Chapter 1 - 05: Rookies

At the Training VR (virtual reality) room, Kanya and Cassandra are warming up before the rookies come in. "This damn ship is so old, this is still called the VR room," Cassandra complained over the simulated communications line.

"At least the interior is of the ships of the current era," Kanya joked.

They had been chasing each other around an asteroid field when the two new rookies came in.

"So where's the instructor we're supposed to defeat today?" were the first words out of the confident duo.

"Get strapped in calibrate the devices to your liking. We'll begin as soon as you're ready." Cassandra's voice came out of a speaker nearby.

"No face to look at today? Did all the others warn you of imminent humiliation or something?"

"I'm busy training someone else now. Just get it and cut the crap."

Within the virtual asteroid field, Kanya was still hot on the tail of Cassandra's fighter. The other two had spawned within the field also. The radar display on the interior registered two new blips.

Cassandra immediately ordered: "It'll be the two of us against the two of you. Be prepared. All the ships have unlimited small projectiles - and no missiles, to closely simulate the standard loadout during most of the stuff you'll be doing on this ship."

"Affirmative," the duo replied in a more serious manner.

It didn't take long before the fighting began. Needless to say, the two rookies confidence was quickly shattered as their ships were decimated in one run by pure projectile fire. Apparently, their earlier instructors were pretty incompetent. Supposedly the reason why they ended up assigned to this ship anyway.

The rookies were another matter. It's supposed to be standard procedure to be just put on a random ship for to train them in protocol before being placed into their actual assignments. It just so happened that these were the top of their class. Unfortunately for them, Kanya and Cassandra were supposed to be the top in their field as well.

The horror show of their wings ripping apart, cockpits shattering, ships blowing up continued for about an hour before Cassandra called it quits. The rookies had improved considerably since the first run.

Then, they headed for the nearby pantry for a drink. Cassandra had obviously pulled the same thing she did with Kanya the previous day. Apparently, she was the 'cafeteria lady' as well.

It didn't take long before bonding (otherwise known as pointless conversation) occured. Cassandra was the leader for the entire fighter operations of the ship. That means she has a lot of tales (tall or short) to tell. Of course, nothing could possibly happen now. Travelling deep in Terran territory usually meant no trouble for a while. The Dekaten System happened to be among the central trading posts for the Terrans.

However, being a medical vessel, MV2904 is generally a prime target for sanctioned Arltian worlds or pirates for supplies. It was raided several times, but never again after Cassandra came onboard. The TRi, however, had little concern over these raids, since there rarely are any casualties from the raids. Of course, there usually aren't any important people on the ship either.

The first time in a decade that someone important would step onboard would be when Erse Arete walks aboard the ship. Kanya was, of course, oblivious to the significance of this event to the crew of the MV2904. The only Gifted in the entire TRi organisational structure coming aboard a relatively unknown ship.

The supply stop was coming soon. Kanya was pondering about the stuff he might find on the supply stop (induced from a conversation about the supply stop at a trading post) when Cassandra snapped him out of it. "Go follow those rookies to class. You're not exempt from emergency and military protocol. Follow them all day. I wasn't kidding about you having a long day yesterday. Today is a chock full of lectures since tomorrow is the supply stop. It's unlikely anyone will want to stay on the ship anyway since the trading post is a big one. We'll be stopping for a few days anyway - so all the classes got pushed to today."

Kanya showed an expression of the unpleasant day ahead of him, but of course, looked forward to the next few days, which would be filled with something less arduous than protocol lectures.