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be rooted out. It won't be the first time that cadets or soldiers who were
innocent were sacrificed to get at someone farther up the ladder."
"I wonder ifMacKenzie is using Matt to get atThorsson then," Tanya said, her
voice bitter.
"You know," she continued, "I don't think I've ever heard you talk so much
before."
"Well, I guess there wasn't anything this important to talk about," Justin
replied, suddenly feeling somewhat shy.
"So what do we do?"
Justin fell silent for a moment. "MacKenziestill trusts me somewhat."
"So?"
Justin got up and headed for the door.
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"Where are you going?"
"To see the Captain."
"Are you crazy?' Tanya hissed. "Go in there and you might be victim number
ten."
"Maybe so.But I'd rather that than sitting here doing nothing."
"I'm going with you, Justin."
"No, you aren't."
"Look, Justin, you can't order me out of this."
"Tanya. He does trust me to a certain extent. You, I'm not sure. I think the
fact you're a woman might set him off as well. Just stay here."
She hesitated.
"Please, just listen to me just this once? If I get caught up I'd like to
think there was still someone on the outside on my side."
"All right.But I'll never forgive you if you get yourself locked up."
Stepping out of his room he looked up and down the corridor. At the end of
the hallway he saw an enlisted man standing guard. Justin motioned that he
wanted to approach, and the guard waved him forward.
"I'd like to go see the Captain," Justin said.
"Listen, son, just go back to your room."
"I'd like to see him," Justin pressed.
"Kid, it ain't pleasant up there right now. You can hear them hollering and
yelling all the way out in the lounge. I heard O'Brian say it was getting kind
of nasty, something aboutHemenez being relieved."
"What?"
"Just that, and believe me, kid, I'd rather have her flying than Lewis any
day of the week. So play it cool and get back to your room."
"I'd still like to see him."
"All right, kid," the guard sighed, "it's your funeral. I'll take you
forward."
The guard escorted Justin through the lounge and talked to the guard by the
forward door. The second man shook his head,then tabbed hiscommlink . After
several minutes' wait the door opened.Petronovich was on the other side. The
senior cadet was obviously shaken, and suffering from lack of sleep.
Petronovichoffered the same arguments but Justin refused, repeating his
demand to speak to the Captain.Petronovich finally led him forward. As the
door openedHemenez came out, her face flushed.
"I've been relieved of duty," she announced, and then stared at Justin. "What
are you doing here?"
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"I felt I should talk to the Captain."
"You've got guts, kid, I'll say that for you," she said. "Just be careful."
Justin stepped into the room. DoctorZhing and Lieutenant Lewis were still in
the room, both of them looking exhausted.MacKenzie seemed surprisingly
refreshed; a thin smile lighted his face as Justin entered.
Justin came to attention."Sir, permission to speak, sir."
"Ah, the idealist.Have you finished reading the book yet?"
"Sir?Oh, yes, sir."
"So you've come to report. Good, very good. Did you like it?"
Justin was surprised, and then realized that in spite of all that was going
on the Captain thought that Justin was simply here to report the completion of
a reading assignment. Well, if so, it was best to play along and look for an
opening.
"It was troubling, sir."
"Interesting.Tell me, cadet, did Ahab warrant death?"
How to cast this? Justin wondered.
"His sacrifice, sir, did not change the course of events. The rope snagged
him and he disappeared over the side. I remember seeing a movie where they did
it differently, but in the book, sir, I think it was a senseless death."
"Yet it changed Ishmael, did it not? Was not such sacrifice therefore worth
it?"
Justin looked around the room. Lewis was staring off blankly.Zhing , however,
was watching intently. Justin knew that everything here was a metaphor, but he
was out of his league when it came to this type of interaction.
"Sir, Moby Dick triumphed. He killed hisnemesis, he destroyed thePequod and [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]