In previous excerpts from my Day 10K science fiction manuscript, I showed how the young Ensign Kendrick viewed a senior officer, and vice versa. Now Kendrick is on a colonized planet with about a 20th century level of technology, and we’ll see him from the perspective of a teenage girl who is getting a crush on him.
. . . Shushan would stumble into bookshelves if she had gotten only two hours of sleep. For all she knew, Kendrick had had just as little, yet he was still speaking in his even, intelligent way of going on foot to warn the survivalists against attacking the next craft to come down. “May I ask if you’ve had enough sleep?”
“I was up at 3:00 this morning, ship time, but I am doing well. Thank you for asking.”
Shushan didn’t know how that corresponded to their own Vallannan time, but she felt suitably impressed. Heavy footsteps made her look over her shoulder. Her father was walking up.
Ensign Kendrick had been respectful to him, which made Shushan strangely calm inside. When her father was close enough, Kendrick addressed him. “Mr. Colby, I still need to find the two civilian volunteers to go with me, whom the survivalists will recognize.”
Her father gestured. Seeing the ensign’s blank look, he answered. “These two are the volunteers.”
Up till now, Shushan hadn’t seen Kendrick change expression much. He just tended to look noble or attentive. Now she had a clear look at the whites of his eyes.
He pointed at her and Poni. “These two gir— . . . these two young women?”
Her father nodded. “Both of them would be recognized by the leader of the survivalists. And all here agree they are responsible ‘young women.’ Though I must say, I get a little misty-eyed to think so. It seems just yesterday that Shushan here had training wheels on her bicycle, and cute pink ribbons on the handlebars.”
Shushan wanted to vomit and die, but decided that wouldn’t be a good idea in front of Ensign Kendrick.