"If your theory is correct, Lieutenant," he mused aloud, "then the alien ship should be opening fire--if that's what you would call it--any minute now."
"Yes, sir." McCandless brushed his mouth with his hand--probably surreptitiously removing a wad of gum, the Captain thought. "I was wondering what you would do, sir, if the alien ship opens fire on the Josef."
"If it wasn't against regulations, I'd issue a couple of cans of beer per man."
McCandless gaped. "I--I don't understand you, sir."
"If they finish off the Josef, Lieutenant, it'll save us the trouble. For my money, I'd be tickled pink if the Combine sent reinforcements and it really developed into a fracas."
McCandless turned slightly so the Captain could no longer read his face. The Captain wondered if it was intentional.
"I ... I guess I just took it for granted that we'd join forces against the aliens, sir. It seemed like the natural thing to do."