Title: Novus Sun: Flights of Fancy
Author: Karolyn Gray <kmgray3@aol.com>
ScifiBB/Chat Handle: Gray3
Rating: G
Synopsis: Aeryn's early years in the Peacekeepers
Type: Story
Spoilers: None
Archiving: Yes
Disclaimers: All Farscape names, characters and other related indicia are the property of Jim Henson Productions, Hallmark Entertainment, Nine Networks, the Scifi Channel and all associated parties. No copyright infringement is intended.

Novus Sun: Flights of Fancy
by Karolyn Gray

"Well, well. If it isn't Cadet Sun. So you think you can finally handle a Prowler?"

Normally such contemptuous words would have earned the speaker Aeryn Sun's full attention, if not wrath, especially coming from another cadet. In this case the dark haired, young male who spoke these words earned a welcoming grin.

"Somebody has to show you how to fly a Prowler without looking like a trelkez that has lost a wing." Aeryn retorted as she stepped completely into the barracks, allowing the door to hiss shut behind her. "Besides, you're here."

Djainen Mhasev burst out laughing as the two other trainees in the room glared at their new arrival. "Same ol' Sun." Mhasev looked over her form, a slightly approving smile coming to his face. "You've changed."

Aeryn returned the appraising look, noting that she was now actually a fraction taller than Mhasev. The last time she'd seen him he was a full six denches taller than her and so thin that he appeared too frail to be a Peacekeeper.

"So how long has it been?" Djainen asked.

"Nearly three cycles." Aeryn noted, eyeing the row of empty bunks before heading towards one near the far bulkhead that was unclaimed. "So of course I have changed. Too bad you have not, Mhasev."

"You wound me, Sun." Mhasev sighed overdramatically as he followed her. The other two trainees just eyed the pair with mild curiosity, their conversation forgotten.

"I do not see any blood." Aeryn replied as she tossed her pack on to her chosen bunk.

"That is not what I have heard." A new voice broke in. Aeryn turned to see a blond haired, thin-faced woman staring at her with a look some where between curiosity and contempt.

"That is Wexxam. The short guy there is Olstad." Mhasev gestured to the pair in turn, the latter glaring at Mhasev. "The rest of training squadron is out at the recreation center right now."

Aeryn nodded to each, noting with some curiosity that Olstad was several years older than the rest, before turning her attention on Wexxam. "And what is that you have heard?" She asked curiously.

Wexxam nodded to the insignia on Aeryn's jacket. "You were part of 127th Tactical Fighter Cadet Reserve. Reports say the 127th saved Sebbacus Company from a rebel trap on Ch'olan Four. Wiped the frelling insurgents out in a single strike but lost a third of their KL's."

Aeryn shrugged slightly as she settled down to sit on the edge of her bunk. "It wasn't that big of a deal. We were in the area on training maneuvers. Command thought it was a perfect opportunity to get some combat experience while allowing the rest of Sebbacus Company to withdraw."

"How many did you kill?" Olstad asked, brown eyes gleaming with excitement as he moved to sit across from Aeryn.

Aeryn frowned at that question. "I do not know. I did not matter to me."

"Didn't matter?" Wexxam exclaimed in disbelief. "Here we are just doing training flights and you are out there flying actually combat sorties."

"It wasn't that different than the ground attack training simulations. Maybe even a little easier." Aeryn said with a slight shrug.

"You didn't even feel slightly nervous?" Olstad asked.

"A little, I suppose." Aeryn admitted.

"So how come you are now transferring into Prowler training?" Wexxam asked.

"My feet couldn't reach the pedals." Aeryn admitted with some embarrassment.

Wexxam gave a sly look to Olstad. "Hey Shorty, you got yourself a fellow late timer now."

"Frell you, Wex." Olstad growled.

"Anytime, Ols." Wexxam replied with a laugh. "Don't mind Olstad here. He's just upset that he didn't reach Prowler training until eighteen cycles."

"At least I didn't crash my first solo." Olstad retorted.

"Beginner's luck." Wexxam replied flippantly.

Aeryn just shook her head as the pair's discussion rapidly devolved into an argument over who was the better pilot, who had made more solos, who had the highest scores and so on. "Are they always like this?" Aeryn asked.

Djainen shrugged and moved to sit next to her on the bunk. "Only about every two weekens or so. They'll probably frell each other senseless in one of the recrooms tonight and things will be back to normal. "

Aeryn actually snickered at that. When she looked at the pair, it seemed perfectly normal.

"I should probably go and meet the rest of the squadron." Aeryn said, noting the pair had so much as paused for breath as they taunted one another.

"I'll take you." Djainen offered. "I think you'll like them."

Aeryn just made a noncommittal grunt as they left barracks, doubtful she would encounter anything more than the usual competitiveness she had encountered since her crèche's first days of training. As they headed to the recreation hall they chatted about what had happened to various close comrades of their crèche over the past cycles.

"Tyvan got transferred down to grots after crashing one of the Prowlers into a fellow trainee's fighter and nearly got himself killed. His scores just kept dropping after that." Djainen was saying, surprised when she pulled up short at the news.

"Really? I would have thought Tyvan would have been one of the best here. It's all he ever talked about." Aeryn said.

"When? I never heard Tyvan say anything about it." Djainen noted the sudden flush of embarrassment on his friend's face.

"He mentioned it after he and I recreated once." Was all Aeryn said and started walking again, Mhasev falling into step beside her.

"Oh. Um, well in any case, he asked for transfer before the final test. Better that than getting executed for what was obviously going to be a failing mark." Djainen continued. "Didn't help him though."

"Why? What happened?"

"He got killed half a cycle later on some waste hole when his unit was assigned to the local garrison. Heard he went out well though. Took some of the alien scum with him. Earned himself a posthumous commendation and promotion to sergeant." Djainen said with something akin to pride for their mutual crèche mate. Aeryn simply nodded in agreement at that.

"So what about Enis and Javail?" Djainen asked.

"Dead. Enis was killed in flight maneuvers with another crèche. A pilot from the other crèche lost control of his KL and flew into her. Both killed instantly. Javail was killed in a training accident at the weapons training facility on Gorla. I don't know why she took off her helmet and stood up, but she did. Wasn't much left of her."

"No dren?" Djainen asked in surprise. "And you?"

"Not a scratch in either incident."

Djainen simply chuckled at that.

Aeryn looked at him out of the corner of her eye as they made a term deciding to ask the question that had been bothering her since seeing him. "Djainen, why are you still here? You entered Prowler training two cycles ago. You should be at advanced tactical school or even a duty assignment by now."

Djainen shook his head slightly. "I don't know. I passed all the flight training. The Flight Instructors kept me here. They said they needed help until more qualified instructors could be brought in."

"Whatever the reason, I'm glad your here. It'll be like old times." She said.

"Yeah, me kicking your eema." Djainen teased, pleased when Aeryn shot him a sharp-eyed look of contempt.

"You only wish," she scoffed.

"Care to put a wager on that, Flight Candidate Sun?" He countered.

"Gymnasium. Best two out of three. Loser buys the squadron a round of drinks." Aeryn could not stop grinning as their banter continued.

"And the winner?"

"Meets the loser in a recreation room."

Djainen raised an eyebrow at that in surprise. As far as he knew he and Sun had never even looked at one another as potential partners. Maybe he had been wrong about that assumption. "You sure about that?"

Aeryn smiled at him, looking him over expectantly. "I wouldn't have said it if I was not sure. So introduce me to the rest of the squadron."

Djainen returned the appraising look before breaking out into a grin. "Come on. I think you and Yal Henta will get along."