He stared into the wall of his presidential office with the thought that in only one thousand years he would either repay the debt that bought him the nation or face the wrath of the collective with the resources not just to loan him the money but enforce his repayment on a military scale. That millennium would pass all too quickly as his newly bought nation fought endless wars for resources and he clawed together the funds to by his freedom. Heavy taxation of the rich military empire could only draw together so much money and within the last century he realised he would fall far short of the heavy demands made of him. Border skirmishes and state funded thefts aplenty did little to accelerate the accumulation of wealth as he needed it and in the last twenty years he very quickly came to terms with the prospect of joining the legions of slaves: his shadowy loan sharks. His mind was overrun by the mechanisms of the hidden empire. His nation would be forfeit to them who had waited so impatiently for the return on their investment. As his mind acclimatised to the agonising prospect of eternal slavery he reasoned that at least he would not die as before. Servants of his benefactors were not allowed the freedom of death having failed to keep their promises. They would come for him, they would change him and then he would do the same to others. He took comfort as well in the fact that few would ever play the game so spectacularly as he. He would at least be remembered amongst the leaders of the loan sharks. They would laugh at the fool who dared risk so much on so slim a chance, he would be remembered. At the very least.
He was remembered, fondly, and they came to him in person. It was a great honour to meet them of which he knew and expected death as his sentence. Instead he was spared, they wanted to enlist him but on better terms than he had ever dreamt of. The nation was theirs of course, that went without saying. They would let him keep command of it though and fund it’s expansion into new territory. They had never expected so much from him he was told and by impressing them he had earned a place in their wider schemes. Working for them assured him a future in uncertain times. He would live on and in time cut the strings by which they held him.