Retief is an officer of the distinguished Corps Diplomatique Terrestrienne, a supra-national organization devoted to keeping the peace - or more accurately, to maintaining a state of tension short of armed conflict.
Retief is not exactly in the mainstream of current Galactic diplomacy, as expounded by such giants of the C.D.T. as Crodfoller, Hidebinder, Straphanger, and his own immediate superior, Magnan. Deviously sincere, uncompromisingly venal, fearlessly cowardly, these great, dedicated public servants will seem curiously familiar as they strive to keep the peace seven hundred years in the future.
But when Retief's on the scene things have a way of coming right in the end...
The Brass God
The Castle of Light
The Prince and the Pirate