Reyne tried to make a point of meeting all new visitors to the planet at the spaceport. For one, as cultural attache, it was part of the job. For another – Reyne liked the Mestaron, but they were extremely, extremely touchy about certain things – much as many humans were, come to think about it – and there had already been too many “incidents.” Humans might be touchy, but it didn’t mean they were cautious about others’ touchiness when visiting other planets.
(It was a bit surprising that Reyne had been allowed to keep the position of cultural attache, once that first report, the one with the bolding and the caps-lock, had gone through, but part of the bolding-caps-lock-side-bar had covered the unusual situation of Reyne and others of similar unusualities.)
This particular contingent, however, Reyne made a point of taking a shuttle up to their ship and meeting them before they even thought about touching down. Dressed carefully, in clothing that was sufficiently formal to impress, sufficiently Mestaron-like to discomfit, and specifically and entirely androgynous, Reyne greeted each of the VIPs first in the current style of the Federation and then in the human-equivalent of the Mestaron style.
“I hope you brought women with you.” It was rude to go about things quite that directly – either for the Mestaron or humans – but Reyne wanted them off-put and off-balance. They needed to shake expectations first.
“Here in the Federated Nations we don’t concern ourselves with the gender of-“
“The Mestaron will. The Mestaron will take it as a considerable insult if you don’t bring your ruling class with you. Also: did the Federated States outlaw sex drives while I was away?”
The definitely-male-bodied person – whose collar insignia said was probably in charge of the mission – sputtered and stammered for a moment. “The Federated States doesn’t speak about-“
“But they do, I’m sure, or you’d be having a population problem. Look. You know if you brought women. And if you didn’t, we’re not going any further in this briefing and I’m not letting you on-planet.”
There were some days Reyne really loved this job.
Reyne has also appeared Here and here.
This is written to anke‘s prompt to my genderfunky prompt call.
Want more? I’m sure I could have fun with this one. Commission more words via Paypal at the Giraffe Call rate of $1/100 words.
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