This is the tenth section of the fifth chapter of Sonnets from a Proton. The novel starts here.
The next section is here.
“Ok grunts” shouted James “This is it. In about two minutes we’re going through that door and you know what we have to do. For once you have to be disorganised and a mess. If you can fall, stumble and generally be incompetent then that is going to save us trouble later. Ready for the signal though you have about five minutes once we get in there to get into your positions. Then I need you to remember your training and give 110%. Do you understand me”
“Sir yes Sir” boomed the synchronised reply.
James’ voice dropped in disappointment, “And yet you forget your basic training. What’s the first lesson of combat?”
“We’re not robots.” came the reply.
“If I wanted robots I’d get some built. You’re supposed to tell me when I make mistakes. Following dumb orders gets you killed and not one of you noticed or thought that 110% is impossible. It’s not too late to stop this, if there’s one of you who isn’t behind me and ready to tell me this is wrong then we all need to know this now”
“Sir” shouted one of the recruits “the door’s opening”
“It’s up to you now guys,” said James pushing off the bulkhead and heading towards the airlock “Make your decision and let’s do this or not. It’s up to all of you.”