INT – night – mid-deck passageway
Kaminski and Kaushik are talking
Kaushik: -OK by me, but if you plan on using Company guns and ammo, better run it by Kat or Lag. Shouldn’t be a problem, but-Cut to
INT – Day – Lag’s cabin
Lag is at his desk, Kaminski at position of AT EASE in front of him. On the desk in front of Lag is a disassembled pistol he’s in the middle of cleaning. He keeps working while they talk.
Lag: (sounding skeptical) -so you want to expend Company material to teach a civilian to shoot?
Kaminski: Well, yes, sir. She’s nearly one of the Company, and-
Lag: “Nearly?” But you know WE don’t normally send women into front-line combat, Corporal.
Kaminski: But, uh, Sir, you said-
Lag: Make your case.
Kaminski: She is always around here-
Lag: (quietly, but firmly) Properly, now. Aten-SHUN!
Kaminski snaps to attention, face going expressionless. He stands there thinking for a moment, while Lag watches him organize his thoughts a bit. Lag runs a patch through the barrel of his pistol. After short pause, Lag waves for him to continue. Speaking crisply from attention, as if standing before a promotion board answering questions, Kaminski makes his case.
Kaminski: Sir. We should train field support personnel, including women, to fight so they can defend themselves, and will not require a security detachment when we are not present. As she is part of the ship’s crew that has drawn attention, she may be targeted, and it would be a weakness that should be remedied. Proper training will also allow her to knowledgeably watch for any unsafe weapons handling among the recruits should they try to impress her with it, too report to myself or the Sergeants. It will set an example for the recruits that we demand high standards from everyone, that we are not just beating them up for fun. I am willing to cover the ammo cost out of my pay, and I will of course pursue training in my off-duty hours, so it will be cost-effective from a company point. I am not contemplating full front-line combat training at the current time, just basic weapons training and self-defense, so the time needed will be modest. She’s already getting flight and flight-combat training in simulator mode from the ship. Sir.
Lag: … And…?
Kaminski: And she thought it would set a good example for Quinn, who is fascinated by all things weapon-like, of course.
Lag: … And… she being an attractive young lady has nothing to do with it?
Kaminski: She is, and it does, Sir. But it has nothing to do with convincing YOU.
Lag: (chuckling) Indeed. Good distinction. Case made. Just see that it doesn’t interfere with normal operations, right?
Kaminski: Yes, Sir. Thank you. Question, sir?
Lag: At ease.
Kaminski: About not sending women in combat…
Kaminski: I thought we DID train them for combat.
Lag: We don’t normally train them as infantry to SEND them into the primary front lines, no. Exceptions have been made for exceptional individuals or conditions. But sometimes, you are right, the Hell of war comes knocking on the door without us going anywhere, and it would be pretty short-sighted to not have them be as ready as practical. Sometimes they ARE the best person for a front-line job. But most that are physically capable enough are too sensitive, and most that could handle the psychological hell are not physically capable, or are mentally unfit in other ways. They can make excellent soldiers in many places, but for most of them it would be a waste to send them to the front if we didn’t have to… One day we might need every hand that can so much as twitch lift a sword. So, your answer was spot-on; it’s good to train good people in useful skills, regardless of plumbing. Dismissed.
Kaminski salutes, about-faces, and heads out the door.
Fade to black