The aftermath turned into a surrealistic painting. Akane, the main culprit, kept repeating that whole accident was not her fault, whereas Heinrich Schubert, the innocent victim, apologized several times.
Confused Andrey Jerzinski and Military Police questioned Gromov, unable to comprehend, what was his role. They had to think he was the attacker and they concluded that all witnesses were covering captain up.
It took about half an hour to explain everything.
When Akane unapologetically clarified why she hit Schubert, Andrey Jerzinski grinned and showed her thumbs up.
At the end, they decided to put Akane to home detention, meaning she was about to stay in the hotel room until the summit is over.
"What?" she shouted, baffled. "Wait, you can't do that. Miriam B is singing tonight. Lieutenant Schubert already told you, guys, what happened. Not my fault you see."
One of MP turned to Gromov: "I'm sorry, captain. She started the ordeal. I hope you understand."
It sounded like asking for the permission.
"I take all responsibility," proclaimed Schubert. "She was right to punch me."
Are you a masochist or what, thought Gromov. From his perspective, MPs should take Akane away, send Schubert to the infirmary, and close the case. They were just too benevolent.
"I'll escort Lieutenant Anbi to her room," he said finally. "You have my word she won't leave it. Do you agree, gentlemen?"
“Certainly, captain," the MPs saluted in obvious relief. "Thank you for cooperation, sir."
Embarrassed Gromov grabbed protesting Akane and led her away. Pilots scattered away, only Heinrich Schubert followed them to the hotel lift.
In silence, they came into the room.
"Come on Sava, I've told you already it was not my fault. You know that Steiner guy. You could let him handle things."
"Shut up," growled Gromov. "Both of you."
Schubert just opened the mouth, probably to burst into another long batch of self criticism.
Gromov particularly enjoyed the one in which young lieutenant offered suicide as the insufficient amendment for insulting the noble war hero. Suppressing the urge to point at the window and command him to jump, Gromov sighed heavily.
"In your best interest, stop judging people by their sleeves. I am not mad on you. I should apologize instead."
"I don't deserve such kind words, sir. I caused trouble for you and lieutenant Anbi."
"Why is that? I still don't get what trouble you caused. My subordinate smashed your face. I hope she didn’t break your nose."
"The inadequate punishment for my idiocy, sir."
"You've heard him, Sava. I don't deserve to be treated like this."
Gromov stared at her until she stopped complaining.
"As far as I am concerned you screwed up things magnificently. Stay quiet unless being told otherwise... As for you, lieutenant, use the bathroom and wash your face from blood. I presume you have no spare shirt?"
"As expected. Akane, give him yours. You are about the same size and rank."
"What? I have no spare one, either. And tomorrow we are leaving."
"It is unnecessary, sir," protested Schubert. "I'll manage somehow."
"I do insist," said Gromov. "Lieutenant Anbi will have a lot of time at her disposal tonight. She can contemplate her wrongdoing while cleaning your shirt."
"Ok," agreed Akane. She realized the captain was serious. Without further hesitation, she start undoing the buttons. Schubert wanted to turn away in embarrassment.
"Dont be so shy," she giggled. "Never seen a girl naked?"
With the small breasts, she was rather boyish and undeveloped. Still Schubert blushed and reverted to room wall. Unfortunately, the tall mirror was hanged there, so his only choice was to close the eyes.
To sheer Gromov amusement, Schubert failed to do so and continued observing the slender female figure.
Born in the Czech Republic, Pavel Morava is not a native English speaker. Having been twenty-two years old, he published his first book, which did not become an international bestseller. After a few other attempts, Pavel Morava abandoned the literary career for over twenty years, during which period he has been focusing on processing of plastics, programming, and raising of children.
Recently, with more time at his disposal, he returned to the forgotten ambition, fighting a futile battle with English language, procrastination, and the tendency to give up too early.
Being vivid reader of not Anglo-Saxon origin, Pavel Morava was fortunate enough to experience books from different countries, including Czech, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Swedish, Dutch, Japanese, French, German, and English. Such a vast literary variety heavily influenced his own work, which typically relies on an one-point-of-view narrative, consecutive storytelling, and elimination of unnecessary details.
Web novels and online publishing made him reevaluate his approach to style and building blocks of the text; the result should be, hopefully, lighter, shorter, and more intelligible for reading on electronic devices.