Imperial Radch Wiki

"She Commands Me and I Obey" is a short story set in the same universe as the Imperial Radch trilogy. Ann Leckie wrote this story while working on Ancillary Justice.[1] It was partly inspired by her late mother's love of hockey games, and partly inspired by the Mesoamerican ballgame.[2]


The short story takes place in Noage Itray, a 35-mile-long cylindrical space station. The story does not contain any mention of the Radch Empire. The civilization that populates Noage Itray and other stations in the area is not explicitly named, but is strongly implied to be the Itran Tetrarchy: in addition to the station name, the rulers are called Tetrarchs. Additionally, Breq's comments about an Itran icon in Ancillary Mercy correspond to this story (including the character Seven-Brilliant-Truths-Shine-Like-Suns).


"She Commands Me and I Obey" was released as part of a fundraiser for the online speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons. Since the fundraiser reached its goals, the text is now freely available to read online in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.


Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode.

The story is primarily concerned with an electoral match between Noage Itray and Harime stations and its repercussions. It also reveals some of what Breq did while in what is presumably the Itran Tetrarchy, as well as explaining some comments she makes in Ancillary Mercy to Kalr Five about one of the Itran icons that Breq owns.