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I want to conduct daily inspections. Each section chief will make a special daily progress report directly to you."

"Yes, sir," Corchoran said, his face seeming gloomier than ever beneath his pronounced brows.

"Just for the record, does this mean you're canceling leave?"

"Yes, it means we're canceling leave. You don't fail inspection and then go on leave. Now I want this schedule put into effect immediately. And let me know when the techs come on board."

Corchoran nodded.

"I'm sorry we let you down, sir."

John let out a breath, shook his head.

"I'm afraid we've all let Earthforce down. And I'm not going to let that happen again."

"Yes, sir," Corchoran said, and left.

John sat down behind his desk. It was ironic. During wartime, the crew either his face seeming gloomier than ever beneath his pronounced brows.

"Just for the record, does this mean you're canceling leave?"

"Yes, it means we're canceling leave. You don't fail inspection and then go on leave. Now I want this schedule put into effect immediately. And let me know when the techs come on board."

Corchoran nodded.

"I'm sorry we let you down, sir."

John let out a breath, shook his head.

"I'm afraid we've all let Earthforce down. And I'm not going to let that happen again."

"Yes, sir," Corchoran said, and left.

John sat down behind his desk. It was ironic. During wartime, the crew either functioned correctly or they died. Motivation wasn't an issue. In peace, the motivations were subtler: promotion, pride, a paycheck. But Captain Best had twisted all that, promoting those who didn't deserve it, holding back those who did. John would do whatever it took to get them into shape, if it meant drilling for a week, a month, a year-Oh hell. Anna. She'd kill him. The com system
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