Admiralty Physical Testing Ground.
Rose was in the family’s latest cohort of candidates for the Admiralty. She would get in, she would pass the tests, she would explore the galaxy, she would become the next leader of the Admiralties exploration division, she would become the next ANAX.
Rose ran. She wanted to win. Her muscles were aching, her legs felt like 20 kilo bags of protein supplement, but she was going to win. She had “hit the wall” around the 7-kilometre mark and pushed through the pain. This was the easy bit, all physical, harping back to a time where you had to exercise to keep in shape. The hard part were the tests that followed. She glanced over her shoulder. Her cousin Marty was 100 metres back at least. she pushed on knowing she had to win. She was on the final kilometre she was almost there. She jumped an obstacle, stumbled but managed to get up and get back in her stride.
As Rose ran the last kilometre, she kept thinking of what she had done to get here. Her Nanna Doris had been the first in her family to get an ANAX commission. Rose remembered sitting on Doris’ knee when she was a child listening to stories of flying through space, discovering new planets, trading cargo, building a base on a remote planet and fighting pirates. It had all seemed so amazing and she had sworn to follow in her nanny’s footsteps. Rose had spent the last 15 years studying the Admiralty Navigation, Astronomy and eXploration syllabus.
Rose refocused and realised she had been daydreaming and her pace had slackened off. A quick look over her shoulder showed Marty was less than 10 metres behind her and gaining fast. She was in sight of the finish line, 200 metres if that. She dove deep into her reserves and started upping the pace again. If she didn’t at least match Marty’s pace in the next few strides he would be past her. Switching gear to up the tempo was a struggle and her leg muscles fought her as she tried to force them faster by mind power alone. She pumped her arms and threw her feet forward and somehow managed to keep abreast of him. Marty was puffing away at her elbow with his usual friendly half smile trying to break through. “Come on slow coach” he huffed out while keeping at the pace. Rose laughed “Ha ha” and gave him the thumbs up. That was all she needed. Smiling while trying to get the oxygen to her lungs she pushed her stride out just that little bit further and hit the line 1 metre in front.
Smiling and patting each other on the back they stretched out and waited for the rest of the cohort to finish.
That was the easy bit. Tomorrow she started the real tests.
………………… More to follow …………………