I would have gotten more in, but I wrote two thousand other words today.
“So why wouldn’t you care about it?” I asked him. “Hypothetically, that is. If it was happening.”
“You mean, besides the fact that twenty-five people are now dead in a terrorist attack?” Oft’s tone was gentle, but I still winced.
“Okay, fair, Oft. But you wouldn’t have known that was going to happen beforehand.” I carefully didn’t look to see Nur’s reaction, because I already knew that he wouldn’t have conceded anything of the sort. I like the man, but he’s got a conspiracy theory for everything.
“I wish we had. That way, we could have stopped it.” Oft’s face went what I could already tell was uncharacteristically grim. “I know the Adjudication Council’s reputation precedes us, and not always favorably, but we are here for humanity’s sake. The people on that ship were innocent victims of a cruel attack, and we take that very seriously.”
“Yeah, fine, you made your point.” Nur sounded a little surly about it. “Dead bodies trumps hypothetical tariff evasion.”
“But of course. Besides, the Redacted’s operating budget doesn’t rely on Earth tariffs at all. The Great Powers would just waste the tax revenue anyway.”
Syah snorted. “Aren’t you a representative of the Great Powers?”
“Yes!” beamed Oft. “That’s why you can trust that I know what I’m talking about.”