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First Impressions

Posted on 01 Jan 2019 @ 5:53pm by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Senior Chief Petty Officer Alexander Rylan

Mission: History
Location: USS Impala Schoolroom
Timeline: 18 years ago

The doors to the schoolroom parted and in walked a petite Trill with long black hair and striking blue eyes, followed almost immediately by a taller, lithe Trill with brown hair and eyes and full lips. The second Trill looked sullen and unhappy, while the first appeared friendly but frazzled. Most of the students and the teacher all knew the elder Trill as Dr. Saraja Jelic, ship's Chief Medical Officer, but none had seen the moody girl before.

After a brief discussion with the teacher, Dr. Jelic gave the younger girl a few stern words and left. The teacher, Mrs. Travis, smiled cheerfully at the new girl and immediately showed her to an empty desk. "Mr. Rylan," she said to the boy at the next desk; the girl rolled her eyes, but at what was not clear. "This is Miss Jayla Kij. Jayla, this is Alex Rylan. Would you be willing to go over the algebra lesson with her?"

Alex Rylan had noticed the new girl the moment she walked in the room. How could he not? As soon as he saw her he was practically struck dumb. He thought she was beautiful and he was immediately drawn to her in that teenage way. He thought she'd be truly stunning if she would only smile and he desperately wanted to be the one to make her smile.

"Uh, right, yes," he said. "Sure."

When the adults walked away, he turned to Jayla.

"Hi," he said. "I'm Alex."

Dumbass! Mrs. Travis already told her your name.

This earned him another roll of her eyes as she sat at the desk next to his. Thank you, Captain Obvious, she thought. Were teenagers always this annoying? She didn't ever remember being this annoying. She tried to remind herself that she had never been a teenager before, but she had never been trained to deal with the symbiont's memories and so it was a futile effort. "So," she said grumpily. "Algebra?"

"Yeah," Alex said. "Algebra. We're on this chapter here. It's not too bad. How far along in your math studies are you?"

"Farther than you," she retorted, sinking down into her seat. This was so stupid. At least five of Kij's previous hosts had studied Algebra and continued on to advanced Calculus. She saw no reason to waste her time on any more maths, but her teachers would insist that she learn it herself even though she had the memories of all the previous hosts and could even perform the calculations with nobody explaining them to her.

"Oh yeah?" Alex said, grinning. He was mostly bluffing. He wasn't bad at math. Though he didn't know it now, he'd end up using it for work later. But he was nobody's idea of an academic wonder. The moderately good grades he got were from putting in twice as much effort as his fellow students and not from any great genius on his part. He fully expected Jayla to be light years ahead of him, but maybe letting her show off how smart she was would make her smile. "Show me."

So she took the PADD she'd been given and zipped through the first equation with barely a thought. She then solved three more in less than two minutes. "See?" she said to Alex after the PADD confirmed her answers. "Easy."

Alex was impressed, but undeterred.

"That's awesome," he said. "But can you explain to me what you did?"

She rolled her eyes and launched into an explanation that she had learned literally overnight. "Then you just divide by negative six and you're done," she finished as if it were the most obvious thing ever.

"Awesome," Alex said. "Now I know who to study with from now on. So, um...are you from Trill? Or did you grow up somewhere else?"

Of course I'm from Trill, she thought. Where else would I be from? But, she reminded herself that not all humans were from Earth, not all Bajorans from Bajorans, so it was really a fair question. "Yes, I'm from Trill," she replied tolerantly.

"Cool," Alex said, already thinking how dumb a response 'cool' was. "I was born on Earth. At first, Dad and I followed Mom to starbases, but when they started letting families on ships, we started following her there as well. My mom is Lieutenant Catalea Maesin. She's a nurse."

Jayla sunk into her seat a little and crossed her arms. "My parents dumped me with Doctor Jelic because they don't know what to make of me," she said sullenly.

Alex frowned.

"Why don't they know what to make of you?" Alex said. "Parents can be weird, I guess. We're teenagers. They aren't supposed to understand us. Sometimes I don't get why they try. It just stresses them out, which they blame on us."

She gave him a look that could only be described as condescending. "I'm joined," she informed him. "So I'm used to being treated like an adult. It's dead depressing to suddenly be a teenager again."

Alex did his best not to wither under Jayla's glare.

"Oh," he said, suddenly feeling extremely inadequate. "I thought I read somewhere that you had to be an adult for that? How'd you end up joined?"

"There was an accident on Cambria," she replied. "This kid offered to carry me to safety. I mean... I mean I offered to carry the Kij symbiont to safety. By the time we got to civilization again, it was too late- separating us would kill the host. Would kill me," she corrected again. She had to try to keep things straight. That's what the symbiosis commission kept telling her anyway.

"I'm sorry," Alex said. "That sounds very confusing. And crowded. Like, you're a teenager trying to figure out who you are, and in the middle of that, all these other...people get put in your head."

"You're telling me," she muttered, absentmindedly working a few of the equations on the PADD in front of her. "And I'm suddenly too young for wine. I could kill for a nice white. Preferably from Betezed."

Alex grinned.

"Well," he said. "You won't be the only teenager on the ship who thinks it's unfair that they can't drink alcohol!"

Alex was also trying to work, but he had to put more effort into it than Jayla did.

"I'll bet I'm the only one who was legally allowed to only two months ago," she replied sullenly. To her, the entire universe was unfair. Of course, she kept forgetting she was Jayla and kept thinking in terms of Gavara Kij. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn't keep her mind to herself and that made everything worse.

"True," Alex said. "Hey, I freely admit I'm not as smart as you...or as good a student as half the rest of the class. Can you help me with this problem?"

Jayla rolled her eyes, but took a look at the problem. It was as simple as it was possible to be, so she explained it rather quickly. "See?" she replied. "Easy."

"Uh...okay," Alex said. "I think I got that...maybe. Okay so..." Alex did a similar problem step by step, walking through it out loud as he went. "And...okay...yeah! That's right, right?"

"Yes," Jayla sighed, exasperated. "Was that really so hard?"

Alex sighed. Why were the really cute ones always so bitchy, mean, and generally high maintenance?


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