A Vote For Change

Praxton - Book Four

by N.S. Howard

The planet Praxton, famous for women living in a submissive lifestyle to their male guardian, is in turmoil. The Charter of Conduct Office has ordered a change in laws that allows women the right to vote, run in elections and control their own finances.

Reporter Evelyn Montgomery arrives on Praxton to describe the changes from a female perspective. To gain confidence from her sources she adopts the traditional dress for Praxton females, consisting of revealing clothes, collar, cuffs and decorative chains. Her success in obtaining information leads her to a new assignment. Her superiors strongly suggest she live a few days inside a Praxton home, meaning she would have follow all the exotic customs of a female and obey a male guardian.

Perplexed, she reaches out to another foreign reporter, Max Tremblay for support. But Max has a past and plans for her himself.


Chapter One


Evelyn set up the tripod, making sure the legs were well-supported prior to mounting the camera. She previously programmed the camera to video her news presentation by first focusing on her face and next fading back to zoom in on the building behind her. She stood poised in front of the camera, took a deep breath, put on her camera face and began speaking.

“The Tura Provincial Government is still in heated discussions over the alleged improprieties of cabinet minister Royce Delware. Despite his claims...” Evelyn recited the memorized manuscript she had written earlier, pausing at the appropriate time as the camera changed its view. She studied the politics or topics she spoke about, understanding enough to sound knowledgeable and sincere. She had been told she had great camera appeal with her blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion. Tall with a slim figure, she knew her physical appearance had helped to propel her to several promotions within the Pearson News Group.

“...This is Evelyn Montgomery, reporting for Pearson Video News.” Evelyn let out a sigh after her smile faded away. Okay, I’m on schedule. Forty minutes to make it to the office for the interview for that new promotion. I hope I get it. This planet has nothing going on but politics. I need to find something more interesting or my brain will turn to mush.

She quickly stored the camera equipment in the small personal vehicle and headed to the regional offices of Pearson News. Evelyn had been stationed on a half dozen planets and risen from giving weather reports to complex news assignments, although the dry politics of her latest assignment was trying her patience.

She entered the main doors of the building and after giving a wave to the security guard, entered the elevator. She brushed her short hair back from her ears as she exited the elevator, giving a quick smile to the receptionist. “Hi, I’m here to see Sid Brenner for a two o’clock appointment.”

The receptionist invited her to sit while she contacted Sid Brenner. A few minutes later Evelyn was escorted to a large office. The office appeared to be functional for a person who oversaw a large media enterprise with several viewscreens showing various news channels. Sid was a tall, bearded man who appeared to be working on too much caffeine.

“Come in, Evelyn, and have a seat.” He shut off the viewscreens by a control on his desk and turned his full attention on her. “I understand you’re applying for the news correspondent position on Reggis. It’s a minor step up for you, and if you wish to pursue this, I’ll give you my endorsement. However, another opportunity has come up for the right correspondent and our head office has asked me to specifically inquire if you’d be interested.”

“Head office asked about me?”

“Yes, you’re on their radar. This assignment would be a challenging one, and you’d need to be prepared for a quite a change in social behaviour.”

“Sir? I don’t understand.”

“Praxton.” He sighed. “Because of the agreement Praxton has signed with the Charter of Conduct Offices, there’re a number of changes in their laws. One is that reporters and members of the news media are now allowed to travel outside the tourist zone. Before, they needed permission from the Minister of Defence which was difficult to obtain. Now only a simple permit is needed from the Tourist and Immigration Office. What has also changed on Praxton is that they’re going to have elections, and for the first time allow women to not only vote, but also to run for office. Our head office thought that although the conventional wisdom is to send a male reporter, they wanted to send a female reporter to give the viewpoint of women during the change of Praxton society.”

Evelyn thought of Praxton with the female population under the control of their male guardians. “Are you asking me if I want this assignment to Praxton?”

“It’s yours if you want it. Take time if you need to decide.” He gazed at her with his hazel eyes.

Evelyn thought about the reputation of Praxton, of women wearing collars, cuffs and chains. The female population were subject to commands of their male guardians who could administer discipline as they saw fit. Then there were the clothes the women wore, or rather the lack of them, and together with special drugs available on Praxton made them known as the sexiest women in the galaxy. It would be difficult for a woman to be treated as an equal in the chauvinistic society. It would also take a special woman—an independent woman—to open the eyes of the men of Praxton, in order to succeed.

“I’ll do it. It sounds like an interesting challenge.”

His face broke into a grin. “It’ll be a challenge alright, but I’ve confidence in you. You’re going to not only cover the news, but perhaps make some news yourself.”

NS Howard "A Vote For Change, Praxton: Book 4"


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