Why did the U.N.S. military allow Karl Tagon to serve as an officer in Tagon's Toughs after the company's first stint working for the Oafans? It's well-established that the U.N.S. gets displeased with its generals becoming prominent in other organizations. Karl said as much himself the first time he joined up with the Toughs, in what became the alternate timeline:

I told you, I can't take a job with any military outfit. Celeschul law: ex-generals have quiet retirements, or treason trials.

Under somewhat different circumstances, this was pointed out to Xinchub as well:

The U.N.S. has very strict laws regarding officers deserting their posts and becoming kings.

In that first case, Tagon's presence was explained away as role-playing, and the U.N.S. had bigger problems on its plate (i.e. the Paan'uri war) right up until the point when those bigger problems destroyed the galaxy. However, he's now employed as a commodore in less frantic circumstances, which I doubt can be hand-waved away as a fantasy camp experience. So why didn't anyone go after him, even though he entered U.N.S. territory? Did the U.N.S. not know about his new job? Could the reward of capturing and trying him not have been worth the risk? Was the company's diplomatic immunity shielding him? Or was something else going on?

  • Maybe I am wrong, but wasn't Xinchub in active service (as opposed to Karl Tagon who was retired)?
    – SJuan76
    Jul 10, 2014 at 16:51
  • You're not wrong, he was active. (Well, as active as you can be when you're captured.) I'm not sure how that's relevant here, though. The spirit of the law seems to be "if you're talented, don't use those talents anywhere but here."
    – Pops
    Jul 10, 2014 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


This is discussed in Big, Dumb Objects. It pretty much comes down to if the U.N.S make an issue of it the details of Karl's kidnapping and the U.N.S's lack of response would come public. Also, Karl has enough political connections and "knowledge of where the bodies are buried" that he could induce the Legislature to change Celechul's "Special Assets" law (that he originally wrote). As much power Xinchub had, he didn't have access to it while cut off and trapped on Yoming.

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