In the advanced driver's ed class, Quantum and Capt. Vissian pilot the Vissian stratopod through the hypergiant while Capt. Vissian quotes Shakespeare. Apparently, he read all the plays the night before in an effort to better understand the humans. Easy Reader, that's his name. Reading words, that's his game. Having dispensed with Shakespeare, Capt. Vissian thought he'd speed-read his way through Sophocles as well, and asks what Quantum would suggest for his next night's reading. "Seems like you're picking the good ones all by yourself," Quantum comments. Hee -- Quantum has so much water on the brain, he doesn't have a clue what to suggest. Just a few minutes ago he thought "Sophocles" was a laundry detergent. Quantum and Capt. Vissian express mutual admiration of one another's cultural advancements, and continue on their way into the hypergiant.
Vissian Engineering. The Massa explains stuff about their engine to Trip, who is a lot more interested in the Three Gender Problem. "I don' meen to pry, but does ev'ry family have a cogenitor?" Trip pries. Massa explains that a cogenitor is not needed unless the couple is trying to make a baby. Trip asks what happens when there's no babydancing going on. "The cogenitor is assigned to another couple," Massa tells him. "They make up about three percent of our population, which seems to be a perfect ratio. Nature has a way of finding the right balance." Clever way to make sure we know this tri-gendered species' way of procreating was handed down naturally and not genetically engineered, which, of course, further blurs the line between right and wrong. Not that Trip ever saw the line in the first place. To Trip's next invasive question, Massa confirms that the cogenitor Trip met is the only one on their ship at this point: "Once Calla and I are finished with It, I doubt It'll be needed before we return home." More half-hearted technolistening on Trip's part as he susses out that It lives in a room within Massa's and Mrs. Massa's quarters. "What does it do when you're not..." Trip trails off. "It eats and sleeps. There's not much else for It to do," Massa says, a bit puzzled by Trip's question. Then why did they even bother bringing It aboard Enterprise if they put It away when not in use? They weren't exactly cogeniting all over the table. Unless I missed it. "What about school?" Trip asks next. "They only serve one purpose, sending It to school would make no sense. Why are you so curious about them?" Massa asks. Trip shrugs, "Humans are very curious." "Nosy." I think "nosy" is actually the word you're looking for, Trip. Back to their original purpose of being in Vissian Engineering in order to learn more about their ship, Massa drops the first year chemistry bomb that some polymer they have is composed of over two hundred naturally occurring elements. Trip freaks a little. "I read in your database that you've only discovered ninety-two, I understand that this might seem unnerving," Massa admits, launching the anvil of That's Not the Only Thing He Finds Unnerving into the stratosphere. "A lot of thangs around here do, but I'm tryin' to keep an open mind," Trip smiles sickly.