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In Points of Impact by Marko Kloos, Captain Andrew Grayson is given a dressing down, by the CO of the ship Ottawa, for having a personal pistol in his room, after being asked to turn them all in upon boarding.

He fears getting thrown in the brig, and ends up getting off relatively easy, having only to sacrifice alcohol while on board ship.

However, when he suits up for the last drop, he pulls the gun out of his locker and straps it on to do the drop.

Is this an inconsistency in the books? Or did I miss something where they allowed him to keep it, even though it was a flagrant broken rule?

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There's no answer in the book. The author explains in a blog post that it was an error introduced during editing/revision of the text.

Andrew’s personal sidearm gets confiscated by the master-at-arms and ends up on the shelf in the CO’s office, yet he retrieves it from his locker again prior to the final battle. That continuity error snuck in because I inserted the dressing-down scene during the developmental edits and forgot to remove the later mention of the pistol. If you want, we can pretend that his sympathetic CO arranged to return the gun on the quiet because of its sentimental value (and/or because she thinks he made a fair point in his defense.)

  • Basically what I suspected, but a confirmation by the author is always better. – Adamant Jan 22 at 6:32
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I don't think it's possible to explain this by reference to the book. It seems like a straightforward error. Until Grayson takes the pistol out of his locker, the last reference to it is when Colonel Yamin puts in on a shelf.

She sighs and visibly pulls herself together. Then she takes the pistol off the desk and puts it on a shelf behind her.

Even Grayson mentally recognizes that this is a fair punishment, and that Yamin could have done worse, such throwing him in the brig or demoting him, so I don't think it would have been likely that Yamin would have decided that Grayson could have his pistol back, nor that it would have gone without note if she had.

Besides, as mentioned earlier in the book, it's not simply a matter of Grayson having failed to inform anyone that he had brought the pistol with him. Sidearms are simply not allowed on the ship, whether stored in the armory or not.

"Talking about following orders. You aren’t a nugget fresh out of officer school. You know that sidearms, personal or issued, aren’t allowed on this ship."

For Grayson to have been able to put the gun back in his locker, either they would have had to have given him special dispensation, or he somehow would have needed to have taken the gun back from Yamin's office. Those events seem unlikely, and more unlikely still is that they wouldn't merit a mention in the story.

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