Cobra by Timothy Zahn

By Timothy Zahn

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The others, their own expressions cast in iron, followed. The brittle silence in the room remained for several seconds after the door closed behind them. "You knew all along I didn't do it," Jonny said at last. Mendro shrugged minutely. "Not conclusively, but we were ninety percent sure. The computer doesn't record a complete film every time the vision enhancers are used, you know. " "I could've," Mendro acknowledged. " "You wanted to see if I'd be too preoccupied to function in combat? " "And losing control either way would've had you out of the unit instantly," Mendro said, his voice hardening.

Point, counterpoint; and with the limited information he had the two arguments could chase each other around his brain all night. They made a good try at doing just that, keeping him uselessly awake for the next hour and a half. One by one his other four roommates came in the open window, performed their bedtime preparations, and went to sleep. At least none of them had gotten caught; and with that particular worry out of the way Jonny was finally able to force the rest of it far enough back in his mind to fall asleep himself.

At least none of them had gotten caught; and with that particular worry out of the way Jonny was finally able to force the rest of it far enough back in his mind to fall asleep himself. But his dreams were violent, tensionridden things, and when reveille put an end to them, he felt worse than if he'd been awake all night. Somehow, he managed to dress, grab his prepacked combat bag, and head down to the mess hall with the others without his groggy eyes drawing any special comment. No MP's arrived while they were eating, nor was anyone waiting by the transport as they crowded in with the rest of the trainees; and with each kilometer they flew Jonny's load eased a little more.

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