As I suspected, despite being subtitled “A Golden Age Tale,” this story is not in fact set in John C. Wright’s universe. However, despite that, I found it an enjoyable read!
Basic plot: a three-cadet space explorer team gets into a barfight, and as punishment they are sent to help evacuate an offworld mission that failed to make meaningful contact with an alien world’s sentient lifeforms and is thus being recalled (after decades of work) in order to leave the aliens alone. The cadet team’s resident genius bar-fight-starting loudmouth makes it even worse: he will have to figure out why the mission failed, or the entire team will be drummed out of the service. Then various unexpected but not improbable things happen, which I will not relate because spoilers.
The ending felt a little awkward, because the entire piece is sort of running narration by the team leader that abruptly breaks off in order to conceal just what she did to save the day until the very end. It’s not a bad ending, though. Lots of cool tech involved in solving problems!
Also, apparently the library really wants its magazines back right away in comparison to the books, so I’m glad that I decided to read them first. Just one more Analog work to go!