â€œAll men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possibleâ€
After orientation day for the new recruits Steven first year at Prestige started off agonizingly slow. The fact that the pilot recruits were not even allowed to touch one of the school's Delta Daggers until second year was nigh unbearable for the young man. All perspective pilots were required to take a wide assortment of dull classes such as physics, astrophysics, calculus, and physical training. On top of having required classes, all the students competed among themselves. The reason for this is that only fifty-four students a year could be accepted to the program. If they failed to make the cut they had to either take the year again or pick a different course to pursue.
Steven, who had never been a straight-A student, struggled to keep his grades up above the cut off line. He sacrificed much of his free time, as well as much of his sleeping time, to devote himself to these studies. When asked why he was so focused he would always respond with the same quote, â€œIf you have an hour, will you not improve that hour, instead of idling it away?â€
When not in class struggling to stay awake Steven was struggling to stay awake while studying in either the campus library or the mess hall. Steven was not alone in these struggles however, for he had found a group of four other guys he would come to call friends. Steven and the four worked together mostly to help meet mutual goals by working off of each others strengths. However, only two others from this group would go on to the second year.
On a side note, it was during one of their study groups that Steven discovered his affinity for coffee.
Despite his self promise to devote himself to his studies, Steven did make it a point to try and calm the waters between him and the girl he had accidentally touched at the start of first year. She, however, was intent on staying as far away as possible from Steven.
It wasn't until his second year at the Academy that he finally got some classes with the girl. Even then it took cooperation with some of her friends to manage to get her alone so he could try and explain things. Sadly enough, this is considered by the both of them as their first date. Despite his assurances of his good intentions, it still took until near the end of their second year for her to consider him a good friend.
Then summer vacation came around, and for the two month break student were allowed to stay on planet and live in tenement housing provided by the Academy. It was during this break that Steven came to a realization. After a year of trying to build Rhiannon's trust, he in turn had developed feelings for her. Thankfully they had both decided to stay in the tenement housing, and were only a building away from each other. So Steven used this chance to start asking Rhiannon out on dates in hopes of seeing if there was anything between them. It was a pleasant surprise to him when she gave him a kiss on the cheek by their third date. By the start of their third year in the piloting course Steven and Rhiannon had officially started dating.
The third year in the program went by in a flash. Now considered official members of the Prestige family, the third year student now had the respect of the underclassmen, and the eyes of upperclassmen and administration on them. The classes, as far as Steven was concerned, were easier. Rhiannon kept insisting that it was because of the hard work he had put in the first two years, but Steven humored his ego by believing he was just a natural. Some of the classes he was in included Physics in Aerospace Design, Starship Engineering, and his personal favorite was Onboard Flight Training. He was finally getting to work with actual fighters, although he still was not allowed to fly one.
In his fourth year, Steven and Rhiannon both became recognized as powerhouses among their grade. Receiving top marks in both scholastic and in-flight practice, the two youths were in the top of their class. Although, Rhiannon still received higher test scores than Steven.
Steven's fifth year at the Academy was like a dream. Working with Rhiannon classes no longer present such a huge hurtle for him, and he was also receiving Advanced Flight Training. He was being taught by the best, and he was damn proud of it. Then the day of graduation began to draw near, and Steven, Rhiannon, and thirteen other student from the top of the class were called out of class and advised to proceed to the Head Marshall's office. They were informed that the top brass always watch the best students from the Academy to gauge them on their abilities. They were told that every year, the top students were offered officer positions on Terran Naval vessels right after graduation. All of the student were ecstatic, except for Steven. When asked what was wrong Steven stared at the ground and seemed to contemplated the request. Then he began to speak slowly and concisely, which was very unlike him. He said to the other pilots in the group, â€œHow can you guys be happy about this? You came here to learn to fly, and yet you welcome with open arms the offer to live in a cage.â€ Without another word Steven walked out of the room.
Graduation came not much later. Steven accepted his diploma, shook the hands of the Head Marshall and even an Admiral who asked if Steven would like to reconsider the offer to take an officer position. Steven held his ground so the Admiral conceded and offered Steven a spot to fly with any squadron he wanted as well as a promotion to Lance Corporal. This offer Steven took, and knew instantly which squadron he wanted to fly with. Green Squadron.
These are stories that take place prior to the main story. While important in fleshing out characters, they do not necessarily need to be read to understand the story.
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