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The Envoy, Her   By: (1918-1997)

The Envoy, Her by Horace Brown Fyfe

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Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Planet Stories March 1951. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

[Illustration: Vyrtl weighed a pebble in his hand. "You expect to be executed," he stated flatly. ]

the envoy, Her

by H. B. Fyfe

The Emperor must be getting old, they thought, to deal so mercifully with the upstart Jursan Rebels which was quite true. He was not too young to dream....

Despite the concentrated patrol defenses, the Emperor's space yacht slipped down to the surface of Klo, second moon of Jursa, without incident. Only recently, such a show of force would have drawn a flight of torpedo rockets from the rebellious planet; but the Jursan agitators for a scientific renaissance had at last been beaten to their knees.

A landing tube was connected between the ship and the transparent dome that had been constructed on this airless satellite for the convenience of the lord of the system. Notables in military posts or present on some other excuse gathered to greet their master.

"By Pollux!" gasped one onlooker. "Those guards must all be seven feet tall!"

The file of magnificent soldiers, who gave the impression of being almost entirely armor plated, deployed on either side of the landing tube exit. They were followed by a figure glittering enough to be an emperor; but since he was attended by only four officials in bejeweled scarlet the crowd recognized him for a chamberlain.

"His Illustrious Sublimity the Lord Vyrtl, Viceroy for Terra, Emperor of Pollux, and of all its fourteen planets, and of all their thirty seven satellites, and of all the nations thereon, Co ordinator of the planet Hebryxid "

It went on at some length, but the man who led the next little parade out of the landing tube paid no heed. The part about Terra was a vestige of centuries before communications had lapsed, and served no purpose but to remind him that new contact with the original planet was one of the Jursans' aims. The rest of his titles he could, by now, recite backwards.

The crowd of officialdom gaped at him as he stood there. He was a tall man, which conveniently helped conceal a tendency toward obesity. Under the excess tissue, his face had a massive strength, with broad bones and jutting chin and nose; but the gray eyes were weary and cynical.

"Wilkins!" he ordered in a bored monotone. "Find which yokel is in charge, and burn a jet under him!"

A resplendent aide hustled forward to where the official in charge of the dome was wetting his lips over his rehearsed greeting. It was quickly made plain that His Illustrious Sublimity desired transportation and a look at the quarters he would have to put up with until the jackals on Jursa came to their senses.

The official had tried to provide for every known imperial fancy. He smirked delightfully when Vyrtl caught sight of the lozards tethered at one side.

"By Pollux!" exclaimed the Emperor, his eye brightening. "We hadn't expected the pleasure of riding till this was over."

"He tells me they have built a forest, Sire," reported the aide. "About half a mile square. At least, you will have some relaxation."

"Good! It is all very well playing the soldier and roughing it informally, but a man must have something !"

He surveyed the reptilian mounts that were led forward and chose one whose eight legs were a trifle longer than average. With reasonable agility, considering his bulk, he hoisted himself into the saddle and set off toward the miniature palace awaiting him. His guardsmen trotted alongside while the rest of his retinue mounted and followed as best they could.

He drew rein once, to gaze up through the dome at the yellow green disk of Jursa. Wilkins overtook him.

"Note the dark line in the southern hemisphere, Sire," he said... Continue reading book >>

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