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Later, Captain Rita Mallard would try to gather support to help Left-tenant Senia Felix, knowing full well that Stigian would attempt to subvert her final placement, based solely on the fact she has a speech impediment. She goes to ask Colonel Nelson Tyrell for assistance.
It had been two days since Captain Rita Mallard had submitted her evaluation of all fifty cadets within House Ocelot, her feelings and observations of each one. She had spent a better part of the evening after the dsciplinary tribunal for Jada Hawkspur writing each and every one of them; even writing up one for Hawkspur, even though she had been stripped of rank. Naturally, the tribunal had rejected that review, but Mallard felt it more than appropriate to write it up at any rate. If nothing else, she can present it as a personal report to Jada herself.
But there was something else troubling her. The matter of questioning that Colonel Stigian grilled her when the topic of Felix came about. She began to worry, which was common for her whenever dealing with a promising pilot with a great deal of potential. She was going to require allies in order to ensure the best for Left-tenant Felix, and she could think of no one better than Colonel Nelson Tyrell. The two hadn’t gotten along to begin with when Mallard received her posting at the academy. Tyrell was very much more a civilian than an air force pilot, even though he had flown during the Great Lupine Land War. It had taken Mallard a great deal of time before she could warm up to him, and he to her as well. To Tyrell, Mallard always appeared very stiff. To Mallard, Tyrell had always appeared very loose in military decorum. But, Tyrell had come to her defense on several occaisions to support her decisions. She felt a debt of gratitude toward him.
Mallard found she would appreciate the confines of the astronomy building’s lecture hall to disguss her worries and hopefully gain an ally. At least, she hoped he was still at his lecture desk.
She soon discovered he was, pouring over paperwork as was usually the case. But it most certainly wasn’t paperwork that was tedious. Knowing Tyrell, it was some discovery that had been recently made. No doubt, he’d share this with her, something she’d grown accustomed to. With all politeness she approached his desk and removed her cap, holding it in her hand at her waist.
“Professor Tyrell,” she announced after clearing her throat.
Tyrell looked up and smiled as he saw Mallard. ”Captain, good of you to come see me this morning. I was just looking over the recent findings by the deep space observation mission.” He motioned to the papers on his desk and waved Mallard over to see. He spent some time explaining the new planetary system they had discovered, and showed what some of the people on the one inhabited planet looked like. ”We received confirmation from the Critainian Science academy that this planet must be a twin to their original homeworld.” He brought up a few more papers, one a copy of an ancient map created by the first Critainian explorers, the other looked to be an extrapolation of sorts. ”This older map is what their planet looked like all those millenia ago when they made the great crossing. This map, however, is the best guess that scientists believe the plates of that planet moved into and reshaped. It’s very similar to this new planet, so there’s a group going to discuss it with the Critainians on their homeworld.”
“Will you be attending?” Mallard asked with genuine curiosity.
“Unfortunately, no,” Tyrell said with a sigh. ”It’s not the trip that bothers me, it’s the climate on Critain. Too hot for me, to be honest.” He chuckled and Mallard smiled with a nod. ”However, I don’t think you came here to dsicuss my distaste for hot climates or new discoveries. What can I do for you, Rita?”
Mallard smiled as Tyrell used her first name. Tyrell wasn’t one for military protocal, and would often use the first name of those he grew to admire or became good friends with. Mallard had grown used to it. ”I’m concerned about one of the students. One under my House, actually.”
“Oh?” Tyrell said as he removed his glasses and kept his attention completely on Mallard. ”Which one?”
“Left-tenant Senia Felix,” she said without hesitation. Tyrell nodded, knowing the name quite well. Senia had become one of the more respected House leaders by those in House Falcon, the House under Tyrell’s care. ”I don’t wish to go over anyone’s head, but,” she paused a moment, then decided to just detail the story to him. ”After Jada’s disciplinary hearing, I returned to the tribunal chambers and was asked about the usual attitude of the students and what arose from the affair. My own feelings on the entire matter.”
“Which is standard protocal,” Tyrell nodded, encouraging Mallard to continue.
“Well, the topic switched to Left-tenant Felix,” she stated with a quiet voice, as though she didn’t want anyone to overhear their conversation. ”They asked me if I felt she would make a good pilot, which I naturally said yes. But they seemed to believe because of her impairment, that she wouldn’t. I’m worried that their influence on the Tribunal Evaluations might have an unfavourable effect on Senia’s placement.”
“What are you wanting, Rita?”
“I guess advice,” Mallard finally stated. ”Or support in case Senia is dealt a bad hand. She’s one of our top pilots, it would be unfair if she were not given a proper placement based on something as … minor as a speech impediment.”
Tyrell rose to his feet and gave Mallard a reassuring nod. ”I’ll do some checking and see what can be done. I may not be as military as some, but I still have my connections. For now, I’d bring your concerns to Air Marshal Collinsworth. She is headmistress of the academy, after all.”
Mallard nodded her thanks and smiled. At least, if the worst should happen, she’d have allies to make sure Senia got what she deserved for the work she had done at the academy.