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When the scion Princess experienced entity contact by induced dreaming sleep, they had clamored, hissed, accused. She understood that they were different from the peoples she knew, which was less prominent in the exchange than the fact that they were people. A layer of mystery protected them from presupposition. They delivered key knowledge. It wasn’t a declaration (we’re going to do these things), or an ultimatum (we’ll do these things unless), but like a tsunami warning. These things are now to occur. It’s war, unlike any the Pan-Galactic Imperium has seen.

She knew nothing else would come to her directly in this conflict. Her likely appointed role would have been understanding, relating, and managing the moods of the Pan-Galactic peoples. Like any citizen, she would hear about it, and respond with thinking or feeling. It was a figurehead position that could be done by someone considerate, and gracefully dressed. Margeaux was good enough at it, and Mireille was better. Princess Soleil wasn’t a military tech pilot like her mother had been by a year past her age. She wouldn’t be leading any rash or symbolic salvos with her loyal team of ships. Soleil had pursued diplomacy. The people she met on her official travels sometimes said she made a better connection with them than any royal visitors in folk memory. So, she was good at meeting strangers.

No one else could step into the opportunity offered by the contact, like a ticket to a different future. She accepted their gambit; it was the last, best chance to learn and know them before being caught in the divide. Soleil calculated quickly that it was worth her life to do, that this was no scripted role of imparted procedure.

She’d figured it out – first, she had to do that. Using her knowledge mechanic, she uncovered theirs with the signs she’d been given. Now I see you, now you see me. You have a vehicle. I have your address. Would they have brought her through if she hadn’t shown them that she could understand? If she could put that much together, maybe she could accomplish more. Or maybe she’d be another fallen scion.

Ready, always ready. She held herself ready, to act, to perceive, to realize. Years of learning readiness meant that she didn’t overlook or turn away from the obvious door when it opened. Her path went straight through it, and she knew how to proceed along her path.

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