Today for my post I decided to look at the word of the day across several different word reference websites. My search yielded a rather interesting mix as they seemed to be telling a story already. Now, I know next to nothing about the military or the navy and my brief search of such information left me no better informed, so I hope that my understanding is not too far off!
Words of the day:
The Polaris Muddle
“The Polaris was on target, Sir,” Chief Officer Pettington said. “And then, it all went to Hell.”
Lieutenant Commander Ryan raised his bushy eyebrows. His coriaceous face remained passive, unmoving. “Elaborate,” he said, lacing together his fingers atop the desk.
“Yes, Sir,” Pettington said. “We were pursuing the Swordfish and were within range. Miller had the Polaris on target and was waiting for the command to launch when Smith turned on us.”
Ryan nodded, having heard many similar tales from the other sailors. He noted the bandage across Pettington’s forehead and right tricep. “You sustained these injuries during the situation?”
“Yes, Sir. It was a fine muddle, Sir,” Pettington said. “Smith was fast with that knife.”
“But not fast enough, it seems.”
“No, Sir,” Pettington said.
“It was a fine thing you did, Chief Officer,” Ryan said. “Honorable. I’ll be speaking to Admiral Marshall about you.”
“Yes, Sir. Thank you, Sir,” Pettington said.
“I wonder, Chief Officer, if I might ask you one question,” Ryan said.
“Was Smith an honorable man?”
“No, Sir,” Pettington said. “He showed his true colors today. A traitor through and through.”
“He was your bunk mate, was he not?”
“He was, Sir,” Pettington said. He hesitated briefly before continuing. “If I may be so informal, Sir, he must be a disappointment for you. I know you had taken a special interest in his training.”
Ryan raise his eyebrows again, studying Pettington a moment before learning forward and holding Pettington’s gaze. He smiled slightly. “Come now, Pettington, do we not all have a little venality in us?”
Pettington held Ryan’s gaze. Ah, he thought, the true quisling.
“Yes, Sir,” he said. “We are all human, are we not?