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The Armada (Chapter Cover Art)

Chapter 31 - The Armada[]

Ethic Class
Nagelring Academy
Tharkad Star System
Unspecified Future Date

Amelia 'Amy' Ngo studied the science display on her class terminal.  "...We don't know if it's correct."  she said, and looked up at Commander Ries.  "It is appropriate, because the crew of the Tranh Truk Ngo have no clear exit strategy and are facing a long slide to a pretty horrible death-their best option up to this point has been to try to found a burrow in the erupting crash-nebula after the explosion-wave has fully passed.  This makes any trick to try to escape worth the effort as long as they have the facilities to make the attempt.  thus, appropriate."

"But?"  the Ethics prof prodded.

"But we don't know if it is correct.  The equations are centuries old and have never been put to empirical testing, the theory actually does cohabitate with what we know of hyperspace physics, especially now that we know that space can be bent by a sufficiently energetic event by means other than KF field interaction.  The question of correctness is multisided too.  can they gather enough of the necessary exotic matter and nonbaryonic particles with converted equipment from the ship, can they hold and retain it while building the test vehicle, and can they use the test vehicle to actually escape?"  she shrugged, "I don't have answers to those, sir, therefore, it must fall outside of the sphere of 'correct' courses of action, but within the sphere of 'appropriate', and therefore, worthwhile."

"How so, Cadet?" he asked, as senior researchers looked at the same mathematical models forwarded from Special Operations.

"When faced with zero chance of long-term survival. Any action is appropriate, but not all appropriate actions are correct.  When all is lost and all in doubt, run in circles screaming and shouting is just as correct an action. As a carefully planned use of exotic, obscure, outdated theories.  Sir, though the scientific attempt at least provides some dignity to the outcome."

"Carry on with your lab-work, Cadet." he said, "I will speak with you again during office hours."

"Aye sir."  she turned back to the theoretical modeling she was working on.

Kommandant Ries found himself at the Medical center again. His nervous wandering from the physics lab, where Cadet Ngo was pursuing her official 'minor'. Which really showing that physics and engineering should be her majors.
"Doctor Hasselbaum." he greeted the staff head of the Psychiatric department.

"I told you before, Theodor, I am legally bound not to release the psychological profiles of students."  Heinrich Hasselbaum didn't even look up.

"How about walking me through an analysis that is, I suspect, not in the record?"  Ries asked, "Call it a bar bet."

Theodor looked up, "I only drink scotch that is aged at least twenty four years." he said, "Show me?"

Ries reached into his jacket, pulling out a datachit and plugging it into the desk-reader.  "Cadet Ngo?"

"Yes." he said.

"Well...without opening her file, and assuming we will be keeping this anonymous. The cadet shown has a distinct lack of emotional response common with certain common personality disorders." the psychiatrist noted, "She is not anti-social, but she is clearly crippled in terms of interpersonal communication in the mild autism spectrum, within safe limits for service in the military."

"Am I paying up?"  Ries asked.

"No, because you are going to destroy that data chit." Theodor stated, "Forthwith. the Dean of Students is already aware of Miss Ngo's disability, and her gifts."

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