Sunday February 20, 2005
Book 6: Resident Mad Scientist — Part IV: Old Habits Die Hard


Narrator: Aboard the Serial Peacemaker, General Tagon reacquaints himself with command. . .
General Tagon: What irons do we have in the fire, Ennesby? I heard something about assignments for a couple of squads.
Ennesby: The Captain scared up a dozen personal security contracts here at the convention.
Ennesby: And I do mean "scared up." He spooked twelve scientists, including three of the Gavs, into thinking they needed protection.
General Tagon: Do the troops on contract know about this? Because if they think there's no real threat, we've got a disaster on our hands.
Ennesby: How so? I don't think they were told, but they might figure it out.
General Tagon: Listen, soldiers get make-work assignments all the time. It's part of soldiering. They learn to take orders without questioning, they learn to do their best work, and they learn to take pride in it.
General Tagon: But the moment they figure out that the work they are doing exists only to keep them out of other trouble, morale falls to pieces.
General Tagon: These troops just came off of six weeks of "morale in pieces." They need to fell useful, or they'll twig to the fact that right now, they're just over-muscled, armed-and-dangerous liability insurance nightmares.
Ennesby: What do you do with a soldier who figures all this out?
General Tagon: Officer training. We don't want to go there.