"So, who do you like for it, Captain?"

"Oh, sir, it's impossible to make a call with any confidence at this stage. They haven't even recieved their briefing yet. The pool doesn't start until they get their weapons, of course."

"You must have been making judgement calls this time."

"Well, yes, sir."

"Who do you like for it?"

"Well, sir."

"Damn it, Captain, this isn't University Finals. There's no wrong answer, I'm just making chitchat, ha!"

"Well, sir, I've my eye on Yakamoko."

"Really! That's unexpected. The weedy, unpolpular kid. Unexpected, eh?"

"Yes, sir. You see, he's up for it, Statistically, only around half of them are. Yakamoko hates his fellow students. He'll leap at the chance to win."

"Ah?"

"More than that. You've labelled him weedy, and it's true he's not on any sports teams or studying any martial arts. But his Physical education scores have always exceeded the standards- he can run as well as any of them, and faster than most."

"But he's so antisocial. I can't envision him making an alliance with anyone."

"I know the numbers as well as anyone, sir. Three out of four victors make an alliance at one stage or another. Still, I believe that with the proper degree of paranoia, and a decent weapon, Yakamoko has what it takes. He's going to get my big blind, sir."

"Ha. I just can't see it, but I suppose that's why they call it gambling."

"Yes, sir. Who are you thinking of for your big blind?"

"Tsuiota."

"Playing it safe, sir?"

"Exactly. My wife's been nagging my for a bigger car this year, ha!"

"I thought about him. The most notably athletic boy in the class. Red belt Jiu Jitsu practioner. The obvious choice."

"Ah? But not yours?"

"He's the obvious choice, sir. That means unless he gets a kimono sash as his weapon the odds on him will be 1 to 2 at best. If I win, sir, I want to rake in a fortune."

"Ha! Sportsman's blood, eh, Captian?"

"I suppose, sir."

"And your little blind?"

"I was thinking of Mimura."

"Her? The little pop star wannabe?"

"Second in command of the local girl's clique, according to the police reports. Means she's the enforcer in the gang. It means she knows all the girls, and all the girls fear her already. She's one to keep an eye on, sir."

"Huh."

"Who's your little blind, sir?"

"Well, damn, it was going to be Shenzi, but now I might make it Mimura."

"Glad to have been of help, sir."

"She's really XO of the class' girls' gang?"

"You just need to read between the lines, sir. The police booked three of the girls for prostitution, but Mimura was nailed for loitering nearby. That mean the beat cops knew she was in on it, but none of the girls would roll over and give her up."

"Huh. You really have your finger on the pulse, don't you, Captain."

"I try, sir. On a Captain's salary, hasty or foolish bets are not to be encouraged."

"Ha! Damn, I remember being a captain. They really don't pay you much, do they?"

"It only feels like a fortune until you forget what it's like being on a Lieutenant's salary, sir."

"Ha! Alright. Now, suppse that Yakamoko gets a pair of chopsticks, and Mimura gets shot to death during the brief. Who's your back up?"

"Honestly, sir? I'd pick the Korean kid, Jin. He's decently athletic, well liked enough to make alliances, and has a rap sheet indicating a habit of mugging. Solid choice all around, sir."

"Fascinating, Captain. I like how efficiently you break down your choices. The other Generals just seem to pick the best looking kid and hope for the best."

"I strive to be the best in all I do, sir."

"Ha! So, Yakamoko and Mimura, huh? Interesting, interesting. Well, they're scheduled to arrive here at, ah..."

"1545, sir. Twenty three minutes, but Transport likes to arrive with them fifteen minutes early just in case."

"Very efficient, I'm sure. Well, carry on! And good luck with your Yakamoko!"

"Thank you, sir. Good luck with Tsuiota, sir."