I've learned so much since I have been here. I would never have guessed just how much. It's not all about academia though. Now I can see just how appallingly I behaved on the Drakonia at times and appreciate the importance of control and decorum. We are ambassadors for Starfleet and we have standards to set and maintain. It's not purely for etiquette either. Tackling things in a calm and composed manner avoids rash and unwise decisions. It averts disasters.
Shame I didn't heed my own advice earlier today then because this has got to be marked up as one of my biggest catastrophes ever. I let personal feelings get in the way of what should have been a non-event, and let my stupid, crazy side take over.
I had attended an evening lecture which was very worthwhile, but that meant I didn't leave the lecture hall until after ten o'clock. I was on my way back to my quarters, quite shattered and ready for bed. So, with the lecture hall being on the fifth floor and feeling a little idle, I decided to take the lift down to the ground floor. Usually, I avoid lifts on the premise that I have a perfectly good pair of legs, but I was exhausted so decided to spoil myself. I wish I hadn't.
As I got into the lift, I was still straightening my notes and things, so didn't really look where I was going. The result was that I walked straight into the one person that was already in the lift.
"Oops! Sorry!" I chirped cheerily, but as I looked up, I felt the colour drain from my face.
Level with my nose was a man's belt buckle, and as my eyes lifted higher and higher, they climbed the garb of a Klingon warrior. So high my eyes had to climb, I thought I was going to get a crick in my neck. This was no ordinary Klingon warrior! This chap towered—I mean towered, not like Captain Burrows who was a real bull of a man, but like a skyscraper above me! His head nearly touched the ceiling. I'm not kidding, he was over eight feet tall and as wide as two men put together!
So what's wrong with that, you're asking. Well, I'll admit this to you now in the firm knowledge that it can go no further, but I hate tall people—no, that's not right ... I hate the tallness of tall people. I'm a little bit Dirrian in that respect, but I tend to find them intimidating. They tower over me and look down on me even if they don't mean to. It probably doesn't help that whenever I was picked on as a child, it was always by taller and larger people who belittled my short stature with snide 'shortist' remarks.
Anyway, he looked down at me with menacing eyes so deep and dark, they were like chasms, and as I stood on the edge of them, I felt I was being swallowed up, their blackness enveloping me.
A lump rose in my throat. My mouth became dry and I tried to swallow but couldn't, and then he growled at me. Not a thundering roar, I'll grant you, but as it emanated from his belly, I felt his displeasure reverberate through me.
I felt nauseous and managed a ragged gulp.
"What are you looking at?" he growled, his tone menacing and challenging.
Without engaging my brain, I spoke just one word.
"You." It was said completely without expression but I might just have well have called him a Denebian slime devil.
He bent down to me, pushing his face into mine, his eyes goggling wide in rage.
"I find hu-mans," he stretched the work out like a Ferengi, "particularly feeble, but you have to be the most puny specimen I have ever come across."
Suddenly, that little monster inside of me, the one that refuses to be trodden on, reared its ugly head, splitting away from the sane part of me. Now there were two familiar little voices in my head, each one contradicting the other.
One is sane and sensible and keeps telling me to shut up and get out of there as quickly as possible. The other is like a rabid dog trying to savage his manly parts while hurling abuse, spitting and punching at him.
Guess which side won.
"Your stature is hardly normal, even for a Klingon, so I expect you'll find everybody puny, regardless of species."
As the words fell out of my mouth, my sane side wailed in horror and begged me to be silent. The crazy side, though, was having none of it.
The Klingon said nothing. His eyes narrowed as he glared at me.
"I wonder," I continued, my sane side screaming at me to shut up, but the crazy person egging me on. "If you ever met anybody your own size, would you be so brave and insulting?" and I cocked my head on one side and threw him one of my most demeaning scowls.
He burst out into a hard, forced laugh, throwing his head back as he did so. Suddenly, he lunged forward pushing his face into mine again.
"My size is only outweighed by my skill," he spat. "Even in a handicapped match, I'd still annihilate everyone and anything. I am, and will always, remain undefeated!"
"So you claim, but talk is cheap," I quipped.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! screamed the sane voice inside my head.
"Ha! So you're challenging me!" he boomed and laughed even harder. "So be it. A handicapped match it is. Unfortunately, I cannot oblige today. I have ... matters ... to attend to; but in three days time, I shall be returning and then ... the Academy has an excellent arena to host such a contest."
The doors slid open, the Klingon exited and my jaw fell slack as my belongings slipped from my hands and crashed to the floor.
Can someone please explain to me how I managed to challenge an eight-foot Klingon to a fight? Better still, can someone tell me how to get out of it?
Oh, what on Earth am I going to do?