Written off of Ronda's prompt, "Well that's something you don't see every day," and as a thank you to Photogirl1890...

Astrotheory 101

"Well that's something you don't see every day."

"Admiral." The professor greeted his old friend, beckoning him closer for a better view of the fray taking place inside the classroom laboratory.


"Not entirely. Liz Beckman asked me to step in for her at the last moment; she was called away for an emergency consultation on some activity that has sprung up in the Unukalhai system. I was running a few minutes late and found this."

"A few minutes?"

"Five. Tops."

A low whistle and a renewed survey of the chaos observed through the glassed doorway. "That, in five minutes?"

"Impressive, isn't it?"

"Liz's class?"

"Mmm hmm..."

"But isn't she teaching...?"

"...Astrotheory 101. I know."

"How does a brawl break out in Astrotheory 101?"

"There, I believe, is your answer," and the professor indicated a diminutive young woman near the middle of the room holding her own against two significantly more massive opponents.

His companion squinted through the glass. "Klingon?"

"Half," he confirmed. Then added, "Cadet Torres. Brilliant; I've never seen a more intuitive engineer. Or a bigger chip on the shoulder of an eighteen-year-old."

"Looks like she's found some allies," the admiral noted, beginning to pick out patterns in battle playing out in front of them.

"She usually does, though she won't notice they took her side."

The admiral raised an eyebrow. "Command potential?"

"Don't even think about it," the professor growled. "That one is all mine. If she makes it through."

"Hmph," was the noncommittal response, but the admiral's blue eyes were still tracking the cadet with interest and the professor felt some distraction was in order.

"How's your son, Owen?"

The gambit played successfully, and the admiral's look turned far away as he smiled with pride. "Thriving. He's the flight controller aboard the Excelsior. Epstein says she'd be unsurprised if he were up for promotion by the end of the year."

"On the fast track to a captaincy?"

"He's a Paris." A crash from beyond the door brought their attention back to more immediate concerns. "A bit different from this lot here, hmm?"

"Mmm..." Long experience had proven that pointing out parents' blind spots where their own children were concerned was seldom a productive endeavor.

"Are you going in soon?"

"In a bit."

"Your Torres and her crew should have things well in hand by then."

"I was thinking the same."

"I need to get back to the treaty negotiations, and it looks like you might have some negotiations of your own to attend to. Always good running into you, Chapman."

"You as well, Owen."

As the admiral moved off, the professor turned his focus back to the activity within the lab, now winding towards its conclusion, and to the dark-haired cadet who was still at its center. He nodded to himself.

"Definitely not something that you see every day."