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Miss Fischer's Opus

Posted on Fri Jan 13th, 2017 @ 4:44am by

Mission: S1E3 - Operation Adrestia
Location: Counselor's Office
Timeline: MD18 - 1300

Jaya was reviewing some of her case files, prioritizing more pressing matters over others which merely warranted observation. At times she felt as though she had too much free time, and she did not want that to be an excuse to stir up trouble in people's lives.

Her next appointment was one which excited her. It was an interesting development that the Vindex had founded a school. Many children of Starfleet officers and crewmembers followed a remote curriculum which connected them with regular classmates regardless of where their parents were stationed. Jaya always preferred the closeness of community over digitized equivalents, and so she saw the shipboard classroom as a vital asset. Ms Fischer, as known to her students, was due any moment, and Jaya wished to be ready.

Talking to a parent of a student wasn't anything new to Janelle. But she had never been notified that one of her students in the near future would have a positronic brain. This had led to a lot of research, which then led to Janelle asking for popularized versions of that research.

And then Janelle had looked into the declassified version and found there were a number of contributors to the project. Of those who were listed, Ensign Jaya Maera seemed to be the one most suited to help Janelle get an understanding of what she needed to be doing. Or at least point Janelle in the right direction.

So with that hope in the forefront of her mind, Janelle signaled her presence at the counselor's door.

Jaya heard the door ring. She stepped up from her desk and walked around before she called, "Enter."

She met Janelle as the doors parted and took both her hands into hers. "It is wonderful to meet you," Jaya said, her smile broad and welcoming. "Please, have a seat. May I get you something?"

Janelle was about to respond when she felt a wave of warmth wash over her, a warmth that replied from an embarrassing center of her own body and emanated back outward.

Janelle stumbled to the chair, waving Jaya off, her eyes closed as she got her mind focused.

After a couple of minutes, Janelle looked up, blushing. "Sorry, I...I usually keep my walls down around the children and I didn't...well, I guess I was sloppy."

Jaya gave Janelle a knowing smile. "There is nothing to be sorry about. Most members of this crew I rub shoulders with are pretty thick-skinned, and I've grown accustomed to it. I've honestly never had as much ease in a posting before." She held out her arm. "Caress me."

Janelle hesitate a moment before reaching out to touch Jaya's arm. There wasn't even the hint of downy hair; just smooth, soft skin. Janelle felt a small shudder of desire run through her body as her fingertips traced back and forth on Jaya's arm.

"Close your eyes." Jaya blocked out the sense of feeling Janelle's hand, then in turn placed her hand on Janelle's cheek. She softly caressed along her jawline up to her ear, then cupped the back of her head.
Jaya smiled compassionately. "We can calm as well as stimulate... though I haven't been as balanced in that department lately."

The desire that Janelle felt didn't completely disappear, but it was reduced to just a small 'something' tucked safely in a corner of her mind, at least for now.

"I...most of the time I don't worry about reading the thoughts and emotions of those around me," Janelle began. "It really doesn't require much to keep other people out. The only time I open up is for the children I'm in charge of. Not that I'm being invasive," the teacher hurriedly assured Jaya. "Surface thoughts and emotions only. Which is why I wanted to talk to you."

"My experience lies more in space sickness, combat fatigue, and homesickness," Jaya said, "although if you're facing a developmental concern with one of your students, I will certainly attempt to address it."

"Actually, the student I'm concerned about is one who I've been informed will be entering my class," Janelle replied. "Her name is Biynah."

"Oh, aha," Jaya said, closing her eyes and chuckling. "Biynah's surface thoughts are a blank slate to you, as is her emotional state." Jaya opened her eyes, bit her lip and nodded, as if agreeing with herself. "I was present during her activation, and I have to admit... when a 'bio-neural lifeform,' as they called her, began speaking, postulating, and interacting with everyone else... it gave me pause to say the least."

"You know, Counselor," Janelle began, "This really shouldn't be a problem for me. Unlike you, I'm an oddity in my family. The only known telepath and empath in my family on either side for generations and the only native born telepath on my colony world. So the courses I took in childhood education and development didn't entail the use of my abilities. Which is why having a student whose thoughts and emotions I can't sense shouldn't be a problem. After all, there are teachers everywhere who don't have my abilities, and they do just fine. Except it is a problem for me, I suppose."

"You don't have to justify it to me," Jaya said with as much reassurement as she could muster. "Biynah walking around without a... well, a discernible psyche... is just as off-putting as if you were to have a student who was perpetually cloaked. Your senses can't agree on whether she is there or not, so how can you focus on teaching her?"

"But she is a child who will be entrusted to me, and I need to discover somewhat to overcome my newfound limitation," Janelle said.

"My suggestion is to play to that," Jaya said with a finger on her chin. "The ship computer is everywhere at all times, and I don't know about you, but I take it for granted even though I can't sense it." Jaya grinned at her rhetorical suggestion. "Rather than see it as a problem, try and leverage it. Biynah is both a student and a computer -- why not treat her as both?"

"I don't know," Janelle admitted. "I'm an expert in childhood development, not computer programming. It seems to me that if the Captain and the Executive Officer were considering putting Biynah in my class, they want me to --- " Janelle gave an exasperate sigh. "I don't know." Janelle was quiet for a moment, before asking, "Counsellor, would you mind if I called you Jaya?"

"Please do, Janelle," Jaya said. "And, not to interrupt, but allow me to explain what I mean. You would use a computer program to record lesson planning and student performance, right? Biynah is a living database with a quantum processor, so unlike your students she will create associations and deductions without much help. While you're assisting the other children in the assimilation of information and teaching them how to turn grow their learning into understanding, perhaps you can suggest that Biynah observe them doing so. In that way, her natural computing will be put to a constant use in a personalized lesson plan which could benefit you both." Jaya paused a moment, then concluded, "In the end, I suspect the Captain and Commander alike are more concerned with Biynah's social development as much or perhaps more than an academic experience."

Janelle nodded in agreement. "From what I've read about positronic brains --- from what I understand about positronic brains," Janelle corrected with a laugh, "That does develop new connections in the...the...positronic net," Janelle finally remembered. Shaking her head, Janelle continued. "I want to thank you, Jaya, for letting me bend your ear. You're possible the only person on board who faces problems like mine."

"Thank you for coming to see me." Jaya's face turned serene. "Sitting and chatting with somebody who can hear me on all levels is a breath of fresh air. Please, come back any time!"

"Me too," Janelle agreed, standing up. On impulse, Janelle gave Jaya a hug. "We should grab a drink together sometime."

"It's a date." Jaya winked.


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