“Yes, for this conversation I am indeed Miss Smith,” she said. “I have for you some totally legal information from a totally legal source. It’s just that it would be inconvenient for my source to be known as our source. Annoying the Stellar Republic can be inadvisable.”
“I have been here many times,” Raymond said. “So what am I going to hear?”
“It’s cleverly disguised,” Tara said. “But it would be hot-potato-politically legislation on trade. We’d appreciate knowing if our source is right.”
“Yes?” Raymond drew out his one-syllable answer.
“And it points back to your Senator’s question, some time back, about whether or not Bulger Spaceyards is considering building space ships,” Tara continued.
“You have my full attention,” Raymond said.
Tara launched into an explanation, punctuated by passing across the file codes. “Are these trade regulations actually under consideration? I’ve heard no mention of it, except from our sources, and it would affect the legality of some of our strictly-legal operations.”
“We’re perfectly able to do a search,” Raymond said, “in a reasonably innocuous way, that will not reveal what we are actually examining. And I start a couple of days hence, so the connection with your visit is obscured. It’s about the best we can do, given that we really aren’t a spy operation. But I have friends in the Senate Research Office, folks who can press the needed keys and not wonder why they are doing things, especially when Senator de Witt is involved.”
“That’s very kind of you,” Tara said.
“You did the Senator and her friends a significant favor,” he continued, “even if you didn’t know it. Whitecloth is sincere, but is not always the best person for his position. Nor is his party likely to be the best for the Union, in the Senator’s considered opinion, which she certainly is not quiet about. And, finally, in a capital city with very few secrets, I’ve heard nothing about a trade embargo, even one this cleverly disguised.”