I was saved from answering – accidentally or otherwise – by Mr. Tanaka’s arrival. He entered the small room Hito Yon and Al were waiting in and immediately became the center of attention.
"Mr. Tanaka," Al said, "Hello. I am given to understand you will be deciding the course of my future here on earth."
Mr. Tanaka swept his gaze back and forth between Hito Yon and Al. He did not look as pleased with this development as Hito Yon had hoped he would. Finally, he settled on Al. His experienced eye easily determined that she was not just a nutcase in a costume.
For her part, Al sat very still and kept her thoughts to herself.
Finally, Mr. Tanaka sighed. "Yes," he said, "after I evaluate the potential threat you pose to this world. I understand that you were the leader of an alien invasion force?"
"No," Al said. "That is inaccurate. I was the leader of an expedition with the intent to demonstrate the superiority of an Imperial upbringing over that of the dominant native Terran cultures’. Had my mission been successful, your planet would have been peacefully annexed into the Empire. There would have been no invasion."
Hito Yon snorted. "Really? Not even if the people of Earth chose not to submit to alien overlords?"
Al turned to look at him. Her brow creased in puzzlement. "I don’t think you understand," she said. "The purpose of the expedition was to demonstrate that an individual raised in the Empire is advantaged over one who was not. Afterward, those who did not have an Imperial upbringing would have been eliminated. Sufficient genetic samples would be preserved to clone a new generation, and from that point forward the people of Earth would belong to a single, unified cultural identity: The Empire’s."