Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Boothby's Academy Lecture (Part Two)
Once the polite applause had died down, I was ready to give my lecture on Fauna to the Starfleet Academy Cadets.
They looked a right bunch, I can tell you. Are these the future defenders of the Federation? We might as well send a message to the Borg telling them to come and assimilate us now. With them in the Collective, there would be much in the Hive Mind.
I'm digressing again, aren't I?
Don't say "Yes". I've been through a lot more than you have.
"I'm here to give you a lecture on Fauna." I tell them, "As the Head Gardener at Starfleet Academy, I'm telling you how important it is to respect all forms of alien plant life, whether going as part of an Away Team or colonising a new planet for a community."
A Cadet puts his hand up to ask a question. I sigh; there's always one, isn't there?
"Yes?" I ask him.
"Cadet Wilmslow here" he asks chirpily, "What about the plant that altered Mr Spock in the Away Mission last century, and the Omega Plant that ate Captain Abraxus of the Starship Ohio twenty years ago? Would you classify those as 'hostile'?
A wise guy. He REALLY needs a good clip round the ear.
"They were hostile plants" I tell him, "But in all forms of life there are hostility; they just need to be isolated and controlled. There are no Omega Plants in the Academy Gardens, as they are kept on their native planet and flagged with warning beacons."
Actually, it's a pity there isn't an Omega Plant in the Garden. There are some Cadets I would happily have fed to it.
"Now when you go to a planet," I continue "It's important you are aware of the Fauna there; if you are not, you may well be injured or killed simply because there is a plant that would cause you harm. Remember to respect all life."
A ripple of applause follows; is that all I get?
"Any questions?" I ask them. I know I'm inviting trouble saying it to this lot, but surely they can't say anything too awkward?
A figure stands up. "Cadet Moira Delfino here." she says, "Would you rather have been in a starship then tending the Gardens? After all, isn't it a bit boring?"
"Let me tell you, missy" I tell her forcefully, "I know far more about piloting a starship and about Starfleet life than you ever will. The nuggets of information I pick up from important people means I could get on any starship and take control."
She sits down, slightly red-faced.
Next, that brat Wesley Crusher stands up. I knew, as sure as day follows night, that he'd ask me something.
"Cadet Wesley Crusher here" he says, "There is just one question I would like to ask, that all my fellow Cadets want to know as well; what's your first name, Mr Boothby?"
"That's classified information!" I tell him, "Clear off; this lecture is over."
What a relief to be able to get back to my Gardens.
I wonder if the Starfleet authorites will let me grow an Omega Plant?