This is the very first typed version of Eric Olafson's Story (from 1995) . I put it here out of reguest of my oldest and first fan and reader, who wanted to re-read the first Version that made him start reading "Galactic Chronicles".
I think it is also shows the progress of the story and is a neat way for me to keep the old stuff as a searchable reference.
Clusen was human and most likely from one of the many colony worlds. He clearly was of mixed stock and it seemed as if he had Saran roots. He had blue eyes but the characteristic dark almost olive colored skin tone of Sarans and also black hair, he wore in a page boy style cut, most popular among Sarans of both sexes. (Elfiatra had very similar hair, only hers was a tad longer and shinier) All Midshipmen where assembled in a briefing room with semi circular benches arranged in theater style before a raised podium and lectern. Now I understood what the others tried to explain to me the previous night, the Cadets sat in groups and to nine and they had different color arm bands with a logo in the center. Clusen arrived at exactly 0801 and we all rose. He looked the class over and then he focused on us and particular at me.” Ah who have we here? Mr. Olafson decided to leave ship commanding business to those who are really qualified.” Suppor and his knights chuckled. “Now since your group is now complete, have you thought of a name for it as it is tradition and who is going to be your senior? Why don’t you answer me that one Mr. Har-Hi?” “Sir we are the Olafson Gang and Eric Olafson is our leader. We picked black as our group color and Mr. Kleinschmitt designed a logo for us, Sir!” ”Olafsons gang? That simply does not have the same ring as Devastator Knights , Or Flagship’s Best, but Olafsons gang it is. Black is usually not used since your uniforms are black, but I will allow it because the good colors have been taken anyway.” Again there was suppressed laughter from the other groups. He made a face as if he felt sorry for us. “ You couldn’t find a better artistic talent in your group than a Saturnian? Well let me see what it is supposed to be. Hans stood clenched his titanic fists in suppressed anger. “Sir I choose a stylized rendering of an old steel chain with nine links symbolizing our group.” “You may wear it. It is very simple but then you did it and that is probably the best a Saturnian can come up with.” I wondered what Clusen had against us in particular, he insulted us constantly and in a very unprofessional manner. I had my multi com switched and recorded the audio. He made a gesture for all to sit down and then he activated a field screen that came to life floating behind him. “ Computronic update Senior class roster. Dorm 12 is now complete and the group will be known as Olafsons gang.” the view screen showed a list the groups and behind each group name a tally of the accumulated score. Our name appeared on the bottom of the list. Much to the amusement of the others, especially the Knights who where on top. “ There have to be losers in any competition and it looks like Olafsons Gang has taken that particular honor.” Clusen said with an unveiled grin. He then commanded the system:” Computronic daily update of all scores.” Now something happened Clusen did obviously not expect. Our name jumped all the way to the top with a score total that made the Knights a distant second. Close’s chin dropped to his chest and he said with a louder voice.” Computronic double check the results. Actualize from current personnel files.” “Check complete, all files are updated.” Nothing changed on the read out. “computronic explain the clearly incorrect and improbable high score of the Olafsons Gang.” “The Group Olafsons gang is complete and their combined score is the value displayed. There is no error. Citations earned by the members of that group count for 81% of the score value. This includes the Medal of Honor, the Silver Star and Purple Heart accredited to group member Olafson. Medal of honor valued at 1000 points. Group members Olafson and Har-Hi have received a citation for Gallantry and completing a salvage and rescue mission from Captain Harris at 0500. Science score obtained by group member Wetmouth is the highest score recorded since…” “Enough! I order you to reset the score board as it was with the Olafson gang at the bottom!” ”Unable to comply, score system is a Fleet Headquarters program and altering of input values or program can only be made by Fleet Headquarter authorized personnel. I am forwarding your request to the proper channels so your request can be executed.” Clusen was getting angry.” Computronic, never mind. Disregard my last command. No altering is necessary.” He turned the screen off and faced us. Suppor protested.” Lt. Clusen, I demand you do something about that! I do not accept second place.” “Mr. Suppor sit down. You will address me properly and with respect.” Clusen then said.” I will investigate those obviously false citations. No Midshipman has the Medal of Honor, if this was done by altering records, I will see that you are spaced, Mr. Olafson! “In the mean time the Olafson gang has an appointment at environmental, cleaning tanks. All others will report to the weapon range.” On our way we ran into Lt .Markes.” “Where do you think you are going?” he asked. I answered.” Sir we are to report to Environmental and clean tanks.” “Why? What have you done this time?” ”I am unable to answer that question Sir. Lt Clusen did not mention or explain a reason Sir.” Just then Clusen came around the corner and stopped in his tracks. Markes said.” Lt. Clusen what was it this group has done? Sending an entire group down there must have been a serious offense and we should discus more serious punishment.” “They tampered with the Score system, Sir. I am on my way to Personnel to find proof. Olafson here has the audacity to claim he has the Medal of Honor!” “I checked and verified Mr. Olafsons citations. He was indeed so decorated. Tampering with service files is a very serious charge and if you are certain it happened we must alert security!” ”I want them in environmental! I do not explain myself to you in front of them!” “Very well.” Markes agreed and turned to us.” Report to environmental for now.”
We just reached the lowest deck when we where called back. No explanation was given but we joined the others at the Weapon range. Here a Marine Lt instructed us in the use of various weapons. During a break I asked him.” Sir are you familiar with antique fire arms?” “Oh yes they are a hobby of mine. How antique?” “I don’t know for sure but it is pre astro Terra.” ”Can I see it?” ”Yes Sir it is in my locker.” “Get it!”
When I returned with it his eyes became wide and he said.” Good lord this is a 1911 Colt 45. It seems to be genuine!” “It is Sir.” “That logo on the handle is the old United States Marine emblem! Where did you get it?” ”Admiral Stahl gave it to me.” “The Old Man himself? So it is true what rumors say he was a Marine before the ascent!” “Can you teach me to use it?” ”I would be honored Midshipman! Let’s get some Ammo replicated!”
The old gun had no target optics and could not be tied into a battle-tronic. It made a loud bang when it fired and shattered plastic discs, the Marine had put down range. It took me a while to get the hang of it before I managed to hit the targets, but it was great fun. “You ought to wear it. It is a badge of honor the Admiral himself gave to you!” he said. “Would that be allowed?” ”The display of cultural objects that do not hinder you from performing your duties and does not obstruct rank insignia is allowed if an officer approves it. I approve it.” So it came I wore the shoulder holster with the old gun where ever I went and I visited the range and the Marine instructor very frequently for training and practice. Har Hi came along and showed me his incredible marksman ship and the use of traditional Dai Weapons and he in turn found great delight in using my old guns and the awesome antiques the Marine had in his collection.” Dai-Thaan so I learned put great focus on knifes and blades and he always carried several knifes and daggers on his uniform. And each had a specific function and purpose. One he explained was solely meant to commit suicide. Clusen pretty much ignored us for the next 4 weeks. He gave us, like all the others regular assignments but did go out of his way to give us the hardest challenges and tasks. But no one could reach Hans level in weapon marksman ship or fighting abilities even not considering the fact that he was the strongest around. Har-Hi was a close second. Muhammad who barley ever spoke one day sighed.” I have the lowest score in combat training of anyone. I hope they don’t fail me for that!” Hans said.” But your helm score is the highest and mine is in the basement!” I said.” We should train each other in our spare time. I am not too fresh on science either!” So we used our free time to train each other and it also made us to get to know each other much better. Wetmouth I learned had six PhD already and was rated Sci-4 the highest rating any scientist could attain in the science corps of the Navy. Usually a scientist focused on one particular field and when he or she was very good he was recognized and eventually reached the Sci-4 level. Wetmouth was rated Sci-4 in 14 science fields and her IQ was recorded at 450. Mao told me that and he also said that there where only about 200 known individuals with such an IQ. Wetmouth was cold and unapproachable at first, the mask she always wore didn’t help either but she slowly changed. Muhammad also changed and he talked more about himself, about a region called Africa on Earth where he was born. Modern science allowed an individual to be directly linked to a space ship. Thus helm commands could be executed at the speed of thought and this gave such equipped ships an enormous advantage over any other Helm system, even those with experimental AI Helms. However only a relative few individuals could do it. Being attached to a ship meant virtually loosing your body and become the ship and it caused severe mental problems, some individuals became addicted to the feeling of power and where no longer responsive to mere human commands, others became insane not able to differentiate between realities. But there where those like Muhammad who had a special gift, it was so I had been educated a form of an old mental disease called autism that allowed them to function without suffering the ill effects. Those helms men where called Virtu-Helms and treasured like gemstones by the Navy. Muhammad had a rating of 800 and was among the very best, but he was almost unable to interact with other human beings when he didn’t wear the Virtu Helmet that connected him to a ship. But over the weeks he began to show interest in other things and even laughed at jokes Krabbel or Mao made.” Elfiatra , we called her Elfi now was the daughter of some high noble house on Saran. She never went into details, but Saran was still a Monarchy and had a class of nobles. Her true identity came to light one morning , Lt. Clusen and Subbor discussed nobility and each tried to impress the other and it was a mutual admiration thing going on before the entire class. Subbor later said during lunch:” It looks like Lt. Clusen is the only one here of noble birth and it clearly shows!” Elfi waved.” Oh be quiet! Lt. Clusen is a bastard son of a baroness of lowest rank. He has no claims to nobility. And you are of the Nabomhar Clan who long lost its importance on Thauran. Is it not true the Nabohmar clan fell in disfavor with Emperor Soron the third almost 200 years ago and was stripped of most of its possessions, and even lost the right to be at court? I heard your father had to borrow against your last holdings to pay for the gambling debts of your brother. What noble house you are from indeed!” Subbor forgot to chew, some other Midshipmen around us started to laugh, they too where simply tired of the constant bragging. He spat.” Who are you?” Another Saran midshipman a table away rose to her feet.” You are in the presence of Elfiatra the Precious, Princess to the Saran Empire ,second daughter to her Majesty the Queen Cleotrix the second. Commandrix of the Saran Honor Legion, Holder of the sacred ankh. High priestess of Ra. If her Majesty wanted to brag about royalty and nobility she could have done so with every right!” The Saran woman bowed deeply towards Elfi.” I am deeply sorry for revealing this, but I too was tired of this.” There was silence and everyone looked at Elfi and she sat down with a frown.” I guess it would come out sometimes anyway, but please don’t treat me any differently. That is why I choose to keep it quiet and join the Navy to be respected for my person not my titles or birth.” “Treat you differently?” Said Krabbel.” Naa won’t happen . I am used to be with a prince and such all the time. You see Mao here is the son of the Tribal chief of New Samoa and that makes him a prince. Har-Hi is the son of the Clan Eldest and he is nobility in Dai Terms. Muhammad is perhaps the most noble of all after you that is. He is the son of a King. Zulu nation on Terra!” Mao grinned sheepishly.” Oh shut up Krabbel, you would call any ice cream vendor King for an extra scoop of Vanilla ice cream!” “No I wouldn’t. He had to add whipped cream before I go that far!” Subbor however did not mention his noble birth anymore and that was a good thing.