Lieutenant Rhedd Shyrt of the Imperial Navy hurried through the halls of the Imperial Palace. He came to the Throne Room, but the two red-cloaked guards stepped in to block his way.
"Pardon me -- I have a message for His Majesty."
"You'll have to wait," one of the guards said.
"But ... why?"
The red-cloaked guard leaned in close and whispered five words -- words that would haunt the young Lieutenant's nightmares for the rest of his life. Even as an old man, he would shudder at the image summoned up by the euphemism "he's conferencing with his hand."