Chapter Two

"For starters, you’ll need to agree to honor Litomo’s choices, regardless of your preferences." Kaiya replied.

"We can do t– wait, why?" President Kitterling asked. He glanced back at Litomo with suspicion then.

"Because this has to do with him. You were asked to bring him here and so he is. Before he leaves, he has a decision he needs to make." Kaiya glanced between the President and Litomo, still smiling but not quite as warmly. "Ultimately, in the end it doesn’t really matter what you want, President."

Litomo scratched at the back of his neck awkwardly before replying uncertainly, "Ahm… uh, sure, what am I signing myself up for?"

"A lifetime of glory, friendship and all the technology you so like to play with." was Kaiya’s giggling reply, rather out-of-character for her at that moment.

"Oh, is that all?" Litomo glanced down to his dog thoughtfully. Leon was moderately comfortable now but here and there, he’d been whining when the tension got to be too much despite Litomo’s soothing hand. "Ah, fuck it. Sure, I’m in."

President Kitterling stared at Litomo, then seeming to make up his mind at that moment, agreed. "Yes, we’ll honor his choices. As long we know what it is."

"No. He agrees, or this doesn’t happen at all." was the firm response from Kaiya, a hint of a growl behind those words.

"Fine." said the President, now looking mad.

"Are you absolutely sure, President Samuel Kitterling?" Having his name fully spelled out startled the President.

President Kitterling nodded, "Yes, I’m sure."

Kaiya smiled again, "Litomo? What do you say?"

"I said I’m in, didn’t I?" was Litomo’s petulant reply.

"Wonderful. I’m glad you agreed. And… I’m sorry." She stood up then and saluted to Litomo, a clenched fist reaching up and diagonally to tap against her chest, "Welcome to Lysharia Federation, Fleet Admiral Litomo."

For a solid thirty seconds, there was silence. Then chaos erupted again after the words were fully absorbed and processed. Instantly, the energy in the room changed from that of calm chaos to angry, suspicious chaos. Guards immediately pulled him out of his chair and surrounded him and his dog.

Naturally, Litomo’s reaction was to throw up his hands, or at least to attempt to before Leon’s leash prevented him from fully indicating that he had no desire to be a problem at that moment. "Wait, what?"

A minute or two must’ve passed before the President replied, "Stand down. STAND DOWN! THAT’S AN ORDER." Reluctantly, the guards did as told but they kept him surrounded. "Why did you do this?" he demanded of Kaiya, "Is it because of differences between our kind? Are you trying to start trouble?"

"Who’s our kind?" Litomo’s voice interrupted.

"The human race… or America." the President replied angrily.

"We’ve had people on Earth for, oh, for around a thousand years or so." Kaiya said. "About two hundred, now, in your country."

"Oh." Litomo said. "Is that about right?"

"Yes, I believe so." Kaiya replied. "You are human, after all."

"Oh, is that all?" Litomo sounded genuinely surprised.

President Kitterling began, "Why would you do this?"

"Would you agree with me that we’re actually too different to get along? An invasion is certain if we try to use the same terms for trade. You’re all too ready to seize territory." Kaiya replied. "You’re willing to do whatever it takes, even if that means murder."

"We’ll fight you if we must. How about trade? Wouldn’t that be better?" the President asked, seeking any advantage he could.

Kaiya shook her head. "It can never be a fair trade. There’s no way that one culture could ever become as civilized as another. You’re too tied to technology. Your laws are all too restrictive."

The President’s eyebrows rose a bit in surprise at this. "So what you’re saying is that you’re superior to us?"

"Most certainly." Kaiya replied.

Leon gave a low growl at this, which distracted Litomo from the discussion between the President and Kaiya. She looked at his dog and said, "I don’t mean to scare him."

"Maybe not. But his service will still be needed here. You cannot have Litomo." the President angrily replied.

"And I can’t even guarantee that there won’t be an attack on you or your countries, or even on this world." Kaiya had lowered her voice.