But don’t think I wasn’t busy. Oh, no. I discovered that I was going to be meeting daily with the Redacted’s colonist liaison. I was a little shocked to discover that the Redacted even had assigned someone to that job, since it implied that they gave a damn about avoiding giving offense. But then I actually met Lt. Commander Burcu Nowak — in what I guess is kind of my office, even? — and I realized that they didn’t.
How to explain? Well, for starters she was actually of colonist descent herself. Only she was from Bolivar. Liaising with a settlement run by a Jeffersonian corporation. And — look, not every Bolivarian sneers at Jeffersonians, yes. They don’t all sniff and stage-whisper maniacal hayseeds when they see us, just like we don’t mutter butt-kissing proles under our breath when we see them. That’s stereotyping, that is. It’s unfair.
But it was also accurate, when it came to Nowak. She wore her Council uniform with ferocious severity, every stripe and medal at exactly the regulation angle. I am better than you, that uniform almost screamed at me. I am part of something bigger than you will ever be.
Am I projecting? Absolutely not: the first words out of her mouth were in the same vein. “Assisting the Council is now your biggest priority, Tanaka,” she told me. “The sooner you understand this, the easier it will be for you.”
Clearly, this required diplomacy. “Piss off, Burcu.”