((my character is the Vulcan-like individual)) ----- "I wonder which ship I'll be assigned to." The fresh-faced man's comment loomed in the thin air of the shuttle. The three newly graduated cadets; Ethan, Mike, and Sekep had been huddled together on the shuttle for what seemed like days. In reality, it had been a mere couple of hours, but only the Vulcan was able to experience time as it really passed; his two human companions were forced to feel as if the trip were dragged out, thanks to the boredom that gripped them. As the two humans continued to chatter about preferred assignments and making a friendly wager on which of them was promoted first, Sekep merely glanced out into space, clearing his mind of the idle chatter going on behind him. Before he could begin to contemplate the illogical motives of his shipmates, the talk shifted once again. This time, Sekep couldn't just ignore his traveling companions. "What about you, Doc? Got any preferences?" The question was harmless enough, but the structured mind of an offspring of two Kohlinar Masters would turn it into something entirely different. Sekep turned his head to the two humans and replied, "I have no such preference. It would be a waste of both time and energy to muse the possibilities when we will soon be told of our assignments in a matter of hours. I am confident that we will all be placed where we will do the most good...which is the only thing that should matter." The two men looked at each other with sideways glances, and smirked. The answer shouldn't have been a surprise to anyone who'd ever spent time with a Vulcan before - but still, it seemed fun to get such a serious answer out of such light-hearted conversation. It would take the shuttle another fifteen minutes to complete docking; time that was spent on the new game the two men had discovered - Vulcan Baiting: posing an innocent or frivolous question and waiting for the dry, overly serious, and way too logical answers. Sekep knew what they were up to, but he saw no way out of answering them without seeming rude. He breathed a sigh of relief as they finally arrived at the starbase. The only unfortunate thing was, they were quite early...Sekep noted that he had several hours until the scheduled briefing was to being. Unsure what to do with himself, Sekep followed the others - at a safe distance of around ten meters or so - as they toured the station and basically wound themselves down a bit. While his human colleagues were enjoying themselves, Sekep had his nose buried in a text explaining the requirements for new medical officers during the upcoming cruise. "How old are you, anyway, Doc?", Mike asked. The question caught Sekep off-guard. He hadn't been part of the conversation up until now, and preferred it to remain that way. He put his text away, and looked up at the pair of young human faces. He thought of the most diplomatic way to answer without giving any figures, "I am considered by my people to be in the earlier stages of adultood." The reply brought about a bit of a chucklefit before Ethan composed himself long enough to clarify the question. "How about a number, Doc? I'm 22 terran years old, and my partner here is 23. How old are you, in terran years?" There was really no way around the question at this point. "I am fifty-seven years old." Ethan sucked in air so quick he nearly passed out while Mike laughed and said, "You're older than my pappy, Doc!" While getting an answer as to what a "pappy" was seemed important at the time, Sekep let it go and pressed on. He had to keep reminding himself that it wouldn't be long before they were at the briefing; the stoic Vulcan doctor and his two Human companions who were ready to tackle whatever the universe - or Starfleet - had to throw at them.