|The Admiral subsequently heeds Cranes advice and
has Corbett restored to duty as missile operator. He goes to
see Corbett, who is obviously still troubled about their situation .
What difference is it who
I can't understand it. You're Navy
-- Annapolis. This is what you've been trained for.
You've gone through this a hundred
Corbett: Practice runs, games, like when we were
kids. This is no game, Admiral. This is real.
I know. A missile officer knows. There was no practice
alert scheduled for this run.This is doomsday, Admiral--doomsday!
Nelson: If it is, we
didn't start it.
Corbett: What difference
is it who started it? It's one thing to carry a big
stick--it's another to bash someone's head in with it. I just
couldn't do it. But you could! (he looks
astonished) Couldn't you,
Nelson: You think that because I
do what I have to do I don't feel . . . Nelson chokes
up, recovers, and continues. "Our job is to
provide the bone and muscle of our country's deterrent power.
If we fail in that . . . if we freeze in the clutch, our country's
defenseless. You failed your country once before--don't ever
fail her again. " This said, you know Nelson damn
well means it in spite of the implicit horror.