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The Escape Plan

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"Now, class, I'd like you to take a look at the list of starship specifications I've provided for you. Using that data, I want you to plot out the course you would take from Earth to a hypothetical M-class planet. Each of you has a different one, so don't bother cheating off each other. The coordinates for Earth, for those of you who have forgotten it from last class, are up on the board."

Lieutenant Arex wasn't technically their professor, but when she'd fallen sick a few months back he took over the Advanced Navigation class, and upon her return found that it was better for everyone involved to leave the class in his capable hands. It was, generally speaking, enjoyable, but there were days when he understood why so many of his own professors were constantly in a bad mood.

He paced the classroom, watching the cadets as they calculated ideal situations and started to trace out their course on a starchart PADD. The room was quiet except for muttered frustrations and the clack of styluses on plastic screens, until a student at the back of the room jumped up in his seat and shouted something in a language Arex was unfamiliar with. A human language, clearly, but not Standard. The majority of the class had turned to stare at the cadet, and from the looks on their faces Arex doubted they knew the language either.

Arex looked at the cadet expectantly. Shoulders hunched, he stood up and left the room.

The class was silent for a moment as they watched the door shut and listened to his footsteps as he walked down the hall. Arex coughed pointedly, and they returned to their work. He was able to enjoy the quiet for another few minutes before he heard a muffled knock at the door Arex opened it to reveal a rather odd scene. The cadet was struggling to stand, leaning back against the door and tugging at the empty air with... nothing. Both of his arms were gone up to the shoulder.

"My apologies for interrupting class again, sir," he panted. "But I am in need of assistance. Could I borrow two students with considerable upper body strength for five minutes?"

Arex opened his mouth to ask, then reconsidered, and in the end just nodded. "The TAs are free to assist you, Mr. Chekov."

As if he'd been waiting for the opportunity, TA Riley hopped out of his seat and moved towards the door with a grin. "We meet again, Whizbang!"

The cadet flushed again, muttered something in that non-Standard language, and then said, "Hello, Mr. Riley. I trust you remember what to do?"

"Sure do. Don't worry, McKenna," he commented to the other TA, "I'll show you the ropes. How many is it this time?"

"All five of them," Chekov said as he struggled out the door. "The идиотский - "

The door shut behind them, trapping a curious silence within.

"I expect you to complete your course plotting before the end of this class," Arex said loudly. "Which is in twenty minutes." The half-dozen students who had been staring at the door longingly reluctantly returned their gaze to their work. Order returned to his classroom, however briefly. After a minute, McKenna opened the door and leaned in.

"He's bringing them all through at once, sir. It's going to be pretty loud. Just warning you," she added with a wince. Riley called out for her help, and she left the room again.

Arex frowned, then lifted two of his hands to his ears. "For the sake of your ears, students, I suggest you cover them for a moment. Mr. Chekov is somewhat - "

A loud sound reverberated through the room. Styli and PADDs rattled on students' desks, and those not fast enough to cover their ears in time sunk down in their seats and tried to block out the sound. Those who had covered their ears winced regardless. A few cadets Arex had seen studying with Chekov before had the forethought to carry earplugs with them, and seemed unaffected by the sound. It ended quickly enough, and students began returning to their work cautiously.

" - explosive," Arex finished unnecessarily.

Two shorter, quieter bursts of sound followed the first, after which time the TAs and Chekov returned to the classroom. Chekov flushed at the sight of the disarray, apologized quietly, and returned to his seat.

"That was the fifteenth time your companions have interrupted this class, Mr. Chekov," Arex could have said, but there was no need to repeat himself. The cadet was well aware of the unfortunate habit he was forming.