Gross negligence

Paperwork always flustered Keith, and the whiskey didn't help. After noting
several months with 'Mining Yield; Sweet F.A.' for every single day, his last
entry was ' Mining Yield; A Smeg-tonne, Four cas... deaths', quite sure his
superiors would be glad to get something this decade.
<end snip>
Who: Efof and Keith
Where: Flying back to the Blue Dwarf
When: After their expedition to retrieve metal ore, where all the miners died
As they approached the Blue Dwarf, Efof could see the SpaceCorps ship pulled up
along side, and one of the Blue Dwarf's flight decks open, where the engineers
were busy configuring a large missile.
"Wow, that's a big missile!" Efof said.
"There's going be some big fireworks!" Said Keith.
"What?" Asked Efof, having never ever seen fireworks on his planet.
"Oh... nothing, nevermind." Said Keith and sunk back into his chair, he couldn't
even be bothered to explain.
Efof turned and noticed he looked miserable. "Don't worry." Said Efof. "There
wasn't anything you could have done."
Keith nodded. "I know." He said.
"Apart from if you'd have done a proper scan of the area you'd have realised
there were dangerous rock monsters living there."
"Oh thanks." Said Keith. "Just rub it in more why don't you?"
Efof bit his lip. He realised he wasn't helping, but continued to talk anyway.
"There's a good chance you won't be fired. Don't worry about that." Efof said.
"Oh no." Said Keith. "I didn't even think about that. I'll probably be
court-marshalled for negligence!"
"Oh..." Said Efof. "Sorry.. I didn't realise that, but yes you probably would."
Keith started banging his head on the dashboard in front of him. "Damn, damn,
Efof landed the shuttle and they began to unload the metal ore that they had
Who: Captain Jay Chrysler and Seymour Niples
Where: Captain's office
When: Just after
Captain Chrysler was reading Keith Wirrals' mining report when Seymour entered
the room.
"Seymour, I've told you to knock!" Said Jay.
Seymour ignored him and changed the subject straight away. "Do you remember when
this was my office? I had a framed picture of the SS Esperanto right over there,
and a lovely pink potted rose on the walnut coffee-table over there..."
"So you'll knock next time?" Jay asked, not letting Seymour get away with
changing the subject.
Seymour took a deep breath, and took a few steps over the Jay's desk. "Mister
Chrysler my good man... any chance you could write me a glittering reference for
my job application?"
Jay put his face in his palm. "Seymour, I'm really busy. The Admiral has given
me this missile, which is a health and safety nightmare, there's already been
one sabotage attempt, and our first mining mission in years turned into a
Seymour nodded, as if he was listening. But wasn't. "Okay, so could you write
about how much of a team player I am, and how good my leadership qualities are.
Oh, and about my excellent communication skills."
Again, Jay put his hand in his face. "No, Seymour I'm not writing this reference
for your job application."
Seymour stood up. "What can I do? I'll do anything to help. I'm unemployed after
all by jove."
Jay thought about this for a few moments. "There's a guy in the mining
department called Keith Wirrals..." He started. "I asked him to lead the mission
to extract the ore, but he made a mistake and forgot to do a scan of any
dangerous lifeforms before they started.
"And you want me to fire him? Righty-oh!" Seymour said.
"No... that's not it." Said Jay. "He made a mistake, but he's a valuable
officer. We need to keep him."
"But he needs to be punished? Righty-oh!" Seymour said. "I'll call Rosette to
rough him up a bit."
"NO!" Jay said. "He doesn't need to be punished. A lot of people died and he
probably blamed himself. That's punishment enough. But such a mistake shouldn't
go unnoticed. I want you to tell him that he's not getting paid this month."
"A months wages? Is that all for killing an entire team of miners?" Seymour
gasped. "You're getting soft! I wasn't that soft when I was Captain." He
boasted, and Jay refrained from telling him that he also used to be totally
"I told you he'll be punishing himself enough!" Said Jay. "Go and tell him and
I'll think about writing your job reference."
Seymour saluted, and left.
<Tag Keith, how will he take the news that he's not being paid this month? Is he
bothered? Maybe he's in debt to a loan shark and this will cause some problems?

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