Here’s a new short story I’m working on for an anthology. Maxzide is a diplomatic representative for the Coalition of Industrialized Planets and is traveling to Glissau to help process their membership application. His assistant, Xio, has been sent ahead and is awaiting Max’s arrival:
“Max, glad you’re here, although you’re cutting it close,” she said.
He sat in his monogrammed chair and put his feet on the desk. “I’ve been doing this so long, I’ve got it down to a science. Where are you?”
“In my villa. I don’t think you’re going to like it much here. It’s a matriarchal society run like a harem…men raising the kids, men cleaning the house, even men strategizing what men to acquire.”
“Acquire?” Max said. “What do you mean, like buy?”
“Not buy per se, but trade, like a dowry,” Xio said.
“As in trading men for animals and bolts of fabric?”
“No! They’re not primitive. Stocks and bonds, sometimes ground transport.”
“Oh, well, that’s so much more civilized. Why the hell would COIP be interested in a backwoods planet like that? Who authorized the prelims?” Max said.
“Anz Tamar. Expedited.”
“Anz?” Max stood up and began pacing his office. “That rat bastard is dirtier than the crust on a banker’s ass. What the hell is he up to?”