“Ah, Captain Sundapur,” said Governor Cray as the elevator opened. “I’m glad I ran into you. You were at the interview, yes?”

“You can call me Manisha, Governor. We’ve worked together for long enough, wouldn’t you say?”

“Ah, right. Of course.” Cray, ruddy at the best of times, was visibly scarlet. “This is an official matter, though. You were at the interview, yes?”

“You mean with Kyhee? Yes, I was there. What of it?”

Cray shrugged. “I’ve nothing against Xulfie like her, but I’ve never trusted them.” He looked over, clearly feeling he might have gone too far, and quickly added: “It’s nothing to do with them, of course. I understand their abilities from an evolutionary standpoint, it just makes me nervous to hire her. Once I’ve unleashed Kyhee, who’s to say I won’t see her in place of my secretary, one of my aides, or even my wife? That’s the sort of intelligence that would be disastrous in he wrong hands if she were to be lured away from us.”

“Your wife? Really? That would be unusual dedication to a role, surely.”

“Oh, you know my wife,” Cray harrumphed. “The Xulfie woud have her own bedroom.”

“And don’t you think that kind of premeditated betrayal would make her, and just about any Xulfie, unemployable after the second or third mercenary backstabbing? That’s the thing about betrayal: you can only do it once before everyone starts to suspect you.”

Cray nodded. “I suppose you’re right. She wouldn’t have come to the interview at all, showed us her true form, if this Kyhee didn’t expect at least a little reciprocal trust.” The Governor tapped his temple thoughtfully. “What do you think of Kyhee the Xulfie, Captain Sundapur?

Sundapur smiled. “I am Kyhee the Xulfie, Governor. Shall we consider the interview over and discuss terms?”

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