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The Crew

My crew arrived at the FLUB a month later. It had just returned from training. In those days all crews could be divided into three categories: those that were constantly being trained, those that were constantly being repaired, and those that were constantly performing active assignments.

The system was flawless: if you needed to send a crew to be trained, well, you might as well choose the one most qualified for the chore at hand; if you had to ship a boat off to be repaired, you could simply designate the one that had just been there; and if you had to send somebody out to risk their lives on yet another assignment, well, God be with them...!

But sometimes these crews had difficulties metamorphosizing from one state to another. Our crew, for example, had arrived at the base in order to undergo the difficult metamorphosis of becoming an active crew.

Crewmembers were stationed on the same FLUB where I was staying, and one day I noticed that I was sharing a cabin with the ships Zampolit. He didnt have any family in sight, and addressed me in a simple folksy manner:

Well, son, anybody ever tell you your first year of service was gonna be easy?

No, sir.

Thats right. So get your ass in that upper bunk.

From that day on I lived in the upper bunk, and Ivan Trofimovich lived below me.

Of all my Zampolits, Ivan Trofimovich was the only one that I would actually bother to greet standing up. With all the others I would do so sitting, or in some cases even lying on my back.

But if I said that the rest of my Zams were absolute scum-of-the-earth, it would be a departure from the truth. In all honesty, they werent this kind of scum. Still, I dont particularly care to talk about them.

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