tanithryudo: (IDIC)
[personal profile] tanithryudo
AN: This is an omake fanfic of a Quest (fanfic) called To Boldly Go, based primarily on Star Trek. I've based my OC character on another fandom of course, as it will become more obvious.

Anyway, to understand the background...
- Here is a brief on the Apiata species. I'm using the female pronouns for queens, and neutral pronouns for drones (b/c all da zzzz's).
- Michel Thuir is an official NPC of TBG, first seen as a captain of uncommon good sense at the beginning of the quest, and has since moved up the ranks due to having the favor of the players.

TBG Omake: The Academy by the Bay 1

Rear Admiral Michel Thuir, brand new Commandant of the Starfleet Academy university system, finally saw his last well-wisher out the door on his first day at the job. Taking a deep breath, he leaned against one of the large windows that overlooked the sprawling San Francisco main campus, and silently surveyed the domain that was now his to supervise.

He could feel the frenetic energy that permeated the atmosphere of the Academy from the moment he had arrived, the chaos of so many bright minds barely held back by the rules and regulations being instilled into them. The difference was quite jarring compared to the quiet professional focus of his previous command at Starfleet Tactical, or the tense days before that spent in the peril of the Arcadian War.

But… this was also familiar, hailing back to his own halcyon days as a student here, so long ago, it seemed now. Thuir remembered how much larger than life the San Francisco campus had once seemed to him, even as he knew intellectually it was even larger now. Starfleet and its Academy had done its best to keep up with the rapid expansion of the Federation that it had helped drive in the last two decades. Alongside the physical expansion of the buildings, so too did its bureaucracy burgeon. Again, he had to remind himself that he was now in charge of it all.

Battle-tested awareness brought the rear admiral out of his ruminations to the sound of swishing doors behind him. He turned to find an Apiatan yeoman approaching his desk, carrying a thermal tray and several data padds.

“Admiral, will you be taking your mid-day meal now, sir?” the young yeoman asked brightly. “It is far past the standard lunch hour for humans.”

Just then realizing that he was hungry, Thuir waved toward his large, already half-cluttered desk.

“Yes, thank you, Yeoman Oizzi...zuichi was it?” he said slowly, recalling from the personnel files that his predecessor had left him.

“Aye sir!” came the bubbly reply as the young yeoman set zir tray down. “Please let me know if this is sufficient, sir. Ah, I can always run down to the cafeteria to get you something else.”

“No, this is fine,” Thuir said quickly. He raised an impressed eyebrow as he looked over a steaming creamy chowder in a large bread bowl, sitting next to an artfully arranged side salad with--yes, bits of artificial chicken just beneath the leafy cover--and garnished around the edges with an array of artisanal cheese. “Is this what they’re serving in the campus cafeteria nowadays?” he asked, half amused, half disbelieving.

“Ah, no!” Oizzizuichi shook zir head. “There is a...a Cafe, it’s called? Highly recommended by the local humans. Admiral Guk also prefered its...ah, cio-ppi-no.”

Well some things hadn’t changed, Thuir mused ruefully as he helped himself to a mouthful of clam chowder. The official campus food services was still overly concerned with being safe and inoffensive to as many species as it served, now more than ever. Unfortunately, it made for rather boring sustenance. Which, in turn, meant that most cadets and staff who were familiar enough -- or adventurous enough -- with local human cuisine tried to go off campus for food when possible.

“Admiral Guk has good taste,” Thuir agreed readily. “Seafood cuisine is an old, iconic tradition of this area. Have you tried any, yeoman?”

“A little bit, once.” Oizzizuichi fidgeted, a bit sheepishly. “It is...not as pleasing to Apiatan taste. Sir.” Then zie quickly moved over to the side and began to vigorously impose order on the mess of padds and data cards scattered across the desk.

“Well, that you tried is still very brave of you,” Thuir encouraged, amused.

“My...queen-to-be was curious,” Oizzizuichi demurred, “so I tested it.”

Queen-to-be? Suddenly Thuir recalled another interesting detail from the personnel files he’d read. “That’s right,” he realized aloud, “you’re a drone, right?”

“Aye sir,” the Apiatan hummed absently as zie juggled the mass of data cards into neater ordered stacks.

“I don’t think there’s been many of your gender in Starfleet--” Thuir was only vaguely aware of the one in the Explorer Corps, serving on the USS Atuin, “--and even rarer those that still have close ties to queen and hive.” None that he could immediately recall.

Oizzizuichi paused in zir struggle against disorder with a mild look of realization. “Ah! Sir, my queen-to-be Seizzhuna is not yet ready to lead the Embassy colony,” zie explained. “She is studying under Queen-mother Akitzaka for when the Ambassador retires.”

Thuir nodded, pondering the information as he ate, and letting the yeoman return to zir fussing over tidiness.

Akitzaka was the official ambassador from the Apiata, and that put her in charge of the Apinae Embassy in Paris--which had a rather oversized estate and staff, now that Thuir thought about it. He also vaguely recalled from holos that Akitzaka appeared rather...venerable. If she was near retirement age, and if her successor was already chosen, then it would make sense for the latter to be getting trained for the eventual transition. The clearest bit of knowledge Thuir recalled of Akitzaka, though, was that the Ambassador was considered one of the more radically progressive high ranking Apiatan queens. If she was Oizzizuichi progenitor...well, that explained some things.

“Where does that leave you then, when that time comes?” the Commandant in him asked at length. “And why Starfleet now?”

“When Seizzhuna is ready to become Embassy colony queen, my duty will be to advise her, take care of her, and any eventual children there might be,” Oizzizuichi replied promptly, as if reciting from rote. Then, more hesitantly, “until then, Queen-mother said that an advisor must...be knowledgeable...in order to properly advise another queen of her station. She...also suggested this was one appropriate way for me.”

Well, a yeoman is probably the closest that a job in Starfleet ever gets to the typical duties of an Apiatan drone, Thuir supposed, even as he made a mental note to take a closer look at said yeoman’s record to make sure there hadn’t been any undue political pressure involved in the acceptance. Still, the test scores and the glowing recommendation Certunn Guk left did bode well in that respect. It also explained the psych note about groundside-only assignment restrictions, which was, after all, no odder than some of the other notes he’d seen for various Apiatan worker ratings in the Fleet.

Pushing away his musings, Thuir looked back to see that Oizzizuichi had actually succeeded in tidying up the cluttered mess of padds and data cards. The young drone was now hovering almost expectantly across the desk, still clutching the padds zie had brought in to begin with.

“Is that more paperwork for me?” the rear admiral asked after finishing a final bite of the salad, pushing the meal tray to the side and indicating the padds in question.

“Ah, yes sir,” replied Oizzizuichi. With a quick shuffle, the largest padd was presented forth. “The Member Coordination Office just got an initiative approved for an exchange program with the Orion Union--”

“More foreign study than exchange,” Thuir corrected absently as he quickly skimmed over the document. He had heard rumors of two such proposals back at Command, and it seemed like the one involving the Academy won out. “Is this their list of candidates?” he asked as he flicked over a few pages.

“Preliminary, sir,” Oizzizuichi clarified. “Pending your approval of course.”

Thuir had already gotten to the section with candidate records, and frowned at some of the details he was seeing. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” he grumbled under his breath, before shaking his head and looking back up. “I’ll have this pared down to a more sensible list by 1700; you can come back for it then,” he told the yeoman. “What else is there?”

“Budget allocation reports, sir.” Another padd was promptly handed over.

Quickly skimming the report, there were two numbers that immediately jumped out to Thuir’s well-honed anomalous reading (and according to one former XO, bullshit) detector.

“What’s this about Sciences wanting to double the maintenance budget for their second year in a row?” He scrolled further through the document, looking for further details. “What, are people blowing up the labs?” The question was only half in jest.

“Ah...not exactly, blow up,” came the tentative reply.

Thuir paused his reading, and looked up with the air of a man bracing himself for absurdity, a well-honed instinct from his years in the Explorer Corps.

“‘Not exactly,’” he parroted in a perfect deadpan. “Care to clarify that, yeoman?”

Oizzizuichi fidgeted a bit nervously. “W-well, last year, the new clutch of Gaeni cadets...some protested, loudly, that the Academy was too restrictive of their potential.”

Thuir couldn’t help but let out a snort of amusement. It was not a surprising attitude based on what he knew of the Gaeni. And with the Illuminated Technocracy officially joining the Federation’s big happy family the previous year, Gaeni cadets were going to be a regular hazard of the Academy.

“So what happened? Those cadets decide to ignore the rules and have some experiment go wrong on them?”

“Not...at first.” Oizzizuichi looked almost apologetic. “Their comments were taken as a challenge by two of the Amarki cadets and--”

“Did someone declare a duel?” Thuir interrupted. “I’m pretty sure there actually are Academy rules against those.” He knew that from certain personal experiences he’d preferred to forget, of said regulations that were originally intended for the ushaan tradition.

“That’s right. I mean, not a duel,” agreed Oizzizuichi. “They decided it was a...a SCIENCE! challenge.”

Thuir was disturbed that he could hear the capitals in the word.

“They also recruited friends,” the yeoman continued on the dutiful recital of events. “There was a human and a Caitian from the Technical Services Academy...”

Seeing where this was going, Thuir ran a hand across his brow in exasperation.

“...and that led to recruiting an exchange student from the Vulcan Science Academy.”

Was it too much to hope for that a Vulcan would remain the one sane voice? Alas, if anything, Thuir’s experience in the EC taught him that sometimes “logic” really didn’t mean sensible.

“I’m almost loath to ask,” Thuir started into the pause in the recitation. “So who was, in the end, responsible for the damages?”

“I-I suppose both?” Oizzizuichi was looking apologetic again. “The technical details were somewhat...arcane. But I understand the, ah, collaborative? They...succeeded better than they had planned for. In scope, that is...”

Well, that was at least something. If it weren’t for the fact that there was obviously much more to the story, Thuir’s inner IDIC-idealist would have applauded such an accomplishment.

“But the Gaeni cadets did not accept a loss. One of their senior cadets recruited...or, rumors say, ah, drafted an Indorian friend to… ‘expose the flaws’ of their work.”

That poor Indorian, was Thuir’s first thought, before he reminded himself of the damage numbers.

“The collaborator--ah, I mean, collaborative group, chose to… reinforce? ‘Double down’ was the term, I think. And, well, by the time the staff intervened, there was a...something about an entropic cascade failure?”

In a moment of epiphany, Thuir realized just why the gift basket of fancy wines that former Commandant Certunn Guk had sent him had been also accompanied by a cryptic condolence note and a referral to a sauna parlor. He’d been artfully distracted by the information packets that also arrived at the same time, when he should have been his more typical cynical self.

“Well, that explains the budget for last year,” Thuir sighed, tapping idly at the data padd. “But why is there another request for this year? Do they expect this to happen again?” If the Academy wasn’t able to curb such dangerous habits, it wasn’t the august institution he remembered, and his first priority would need to be overhauling the disciplinary boards.

“Nono, the cadets involved all swore it wouldn’t happen again,” Oizzizuichi assured him. “But now there are rumors...Well, you understand, sir, the previous incident, even lacking any widely known details, the idea of it…it generated a lot of...buzz...among the senior cadets...”

“Uh huh.” Thuir could imagine, and underlined a mental note to look up all the records on the incident--and cadets--in question. “Rumors, you say?”

“Rumors that the seniors should have a sort of annual challenge...ah, competition. Unofficially.”

“I see.” Thuir stopped his idle tapping and picked up the data padd once more. “And despite being rumors, the maintenance budget request is already adjusted for this...unofficial competition.” It wasn’t a question.

“Sir.” Oizzizuichi fidgeted a bit more, but didn’t have an explanation to offer there.

After a long pondering silence, Thuir finally put down the data padd with a firm clatter.

“Right. I think certain parties have shown themselves to have far more time and energy on their hands than is wise. Record this, yeoman.”

The Apiatan youth scrambled to obey, pulling out a new data padd out of seeming nowhere. “A-aye sir!” zie said, dictation program ready.

“To the directors of the Starfleet Science Academy and the Technical Services Academy: It has come to my attention that our senior cadets need experience in the realistic scenarios they may expect to see in the Fleet. Further, in the interest of fostering closer teamwork between our future explorers and their support staff, I want to put together a combined on-site survivalist and hostile combat training exercise. The duration should be no less than two weeks, and it will be regularly scheduled once a quarter.”

Thuir paused for a moment, running the extemporaneous idea through his head again and liking it more and more as he considered it.

“And have your staff pick somewhere...challenging, for the first one. While I doubt Vulcan would let us trample through the Forge down to S’mi Gorge, I’m sure Delta Vega wouldn’t mind visitors to their Polar Plains. End record.”

As the yeoman stopped the recording and began to scribble furiously at the padd, Rear Admiral Thuir reflected on the unexpected start of his tenure at Starfleet Academy. He’d thought being surrounded by so many fresh young faces would make him feel old, and he certainly hadn’t expected to have a gauntlet thrown into his face so soon.

But, if nothing else he had in common with these youngsters, it was the will not to back down from challenge -- a will appropriately channeled, of course. And by the Great Bird, he was going to see to it the destructive potential of all these erratically brilliant minds be firmly and sensibly channeled outwards, never in.

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