The reception was in full swing when the Ciradarean ambassador arrived. The Serkisics were celebrating their national holiday and tonight was part of a week of celebrations and memorials that marked the anniversary of their independence, no, the confirmation of their independence from Bakovia. Bakovia was a small space nation of ambitions and their ambitions had once pointed them at Serkis.
Serkis had found allies and Ngapāhuahuanga had been prominent among them. Everyone had come to assume that the raiders and pirates had been acting on behalf of the paramount chiefs of the Confederation, even if Ngapāhuahuanga wasn’t a member system, because of the amount of support they’d been able to supply. Bakovia was recovering from the bloody nose that backed resistance had given them and they were starting to look for new prey.
Ciradar seemed to interest them. Recently there had been a discomforting number of Bakovian travellers and merchants who’d come, toured, and said, “Nice planet you have here.” Ciradar didn’t have the population base to resist a takeover. They couldn’t win a fight. They might be able to stop a war happening in the first place. Serkis had shown what was possible if you had friends, so the ambassador was here to make friends.
He had been finding out what the big star nations wanted and was unsurprised to find that it wasn’t an overly confident, fast growing Bakovia.
He danced with the Talambric ambassadress who spoke charmingly of the spice trade and introduced him to a velvet coated gentleman who seemed to know a great deal about flags of convenience and letters of marque.
The neatly garbed Combine ambassador permitted him to dance with his wife, the Combine cultural attaché, and that lady slipped him the business card of a firm in the business of moulding Barkovian public opinion.
The Confederation’s ambassador was supervising the conversation between one of his own visiting chiefs and a Ngapāhuahuangan whose face was almost covered in black tattoos. It was the chief who suggested that a series of military exchanges might be mutually beneficial, particularly if those exchanges might happen to cross paths with certain Bakovian visitors on a regular basis.
His Serkisic hosts merely thanked him for coming, but the ambassador had no qualms in telling them that it had been an excellent party.