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But those who had been favored by Best, for the most part, reacted poorly, growing even more sullen and uncooperative undervalued by Best. Their enthusiasm and performance showed marked improvement. But those who had been favored by Best, for the most part, reacted poorly, growing even more sullen and uncooperative.

A few of them were making efforts to improve, but too few. He was left with at least ten percent of the crew whom he could not count on to perform. And while a few of them could be transferred, and a few would probably have to be court-martialed, that still left him with a huge problem. As he entered the command deck of the Agamemnon, he was reminded again of why he was here. The command deck was a thing of beauty. More space, more control and information easy at hand, more power and flexibility available, a clear line of sight to all officers, not impeded by bulkheads or banks of equipment, and a huge observation screen, which revealed the lulling red currents of hyperspace.

It made him proud to be a part of Earthforce. Commander Corchoran saw him and stepped down from the command chair.

"We're thirty minutes from the jump gate, Captain."

"Thank you."

John sat.

His throat was dry from yelling.

"How did the drill go?"

Corchoran's face always seemed to have a dark cloud hanging over it. His salt-and-pepper hair, cropped close, clung to his head, and his dark, pronounced brows overshadowed his deep-set eyes. An odd slackness to his cheeks gave him a constantly glum look.

"Not well. I don't want to transfer these problems into someone else's lap, but I'm having a hard time coming up with another solution."

"Perhaps I could talk to the crew again. Who was giving you trouble?"

Corchoran had been on the Agamemnon throughout Best's
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