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The Recruit

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Invasion F-008

Starfighter Command Kelgaron Invasion Archives

Adapted from Janet Lynn Andrews’s Personal Log

   When I signed up to be a Starfighter it was an uphill battle all the way. It would not take much of a background check to discover that I was the sister of the traitor, so I gave my real name on the application. I figured they would reject me out of hand, but to my surprise, I was accepted.

   My instructors never let me forget that I was the sister of the traitor that had betrayed all of humanity. I had to try ten times harder than anyone else to prove myself. I put up with endless dirty looks cast my way and a barrage of some of the foulest insults ever invented by man just for my benefit. I can't even begin to count the number of cruel jokes played on me by the other trainees.

   When I made it to flight training, several of my instructors got together and tried to get me kicked out. That was when I found out that I had an invisible friend higher up in Starfighter Command. I woke up one morning to find a couple of my instructors had been replaced. Those that remained were severely reprimanded on my account. My instructors hated me even more after that, but they were a little less obvious about showing it now that they knew Starfighter Command was keeping an eye on them.

   During flight training we had several guest flight instructors who were considered to be the best fighter pilots in the Starfighter Legion. Most of them looked at me the same way my instructors did, but one did not. He was the Starfighter that held all the records for the number of kills made. Peter Gabriel came for a series of lectures and demonstrations for our flight group. I don't know why he picked me to accompany him as he led us through a series of mock combats to demonstrate his theories of aerial combat. I heard that my instructors tried several times to get him to change his mind, but he would just listen politely and then tell them his mind was already made up. Overruled by Starfighter Command, they had little choice except to let me fly with him.

   "Why did you want me to fly with you?" I asked once we were in space.

   "Because I know what your instructors do not. One day they will look back at what they did to you in shame," he replied. "I personally asked for the honor to come and teach you what you will need to know to survive in aerial combat. It is the least that I can do for your brother. Now, no more questions."

   In the weeks that followed I learned to fly circles around my instructors. I logged more flight time than my entire flight group combined. Why the best fighter pilot in the Starfighter Legion would spend so much of his time training me baffled me as much as my instructors. When I asked, he would simply reply that there were questions that he could not answer.

   Before he left, he came to see me, and offered one last bit of encouragement. "Be strong, and don't let them get to you," he said. "If you have even half the courage of your brother, you will do fine." I never understood where his respect for my brother came from.

   A year later, I passed the final exam with the highest number of kills ever recorded during the simulation, 47 fighters and two destroyers. I love the part where I hit the back wall of the landing bay of that last destroyer. They give you all the video and physiological data taken during the examination, along with the official critique; it can be fun to watch, sometimes.



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