[I’m back! This is a continuation of this story. I doubt I’ll return to this little universe, at least for a long while, but I fell out of the habit of writing for awhile and wanted to get back into it with something relatively easy. It’s good to be back]
“How is this not a declaration of war?” Premier Asam growled, leaning over the table, staring incredulously at her Foreign Minister, Giermond.
“Comrade Premier, please understand,” Giermond said, rubbing his temple through his veil. None of them had slept much the previous night. Reports had been sporadic at first, but by morning local time, the only communication out of the Niyati system had been a civilian interlink clogged with terrified personal messages and cries for help. Asam and her Presidium had already been awake, waiting for news on the Gorgon Fleet, but that had been forgotten with the arrival of the Verid Citadel.
Giermond continued, “To say the Verid have a government at all is misleading. They have a legislature and an executive, but the posts are largely ceremonial at this point, filled only by tradition. Whatever power they have is nominal at the best of times. In all likelihood, the Basilica of Verimos has no idea this Citadel has entered our space.”
Asam leaned back in her chair and threw up her hands, “So you’re telling me; a Verid citadel, with all the armament needed to wipe a mid-sized star system clean of all life, can park itself in our territory, but don’t worry, it’s not a declaration of war because they’re not taking orders from anybody.”
“That might be the best case scenario,” Haga Druge, her Chief of Staff grumbled, “Our best projections suggest a mobilization of Verid forces against us is one of the scenarios that likely starts the dominos falling. The Marrikese will make their move in the immediate aftermath, and once that happens…”
“Alright,” Asam waved them down, “So what do we have to do to make sure this isn’t a prelude to full mobilization? Who do we talk to?”
“Normally,” Giermond blinked the tiredness out of his six eyes, “We would ask the Verid Ambassador to the Conclave, but they haven’t sent us one in almost two years.”
“Then who was at my inauguration?” Asam asked, blinking confusion, “Somebody from Verimos congratulated me.”
“Ah, yes. That’s Cassalius. He lives at the embassy,” Giermond opened his arms as if that explained everything.
“He ‘lives at the embassy?’ What does that even mean?” Asam was angry enough to let her voice rise.
“He was the ambassador about 70 years ago,” said Giermond.
“And what, he just never left?” Asam asked, incredulous.
“That’s fairly accurate, Comrade Premier,” Giermond said nodding.