My fifth term opened up with my getting reassigned to Operations which, when I heard it, I felt my heart skip a beat as I was certainly going to have the deck of a ship under my feet again on a more regular basis. I didn’t realize how right I would be, but at first it seemed to be kind of a cruel joke. Operations is about operating. Administration is about filing the forms and moving the information around, Operations is actually about getting out there and doing stuff that gets the information in the first place. In my case though it did not start out with me on the deck of Scout Courier vessel but at the Scout Base on Aurora again.
This first year of my fifth term is was charged with making some of the supply chain more efficient. I spent the entire time using computer models to go over the supply chains, mail routes and other communication matters and make them more efficient across the entire base. It was in some ways a little more stimulating as in Administration you mostly record what happened; I was actually making things happen in Operations. I was in charge of this project so it gave me hands on training in leadership but I also got much better at using computers and as a consequence I began to understand the basics of programing robots. I must have done a great job because I was promoted to Senior Administrator (RS-14) and thankfully found myself on the deck of a ship the next year.
I spent the next year on a mission to improve scout handling of a starship during combat. One of the things the war had taught us was that many scout captains did not know the basics of starship tactics. I went to tactics school of a sort in that we met up in space with a Naval ship and they began to teach a bunch of us combat tactics and how to handle a scout class ship in battle. It was us versus the Navy ship in mock combat in many different situations. In the end I got better at starship tactics, something I was happy for the next year.
I was immediately sent on a special mission the next year, I found myself doing solo pilot duty doing scout runs into the edge of the Holton Empire’s space. Not over the line mind you, but just getting as close as possible to take various peekaboo runs to see what the bastards were up to. I was pushing my pilot skills a lot more than usual and it really made me a better pilot and it all came in handy when I did actually cross over into Empire territory. One of their Patrol Cruisers went after me and I had to do some serious maneuvering through some asteroids and use my tactics skills learned the pervious year to get out of it and even then I was hit in the maneuver drives and sent adrift. The Empire cruiser didn’t even bother to destroy me but the captain basically said I had been warned and now I was drifting back into Republic territory. I was found by my own people about two weeks later. I knew I had been lucky but it had been exciting for a while there.
My final year I found myself on patrol along the border once again only this time it was boring as watching a wall. It was the same meaningless patrol with nothing happening over and over again. I did manage to do one thing and that was befriend a Navy Lieutenant that was stationed at a star base nearby. He wanted to be a Pilot and so I offered an exchange that if he would teach me about weapons I would training him in being a starship pilot. My patrols were one week on, one week off and I found myself on the off week with said Lieutenant learning how to shoot different types of weapons from turrets on the star base while I would also teach him the basics of being a pilot. By years end he had been successful teaching me but I had absolutely failed to earn him his pilot certificate. I felt bad about it, so before I ended my term I took him aboard my ship and gave him the full tour of the ship, my bedroom and my girl parts for that last week. After that he didn’t complain about not being a pilot that much.
I have to say one last thing about this term. I was finally starting to look less like a teenager and more like a young woman. I mean I still looked like I should be at University but not like I should still be with my parents. The scout service really does not have a uniform, what it does have is a jacket. It is blue with the golden star symbol of the scout service on the back. It can be different styles but the color and the symbol are always the same. One wears their rank pips on the collar and that also was cause for people’s confusion with me. People would see me at a distance and think “newbie’. They would get closer and see my pips and shake their head. I would greet them and somewhere in the conversation mention ‘anagathics’ and they would seem to take that answer but they would still throw in that I must have been blessed with youth to begin with before taking them. It worked and I never had a problem with people suspecting something funny was going on. I kept going to the Anagathics Research Project each year for my annual ‘treatment’ of them poking me and prodding my parts but they still were baffled as to how I had been treated now all those years ago.
I did not file for transfer this time. I liked Operations and decided to stick with it. Whether the Scout Service would agree with me was another story. My main concern now was to finish things out and then see what was next. I wasn’t sure when the Scout Service and me would part ways but I was suspecting it was soon.