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  • “Here it is, January Fourth in this new Earth year,” said Mr. Spock. “Cloudy and grey outside where you lived on your planet, but with rising wind, dropping temperature, and rising barometer. Sixty percent likelihood the weather where you lived on Earth will clear up during the next few hours.”

    “So what?” said the Tempestuous Young Space Cadet.

    “So, the Cosmos goes on its merry way, leaving you there irradiating yourself in the electronic glow of that foolish computer screen.”

    “It’s not foolish,” objected the Tempestuous Young Space Cadet. “It’s Cowbird.”

    “So you say.” Mr. Spock took out a nail file and gently sharpened the tip of his left ear. “And while the Cosmos goes on its merry way, there you sit, trying to cobble up something more gut-spilling, self-revealing, self-serving, pathetic and approval-seeking than the bit of rhetorical navel-gazing you most recently read. Am I correct?”

    “No.” The Tempestuous Young Space Cadet pressed the Enter button on the keypad, to submit a Cowbird Story she had just written about the difficulty of growing to maturity aboard a space ship under the steely gaze of a pointy-eared humanoid gifted in logic but with the heart and soul of an old-fashioned cash register.

    “It appears completely illogical to me,” said Mr. Spock over his shoulder as the door to the Bridge hissed open.

    “Go mate with a pot-bellied stove,” muttered the Tempestuous Young Space Cadet over her shoulder.

    “While it’s burning,” she added.
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