“Well, sir, I just got back from leave. So I’ve been trying to get caught up on everything I missed – and it certainly sounds like the last few days have been eventful. I was asking that Gorp fellow some questions, because it’s always useful to hear about things from different perspectives.”
“And you were just asking questions when he punched you?”
“Oh, the subject of how his squad formed came up, and I was curious about why Squib in particular was picked as leader. Seems Sergeant Ash was interviewing members of the squad, and decided Squib was the best fit.”
“He was handling reserve squad assignments that year, yeah,” Dominic says. “The idea was you put all the troublemakers on one squad and keep a close eye on them. As to the choice of squad leader, well, I wouldn’t want to speak to that without interviewing them myself. I don’t think I would have picked Squib, but maybe he’d have surprised me somehow.” He pauses. “But that’s all beside the point. The point is Gorp punched you after that?”
“Well… I wanted to get a sense of why, but Gorp said he didn’t remember his own interview. So I started musing on that, and I guess something I said upset him.”
“I see,” Dominic says. “I don’t suppose you remember what?”
“I was more or less talking to myself by that point, and my memory of the moment is a little focused on the part where he tried to attack me. But I think I was speculating on the sort of questions that might get asked?”
You actually remember it fairly well. But you pause for a bit, just to get a read of Dominic’s reaction. Is he, perhaps, worried on Ash’s behalf?
Unfortunately, he’s not giving much away with his expressions. Seems he has a fair amount of emotional control. You wonder if he’s any good at Swamprats.
“Well,” he says after a while, “I suppose it doesn’t matter much. It’s clear enough that Gorp attacked you, so he’ll be punished accordingly. I can’t imagine how anything you might have asked could have angered him for a good reason.”
“Oh, wait,” you say. “I think I remember now. I tried to come up with an example question, and I think it was something like, what would you do if an officer gave you an unethical order. It was just off the top of my head, but maybe he thought I was implying he’d done something?”
“That would be a serious accusation. I suppose you wouldn’t think of it as one at the time, but now I can see why Gorp might take offense. Still, the fact remains that he attacked you, lied about it, and threatened you to go along with the lie. All serious matters that warrant a strong response. Thank you, you’ve been very helpful. You can go now.”
Oh, that won’t do at all. You can’t end this conversation now, it’s barely started. And you’re sure there’s quite a bit this handsome sergeant can tell you.
So how can you keep Dominic interested in continuing?
Or some other general innocuous compliment. He doesn’t seem too busy. And he opened up about Ash’s role with Squib Squad. He might be chatty if things seem relevant.
You should get some info from people who support Ash as a leader. Squib squad worked for him but they didn’t care much for the boss it seems.