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The Cadet: Part 1

“I’ve been thinking about applying to the Naval Academy,” she dropped that into the dinner table conversation like a stone into a calm pond.

“It would certainly be something to do with yourself,” her paternal grandfather agreed slowly, trying the idea on for size.

Her maternal grandmother was the first to follow him. “But we’ve only just got you home after years of thinking you were lost with your parents.”

“Couldn’t you do something closer, dear?” That was her paternal grandmother. “Perhaps a nice Arts degree?”

“I passed my high school equivalency exams,” Parthi replied glibly, “but that doesn’t mean I’ve matriculated. I have to do something and the Navy is a profession.” And, she added silently in her head, if I go away to the Academy we don’t have to discuss why living with my nearest living relatives isn’t really working out.

“That is true,” her maternal grandfather nodded approvingly. “You need to be able to support yourself – it’s good to see you’ve been thinking about that.”

“And if it turns out that being in the Navy isn’t your thing, Pallas,” added her paternal grandmother, using Parthi’s first and “proper” given name, as always, “perhaps being a Navy wife might be. Some of those cadets must get married!” She beamed at everyone around the table.

Parthi repressed a sigh and said prosaically, “Well, I won’t find out anything unless I sit the Board examinations. Apparently applications close in two days.”

“Well,” said her paternal grandfather, “you’d better get cracking, hadn’t you?”

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I can't help thinking "You'd better get cracking" somehow comes out sounding more like "Flee while you can!!"

I'm used to it meaning, "You'd better hurry up and do X." Whatever X might be in the particular discussion.

Oh, I know that's what it usually means. But in the context of grandmother thinking it fine and dandy if Parthi gave up on the idea of a career for that of housewife, I think giving it another layer of urgency wouldn't be an invalid interpretation. ;)

It's an option, if a career doesn't pan out, you know.

FWIW, the Doctor agrees.

Yay for more Rix Scaedu! ^_^ And I always enjoy academy stories.

I suppose I ought to feel some sort of friendly rivalry, since that's always been the relationship between my first alma mater and those upstarts across the street. Of course it's not the same Academy, but it might be a descendant.

Living out side the States, I've only heard of the other place. Does your alma mater also have a military bent?

Not in the least! I was there in the mid sixties, and we longhair types used to heckle them from the sidewalk as they marched out College Ave. to their football games. And they returned the compliment.

We also had, and still have, an annual croquet match with them. They just broke our seven-year winning streak!

Croquet may be down their list of tactical priorities. On the other hand, have you just let a genius croquet team graduate/pass graduate studies?

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