Chronicles of Han Storm, Book 1, Part 1, Chapter 1 & 2 - Learning Curve

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Revised edition 2018: Part 1, Chapter 1

*** One ***

"So, He-Who-Knows-In-Advance, what do you say to a wager on our first day at work."

That was Jack. He was my so-called friend. He actually just looked out for himself, like most people did.

We were preparing for the graduation parade of the New HavenSecurityForcesAcademy. Only five candidates had succeeded in finishing this gruelling three month course.

"Let Han be, you always lose to him anyway!" Stacey stood up for me. She had just stepped out of the showers, water still glistening on her copper skin, a scant towel wrapped around herself.

There was almost no shyness on Creata and ablution facilities were shared. She had her locker two down from mine.

Jack was adjusting the tie of his new NHSF parade uniform.

After today we will be Student Officers for another three months before receiving full officer status and the pay that goes with it.

Not that I needed money. I had a lucrative business in the gambling industry. I just thought that I might actually make a difference in innocent New Haven lives by joining the Security Forces.

I sighed as I struggled into my restrictive uniform, thinking to myself that I would have to get used to this, or move up to detective as soon as possible.

"So, what odds will we set? Two to one? Three to one? Come on!" Jack nagged. "I really want you to get something wrong for a change and there is no way you will be able to get this right."

Jack always nagged. He was annoying, and it was working.

"Slick!" I called out to a sandy mop of hair trying to get the buttons of the uniform done.

"Yeah" Slick responded, looking up through fogged over spectacles. It was not going to help wiping them yet.

"Let us make it at least five to one, as we are five, what do you say?" he advised, taking out a small notepad and pen. He acted as my bookie and we all adhered to it. Not betting himself, he was entitled to a percentage of my winnings.

Ryan came over from his cleaned out locker, his travel bag at the ready. He was the professional one, the unofficial leader of the group. "I will accept five to one" he informed us. "There is no way Han can possibly get this one right. One of us should be able to get our money back."

Jack stood in front of me, as if it would help activate my pre-sight. "Okay, so what do you see, what will my Sergeant in Charge look like?" he demanded from me.

It took a few seconds before I could answer. "Large man, mid forties, salt-and-pepper. Stacey. Black-skinned man, open face, laughs a lot. Ryan. Sorry to say, but it looks as if you are in for it. Solid, old timer with beard. Very particular and, wait ... perfectionist! Slick. Plains person, yellow skin, strange eyes, can not get anything more. So, is the bet on?"

"No!" Jack was adamant.

We all stared at him. "You agreed to five to one. You only gave us four. We need your own as well," he insisted.

O-kay. Now, it was one thing telling other people's futures. It was a totally different ball-game telling my own.

I wanted this bet. It was easy money and I had never been wrong before. Should I take a chance on myself?

Yes, I really wanted this.

Turning from the expectant group, I fiddled with my own tie, watching my reflection in the mirror on the inside of the locker door.

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