Elizabeth sat quietly on the local transit bus looking around at everyone who sat or stood around waiting for their stop. As she looked, she spotted a familiar face Dean Ishmael her "friend" from her Russian class, however he was oblivious as was everyone to her true objective. He wasn't supposed to be her friend, no he was her target the one person who she is assigned to protect with her life, even it would mean getting close.
As she stared at him, she stood up and prepared to get off at the same stop as him, and began to both head towards the Stewart Center, the main campus building for those looking to broaden their palate in terms of speech, communication, and the necessity of language. Grabbing her bag, she quickly caught up to him.
"Hey Dean!" He turned around and smiled at her. "You ready for the exam today?"
"No, I studied all day yesterday and I'm still struggling to get the basic understanding of their alphabet..." He let his sentence drag out. Looking at him, she watched him blush. "If I don't succeed in this class, my mom is going to fucking kill my ass."
"Did you choose this class, or did she pressure you?" Looking at him with her natural puppy eyes he looked at Elizabeth and stopped.
"Both, I wanted to learn more about my 'Russian heritage' and she wanted me to learn the language, I mean English is considered the hardest to learn in terms of our very crazy and unusual grammar you know, feet, foot, duck, goose? Russian it's an entirely different world."
"Ha, yeah. Honestly it's easy, we share quite a lot of letters with the Russian alphabet, only difference is the pronunciation I mean the B with the open top is B the normal looking be is V. Look you still have a few weeks to drop the class and Professor Vrenshic said that this is a test that he gives at the beginning of the year, if you don't go good I, well, I can tutor you." Smiling he looked over at his new friend.
"Seriously, you tutor me, what do you have languages under your belt?" Nodding she rolled her eyes.
"Yep, my grandparents on my mom's side were from Russia, they fled during the Bolshevik uprising, so my mom made sure I learned Russian, so I don't lose our heritage."
"Wow, same thing." Walking up the stairs she gripped her bag as they walked towards the lecture hall. "I guess you're taking this for easy credits?"
"Yep." Chuckling they both made their way to their normal seats towards each other's friends. Pulling out her book, she glanced down at all the notes she had made in class written in Elizabeth's perfect hand written notes. Most of the class already figured she knew Russian or Ukrainian when she spoke to the professor in perfectly pronounced Russian. However, she truly was Russian, but before she went to college and was recruited by Delta-6 she simply could speak rudimentary broken Russian. All agents were required to have fluency in at least four languages before they are allowed to do field tests to get field agent status, but also it meant being capable of the unthinkable to many, defending yourself with lethal force, or being willing to kill, seduce, or torture a target for information and security.
In all honestly, she had a love-hate relationship with her job, she hated the fact that it required such a level of violence, and the unfortunate times when she had to sleep with various targets, but at the same time she loved the thrill of being a spy. It was what made her good at her job, she was willing to do it for that reason. Perhaps, it was why they insisted she met a certain profile.
As more people began to pile into the classroom, she busted out her Russian textbook which covered the language, but also included the social guidelines when communicating with a Russian as well as local customs. Philadelphia University was correct that teaching a language wasn't just absorb and regurgitate but submerging oneself in the language. When she took it back in college and during training her professors only spoke in Russian after the 10th week, during training she would be forced speak Russian, think Russian, and be Russian to really embrace it.
Quickly the entire room was packed with the 165 students and as soon as that happened the sound of people chatting about the parties they went to, people they fucked, and embarrassing stories of other people began to emerge. Rolling her eyes, she could remember those days when she was at Harvard, the crazy parties she was invited to, including the two instances she had a one-night stand with a guy at them.
Elizabeth's eyes snapped to attention to Professor Vreshnic as he waddled over to his desk and threw down papers. Quickly he looked up at everyone he quickly hit their shut-up switches.
"Alright so books closed, this test isn't graded this is for you to judge whether or not you are getting to understand their alphabet and basic understanding of their grammar as well. If you score a 65 or below, I highly recommend you drop this class ASAP." As he said that a low rumble of people talking to each other happened. Rolling her eyes, she watched as people passed the quiz around many of them in terror. Chuckling she calmly took the quiz paper and began to get to work on it, like most people who are fluent in a language it only took her a few minutes to finish everything and double check her work.
Elizabeth looked paper and nodding, she stood up and shimmed her way out of the line of chairs and into the isle. Walking down to the old professor he looked up from the other papers and rolled his eyes taking her paper before quickly glancing over it and handing it back to her. He ushered her close.
"Why the fuck is you taking this class miss Nash? I can tell just by the way to told me to watch my language about my wife in Russian that you are definitely fluent."
"Just a GPA booster, sir." Smiling he ushered her to return to her seat, sitting there she just waited for everyone to finish in the next twenty minutes before the next four hours of lecture.
Erika stormed out from her professors office, he just threw away the paper she had worked on for months because he didn't agree with her thesis on the origins of language, it was her paper for her "introduction to languages" class, it wasn't like it was a thesis for a master's degree, rather it was part of the prompt. However, the most disastrous moment when he offered Erika a 'solution', one that was repulsive. Instead of accepting the C- and risking her GPA he offered her a chance to get an A on the paper by sleeping with him. Gripping her pencil, she felt it crack before snapping in half in her hand.
"Yo Eri, how did you do on your paper?" Said Ryan.
"Horrible, he didn't like my thesis on the origin of languages, thing is this is the area I am going into – linguistics, not a single language expert." Grunting she looked at her paper which had no feedback just a C-.
"Well, will you pass the class?'
"No, he is fucking hates me and honestly really hates anything that comes out of my mouth." Gritting her teeth, she watched as his eyes went wide.
"Well at least I am not the only one, he actually liked mine but demolished it, I also did one on the origin of language as well and he gave me an B, so I think he did it because you are a: a female, and b: smarter than he is." Blushing she took the honesty from him. "If he did that to me, I think I would be fucking rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end."
Laughing she quickly noted, "that is probably the most terrifying thing to happen, can you imagine?"
"Oh yeah." Snuffing she quickly changed the conversation from killing or maiming the bastard to the topic at hand.
"So, ready for the final next week?" Nodding his head, they both were ready, they had been studying for weeks now for the final as well as completing their paper for the end of the year.
"Thing is, I seriously think you need to contact the dean about this, what if he takes it seriously enough to threaten to flunk you next week if you... don't take the offer."
"I don't think he will and honestly, I have heard of other professors who do it but usually back off."
"At least I only have to worry about my music professor."
"How so?" She said playfully, Erika fully enjoyed it when he came out of the closet senior year of high school, they dated for over a year and she didn't want to force him out. However, after her parents died in the plane crash last year, he transferred his credits from Yale to Harvard to be with her.
"Yep, but I didn't know your music prof' is gay?"
Elizabeth sat back as everyone looked over their quickly returned quizzes, she watched as a quarter of the class gathered their stuff and walked out. Standing up with the group was Dean, walking towards the door, he glanced back, before shaking his head before returning and sitting down next to Elizabeth.
"Okay, I need some tutoring."
"How, so?" Uncrumpling his paper, he showed her with it with red marks all over it. "Well, I can help."
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