Diving or Rising?

A/N: Hey, folks, it's Muriel! This is my first Treasure Planet fic (the bulk of my work is under C.S. Lewis, and I have one credit in Ratchet and Clank). I may or may not correctly remember details from the movie, so all corrections are welcome! That said, here we go.

Prologue: Becalmed

After I told Mom about all I'd experienced on my voyage to Treasure Planet, she nodded with satisfaction, figuring my passion for adventure was now dulled.

She was dead wrong. If anything, now it was sharpened.

After a while, I remembered what Captain Amelia had said as we were approaching the Crescentia Spaceport: "I'll have to recommend you to the Interstellar Academy."

Then I finally knew what I wanted.

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"Absolutely not." Mom turned her back on me, signaling that the matter was closed.

I wasn't going to give up that easily. "Mom, come on. It's only four years--"

"Only!" she shouted. I winced, knowing every person in the Admiral Benbow Inn could hear her. Why couldn't the woman lower her voice once in a while?

"Only four years, and it's not like it's another voyage or anything. It's school. It's the Interstellar Academy. That's all."

"The Interstellar Academy," Mom snapped, stressing each word, "is two lightyears away from here. It'd be almost impossible to contact you. Not to mention the moral atmosphere--"

Moral atmosphere. Oh, how I hated those words. "What? Come on--"

"There's drugs, there's self-mutilation--"

I stepped in front of Mom. "I'm not into that crap," I promised her.

She plunked down angrily at the kitchen table. "But why there, of all places?"

My answer was simple. "I want to be a spacer. A full-time spacer."

Mom looked as though I'd just revealed my darkest death wish. I quickly added, "I could do worse."

"And you could do better!" Mom cried, flinging her hands down on the table. "I mean, they're giving out scholarships for Cambria Technical University."

Cambria Tech is where Dr. Doppler went to school. No thank you.

"That's not for me."

"Do I care?" Mom glared at me. "Jim, listen--your father was a spacer. Do you want to end up like him?"

I looked away.

"He was depraved. I tried to show him that life is just as good here, if not better, than life always lost in space." Mom rested her head on one hand and spoke tiredly. "But he wouldn't listen. He left me. Now, what if you do the same?"

"Mom, I wouldn't--"

She talked over me. "What if you got married and then decided you preferred life in space? I will not allow you to cause a fellow human as much grief as your father did me."

I sat across from her, outraged that she thought me capable of sinking to my father's level. Yet I tried to keep my voice calm. "I'm not like Dad."

"Yes, you are!" Mom finally exploded. "You're both impulsive and reckless and completely enslaved by this--this obsession with sailing."

"I'm not enslaved," I answered quietly. "Sailing sets me free."

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But Mom wouldn't have that.

So she got me apprenticed in Barnes and Hodges's Ship Chandlery.

For nine years.

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Well? Any opinions? Please review!