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Chapter 32 - The Absolute Zero[]

Wolf Empire - Naval Staging Area
New Dallas Star System, Clan controlled Territory
March, 3159


"Good job, youngster."  The Admiral held up a piercing gun, "You survived.  Now everyone will know you survived.  Hold still."

Witt held very still, while she clicked a notch in his ear. Then she Wiped the site with a stinging decon-wipe, and fitted the small platinum loop into his ear.  "Keep it in until the skin grows back on the inside." she cautioned.

"You don't have one." Witt asked said. "I never had a ship shot out from under me." she said, "Which doesn't mean I'm means I'm late for any sort of major aw-shit.  You've had yours, you'll bring luck to your crew."  she sat back, putting the tools back in their carriers.  "Nguyen says you went on a hull-surf."

"Ja-I mean, Yes." the young man said.  "We were stuck on the hull when the ship was forced to jump."

"He also says you heard the song." she observed.

He glanced sideways, "Ja mein, Admiral."

"How was the headache?" she asked.

"I...bled in my helmet." he replied, downcast.

"I'm changing the terms of your enlistment, for the good of the service, Witt.  You will report for Navigation Apprentice training to LCS Beagle. This is going to require you to take, and pass, some classes.  Your school records say you suffer from being born on a planet, so, midshipman, I'm going to assign a tutor."


"Because you hear the choir." she said, "So we're going to work on your learning disability.  The Beagle is my boat. You will retake each quiz until you can pass or prove you've learned the material.  Failure to try means I break one of your bones. If I catch you cheating I will send you home to your mother in one kilogram packages. Do you believe I will do this?"

He looked into her eyes.  "Y-yes." he said, turning white.

"Then we understand one another. I expect you to bring your personal allotment aboard at zero six tomorrow...and as an officer candidate. You can forget your previous ETS date. You are in until retirement or you understand? Just like me and maybe in thirty will be giving a gifted young person this same speech."'

"Yes, Mum." he said shakily.

"Good.  I look forward to seeing you begin your apprenticeship." said Sharon.

She picked up her gear.  "Now, I must speak with that damned fool Nguyen..."

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