An official announcement from the Council of the Empire finally confirmed widespread rumours regarding the dictator and health issues, tales that first emerged way back in February.
The statement from the administration read:
“His Imperial Majesty has fully recovered from illness which he succumbed to earlier in the year. He thanks all subjects for their continued support and for their patience with the rebuilding of the Empire. His Imperial Majesty sends his assurances that this important work is being carried out by his healthy self in earnest and will be overseen by this Council. Together we will continue to work industriously behind the scenes to improve the lives of all among us.”
The disclosure confirmed persistent speculation that the leader’s health had deteriorated, stories that had grown legs since February following his conspicuous absence from a number of state events and national holidays.
Yesterday the tabloid Good God reported that the Emperor spent the first three months of the year hospitalised fighting a serious infection to his torso and legs. The paper reported that the leader was “up and walking” but the long-term outlook was “unclear”.
Today’s confirmation however has done little to allay worries and indeed appears to be exacerbating fears.
Political commentator Richard Furlong explained what many are thinking.
“Although the regime is saying all is well with the Emperor one has to wonder why we are yet to see the minifig in 2016. Can a whole year go by without a sighting of the Emperor? This would be unprecedented. The Empire’s standing as a resilient and secure state has being dragged through the mud over the last 11 months. This apparent weakness appears to be fueling an array of separatist movements throughout the border regions, which could be brewing up trouble in the years to come.”
Calls from certain public figures for subjects in major cities to take to the streets in support of the Emperor have been labelled as “thoughtful but unnecessary and dangerous” by the Empire Police. The authorities have professed that public assemblies of 10 or more minifigs could be a safety risk and therefore not permitted outside sporting events.
On the streets most minifigs greeted the news with gloom. By far the general sentiment was well wishing for the much loved leader. There were reports of celebrations in the Paradistan settlement of Prospect but these were denied by the governor.
Meanwhile financial analysts have theorised that significant dumping of stocks just prior to today’s news release was likely insider trading and probably involved ministers on the Council of the Empire or close associates.