Getting two ships close enough to converse, especially warships of very different designs, was not a quick process, and it was based in part on trust.
Captain Titrian & the garishly-dressed foreign captain relied instead on mutual curiosity and a great deal of hand-waving, while their ruler stood at the bow, smiling, accompanied by a nervous-looking attendant.
Titrian didn’t blame the attendant. He had been listing the ways this could go wrong; he was up to thirty-seven.
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