It has been 12 months since Beary has arrived at the Academy from his tour aboard the Saber Claw. He enjoyed teaching the classes he had been assigned. At first, some of the older cadets resented the fact that their instructor was younger than they were. Then they would see the ribbons on his uniform and hear the rumors. Ben, of course, helped spread them. Flight training was going well. His many hours in jump ships were proving to be a blessing instead of a curse. He expected to graduate early from flight training. Caesar had spent six months at the academy then shipped off to aid a hospital ship that had lost one of its surgeons to an accident. The Hospital ship was trying to combat a new disease that had cropped up on an agricultural colony in the Darius system. Once again, his work under Dr Maxumus was proving invaluable. Ben, along with taking accelerated classes, was teaching a class in survival and weapons. Ben had taken to this task with enthusiasm. With the help of two of the Marine Professors, he wrote the training manual for the course, which they used as a major project in two of his classes. The class he taught was so popular there was a waiting list. Pompey kept busy trying to prepare for the cub, which was due in three months, running two homes, plus working for her new father- in- law on special issues. Senator Maxumus was busy trying to get the Senate to strengthen its rules. He did not want to see new conspiracies flair up. The idea that eight senators some in critical positions could become traitors had shaken the Senate. The Bearilian house of Representatives was demanding a full and open investigation as it scrutinized its own members. The Arcrilians had suffered such a devastating defeat that they were asking for terms for a treaty and for aid. The Bearilian President immediately started negotiations along with the Antillean Supreme Council. The result was the removal of all Arcrilian ships from Bearilian and Antillean territory, in exchange for food and raw materials purchased at a reasonable price. For the Antilleans this was a big win. For Angelina Maxumus the last 12 months had been hectic as she tried to balance her time between Bearilia Prime and Andreas Prime. She enjoyed being a Neuro-surgeon a lot more than being an Empress. She even found that she had to show up at State functions not as a wife of a prominent Senator, but as a Head of State. There had also been a need to appoint representatives to the two Bearilian Houses. One of her second Brother's sons, Iacomus Augustus, had joined his cousins on Andreas Prime. He found some unclaimed land near the western ocean connected to the Augustan land. A young Dragon, Silver Tail agreed to be his Family Dragon. The Dragon Counsel suggested that he be appointed as the Planet's Senator. A young nomad also moved to Andreas Prime. He had no family or land. A young Dogon, Saraina, approached the Dogon Counsel and asked that this young Nomad be given its sheep and become its family. His name was Khristophoros. The Dogon Counsel gave him the last name Theodoros. Khristophoros Theodoros was called before Angelina. She questioned him for several cycles. She found out that he had been part of a servant family to the Pompaius family. She found goodness and strength in this young Bear. After talking with both counsels, she appointed him to the House of Representatives. He would prove to be a loyal and excellent choice. Savato Artemus was not happy. He loved the Crimson Blade but he could not find a gunner that met his standards. He also missed his friends. Captain Centaurus found he hated the paper work of a ship’s captain as much as Atilus had. Yet he loved the Saber Claw, especially with the new upgrades. Commodore Atilus was a taskmaster with his Destroyer Squadron. Only Centaurus had no complaints. Yet Destroyer Squadron 9 was shaping up. Atilus did transfer two captains out because they were not aggressive enough to suit his style. The list of abandoned systems within Bearilian space was being studied. The bears from the Pratis System were asking about going home, as were others. The Bearilian President approached the Senate with a request for the military to design and build a new scientific survey and research vessel. It had to be able to defend itself in deep space against the usual threats, yet not be a warship per say. This is where our story begins.
Charles Lansford Nickerson has a Masters of Arts in History from the University of Northern Colorado and a BS in History from Iowa State University. He is also a Veteran of the United States Air Force, where he served as a Missile Combat Crew Member. He also taught History in Christian Schools for 10 years. He has previously published two acclaimed Poems.
Irene Jean Nickerson is a senior at Ankeny Christian Academy in Ankeny, Iowa and will graduate in 2013. She plans on going to collage to become am elementary teacher with a secondary endorsement in Theater or drama.