Dan Davis, Hero of “Operation Blinder” by Robert Holt

What is your story?
My story? The adventures, or misadventures, of a Union Navy Covert Operation Team sent to disrupt the communications between a, would be, Dictator, and his Space Fleet. The title of the story is ‘Operation Blinder’.

Who are you?
Chief Dan Davis, United Earth Space Navy.

Where do you live?
Anywhere the Navy sticks me.

Are you the hero of your own story?
A reluctant hero I guess, but my troops are the real heroes.

What is your problem in the story?
My problem is; I hate anything related to war and, unnecessary killing.

Do you run from conflict?
No. I do my job to the best of my ability.

How do you see yourself?
I seldom think about myself, but if you pin me down, I’d have to say, a coward. Not where my duties in the Navy are concerned, but for not standing up to my father.

How do your friends see you?
I don’t have anyone I could call a friend, but those close to me in the Navy think I’m some sort of super hero. Probably because I finish at the top of any class I take. If they knew I take all those classes to avoid being sent into any conflict area, they’d probably have a lower opinion of me.

How do your enemies see you?
By enemies, I assume you mean those passed over for promotions that were given to me? They probably think I’m an arrogant ass, or some nepotism is involved. Although I can assure you Admiral Davis never interferes where his wayward son is involved.

How does the author see you?
I think he must hate me. He keeps putting me in harm’s way.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Yes. But there are things about me that even he doesn’t know.

Do you have a goal?
Yes. To get my troops out of this mess alive.

Do you have any skills?
Well, the Navy has taught me a lot of ways to kill my fellow man… does that count?

What do you want?
To be an old man… a live old man. I doubt that will happen.

What do you need?
A beer, but I’ll settle for a cup of coffee.

What do you want to be?
A tea-pot? Just kidding.

What do you believe?
If you’re referring to religion, then ‘nothing’. Too many people have died, and continue to be killed, in the name of some fictional deity.

What are you afraid of?
Letting my troops down. They actually believe I’ll get them through this.

What do you regret?
Not standing up to my father. I never wanted to be in this stupid Navy. I did get back at him… I didn’t apply for Officers Training like he wanted. I signed on as an Able Spacer… the lowest of the low. Unfortunately, because of my ‘abilities’, I’ve risen through the ranks. Now, as Master Chief, lives are in my hands… Officer or not. Did I mention, I hate war?

What, if anything, haunts you?
Not saying ‘No’ to this mission, even if it would have broken my father’s heart to have his son booted out of his beloved Navy, I should have let them do it. I hate this shit.

Has anyone ever betrayed you?
Possibly my mother. She was too busy being a good Officer’s Wife to stand up for me. She knew how I felt, but chose to ignore it.

Have you ever failed anyone?
In my father’s eyes, Yes.

What was your childhood like?
Ever been to Military Boot Camp? That was my childhood. So the answer would be ‘crappy.’

Did you get along with your parents?
You’ve gotta be kidding.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?
Attending the, Full Military Funeral, of my favorite uncle and asking ‘why?’ That was when I found I hated war.

Who was your first love?
Never had time for love… although I’ve met a great girl here on Gilligan…

Have you ever had an adventure?
Well… this mission has been more adventure than I’ll ever want again. Being saddled with the troops the Navy wouldn’t mind losing… all facing Dishonorable Discharge as I was, plus an AI with an attitude and a sense of humor that I find quite annoying, is bad enough. But the worst part? I am convinced the Navy wanted this mission to fail. I refuse to let that happen. That’s why I changed the orders. I hate to fail.

Was there a major turning point in your life?
I think this may be it.

What is your most prized possession?
Funny you should ask. When I made Master Chief, I was given an engraved coffee cup. I spilled the Champagne out of it when my father mumbled, ‘It could have been Captain Davis.”

What is your favorite music?
I’m partial to an ancient jazz artiest called Brubeck. Ever hear of him? Give his title ‘Take Five’ a listen some time.

What are the last three books you read?
Hummm. Besides The Art of War, I’d have to say Larry Nivin’s Ringworld books.

How do you envision your future?
What future? Unless I can stay here on Gilligan, and out of the Navy’s sight, I don’t see much of a future. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not a deserter. Our orders stated, ‘After destroying The Shah’s Grav-Space Radio, we are to join, or organize, the local resistance’. We ‘are’ the resistance. Letting the Navy assume we died soon after we killed the Shah, is technically not desertion… is it?