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Part of USS Mackenzie: Natalie Harris – The Academy Years (NHAY)

NHAY 009 – The Chair

Mellstoxx III - Starfleet Academy
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“Your chair is…what is the human word for such extravagance?”  Spirak sat at his console, watching Natalie Harris design her version of the command chair.  They were in ‘Command and Control’ and working on understanding the relationship a captain has with their ship.  One of those was the command chair.

Harris rolled her eyes, “I think you had the word already.  This is a serious exercise, I admit…but you can have a little fun.”  The Vulcan cadet stared at her, blinking.  “Right.  I forget who I’m talking to sometimes.”  Spirak had already been in the command track classes, and her late arrival to the program made him curious.

He kept his focus on her.  “Why have you transferred to the command track, Cadet Harris?”  He watched her bow her head in what he could extrapolate as frustration or annoyance – both emotions that eluded him.  “I did not intend to…,”

Natalie snapped her head up, “Spirak, does the idea of ‘minding your business’ exist within the Vulcan culture?  Or better yet – shutting up?”

She watched him blink a few times, nonplussed, as he searched his memory, “Ikap’uh t’du ru’lut roughly translates to ‘shut up’ or ‘shut your mouth.’  It is not a sentence we say traditionally.  As for the subject of ‘minding our own business’ – no.  Over the years, we have been tasked with minding others’ businesses, most notably Earth’s.  I’m sure you’re familiar with First Contact between our species in Montana.”

She groaned.  A favorite topic of his was the Vulcan and Human relationship and its trajectory after First Contact and beyond to the present day.  Spirak was older and had studied in-depth the early history of Vulcan and Humans.  His presence at the Academy contained no mystery – he had come to work with humans and aliens to pursue IDIC.  He had said so when they’d first met.  And repeatedly.  Every day since.  She adjusted her chair design, “As much as Vulcans say they have their emotions controlled…you all have a fascinating habit of dancing on the line of passive-aggressive.”

The Vulcan cadet frowned, “I do not dance, Cadet Harris.  I also do not agree with your assessment.  If you…,”

She shifted one more variable, speaking to him but not looking at him, “I swear to whatever gods are left out there, if you give me the emotional control lecture, I will show you the meaning of a human’s capacity to argue without logic or meaning.”

He kept his frown in place, “How do you argue without logic or meaning?”

She smiled slyly as she rotated the finished product on her screen, “It’s called a right and a left hook, Spirak.”  She glanced back at his now-arched eyebrows, “I’m kidding.  I’m just expressing my annoyance with you through some witty repertoire.”

“I do not have the knowledge or experience to verify that it was witty or repertoire.”  He walked over, hands clasped behind his back, examining her chair design, “Your design is…functional.”

She glanced up at him and slid her chair, “You seem… surprised…and yes, I know, not something in your repertoire.”

Spirak ignored her pointed statement and pointed out several elements of her design that effectively responded to the prompt.  “You started with a fantastical design.  What prompted you to…change it?”

Natalie tapped at the console and submitted her assignment, “Sometimes we like to have a little fun before we get serious, Spirak.  It’s in our nature.  And yes, not in your nature.”  She left the room as Spirak stood alone, contemplating her statement.