((Academy Green, Starbase 118))
Proctoring the Academy exams was quite interesting. When Alora had been contacted about overseeing the final practical tests that would help determine whether or not an Ensign graduated, she had been uncertain. Her own test had gone quite smoothly, and she’d been sent out into the Galaxy soon after, thrust into the middle of a mission on the USS Mercury with Aron. That had been seven years ago. Had it really only been seven? It seemed more like a lifetime.
To be asked to actually oversee the exams, however, was completely different. There she was, seven years older (sort of) seven years wiser (maybe), but she still couldn’t wrap her head around the idea that she was asked to lead groups of cadets through the final exam in a simulated mission. Still, it couldn’t hurt, and it would certainly be a good experience for her - and hopefully for the cadets as well. She had just finished one such examination when she circled around the edge of the academy proper and cut across the Green. There, she found a body.
The early evening air was still warm from the afternoon sun, and there were pairs and groups of Cadets milling about still. Some were talking, some playing ball or disc games, there were a few loved up couples mixed in and even a raised barbeque way over the far side of the Green.
He could smell the slowly grilling meat and his stomach let out a light rumble.
Putting down the PADD he decided to have a little break from the piece of Romulan literature he was reading. He lay in the grass, a bottle of beer propped against the light jacket he’d discarded upon first sitting down. As ever, he was clad in a t-shirt and a Maxwell kilt. Propped up on one elbow whilst reading, he’d made sure that his booted feet were crossed over so as to keep things under wraps. He looked up with a smile, glad that his invitation had been taken up despite it’s exceptional rating on the short notice scale.
DeVeau: Well hello there.
His smile was greeted with a matching of her own, Alora’s own expression moving easily into it. The entire scene was rather comical, but what really caught her attention was the object in his hand. Arching a single eyebrow, her curiosity got the better of her and she couldn’t help but ask.
DeVeau: Whatcha reading?
He grabbed the PADD and jacket before standing and brushing stray grass from the back of his kilt. Thumbing the PADD off he smiled.
Maxwell: “Tholmahk”. It’s the tale of a Praetor that’s murdered by one of his General’s. ::He grinned.:: It’s basically MacBeth. In space.
Those verdant eyes twinkled and Alora couldn’t help but hunch over, slender hands clasping and rubbing at each other in nervous frenzy. Peering up, her face jumped out of the smile and contorted, her lips turning down, eyes wide with madness, and her voice trembled as she spoke in a husky whisper.
DeVeau: Out...out damn spot!
Suddenly, a switch was flicked and a second later, she was back to her old self with a brilliant smile and bright eyes glinting with mischief.
DeVeau: One of my favourite tragedies. Can’t say I’ve read the Romulan version.
He turned slightly, waving towards the front of the Academy building.
Maxwell: There’s a new series ae evening classes starting the night. Thought you might be interested in expanding your Romulan.
Alora hadn’t even thought to check the classes available at the Academy - a shame, considering now she was right smack dab next to one of the campuses. Turning around, she peered up at the building, mulling over the idea, then suddenly swerved back around to face Max once more.
DeVeau: Wait, how did you know I’m learning Romulan?
Maxwell: I have my ways.
He waggled his eyebrows, letting out a short laugh as he did so.
DeVeau: Is that so? Well that’s a trick, isn’t it? Are you taking classes?
Maxwell: Well ::He pointed towards the doors.:: I’m about tae. Didn’t do all that bad at the Academy, so I figured why not try tae get better at it?
DeVeau: A worthy endeavour indeed.
Alora had started further her education years ago. It was likely she had enough credits to get the next level diploma, but with all the changes in her various duty postings - seven in seven years - she’d never really taken the time to focus on her dissertation. Being posted at a base, particularly one with a campus right on it, she would have more opportunity. The question was, would she have the stability?
DeVeau: Do you think the professor would mind if I audited?
Perhaps she could get a feel for the class. Alora supposed she did have some other things she had to attend to, but taking a little time to consider a worthy endeavour was well worth it.
He raised his hand in an “after you” motion, before falling into step beside her.
As they wandered across the Green and into the main building, Max was glad to be out of uniform. Pretty much everybody they passed by on the inside were cadets still in uniform from the days classes and seminars. With Alora in uniform, what meagre attention that was sent in their direction was reserved entirely for the Lieutenant-Commander in the red collar as opposed to the kilted man beside her.
Maxwell: Languages is a bit ae a thing in my family. We all speak at least two languages.
DeVeau: Oh? What do you speak?
Max paused briefly to grab a snack from a free-standing replicator in the corridor, before he continued to guide them on towards the classroom that they needed.
Maxwell: Me? Italian and Romulan. ::He rolled his eyes in mock jealousy.:: My sister is the real linguist.
Ah, so someone else Alora could practise Romulan with. She knew a little Italian, mainly because of how much she loved Opera, but she understood more than she could actually spit back out for conversation. After all, if someone greeted her in Italian, it probably wouldn’t do to return that greeting with the Italian for “I am dead and become a ghost, I will haunt the tyrant night and day.” Nope. That wouldn’t be received well at all. Cleopatra might have gotten away with it, but she couldn’t.
DeVeau: What languages does she know?
Maxwell: Italian, German, Spanish, French and Chinese. Then there’s Bajoran, Vulcan and she was learning Klingon when I left for the Academy.
Alora shrugged slightly. She liked languages. From the time she was little, she’d been speaking two. When she
moved to Japan, she’d been the first of her family to attain fluency in Japanese. Since entering the academy and even graduating from it, that was the one area she had consistently continued in her studies and had added multiple to her list. Now she was
attempting to add another.
DeVeau: I grew up in a bilingual household that had to turn trilingual when I was ten. I just sort of naturally gravitate toward the art of conversation in a variety of languages.
If one got right down to it, Music was a sort of language. They were all like puzzles, and one had to find the patterns to help fit the pieces all together. Finding the patterns helped other bits fall into place and make sense.
Maxwell: Always handy tae know the word for hello.
DeVeau: So how many classes are you taking?
Glancing at a wall sign and taking a corner, Max gave a light smile.
Maxwell: With this added on, I’ve got two evening classes on the go. I just hope this teacher isn’t another stuffy auld bloke in a wee tweed jacket.
He grinned. It was a pretty accurate description of his other evening class teacher. Alora giggled softly. Yes, there were a few of those here and there. During her time taking classes, she’d had an interesting mix of personalities. Tato Zeme had been one of her favourites, employing some old school tactics to his classes. Paintball had been one such occurrence, to the delight of all the students.
DeVeau: What else are you taking?
Maxwell: The other? I’m working at getting my Teaching Certificate. I’ve been asked tae give a lecture here a few times but have managed tae swerve it so far.
Stand in front of a room full of cadets and talk? Nope, stick him in the middle of a bunch of hostile Klingon ships for a fight to the death any day of the week.
DeVeau: Really? I find that rather ironic.
Maxwell: What makes you say that?
Alora raised her hand and made a vague gesture around her.
DeVeau: Well, here you are, taking classes so you can get your Teaching Certificate, but you sound like you don’t want to get up in front of students. If that’s the case, why get your certificate?
Maxwell: I figure it’ll give me the pointers I need tae teach a class.
DeVeau: But if you don’t want to get up in front of students, why do you want to teach a class?
Maxwell: Face your fears my auld Da used tae say.
Alora laughed softly, her verdant eye studying the man at her side for a moment before she shook her head.
DeVeau: Very well then, I wish you the best in your endeavour. So, where’s this class?
Up ahead, a few people were mingling in the corridor outside a particular classroom. As the only cluster in sight, Max presumed that was the specific room they were after.
Maxwell: Looks like that’s it there.
DeVeau: You’re not sure?
Maxwell: Well…. We made it this far. ::He grinned.::
DeVeau: And here I would have thought you’d know you’re way around by now.
With a playful punch in the arm, Alora slipped inside the room. Ah, how it brought back memories. Chairs sat waiting patiently for students to fill them along extended rows of shared tables. Already some had slipped in and taken certain spots. Turning to Max, Alora murmured softly to him.
DeVeau: You know the best place to be when trying to learn something, right?
Maxwell: In class?
Rolling her eyes, Alora grabbed Max’s wrist and began to tug him. Down the sloped walkway toward the very front, Alora pulled him to the very center of that row, then pulled out the chair and sat down.
DeVeau: The perfect spot.
Maxwell: You’re joking, aye? ::He pointed over his shoulder towards the back of the class.:: It’s much nicer back there….
Alora turned to follow the man’s gaze. Back there? All the way back there? While there wasn’t a particularly awful seat in the room, she knew the best place to be.
DeVeau: Front and center. If you want to learn, that’s the sweet spot. Helps keep you focused.
Max huffed playfully, sitting down and pretending to sulk.
Maxwell: Gonnae get a face full ae auld tweedy breath sitting here. ::He poked out his tongue.:: And it’ll be your fault.
DeVeau: How about if you get a face full of tweedy breath because I forced you to sit here, I’ll buy you a beer.
Maxwell: Gonnae hold you tae that.
Grinning, Alora was about to respond, but she didn’t have the chance. From the very back, a voice greeting the assembling students.
Hamada: Jolan tru!
DeVeau: Jolan tru!
The words popped out of Alora’s mouth automatically. Despite having only studied the language with Solek for a very short time, she couldn’t help but respond when hearing a greeting that was familiar. Turning around, she set her gaze upon a woman who looked to be human and of Asian descent. She was quite lovely, and rather tall, holding herself with a stately grace, yet a relaxed and pleasant expression.
Max turned, following Alora’s gaze towards the back of the room and the voice that a had called out gently in greeting. A chorus of voices returned the greeting and based upon the relaxed nature of the woman in question, he took her to be another student despite the Lt.Commander pips that she wore making her the equal to himself and Alora. After all, it wasn’t just Ensigns and Enlisted that took evening classes. Max returned the greeting, a bit of a mumble amongst the other voices before turning to Alora.
Maxwell: Still waiting f-
The new arrival made her way right down to the front, noting Alora’s uniform and giving her a pleasant smile as she passed by. Setting herself up at the front, she put down the PADD that was in her right hand before casting a warm gaze across the assembled students.
Max leaned over against Alora’s shoulder, lowering his voice.
Maxwell: Alright, so she’s no a crinkly auld stuffpot like Professor McLean.
Alora giggled softly, covering her mouth with her hand so the sound wouldn’t go past her and Max. If he was going to make her laugh, she might have to put some tape on his mouth.
DeVeau: Come now, not all professors are ‘crinkly auld stuffpots like Professor McLean’.
Alora slid in and out of the accent easily and she winked at Max before turning her attention to the woman in front of her.
Hamada: Good evening class. It’s good to see so many new faces amongst those of you that were here last year. ::She gave a little wave to somebody halfway up.:: Nice to see you back ::She paused, and tapped one of her pips.:: Ensign Janiwiscz.
A mildly embarrassed giggle and a thank you drifted passed them.
Hamada: For those of you that are new, I am Lieutenant-Commander Hamada, and I am a lecturer in Romulan Studies here at the Campus.
Lt.Cdr. Arturo Maxwell
Starbase 118 Ops.
Lt. Cmdr. Alora DeVeau
Starbase 118 Ops