“Thank you for confirming that you are calling about legal issues,” Broadbent said. “A competent staff will undoubtedly have informed you that I am our Senior Legal Officer, so you actually did want to talk to me.” Of course, Tara thought, the likelihood that you have a competent staff is just a bit limited. “If you had reached Doctor Chelan, whose expertise lies not in law, he would have passed you to me.”
“Fair enough,” Bronkowksi answered, has facing turning ruddier. “In any event, it has been called to the attention of the Stellar Republic that Bulger Space yards is preparing to design and build unregistered space ships, which has serious legal consequences. You need to register what you are going to build.”
Interesting, she thought. Is it a random guess, or does know something that I don’t? “I’m sorry, Legate, but I seem to have missed something here,” she answered. “The Anglic Union to my knowledge does not register space ships. Our ships have file entries in All the Galaxy’s Merchant Spaceships, our entries actually being reasonably up to date, but that’s a courtesy to our regular customers, not a registration.”
“If you build a space ship,” Bronkowski said, “you have to register your construction project. It’s the law.”
“That’s a very interesting claim,” Broadbent said. “Could you by some chance reference the Anglic Union Legislative Code section to which it corresponds? I hadn’t been aware we regulated space ship construction.” What, she wondered, is he talking about, given that we do not seem to be building spaceships, and why does the Stellar Republic care?
“I am not referring to Anglic Union Law,” Bronkowski said. “I am referring to True Law as set down by the wealthiest, most progressive, and best-run star nation in the galaxy, namely the Stellar Republic. Under our laws, before you start to build a starship, you must register your plans and have them approved by Republic inspectors.”
“I still seem to be missing something,” Broadbent said. “We are in Northern California, a part of the Anglic Union, not someplace in the Stellar Republic. Why do your laws matter here?”
“Of course, you are in the Anglic Union,” Bronkowski said calmly. “I actually was aware of that. However, it is generally the case that space yards in minor nations along our borders willingly and voluntarily agree to participate in our registration process.”