Chapter 1

Lord Blackadder stared wordlessly at the black, sooty mess in the ship hall that completely coated both Baldrick and Percy – no doubt another one of their cunning plans - before retreating into the mess room, nearly bowling over a one of the Navy ensigns as he did so.

"Another helping of your finest slop, Mrs. Miggins," he yawned, "And some of that fine recaf we liberated from that chaos cult. I could use something nice to jump start my day for a change."

"Dear, dear me, I'm afraid we're all out of the recaf today, Edmund." Mrs. Miggins giggled. "That stunning young corporal who just left took my last pot of the best stuff."

"Son of a grox fondler!" Edmund snarled. "Out of my way!"

Like a storming storm, Lord Blackadder stormed out of the mess and followed the footprints in Baldrick's soot through several floors to the officer's rooms. He ducked into the cramped quarters and noted with satisfaction that the coffee bearer was a low ranking officer.


One of the lieutenants standing outside his room had caught sight of him and everyone within earshot immediately dropped what they were doing and stood at attention. Blackadder took advantage of the halt in activity to stride up to the coffee bearer and lift the coffee pot out of his hands.

"And that is mine, thank you." He snapped, turning around briskly.

"But sir! Commissar Cain is going to arrive in a few hours, and we'll need good coffee at his reception." The corporal stuttered. "I was told me to get the room ready!"

"Well you'll have to find a way to do it without my recaf then, won't you? Show him the common stuff or throw some tea on the pot, but stay away from my coffee or I'll have you shot, then transferred to Cadia - and believe me, it can be arranged, so sod off and make do."

Honestly, why did his men find it so hard to understand that he needed something nice to jump start his day of dealing with General Sir Anthony "Insanity" Cecil Hogmonay Melchett, Commissar "It's a bloody decimation if you jump back one inch" George St. Barleigh, Sanctioned Psyker the Lord "Percy" Percy, and Gunner Baldrick, the Emperor-cursed bane of his existence.

Blackadder kicked open the door to his office and slammed the coffee pot on his desk, at least ready to start the day. He had just started his first cup of soothing beverage when the annoyingly cheerful voice of Commissar George shot through the office.

"Tally ho, Blackadder! I say, isn't it absolutely spiffing that Commissar Cain is going to visit us! Positively corking, I must say I feel like a wine bottle that's been corked by an Ogryn."

"Yes, thanks for the imagery George." Blackadder sighed, bracing himself with a sip of recaff for yet another overenthusiastic speech about the glorious greatness of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium.

"Oh, I shall laugh when he jokes, how I shall cry when he tells his noble tales of heroism, how I shall obey unquestioningly when he orders me onto glory!" George continued blithely. "To serve the Emperor under his command shall be an honor! Why, even you sir, hero that you are, are no match for Commissar Cain! Now, now sir, don't be upset," George cautioned.

"Why would I be upset about that huge prat?" Blackadder panted, face reddening as he rose and started pacing around the rose. "If he wants to be such an attention hog, then by the Emperor he can have all the ha- ha- haaaa…"

Blackadder's breath heaved as his legs gave out from under him and fell face down into the shag rug on the floor.

"Colonel! Colonel!"