Cadets Must Always Train Hard if They Want to Earn the Best Positions

“The Department of Discipline is the most important department in the Bureau,” says Lieutenant Tab NooN baT, a winged Omaxian with a beak longer than Augustus’s arm. “It’s not as glamorous as Temporal Law Enforcement or as explosive as Research, but someone has to actually contain and rehabilitate all the people who, you know, do all the time crimes.”

Augustus makes a face. “Rehabilitate?” he asks.

“Yes, Cadet, rehabilitate,” Tab NooN baT repeats, as if Augustus hadn’t heard xer the first time. “We can’t keep temporal prisoners here in perpetuity, it would extend the borders of our prison into infinity.”

“That isn’t how infinity works.”

“It’s a figure of speech known as hyperbole in which an exaggeration is used to form a rhetorical point,” Nathan tells him. “The number of hypothetical temporal criminals in the timeline is theoretically equal to the total population of the universe from beginning to end, though one can safely limit that number to only sentient, sapient life forms, and further limit that number to the point six percent who are statistically likely to encounter temporal travel. At that point narrowing the probability with any reliability becomes impossible, and it’s also irrelevant because the total population of the universe is an unknowable factor. Constructing a linear space that can safely contain even a fraction of an indefinite number of individuals isn’t possible, so ensuring that they are able to be released in a structured manner to allow for new intake is of paramount importance.”

“Hey, shut the motherfuck up,” Augustus says, giving the hologram a look.

Backdoor Pilot

Augustus doesn’t understand how flying a Taxa fighter jet into the middle of nowhere is part of his training, which means either that it isn’t part of his training or that it’s part of some super awesome training programme he’s been selected for because he’s so cool.

It’s probably the second thing, he decides, though that doesn’t explain why Nathan is here with him. “Why are we bringing him?” he asks his mentor.

Lieutenant Syber Python doesn’t look up from the report he’s reading, even though he can interface with his unireader without visual input. “Because you are training partners and as such, your training should all be carried out in tandem, Cadet.”