Ambrose put his hand up. ‘I think they shave a lot,’ he said.
‘They do Mr Grey,’ said Wing Commander Hygbald. ‘Indeed they do.’
He perched on the edge of his desk and looked at everyone. ‘Now there young flyers, I think I’m going to need to start from the beginning here,’ he said. ‘A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, a new planet was born. We now know it as earth. It is populated by human beings.’
‘Are there many of them, sir?’ Tiberius called out.
‘Somewhere in the region of seven billion now.’
Normal put his hand up. ‘Are they safe, sir?’ he asked.
‘Well, now that’s the question, Mr McCloud. Are they safe? Safe indeed? It’s also the reason why we are here. Some of them act in a dangerous manner, and many of them need help to remain safe. Now,’ he waved a thick, gold-backed book. ‘This is your study book for the year. It’s called A History of the Solar System in 110 ½ Chapters. It will tell you all you need to know, and probably a lot you don’t. Collect a copy at the end of this lesson from this pile on my desk. Yes, miss er…’
‘Ararnia Mist, sir,’
‘Ah yes. Miss er Mist. What is it?’
‘How heavy is it sir? Will we be able to carry it?’ She mimed lifting something as she spoke.
‘That’s the extraordinary thing about it. It weighs very little. Something to do with the kind of paper they use.’
The lesson went on and Wing Commander Hygbald told them everything about cars, the black death, paper cuts, world wars, Royal Weddings, speed cameras and General Elections. Eventually the bell sounded.
There was a chorus of scraping chairs as the class of Q1 stood up and started to leave. Ocacia was the last and she twitched her nose as she glanced back at Mr Hygbald before she went out of the door. She pushed her red glasses further up her nose as she said, ‘I think you have a screw loose, sir.’
‘What?’ Commander Hygbald’s face turned a mild shade of red.
‘On your glasses, sir, left arm. The screw is loose.’
And she quickly went, leaving Hygbald fiddling with his glasses and wondering about her.
To be continued…