Part of Starbase 86: The Adventures of Heather Kowal

Cadets on the Beach

Somewhere on the Mediterranean Sea, Earth
Circa 2392
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Overall being a cadet at Starfleet Academy was pretty amazing between the experiences, education, and friendships earned. Exam time, however, was not one of those times and having finished what she thought was easily the toughest exam so far she lay on her bunk face down head buried in her pillow agonizing over the awful grade she surely was going to receive.  All in all, Heather did decently well, as did the majority of Starfleet Cadets, but it never stopped her mind from the sense of impending doom of failure especially now in her final academy year.

Her mind went back and forth between daydreams of punching Commander Hunter in the face and the trip she took with her best friend for the short week between her summer assignment and the beginning of her senior year.  The beach had been magnificent!  The two of them, their favorite wine, and their favorite activity… doing nothing.

“Right now I only want to think about the sun, waves, and ocean,” Heather remembered saying as a conversation too close to school came up as they sat on the beach.

Oanez tried biting her lip, but it just spilled out: “That’s the Mediterranean. But yes.” She stuck out her tongue at Heather.

“The Mediterranean Ocean,” Heather responded, knowing it would annoy her. And to further make her point she poked her tongue with her finger.

Hold it in, hold it in, hold it innnnnnn… “SEA!” she finally gasped. “It’s a sea. I know you know that and you like to tease, but it’s a sea!”

“They’re the same thing,” Heather said, wiping her finger that had been on her best friend’s tongue on her bikini top with a disgusted look.

Heather giggled as the memory came across her mind and then she turned her head to look at her best friend’s bunk which was still empty.  She hadn’t expected her to materialize without talking but then again she’d been occasionally known to be silent when she preoccupied with some weird experiment involving a gross insect.

She laughed again thinking about all of the times that she had to save her best friend from her own antics. Drifting to the awful day… strike that… one of the awful days that Oval’s favorite spiders escaped.  She relaxed her head back to her pillow and began to drift off to sleep a bit with a yawn.

“What is going on?” Heather asked, looking down at her best friend.

“Bernadette and Henri got out,” said Oanez, her voice hushed. She looked one way down the corridor and then the other. “I don’t think they made it into an air vent.”

“Who are Bernadette and Henri?” she asked.  “And why are you trying to hide the door?” she asked.

“Umm…” She checked the hall again, making sure no one would overhear. “So, they’re a pair of avicularia purpurea that may have been irradiated a tiny bit…”

“What is a… avita-laria-purpurea?” she asked, looking a little nervous.  “And how much is a tiny bit?” her voice now matching her friends in hush.

“Just think of them as teddy bears. With eight legs. That I need to get back into their terrariums… in the lab three doors down.” Oanez grinned, hoping to melt her friend’s heart into helping her capture a pair of giant spiders.

“They’re big gross spiders, aren’t they?” she asked, crossing her arms.

Oanez looked wounded. “They are not gross.”

“Why do they keep escaping?” she asked, realizing she was getting louder.

The dream was suddenly interrupted by her commbadge going off, “Kowal,” she said, tapping it with a sigh.

“Herk! We have a top-secret classified situation, my lab,” Oval’s voice came through, frantically.

“Really?” Heather asked, annoyed. “I’ll be there in a few,” she sighed again, rolling from her bed.