He crumpled the assignment memo into a small, hard ball and hurled it at the bristly image of himself in the bar mirror. He hadn't shaved in three days--which was how long it had been since he had been notified of his removal from Space Patrol Service and his transfer to Postal Delivery.
Suddenly, Preston felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up and saw a man in the trim gray of a Patrolman's uniform.
"What do you want, Dawes?"
"Chief's been looking for you, Preston. It's time for you to get going on your run."
Preston scowled. "Time to go deliver the mail, eh?" He spat. "Don't they have anything better to do with good spacemen than make letter carriers out of them?"
* * * * *
The other man shook his head. "You won't get anywhere grousing about it, Preston. Your papers don't specify which branch you're assigned to, and if they want to make you carry the mail--that's it." His voice became suddenly gentle. "Come on, Pres. One last drink, and then let's go. You don't want to spoil a good record, do you?"
"No," Preston said reflectively. He gulped his drink and stood up. "Okay. I'm ready. N