The Space Cadet

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The Space Cadet is a story about a coming of age young man trying to convince the world that he is in no-ways as great as his father and his fathers father. Both men single handedly having risen to save the human race from total annihilation. Hampered by his forgetful, daydreaming nature and lack of social skills, he keeps trying to handback any responsibility given to him by the newly formed Space Academy.

Submitted: May 11, 2010

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Submitted: May 11, 2010

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Firstly. Let me begin by saying that I know this is not the best time for my journal to begin. I’ve been telling myself to start one from the day I started at the academy. That was three years ago. Its not that I’ve been too busy with classes and study, I don’t do very well paying attention, sort of go off into a trance when things get boring and when someone is droning on about the molecular structure of a rock that’s been floating around the universe for 12 billion years I am bored. I’m of the strong opinion that I am not the best candidate for this type of work and perhaps they should wait for someone more suitable to come along, there is time, its not going anywhere, well actually it is but I think my point has been made. So in class I am dazed and confused, unable to recall anything, which makes studying a bit of a problem’ since I cant remember what I’m studying.
I know what I’m studying to be, I just don’t know the finer details.
Nor has my hectic social life got in the way. Sarcasm does not translate very well on paper. I have no social life, lots of friends, by friends I mean people who smile and say hi not because they are happy to see me, nope, its because they want to keep me sweet in case I become what they all think I might become (if I follow my families pattern) but no party invitations come to my mail box. My tent is pitched in the social wilderness not fitting in to any group but always welcome to join, under the proviso that I don’t ask to join. If I did I’m sure it would be the most polite refusal, always polite. Strange this is not, you see I am a Voorhees, of the family Voorhees. If this means nothing to you then you are not a child of the Sol system, nor a Drik Nabaar or Vente, Tic Tec, Cacto, Haslama…come to think of it you must be coming from the other side of the universe to not know about the Voorhees’s. To explain I must go back about 60 years, back to the days when human kind believed they were the most intelligent creatures in creation. Wrong, very, very wrong. Earth was minding her own business, it’s population of 6 billion people occupying its self with hobbies such as the mass extinctions of all the creatures that made people go ah…cute and some that caused the opposite reaction. Poisoning the planet with their carbon footprints pumped into the atmosphere (don’t know how or why they would do that) or nuclear waste, which made everything glow in the dark, not good. As well as attacking and killing anybody who believed in something different, was from somewhere else, was the wrong colour (don’t know what the right colour was) or spoke French, not sure about the last one. Anyway back to the point. So there was mankind harming no one but themselves when to their horror down came an invading race of aliens to conquer and enslave everyone. Long story short, some great men and women rose to defend our race and my grandfather is widely thought of as the greatest of them all. Saving humans from the horrors of slavery. Now I feel I’ve understated the level of regard he is held in, he’s mentioned in our federation’s anthem, twice!
Granddad set the bar high, so high only the foolish would expect his children to rise to that level of achievement. Until dad decided to become something great himself, he joined the fleet at 16, newly formed then it was a very exciting time for mankind, technology taken from the Drik Nabaar after their defeat put to good use by men and women who had very little idea how to use it. Never the less space called and dad answered and became the savoir. Not right away, many years later when he had his own command vessel, he took on the terrifying Pirates of the dark ocean, two massive fleets clashing in a battle to the death. Dad didn’t die which means he won and freed 200 billion beings from the horror of the pirates. Then there’s me, just nearing my 21st birthday (two weeks away) and the only thing I have achieved to date is, well, nothing. I am the low achiever in my family and the pressure on me to actually become something is non-existent. My father is understanding, annoyingly so and my grandfather says time dictates what we become and in time we always become it. He never just gives you the answer, its like you must work for it, really wears you out after a while. I disagree with him, I think it is pretty obvious that I am a danger to myself when given any form of responsibility, take my last task for example. ‘Aaron’ says my multi culture tutor. ‘I’m putting you in charge of keeping everyone out of trouble’ just before we exit the shuttlecraft. ‘ Not a problem sir,’ I salute. Easy job I think to myself, how much trouble can you get into at a holy temple belonging to the Cacto race. A lot, I’m a firm believer in the more rules you have the more likely you are to get into trouble, the Cacto have many rules. The Cacto priests have libraries for all their many rules and I have no access to those libraries so how was I to know. You could argue that there are three hundred signs informing visitors that it is forbidden and they did but I would argue the fact I didn’t see a single one, been to busy making sure no one embarrassed the Academy. I had noticed that our tutor had been held up at the doors and lost the class in the throng of visitors, helping him in his search I raised my hands in the air and waved back and forth. When this didn’t work I cupped my hands around my mouth and roared ‘ over here sir’ and watched everyone’s face change to horror as I shattered the silence that had remained in the temple for 2500 years. That’s when I noticed the signs. It is forbidden to talk in this temple. I have come to the conclusion that I must be the worst space cadet in the federation’s short history. Ending this introduction on a good note…my prison cell is a really
Comforting colour.
 
Welcome to the second day of my incarceration and the second page of my journal. Been a hectic day today, whole lot of diplomacy taking place over yours truly. I was permitted a hour to talk to my captain who spent a good 40 minutes repeatedly telling me that I had embarrassed the federation and what would my family say and did I know my tutor was now suffering a nervous break down, poor sod. This was not surprising, I could see the signs, only a matter of time before something pushed him over the edge. The captain told me that the priests wanted my head, calling on some ancient law of theirs to help their cause. The governing council said that my head would stay firmly attached to my body and my body would remain imprisoned 165 years (don’t think they know how long we live) then be released to continue with my training. The federation says that they cannot accept that sentence from the council so now both sides don’t know what to do about the whole mess. I was listening to this thinking it was only a matter of time before my family took an active interest in my predicament and the level of embarrassment would be quite impressive for me, dwarfing the naked pancake incident. He finished the meeting telling me he would keep me informed as events progressed and made his exit leaving me to the Cacto guards. I have the honour of having two personal guards. They stand outside my cell when I’m in it and block out the suns’ when I’m out. They easily tip the scales at a quarter of a ton each. Thick skinned and showing it with no necks and flat round faces, they come in several tones of grey (although I think the one on the left got to much suns’ recently as he is looking a little pinkish.) and are born with one mood, a bad one. I suppose if you are going to go around and be an arse with everyone you are best off been 7ft tall with skin a knife would have trouble convincing to part and a face that said you had not come to terms with the fact that you had a face like that face. They don’t wear any clothing. They not designed like us (in other words nothing hangs out or dangles unnecessarily, all their tender bits are tucked away) and have no requirement for clothing. My father say’s the their frontal cortex is not as refined as other races’. My grandfather say’s they are stupid, good in a straight line but buggered in the bends. Having spent a couple of days in the company of a couple of Cacto I agree with them. I confused the one on the right this morning when I pointed up and mentioned the sky been clear of clouds and he spent ten minutes staring up in search of what I pointed at, which set the one on the left off. Keeping in mind they have no necks their impression of up differs to mine by many degrees, it is satisfying in a small way, watching my captors spinning around in the prison grounds grunting at the effort of the exercise. My cell is on an empty wing of the prison so the only time I see any other prisoners is when I’m out for walkies, seems I’m the only human. My guards won’t allow any of them near me I discovered. A slender, orange furred, two legged, two armed, cat/not cat kind of friendly looking thing crept up slowly on us, curious probably, but that didn’t last long once the one on the left noticed it. He went from docile spinning round the yard idiot to angry roaring 250 kilo, single minded, lump of hurt charging over to introduce itself, the cat thing showed some intelligence and buggered off fast. With it’s job well done the guard snorted it’s satisfaction and returned to us, he spent a moment staring at me then noticed the one on the right staring up and joined in. I took this quite time to look around the yard, most of the prisoners had moved them selves to the far side following the guards outburst, to far away to make out any of the races’ but there were a couple of prisoners still in the middle, they were large enough to not be intimidated by the Cacto guards and smart enough to not provoke them. They were both wearing engineers overalls with a company name on which I couldn’t make out from where I was sat on the sand. They both had broad shoulders and were powerfully built, gold eyes’ set back behind large snouts…oh; I just remembered their race, the Vente, I’ve never seen a Vente before, they are formidable warriors, my grandfather praises them as a race and says there is not one of them that lacks honour. I think I could argue that point with him now that I’ve seen two in jail, although knowing the laws of this planet and my own experiences with them you can end up in here with your honour intact. I must say I am a little surprised that they are mechanics, I was under the impression that all Vente were warriors full stop, guess my grandfather was wrong on that one, but I’m not going to tell him that. Anyway play time ended shortly after that and I was marched to my cell to enjoy lunch alone. It was the kind of meal that growled at you while you were trying to eat it, or trying to find the courage to eat it. After an hour my cell door opened and my uneaten lunch escaped past my guards who were stood there with another Cacto. All three watched my meal scamper down the wing past all the empty cells before the new one turned to me and spoke. ‘You come now, with me, you must’. Surprised to hear English I jumped up onto my feet and asked him. ‘You speak English’. He looked at me blankly then pulled what I could only assume was an, 'I get what you mean' face and replied. ‘No, I speak human, come now.’ It was my turn to stare at him blankly. The look remained throughout our journey to where ever it was we were going. Down passages, along walkways and through the yard we went. I confess I was very tempted to point up at the sky as we crossed the yard and sit back and watch the show but they seemed very focused on getting me to my destination. We arrived in front of a massive black building, it’s top a hundred feet above our heads, no windows on its smooth surface and no door to be seen. We stood there, for at least a couple of minutes before I began to get bored. I decided to say something because if I was waiting here for these three to get the fact that a; the building is not going to move out our way and we would have to go round, or b; close inspection reveals there is no door there and we should go see if its somewhere else. Just standing there doing nothing is not an option for humans.
‘Are we in the right place?’ I asked. The answer came from the massive structure in front of us. First there was a rumbling sound, then a bright blue dot of light appeared at the base of the building and traced huge rectangle three metres high and two across then disappeared. We were now stood in front of a large opening into a long corridor; same smooth surfaces as the outside but lit by dull blue light, which seemed to float around the interior. We set off into the haze walking to the end where we were met by another wall and another two minute wait, blue dot up, across and down at what I felt was an annoyingly slow pace revealing a massive room with a large black stone block in front of us with two smaller blocks cut into a L shape to either side. I was marched over to one of the ‘seats’ and took several attempts to jump up onto it and swivel myself round to face forward. It felt like I was a child again sat in my father’s study chair, it towering above me a feeling of awe coming from it. Like it had a memory of the thoughts and decisions that had been made in it.
 
The chair I sat in today just felt cold and made me feel small, alone and nervous (which is another word for scared). Cacto left and Cacto right had taken up position while our guide to this place took up position next to the large block the top of which was now my eye level five foot in front of me. The rest of the room was empty so I turned my attention to the block, which had started to hum, then throb, rose a few inches off the ground, a blue light shone through from the inside slicing across the blocks length then returned back a third of the way and cut a vertical line returning to the centre line it moved on and repeated the same process slicing the block into six pieces. This done it settled back down and the top three segments started to separate, the light getting brighter as it all parted. The three parts stood vertical then began to rotate away from each other; the piece in the centre staying at the back while the two on the edges moved forward resting in the corners of the bottom slab forming a triangle in the middle. I have seen these before; they are kind of teleporters' but not. They broadcast an image like the old stile teller visions my Grandfather used to throw out the window when the dark moods took him. These things are a bit more impressive than the two-dimensional panels, they kind of make a person there but they are not really there at all. Its like your details are stored on a really powerful computer system and those details are copied and sent to another system far away where they are uploaded and turned into an image of you. As long as you stay in range of the triangle at the original point you will appear in front of everyone at the second point, even able to pick up objects in the room. It is some impressive technology held by only a few races, I never thought the Cacto to be one of them. This kind of thing is highly dangerous if handled wrong, if one of these overloads you talking about the local area becoming a quiet neighbourhood for several years while the radiation calms down to the point of visitors no longer melting before they have knocked on your door. The Cacto are not well know for the subtlety of their fingers which is why I wasn’t surprised when it lit up and an Alien looking nothing like a Cacto appeared in the triangle.
It was tall and thin, very thin. It seemed to be wearing a shiny black Spacesuit with a round helmet over its head and a reflective visor covering its face. There were two long tentacle thingy’s rising off its shoulders and dropping down its back where they crossed over at its hips and twisted together at the front where they continued towards the ground wrapped around each other, looking a little phallic. The more childish side of me thought about how individuals over compensate for the lack of one thing with an exaggerated extension of another and this new arrival fell into the over compensating league. 
There is one other thing about him, (I think it’s a him anyway!) I’ve had the image of this species drilled into my head since the early days of nursery school, the alphabet chart with the pictures next to the letter, a is for apple, b is for b…b…ball and c is for cat. D is for Drik Nabaar and my grandfather said if I was ever unfortunate enough to meet one I should feel free to brown my pants because the Drik Nabaar only think profit and this one had probably already priced up my skin.
It stepped off the platform and started walking around me its arms seemed to be catching up with its body all the time and its footfalls looked like it did not trust the surface they were landing on. My cousin had a chameleon when we were younger and the jerking movements from its limbs as it walked along its fake plastic tree branch looked very similar to this really tall sinewy creature as it moved around me. My cousin really loved that chameleon; he didn’t talk to me for two years after I accidentally blew it up. (Science is not my thing either; more the precision of measurement required for science is not my thing)
Any way, the Et was pacing around me waiting for something, maybe a salutation from me but he would be waiting a long time for one, I was full on giving it the hard shoulder, it’s the least my grandfather would expect of me, sigh…he would be so proud…! Moving on, turns out it can speak English, found this out when it suddenly got its face (and its smell) close to mine and said, ‘You are prisoner of the Cacto!’ what a strange voice, its like a constant humming sound with alterations in tone to form words, it is very unpleasant to the ears.
‘I’m sorry but I’m not supposed to talk to Drik Nabaar due to the fact you tried to enslave my species and steal every resource from my planet.’ There told him. Turns out he’s not Drik Nabaar but Drik Sahooly, the differences between them are quiet small. They would both skin you but the Drik Nabaar would probably charge you for the service where as the Sahooly would throw it in for free.
So what does this Nabaar want, well profit. It’s corporation has been employed to negotiate on behalf of the Cacto who see this as a perfect opportunity to ask us for some of that lovely technology we have denied them due to the fact fusion powered engines are very delicate and the delegation sent by the Federation decided against it when they witnessed the Lead Cacto negotiator poke himself in the eye accidentally. (It was aiming for its nose!)
Turns out the Cacto ‘amazingly’ knew who I was and that I was the biggest gift they could ask for when it comes to them next asking for technology off the Fed. This is a full on own goal by me. The meeting ended with the Drik Sahooly telling me my future was in the hands of my superiors, which to me means nothing has actually changed in that case.
So back in my cell again and waiting on the news that cannot be good. The Drik are involved in this situation now which means the Federation now has stupid Cacto to contend with and sly sinister Drik which must have the Admiralty loading cannons just in case. I am expecting a visit from someone in my family soon, god I hope it’s not my cousin. Anyway day two over thank God, tomorrow will be better I think, good night. 2772
 
 


© Copyright 2020 Thomas Andre Prinsloo. All rights reserved.

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