"So, Captain," Rudof Dyll asked, his voice a smooth tenor, the series of silver rings that lined both his earlobes twinkling in the subdued light, "what do you think of our little lounge? Not bad? A bit gaudy, perhaps?" A lean hand, bejeweled to the first knuckle on all fingers, motioned towards the dance floor several meters below, where a number of couples—or in some cases, threesomes or foursomes—were moving in varying degrees of attention and rhythm to soft music.
Some few meters below, because Rudof Dyll's table was perched atop one of the several floating balconies that drifted in carefully coordinated patterns above the floor level of the lounge—now skimming above the dancers' heads, now approaching the transparent dome that protected them from the near total vacuum without, a vacuum that made the stars bright burning lights in the onyx sky.
Captain Eversyn was not happy. Not happy at all. Actually, if pressed, he would admit—but not to anyone else, only to himself, of course, and that in the dark and silence and loneliness of his private domicile—that he was really happy nowhere but behind a desk, bringing order to the chaos of reports and information, then storing that order all neatly away in clearly labeled and docketed files. It was his most secret, most hidden vice, and it would never do to allow anyone else to know that about him. Being the tall, massive, heavily muscled captain in the Consolidated Guard that he was, everyone took him to be ready at any time with fists or weapons to bring, if not peace, at least some sort of armed détente to any difficult situation.
But Carle Eversyn preferred to deal instead…with paperwork.
It was his curse. It was also, though he'd never realized it, his blessing, the means to his constant promotion, and the real reason he'd been assigned to so many difficult and dangerous situations on so many worlds. He had teams of eager fire-eaters under his command, Baranin and others, armed and dangerous Connies who would be happy, with any weapon at hand or bare fists, to break heads—or related organs in non-Human species—whenever and wherever necessary to restore the status quo.
But how many of them could write up a concise report, evaluate details, or make deductions from the sometimes sparse information on hand?
Still, the Starview was out of his ordinary haunts.