On April 27, 2133, Hayes, a Sergeant, is on Titania, under the command of Major Ian Landry. The MACOs have just come to Titania, and the base isn't even fully set up yet. Hayes, a noncommissioned officer, has to temporarily bunk with Enlisted men. For the first day in the new location, he is the only soldier whose bunk passes inspection. As a reward, he is given Cinderella liberty.
Titania is set up as a Southerner's paradise, with antebellum-style homes, a local transport set up to look like an old-fashioned trolley, Southern cuisine and the people all speak with a drawl. Hayes gets the lay of the land, going to a bar and briefly running into a woman who will become somewhat important to him (but they are not acquainted), schoolteacher Susan Cheshire.