Hazard Duty

The trouble with advanced training, is that it is so specialized.
There were those, it was said, who aged and withered and died while waiting for their first post-Academy assignment, merely because their particular skill never appeared on the duty list.

Aphax knew this would not happen to him. He had carefully studied the trends, pouring over the few hints concerning the Galactic Fleet which were publicly known. His chosen specialty was a rare one, but one which might lead to wealth and perhaps even glory, if the stars favored him.

But first, there was study—mnemonics, hypnotics, and brain scans. Then….the surgery. He became taller, thinner, with a mop of thick, nearly-white hair. He learned stealth, he learned patience. He became the ultimate, unstoppable, undetectable infiltrator, ready to be dropped into the heart of the enemy’s forces, to watch, and to wait, and then to attack.

He shipped out two days after graduation, accompanied by a squeegee and a bucket.

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