Nora made it to Spelling and Grammar faster than she expected. This was due to mentally kicking herself for her mistakes. Confusing Data and Geordi! How stupid could she get?
She barely noticed the room as she walked in. Stupid, stupid, stupid! She'd made a fool of herself in front of Geordi, who could've introduced her to Data if she'd gotten on his good side. By not asking to be introduced. Now she'd just come across as a pathetic luster who just wanted to use him to get to Data. He might have snapped at Ajax, but she'd contributed to his bad mood.
After checking to see if she was alone (she was), she turned to the wall with the intention of banging her head against it. She started. The wall wasn't made out of the Generic Surface the other classroom had been made of. It seemed to be made out of…
Words. Words of fanfiction, Nora guessed, since when she squinted at it she saw names of various characters. It was dizzying.
She leaned forward. Dizzying or not, she wondered what sort of fanfiction would be put on walls.
Nora's eyes widened.
"You were right, Eleanora! I should not be scared of my emotional programming, I should embrace it!" He was smiling, and Eleanora felt happy for him. Also, with emotions, he could possibly have…feelings for her? Just when she was thinking that, Data walked over and grabbed her hands. "Thank you for encouraging me! It has made me feel so…wonderful!" Eleanora's pale cheeks turned a little bit pink. His hands were so warm and soft, and he was so happy to be around her! Oh, how she loved him! "I only wanted to do what would make you happy." She said. "I'm your friend." And something more too eventually, she hoped. "I cannot thank you enough! Why did I ever think it would be a bad idea to not activate the program?" He said happily. "You didn't believe in yourself." Eleanora said and squeezed his hands. "All you needed was someone to believe that you could do it. I knew you could!"
Why was her fanfiction there? She'd been writing it when Miss Maria had come to get her, and the assistant course coordinator had said that it was disgusting. Why would it be on the wall if they didn't like it?
Nora pondered that as more students arrived, also squinting at the walls. Some of them also seemed to recognize their fanfiction. Nora tried reading some more, in hope of finding answers, but it made her head hurt. She settled on closing her eyes and waiting for the teacher.
She heard the doors swish open, and there was a loud creaking sound as everyone turned around to look. Nora opened her eyes and turned around.
Then she wished she hadn't.
Miss Gloria grinned at them as she strode over to the desk at the front of the room (which Nora had missed due to being blinded).
"Hello, fanbrats," she said brightly. She was wearing a pair of sunglasses, and appeared to be unfazed by the headache-inducing walls. "I'll be teaching Spelling and Grammar, collectively known as SPaG. These are the things you should have learned in English class, but, obviously, you didn't. Just look at the walls."
Everyone did, and then quickly turned away. She smiled. "Blinding, isn't it? Text walls are what happen when you don't use the enter key when you should. They make such good building material. And good teaching aids too! I mean, now that you know how blinding it is, you'll know not to blind your readers!"
Nora felt guilty, for the second time that day.
"And you'll see them every day, so you'll never forget! But of course, today's lesson is still about proper formatting because overusing the enter key is almost as bad as not using it at all. I mean, take a look at—Hanssen!"
A mini-Gorn in a silver jumpsuit fell out of thin air.
Miss Gloria bent down. "Hello there! Have you been hiding in that plothole the entire time?"
"Do you have what I asked you to bring?"
Hanssen nodded again and pulled something out of her pocket, depositing it in Miss Gloria's hand.
"Thanks!" she said, straightening up and turning back to the class. "This is what happens when you use the enter key too much!" She opened her hand, and a curly ribbon with letters on it unrolled out onto the floor. "Text strings! There aren't as many of these as text walls, but they're still a problem." She handed it back to Hanssen. "This is why today's lesson is formatting—when to paragraph, when not to, scene breaks, and differentiating author's notes. Take out your data padds."
Everyone did, glad to bury their faces in their bags for a second.
"All right, so you separate your paragraphs when—"
A student wearing a blue TOS uniform raised his hand.
"Why aren't you affected by the walls? Is it your sunglasses?" he asked.
She nodded. "Yes, Matthew Troughton the totally canonical for Star Trek Time Lord—you'll notice you don't have any Time Lord powers—, they were modified from technology used in Geordi's VISOR." At his surprised expression, she added "I know who you are because Q told all the teachers about the students from other canons. Neglecting, of course, to tell us about the danger from our own canon…Anyhow, paragraphs! So—"
"Wait, why is it wrong for me to be a Time—"
"Hanssen!" Miss Gloria cried, and the mini leapt at Matthew and wrapped the text string around his neck. He made a choking sound.
"The reason is because Time Lords are from Doctor Who, not Star Trek," she explained. "This is an OFU, not a crossover. Release him, Hanssen."
The mini-Gorn unwound the string and stepped back, and Matthew rubbed his throat. Miss Gloria pulled a piece of bacon out of one of the air storage places (plotholes? Nora didn't understand) and tossed it to Hanssen.
"Good girl...Now, let's start without interruptions..."
By the fourth class of the day, Nora was starting to get used to strange things. Therefore, she wasn't surprised when she walked into the Strong Women classroom and saw Captain Kathryn Janeway sitting at the teacher's desk, drinking a cup of coffee. In fact, it was one of the most normal things she'd seen at OFAS.
Which meant, of course, that the next thing she would see would be something completely outlandish.
The girl was a Klingon, but that wasn't the main reason everyone (including Captain Janeway) was staring at her. It was her hair. The color, to be precise. It was pinkish purple, Nora supposed, but Nora never knew pinkish purple could look so mind-blowingly ugly.
Janeway tore her eyes away from the girl's crazy colored hair. "Welcome to 'Strong Women' where you will learn how to make your female characters well-developed. You have all been put in this class because it has been decided that you need it. Now, to start off, how many of you think that your female OC is a strong female character?"
Everyone raised their hands.
Janeway choked on her coffee. "All—" She coughed. "All of you?"
They nodded, and Nora wondered why that was a problem. Didn't the captain want their characters to be strong?
"You have a lot to learn," she said. "You're all wrong. Your characters are Mary Sues, and therefore are not strong, well-developed characters. They are certainly not flattering to women."
Nora felt offended. Eleanora was a strong character! She wasn't a Mary Sue!
"But my character's strong!" the Klingon girl protested, voicing most of the class's feelings. "She's a Klingon who left her home planet because she wanted more out of life than just having babies, and then she became the best engineer in Starfleet!"
Janeway snorted. "First of all, Miss—"
"Rachel—Karchel," she supplied.
"Karchel, you're completely misrepresenting Klingons. Second, the best Klingon engineer in Starfleet is B'Elanna Torres. Third, strength isn't just about accomplishments. It's about character, and sticking to your principles."
Nora felt more and more overwhelmed as Janeway continued. It sounded like creating a strong female character like the captain wanted was so much work! If your character was going to be in a relationship with a man, then how could she not be defined by her relationship to him? And the character had to face adversity that truly challenged her—why do you want to torture your character? And you had to take notes...
Oh, crap! Notes!
The Dating in Starfleet classroom was noisy when Nora entered. This classroom was bigger, more of a lecture hall really, which meant that there were more fanstudents. And, given the nature of the class, they all had opinions to shout for everyone to hear. Nora took a seat next to Alli, who didn't notice, as she was too busy screaming "Kirk/Spock is the best couple in all of Star Trek!"
"No, Riker/Troi's the best!" someone else yelled.
"No, Scotty/Enterprise is!" Zenara shouted.
Two girls in Voyager science uniforms counted down together, then shrieked "Janeway/Chakotay!"
Zell climbed on a chair and bellowed "Picard/Crusher is the best and that's final!"
"No it isn't!" the other shippers responded, while some people who had been quiet, including Nora, cried, "Yes! Picard/Crusher!"
"Janeway/Chakotay!" Alli said, switching allegiance.
As the names of pairings were shouted, the supporters of each pairing clustered together. Nora found herself standing next to Zell and Karchel as the arguing escalated.
"But that would break up two people who arejust meant for each other!"
"Uncanon pairings are fun!"
"Canon pairings are better!"
"You can't possibly think that's a good pairing!"
Then it happened. Someone—Nora couldn't see from which group—threw a data padd. It hit another student, who turned and threw it back, smacking the first girl on the shoulder.
The room exploded into chaos. Padds went flying, and fangirls leapt onto each other, kicking and punching. Nora fought as best she could, which was not very well. Someone slammed into her, and she tumbled backwards onto a desk, bruising her shoulders and back. She rolled off and landed painfully on the Generic Surface floor, only to be hoisted up by Karchel, screeching a not-very-Klingon war cry of "Get them!"
Nora dodged a punch, then dove under a desk as a fangirl ran screaming towards her.
"I hate fighting," she muttered to herself.
Two pairs of boots caught her eyes, because they seemed to be trying to walk through, not fighting.
"Well, would you look at that?" a vaguely familiar male voice said.
"There's already a ship war and we haven't even started teaching yet!" an equally familiar female voice said.
"Got any—ow! —ideas for stopping it?" the male voice asked.
"Yes, a lot of them," the female voice replied. She whistled. "B'Ellana, B'Elana, Belanna, B'lana, B'lanna, B'Elenn," —she took a breath—"Be'lanna, B'Ellanna, B Elanna, B'lenna! Restore order to this classroom and don't be gentle about it!"
Nora hadn't been at OFAS for long, but she did know what misspelled names were.
"Put me down!"
Nora clambered up and sat at the desk as mini-Gorn swept through the room, lifting and forcibly shoving fanstudents into seats. Data padds were collected and tossed back to their owners, and within a few minutes, the room was silent.
The two teachers walked up to the front of the classroom. B'Elanna Torres whistled again, and the crowd of mini-Gorn ran over to her.
"Good job!" she said, patting them on the head and pulling strips of bacon out of plotholes. Her husband, Tom Paris, watched in amusement, then turned to face the students.
"Hi," he said. "I'm Lieutenant Tom Paris, and this is my wife B'Elanna Torres. We'll be teaching Dating in Starfleet, because we did. Date in Starfleet, that is."
"We even got married on a Starfleet vessel," B'Elanna added. "So we're qualified."
"We'll cover basic topics that apply to all pairings, like character conflict and relationship development," Tom continued. "And there'll be guest speakers on topics like slash, dating and the chain of command, and interspecies relations."
"The last one might be covered in—no, we should cover it," B'Elanna said. She glanced at Tom, and he nodded solemnly. "Anyhow, today I think the appropriate lesson is 'ship and let ship', don't you?"
"That sounds right," Tom said, looking at all the fangirls with bruises and scrapes. Nora gingerly touched her shoulder, wincing at the pain.
It was going to be a long, painful day.
A/N Look at that! It took me less than a month to update! And the chapter's longer!
Applicants that appeared in this chapter:
Matthew Troughton (Clockwork Rebel)
Alli Drake (androidilenya)
go girl janeway (go girl janeway)
JC98 (yellow pen go girl)
Input and concrit is, as always, appreciated.