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Jul 19, 2019 3:59 AM
citizens of two nations meet
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"Sohaibek being the name of the system?"

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"That's what they call it."

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"And you call it...?"

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"The star is Ibyatok."

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"And Outer Ibyatok, they're an Empire?"

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"No, but they're allied with some enemy empires."

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"...You can hold off multiple enemy empires but you can't conquer your own next-door neighbor? What does your military even look like?"

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"I haven't joined it yet."

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"Still, that's really weird."

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"I can't tell you anything that everyone doesn't know anyway, you aren't Ibyabekan."

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"Sure, this'd be a totally ridiculous setup for a spy to use but that'd be little consolation if I am a spy and you get executed for treason."

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"Spies never get far in Ibyabek, we're all too loyal to our illustrious Premier Lut Naar Am."

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"Sure, but I bet anyone who tells them something they shouldn't by accident before they get caught isn't happy with the results."

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He shrugs. "What is your name? I'm Kyeo Sebe Luk."

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"Lieutenant Anastasia Shoreman."

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"Oh, yes, they make women stay in the military long enough to be promoted on other planets. That must be very terrible."

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"...I joined up voluntarily."

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"Could you not find a husband?"

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"I'd much rather have a career."

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"That's no good, your empire will be weak."

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"Yes, the galactic empire that takes full advantage of all of its citizens instead of half is so much weaker than the planet that can't even conquer the boy next door."

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"You're trying to trick me into revealing secrets."

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"...No. If I were, I would be going about it very differently."

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He laughs at her, a sort of artificial rueful sound. "Well, I'm not going to tell you anything."

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"Have fun with that."

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