" The issue with the diplomacy situation is simply that I didn't want to," William complained. " Is it so bad of me to put off stuff like that?"

" I can sympathize with your laziness, but since it could be an urgent matter, we should attend to it, Wille."

" Ohhh no, is it as urgent as this, though-?"

He leaned over the table, ready to cause mischief, and then abruptly paused.

The door slid open.

" As urgent as what?"

William sat back in his chair.

" General Masterson," he greeted. " What business do you have with me during my lunch break?"

" I wanted to talk to you about the situation in Sector twenty-six," the General replied stiffly.

William did not allow his gaze to drift over to Nova.

" Is it really so important right now? We've almost arrived, after all."

Steel and ice.

" I believe your ability to make a strategic decision in this situation has been compromised," General Masterson said. " By flagrant collusion with foreign interests."

A pause.

" And I believe that you seem to have misinterpreted my relation to the present foreign interests quite critically," William replied, not letting his cheer dampen. He felt Nova shoot him a critical glare.

" The fact of the matter is, William, you're intentionally delaying a resolution to the problem at hand. There's no way you can be ignorant to the ramifications of allowing someone like Chancillor Mordau audience with senior officials."

Nova stood, immediately.

" What do you mean, Mordau?" he demanded. " William, what does this have to do with Mordau? I wasn't informed of anything regarding him!"