Day 7Today’s story is a bit on the sci-fi side. I don’t often write things like this, but I do like to experiment every now and then.


“Cadet Scarlette!” The bellowing roar caused the new trainee to jump.


“When I say attention, I mean eyes forward, head up, paying attention to what your commander is saying!”

“Yes, sir!” Scarlette felt her face flush with embarrassment. For the life of her, she could not concentrate on these dull lessons.

At that moment, a klaxon sounded, signalling the end of the class. None of the cadets moved.

The stern older man at the front of the room turned to face them. “Stand!”

In sync, all the cadets got to their feet, pushed in their plastic chairs and stood to the right side of their desk.


Each cadet marched in line to the door. The second she’d passed the threshold, Scarlette broke the formation and dashed off towards the firing range. She couldn’t stand all the strictness and orders that this trainee camp enforced. She cursed the looming war for the cadet drafting.

She slipped inside the room they used for laser blaster training. Thankfully, it was empty at this time of day. She needed to let off some stress.

She checked out a training weapon with the attendant and headed for the pod furthest away. Climbing into the pod, she pressed a button and the lid closed with the hiss of air. It was pitch dark for a second, then the display lit up, instructing her to place the virtual battle goggles over her eyes.

With the goggles on, the battle program started up, loading the scenario Scarlette had chosen. She breezed through it, loving the feel of the blaster in her hand and the satisfaction of hitting her targets every time. As the program wound down, she sighed. She was a good marksman, her virtual blaster scores were the highest among all the cadets, but she couldn’t care less about the tactical side that they tried to teach. She knew she should try harder and could understand that tactics might one day keep her and her squad alive. That didn’t make it any easier or any more fun.

She stepped out of the pod and almost tripped over the tall, casually-dressed man standing just outside her pod. She recovered quickly and saluted.


“At ease, Cadet Scarlette.” He nodded to the display screen on the pod. “Nice shooting.”

“Thank you, sir.” She resisted the urge to shuffle her feet. What does he want?

“Your tactics teacher has told me he’s having problems with you.”

Scarlette’s heart sank. She was going to be punished.

“Personally, I think tactics are overrated, but I hire someone to formulate plans and attacks for me.” A slight smile curved his lips.

Her eyes went wide. “I’ve been told time and time again that tactics are one of the most important skills you can have as a soldier.”

“A team is the best thing to have out in the field. Everyone working together with their strengths and weaknesses. You can’t be good at everything, so why try? Focus on the few things you know you can do well and find the others who can do the things you can’t.”

“None of the battle classes really teach us that.”

“The classes are designed to train large squads of soldiers. Bulk training, bulk skills, bulk soldiers.” He grimaced and leaned against the pod behind him. “You’re not cut out for that.”

“Are … are you kicking me out?” Not that she really wanted to be here, but she didn’t want to go home as a failure.

“I’m offering you a job.”


“Like I said, get others to do the jobs you can’t do so well. My team needs a sniper. You could be it.”


“You would start immediately – training done by the best of the snipers and best of all, no more boring tactics lessons.”

Her? A sniper? She had to admit, the thought excited her. She’d done some work with sniper rifles and had excelled.

“One other thing. Our ops are top secret. You would need to disappear with us for long periods of time. Do you think you could handle it?”

Not one of my strongest pieces! 🙂

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