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Obviously Captain Best had let him get away with all sorts of inappropriate behavior, perhaps even encouraged it. John should have charged Spano with insubordination, should have made him face a court-martial. Chances were he'd have to do that, not only to Spano, but to Ross, Watley, several of the gunners, and several of the crew in other sections. But he felt, first, that he had to give them a chance to reform, or perhaps, as the general had suggested, to transfer.

These weren't new recruits. They had spent years and years in Earthforce. They were behaving as they had been taught to behave. Earthforce should have taught Spano what it meant to be an officer. Earthforce, in the person of Captain Best, had failed him.

Politics and influence had put Best in command and allowed him to damage the officers under him. Now Earthforce, in the person of John Sheridan, was responsible. If Spano, Ross, and the others could adapt, he wanted to Captain -Best, had failed him. Politics and influence had put Best in command and allowed him to damage the officers under him.

Now Earthforce, in the person of John Sheridan, was responsible. If Spano, Ross, and the others could adapt, he wanted to give them that opportunity. They had to learn what it meant to wear the uniform of Earthforce. And he had to learn what behaviors Captain Best had rewarded in his crew.

"I meant it when I said we would all start here with a clean slate. No charges were ever made against Captain Best. And I certainly hold none of you responsible for any actions that he may or may not have taken."

He made a chopping motion with his hand, his voice rising.

"I'm coming down hard on you because your section's performance is unacceptable and deteriorating. And you don't seem to care. This uniform means
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