Episode 3 – To Become Well Trained

Cadet Rao sat in the upper center of the auditorium seats; a few data pads spread about with blue prints of warp cores housing one and twin intermix chambers. The varying differences were of interest to her, but she was more focused on the possibilities of containment complications in the warp core. Glancing up from her pads she listened to the lecturer for a few moments before returning to her pads- a stylus in hand as she scribbled a few notes.

With her final course of the day at an end, Rao emerged from the department in a group of fellow cadets and laughter spilling from a bright smile. “You’re really too much, Saros. You know that?” Her smile faltered slightly at a realization of the time. “Oh, shit.” Turning to her colleagues she raised a hand. “I didn’t realize how much the lecture ran over. I gotta go. See you in engineering lab tomorrow!” She called before scurrying off towards the gym.

By the time she managed to strip off her uniform, slip into a regulation sparring suit; and then slide out onto the gymnasium floor…Tarique was already waiting with arms crossed over his chest. “Class ran over and I…” Halfway through her attempt at an explanation she merely sighed and began stretching. “Ten laps. I know the drill.”

Ten laps later and she was standing on the sparring mats. Running her hand over the collar of the suit she activated the thin, lightweight material in order to protect herself from the full force of Tarique’s blows.

After what felt like months of negotiation she had finally managed to get Tarique to train her. In the end it was an assent to share engineering information that finally peaked his interest- something she’d held back as a last resort. Nonetheless, now she had trainer with over twice the strength of the average human…hence the body suit. One might have thought Tarique would go a bit easy on her considering the obvious disparity, but they’d be horribly mistaken. As part of their agreement he wasn’t permitted to to hold back more than a fourth of his strength (he had challenged her endlessly in conversation until she finally agreed to a 25% reduction). No one was aware of the agreement; however, which only added to the spectacle for any personnel who happened to glance in their direction to see he basically getting her as handed to her for an hour straight. By the end she was laying on her back in an attempt to catch relax and catch her breath.”I mean…” A laugh escaped her. “I’d say I’m improving.” She propped herself up on her elbows to better look at her trainer.

“A 2% improvement since the day of your first session.” Tarique responded cooly.

“I’ll take it.” Not wanting to take up the space for too long Rao began to stretch once more. “Thank you for today.”

“No thanks is necessary for what we already agreed upon.” Tarique stated.

“Right…Well, I’m going to head to the pool to see if I can get a few laps in. I’ll see you in the morning?” Rao asked, finally standing upright.

“Cadet Rao. I received a summary from Professor Klarkow of your exchange with the Chief of Design over the next fleet and how he intended to speak with you on the matter-”

Rao groaned internally. Of course he did. It was easy for the Professors to speak in front of someone who wasn’t culturally…capable of gossip. She wondered if they would of let it slip had they known he was training her… She smirked a bit at the notion. “He already did.” She cut him off cleanly.

Tarique opened his mouth to speak, but Roa quickly spoke again. “I intend to handle it with all the appropriate measures of respect and courtesy, so as far as anyone is concerned it didn’t happen and it’s our secret. Okay?”

“Secrets are not-”

This time Roa groaned out loud before settling to placing a finger over her lips. “Shhh. Not a word. Okay? Thank you.” The last words came out with a smile as her free hand disengaged her suit. “I will see you in the morning Tarique!”

When Rao arrived at the canteen her hair was still damp from the showers, yet still in it’s signature bun. Strolling around the options she collected several items for takeaway, quickly paying with her credits and heading to her room where she collapsed on the bed.

Zletka was both unsurprised and unbothered by her sudden presence. “The suits seem to be upholding quite well for your training sessions.” Her voice was calming, her tone telling Rao she was focused on something else without having to look over.

“I know. I have to hand it over it over to medical for uplaoding data and then back to the lab. There are some kinks I still need to iron out.” Roa’s voice was partially muffled by the comforter.

“You should at least eat two of the things you bought before you fall asleep.” Zletka chided looking over to see her roommate already on the precipice.

“Mhm…” After what felt like a life time she finally sat upright and devoured a small rice dish along with a bottle of aloe water. It took about ten minutes and then she was in the restroom finishing up her day.

“Garnett would like us to meet him at 8:00 p.m. on Friday for his party.” Zletka noted, reading the message just as it popped up on her screen.

“Eight?!” Rao shook her head. “He really needs to stop planning everything within three days. I mean, that’s two nights away! And it’s early.” She added, stepping back into the main room.

“Will you not be able to then?” Zletka asked curiously.

“I’ll probably be able to make it around 8:30 or 9:00 latest. Tell him I’ll definitely be there by then though.” Rao assured; giving herself the hour cushion just in case the Chief of Design was the type to monologue.

“I’ll let him know, now.” Zletka nodded, sending the message off.

“Thank you.” Roa yawned as she climbed into bed. “Goodnight. I’ll see you at breakfast.”

Zletka smiled and nodded. “At breakfast.”

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Starfleet Academy – Star Trek

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