BTW: Blah, blah, blah, I do not own the characters. Blah, Blah, blah, Paramount. Blah, blah, blah, Roddenberry. Blah blah, blah, work of satire, blah, blah.
Fair warning: If you have not seen the new Star Trek film this story contains minor spoilers, giving away a major plot device in the film.
Additionally, this story is all about writing, and not necessarily about grammar. I am writing it rapid fire style so that I don’t get hung up on all the little things that distract me and that trigger my writers block. Let me assure you that I will go back (later, much later) and fix the odd dialogue and crappy punctuation. 🙂
The story starts after the jump.
When last we met, someone was having a nice fantasy…Yet, the hands–the hands seemed strangely out of place–large and powerful, but, from that distance, they seemed to have a beguiling softness about them, as well. For a moment she allowed herself to wonder what it felt like to actually touch a Vulcan, and, more interesting, what it was like to have a Vulcan touch her…
Her reverie was broken when the ranking senior cadet, put them all at ease, enabling them to sit down. They were in the Sato Lecture Hall in the Communications Building on the Campus of Starfleet Academy, a hall had been named in honor an early contributor to the development of the Universal translator.
This hall was reserved for the more special courses; classes for the more advanced communication students, students who would appreciate the setting for it’s historical significance, as opposed to the random cadets who were just coasting through, simply fulfilling their Communications requirement on their way to becoming some cocky helmsmen.
In appearance, the hall was softly white, white walls, white chairs, white surfaces, ensuring that the Corillion red of the cadet uniforms to stand out. The hall contained exactly thirty seats, no more, no less, which meant that to be an advanced communications major, ones grades had to be exceptional.
The acoustics were perfect; one did not need the aid of a voice amplification device to be heard, which seemed, to the cadets, highly interesting given their chosen vocation.
The room was also circular, and the podium was placed at the very top of the circle, slightly elevated, giving a speaker the advantage of not only towering over the students, but in :directing the voice straight ahead, ensuring that he or she could easily be heard.
“Good morning, Cadets,” Spock began, the register of his voice somewhere between a rich tenor and a sumptuous baritone. As he spoke he stared straight ahead into the middle distance, focusing on nothing or no one in particular.
“I am Lieutenant-Commander Spock and I will be your instructor for Advance Acoustical Engineering: the study of Universal Translational algorithms and their linguistic mechanics. The object of this course is to relate the latest developments in Advanced Communication theory as it is related to the devices you will uses to perform your assignments. At the end of the semester, the top three students will be asked to participate in a research assignment on the planet of Kitomer. I am certain that I do not need to explain the significance of that worls; however, as it hosts several hundred interplanetary species, encompassing several hundred languages and dialects, I am certain you understand that this project will be of some diplomatic importance. To that end, I have spoken to your previous instructors and have been assured that all of you who were selected for this class are quite capable doing the work.”
Nyota sat up just a little straighter in her chair. This development definitely interested her and she made up her mind, then and there, that she would be one of the three, even though the third and forth year cadets in the room looked around smugly; several of them even looking at her as if to say “fat chance”.
Spock, sensing the momentary wavering of attention that his announce had caused, raised his voice slightly to once again garner their attention. “Your assignment for tonight—.” Twenty-nine stylus’s paused over twenty-nine computer tablets; the thirtieth student, Nyota, merely chose to listen. “—is to complete an essay pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of using the universal translator with sentient beings of bio-diverse cultures—” He paused once more for emphasis, going on to add, “in the year 2189 as it relates to the Xendi culture.”
One cadet made and odd sort of laughing groan, causing Uhura to look over. It was Sam Henderson, a third year, who she was surprised had made the cut to be in this class. She watched him wipe a bead of nervous perspiration away from his upper lip.
“Is there something you would like to add, Mr. Henderson?”
Nyota turned back to look at Lieutenant-Commander Spock; her curiosity peaked when she realized that he knew the name of such an unremarkable cadet on the first day.
“Then you won’t mind answering my first question.” Spock nodded to his cadet aide to the right of the lectern to proceed. She waved her hand over the controls and a holographic* image of a star chart appeared before them all. Spock took up his own laser stylus and highlighted a bright blue star in the lower quadrant of the screen, causing it to light up.
“Minos Vavati II, a class III pulsar. Cadet Henderson, tell me what you know about this celestial object.”
Henderson, who was still struggling to write down that evenings assignment, flashed a nervous smile as he stood. He cleared his throat.
“Minos Vavati II is calculated to go Supernova within the next six months, sir.” Proud of himself and his answer, he made to sit down, only to be prevented by the instructors voice.
“Is there anything more you would like to add, Mr. Henderson?”
Spock, seeing that the well was dry, moved on. “Can anyone else enlighten Mr. Henderson?”
Several eager hands went up, mostly from the smug forth years. The Lieutenant-Commander, without referring to a seating chart or looking at any other visual aid, called out to an Antarion female. “Cadet Mynot.”
She stood. “While it is true that the star will go supernova, there is some speculation within astrophysics circles, that because of its nutronium core, the likelihood of a black hole forming is very rare.” She smiled triumphantly as she sat, completely confident in her answer.
Spock did not acknowledge her answer; he merely called out for another one. Her triumphant smile drooped.
The entire class now seemed stumped. Most of them thought that Mynot had given the correct answer. So it was with some surprise to these upperclassmen when they saw the lone second year cadet raise her hand.
“Cadet Uhura, is there something that you would like to add?”
She stood. “Sir, given that this pulsar emits highly charged electromagnetic radio frequencies, it is very likely that the supernova not eradicate that interference, but it seems that it is more likely to amplify its effects. Given the hazards to both navigation and communications, vessels operating in the surrounding space should be advised not to approach the area and to keep a distance of at least one-half parsec.”
The instructor gave no indication that he was satisfied with Uhura’s answer, he simply raised one single eyebrow as he began to speak.
“Always think of yourselves as Starfleet officers first. You are not part time astrological specialists. The knowing of an objects composition or circumstances is only part of the story. Remember, you will be a communications officer aboard a Starfleet vessel, it is imperative that you put the needs of your captain and the needs of your ship first.”
Uhura was a little confused. Had she given the correct answer? It had “seemed” to be the correct answer, the only thing that puzzled her was the fact that this instructor had given her no praise: and all of her other instructors always gave her praise. She was now mildly annoyed with the Vulcan and more then a little put out. By the end of class when the senior cadet once again called them to attention to acknowledge the Lieutenant-Commander’s passage from the room, she was more bewildered about the Vulcan and his ways then she was in the hour before.
To be continued…
(*Hmmm? Not so sure about holographic technology in the earlier days of Starfleet.)