I don't like to talk about it, but I happen to be a Colonel in the Caledon Militia. Yes, I know, I know. A dubious position indeed for a non-native pacifist, and I'm not really sure how it happened. The Guvnah knows best I'm sure.
Truth be told, I rarely have to do anything except show up to the odd thing in uniform, and Terry normally keeps me on track with all that. Hotspur and the keener Captains have an eye on the standing army, everything seems safe in there hands, so most of us don't have to get that involved and (I think there are 8 of us in total) just have to keep our noses clean and act like community mascots when rolled out in front of the public.
Anyway, I'm best out of the way and it's all been a bit busy down at Militia HQ of late over some doings or other with Neualtenburg. I must confess, I try to avoid HQ if I can as it's in Tangelwood (which raises the whole ongoing rodent issue).
All that said, you could have knocked me down with a white feather this morning when I answered the cabinet door to a urchin with an urgent message from our good Captain Paris.
"All Colonels in the Caledon Militia. That means you Sir. You are kindly requested to attend the Reconciliation Ball with Neualtenburgf, Saturday 5SL, Coughton Court, Carntaigh. Full Dress Uniform is a must for this occasion. Things are afoot. There will be more information arriving shortly. Weaponry is strictly forbidden at the Ball, but your presence is required."
All friends now apparently. Or that's the plan. Dashed inconvenient with a 'Miranda Society' bash at 2 on the same day, but orders are orders. Better not get those uniforms mixed up mind you.
I digress. For a while there it looked like there was to be a fratch with Neualtenburg. Yes, I know, Neualtenburgers are a charming and peacefully self-governed and democratic people with a capital nothing short of a snow-endowed, non-profit cooperative. A republic of artisans which Terry assures me has some rather splendid retail opportunities...
...which is all true, but my first thought was "Hell-fire, this is going to take more flannel than a public bath house". A diplomatic solution may be just the ticket, but isn't going to please everyone.
There is a certain sub-order in our fragile little world just itching to turn it into Counterstrike.
While I've been quietly dodging my civic duties, bimbling around sorting out The Etheric Travel Cabinet for the new changes, half of Caledon has been screaming "Vorsprung Durch Dampf".
A hardcore few happy souls have been fervently making artillery, getting generally overexcited and frothing on about taking an army of Tanglewood Tinys armed with Ordinal Beehive Launchers 'over-the-top' (well, all right, that might have been me but I was asked to sound keen and knew they'd try and talk me out of it). Not that I'm not grateful for the "Knitting for the War Effort" (many thanks for the socks ladies), heavens no, or the nice new uniform for that matter (hats off to my man at Cut & Pearsed in Victoria City for a rather nice cut off a bolt of new cloth).
I do hope these good people will take this Reconciliation Ball in the spirit it is intended and remember this is Caledon. If the Guvnah says make peace we do just that. If the Guvnah says put on the red jacket and get ya backside to this soiree, we do just that. This is Caledon. There is no problem that cannot be solved, no battle that cannot be won, by the application of ones own body weight in cake.
And so. Best behaviour and try not to mention the war this weekend. Stand there quietly. If anyone asks any direct questions just use the usual long streams of Gallifreyan non-sequentials at them 'till they see me for mascot status and leave me alone.
Might have a dance with the lady in charge over there though (Kaiserin Kendra Bancroft) as she is a bit of a cutie and previous experience tells me it's best to do these things early before Hotspur or Pearse have a few drinks and get her tangled up in some embarrassing diplomatic 'sandwich' incident. Smashing. All friends now. What could possibly go wrong ;-)
We do seem to have a lot of artillery lying around mind you. Almost as if it was planned this way. You know there's enough kicking around HQ now, and enough interested parties, to do something quite spectacular ;-)