This is set in Cynara’s Doomsday Academy, several years after its founding. Kheper is a Year Nine Student.
Nine children were waiting in Cynara’s classroom. Nine Third-year students, twelve years old and fresh out of Ascha’s tender care.
Every year, Ascha said the same thing to her, don’t scare them, Aunt Cya.
And every year, Cya said back to her crewmate’s daughter, oh, come on, you know me.
Yes, I do. And they’d both laugh, and roll their eyes, and Cya would walk away wondering what, exactly, was so frightening about her.
Don’t scare them. She walked into the classroom and smiled at the children. “Hello, and welcome to Survival Level One.” She looked around at the children – bright-eyed kids, two years in and old hands at this whole school thing. “Over the next five years, I’m going to teach you how to survive in just about any circumstance.”
They shared looks amongst themselves. Cya could read in some faces all that in five years and in others that’s going to take five years?
She’d been teaching this class for five years. She’d gotten used to both reactions.
She smiled at all of them again. “Pull out paper and a pencil. We’re going to start with an exercise.” She’d done this with her kids. She’d done this with her grandkids. If the fates were kind, she’d probably be teaching this to her great-grandkids in a few years. “Imagine that you are, say, building a small town for thirty-five people. List everything that you will need for their survival.” She held up a hand. “There are no wrong answers, and I full expect that every one of you will have different answers.” She looked over their faces again. “You’ve all come from very different places, after all.”
And there, there was the thing Ascha kept warning Cya about. Fear.
Cya swallowed the sigh and made the smile a little wider and, she hoped, a little more reassuring. Nineteen-year-old Addergoole graduates were easy. Why were thirteen-year-old students so hard?
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/761679.html. You can comment here or there.