it’s a big stick

Gal-sabra (Falish Traverse) System
Peremptory-class diplomatic cruiser, CSS Occasionally Transigent

Lei’hudal, vizjeri,” Ambassador Cíën Lochran addressed her visitors, “be welcome here. May I offer you some refreshment after your flight? Something to eat, perhaps?”

“No, thank you. Time is pressing: let us get down to business. You said that you had received a communique from the Spire?”

“Very well. Indeed, I have received such a communique. Their Divine Majesties instruct me to inform you that the Empire, as a polity, takes no position on the current or future activities of the Theomachy of Galia.”

The Galian delegation looked at each other.

“No position?”

“Quite so.”

“We find that rather hard to believe. The Empire will make no response to anything we –”

“That is not quite what I said.”

“May I ask you to clarify, then, this lack of position?”

“With your permission to be undiplomatically explicit?”

“If necessary.”

“Their Divine Majesties do not believe that it is their place, nor yet the place of their Ministries, to dictate to sovereign realms or sovereign individuals what they may or may not do. We exercise no force majeure veto; we set no rules upon the non-consenting. You may do as you will and as you must without our constraint.” She leaned back comfortably, and continued. “Of course, in response to your actions, we reserve the right to also do as we will, and as we must, possibly with a fleet task group or two – but that should be by no means interpreted as a threat, since we have demanded of you, and will demand of you, nothing. It is merely the inevitable unwinding of certain branches of the causal graph.”