"Councilor Chum, I fail to see where you're going with this point."
Gorg turned from the accusation, desperate to keep his emotions under control. The view from the council chamber was truly spectacular. One could see the entire capital city. Schools of brightly colored fish swam by and sunlight trickled through the ocean depths.
There had been no news of Calen's arrival. A good sign. Outsiders were always of note so he probably would have hear a rumor by now if his people suspected.
"The council has already made clear that we are to take no offensive action against the Imperium," Gorg said finally. "But given the current galactic political instability, it would be prudent to build up our planetary defenses."
"That would be a waste of resources," another council member observed. "Resources we could well use for other projects."
Gorg swam away from the window to the center of the room. "And what if the Imperium attacks? We will have no planet left to develop! My fellow councilors, I beg you to consider this matter with a broader viewpoint. Our planet is generally viewed to be impenetrable by most but we cannot rely on our reputation to defend! All it would take is one spy to report our weaknesses and we would be finished."
"Again, we have no reason to suspect the Imperium will attack. We even have peaceful trading negotiations with them."
"And when has that ever been enough for the Imperium? They won't rest until all planets are under their control. They have made this clear by their actions. Shawm is one of the few planets that could offer serious resistance. Councilors, it's not a matter of if they attack, it's when."
They murmured. "Your argument is strong. But peace requires trust. If we start to prepare for war, it would surely incite the Imperium to do the same. No, we must do nothing."