Sky in the Stars, Part 15

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Skylar transitions from patient to student in her early days at Citadel Academy.

29 May 2932

Citadel Military Academy Station

Sector 4, Sigma 5 Space

 

Skylar stood inside a white dormitory. The artificial sunlight beamed through her window emulating the morning sunrise. Everything was white, simple, and clean. The Citadel Station, unlike the Alpha Station, was all about presentation. The modern and simplistic furniture didn’t bother her much. She had a bed, and a desk. The showers were shared. The women’s wash and restrooms were small due to the lack of females in the academy. But Skylar had taken care of bathing the night before, avoiding any confrontation with other females as best she could. She didn’t like showering with others around. It was a sacred ritual to her, one that would never leave her.

She reached into her closet, a long line of identical gray uniforms were hung perfectly spaced apart. They had to be in order to pass inspection. A pencil skirt, heels, button-up blazer, and a cadet hat was her uniform and the only clothes she would see for some time.  Two years ago she wouldn’t have minded and rather would’ve enjoyed the uniform. But that was before her life changed. Now, Skylar was far less feminine and dainty than she used to be, and the uniform looked fairly odd. But she had some place to be. Class would start soon.

She walked from her dorm into the hallway. The halls were white too. The Academy did well to keep the view of nature in sight at all times, whether it was live gardens behind glass that was seamlessly integrated in the walls, or the artificial monitors giving staff and students a view of a meadow. If anything, Skylar was impressed with how real it was since she had lived in such a place before. Her thoughts began clouding her mind as she took a drink from the water fountain. Before she could lose herself in nostalgia she was pushed from behind as a large man no older than her.  

“Move it.” said the man. His name was Jared Proctor, an apparent star pupil in the academy, and apparent king of the hallways.

Skylar’s eyes cut to Jared, her brows furrowed as she paused the water flow, “I’m not done, wait your turn.”

“I said move it, Earther.” Jared, stood his full if not gargantuan height. His gray uniform seemed a bit tight for his musculature. All Skylar could see was Evo, a man who tormented her before… and could fall just as easily. She almost wanted to laugh at his attempt to intimidate her. If only he knew where she’d been… and what she’d done.

Skylar stood upright and faced Jared, “Don’t talk to me like I’m some damn alien freakshow. Why don’t you just go use another one or wait your goddamned turn?”

“Because I don’t have to. Shouldn’t even be drinking our water. Whoever thought a chick would even make it passed preliminary  is an idiot. From what I hear you got shoed in by administration. How many dicks did you have to suck to do that?”

Skylar’s fist balled up.

Another more adult voice called out from behind. “Jared.”

Jared turned on his heel and faced a well-dressed and well decorated black-bearded man. Immediately Jared saluted him. “Lieutenant Cabral.”

“Harassing the new students again?” Cabral narrowed his brown eyes.

“N-no sir.”

“Don’t fucking lie to me, boy.” Cabral said flatly, “You got a problem with students, you’ll have a problem with me. No one gets in this academy without good reason. Don’t you know who this is?”

Jared looked at Skylar, “Just some lucky Earth kid.”

“This ‘kid’ saved an entire A-Class contract mining operation from a full squadron Vanduul warriors. She’s a goddamned hero, and you owe her your respect. She might be a cadet here, but she’s earned her ranks elsewhere. Most notably with Captain Snow.” Cabral noted.

Jared scowled at Skylar before walking away, “So what…”

Cabral waited for Jared to turn the corner before looking at Skylar. “Sorry about that, Miss Connor. Jared Proctor, meathead, thinks he owns the place. Truth is he got here based on physical prowess alone. Top of his team in sports… scholarships. Rich family. Spoiled kid, you know how it is.”

“He doesn’t bother me.” Skylar replied.

Cabral laughed, “I didn’t come here to stop him. A second later and he would’ve been on the floor. And he would’ve deserved it too. But I can’t have my students in the medbay. Food does that enough. Jared’s not the first guy to get to you, I bet.”

Skylar scoffed, “You have no idea.”

“I would… I know where you’ve been. Alpha Station is rough… especially for a woman. I heard all about your achievements, Skylar. Quite impressive.”

Skylar rubbed her arm, “Thanks, Lieutenant.”

“Now,” Cabral cleared his throat, “Since you didn’t know who I was before I got here, I’ll let the lack of salute slide this once.”

Skylar blushed and stood at attention, “Sorry sir.”

Cabral laughed, “Don’t worry, kid. I could care less if we’re not around other students or staff.  But the other higher-ups, some will chew you out for it.”

Skylar relaxed, “Thank you, sir.”

Cabral gestured to the hallway, “Better get to class. You’ll see me soon enough. I’m your flight teacher after all.” Skylar nodded and saluted again before walking down the hall. “And watch the cafeteria food. The cheese and potato will haunt you later.”

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