Wednesday, 3 February 2010


A short break from the biography now, for another short (it started in my head as short, sorry) and hopefully enjoyable tale.

This one comes from my 3rd year at Imperial Acadamy Deepari.


I awoke early, truth be told I had not slept well at all. Today was exam day, a practical demonstration of the techniques taught to us throuought the year in the techniques of survival. An art long rendered all but useless to the pod pilot through FTL communications and the pod itself, however as it is on the Amarrian curriculem, so it is taught without question.

I approached the group of students nervously gathering around the examiner. Markus was there, we had grown closer over the last 2 years here, naturally our little group had split into couples, not that me an Markus were an item of course, but Prypyet and Jinzu were practically inseperable. As this exam had loomed closer we had planned to try and support each other as best we could, we had heard horrific tales of past years experiences we dismissed many of them as exaggerations designed to intimedate us. The trouble was the nagging feeling that although exaggerated, the nature of the exam didn't exactly make any of them impossible.

The nature of the exam is one many outsiders may consider barbaric, or at least extreme. The candidates are loaded aboard a transport ship and flown out to an uninhabited planet, where they are ejected in drop-pods capable of only limited control during the decent to the planets surface where the candidates must survive for 4 weeks before being collected. Those who survive, pass.

The darkness envelops, the warm currents of shock gel flow around my body, yet I am still shivering. The drop-pod has not allowed me any access to nav computers for the last 3 jumps. A short tone emits through my head, the text "prepare for drop" appears to float before my eyes. I do not hear, rather I feel the thump of pods being ejected from the cargo hold, a particularly strong shock jolts me to alertness, that must have been Markus's pod, he had boarded just before me.

An almighty clunk followed by a screech of retrojets, gravity inverts, I breifly revisit my breakfast, it hadn't been particularly appetizing the first time round, and I float free.

The nav comp fires up, a large planet, well thats a relief, scare story No 1 busted. Scare story number 2 however was rearing its ugly head, I was already re-entering (technically entering but the terminology is fixed) the atmosphere. I caught a brief glimpse of a thrust jet flare a little off to my port, remembering our plan I started to guide my own pod into an adjacent plummet path.

The impact wasnt as hard as I had feared, but it was harder than I had hoped, when I came to and my head begin to clear I noticed there was a scrabbling on the outer hull, followed by a more reassuring hammering. I fumbled around inside the pod, found a large recessed lever, cycled the doorway and fell.

I apparently had managed to land my pod nose down wedged up against a tree, when I had cycled the door Markus who had been hammering at the hull was presented with 112lbs of Khanid along with a gallon or two of warm pod fluid.

The two of us lay sprawled in a heap on the floor beneith my pod, "Ahh Miss Incarn8, its never just a hello with you is it? always the big entrance", Markus could smirk at me all he liked, he was pleased to see me, I was pleased he had been there to break my second fall of the day.

Truth be told the planet, or at least the bit of it we could see, wasn't that bad. We had quickly constructed a small shelter, even food hadn't been as big a problem as we had feared. Later that evening as the light faded we retired to our shelter, "Well Markus, I guess this is our first night together ehh" grinning from ear to ear as he turned bright red, I had been winding him up something rotten all day, to the point he had even promised me a little white picket fence.

And so we continued, life was fairly easy, food plentiful, the company helped the time pass, and I managed to wear down his gentlemanly exterior to the point where he could even get me to turn beet red with a single comment. If the Abbots ever got wind of some of the euphamism and suggestive phrases we got through down there, we would have been assigned corrective theology for an eternity and probably still be damned afterwards.

Eventually the inevitable happened, at almost the 3 week anniversary of our arrival  I awoke one morning finding it difficult to breath, opening my eyes I realise Markus is sprawled across me. Horror floods through me, tempered only by disgust and shame at myself flooding straight back. Do I try to escape make like it hasn't happened, or pretend to be asleep let him decide? Fortunately, I am spared making the descision as he awakens at almost the same instant. Springing across the room from me, we each retreat to opposite corners like scolded cats, grabbing at my clothes I flee the shelter not returning until my stomach demands attention late in the evening.

He is sat beside a fire, a small pot bubbling away atop it, he places a small amount of whatever was within it into a bowel and places it directly opposite from his seat, not once looking towards me, I mumble a thanks and sit facing away from him.
Fed and thinking properly for once, I turn back to him, "We did didnt we?" I ask so quietly I didnt think he could have heard, "Yeah", comes the equally quiet bearly whispered reply. Silence reigns once more for what seems an eternity, before Markus offers "If you want, it can be as if it never happened, we need never mention it again," I look up from my study of a small pebble, "but we cant can we?, I look at you now and thats all I can think of." He fails to surpress a grin, catches himself and ends our only communication of the day, "You take the shelter, I will sleep out here tonight." I had long ago learned that I never win against his determined chivelrous side, so I take my leave and retire to a fitfull nights sleep.

Awakening to the early dawn, I shiver away the lonely nights chills, becoming aware of cooking sounds outside I rise quickly, my mind cleansed overnight my decision clear and simple.
I emerge from our shelter, he initially backs away, my soft smile catches him offguard. "You are up to something, arn't you?" he hazards. I continue my approach, "I had a long think last night, I have a way to save us." Reaching him, I look straight up into his face, "When I want something, I get it" and I kissed him, I have never been one for requesting acceptance of my plans, besides I didnt detect much in the way of resistance off him.

The last 3 days of our incarceration turned out to be some of the happiest of my life since leaving Palas. Waking in the arms of the man who used to be one of my closest friends, turned first official lover. Just how this arrangement will last back up at the Acadamy under the eyes of the Abbots didn't concern us at that time, we just reveled in each others company until the day the dropships arrived to return us to normality.

I rekon I passed that exam.

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