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The shuttle took us two short jumps, one into Jita and the next into Kisogo. This is back before the jump gates between Jita and Kisogo were dismantled due to "security reasons" turning Kisogo into a dead end system instead of a major thoroughfare. The civilian decks of the State War Academy Station in Kisogo used to be almost as bustling as some of the stations in Jita itself, a cheaper avenue to sell items to the corporations and capsuleers as well as prime recruiting spot of servicemen finishing their time in the navy. I visited the station last year and was shocked at how its gone downhill since the closing of the jump gates; the businesses on the civilian decks were dilapidated and low brow, their only business now the off duty naval cadets and station residents.
The State War Academy School station is primarily dedicated to the training of naval cadets for the State Navy. Instead of many decks of residential apartments there are dormitories for the cadets, classrooms, combat simulation sets, hands-on laboratories, libraries and study areas, activity gymnasiums, and dignitary congress centres. There are still some civilian residental decks for families of servicemen and station attendants, but the bulk of the station is dedicated to the naval academy.
Conversely, the hangers are mostly civilian use with only a handful set aside for the Navy. Instead there are shipyards at deep space locations where the Navy's assets are well protected from prying eyes and maintained where they are safer from civilian sabotage.
Our shuttle docked at the Kisogo station and we were herded into the processing centre where our applications were reviewed and our civilian belongings stored away in exchange for military issue fatigues. I admit I had a harder time giving up my comm unit than I did my hair, but some other cadets were nearly teary eyed as the buzzers were passed over their scalp. I teased Cryst a little and she punched me in the arm in return.
After all of the others were finished we were presented to our Drill Instructor for roll call and as he called the last names we lined up as instructed.
I stepped up into position and stood as straight as I could. But instead of carrying on to the next name he paused and looked hard at me. "Are you related to the Kodachis of Vahunomi?"
"Uh... yes," I stuttered. I was unsure if I should elaborate or add 'sir' to the end.
"My father knew your father," he said conversationally. I could feel every cadet desperately straining to listen in on this disruption. I didn't know what to say so I simply said, "oh".
"Yep, we used to live there until your father ruined my father's business and we were forced to move to Oishami. My father spent his days working himself to death in an ice mining operation there to make sure there was food on the table."
I swallowed hard and sweat beaded on my brow. "I'm sorry?" I offered lamely.
"DON'T BE SORRY FOR ME, BOY!" he shouted in my face and I took a step back in surprise.
"GET BACK HERE, CADET! DID I SAY YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FLINCH?" I tried to regain my composure but it was hard with him yelling inches away from my face, spittle flying to strike me. I finally found my balance and stared hard at the Drill Instructors forehead while trying not to move. With a sniff he carried on with the roll call and I noticed the other cadets moved a little faster and stood a little more still.
"Alright cadets, I am Chief Petty Officer Bates and I will be the star around which your life revolves for the next 3 months. You will do what I say when I say it and I expect you to anticipate what I want before it even occurs to me by the end of your training. Today you are merely civilians play-acting, but in three months I'll turn you into real naval cadets!"
He turned to an aide. "Now you will follow Petty Officer Firiasth who will show you your assigned billets." He pointed at me. "Except you, Kodachi! You will spend some time practicing how to stand still. I'll send someone to get you later."
My face burned in embarrassment as the rest of the class exited in single file. I could tell it was going to be a long three months.