Chapter 1 - To the Academy

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The entrance exam for Starfleet Academy was in the morning but Sheza could not sleep.  Her class standing was solid, her grandmother praised her essay, and the fact that her father was in Starfleet, had died while serving aboard a Starfleet ship, all of these would count for her, but, ultimately, it was up to her.

She laced up her running shoes, she preferred laces, simple, practical, and efficient.  It was midnight but it did not matter, she lived in a safe neighborhood.  Sheza slipped out and started jogging along, letting the physical repetition calm her mind, at precisely 1.2km, she turned around and headed back for her grandmother’s house.  It had been her home since the death of her parents, she hoped her grandmother would not be too lonely once she was gone.  Grandmother has encouraged her to apply for Starfleet and helped at every turn, but Sheza knew she would miss her solid company and unflagging support.   But they both knew this was what Sheza had to do, the family legacy, honorable service for Tellar and Starfleet.  People seemed to forget that Tellar was one of the founding worlds of the Federation, they had fought, suffered and died to help build the Federation, they would not be left behind now.

Sheza was proud her her family, her people, and the Federation.  She would get into the Academy, would get her commission, and show everyone what a Tellarite could do for Starfleet.  She would be part of the new wave of Tellarites building a stronger Federation.  This was her vision, this is what she would achieve.  She returned home, took a quick shower and looked at the time, she could still get two hours of sleep before getting up for the exam, that would be sufficient, it would have to be.

Her grandmother was waiting with breakfast when Sheza got up.  “I heard you go out last night, did the run clear your head.”

Sheza smiled, her grandmother knew her so well.  “Yes, I may be a little tired but I am ready for the exam.  This time next month I will be on the way to the Academy.”

“I will miss you, my little Sheza,” said her grandmother reaching out to take Sheza’s hand.

Sheza squeezed her gran’s hand.  “I will write as often as I can.  It will be like I was here except you will not have to clean up after me.”

Her gran laughed.  “You will be so busy.”

“Yes, but it is all thanks to you.”

“No, you did it yourself, Sheza.  I just helped you find your way.”

It stuck Sheza how much she was going to miss her gran, how secure and safe she had come to feel here.  The first year after the loss of her parents had been rough and she . . . had not been a good granddaughter at that time.  She realized now how troublesome she had been.  “Grandmother, I am sorry that I was so . . . unhappy when I first came here.  None of the bad things that happened were your fault and I and so sorry that I acted as though they were.  I was angry at the world and that was unfair to you.”

“I know and for all of the hardship you have suffered, you mostly managed with good grace,” said the older woman.  “I forgive you.  You needed a home and I am glad I was able to give you one.  Now, enough of the past, it is time to look to the future.”

Sheza nodded, the test was just hours away, but she was ready now.  She would not disappoint her family or herself, the Academy awaited her.