A Day in the Life of Major Grace Newman before the Zoastra Affair Part Eleven
Grace realized that Second Lieutenant Mortlock remained quiet near the door, listening to the guards speaking. Her ear for languages could prove useful if she perfected her understanding. Unlike Southeastern, Mortlock knew how to behave in dangerous situations. Grace wished there was some order she could yell to stop the girl from laughing. Southeastern needed to remember where they were. Grace Newman intended on getting home to her husband and the ship.
The guards summarily dropped Southeastern like she was a sack of potatoes and left. When the door shut, Major Newman knelt down to help her up. Tears of laughter filled the girl’s eyes.
“Are you all right?” Newman asked.
“I’m fine. Couldn’t have been more than two inches.”
“What?” Had the girl gone mad?
Southeastern stopped laughing, and tried to hold her grin in check. “Something happened…they wanted to intimidate me, scare me into talking about the ship. But the men kept talking about how small their manhoods were. I started laughing and laughing. Then one of them whipped it out, all proud of himself, and I couldn’t stop roaring. My pinky is bigger. There’s no way any woman is satisfied on this planet unless they are all tiny.”
“We’re not supposed to interfere with other cultures.”
“Men aren’t supposed to be small. And I kept making the emperor himself darker and darker. But I couldn’t stop laughing. The other women, their own kind, started laughing too.”
Getting home mattered. “We don’t know the physiology of these people. It’s not our place.” Grace closed her eyes. The young lieutenant didn’t see how badly she’d upset their captors. Until they had an escape plan, now was not the time to start psychological conflicts. “Southeastern, control yourself. You did quite enough.”
“The guards kept saying ‘social unrest’,” Lieutenant Mortlock added.
“Social unrest?” Newman asked. We need to figure out where we were exactly before we start a sexual revolution behind enemy lines. We needed to get back to the ship.