Francesca Yutani-Alfarsi, the ambassador's wife, was a good mother.

She knew she was a good mother because her five children never had to do anything they didn't want to - so when the exclusive tutor she hired over her wife's objections said after the first day that her beloved flock were nothing but a bunch of illiterate, unmanageable little savages in need of immediate remedial education and regular beatings, she had the man escorted out of the embassy compound underground because he was obviously a dangerously delusional liar - no, Francesca's children were not illiterate, unmanageable little savages and certainly not in need of a beating. They were gentle, creative, uninhibited miracles of ethical upbringing and the whimsical genetics she'd designed herself. If they were rarely invited to any children's parties held by the military parents stationed on Alpha Centauri, it was only because they were jealous of her unique children compared to their own boring, unmodified ones with only the genes their parents gave them at conception.

Anyway, whenever that envy manifested itself in the form of early dismissals, requests for financial compensation for property damage and medical care, she left that to her wife, ambassador Afaf Yutani-Alfarsi to deal with, which inexplicably made her soul mate quite cross: clearly her beloved didn't understand children or a child's need for freedom to explore, an ethical upbringing, and breast feeding until at least the age of twelve…