Rhoe wants to fly but being born a half-breed dark swan; feathers are not something she can ever achieve. She asks her father for permission to join the flight academy of the planetary defense corps and to her surprise, he agrees.
Her father gives her more than his agreement, he tells her about her mother and warns her that she may run into the legendary pilot herself.
Rhoe runs into more than her mother, she meets a captain who sends her heart fluttering, and it is that first flutter that will carry her into the sky.
Her mother sighed. “We have had all the time I can reasonably explain. I look forward to seeing your success, daughter.”
Rhoe got to her feet with her mother. They hugged again, and when they parted, Rhoe had to find the captain who would take her on a tour of the facility.
She put on her pack and opened the door to find a broad back staring her in the face. “Captain?”
He turned, and she looked up to see a male dark swan that was not from her settlement. “You are Cadet Rhoe?”
“I am Captain Hiiron. Come with me, I will show you your quarters and then help you find your way around the training centre.” He inclined his head slightly.
“Thank you, Captain. Am I taking you away from anything important?”
He blinked and shook his head. “No. I am on medical leave, light duties. This qualifies.”
Rhoe tried to control her reaction, but she had never been this close to another dark swan that she wasn’t related to in some way. Her heart pounded, and she blinked furiously. “Well, thank you for being on duty today.”
“It is no trouble. Come with me.” He nodded over her shoulder. “Colonel.”
“Captain. Take care of her. I don’t want her lost.”
“Yes, Colonel Whisk.” He nodded again and jerked his head at Rhoe. “Let’s go.”
She followed him, her head high and her back straight. She gave the colonel a small wave and got down to business. It was time to learn the ins and outs of her new home.
Two hours of touring, a visit to the quartermaster and registration later, Rhoe was sitting alone in the commissary and eating her first meal not prepared by hands that were related to her own.
It wasn’t bad, but it was going down as just another thing she would have to endure to get to her dream of flight.