When an individual may be vital to the nation’s safety, can she be permitted to make her own choices? Which is the lesser evil: to restrict her future for the sake of the realm, or to grant her the same freedom as her fellow subjects, even if doing so may—or may not—endanger the country?
Addenda: So . . . the positive comments I’m seeing boil down to “this is a great little short story—it’s so quiet and introspective and it uses PDF for lovely presentation!” The negative comments I’m seeing boil down to “this is a terrible little short story—it’s so quiet and introspective and it uses PDF for unnecessary presentation!” Mm-hm.
Not surprisingly, “Wonderbolts Academy”, flawed as it is, pretty well scotches several aspects of the story—though the underlying question and dilemma still hold up. Most notably, the Wonderbolts now appear to be a much larger organization than previous episodes implied, perhaps a full service in its own right rather than an élite arm of the Royal Guard.
There’s no way around the fact that running something that big is a general’s job. Spitfire is insanely young to be holding a rank normally achieved only in one’s forties or later; on the other hand, private conferences with the Crown are much more likely (indeed, they would be required) for a general officer than for a field-grade officer.