This is a piece of original fiction I've been working on off and one for some time now and not got much in the way of criticism be warned it is in the first person The Duo Forms Some say space can be a cold mistress. Frankly I find her warm and inviting compared to my old life. I bet you’re wondering who I am. The name is Andrew, call me Andy please: I’m your simple, run of the mill, undercover agent for the Unified Terran Police Force, or UTPF for short, with my partner Gene. Of course we are more feared for the chaos that happens after the op goes south. Well as it happened our first operation was what earned us the nick name The Duo… * * * April 25th 2496 I stepped into the Mission Director’s office. After three years on the force, I am finally gonna get to do something I’ve wanted to do. “Sergeant Hughes reporting as requested,” I said being completely formal despite the lax atmosphere of the whole station. It was a small outpost near my home, The Missouri Colony in the Vega System. How a farm boy like me wound up a space cop is beyond what most of my friends thought I was capable of achieving. The chief, a portly man of Irish decent named Mikey O’Hara, sighed. He knew I was like this most of the time, but then, again, I’m still a rookie in the eyes of the majority of the people stationed at this outpost. “At ease, Hughes. I told you I run an informal outpost,” he said in a muffled Irish accent as he buried his face in his hands. I winced and said, “Sorry chief,” as I sit down in one of the chairs in front of his desk. Next to me was a strange man. He was slightly taller than my height of five foot and eight inches. With thick black hair that came down to the middle of his neck. I could have sworn I have seen his face someplace before. “Good, now then, Andy, how good is your Japanese?” Our chief asked. On Earth the Island Nation of Japan is the second biggest superpower on the planet, the first being of course, The American Alliance, in the mid 23rd century the countries of North, South and Central America form a single nation, with the capital being, ironically enough, Mexico City. “Fairly decent,” I said in Japanese before switching back to English, “if you’re gonna communicate with the majority of the civilized galaxy, you need to speak Japanese or English.” “Good, good,” Chief O’Hara said as he smoothed out his graying red hair with his hand. “Sergeant Rogers here” gesturing to man sitting next to me, “and you, Sergeant Hughes, have been selected for an undercover operation.” I just sat there with my mouth hanging open; you see I joined the UTPF to be an undercover agent. The thrill of trying to keep your cover identity intact while not blowing the operation was something I longed to experience, and now was my chance. Unfortunately Sgt. Rogers had something to say about that, “I beg your pardon chief,” he said in a dark voice as he was clearly angry about the arrangement. “You surely can’t be thinking of posting this rookie undercover.” “Rookie,” I said indigently, “I do believe we are the same rank, Sergeant.” I continued venom dripping off every word I said. His eye’s narrowed, “Oh really. Tell me how long have you been in the force Rookie,” a challenge clearly written in his eyes. “Now boys,” O’Hare said trying to stop the oblivious fight that was about to break out between me and Sergeant Rogers; “sit down,” He said with full authority in his voice. We both recoiled at the tone of his voice as we both sat back down, “Good,” he said before continuing, “Now boys the UTPF, as assigned this station with this mission, as I said before it’s an undercover operation,” he pressed a button and a earth like planet showed up, “This is the Japanese colony planet Neo Edo in the near by Beta system, where the op is gonna take place,” before switching to a picture of a Japanese Man in his mid twenties in a flashy white suit and a katana jutting out of his belt, “this is Tomo Fuikawa, the local Yakusa boss, just recently obtained the title after a bloody family war with the local Yakusa families.” Gene just looked annoyed, “What’s that have to do with us?” O’Hare just continued on, “Apparently he’s called a meeting with the Yakusa heads in the rest of the Japanese colonies.” I just raised an eyebrow, “that means we may have a coup, if he wipes out the visiting bosses he could easily take over the whole operation…” I said aloud, “something like that could really screw us Galactic Cops badly.” O’Hare just chuckled, “You got that right Boyo.” Gene looked up from, “What’s our cover?” O’Hare looked at us before handing a folder to me and Gene, “Your going in as hired bodyguards to this man,” the screen flipped again to a regal looking Asian in his upper 50s, “Kouji Kazuma,” he started pausing while he looked over his paper work, “A former Yakusa head invited to mediate at the conference,” he paused as we just absorbed the intel in, “We contacted him about this and has agreed to allow you two to go in under this pretense,” he smirked, “you better warm up your sword arms your gonna get a crash course in sword play shortly.” Gene paled, he must know something I didn’t, “Not the box again?” “Got it in one Laddie,” O’Hare said. I must have been drawing a blank, “Box?” O’Hare just smiled, “A marvelous device called the Learning Acceleration Box, or as some of us have come to call it the “idiot” box.” Gene just blanched at that, “Chief you know I throw up anytime I use the box.” “Nonsense boy,” O’Hare said, “Everybody gets sick from using that machine for the first time.” I didn’t like where this was heading, “Umm…when are we supposed to undergo this?” I asked afraid of what might be the possible answer. “As soon as we are finished this briefing,” Our chief said. I knew it, I sighed before asking, “Well are we done?” “As a matter of fact were done,” O’Hare said with a smile. Rogers looked at me like I’m some sort of leper, “Thanks kid now look what you did.” I just huffed up at that while thinking, what an asshole, and said “Excuse me chief I seem to have an appointment with an Idiot Box.” O’Hare chuckled, “That’s the sprit Laddie.” As we headed down the hall away from the chief’s office I could have sworn I heard the chief laughing his head off. * * * Interstellar Commuter Flight to New Edo, the Next Day And laugh he did, not only did I puke from the vertigo it also left me with a killer headache after an hour or so getting used to a sword we were shoved on the commuter flight to New Edo in Economy class, I thought bodyguards are supposed to ride next our appointed employer. Gene sat back in his seat trying to catch as much sleep has he could while the kid in the seat behind him kept kicking his chair, I thank god that he didn’t take the sword he was issued as a carry on. I sat back watching the white starlines fly by on the 7 hour hyper flight to New Edo, the operation seemed simple but I felt as if something was bugging me. That feeling lingered the whole flight. * * * New Murasashi Space Port New Edo 06:00 local time It was early morning when the flight landed, we were both glad to see it over as we stepped of the shuttle and into the flight terminal. Our ‘employer’ if one can say such for a former Mobster, “Good morning” he said to us with a bow as we gathered are luggage, “I trust your flight was agreeable.” “Oh quite agreeable Kazuma-sama” I said trying to be as polite as I can be already in to my cover job. See Mr. Ego top that. “It was ok once the brat behind me fell asleep.” My traveling companion said rudely I winced at his tone but kept my mouth in check. Kazuma laughs, “I see,” he says with drool, “I think the accommodations we have for the event will be better than your flight in,” he finishes. I take that with a mild grain of salt, and say, “When this supposed meeting is supposed to start,” I ask curiously as we entered the stretch hover limo provided for Kazuma. “I was informed when we landed that it will begin at 7 pm local time Hughes-kun,” he said as the hover limo pulled off the curb and merged into traffic the view of the capital of New Edo, Shin Nagasaki was spectacular as with any Japanese city of the 25th century with a mix of there samurai roots mixed with modern flare makes any Japanese city from Neo Tokyo of Earth, to even Osaka City in Vargus VII. I myself having not been as well traveled as some of the fellow cops I was stationed with it like someone set a vacuum to my mouth the scenery was breathtaking. Kazuma chuckled noticing my amazement, "First time on a Japanese Colony?" he asked me I nodded, "What do you think of it so far?" he asked. I sit back a moment gathering my thoughts, "It's very awe inspiring" I begin, "like something traditional mixed with something modern." The rest of the ride was uneventful I noticed Gene memorizing which road the driver took I wondered why he was doing that and was about to answer when we pulled up to a very expensive mansion it was very much the picture of a traditional Japanese manner. "Is this the place Kazuma-sama?" I ask. As the limo slows down he nods, "yes this is the home of Fujiwara Tomo," he explains causing myself and Gene to get a bit worried, "rest assured he does not know you're with the U.T.P.F."