Leif (thinking): It’s not like I’m tricking him, right? Not if this is a thing I’d ask anyway. If he did something, I really do want to know!
And he knows I’m loyal to my country . . . I’ve never hidden that . . .
Leif: Thorn . . . they said you brought the kids back, but not the Culture Minister. What really happened? I mean, did he — Did you —
Thorn (thinking): I haven’t screened for bugs tonight. He could be chipped. The truth won’t incriminate me, which is good, because I don’t want to lie to Leif . . .
But I’d better take extra care to make this answer Embassy-safe. Odds are, either it’s being recorded directly, or they’ll order him to make a full report and he’ll get zapped if he lies.
Thorn: All I know for surely is that I did my job. I protected your people. I don’t know if the Minister did anything. They want to ask him about smuggling. I have no reason to suspect that on him. He will get a fair treat, so he will be home probably soon.
Leif: . . .
Thorn: We can talk about this more inside, okay?
Leif: . . . ‘Kay.