"What're the other ones like?" asked Tom.
"I don't know. I've never met them." answered Sgt. Sweet.
"Oh. Ok then." said Tom, a little disappointed he wouldn't learn about them, but at the same time, excited to get confirmation that there were others.
Sgt. Sweet started eating the mashed potatoes again.
Tom broke the silence, "So ... you're not even going to ask any explanation of what happened down there?"
Sgt Sweet thought a moment "No, you seemed pretty thorough. I'm not touching it with a 10-foot pole. The higher-ups can call on you to explain if they desire."
Tom swallowed his chicken nugget. "Ah. Soo... what's after lunch?"
"No plan. I have to edit my report. The tour I'm trying to get for you is tomorrow at least. You have the rest of the day off."
"Ah ok." said Tom "Sir."
They ate the rest of the meal in silence.
Sgt. Sweet left the table.
Tom started thinking to himself. "Hmm, while I was in sickbay, I was thinking of destroying the video recordings. But if the funding of the entire project rests on the results of this test, destroying them might have been the worst option, even if skulking around doing it with no evidence linking it to me would have been a thrilling story. Perhaps coming clean was the best course. Being forthcoming has to count for something, right?"
"Hi, mind if I sit here?" said a man standing with a food tray.
"Sure, no problem." said Tom.
He was in his 20s, wearing a blue dress shirt uniform. After having some food, he said "So, you're new here, right?"
"Yes, just visiting, though."
"Ah, cool cool." said the man "So, you look like you're doing diving today."
"Yeah, it's kind of a hassle to take off the suit." said Tom. "(Understatement of the year.)" he said to himself and silently chuckled inside.
"I know how that is." said the man "I do diving too."
"So, who are you anyway?" asked Tom.
"Oh, sorry, I'm Josh Chapman. Ensign." he said.
"Thomas. Contractor." said Tom.
"I saw you walking around the decks in just a wetsuit earlier today. That's pretty bold." said Josh.
"Yeah, that's me. Always the bold one." said Tom, "Yep."
Some other people arrived with their trays. They were clearly Josh's friends and Josh started paying attention to them. Tom thought to himself, "Well, now would be a good time to escape this awkward conversation. Or should I try to make new friends and make the most of this break?"