Lord Admiral Karr rested his arms on his chair and leaned back, tilting the velvet seat with him. He found it was comfortable that way, although in his days as an ensign aboard an Emperor battleship his superiors would often scold him for his lackadaisical posture. Many G.Rs had since passed to separate him from that time, as his mandatory ten year service period expired and he pursued a successful career with the Scythian Office of Naval Intelligence.
His job nowadays ordinarily consisted of filling out paperwork, as a man of his rank and authority was often required to approve the numerous covert missions and infiltrations carried out constantly by SONI. On occasion he was allowed a little more excitement, as an admiral of some armada delivering classified KINGUNDERTHEMOUNTAIN artifacts- the grand Scythian Navy had been demoted to SONI’s delivery service as ships and men were diverted without explanation to the high Admiralty’s great annoyance.
Today though, was different- he was observing a classic interrogation session, a throwback to his days as an intern at SONI. Ordinarily a mission such as this would have been relegated to a subordinate, perhaps a lieutenant or a captain-level officer- but he had been informed of the potential for the discussion of information and technology too sensitive for the typical rank devoted to these tasks. He observed the scene through a large screen mounted on the wall facing him- the size and clarity of the panel could even trick the uninformed into thinking it was a window, not a video feed.
In the other room five figures surrounded a table, a glass hologram-projecting surface surrounded by a shining steel bezel. A single flickering fluorescent tube dimly lit the room as its light reflected off of dull metallic walls and flooring.
Three Scythian generals seated themselves each at an edge on one end of the table, dressed identically in claret jackets decked with banks of gleaming medals. The four-star general in the center was a rather corpulent fellow with an impressive set of whiskers and hair silvered with age. He was gnawing on an expensive cigar and impatiently tapping an expensive fountain pen against his edge of the table. Flanking him were two younger lieutenant generals, both bearing black berets and polarized sunglasses.
Across from them was the subject and the famous Scythian scientist, Professor Fuyutsia. The latter was enrobed in the typical Scythian science uniform, a red lab coat with gleaming golden buttons running along one side.
Karr was familiar with Professor Fuyutsia- a prodigy in his youth and undoubtedly one of the brightest even within an empire as vast as Scythia- he predominantly served as a tenured professor at the prestigious Scythian Faster than Light Institute, lecturing on advanced biology and its relationship to bleeding-edge physics theories. Fuyutsia every so often was called upon by SONI to assist as a consultant and bestow his expertise upon the analysis of strange artifacts and skunkworks weaponry. Now the old scientist wore a very slight grin and rubbed his hands in anticipation, glancing at his guest every so often.
The subject differentiated herself as the odd one of the group, an expatriate from the young nation of Trattoria, a state known to the brikverse for a mere four months. She had a blonde bob cut and wore a white lab coat over a blue dress, in direct contrast to the Scythian red and black. There was no doubt that she was intelligent, having mastered the standard galactic language in the span of a few weeks, although she still retained an exotic, almost Lancian accent that sometimes impeded a native listener.
The burly four-star brass commenced the interview.
“Announce your name clearly for the recording.”
The subject directed her eyes towards the general, clasping her hands in front of her and resting on the table.
“My name is Dr. Akagi, of the Meritocratic Republic of Trattoria, colloquially recognized as the Trattorian Empire. I am present to assist in the proposal process of Project E.”