The First Version 1995 - Chapter 7
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.
BACK AT IDYLLICEditEveryone thought it would get easier after we got used to the stress and workload, but it didn’t our instructors pushed us even harder.
I was sent for three days into the no light lock up for having a bad shave after returning from a 35 klick force march through the Jungle in just my underwear and a combat knife. The instructor argued that the knife was perfectly useable to perform a shave before reporting back. Our martial arts instructor was an old Saresii and rumor had it that he knew every fighting technique and martial arts known to the Galaxy. He loved to demonstrate his skills on me. I lost count as to how many times I left his class room on the stretcher of a Med-bot with a broken bone or a serious concussion. Master Alema never expressed apologies for what he did; when I was laying on the mat with a broken limb and almost passing out with pain. He merely pointed out the flaws in my attack or defense to the class and showed them the slow motion recording of my errors. Of course He did it to other cadets as well (at least to those that could break bones or bruise), but I felt he picked on me more than on the others. One Sunday afternoon we had a few hours to ourselves and I used those rare times to go swimming. Camp Idyllic had several swimming pools and bathing in the nearby lake was fairly safe. The survival and diving pool was the largest and deepest. They usually kept the water cooler than the others and that’s why I liked it best. The water was still to warm for me, but it was clear fresh water and it was 20 meters deep. Usually this pool was deserted outside of training exercises those other cadets that used their free time to swim preferred the warmer water pools or the lake. So I was surprised to see Master Alema. He was sitting at the highest diving board in the lotus position with closed eyes. I cursed under my breath. I didn’t want to go to another, especially since I didn’t have to much time , but I really didn’t want to run into that Saresii Transvestite. All Saresii appeared to be female and stunningly beautiful, but some of them where men, made up do look like women. In Exobiology class we learned that the Saresii where among the oldest species with a continuous civilization. They had been traveling space for much more than million years. An event millennia ago wiped out all their colonies except their home world and they blamed male aggression for the catastrophes and wars in general. So the Saresii banned everything appearing male. At first they had a matriarchate society, like the Sarans but it changed and developed differently. Why all Saresii men decided to dress and appear like women and make this aspect the core of their civilization I did not know. Saresii joined the Unites Stars relatively late . Their technology was considered to be far advanced and at Tech level nine (the United Stars had reached Tech level 7). The most renowned aspect was that every Saresii was a telepath of considerable strength, some had telekinetic powers and others where able to teleport. A well known legend told that the Saresii rearranged the eight planets of their system into perfect orbits using their Psionic powers. There had to be truth to the legend since the 8 planets where arranged in such a way. Re arranging planets into different orbits was not unheard of and a technological requirement for Tech Level 8. The Wurgus where famous for their ability to re arrange planetary systems, but they used technology and not telekinesis as the legend had the Saresii do theirs. Master Almea appeared to be a woman in every visual aspect. She could have been any age between 25 and 200. The face was very female with large eyes, long lashes and beautiful shaped lips. The Saresii readily adopted Terran and Saran make up fashions and used this ancient female art to enhance their faces and appearance. Almea’s hair was straight and fell below the shoulder blades. It had the color of shiny silver. The only way we knew he was not a biological female was because Commander Letsgo always referred to Alamea as him and we had to call him Master. I turned to leave but his voice caught me at the door. “Come up here Cadet.” Alamea had noticed me despite the fact, he was sitting on the ten meter tower with his back to me. I was sure he noticed me with some sort of Psionic power. I sighed and kissed my afternoon goodbye but I climbed up, stepped on the board and saluted.” Cadet Olafson reporting, Sir.” “You are from a water world?” “Yes Sir.” “I believe they call you Neo Vikings. A culture modeled after an old Terran tribe of warriors.” “Yes Vikings, Nordic peoples—Danes, Swedes, Germans and Norwegians—who raided and settled in large areas of eastern and western Europe during a period of Scandinavian expansion from about 800 to 1100 Terran.” “Do you fight others while you in the water?” “Yes we fight in every environment, especially in the water, against each other and pretty much everything that lives in the ocean of Nifleheim.” “Fight me in the water!” Alamea jumped and I dutifully followed right away. Not giving this experienced master of all martial arts much time to adjust. This was my element and I was a good water fighter. I was right after him .I did this many times to my brothers as they did it to me If they had a chance. I landed directly on him, buried my heels with force in his back and pushed him further down. My eyes where much better adapted to see under water than those of standard humans and I had another advantage, no matter how good he was, I had a virtually unlimited oxygen supply and did not need to pay attention to my oxygen supply. He had to hold his breath and had air for maybe 2-5 minutes at best. Part of his concentration had to be diverted to that. My gills opened and the cool water rushed in me. It was always a wonderful experience especially after being on land and dry for a long time, being in my most favorite environment stimulated me always. Water fighting with the intent to kill was completely different from fighting on dry land. Water put tremendous drag on everything you did, swinging chops or even straight punches where almost impossible and lost any damage inflicting energy. Hitting something fast just as difficult, when fighting under water one rather used the entire mass of the body just like a missile and in close combat short kicks to soft body areas where much more effective. Almea was good, he wasn’t fighting under water for the first time, but I had trained with Gustav Aikson as soon as I could swim, the undefeated master of underwater fighting at home for many decades. It was no real contest and after burying both heels into his stomach. I saw bubbles rush out of his mouth and the expression of pain on his face. I suddenly realized I was about to kill him. If he tried to inhale, he would drown! His instinctive impulse would be just that! I rushed after him and pulled him to the surface and had to perform CPR. A gush of water came out of his lungs and he started coughing. I was rushing to the next COM unit to call for help. Almea coughed and spat water. “ Don’t call for help. I will be fine!” He coughed once more and took a deep breath and sat up. “ Why did you not press your advantage? You clearly had me and your style of fighting shows you do not fight for sport but to kill.” Neo Vikings don’t do much for sport, expect perhaps bashing skull, killing others and drinking. But I am not on Nifleheim. I could not let you drown, Sir!” “I caused you much pain and humiliation in my classes. You could have killed me out of revenge!” “You did nothing to me that would deserve killing, Sir. I dislike your classes yes because I never get used to the pain that goes along with breaking a bone but I would not seek revenge for that.” He pushed himself up and walked to a bench. Seeing him walk like that I couldn’t believe he was a man. The black skintight bathing suit clung to a very female body and I became quite jealous. Sitting on the bench, he held his stomach and coughed again. Then he said: You are honorable. But are you willing to kill?” “Sir, I am asked to kill an enemy in the course of battle, during war or conflict. I am prepared to kill. I will resort to lethal force if I have no other option or if there are severe matters of honor or defending my friends, but I won’t do it for sport.” “You killed before!” Almea said this in a matter of fact, not as a question. “Yes I have. It is against federal law, but such laws mean little on Nifleheim and we are all raised in a very old fashioned way where honor and defending it means more than a life “ “Why did you leave your world?” “To join the United Stars Navy and apply at the Academy.” “But you are the first born. Would you not inherit all and become patriarch of your tribe?” “I would inherit the family’s wealth, yes but the position of chief can be challenged and one has to fight and most likely kill for it.” The man woman looked at me and she said.” Tell me the truth! There is another reason , the real reason you had to leave!” I blushed and looked away. “I can’t!” “This is nothing to be ashamed of. It won’t affect your career if it came out, but no one will hear it from me. I bet they even know about it and it is in your Psych Evaluation. I am just curious. I sensed something a little earlier when I was in the water. Something we Saresii are used to because we are, but is very uncommon now among Terrans and Colonial humans these days.” I looked around to make sure we were alone. “I am not sure what is wrong with me, but sometimes I wish I would be a girl. Not a man at all. I once put on the dress of a girl and my father caught me. It was then that he beat me, broke nearly every bone in my body and left me to die. My Uncle saved my life and took me away. I am banished under the pain of death from our family’s home. My Uncle raised me in town for the last 3 years, until I was old enough to leave” “There is nothing really wrong with you. I am simply surprised to see this form of Gender disorder in a human. It is as rare as homosexuality . The genetic predisposition has been eliminated or is usually adjusted before birth.” I sighed.” No genetic manipulation is done on Nilfeheim . There are no pre conception exams and kids come the natural way, no Arti-Womb or anything like that.” The Saresii put a hand on my shoulder.” Don’t think of it as disease or handicap. You see in the old days before Earth became a galactic civilization it was perfectly alright to be that way. It changed in 2200 during the Fist and Iron period, when everything out of the norm was considered weak and undesirable. Then around 3000 Gender change became very popular and there where individuals who changed their gender a dozen times. It caused severe psychological problems that lead to suicide in some cases.” “I know I researched this myself. I wanted to know what was wrong with me and what my options are.” “What are your options?” “I heard about Psycho Surgery. They can take the desire out of me for good. They say it is perfectly safe and can be done in a few minutes, but somehow I am afraid of that option.” “Could it be that deep down you think this is not what you want, to get rid of it I mean.” I shrugged.” I am not sure about myself when it comes to this. It feels right at one hand and I know it is wrong at the other hand.” “So you joined the Navy to proof you are a man?” “Yes this was part of my decision!” “Neither your career nor your citizenship would be affected if you decide to try to live as a woman.” “They told me that during psych evaluation.” “Don’t be afraid of being what you want to be, but one day you must make a decision. Otherwise you will never find inner peace.” I sighed.” Perhaps I try it after basic training is over.” “If you ever need to talk about this come to me, we Saresii have built a civilization around this subject.” “Thank you. I think I will!”