Personal Log 3-5: Adrian vs. the Admiral

How I Flunked Out of Starfleet Academy: Part 5

Admiral Williamson leaned back in his overstuffed office chair, one foot swinging against the leg. Whap, whap, whap. With each thump, I shrank farther into my chair. My test results glared on his screen. He steepled his fingers under his chin. The silence of his office was only broken by the continued sound of his foot hitting the chair.

He cleared his throat. "Where would you like to work, Adrian? What would you like to do with your life?" His chair leaned forward with a decisive thump. He tapped the screen. "You aren't showing much promise so far. Flunking the aptitude tests, picking fights with other cadets. Sergeant Warner has informed me of your exploits in the barracks." He gave me a disappointed look.

I felt about two inches high. I dropped my gaze to the floor where I wouldn't have to see the look on his face. I didn't want to flunk out. I didn't want to fail, but I couldn't help that I was too stupid to do anything. Alex was right. I was a total nincompoop.

Admiral Williamson sighed. He rubbed his eyes with one hand. I picked lint off my uniform.

"You haven't told me what you enjoy doing, Adrian."

I shrugged. "I like telling stories."

He nodded. "Mm-hm. And what else?"

"I can cook."

"And clean quite well. Sergeant Warner did have some good things to report about you. Have you considered a career in janitorial services? Or perhaps cargomaster for a supply ship?"

"I could have done that on a freighter from Calfours. I didn't have to come all the way to Earth to the Academy to do either of those. I want to serve on a starship. And not as a janitor."

"Someone has to clean the ships, Adrian." He tried to say it gently but it still stung. "There's a training flight coming up in two weeks. If you can stay out of trouble that long, I'll assign you as an engineering cadet for the flight."

I brightened up at the thought. I imagined myself, decked out with tools, solving the engine problems brilliantly. I would prove I could do engineering, despite the aptitude test scores. I'd show them all that I was meant to be an engineer.

Admiral Williamson printed off a slip of paper and slid it across the desk to me. "You'll need to attend the engineering classes. This is the schedule. Don't be late." He swiveled his chair to face the screen on one side of his desk.

I waited just long enough to know he wasn't going to change his mind. I clutched the paper like a lifeline as I hurried to my first engineering class.

Personal Log 3-6: You Put That Wrench Where?

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