Marching Order

Edmund writes, as GM:

Location: Clerkenwell

Down Letterer lane, prior to its widening and becoming, for no remembered reason, Fetter Lane, sits an unprepossessing Inn known as the Slug and Lettuce. It is a generally quiet place with reasonable, if not exceptional food, and beds with no more than the expected number of lice in them. rented by the day or the week or the month for a reasonable sum of money.

Despite the Inn's rather charming exterior, and the welcoming smells that waft down Letterer lane from it's kitchen, the Slug and Lettuce is infrequently visited by the locals of Letterer lane, who prefer the Tin Bucket further up the street. The reason for this had much to do with the individual who purchased the Inn some 25 years past — one Reginald Gostik by name — and to Reginald's son Roger, to whom he had passed on the business. Both had made careers in the Royal Navy Light Infantry and had made it clear upon taking up the business that their brothers in arms were welcome patrons.

In short, the Slug and Lettuce was an establishment catering to lobsterbacks and former lobsterbacks, and it was quiet entirely because that was they way they wanted it.

Today, as most days, the common room was reasonably full but not overflowing (men who had spent much of their careers crammed into ships valued their elbow room). Most men were in mufti, but at one table sat a man in the uniform of a Sergeant-Major, who was tucking into a large pasty with gusto. Across from him his companion, a Venerian wearing the uniform of an officer of Zouaves in the service of British Solar Exploratory Ventures, watched with clinical interest as the last of the pasty vanished. Sergeant Major Kentegern Troublefield gazed back at his companion and belched contentedly.

"So, old son," said Troublefield with some amusement, "it appears that you at last have a command of your very own. Granted it involved your trading in a decent, respectable uniform for that mummers outfit you have on now, so I hope you still think the trade is worth it. I suppose that it will be good for a laugh, just imagining you trying to keep that silly fez on."

"You know Reggie, getting a Venerian an officer's billet, even for a civilian company, wasn't easy. I went out on quite the limb getting pulling strings to bring you to the attention of Smythe-Peabody and no doubt he went out on quite the limb himself supporting you for the position." Troublefield paused to stroke a wayward hair back into his large mustache. "Not going to say something stupid here like 'don't screw things up' because I know you won't. But do remember — there's those who would love to see a Venerian like you fall flat. Have a care out there."

Edmund writes: Rather than bludgeon you into unconsciousness with a massive data dump like I did for the others, I think I will make it more of a conversation this time. Please don't kill Troublefield - he's Reggie's friend!).

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