Personal Log 3-4: Aptitude and Attitude

How I Flunked Out of Starfleet Academy: Part 4

"How can you be so stupid? The three goes there." Alex stabbed a finger at my screen.

I put the three where he indicated. I still had no idea why it went there instead of where I'd put it.

"You're really terrible with computers." Alex scooted his chair back to his station.

"And you're terrible with people," I muttered as I moved to the next problem. The four of us General Studies cadets were taking aptitude tests. We had fifteen minutes to complete as many problems as possible in each section. So far, I was averaging two questions per section. Engineering, math, sciences, even art, the conclusion was that I stunk at everything.

"How did you even get into Starfleet Academy?" Alex continued beating up my already fragile ego.

I hunched my shoulders. I wondered the same thing myself. The computers beeped, signalling the end to another session. I stood up and stretched. We had five minutes before the next torture began.

"What did you get on the math? I got twenty-seven problems correct." Alex held court next to the only drinking fountain in the building.

I got my drink and shifted away from him. Christine leaned against the wall, looking almost as miserable as I felt. "That bad?"

"I flunked the engineering section, I know I did. I only answered thirty-two of the questions. I always wanted to be an engineer and now I'll never be one." Her lip trembled.

I patted her shoulder, though I couldn't muster up much sympathy. I couldn't even get past the first engineering question. The only section I'd managed to answer more than three questions was the one dealing with cargo handling, not my first choice of careers in Starfleet. But as I read in a book once, an army marches on its stomach. Someone had to deal with the supply chain, even if it was internal on the ships. Replicators did break.

Wyatt joined us, leaning against the wall with his hands shoved into his pockets.

"I didn't know these uniforms had pockets." I felt the seams on the sides.

Wyatt grinned. "They don't. I added them. I hate not having pockets."

"So do I. Won't you get in trouble for doing that?"

"Not in as much as you are for punching out Nicole. How are the combat lessons going?" Wyatt shadow boxed, making the proper sound effects as he destroyed his invisible opponent.

I slumped. "About as good as these tests. I'm a total failure here."

Wyatt slapped my shoulder. "Cheer up, Adrian. I'm sure something good will happen soon. Oops, time to head back for more tests."

The speaker crackled. "Cadet Stevens, report to Admiral Williamson."

My hopes faded as I watched the other three general studies cadets return to the tests. I obeyed the speaker and made my lonely way across the campus to the Admiral's office.

Personal Log 3-5: Adrian vs. the Admiral

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