With the second hug catching Kyle off guard, he stood there and remained hugging her. Unsure of what else to do. He thought to himself, ‘D-Did I say something right... am I not in trouble?’ With that, not even a second after, he hugs her tighter.
Kyle had just meet someone that wasn’t mean to him. He didn’t anger her as far as he knew and made her as what he can only see as happy. The thoughts of her just acting this was to use him disappeared as he hugged her tighter. Tears of joy fourmulated in his eyes as he was genuinely happy to have made a friend in a long time.
His face was blushed from the tears, and the fact that someone was hugging him. He could only whisper, “I-I-I... I-I’m glad I-I could m-make you h-happy...”
As the five minutes were up, Dylan straightened his jacket and stood up again. As the few who had left the class came back and sat down again, Dylan opened: " Very well. As I said, part 1: ecosystems."
Dylan began his first slides, showing a variety of ecosystems, like forests, waterfalls, and even a desert. " What classifies any unique ecosystem, as geographers understand, is mostly the variety of features." Dylan began with zooming in on the forest.
" First, we shall examine the most diverse ecosystem on any habitable planet: the woodland. There exist a variety of different woodland classes: the most diverse is that of the tropical rainforest, which is characterized by high rainfall, that gives rise to nearly 60% of all biotic species within the known biospheres. They are characterized by a heavy canopy that prevents any sunlight to the forest floor, with only 2% passing through. Only plants accustomed to low light live on the floor, and the growth of fungi is rampant. This relative open floor allows for larger animals to life under the canopy."
" Beyond that are the temperate rainforests, that have more open canopies and the forest floor is more diverse. Despite that, only 10% of the light passes through, and a majority of the plants are still shade tolerant. Since rainforests require a steady supply of rainfall, they are mostly reserved to equatorial and coastal territories rich in either sea- or river- water." Dylan clicked next, showing a deciduous forest.
" Temperate forests are perhaps the most seen ecosystem of woodland. There are varieties that have broadleaf and mixed forests. Their canopies are mostly open, allowing a rich forest floor, and it is the place where most common animals are found, due to their rich nutritional properties. The further north or south of the equator, the less warm the forests are, and in the subarctic regions, these temperate mixed forest give way to boreal ones."
" Boreal forests consist almost entirely of coniferous trees, since the climate tolerates little broadleaf species. The forest floor is mostly characterized by the existence of permafrost, which makes the growth of plants nearly impossible. This is why the biosphere of these boreal forests is mostly dominated by furred animals accustomed to the cold."
Dylan then passed over to a multitude of climate maps. " Of all ecosystems, woodlands are perhaps the most susceptible to outside influence. Flooding, drought, weather extremes. And it is also the centre of civilized interference in nature. Throughout history, forests have suffered from fires by drought, harvesting for resources, and destruction by tornados and hurricanes."
" However, when encountered with natural disaster, forests can quickly regenerate, with saplings rebuilding the canopy in a matter of years. There is a difference, however, when civilization brings organised methods to alter forest grounds. With targeted cutting, burning down, and cultivation of former woodlands, forests have been reduced across planets for centuries. Nevertheless, when ecology came into existence, forest management created the means of not destroying, but rather repurposing forested areas. The creation of dedicated tree plantations has reduced the cutting of forests, and designated 'natural reserve' forests enjoy protection from environmental interference. In general, since rainforests protect more than half of most planetary biology, they are protected, while boreal forests are specifically planted for harvesting." With that, Dylan ended the part of the forests and moved on.
Ceilia enjoyed the hug, it felt nice, but her internal clock said it was time to hurry to the next class. She finally withdrew her arms, "We better hurry to second period. Come on." She said grabbing his hand to pull him along.
Kyle broke his arms away when Ceilia did. His face was blushed and he was looking down with an embarrassed look on his face. When she grabbed his hand, he was caught off guard. When she lead him down the hall he followed after, his hoodie coming off, showing his complete face and the scars on them as well.
Rose sat back in her chair and looked over Kyle's notes as she chewed over his behavior. She knew there was something up, but she couldn't quite tell what it was. She knew the young man was a savant in abstract mathematics, and these course calculations were easy proof. Cancelling out most of the other courses in the hologram, she entered his, finding a simple three jump route that accounted for the gravity wells of other stars, even using gravitational assistance to make the continuum distortion vectors more efficient. It was certainly an interesting way of handling the problem, and Rose had to look over the math a few more times to double check.
She figured it would be a good idea to ask if he wanted to help develop a new nav algorithm based on his method.
But there was still one course that irked her. She knew there had been a blind student, but she had expected some other way of seeing or at least getting a good vector. She would need to speak with Eve in private to satisfy that itch, and start work on a way for her to complete the class. Even if that meant coming up with an entirely new way to read a starmap.
Ceilia dragged Kyle passed Chlorate and into room 2. "Good we made it in time," she said finding a couple of empty seats. She sat there smiling for a moment then looked confused, "I had this class marked as second period, but what was the class again?"
"Adilis, am I wrong? Was it not Adria who put a speaker on Chlorate's back? Your not in trouble here, Adria is," Mark said.
Kyle Sat down next to her and put down his backpack next to his seat. He turned to Ceilia and said, “N-no clue... I don’t k-know the c-class schedule f-for me...” He then cocked his head to the right and said with a confused look on his face, “Y-you have th-the Same c-class again with m-me...?”
Dylan looked at his own footnotes that he had written down on his desk, mostly for mental memory. He then continued to the next slide.
" Now, let us look to one of the most essential parts of any ecosystem: water. On most planets, the mayority of liquid water is mostly salted, and therefore, undrinkable by most organisms. Therefore, sweetwater has been the basis of most life-forms in terms of their structure and diet. Whether in the form of seas, rivers, or lakes, sweetwater has been the nexus of both biological and societal development for centuries." Dylan zoomed in on the water slides. Multiple rivers appeared, one surrounded by farmlands, one in the desert, and a smaller creek deep inside a rainforest.
" Perhaps the most notable source of sweetwater is in the form of rivers. As you know, rivers are part of the natural water cycle, and as such, form an important link between oceans and the land. Most rivers spring either from melting water on top of mountains, or marshes, or from subterranean streams that come above ground. They form over the span of millennia, eroding and meandering, interacting with its environment. It is perhaps the most direct reactor to environmental changes. Now, a river is designated as having one source, a course, and ending in either the confluence of another river, or a estuary at a sea or lake."
" In history, rivers have been the source of both irrigation and sweetwater biology. But most importantly, it has an important impact on its environment. The climate that a river has, is indicated by cooler temperatures, and a higher supply of oxygen that leads to increased biological activity. In deserts, rivers may be the only source of drinkable water for miles around, and their importance was the source of the rising of civilization. In fact, the very first societies relied heavily on the adjacency of rivers for water supply. With the advent of irrigation, however, society could survive away from direct water, which led to the spreading of civilization to colder and warmer climates."
" Rivers, in all their types, are important for local population, both biological and civilized. However, they pose a very direct obstacle to travel across. In places where the riverbed is shallow and small, rapid currents prevent direct crossing out of danger. In places where the bed is broad and deep, it is impossible to cross on foot, but it might be possible to swim across. There are places where rivers form natural fords, shallow passages with currents that are slow enough for crossing. The location and identification of a riverbed's features is an important part of geography, as river often are the mayor part of any ecosystem."
" As I said, rivers are the source of much biological activity. And with the advent of civilization, people have cultivated the sides of the river into farmland, with rivers being the main source of agriculture for almost 50% of interplanetary production. Shortly, rivers are a strategic asset, in the eyes of most government, seeing that they supply society with the mayority of food production."
Dylan clicked to the next slide, which became more technical. " All right. Time for some terminology, and some quick maths. Generally, a river is characterised by several properties, of which three are most important: aggradation, which is the elevation of a river over a piece of its course, which is called relative aggradation, and over it's entirety, the absolute aggradation. Second is the current, which is a measurement of the speed of a river at any given point, and its size, which is the absolute sum of its width and depth. A river that has a relatively low absolute aggradation has a tendency to a a slower current, given that there are less fall gradients, while currents and size lead to other important properties. These include sedimentation, which is the amount of lithographic transport across a river and deposited along the way, called the fluvial process. Another important property is the oxygen level, which is important for biological processes."
" The last two properties of a river are its floor composition, which indicates underwater biology, and chemical composition. The last one has become more important as ecology took shape, with chemicals being an dangerous hazard for river contamination. In general, the history of sanitation, which we will discuss in another class, has been closely associated with river chemistry, with water reclamation and treatment taking an important part in modern society." With that, Dylan closed his last slide on rivers, and looked at the clock again. He had taken up half of his runtime already. So he had to skip some things.
Office Oh no, they were asking him? Why did it have to be him? "I-I... She..." Adilis looked at Adria, scared. There wasn't a correct answer here... If he told Mark that she did it, she'd be mad at him. If he told Mark that he didn't want to say, then Mark would figure out it was her pretty quickly, and she'd get mad at him, AND Mark might also be mad at him for not telling him who it was. If he lied, then Mark would find out anyway and both of them would be in trouble. "I-I don't want to get involved in this..." Adilis said worriedly.
Kyle’s face went completely red after she said that, “E-every c-c-class...” he muttered surprised. This meant she would be with him everywhere. “D-does Th-that mean w-w-we’re f-friends...?” He whispered nervously.
He was a bit nervous. It’s been a while since he has had a friend. He was usually just left alone with the occasional aquatince every couple of years. Kyle never had a real friend or someone to talk to about anything. With Ceilia and everything else just happening. It’s a shock to him.
He didn’t know what else to say, he felt glad a little. Now that he has someone to talk to in his classes at least. Instead of being alone in the corner of the class.
Kyle awkwardly smiles and leans forward resting his hand on his face and his elbow on the desk. With a soft sigh, he threw over his hoodie and waited for the class to start. He wanted the least amount of attention directed towards himself, hence why he threw his hoodie over his head. To block others from seeing his face clearly, making it more likely that he’s ignored.
Kyle quietly said, “Friends... better than an AI I-in my head...” he shuttered after stating it, still uncomfortable about it.
Aster walked in and took a seat next to Neera, "Konichiwa Neera, how has duty been?"
"Eh, usual security ops. Same as you.", Neera replied to Aster.
"Hey Kyle, are you scared of her? All you did was poke her," Ceilia task oblivious to what the issue was, and worried by his sudden fear.
This caused Neera to slowly turn around and eye Kyle, then Ceilia, "Careful he might poke you too." Was all she said before turning back around with a hmph.
Aster didn't bother asking, but she did eye Ceilia, as something about her was off. "You don't act like a normal person, are you an Android?", she asked curiously but in a manner that was entirely neutral.
"Oh I'm Ceilia, I'm an AI. This body was given to me today, still getting used to flesh and blood." Ceilia cheerfully chimed.
"You must have a Geist then. Interesting, and I assume this is something Section 6 has done. Who's your shy friend there under the desk?" Aster mused.
"A perv." Neera said under her breathe.
"This is Kyle, my best friend and my pilot."
Mark was not amused, "Because he stayed at the corner the whole time, and you can see both of your faces. Cut the bull Adria, you made it painfully obvious that it was you."