"Just one trunk, sir?" The dock liaison paused, blushed and amended, "—err, lord. Is it just the one trunk, my lord?"
He was human, of course. Since they'd returned to the galaxy, the Pelted had treated humanity with sheathed claws and milk teeth, as combination parent, companion and god. That reverence insured that most humans remained blissfully ignorant of the multiple cultures of the Alliance... everyone arranged themselves to suit humanity, rather than the reverse. Still, Lisinthir had expected more of the ambassadorial office's dock liaison, but since the number of Eldritch who'd stepped off-world could be counted on one of his hands, he supposed being properly addressed was asking too much.
"One trunk, yes," Lisinthir said. "It's heavy enough, you'll find."
The man tagged the trunk and nodded. "It'll be on board the Chatcaavan shuttle as soon as it docks."
"And that will be...?"
"About half an hour," the liaison said as the uniformed attendant behind him pulled the trunk onto an antigrav dolly. "If you'll follow me? The admiral would like to see you."
"Of course," Lisinthir said, hiding his surprise. Before leaving the Alliance Core he'd been briefed for so many hours even he'd grown impatient—and impatience wasn't a vice rewarded in his kind, living as long as they did—so he wondered what the admiral could possibly add. He fell into measured step behind the guide, taking care not to outpace the shorter man, and observed the spaciousness of the halls as they headed into the heart of the space station. If he recalled correctly, Earth administered these border stations, but the architecture was pure Alliance: understated and terrifying. In space, elegance was a statement of power.