Tale – A General’s Double Take

Elkay was done for the day. He was exhausted. Between a diplomatic crisis between the Cassids and the Banikans and their own troubles with the former High General, Elkay had long ago realised that maybe he just needed to finish up, take a few hours off and come back fresh tomorrow.

As the High General closed the office door behind him, he waved at the captain sitting by the entrance, at the secretarial desk. He always had one of the captains of the 471st Legion nearby, after all, these days, they were his staff and his bodyguards.

“Have a nice evening, ser.”

“Thank you, and the same to you…” Elkay absent-mindedly smiled as he walked by, before suddenly stopping. He spun around on the spot to have another look at the captain on duty.

“Is there something wrong, ser?” Teekay smiled.

Elkay blinked, then rubbed his eyes. “How long have you been there?”

“I started my shift three hours ago, ser.”

Clearly Elkay’s day had been busier than he’s thought. He had no idea that the shift had changed. He glanced down at the watch on his wristband. Teekay was correct, Captain Vallas must have said goodbye and left without him even noticing.

“And…” Elkay rubbed his eyes. “Wait… How long have you been a captain? I know I allowed Vallas to promote or demote anyone he wanted, within reason, but…”

“Captain Vallas promoted me last Friday. He ran through a shortlist with you last Wednesday. I was promoted due to my aptitude for leadership and my prior knowledge working with you. There was going to be a small ceremony but Captain Orthonis’s partner fell ill and Captain Fefnar is not due to return until this Sunday coming.”

The High General was still confused, but not so much. He pulled up a chair and sat down next to Teekay.

“I thought you were going to take a six month holiday after I dissolved the Ksa service?”

“I got bored,” Teekay shrugged. “I can’t stand not doing anything. Can’t stand the silence. I took a few weeks off, then signed up via Captain Vallas not long after Veekay did.”

“He just got promoted to captain in the 200th Legion!” Elkay exclaimed. “You silly little things. Such over-achievers. You all have so much potential. That is why I wanted you all to be free.”

Teekay didn’t say anything, instead glancing down at the paperwork on the desk. A lot of it was requests to meet the High General, to discuss everything from healthcare to taxes to land expansions and military duties. He’d been going quite slowly, since this was a new job to Teekay, and it frustrated him that he hadn’t automatically learned everything yet.

“Well, ser, I am just doing my job. That is what I was born to do.”

Elkay sighed. “You will work yourself to death.”

“Again, that was what I was born to do.”

“But are you happy, working for me yet again?”


There was no point arguing. The desire to serve was built into most Ksa.

“Then that is fine…” Elkay hesitated for a moment. “There is one thing though, Teekay…”

“What is it, General?” Teekay asked nervously.

“I owe you a drink.”

“You do?”

“Yes. It is a long-running tradition that the general of a Legion buys his new captains a drink. Whatever it is you are doing, leave it until tomorrow and come with me.” The High General stood up and put his chair back where he had found it. “I think we could both do with a good, strong beverage.”

Teekay smiled as he started packing things up. “That would be nice.”