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Dear friends and parting ways 
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Post Dear friends and parting ways
<Starfleet Academy, February 15th 2369>

"Linguistics is at the very core of the communications field," Greger Nygard continued as his eyes absently passed over the fifty or so students gathered in the hall. As usual there were a large number of students dozing or asleep, recording the lecture for future review but Greger took no offense. He knew that he wasn't the most exciting lecturer and so long as the students completed the course successfully he saw no harm in letting them catch a little sleep.

"Why, some of you may ask, considering the standard use of Universal Translators, teach linguistics at all? Because while modern technology can take much of the work out of communicating with other species often times this technology is imperfect. There have been numerous documented occasions, where while our translators were able to allow us to understand the individual words of a language the syntax and grammar of said languages were so alien that it was gibberish."

Greger paused to eye the Chronometer mounted on the auditorium's far wall, he only had a few minutes left and regrettably would not be able to finish the day's course work entirely. As his gaze drifted downward over the room he noticed that a visitor rested against the door frame at the very back, the elderly Trill woman smiled slightly at the recognition and nodded for Nygard to continue.

"It is important that there are officers capable of real, on the spot translation, particularly in first contact scenarios where even the slightest mistake words could ruin a potentially fruitful relationship or start a conflict."

Greger paused just before the session chime and closed the antique text book on his podium with an echoing thud, stirring those who slept. "Review lessons two and three this evening, I'll be expecting a two thousand word report on the comparison between cognitive linguistics and the theories behind generative grammar, tomorrow."

As the throng of students began to filter out of the room Greger and the Trill woman approached one another, "Cora," he smiled. "It's been too long..."

"So it has, Greg," Cora said, returning the smile. "I just got back from Trill over the weekend, so I wanted to stop by." It had been awhile since she had last been on Trill, so the six month visit was nice. Still, she had missed teaching the young minds at the Academy and was looking forward to getting back into it. "I see the students are as enthralled as ever about the course..."

"Some are," Greger replied, somewhat hopefully. "The specialists... But admittedly, most are only here by requirement, a prerequisite for their chosen field. Communications isn't as prestigious as it once was, but enough of that."

Greger paused and took Cora's arm in his and courteously led her out into the mild Californian winter where they could walk the campus as they had many times before. "Please, tell me about your trip. How was home?"

Cora smiled wistfully at the thought of her homeworld, now fresh in her mind, "Mostly as I remembered it. A few changes, but still home. Mostly I visited with friends and family...and the Symbiosis Commission as well. They had some candidates they wanted me to look into."

Greger realized that his friend and former mentor had many years left to live but he wondered frequently how long her quality of life might support her Symbiont. The notion that she would willingly end her life so that Ven could live on in comfort seemed appalling; he reminded himself that it was her culture every time they were close but it helped little.

"Of course," Greger nodded distantly. "And what did Ven think? Were there any of interest?"

"Yes, there were a few that would be good candidates. I told the Commission which ones I preferred, and they'll maintain the list. There's a lot of information to review, after all," the Trill replied. She looked over at her friend and noted the expression on his face - one that she knew quite well, "I'm not going anywhere just yet, Greg. But these things take some planning."

Greger smiled weakly with a nod, he hated that he was so transparent but with those he cared about it couldn't be helped. "I know," he sighed. "How long will you be on Earth? I know first hand that many students were a little displeased when they discovered that their instructor of choice was on sabbatical this last semester..."

Cora chuckled, "Oh, I'll be around for awhile now, plenty of time for us to catch up. I have courses to teach here, after all, and things on Trill are settled for the time being. I did take some pictures on Trill, if you're interested. But enough about is everything going for you, Greg? Any interesting classroom stories?"

Greger chuckled as he led Cora to a bench in the Academy's central court yard to sit, "You know well enough that nothing much happens in my classes."

Greger held his friend's hand in his and for a few minutes simply sat in silence with her, both content to take in the beauty of the day. He wanted to see the pictures that she had taken but before he could there was something he needed to get off his chest. He had been conflicted over the last year of what to do to further his career and, having finally come to a decision, he wanted to share the news with Cora but it wasn't so simple. Again the thought of her making the choice to have the symbiont transferred to a younger host sent chills up his spine, regardless of her assurances he wasn't so certain.

"Cora," he started hesitantly. "I've been doing a lot of considering lately and I think it's time for me to move on... I'm not certain which vessel I will be assigned to but I've already handed in my resignation as professor effective the end of the semester."

"Well, it's about time Greg," Cora said, looking at him with a twinkle in her eye. "I've been wondering how long it would be before you signed on for shipboard duty. I know you like academics, but...there's something...different...magical...about seeing what's out there for yourself and experiencing it. Are you nervous?"

Greger wasn't sure how he had expected Cora to respond but her words had been a little unexpected none the less. He had not put much thought into the concept of exploration; it of course held some romantic attraction to him emotionally but then Greger had never been one to listen to his feelings.

"Not so much nervous," he explained. "But I'm not sure it is what I am looking for either. I thought I'd be here, teaching, for the rest of my life but it no longer satisfies me. I feel as thought I am missing something but I couldn't tell you what it is... Maybe I'll find it out there."

Cora nodded slowly, "Well, if it no longer satisfies you, it stands to reason that - for the time being at least - you need a change. Perhaps this is the change you need. It may be that you take an assignment for a short while and then decide to come back, or perhaps you'll decide you like being on a ship."

Greger smiled at Cora, he liked to consider himself a seasoned, educated man yet in her presence he felt like a cadet again. It was that feeling that finally solidified his choice in his mind; though he was as qualified as Cora to teach he could never inspire students as she did. With a sigh of finality he took in the blossoming trees and scenic architecture of the campus, it was the right decision, he finally accepted, to leave that place.

"You are an amazing individual Cora," Greger said with a grin as he turned back to her. "Always an inspiration and I appreciate your council greatly."

Smiling the Trill replied, "I'm glad to be able to inspire you, Greg. You always were one of my best students and, as you should know by now, I'm always glad to listen or give advice when needed." Truthfully, she enjoyed the young man's company and their conversations.

"Thank you," Greger said and paused for a moment. "So, how about those pictures? I've studied your people from a cultural and linguistic standpoint but can safely say that I've never seen your world."

"Ah yes," Cora said, reaching for the small satchel she had sat on the ground. Picking it up, she opened it and glanced inside, pulling out a special PADD designed specifically for pictures. She tapped on it a few times, then slid her finger across before handing it to Greg, "Here we are. I've not really looked through them yet either, seeing as how I was there. Go ahead and I can tell you about them."

As Greger sifted through the photos he couldn't help but to wonder what he might have a chance to see while serving aboard a starship. Time seemed to move slowly as Cora narrated the images and Greger was in no hurry to end their time together, it was in truth one of the last times they might have before his departure. By the time they did part Greger was left with a sense of well being and confidence, his spirit rejuvenated and prepared to face the challenges that lay ahead of him.

A joint post featuring:

Cora Ven
Academy Professor of the Stellar Sciences
played by: Lt.Cmdr. Isela Rae-Ven


Greger Nygard
Academy Professor of Communications
played by:

Commander Greger Nygard
Commanding Officer
USS-Babylon NCC-75490

Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:30 pm
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