The galaxy is at war, and we cannot afford to be weak.
War strengthens us. Our family, our corporation, our power. For three generations, Shiori Aerospace Manufacturing has built some of the most deadly weapons in existence. A blade can kill a man in one strike. A gun can kill a dozen. Our ships have razed millions.
It is not a beautiful business, but they are not beautiful ships. My great-grandfather was a fighter. He raised his daughter to be an engineer. She raised her son to be a merchant.
And my father raised me to be a fighter.
He was not foolish, you see. The galaxy is at war, and sooner or later someone was going to come for us. I know our business like the back of my hand. I have attended countless meetings over my twenty-eight years. I have been a negotiator, a secretary, my father's right hand. He is lauded for his bravery, in meeting with his clients with only a daughter present.
We do not mention that I am his bodyguard. We do not mention that the decorative hairpins are laced with poison. We do not mention that the jewels are hollow and filled with toxins. We do not mention that I know how to strangle someone with a silken scarf. We do not mention that I have done all of these things. They are our corporate's most well-guarded secrets.
Which is why I must wonder who it was that spilled that information in the first place, because when I find them, I am going to pluck their eyes out and impale them on one of these hairpins and wear them as decoration until I can no longer stand the stench.
My name is Karana Shiori. My father is dead. My mother is dead. My corporation is held captive, and I have neither the funds nor the manpower to free it. That is why I will make my own way, as my great-grandfather did once before - and some day when I have a daughter, I will raise her to be anything but a bloody engineer, because look where that got us.