“Well Mr Dodgeson,” said the Captain “I have been wondering when this bunch of young men would break out from the code. They have seemed almost too compliant, and all of you instructors have managed them so well. You handled today very well, my thanks for that.
It is interesting that the lead in this came from Trevor, such a dreamy boy. Do you know he can recite almost every part in every Shakespeare play, word perfect? I must say his duelling skill is rather remarkable. Now we shall have to see how well he has learned the other lessons hidden in Mr S’s works.”
At the meeting for all of the crew who were responsible for the youngster’s education, Mr Dodgeson explained how the change from the normal mind-body exercises had happened. Tina Bew, the psychologist laughed. “Boys will be boys, they love to compete, and what better way than duelling? It offers strength, dexterity, fitness and swift thinking, all to compete with a friend. Of course we now have to make the boys face the potential consequences of real duelling. Mr Dodgeson, your next session is tomorrow I believe” Tina continued.
Peter Dodgeson nodded, worried that he may let the captain down. This was his first cruise, he had grown up on Earth and had therefore needed extra years of training to be accepted as a physical specialist onboard a starship. He was keen to prove he would be as good as anyone ship-bred and raised.
Tina said “Well we will have to set them up within Romeo and Juliet, as members of the different families. Then we will have the infirmary standby for injuries. The ethics class is at 08:00 the following morning. I’ll set their homework for it, reading the whole of Romeo and Juliet in sleep mode, and Tzu Ghian’s treatise on killing the enemy.”
The captain said, “Please remember to link me in for the discussion session. I want to start assessing these youngsters myself.”
Trevor woke the next morning, amazed that his dream had been word perfect for Romeo and Juliet. Then he remembered he had been told there would be sleep learning last night. Last night had been far more pleasant than last week’s mathematics sleep lessons. Try as he may, ballistics and gravity together seemed to confuse him.
At breakfast the boys sat together, and the discussion had already begun. “No one kills themselves over something as unreal as love’, sneered Dhang. Trevor looked at him in astonishment. “Love – UNREAL?” he said. “You obviously know so little about real humans”.
Dhang stood up, spilling his hot drink all over Trevor. “We of the outer worlds are the real humans, you whose ancestors stayed on Earth and did not evolve are the relics of the past!” he shouted.
One of the officers having breakfast came over and told the boys to clean up and get to their class or he would find some dirty job to utilise all that pent up energy.