Colonel Percival Bay walked into his new office on Avalon. It was much like any other but it was very likely the most dangerous post he had ever undertaken. It seemed a short two years since he was but Sir Percival Bay, Chief of Palace Security on his home planet of Duvonet. Two years since he was finally rid of his Monarchs enemies and the planet was a newly joined member of the Alliance. A highly stylized and tradition bound society, Duvonet culture demanded a gift of momentous proportion be sent to the Alliance to show Duvonet’s honor of the joining. With a silent groan Percy remembered the pronouncement that HE was the gift. Only a member of the Royal household would suffice, and Percy had been chosen. If the old fool had realized that Percy had kept the old Monarch from being assassinated for the last ten years, he never would have been sent. Once in the Alliance, Percy had been sent to command a small outpost on the edge of Imperial space. Cynically, Percy thought they hoped he would be killed, but he had applied his unusual tactics and brought the unruly outpost under a gentle form of controlled chaos. TheAlliance position had thrived, and now, he was once again being uprooted and placed in danger. Pirates,Imperials, and thieves Percy could handle and enjoy doing it, but he was about to embark into the most dangerous arena of all. Politics. “Room secure, Percy.” Elton strode into the room, grinning. “Do you think they will put two and two together any time soon?” “If ourusual confusion and misdirection worked, which I think it did splendidly, we shall soon be visited by my new ‘Boss’.” Percy grinned back at his friend and , to the world outside their plots,his personal aide. “If we have not confused the Security Staff enough for one night, we could always give it another go later. It is not like it will be hard, considering the uniforms.” Percy grinned and thought of the faces of the Security detail assigned to welcome him to the planet. Ha had critically examined them as he began his usual tirade about lack of proper welcome andthen realized they were not incompetent, they were bored. So he gave them a show. He made them drag all of his luggage into his rooms, and noticed which of them actually paid attention to what Elton and himself were doing and where all their hidden weapons were. The best of them got only about 60% ofthem. A beginning. He could not maintain a strait face when the horrified guards reacted to Percy’s idea of changing the uniforms to something more colorful. “I wish I had a holo of their faces when they asked me to get into one of those horrid uniforms and I told you to catch me , I might swoon” Percy knew he never would wear the uniform, it had been in the contract with the alliance and his world. “Lud, where do they get their dress sense.” Elton pitched his voice back up to it’s accustomed haughtiness. “I know, I know.” Percy affected the same manners,“All those ghastly earth tones. We must do something about this. I must speak to the tailor immediately.” Percy shook his head and his grin faded. “Into the fire again we go my dear friend.” “We are along way away from home, are we not?” Elton joined him, looking out the window onto the world below. “Do you ever regret leaving Duvonet?” Percy stared out at his new home. “No.” Elton said simply. “I could have chosen someone else, you know. You could have refused.” Percy sighed,suddenly weary. “You were told to choose one of us to come with you, in truth, I am glad it was me. I had nothing left there to hold me like the others.” Elton picked up on the mood asusual, and let silence pervade the small offices we would inhabit. “Then shall we begin again?” Percy looked about theoffice. “It seems we have a long weekof redecorating ahead of us before this place can even approach adequate.” “Sink me! Will we have to use those blasted earth tones, you think?” Elton grinned,knowing the reaction this would provoke. “Good God,Elton, have you gone daft?” Percy mock shouted. “One must have better taste than that, and while we are at this, I think we must re-design the uniform into something much more tasteful.” Both men settled to their task of unpacking and making their new quarters and office home. It was bound to be a very interesting stay.
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