“What is the population of your planet, anyway?” Edmundo asks, shuffling down the line with his tray and punching his meal choice into the cafeteria’s constructor unit.
“Moon,” Westerly corrects, a spot ahead of him, hir own tray laden down with gently steaming food, “The Qovesh live on three moons, not a planet.”
Br’Joci, following after Edmundo in the line, reaches one long arm around to rub her knuckles against Westerly–a gesture of praise and gratitude. “Afi, the moon I was born on, is the most populated; followed by Ari then Aki,” She explains, the cadence of her voice turning into a practiced lecture. “For Afi alone I think it’s about… maybe three or four hundred.”
“… Thousand?” Edmundo asks for clarification, following after Westerly to a mostly empty table, only a Pakebi pair-bond who seem to be already finished with their own meals.
“Billion,” Br’Joci corrects casually, like that single word hadn’t just blown Edmundo’s mind.
Given humanity’s own population restriction–the Lattice space stations having a maximum occupancy and the government limiting settlement on Terra Secundo–such a number seems impossible.
Westerly laughs–a trilling whistle which zie punctuates with several slaps to the table–no doubt at his wide-eyed, mouth agape expression.
“There’s a reason why most Qovesh-Afi join Guilds as soon as we turn of age,” Br’Joci shrugs, “We’re a nation of immigrant workers.”
A/N: just a thing from my original fic, I still hope to one day be able to write it in full, but it’s still beyond my abilities. so for now I will chisel away at it, slowly but surely.