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LtJG Katherine Sharkey and Laeni: Children are like a pack of wolves


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(Katherine's Quarters, USS TIGER-A)

Sharkey: I WILL NOT!

::Cocheta slapped the PADD hard into Katherine's stomach. The Indian laughed slightly as she observed the expression on her face.::

Sharkey: You had something to do with this. ::annoyed:: I know you did.

Lightfoot: ::laughing:: I assure you, I didn't have anything to do with it. ::still laughing:: It apparently came from higher up.

Sharkey: Higher up? ::break:: Lieutenant Walker? ::thinking harder:: Darius.

Lightfoot: You guessed it.

Sharkey: What am I suppose to say? ::sarcastically:: What if I can't answer their questions?

Lightfoot: I don't know. They are capable of asking a lot of very strange questions, according to my understandings.

::Mona leaped onto Katherine's back and began to pat the woman on the head with her little hand.::

Lightfoot: Mona thinks it is a good idea.

(Later)

(Dorsal Module)

(School Room, Deck 5)

::Katherine entered the school room dressed nicely for her presentation. She approached a woman who apparently was one of the ship's school teachers.::

Sharkey: Excuse me. I am Lieutenant Katherine Sharkey. ::taking a deep breath:: I was sent to talk to your class today about life in the Engineering Department?

::The Bajoran woman smiled brightly at the engineer. She moved with grace and motioned to students seated in the room.::

Laeni: Welcome to our class Lieutenant...I am Laeni and this is these are the second graders on the ship. We're so happy you could join us today to tell us about your work in engineering. Class, let's welcome Lieutenant Sharkey.

::She began to clap and the students followed suit.::

Sharkey: ::smiling weakly:: Thank you.

Laeni: Please, come in...come in... like I said, we're really happy you're here. The students are just finishing up an art project, but we'll be ready for you in two minutes.

::She let a somewhat sterner gaze fall over her class.::

Sharkey: Art project?

::Katherine observed the obvious disarray among the students. They looked like an army of pygmy soliders.::

Laeni: Don't be shy, no need to worry. Just here in the front of the room... ::She gave the woman an encouraging, sugary sweet smile.::

Sharkey: What ever. ::smiling nervously::

::The teacher moved to the front of the room and then clapped twice.::

Laeni: Okay...it's time to put up all of your art supplies. Quickly.... we don't want to keep the Lieutenant waiting.

::A murmur ran through the rows of seats as the students began to clean up their area and then focus their attention on the engineer named Katherine Sharkey. Two of the boys, a Klingon hybrid and a Terran, whispered something to each other and then pointed at the woman.::

Sharkey: oO Watch that finger there, ridges. Maybe I should extract it for my collection.Oo

::When the desks were clear, Laeni moved to the center of the room.::

Laeni: Everyone, this is Lieutenant Katherine Sharkey, she works in engineering and is here to talk to us about what it is like to be an engineer. Lieutenant...

::She motioned for the Terran woman to take center stage.::

Sharkey: ::trying to smile.:: Hello.

Laeni: Tell us what is it like, the day in the life of an engineer?

Sharkey: Well to begin, it varies from day to day. You never know what to expect when you serve on a starship.

::The teacher tilted her head slightly as she watched a couple of students talking near the back of the room, her eyes focused on the them while she spoke.::

Laeni: And what area of engineering do you work on every day?

Sharkey: I am skilled in many areas, mainly I assist in whatever area is needed on a daily basis. I didn't choose a particular area such as R&D, I like to keep my options open. ::break:: One day I could be working on shield modifications, another assisting in shuttlecraft repairs.

Laeni: I see...I'm sure the children have some questions they'd like to ask.

Sharkey: ::nervous:: Okay. ::big smile started to emerge on her face:: Go ahead.

::Several hands shot up around the room, a young Terran girl was the first one the teacher called on.::

Girl 1: Do you like being an engineer? Is it fun?

Laeni: That's a good question Sara.. ::She looked over at Sharkey.::

Sharkey: It is like any other job. It has it days, good and bad.

::A young boy was next.::

Boy 1: Can you take us to see the warp core?

Sharkey: Sorry, I am afraid that would require permission of the Command Staff.

Girl 2: Have you ever had to fix the waste reclamation system?

::A funny look came over Katherine's face.::

Sharkey: oOWhat kind of a question is that?Oo Yes I have, on the Wheeler Colony during my time on the Ursa Major. On a starship? No.

::Laeni nodded, so far the questions were going very well. The class seemed genuinely interested in the engineer. She was happy to see her students so engaged in the process.::

Boy 2: Are you married?

::Katherine appeared shocked by the question.::

Sharkey: Am I what?

Boy 2: Are you married?

Sharkey: ::in a low tone toward Laeni:: Interesting group of students you have here. ::sarcastic tone::

Laeni: Oh, I'm sure he didn't mean anything by it Lieutenant. Students are naturally curious... ::She gave a warning look to the class...::

Sharkey: Are YOU MARRIED? ::directing her attention toward the student:: That is a very personal question.

Boy 2: My mother says that if a woman isn't married by 30, she is either damaged goods or has personality issues.

Sharkey: Well, ::break:: your mother is a regular philosopher.

Boy 2: No, she is a family counselor.

::Laeni looked at the young boy horrified, it took her a minute to recover her own composure.::

Laeni: Now Eric, I'm sure that isn't true... ::She gave a soft concerned look to the engineer as she tried to recover.::... did you all know the Captain is over 30?

::The class looked stunned and several kids gasped and laughed.::

Sharkey: ::under her breath:: Well that is another conversation.

::The teacher smiled brightly and looked over at a smart looking boy on the third row.::

Laeni: Rin, do you have a question for Lieutenant Sharkey?

::The boy looked up with a sly smile.::

Rin: Do you know the Captain Lieutenant?

::Katherine paused as she chose her words carefully.::

Sharkey: Hmmmm. ::trying to smile:: Yes, yes I do. Next question. ::quickly changing the subject.::

::As the Lieutenant finished speaking another girl raised her hand and began yelling from the back of the room.::

Girl 3: Oooo! OOOooooo! Choose me! Choose me!

Sharkey: Okay. ::pointing to the girl::

Girl 3: How old are you? ::She gave Sharkey a scrutinizing look.:: Are you over 30 and damaged goods?

Rin: Stupid! Don't you know you're not supposed to ask a woman her age?

Sharkey: Next question. oO Little brat!Oo

::Laeni raised her hand and covered her face, her cheeks turning a bright pink color as the conversation got worse by the minute.::

Boy 3: Do you have kids?

Sharkey: No.

Boy 3: Why not?

Girl 3: Don't you like kids? ::Her eyes narrowed with scrutiny.::

Boy 3: Yeah, don't you like kids? ::There was a chorus of nods around the room.::

::Katherine turned to give Laeni a very unpleasing look.::

Sharkey: Nice little.... kids you have here.

::The teacher looked at the woman with sympathy. She was very embarrassed, her face was bright red and she was sweating.::

Laeni: They're usually very nice...

Sharkey: I'll bet. They are as deadly as a nest of Ceti Alpha Eels.

Laeni: I'm so sorry Lieutenant...I don't...

::Just then another kid raised his hand.::

Sharkey: Yes?

Roy: My name is Roy. Why is the word engineering spelled so funny?

Sharkey:: ::nodding her head in a sarcastic motion:: You know kid, I've wondered that myself many times. ::finally giving in::

Roy: Are you of Chagga descent?

::Katherine looked at Laeni.::

Sharkey: ::looking back at Roy:: You are a funny looking little boy aren't you?

Roy: Not as funny looking as you are.

::Class erupts in laughter.::

Sharkey: ::sarcastic laughter:: You have a good head on your shoulders there, Roy. ::stern look on her face:: Care to see it in the floor?

Laeni: Oh dear... Please, everyone quiet down...

::Her voice was soft, but commanding. She gave the children a stern look which seemed to quiet some of them. She then turned to Sharkey.::

Laeni: Lieutenant, it was very nice of you to visit....

::Before she could finish her sentence the room suddenly plunged into darkness. Screams erupted from where the children were seated, Laeni gasped.::

Sharkey: DO THESE LITTLE THINGS DO THAT ALL THE TIME! ::voicing loudly to Laeni::

::The screaming continued, fluctuated, grew louder, softer and then became exaggerated. It seemed like the lights were off forever...and then there was movement, from near Laeni headed for Sharkey.::

Laeni: Who? What is that?

Sharkey: WATCH THOSE HANDS, LITTLE ONE! ::staring in the darkness at the small figure

in front her:: I should have known, ROY!

::The little boy laughed as he let go of Katherine's leg.::

Sharkey: Don't do that again. We are not that intimate.

::When the lights came back on, a desk had been moved in front of Katherine Sharkey and the children were on the floor, hiding under their desks, some still screaming enthusiastically.::

Sharkey: CAN YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT.....! ::motioning to Laeni:: THEIR SCREAMS ARE EXTREMELY PAINFUL!

Laeni: Now class! ::She raised her voice to be heard over the loud talking as the kids began to get back up into their seats.:: Get back in your seats! You know we don't do that! I'm sure everything is fine... ::She looked over at the engineer.::

Sharkey: ::adjusting her uniform after it had been stretched out of shape in areas thanks to Roy:: I would raise more than my voice if I were in your place.

::The ship quite suddenly went to yellow alert.::

Rin: We're all going to die!

Laeni: Rin!

Sharkey: ::annoyed:: I am terribly sorry but I need to report to engineering immediately. oO Thank God for yellow alerts.Oo

::Laeni gave the woman a sympathetic look.::

Laeni: Thank you for coming Lieutenant, it was interesting. We're so glad you could join us.

Sharkey: My pleasure. ::forced smile:: Until next time, ::motioning a wave toward the class:: I must be tending to my ship. Au revoir.

::Katherine departed the classroom without looking back. Never in her life had she been more happier to have seen a yellow alert.::

tbc

PNPCs

Lt jg Katherine Sharkey

Engineering

USS Tiger-A

PO 3rd Class Shoodi Cocheta Lightfoot

Engineer

USS Tiger-A

Laeni

2nd Grade Teacher

USS Tiger-A

Submitted by

Lt Cmdr Darius Clack

FO

USS Tiger-A

and

Fleet Captain Sidney Riley

Commanding Officer

USS Tiger-A

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