Posted July 5, 2020 at 12:00 pm

"An' it's real small, because..."

"It's at the Cynn's sole direction," Numair explained. "Our parliamentary body--the Assembly--doesn't want to expand that sort of power."

"Oh. Gotcha. But then there's the Aetherian army, which is differnt, and bigger."

"Yes," Numair agreed. They had reached a staircase that ran down onto the beach, and picked their way down it onto the sand. "But not by much. And again, the Assembly won't mobilize them against the trade."

"Because that's, uh..."

"An act of war. A war that would, frankly, never end."

"Fair 'nuff," Hawk conceded. Numair had picked up a small white shell from the sands, and was studying it as they walked across the beach. The wind was coming in strongly off the ocean, blowing their hair back. "So there's this third thing, R.I.T., an' that'd be an interworld thing."

"A joint commission, yes. Resolves both problems, you see," Numair added, "Takes the full control out of the Cynn's hands, and doesn't involve declaring a forever war."

"Okay," Hawk said, sensibly, "so what's the problem?"

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