Day 4, 1300 hours
The astronomy lab was a spacious room with a high ceiling, the room was elongated to the direction of the door. At the centre of the room, was a five metre wide circular platform, currently there was a 3D model of the Milky Way galaxy floating above the platform. The platform was raised up by about two feet, and inside it were various holographic projection technology, blue lightening emanated from the platform's perimeter.
Various consoles were laid out around the platform, to the left and right of the room were a line of monitors and screens. Next to the door was a small desk, the walls were the usual dull grey, but the lightening was noticeably brighter, the white light shone off the metallic surfaces of equipment.
The door to the astronomy lab opened, and Megan turned her head to see who had entered. “Hello Mia... What do you want?”
There was a brief pause, technically Mia shouldn’t be in the astronomy lab, but Megan waived that restriction aside.
Mia looked around at the lab, seemingly curious about it. “Oh I was just interested in what you actually do... with your work.”
This surprised Megan, and she tried to disappoint Mia. “It's pretty drab stuff, unless you consider the wormhole.”
“What kind of qualifications do you have?” asked Mia.
“Numerous ones, I've lost count. I have mathematics, physics and astronomy degrees, various doctorates. I spent half of my childhood in my bedroom studying mathematics and physics...”
An idea popped into Megan’s head, one which would keep Mia quiet and busy, while Megan could get on with her own work. Megan picked up seven padds, which were lying on the top of a wide console, and stacked them up into a pile. “I'll tell you what, you're not in school anymore, and if you want a challenge try some of these exercises; they're full of algebra, calculus and physics problems.”
Mia gathered the pads into her thin arms, she looked excited by the humongous workload. “Can I work in here? It's very quiet you see.”
“Sure, there's a seat over there and a spare desk.” Megan gestured with her hand. “But I'm quite busy at the moment, so don't ask me any questions okay?”
“I understand,” said Mia.
Mia headed towards the desk and sat down, and began to work.
Day 4, 1600 hours
After three hours, Megan had finished analysing the scans of the Polaris region. In all that time, Mia didn’t disturb her once, so Megan decided to check up on Mia’s work. She walked over to the desk where Mia was sitting at, Mia seemed to be concentrating hard on some sort of problem.
“I've just come to check up on you, may I?” asked Megan.
Mia nodded, and Megan checked the padd upon which Mia wrote the answers for the maths and physics problems. Megan was astounded by what she saw, Mia’s aptitude in maths and physics was very strong.
“Unbelievable,” she said.
Mia suddenly looked worried, as if she thought all her answers were wrong. “What's the matter?”
“You're fifteen right? Well your aptitude level for the mathematics is very high considering your age. You have a strong grasp of vector spaces, differential equations, and linear algebra, it's all very impressive. Additionally you are very skilled at constructing proofs from using various axioms.”
Mia seemed slightly embarrassed of Megan’s praise for her abilities. “Oh it's nothing, every night in my bedroom I just study maths, physics and I also work out how this station runs. It helps me to take my mind off... things.”
Megan suddenly realised just how long Mia had been in the astronomy lab, and Megan wondered if Mia had told her parents where she was. “Do your parents know that you are here with me?”
A cheeky grin lined Mia’s mouth. “They think I'm in my room.”
“You masked your life signs from the station's sensors haven't you?”
“It's easy, evading sensors and so forth...”
Mia looked guiltily at Megan as if expecting a reprimand, though Megan decided to ignore Mia’s tampering with the station’s sensors. The hidden talents that Mia possessed deeply surprised her... “Have you told your parents about your talent in mathematics and physics?”
“No...” Mia paused. “It's just...”
“They're not as skilled at mathematics and physics as you are?”
Mia nodded in agreement. “Well yeah, they couldn't teach me, because I teach myself. I just like doings things independently...”
With all that potential and talent, Megan seriously believed Mia’s talents were going to waste. “I'm going to talk to your parents about your abilities. Quite frankly I see great potential in you...”
“Really?” said Mia, she sounded genuinely interested.
“I'm serious, with your intelligence combined with your shapeshifting abilities... Well it's a useful combination...”
At the mention of the shapeshifting Mia frowned, and Megan realised Mia hated having the ability to shapeshift.
Day 4, 1655 hours
Kira was walking along the upper level of the Promenade. It had been a busy day for her as three ships that had docked at DS9 had been searched for narcotics. Indeed Odo and his security personnel had found massive quantities of narcotics onboard all three ships.
So exhausted was Kira that she considered having dinner by herself at Jake Sisko’s restaurant. The food was amazing, Jake had clearly inherited his father’s gift for cooking. Before Kira made up her mind, she observed Megan walking purposefully towards her.
“Colonel!” said Megan, who quickened her stride and then came to a stop in front of Kira. “I'd like to talk to you about your daughter.”
Inwardly Kira groaned to herself, she hated it when people thought it was necessary to give her parental advice. “What about my daughter?” she said, while sounding tense and looked haughty.
Megan seemed to realize Kira’s bad mood, as such Megan became as forthright as possible towards Kira. “She's incredibly talented at mathematics and physics! You see Mia came into the astronomy lab four hours ago. She was interested about my job, so I gave her some maths and physics exercises, and three hours later I checked her work. She's light years ahead of her peer group.”
“What was Mia doing in the astronomy lab?” asked Kira suspiciously.
Looking away slightly from Kira, Megan seemed quite sheepish. “Mia came by to visit me, she's...” There was a pause, and Megan looked slightly nervous.
“What?” demanded Kira.
“She has tampered with the station's sensors to mask her life signs.” Megan said this quickly, she seemed to be glossing over Mia’s wrongdoing. “This explains why you haven't been able to find her when she occasionally... disappears.”
Kira looked taken aback. “Mia tampered with the station's sensors?” she said disbelievingly.
“Look, Mia shouldn't have tampered with the sensors, but it's shows she's intelligent and practical. However, I seriously urge you to assess your daughter's talents!”
Megan looked almost imploringly towards Kira. “With that kind of brain power your daughter could go far in life!”
Such information about Mia totally astonished Kira, she was motionless as she contemplated what Megan had said. Kira snapped back to the real world and noticed that Megan was gone. She wished Megan had stayed, for Kira wanted to know more about Mia’s hidden talents, as in any case Mia had hid her talents well.
Day 4, 2350 hours
Inside her quarters, Kira was coming to terms with what she had discovered about Mia. She had confronted Mia, and upon investigating Mia’s bedroom, Kira had discovered dozens of padds stored inside a chest of draws. After briefly analysing the contents of these padds, Kira realised that Megan was absolutely right about Mia. One such padd was full of Mia’s answers to various maths and physics exercises.
At the first possible opportunity, Kira wanted to discuss with Odo what she had discovered about Mia. Unfortunately, Odo was very busy questioning suspects from the narcotics raid. Kira waited in the living room hoping that Odo would return soon as it was approaching midnight. Some hours later and the front door opened, and Odo was finally back home.
Kira rose from the sofa and walked towards Odo, a padd was firmly clenched in her right hand.
When Odo spotted Kira he looked surprised. “Nerys I didn’t realize you were still awake!”
Odo moved closer to Kira expecting a kiss to his lips, however Kira wasn’t in the mood for any intimacy. “Odo we need to talk, it’s about Mia.”
Kira passed to Odo the padd, looking slightly confused Odo looked at the contents. For a few moments, Kira wondered what Odo’s reaction would be when he saw Mia’s work. “This is the sort of work that Mia churns out on a daily basis...”
After a minute, Odo removed his gaze from the padd. “It doesn't make any sense, according to the teacher, Mia's ability at mathematics and physics is average at best.”
“It seems to me that Mia was just playing dumb all this time. Not only that she's been tampering with the station sensors to mask her life signs!”
Odo nodded once and slowly; he opened his mouth slightly, Kira recognized that expression immediately, that was Odo’s way of showing understanding. “That explains why I couldn't find her three days ago,” said Odo.
“Odo for all these years we've seriously underestimated her abilities!”
Kira’s voice was tempered with disappointment, she felt as if she had failed Mia as a parent.
It seemed Odo felt the same way as well as his eyes looked disappointed. “I know, but academically she's smarter than both of us, so how could we teach her?”
“What she needs is some sort of tutor,” said Kira slowly. “Someone who could intellectually stimulate Mia...”
“How about Megan? She's the most qualified of anyone onboard this station.”
Two months ago Kira would have plainly said ‘no’ to such a suggestion, but Kira trusted Megan now ever since she saved Deru and Mia. “That's a possibility,” she replied cautiously.
Whereas Kira was cautious about choosing Megan, Odo seemed all for the idea. “I say Megan is the best person to teach Mia, it appears that Mia has formed some kind of bond with Megan.”
Reluctantly Kira decided to trust Odo’s judgement, she couldn’t think of another suitable person to mentor Mia. A wave of tiredness crashed over Kira, all this talk about Mia’s future would have to wait until tomorrow. “We'll discuss this matter with Megan tomorrow, and we'll see whether she is interested in mentoring Mia. I’m going to bed now, to get a good night’s sleep.”