Teera has grown up learning, reading and loving the intricacies of interplanetary law but when she is requested as a Mediator on her mother's homeworld protocol subverts her role in the world and she has to knuckle under to her family. When one of her cousins breaks an ankle, Teera is forced to uphold Clan honour by taking her place, joining the others and dancing for the Skylord.
Dirko rubbed his forehead. “I have no interest in the Leffuo women. It goes against Asku protocols.”
Stavos laughed. “That is what all the Asku say and yet two of you have already found mates with our women.”
Dirko grunted. “And here I thought all Leffuo women got rid of their virginity at first opportunity.”
“Not all, though it is encouraged to ease the mixing of bloodlines. We pride ourselves on avoiding inbreeding for the most part. Everyone is encouraged to keep track of their ancestors to avoid just that sort of thing.”
“The dancers will perform to get masculine attention and if I find one to be particularly interesting, I can give her one of the bands wearing my clan mark. So, if by any chance, there is one that I want to gift with something, I call her over and place the jewellery on her wrist or ankle. She then dances for me privately before re-joining the crowd.”
Stavos nodded. “Exactly. The women will be masked and you will be able to judge them on their grace and style.”
“And my favourite dancer gets the prize.”
He was getting used to the idea of this being his post. In the past, the Asku kept a floating warship in the gas fields to guard against intercession by those who wanted to keep the skimmed minerals and gasses for themselves. The Leffuo had asked for and received help for a moderate price.
It was considered a cushy post. Many of the past skylords had been nearing retirement and had spent their last active years floating around the mountains and the fields of endless gasses wafting up from the surface.
Each sky ship had a bubble of breathable atmosphere that was held in place with a force field, another addition from the Asku. One hundred fifty years before, the Leffuo had asked for help and the Asku had brought in technology that would allow their people to live out on the surface of their ships instead of deep inside. It increased health and physical fitness as well as life expectancy.
The dancing went back to the days when the clan ships would connect for a night and part in the morning. If a male wanted to keep his woman, he only needed to hold her in his chambers overnight and into the morning. When her family ship left, she was his. It was the fastest means to a marriage ever and only unwed women danced.