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Excerpt

Finally setting down to solve the Alysian policy problems, I took out all of my notes. All in the slight silver prism lighting up to a display. The news buzzed in the background, with the ever serious sound of “breaking news”. It is hard to tell how serious it is. Anything besides their reporting on newest breed of turtle was brought over from Earth would be breaking news. At least it’s cute.

The room is fairly bare, hardly lived in. I was sent here a month prior, and had been tasked with keeping the peace here. A more difficult task than I expected, considering how advanced both of the groups were.

         A call started coming to my display - my boss. Not a fun call to be getting this late. “Hey, what’s going on?” My eyes focused more on the news, it coming into focus from the back of the projection display.

        “I assume you’re starting to hear the news come in?” His voice was tired.

        My eyes, already resting on the broadcast, only then registered what was going on. “Yes. The princess of Alysia has up and vanished.”

        “Not princess, but in terms of importance, yes. But I’m not going to lecture you on Alysian customs again.”

        “So what’s our spin on this? Obviously things will be a bit...tense given the recent rights movement from the Lutaur group.” We could do the ‘we need more information route’, or just outright take a side. Just kidding. Fun fact, as an ambassador, you actually are not allowed to take sides. Unfortunately, I have to keep all of my opinions to myself.

        “We’re going to have to take a more involved stance. The Alysian loyalists will refuse to have any common Lutauren on the investigative team, and vice versa. Neither could really look at things in an unbiased manner, so I’m hoping you aren’t too rusty.”

        “Wait, I’m investigating this?” It cannot be emphasized enough how much of a bad idea this would be. Sure, I’d been a rookie once, but the few cases I’d had were scant on physical evidence and had focused too much on the witnesses and written statements. I also didn’t stick to the job long enough to overcome those shortcomings, either.

        “Well, obviously, I’m recruiting some others more typically expert in the matter and they’ll be on their way shortly, but both sides will concede to a third party having a look at this. If they don’t, they’ll look suspicious. Don’t make any mistakes, though, they’ll jump at the chance to declare favoritism.”

        “Well, I typically try to make mistakes, but today I’ll hold off on that, just for you.” I also realize it usually isn’t good to be snarky with your boss. “Where are the experts from? Earth?”

        “Your sarcasm doesn’t help. They will be from wherever I can get them, except for Alysia. We can’t have anyone biased. That aside, I need you to put together your broadcast now, and be ready to start asking people questions right after. Get that investigation going, they will not want to wait. Considering…”

        “Yeah, considering there might be a life at stake, I know.” Man, I was really hoping to take the night easy. Who knows, maybe this would be a Romeo and Juliet situation, and she just ran off with a Lutauren boyfriend. Somehow, I don’t think it will be that easy.

        I slipped into more professional wear, not wanting to offend either side by seeming to take this matter lightly. For a planet that was founded by miners and pirates, they have surprisingly delicate sensibilities for this sort of thing.

        First, I had to meet the the tense and almost sulking representatives of Alysia and the Lutaurens. Things have been particularly strained for a while. About a decade ago Alysians were enslaving Lutaurens for mining the planet. So the Lutaurens rebelled and were, for a while, okay with being second-class citizens. Recently, both sides have been putting their foot down about everything. Neither side is very happy about it. Earth made a trade agreement and is a minority on Alysia, have since been awkwardly hoping things would calm down peacefully.

        The Alysian representative wore clean-cut lines, with fabric so smooth you couldn’t even see a grain of a weave. The black and white matched the grey skin of the Alysian. It was sort of plain, but formal and upright, laid in traditions that the representative clearly clung to. His angular but small jaw was clenched as I walked in.

        The Lutauren representative was more of what you’d call a “specimen” of the species. He was handsomely dressed, in the latest fashion, though with adequate formality. His own clothes were made of more textures, varying from metallic accents to fibrous weaves. He was more interesting to look at, but even his very round, almost harmless looking eyes were rooted in discontent.

        Pulling these two from each other's’ throats would be...interesting. I cleared mine, drawing their attention. “The Honorable Mx Elmari and The Honorable Mx Tra’Elune, I’m sorry we have to meet under such regrettable circumstances.” Before they could start launching blame at each other, I continued. “Since there is mistrust of both investigative committees, with both the Alysian Bureau of Investigation and Lutauren Chief of Police scandal, I have a proposal. Everyone wants a peaceful, and just, resolution. In order to achieve this, I will lead an investigative team to look into this.”

        The Alysian representative was the first to speak up, “This is of the Alysian royal family business, certainly you can see why we would want to handle this ourselves.”

        “I understand perfectly well, but there may be political motives behind this, as you might have guessed. I am sure the royal family does not want a daughter to be used for some sort of political gain. This way no one can scrutinize the justice that is served as a way to marginalize or justify some sort of action.” I mean, with that argument he couldn’t say no.

        Mx Tra’Elune objected this time. “I do not like what you are implying. I will not have this incident be used to send my people -”

        I had to do some damage control here. Like I said, ambassadors can’t take sides. “No one is implying anything. The same goes for you. This could be someone trying to spark war in between you two.”

        “Fine.” Mx Elmari spoke first, something with irked the Tra’Elune a bit. “We’ll allow this.”

        “I’ll need you to call off the bureau from the crime scene right now. I can’t have it contaminated.” I know every Bureau employee would love to kiss some serious Alysian royal ass with this, and most of them were probably still fighting for the job. They wouldn’t be above ignoring obvious evidence pointing the other direction, either.

        I thought about it, when walking away from the negotiating table: all those two have really experienced from humanity is a compromising peacekeeper. It took us a little long to get here.