I would like to say that my first term in the Republic scouts was exciting and I could not get enough of it but that would be a lie. I was assigned to the Field branch and further assigned to the Communications sub-branch. This was the vast majority of the scout services work which is moving information from place to place. After my initial training which taught me the Vacc Suit and to be a better pilot, that pilot training became the rationale for the scout service to put me behind the controls of scout ship ferrying information, mail and the occasional dignitary. The next three years were boring but I can’t say unproductive.
Year one I found myself flying scout courier runs from Aurora to all the systems that were one or two parsecs distance away and back. I would show up to the base and get my assignment, take the ship assigned to me and head out at the time appointed. This was pretty routine and I was alone a lot because of the nature of the work. I only had one pretty close call but in the end it actually taught me something.
I was flying back to Aurora after a run and suddenly my artificial gravity plates went out two days into hyperspace. Finding myself weightless in hyperspace for the next five days I learned to do a lot of things without the benefit gravity. I got really good at it and by the time I landed on Aurora and from then on Zero-G wasn’t a problem. I made a mental note that I ever got an opportunity how to repair gravitic modules and plates I should take it up. The plus side was I got a promotion from Recruit Scout to Apprentice Scout.
The only real excitement other than that during that term was my second year after school. I was given a mission which basically involved the transportation of sensitive documents. It was much like my first year but there was certain data I kept on my person at all times. This meant that before I began this assignment I was asked politely to get some genuine skill with my father’s handgun. I spent some time on a gun range and learning basic tactics in a firefight. Then they allowed me to carry the sensitive stuff. This devotion to duty earned me my promotion to Journeyman Scout. I never really was ever in any danger but I felt more like what I wanted to get into with my career.
My last year of my first term was thus a little disappointing but I managed to make the best of it. This term was best described as dull. I would often find myself with downtime planetside on Aurora. The good news was that I developed a friendship with an old salt engineer at the Scout Base. So when I wasn’t doing my star hopping I was with him working on starship drives and power plants. The old salt encouraged me to take my basic engineer exam and I passed it and I could officially call myself a starship engineer. No promotion for it but I was getting closer to my goal of becoming a complete starship operator. All I needed now was a little more work on the specific technical aspects of being an operator like communications, gravitic systems, electronics and computers.
The real issue was to someday be able to sign up with any starship crew at any position and be qualified to do so. If you can be skilled in multiple areas you can always find work as a starship crewman and that is to me the best way to live. I also needed other skills for things like being on a merchant ship later and intelligence skills to advance my career the direction I wanted it to go.
My personal life was basically hit and miss. If I did couple up with a guy it was purely for fun and none of my relationships lasted more than a month. The one thing I did make a commitment to was never to have sex with a groundhog. Sorry spacemen. at least in my experience, are better lovers. It is probably the long haul time in hyperspace that does it. There is no need to rush things when you are in hyperspace; so you might as well take your time and enjoy it when it comes to sex, and spacemen learn this pretty well. It earns you return trips from women like me anyway. I am always glad to roll a guy multiple times if he has learned that women come first both in being treated like a lady and sex.
Physically, the weirdest thing was that I didn’t age at all. I mean I went from 19 to 26 and I still looked like I did when I left Regulus. I had to get used to this idea that I was always going to look young at least for a while. In the end this is what allowed me, through the Anagathics Research Project, to put some pressure on the Republic Scout Service to move me around a lot. I was still pretty much placed in the Aurora subsector but they made sure I was always on the move so no one really developed a long term relationship with me and get suspicious because they knew me for ten years and I never looked any older.
I myself developed some habits early on because of this as well. I rarely went to the same bar or tavern for more than a year. I would try out different places and I had a the habit of keeping my distance. I never told people how old I was and if someone asked my reply to men was: ‘that is not something a lady reveals about herself” and to women they were greeted by silence. It made for a slightly lonely existence but then again I was a spaceman and a scout as well so long term relationships were a liability rather than an asset anyway.
I signed my re-enlistment papers without fanfare. I was thankful for the two promotions seeing the scout service has an up and out policy and you have to at least have enough promotions to equal the number of terms you are in the service for. I had been promoted twice so I was good for another two terms so I was happy for that. All I really wanted now was to get out of the Communications sub-branch and into either Survey or Exploration. I requested a transfer and crossed my fingers.