Liz was excited! Today was the first day of real training. They had passed all their physicals and the best part was cadets were getting a rare treat this year, Lieutenant Commander Greyson Parker of the 5th Terran Battle Brigade was on loan to Starborne Academy for this cycle. LC Parker was the youngest and only living recipient of the Terran Star of Peace. Liz’s father had found out and quizzed her on Parker’s mission that saved the Moon base colony on Luna One from terrorists.
“C’mon girls let’s hustle.” Liz called to Gem and Peep.
“Liz, Why do you look fresh as an Anterian rose? You partied into the night just like the rest of us.” Peep groaned.
“Today we get to meet a living legend!”
Gem pulled her toothbrush out of her mouth and spit into the sink. “A living legend, huh? Does someone have a crush or what!” She chuckled.
“Hey!” Liz threw a stuffed wampus cat at Gem’s head.
“Hey yourself! No one throws Monty and gets away with it!” Peep launched herself at Liz and the two fell into a giggling heap in the floor.
*BUZZ BUZZ* The intercom rang. “All First Year cadets report to the Battle Deck. Repeat. All First Year cadets report to the Battle Deck.”
The girls joined the other cadets in the hall. Most of the conversation today was about Lieutenant Commander Greyson Parker. Filing onto the Battle Deck Liz was still amazed at the level of tech the school had at its disposal.
Through the floor of the Battle Deck ran circuitry and lights. Today three rows of triangles glowed. The first row was made up of six triangles and the two subsequent rows of ten. One triangle for each Triad group. Liz’s brother had describe the BD to her in letters but his description lacked so much. The BD was long and wide enough for every student in the school to assemble. I bet you could fit a Triad Battery ship in here.
“All right Triad groups fall in line! On the double now, we have a lot to cover today.” LC Parker barked.
When the last cadet stepped into their spot LC Parker spoke, “Today is the beginning of your zero gravitational training. Look around you. The groups the right or left of you will not remain there for long. Right now you are simply in the order arranged by housing, but after today each Triad group will be tested and tried on skill and merit. If your desire upon graduation is to pursue leadership in the fleet you will have to earn one these first row spots.” He looked around the room then walked the length of the first row. “At my mark you have precisely 5 mins to get into your pressure suits and return to your Triad…NOW!”
Liz knew her height gave her an advantage in timed distances, so she ran ahead and was halfway into her grey pressure suit before Gem and Peep hit the locker.
“You sure left us in the dust.” Gem said.
“These suits require a minimum of two people to get properly sealed. I thought if I could get here and be ready to be buttoned up then we could get back faster.”
Peep jumped up and down wiggling into the skin tight inner lining. “Not a bad idea, here my arms aren’t long enough to zipper the back.”
The girls were in and out of the lockers in record time, but not fast enough to be first. 3-Z took the honor and were the first called to the airlock.
“What did you think of Mark Hatten?” Gem said into her communication unit.
“Mark? Oh, yeah the cute guy from down the hall. He looked good in his dress blues.” Peep gushed.
“I don’t care if he’s the best looking cadet in the fleet. He and his buddies, Mossel and Johnson beat us back to the Battle Deck today.”
“Oh come on, Liz. You can’t always be first at everything.” Gem countered.
“Ladies, If you are done with your assessment of Cadet Hatten, how about we get this spacewalk underway.” The voice of LC Parker shut the girls up like a steel bulkhead.
“Sorry Sir.” Liz was mortified. “3-G ready for jump.”
“As the door of the airlock opens you will feel like you are a bit out of control. Do not panic. You will do a one second burst forward then magnetize your boots. On the right arm of the pressure suit is your command inputs. The green button is for forward thrust, the red is for reverse, and the middle blue one will mag your boots. In the future you will have more controls, but today’s spacewalk is within a contained environment. You are perfectly safe. Ready?”
“Ready Sir.” The girls answered.
“Good. In this order exit the hatch, Schirra, Shepard and Grissom. Then mag your boots and walk to the right. There you will see me and Lieutenant Kimberly Carter. We will be your spacewalk instructors for this cycle.”