Character interview with Khyria Ilan
Remote location on the Canadian West coast, with a Thermos of fortified hot chocolate.
J C Steel: I heard you took an assignment with Irin. Since it was in the news – what was Central Worlds like?
Khyria Ilan: Crawling in security. And high-tech marketing. I’m still debugging my systems of adware.
JCS: What do you expect the fallout to be?
KI: For Irin? He wants it all to go away. He’s refreshingly uninterested in anything that doesn’t have four feet and a tail. He’s been named heir to one of the most influential families in Central Worlds, and the clause he insisted on was making it temporary until another heir could be found. For Wildcat? Officially, nothing. Unofficially…I fully expect to hear from Irin’s father, in some shape or form.
JCS: What was you impression of Irin’s father?
KI: You are aware that I was there on assignment, not a holiday.
JCS: Your personal impressions of a man are that highly classified? The Councils must have a high opinion of your intuition.
KI: [laughs] I remember when that line worked better on you. Fine. Intelligent, nasty, and rich.
KI: If Irin didn’t have – what’s the phrase? Daddy issues? – it’s possible he might find his biological father less odious. Or not. My personal impression of Irian do Maseka do Harek, since you ask, is that he and Irin aren’t so very different on some levels. However, unlike Irin, do Harek’s been running a business empire out of Central Worlds all of his life. There are lines that Irin has never contemplated crossing that do Harek has had to compromise on.
JCS: I see. Did you ever find out how Cahan of the Golden Valleys managed to make getting you to Central Worlds the problem of do Harek? Or even how he got an audience with the man?
KI: No. On the other hand, the link between Irin Seviki and Wildcat Cortia is publicly documented: that ill-considered rebellion Irin’s planet staged was covered by every major newscast. Once you assume that the initial step of Cahan gaining access to do Harek was feasible, as it demonstrably was, the rest was a simple matter of playing the odds.
JCS: Things you call simple keep my costs for headache medication high. It must have been…odd, to see Cahan and Irin in the same room.
KI: Was that a question?
JCS: An invitation. If you don’t want to discuss Cahan, how about Warron?
KI: Competent. Intelligent enough, on Central Worlds, to focus on understanding what the security measures and the threats were, rather than freezing at the amount of the unknown. Cahan made a sensible decision when he put him in as guard commander. He’s tough and adaptable.
JCS: High praise, from a Cortiian for a human.
KI: You’re fond of the saying that the exception proves the rule.
JCS: [grins] Ouch. Do you think Cahan’s planet is going to get its entry into the Federated Planets?
KI: That would be the positive outcome for them and for the FPA. Taking a planet back to bare earth and re-populating is expensive, not to mention hard to keep quiet. Cahan’s appearance on Central Worlds indicates that the likelihood is high.
JCS: That happen often?
KI: The eradication approach? Not that the Cortii is aware of. Perhaps twice in the last millennium.
JCS: What do you think about their entry into the FPA?
JCS: I know that. I didn’t ask you what you thought the most practical containment solution was.
KI: I’d sleep better if the FPA were to erase life on that planet, my personal respect for some of its population not withstanding. As it’s not likely to happen…I’ve done what I currently can.
JCS: Last question: do you think Irin’s going to hear from his father more often?
KI: Yes. Irian do Harek didn’t strike me as someone who lets go of anything useful easily.