“They’re here,” the ambassador’s personal bodyguard said as he poked his head through the door.

The Ambassador nodded. “Show them in, Dmitri.”

Dmitri nodded as he began to close the door.

“And Dmitri, holster your weapon. This is supposed to be a diplomatic meeting.”

Again Dmitri nodded as he finally shut the door behind him and left, presumably to go show his guests in.

Ambassador Higgins quickly turned around and began unpacking papers and recording device from his suitcase. He would have done so earlier, but a voice deep in his subconscious told him that the Armstid diplomat wouldn’t show. The voice was wrong.

The race known as the Armstid’s had extended their hand in diplomatic relations several times before in the past, only to not show presumably to use the event as a distraction to attack a human colony in some far off planetary system on the opposites side of the explored galaxy. However, even this time Higgins felt this meeting was somehow different, but he still didn’t think the Armistid diplomat would show.

The door opened and Dmitri walked into the meeting hall, his rifle now slung over his shoulder and swaying back and forth across his back as he made his way into the room where he abruptly turned and stood next the Ambassador.

“Good, boy,” Higgins said in a barely audible breath.

“You made me walk unarmed with an Armistid lurking in the shadows just behind me, sir.” Dmitri said, not turning to face the Ambassador, instead keeping a constant vigil on the open door and the dark hallway beyond.

“Yes, I did.”

“I will never forgive you, sir.”

Higgins just grinned.

“Anthony Higgins?” Came a loud voice from the darkness of the hallway. “Ambassador Anthony Higgins?”

“Yes,” The ambassador answered back. “But my friends all call me Higgins, I would very much prefer if you did the same. After all this is a meeting to discuss peace, is it not?”

Anthony wasn’t sure what the topics of this meeting would be or why it was even called, but his bosses and his bosses bosses all hoped it would be to discuss some kind of cease fire over colony worlds that both raced had laid claim to.

“My wife calls me ‘Higgy’ if that is more to your liking, although I would much prefer ‘Higgins.’” He said when no immediate answer came. Dmitri cracked a smile.

“Do the humans desire a peace with the Armistid?” The diplomat asked, still from the shadows of the hallway.

“Yes.” Higgins answered back bluntly. “We both need the same things in order to survive, however, lately; the bloodshed on both sides has become so great that the idea of expanding out amongst the stars has made this a challenge, to put it mildly, for both races.”

“Yes,” the diplomatic answered, this time with an audible hiss in his voice. “Take for example, the Armistid defeat at Noxum; we lost over a dozen ships and twelve thousand soldiers.”

“Or the battle at Roderen. We lost only one ship, but more than sixty-five thousands men and women” Higgins shot back, recalling one the few points that he was told before given this assignment: negotiate a peace, but make no apologies for atrocities committed on both sides.

“Yes.” The diplomat said, walking slowly into the room, his long arms outstretched and angled to keep the glaring lights shinning down from the ceiling out of his eyes.

Neither Higgins or Dmitri had ever seen a Armistid before, very few had. The closest look that most got was of the dead after their bodies had been exploded out into space, and then there usually wasn’t enough to get a good feel of how they really looked.

“My government has instructed me to offer no apology for these battles, but I will say this: the losses on both sides have been extreme, and while it may take a millennia for our two species to live in peace, my government would like to offer a ceasefire.”

Higgins suppressed a smile that he felt creeping across his face.

“And the offer of an alliance.” The diplomat went on, walking further into the room to stand just on the other side of the table where Higgins had spread out the contents of his briefcase.

“I must say this is unexpected. I…we…maybe we should all sit down, and yes, we too would like a ceasefire.” Higgins said, stumbling over his words as he offered the chair on the other side of the table to the diplomat.

“First, allow me to introduce myself, I am Arlic Nod, supreme Chancellor of the Armistid Worlds Alliance.