29 December 2008

First Christmas on Venus

25 December …

Sergeant Thibodeaux and his expanded crew worked miracles today with Grillag, greens and potatoes as we dined on our Christmas Feast. Father Flannigan gave an inspiring mass and we all enjoyed the meal.

Chief O’Malley introduced me to Seaman 1st Class (equivalent to a Lance Corporal) David Johansson. He was assigned to us as a pilot for the motor whaleboat-based dirigible. He has been in the Republic Navy for five years and is already a very efficient coxswain with both air and nautical vessels. Since he is in the Navy, he will be under Mr. Griggs' command and not the Army's. He is therefore mine, so I will have to see skills he has besides piloting so I can assign him to one of the work crews. I have a feeling he will be put on Corporal Jones’ saw mill crew. They are a man short due to a bad injury one of the privates suffered last week. The doctors think they've managed to keep the cut from going bad, but in this Venusian mist, who can tell for sure?

Lady Venus was treated with a Grillag hip bone today that was smoked by Private Mistrot. We received mail and a few presents from loved ones. The men always enjoy mail call and it is nice to get letters from the missus.

My wife sent me some drawings our younger boys made, and our oldest, Ian James, has gotten word back that he has been accepted into Gannon Military College. I would have preferred the Naval Academy, but they do not like to admit the sons of enlisted men unless they have won the Lone Star Cross. Ian wants to join the military, and always has, but I told him if he joins he must muster in with a bar instead of a stripe. At Gannon he will be able to become a staff officer with either the engineering, signal or artillery corps; the Naval Academy is the only way one can become a Navy line officer. If Ian chooses civil engineering (which I highly doubt, as the boy is most destructive) he will be in a position like Mr. Griggs; however, I have a feeling he will become an artillery officer. He does like to see things go boom.

Well, enough rambling about a father's pride. I should take Lady V for a walk, as Chief O’Malley is waiting for us so he may tag along.

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