Gretchen met Phoeman at the immigration office five months before Sovereign Peterol came into power. He had been twelfth in line to see her among sixty-four passengers who arrived on Terrall from a foreign outpost. He wore baggy pants and a cropped shirt. His well-toned abdomen displayed a tattoo, which trailed down from his neck. Dark locks of hair dangled past his ears, and his digital eyes sparkled like black diamonds. His had been the fifth group of immigrants she had processed that morning. It was a tedious chore, and she did it with impatient indifference.
She placed a new processing form on her desk as Phoeman approached. "Name."
"Phoeman." His voice was deep and rich in dialect.
"Last name, please."
She slid the form to him and offered him her ink pen. "Okay, funny man. Fill it out yourself. Have a seat. NEXT."