#19 Priority Patrolman

Kenom headed straight for the Central Dome and went to Major Finon’s office. He told The Major what had transpired. Finon acted surprised and said, "If that is the case, it is a disgraceful condition, wait here, I will talk to the Commander." Major Finon went into the commander's office and said, "Commander, patrolman Kenom is in my office. He has just been to the Verton's maintenance dome and he tells me that the conditions there are deplorable. Most of their electro-body regenerating equipment is non-functional and the Vertons are badly run down." "Well," said the commander that is Flect-master Lector's responsibility." "I know sir," said Finon, "but it seems that Master Lector has been supplying the electro-power to the dome since the Verton's generators went out a few war seasons ago and he holds back power as leverage to get more work out of them. They don't complain because they don't want it found out that they are electro-people." "I see," said the commander, "well, perhaps you should speak to Master Lector about having the power increased."

I am afraid that won't do sir," said Finon “The problem is that Patrolman Kenom is looking into this matter rather intently and as you well know he is not just any patrolman, he is the DNA son of Ambassador Ornan,..." the commander nodded in the affirmative. Finon continued, "You know well, commander, how Ambassador Ornan feels about organics, any organics, who try to dominate electro-people. You will remember that it was Ambassador Ornon who helped convinced our leaders on Zimtel to take action against planet Flort when it was found out that the Flortons were using Bligg electro-people to work in their Nimlin mines. I don't think it would go well for us, "permanent duty” patrol officers here on Ob, especially the commander of this dome, if the Ambassador were to hear that the Flectons had the Vertons in virtual slavery right under our noses.” “I get your point,” said the Commander, “We must remedy this situation, quickly and quietly."

"We must act wisely," continued the Commander, "this is a delicate situation. If we were to intervene ourselves, we take a chance of offending the Flectons, which could jeopardize our long term, rather pleasant, relationship. I don't think we would want to do that over such a minor issue as the Vertons. Therefore, it seems to me that if we let Patrolman Kenom, who is only on short term duty, go after Master Lector, we can quietly stay in the background. If master Lector makes an issue out of it we can tell him it is just, "politics," and that everything will return to normal after patrolman Kenom leaves Ob. This way, we keep our friendship with the Flecktons, as well as their generous funding of our compound, .. do you follow me?" "Yes," said Major Finon, "I get your point."

Reaching into his desk, the commander pulled out a "Priority Patrolman” order form and began to write on it.  He affixed his seal on it and handed the finished order to Finon. "This should allow Patrolman Kenom to correct the situation." Major Finon took the order, read it, and said, "A wise decision commander, I will give this to patrolman .... then, with a quick glance at the order, continued, Priority patrolman, Kenom." They both smiled at each other. “Oh yes,” the Commander added, “give patrolman Kenom this“Special Patrolman Badge” it gives him all the authority he needs at a glance”.

Major Finon returned to his desk and said to Kenom, "The commander is very concerned about what you told me. He has written a new duty order for you,.. here it is." Kenom took the order form and read it. "To whom this may concern, Patrolman Kenom has been designated Priority Patrolman while he is here on Ob. He is acting on my behalf. He is to be given full cooperation from everyone in the War Compound. Treat him as you would me. Signed, Commander Finloy, Central Dome Commander." "This order gives you the authority to act in the Commander’s name; I know you will use it wisely." Kenom was surprised to be so honored, he said, "Thank you Major, I will, and please, thank the commander for me." "You’re welcome, Patrolman Kenom. The commander was grateful that you brought this matter to his attention. He would have handled it personally but the Commander thought that since you were going into politics, that this would be a good experience for you." "Indeed it will," replied Kenom. The Commander also asked me to give you this “Special Patrolman Badge” – you only have to show it and you will have all the authority you need.” “Thank you again.” said Kenom as he turned to leave.

Kenom was more than surprised at this turn of events. He had not expected to have received such broad power. He was, however, not overjoyed at the prospect of having to tell people what to do. After all he came here to OB thinking he would have time to think and reflect not to become embroiled in Dome politics. Now here he was with power equal to the Commander. He thought of the old adage, “Power corrupts” and he reminded himself to be cautious not to go overboard with his authority. He tucked the order and badge into an inside pocket and thought, "Maybe I won't have to use this." He got into his module and set out for Dome #7...he was delayed a half-hour as there was work being done on the track.

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