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Tifa Kvar

Where in the 'Verse is Tifa? Or the Memoirs of a Space Cadet.

I finally made it to Earth after a long trip. Two shuttles and a transport later, I finally stood on Academy grounds once again. It was a little bittersweet for me, since I really didn’t want to be here. I would have prefered to stay back on the Creek, but I was convinced this would be best for me. I missed them already. I missed her. I probably drove the shuttle pilots crazy constantly playing the songs that Audraya had given me as a memento. Even when I wasn’t playing them, I sang or hummed them to myself. They gave me comfort, and at the time I didn’t realize how much they were going to help me during my stay in San Francisco.




I had arrived on Earth early. My plan then was to find an apartment close enough to the Academy, but that was dashed the moment I decided to report in first. When I arrived at the Dean’s office, I was greeted by Yeoman Kelly. She was the only nice thing about this office, as I was unknowingly about to step into the depths of Hell, and inside was the Devil himself.


When I stood before Admiral McAlister, rather than an introduction, it felt more like an inquisition. The gruff old man looked like he had never smiled in his entire life. He didn’t seem to care that I was here. And by the way he talked, he didn’t seem to care for Admiral Coyote or even Captain Calestorm for that matter. The worse part was before I could even speak he had stripped me of my full rank, making me a cadet and even assigned me to shared quarters in the junior cadet dorms.


At that point I wondered if I could back out now…




My dorm room actually wasn’t that bad, though I was never alone. I shared the room with two other cadets, Cynthia Danvers and Megan Alexander. Cynthia was planning to be an engineer, while Megan was in science. Both were human, and both very young, though I wasn’t too much older myself. I had simply witnessed many things on board the CC, which matured me. They were both very eager to hear all of my experiences on a starship, and I was happy to tell them.




It wasn’t long after I settled in that classes had started. I actually enjoyed them, sometimes a little too much. School was just something I had always loved, and it was something I could use to keep my mind off of other things such as worrying about the Creek. I had even gained a mentor, Captain Yusei Saito, my advanced tactics instructor. He was a fountain of knowledge and he didn’t mind sharing. Whenever I had a problem, he was the one to go to. I would definitely need him in the times ahead.




So the time had come, much sooner than I had anticipated. The infamous Kobayashi Maru simulation stood before me. I remember from my previous time at the Academy that the Kobayashi was supposed to be later in the courses, but maybe since I was an advanced student they did things differently. It was the first time sitting in the center chair for the simulation and I was nervous. I was always nervous sitting in the big chair, even when I was on the Creek.


It was how I remembered the simulation back when I sat at the communications console. Our ship was on mission until a distress call came in from a damaged transport, claiming that it was drifting into Klingon territory. Our ship responded, and then a Klingon ship arrived. All of it to that point was straight out of the textbook, but this was the point I flipped the script. When we hailed the enemy ship, I began talking in Klingon. It caught many of my crew off guard, and according to the rumors, the simulation itself had stalled briefly before it adapted. Of course in the end it didn’t matter. My ship and the Maru were still destroyed, but that moment gave people something to talk about for a while. Even Captain Saito complimented me, stating it was definitely something he had never seen before.




I found a new hobby during my downtime; songwriting. It was something I was introduced to one night when I was with Cynthia. She was listening to something called Rock. I was instantly hooked, and it seemed the harder it was, the more I was into it. This was definitely the type of release I needed to help me get through the tough nights, and it was only going to get tougher from here.




I couldn’t believe it. It hadn’t even been a full month and I was already sitting in the Kobayashi Maru simulator again. It was very rare to have to go through the simulation again, but it was not unheard of. As a matter of fact, Captain Kirk had taken the test more than once. Of course he had cheated on his second try, which had gotten him expelled from the Academy. I didn’t have that luxury. I trudged through the simulation, changing up a few things, but of course had the same result at the end.




Midterms were finally coming up. I couldn’t believe I was halfway through already. After passing them with flying colors, I took the chance to celebrate.


Using my connections from my time spent in the communications lab, I was able to set up a real-time video channel to the Comanche Creek. I was so excited to finally see Audraya’s face for the first time since I left, but I was taken off guard with what I saw. She was covered in bumps and bruises. Apparently she was recovering from a very violent fight she was in with Byblos. I didn’t get the full details, but many things had been said that fully escalated into an all out brawl. I scolded her a little, but it turned out Calestorm had everything under control.


I didn’t tell her much about what was happening here. I mentioned McAlister was a hard ass, but I didn’t want to worry her with details. After all, this could have just been blown out of proportion.




Unbelievable. My third attempt at the Kobayashi. Was I doomed to take this simulation for the rest of my life? It sure seemed like it, and the look of concern on Captain Saito’s face afterwards seemed to paint that picture.




One night I was pulled into Saito’s office. He had something urgent he wanted to tell me. Showing me a PADD, my heart had sank. I felt like I wanted to cry, but didn’t show it. I had been slated to take the Kobayashi Maru for a fourth time, but before I could respond Saito said that he personally canceled the simulation.


It turns out McAlister was the one that kept putting my name on the list. I asked why he would do that and Saito finally gave me the answer, which shed light on a great number of things. It all stemmed from the FTR program. McAlister had been top in line to lead the program before Admiral Coyote was ultimately selected. Apparently this was a grudge that the now Dean of Command School could never live down. McAlister had set everything up against me, the demotion, all the Kobayashi runs, everything. It was all an attempt to break down one of Coyote’s officers to eventually embarrass her.


Saito had also mentioned that McAlister was overstepping his bounds. Though he was the Dean, all of his actions still had to go through the approval of the Academy Council Board. The Captain was ready to step in with the board and undermine the Admiral if I was ready to do so. It was real tempting to me. I had thought about putting an end to it right then and there, but a part of me told me to wait it out. I felt an opportunity to confront the situation would soon present itself, so I asked Saito to hold off.




I received a cryptic message from Audraya today. The Creek was in at New Topeka for a full refit, and the crew was being scattered about on temporary assignments. Audraya herself was getting dragged into some mission with OSI. She didn’t tell me in detail, but I knew exactly where she was heading, back to T’tooine. So many bad memories there, and I couldn’t help worrying for her. It was the worst time to get this message too. Finals were coming right around the corner.




So finals had come and gone. As expected, I passed with full honors. I finished in the top 2% of my class. To celebrate, the rest of the girls wanted to take me out for the night. But before I went, I wanted to make a little change to commemorate the occasion. I went to the local salon and changed my hair up, giving myself red highlights. From there, I bought some clothes to give me a bit of a rocker feel. It was a little different from what I was used to, but it felt good.


After the makeover, the girls took me to the bar that was a big hit with Academy students. It was called the Red Star Nightclub, and it was packed. Seemed like there were more than just cadets there. I’m pretty sure I saw Yeoman Kelly and Captain Saito there at one point. While here, I was introduced to something called the Warp Core Explosion. Latter on in the night my head was going to regret that.


It was karaoke night at the club, but it didn’t seem like anyone was willing to get sing. After a bit of convincing by Cynthia and Megan and the help of another WCE, I finally agreed to get up and sing. I chose DOROTHY’s “After Midnight” and it was a huge hit. The crowd absolutely enjoyed it, and I was a little taken back by it. But once I tried to leave the stage, I was stopped. Cynthia and some of the others wouldn’t let me go sit down. The crowd had wanted more, and they weren’t about to let me simply stop there.


Cynthia talked me into singing some of my own songs that I had written, so I did, and I didn’t regret a single thing. We rocked the rest of the night. The club owner complimented me and said the crowd was the best he had seen in a long time. He seemed to think my music had a lot to do with it.


I was happy with my little show, thinking it was a good one time memorable moment, but it turned out that was far from the end. Unbeknownst to me at the time, someone had recorded my performance and soon spread it around the net.




The night before my graduation ceremony will also be something I’ll never forget, as it was a true turning point in my life. I had been summoned back into hell, McAlister’s office. As soon as I entered, he poured it on. He threatened me, showing me a recording of my impromptu concert, belittling my looks, calling me a disgrace to the Academy and Starfleet. He did all he could to break me down right there, telling me that I would not graduate with honors, saying I wouldn’t get my rank back, and even going as far as saying I’ll never return to the Comanche Creek.


This was the final straw. I tore into him verbally like I had never done before, and it felt great. The look on his face was something I’ll never forget. I explained to him that everything he had done to this point was wrong and that he was doing it without the approval of the council. I gave him the ultimatum that if he didn’t drop everything against me and restore my rank and honors that I would not only go to the board, but drag him through every channel of Starfleet Command and JAG that I could before everything was over. McAlister quietly agreed. Before I left, I told him that he was now on double secret probation and that if he ever tried that kind of stunt again I would find out about it and come after him.


The next day I graduated with full honors and was set to return home, or at least sort of.




With the refit of the Creek still underway, I was given a couple weeks of leave. During that time I had taken advantage of my new found fame and performed for a few establishments on my way back to New Topeka. It was quite an enjoyable trip back.


Once back to Topeka Station, I was put to work in Admiral Coyote’s office, as a communications consultant among other things. I heard from some of the office staff that Coyote might find it hard to let me go once the ship refit is done, but nothing is going to stop me from getting back to Comanche Creek. I’m ready to come home.

Edited by Tifa Kvar

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