" is a science fiction short story
by Gordon R. Dickson
. It was first published in The John W Campbell Memorial Anthology
The story forms a part of the incomplete Dorsai
The story is set in the city of Blauvain, capital of the planet St Marie. It is narrated by Tomas Velt, Blauvain Police
After the defeat of invading soldiers from the Friendly worlds, Field Commander Kensie Graeme of the Expeditionary force of Dorsai mercenaries
is assassinated by unseen members of an illegal political organisation called the Blue Front. Commander Ian Graeme decides that they are still engaged with an enemy, declares martial law
in Blauvain and gives orders that all houses in the city be searched by soldiers under his command.
Whilst Velt and his police more-or-less ineffectually assist the Dorsai, he also strives to find a way to avoid the search, which could easily result in the deaths of citizens who resist the soldiers. He gets no assistance from the Exotic Padma, whose philosophy does not allow him to interfere in any way, but Padma does believe that somehow Velt is a pivotal character in resolving the situation.
Under Padma's influence, Velt now realises that General Pel Sinjin, commander of the Planetary militia
, must be involved in the assassination attempt. He questions Pel, but Pel is unwilling to confess or reveal any information. Velt begs Padma to talk to Pel and explain why he must give the information. Padma... Read More