Thanks to Saxon Hawke and Layla Saitana for their written contributions.
The original posts are here.

Stacmon V – Moon 9 – Federation Navy Assembly Plant

Sakaane walked into the station lounge and paused to survey the room, noting pilots grouped here and there at tables. Their conversations were hushed, spoken to one another from behind glasses held up near their mouths, their shoulders hunched toward one another as if afraid of being overheard. As she watched, more than a few repeatedly made glances in the direction of a certain table. Some of them sniggered while others had lingering expressions of mortification on their faces.

My grandmother would have said we are hanging out the dirty wash for all the world to see by meeting here, Sakaane thought, annoyed. Requiring a public arena as a means to enforce decorum was ridiculous, though from the tension in the air it appeared she had just missed an example of how this setting might not necessarily achieve that end anyway. Could they really accomplish nothing without an audience? This is not how things should be done.

She turned her head, following the glances of the onlookers, and was not surprised to see Suresha Hawke and Layla Saitana sitting together. Taking a measured breath, Sakaane banished her irritation. That attitude would do no good here. Regardless of the venue, they needed this meeting. The alliance depended on it. She squared her shoulders and approached the table.

Namas, Suresha, Layla,” she said warmly, bowing respectfully to Saxon. “I hope you’ve not been waiting long.”