COMMANDER: And so, in summing up, I say to you simply this: we shall win this war, and you, our latest space fighter graduates, shall win it for us. Remember your fallen comrades, remember right is on your side, remember the attack formation we taught you in the academy, and get out there and defeat that planet!
[Cheers and sound of massed troops leaving]
Space Cadet 1357/4, you remain; have you something to say?
CADET: Yes, Commander. I just wanted to have a word about this formation we're attacking in.
COMMANDER: That formation is the key to our victory; if you have anything to say against it, you would do well to choose your words wisely.
CADET: OK. That formation: I think it's mostly a terrible idea.
COMMANDER: Mostly a terrible idea?!
CADET: Yes. In fact, wholly a terrible idea, Sir, but I wanted to let you down gently.
COMMANDER: But we spent the past 6 months instilling you with that attack formation.
CADET: Even so, I don't think it's the best way to beat the earthlings.
COMMANDER: Cadet 1357/4, I admire your young fire, your youthful nerve, your tight plastic pantaloons, but I think I know more about space tactics than you, and I know this: the best way of attacking a planet in a phalanx of spaceships is hovering above a patch of the ground in a square, going sideways all together, and occasionally moving down a little bit. Slow and steady wins the race.
CADET: The race to die quickest.
COMMANDER: Cadet, the all-together-sideways-downy manoeuvre is our greatest military achievement. It strikes terror into the enemy!
CADET: Thing is, Sir, I've had a word with intel, and their reconnaissance suggests that the earth guys just have these little cannon things, that can only move along one axis; they even reckon there are only 3 of them. So, I say, we attack one at a time, hovering just out of range.
COMMANDER: That will never work. They have these little bridges to hide under.
CADET: In reference to that, I've had this little tactical idea, you might like it, it's called aiming.
COMMANDER: Impossible. Flying in formation is hard enough, we don't have time to spend aiming. Especially if we're all going to make that bloop bloop noise at the same time.
CADET: With the greatest of respect, Sir, I can count the good points of your beloved attack formation on the digits of one flargle; a flargle being a two-fingered appendage we aliens have.
COMMANDER: I'm well aware of that. I too have a flargle. It was an odd thing to say.
CADET: OK, granted. But, look, the good points of your plan are 1) the terror striking.
COMMANDER: The terror! The terror!!
CADET: Yes, quite so, the terror...and...that's it. I mean, here's another idea: why don't we try attacking a different part of the planet. One without any bridges. There is quite a lot of planet, you see, but we always have a go at that one little area, where they have the three shooty things.
COMMANDER: Aah! I see. You don't get to be a commander of Alien Starfleet for as long as I have without learning a thing or two. I've got a military CV as long as your flargle, and I know a cadet who's getting cold feet when I see one.
CADET: What? No.
COMMANDER: Come on, lad, don't try to deny it. Even the best warriors have second thoughts before a battle. All perfectly normal, and nothing a good massed chorus of "bloop bloop" won't fix.
CADET: No, look, I'm not scared, I just -
COMMANDER: Fear not, laddy. To give you some courage and gird your plastic pantaloons, I shall fly the mothership just above your attack.
CADET: Just above? How far just above? Like, within missile range?
COMMANDER: Of course, otherwise I wouldn't be making much of a gesture. Yes, the mothership, containing the elite brass of the military, the ruling executive of our planet, and all of our supplies; I'll just drift it across the battlefield every now and then. Quite slowly, probably.
CADET: Right, this is a farce! I took the liberty of contacting Ace Mechatrox, he's galaxy-renowned as a genius tactician. He's on his way to help us actually win this war, with luck I should be able to get him on the comm now. Are you there, Ace?
He's just coming through an asteroid belt in a tiny triangular ship that hard to steer. Ace, can you hear me?
ACE: [Distorted] Thank God! There's someone. Can't stop them. Asteroids. They just keep splitting in two. Can't control the ship. Help me! Heeeelp m- [Static]
CADET: Oh. Right. Yeah, I didn't think of that.