"Hello class! Who's ready to learn some SCIENCE?"
The class was silent; they did not exactly expect their new teacher to say something like that. Mr. Saladin put his hands on his waist and let out a breath. "Let's try that again!" Mr. Saladin went back into his room and came out again, saying, "Hello class! Who’s ready to learn some SCIENCE?"
The class finally got the hint and cheered in response. "EXCELLENT!" exclaimed Mr. Saladin. "Now, let's head in. You can sit wherever you like, but I expect you to actually PAY ATTENTION and not just talk to your friends! I will move you if you end up finding chatting with your neighbor more interesting than my lessons. Since today is the first day of school, our schedule will be a little bit different; we will be going to recess earlier than we usually do!" stated Mr. Saladin, ushering the students inside his classroom.
The class was happy to choose where they sat while they rushed in. Siofra and Isabel rushed in as well and found two seats next to each other, which were next to Leon and Marybeth as well. The classroom looked like a classroom on Earth, but everything was newer. Mr. Saladin's love for science was very apparent; he had holographic images projected that related to various scientists who lived a long, long time ago. Each scientist had a quote underneath them that they stated, which related to science and how important it was to the world. One of the quotes said "There's nothing I believe in more strongly than getting young people interested in science and engineering, for a better tomorrow, for all human kind." This quote was said by a scientist named Nye. Another quote, by a scientist named Hawking, stated "Life would be tragic if it weren't funny." That one was not really related to science directly, but Isabel automatically smiled and she made a note to research this scientist in the future. The third quote the girls read was said by Tyson: "The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it." They would have read more quotes, but Mr. Saladin got their attention.
"Okay, class. As you already know, please connect your tablets to your Electronic Desks and sign in." They inserted their tablets in the slot of the desk and the tablet sprang to life. All around the class came the voice of Ms. Luna. Their desks and tablets connected to each other and the students started typing and assigning themselves to their seats. Mr. Saladin observed all the students focused on the task he assigned and smiled. "Ah, I remember when we did not have Electronic Desks. We certainly couldn't connect our tablets and seats together" commented Mr. Saladin. The class looked up in surprised, but Isabel raised her hand.
"Yes...Isabel?" he asked. Isabel was a little shocked that the teacher already knew her name. She figured he memorized all of his students' before the first day of school. "You did not have EDs when you were our age?" she asked. "No, we did not" he answered, starting to feel a little old. The class gasped and started asking Mr. Saladin a series of questions:
"DID YOU FIGHT IN WORLD WAR THREE?!"
"DID YOU HAVE TABLETS?"
"WERE THERE HOVERCARS?"
"WERE THERE SPACESHIPS?"
"WAS SPACE INVENTED YET?"
"WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?"
Mr. Saladin just simply nodded. He went to one of the monitors on the wall and tapped the screen. He selected a teacher's name on it: MS. SIDOS. After a few seconds, the monitor came to life and Ms. Sidos' face came on the screen, with her class behind her. Ms. Sidos had black hair that came down to her shoulders. She had green eyes and always seemed to be smiling. She was very pretty. "Always a pleasure Mr. Saladin. So...how long did it take your class?" Mr. Saladin checked his computer's time display. "About 10 minutes, and you?" asked Mr. Saladin. "8.4, to be exact" responded Ms. Sidos, with a smile. "Looks like you win!" commented Mr. Saladin. Once again, Ms. Sidos smiled, and the monitor turned off. Mr. Saladin turned around to face his confused-looking class. He decided to explain the previous conversation. "Ms. Sidos and I always have a bet in the beginning of every school year. How long does it take for the class to realize how old we are and start asking nonsensical questions...and before anyone asks, nonsensical means does not make sense or things that have nothing to do with the main topic is" quickly said Mr. Saladin. The class giggled a little bit, and continued signing into the class.
Siofra was focused learning more about her new school, but specifically about Ms. Luna. She finally found her answer. "Look at this, Isabel. I learned more about Ms. Luna. She is DEFINATLEY the school's artificial intelligence. It all makes sense now!" Isabel looked at her in confusion. "Siofra...you might want to tell me what some of those words that came out of your mouth means....” Siofra thought about it for a second. "Well...artificial intelligence means...well...artificial means it was made by humans. It is NOT natural." Isabel rubbed her chin for a bit. "So...our tablets are artificial...but...water is NOT artificial!" she said. Siofra smiled and nodded. "Exactly! Water is natural! Now...intelligence is the ability to learn and do something...for example...learning how to use a tablet" explained Siofra. Isabel began to connect the dots and understand. "So Ms. Luna was built by humans, but she has the ability to learn and do things, like humans?" asked Isabel. "Exactly!" Siofra said, smiling. The duo read more about the school on their tablets and Isabel spotted something that gave her some relief.
"Hey Siofra. It looks like this school has synthesizers as well! I was worried it would be different from the school on Earth." Siofra pulled up the same information Isabel was looking at and read it as well. "The synthesizers here have more regulators too!" said Siofra. Isabel did not know what a regulator was, but after her new found knowledge on what an artificial intelligence was, she was happy for what she accomplished for that day. "I wonder why they call them synthesizers..." wondered Isabel. Siofra took it upon herself to explain. "Well...synthesizers make things right? We use them for our clothes, food, whatever we need. The word synthesize means to make something, usually by putting two things together" lectured Siofra.
Ah sheesh! Here I go accidently learning more things! Isabel thought to herself. "Simple enough. Synthesizers do make things" said Isabel. "How did you get so good at technological...stuff?"
Siofra's face turned serious. "My...Grace! My grandmother inside of me! She was really good with technology!" said Siofra, sounding a little nervous. Isabel looked at her in bewilderment. "Uh...wasn't your grandmother an actual pirate? Like, on a wooden ship? On the ocean?"
"Aye! We explored t'ocean and discovered many wonders lassie!" said Siofra, in a pirate accent. Isabel was even more confused than when she started this line of questioning. "Uh...okay. Say, Siofra...how often does...Grace...show up?" asked Isabel. "It comes and goes" said Siofra, in her normal accent. Isabel pursed her lips and nodded her head. "Yeah, sure. Hey...does your grandmother ever...tell you to...burn things?"
"Do you really think this is proper use of class time?" quickly asked Mr. Saladin, who appeared behind the girls. Both students jumped in fright.
"Great cow of Moscow!" sputtered out Isabel.
"Batten the hatches!" spattered out Siofra, or in this case, Grace. Mr. Saladin let out a small sigh."Listen girls, I don't want to move you on the first day of class. Let's keep the idle chit chat to a minimum, yes? Isabel?"
"Yes sir" said Isabel in a low voice.
"Siofra?" said Mr. Saladin, turning his attention to her.
"Yes...sorry" she said, in a lower voice than Isabel's. "Get back to work girls" ordered Mr. Saladin. The class finished signing in and registered themselves to their desks, so only their tablets would work on them. The electronic desk also enlarged the tablet's screen, so the students could easily see everything.
"Okay class, let's start!" said Mr. Saladin, clapping his hands together and tapped on his own ED. "Go ahead and open your school map." The students tapped on their tablets and a hologram of the school was projected in front of them. Mr. Saladin did the same.
"Something new this year is that the school will be open to students earlier than usual. You can go ahead and come here starting at seven in the morning. I know school officially starts at eight, but we are allowing students to come in early and either explore school grounds or get a start on doing work or finish doing some work." Leon quickly raised his hand. "Mr. Saladin? What is this area of the school?" he asked. He was speaking of the school map, specifically the area of the school that said RESTRICTED on it.
"Ah, thank you Leon" said Mr. Saladin, highlighting the new area of the school. "This area is a new addition to our school. Now, as all of you know Luna Colony is the first outer space colony humans have made. Because of this most of the population of our colony, and most of your parents, are scientists that keep the colony running. They also conduct research here to further our understanding of science. Those scientists requested a facility on campus, so we built one for them during the summer." Mr. Saladin zoomed in on the region, which made the RESTRICTED look bigger. "Long story short students, due to the sensitive nature of the laboratory, students are NOT allowed in this area."
"It's a big space!" said Marybeth, comparing the size of the area to the other parts of the school. "Yes, well, we have plenty of...space...out here" said Mr. Saladin, telling a joke. The students just stared at Mr. Saladin."Right, uh, well..." The students erupted in laughter at the "cheesiness " of the joke. Isabel looked at Siofra while the students were laughing.
"Hey Siofra...are you-"
"Curious? Of course lass!" responded Siofra. "What is this school up to? They have this secret area they built with probably has some cool stuff in it..." Isabel nodded her head and said, "And they allow us to come in early?! The school is ASKING us to explore!" Both girls were giddy with excitement.