"Then he comes home by way of Organia, reporting a strange story of being rescued by his pet cat, kept as a housepet for a few years, then deposited on a remote Federation colony planet. He makes his way to civilization, surrenders to the local authorities, is transported home as a returning prisoner of war."
      "Good so far," Kully said.
      "Medical scans say without any question that this is the same Commodore Ketrick who was missing from the Death, and the mind-sifter, albeit on a low-power setting, found no deception or dishonesty in the story he told. And we believe him."
      "So, we have another case of a Leopard King," Kully said.
      "It appears so," Kulder answered. This was, apparently, the third case in which a small "cat" had turned out to be the trans-dimensional embodiment of an extra-dimensional being. Not that the reports of the first two cases had been fully believed by the higher officers of the Empire Security Service.
      One of them had been a Klingon administrator in charge of an enclosed colony on a hostile world. The small cat he had kept as a pet (and tribble hunter) wasn't even of the same species or from the same planet as Ketrick's cat.
      Or the third cat, which had been the pet of a Klingon merchant ship master commanding a Free Trader.
      "Maybe they'll believe this one," Kully said, adding her signature code to the report they had written three tendays earlier. "Send it when you're ready, or when you dare."
      "Might as well send it now," Kulder said.

      "I have made a decision," the Admiral said.
      "Whatever duty you have selected for me, I will do," said Commodore Targis Ketrick. It was the standard answer that any officer gave when being handed a new assignment.
      "I know very well that you want to command a starship," the Admiral said. "Even with half of the fleet's captains being sent to planetside duty or warrior colonies, your combat record would get you a spot on a DX cruiser." The oldest and most battered of the fleet's ships were being cut up for scrap. The next oldest were being converted into cargo or survey ships, the next best were placed into the Imperial War Reserve, and the newest and least damaged were still on patrol.
      "A duty I would be proud and honored to perform," Ketrick said, hope leaping from his heart to his mouth.
      "You know I cannot give you that," the Admiral said. "You were in the custody of an alien of unknown powers. Who knows what secret orders he placed in your brain."
      Ketrick's heart sank as he said "Any honorable assignment..."
      "I'm sending you to command the simulator ISC squadron. You'll teach the front-line captains how to fight them. Dismissed."