Commodore Hu Mavis was not a man given to luxury or excess; he was, largely, a man of discipline and austerity. His office aboard the Centurion, however, was a concession to comfort. He had remodeled it after the den in his home on Nuris: everything but the fireplace, which was impractical even on a ship that size. His desk was wood, the bookshelves, while not wood, were a good facsimile, and the books, while not made of paper, were actually bound.
It calmed him. It helped him focus. More than once he'd hit upon the solution to a seemingly insurmountable problem simply by sitting in this office, staring at the pictures of his wife, children, and grandchildren, and drinking tea.
It was late, and under most circumstances Mavis would, if he were up, be drinking tea before turning in to sleep. Tonight, however, Mavis had no intention of sleeping. Nor was he drinking tea: tonight he was drinking whiskey.