they were not to speak without his permission, and even Perele offered no sycophantic remarks.
“I have a list of things to do, and you will carry them out for me. Yechez, you will take three of the other Reeves and count exactly how many souls and embodied we have. Divide them into categories, such as soldiers, workers, food servers, lab assistants, et cetera. If any group has specializations within it, then make subgroups. Therefore, if soldiers could be infantry or cavalry or what have you, then note that. If you need to bring along embodied to write these things down, then do so. But make certain the count is exact and the listing legible.”
Yechez sneered. *Our soldiers are all the same, all equally capable of destroying our enemies.*
“You have your orders. Now, Perele, you will take three Reeves and determine what supplies we have. Then determine what we need to have in order to keep the embodied and the Hollow fed and clothed and housed. Use the same level of detail as I instructed Yechez to use.
“Neriah, you will remain here and do whatever I require. The rest of you make certain that the ranks remain orderly. Get moving!”
Their resentment translated clearly across the link, but that was to be expected. No incompetent fool liked being reminded that his superior truly was superior.
Neriah quivered as he remained just outside Leigh’s workspace. The lowest of the Reeves, elevated merely because there was no one less incompetent, he had likely never had any good come to him, either before he surrendered to the god or after.
Which made him perfect for Leigh’s purposes.
“You will primarily take messages from me to the others,” Leigh began, “since the less I have to deal with them directly, the better. You will also bring me messages and information. I require that you pay careful attention to what they’re up to. I need to know what they aren’t telling me. Is that clear?”
It took the boot-scraper half a second to understand. *Yes, my lord!*
“Good. Right now, however, I need you to tell me how things work amongst you Reeves. Who’s in charge of what, who’s actually doing their job, and who isn’t serving the god fully. Begin.”
The junior Reeve was truly pathetic, but he did give Leigh the information he needed. It was a universal truth that when you want to know how things work, you must ask the one who has the most to gain if those things changed.