"And this will be your lab, Dr. Gottlieb. You will have to share, due to space limitations, but it is our largest lab space, if it's any consolation," the ensign jumbled as he gestured to a doorway just down the hall. He had been speaking very quickly throughout his brief tour of the facilities, and Hermann had begun to suspect that the young man was a fan of his work somewhere between the cafeteria and his bunk. As the tour seemed to reach its end, he began to muster strength for the inevitable coming mention of his guide's 'great respect' or 'fascination' with his work; God, the man even seemed the type to ask for an autograph. Hermann couldn't help but hope that the ensign would abruptly disappear, that he might avoid the exchange.

"Quite alright, naturally. I suppose you have me with another mathematician or theoretician?" Hermann responded, more than slightly bored after almost half an hour of dealing with the man.

"I...don't really know. I generally have duty with the pilots." At a look from Hermann, the ensign blushed an alarming shade of red and elaborated: "I-I swapped shifts so I could give you your tour. I just...I read through your articles on the rift, and I must say that it's an honor to have you here, Dr. Gottlieb. Would you...would you perhaps sign my copy of 'On the Breach and its Structure?'"

Hermann reached into his jacket for a pen and scrawled something like his name near the title of the journal publication before walking past the young man that appeared likely to burst. He still wasn't comfortable with the notoriety his name now carried. Of course, within the correct circles his name had always carried some weight, but never the likes of colleagues such as Green or Hitchin. Even his students very rarely treated him with any exceptional respect, as quite often they were approximately his age.

Now, of course, it seemed as though every last Paul, Dick, and Henry knew his name, not from his more interesting or involved papers, but from the thrice-cursed "On the Breach and its Structure." Even if they hadn't understood it, even if they hadn't read the damn thing, most people could at least identify his name with the Jaeger program. Correction: his sample size was far too small to make such a statistic generalization. To be more accurate, the frequency of recognition of his name in those outside his field had increased manifold and the number of autographs had risen from exactly two to hundreds in little over a year.

Hermann shook himself out of his train of thought as he approached the heavy metal door. "Just, please, don't let it be a biologist," he muttered under his breath, "Anything but a biologist."

After one deep breath to steady himself, Hermann turned the handle and entered the lab. Naturally, the first thing to catch his eye was a rather large, spined, reeking sample that only could have been from a Kaiju. Moments like this reminded Hermann why he was not religious.

Fortunately, the three triple chalkboards that moved with him from lab to lab had been assembled correctly and in a logical arrangement along the side of a wall, far from the ongoing dissection and the rather large door on the side that likely led to a specimen containment area. Further, it did not appear that his new partner was present, so he'd likely have a few moments to make certain the space was just as he was used to: neat and orderly.

He approached the small desk next to the chalkboard arrangement and placed his bag gingerly upon the surface. From within, he reverently withdrew his set of chalk and erasers. The six pieces that had most recently been in use as well as his best eraser were carried over to the boards and placed in their rightful positions. Hermann then looked up at the empty plane and began copying down the work he had been in the middle of upon his relocation.

A sudden snore coming from the previously unnoticed couch along the wall next to the storage doors startled Hermann out of his focus. "By Jove, what on Earth!?" he exclaimed, almost stumbling from his perch atop his ladder. He moved down quickly, and began hobbling towards the originator of the sound. At first it wasn't clear whether the shape was even an actual person as it was nestled into multiple, thick comforters that obscured gender, size, and species.

Hermann was not entirely sure what to do. Most likely, the form was indeed the as-yet unnamed biologist, but other possibilities ranged from a tired J-Tech officer to yet another sample (a thought which he distinctly attempted to ignore). As a precaution, Hermann decided the safest route was to prod the figure with the end of his cane. A moment after an initial jab, a tousled head appeared from within the many covers, murmuring some unknown words just loud enough to establish that whoever was asleep was most certainly male. Having established that whatever was resting on the bed was definitely human, Hermann began to return to his boards.

"Wha- whaddayouwant?" a distorted voice from the couch queried, interrupting Hermann's path.

Hermann turned tightly upon his good foot and began moving back to the form upon the couch. "So you are awake. I don't believe we've had the pleasure; I'm Dr. Hermann Gottlieb, applied mathematics," the mathematician responded while proffering his hand.

"Not n- now Herms, m'sleepin…" he responded before rearranging himself within the covers.

Hermann's hand wavered and began to lower. "If you wouldn't mind, I prefer my title. While I understand that you are attempting to sleep, I would prefer to know with whom I'll be sharing this space for the foreseeable future."

"Wait..wait…. Hermann? Hermann?! Dude, it's me, man. Newt… you… remember me, right?"


Hermann looked up from his textbook as the door to the flat opened upon a scrawny kid wearing thick glasses and a t-shirt proudly presenting a prism distorting a beam of white light. "So you're to be my flatmate this summer? Pleased to meet you, I'm Hermann Gottlieb." He closed the text on Fourier and Laplace Transforms and stood from the small kitchen table, proffering his hand.

The young man stared down at said appendage for a moment before slapping first the front, then the back, and finally returning for a single strong handshake. "Hey, name's Newt. Newt Geiszler. Sup, man?"

Hermann blinked twice in surprise at the response. "I'm not hungry, no, though you are welcome to what you can find in the refrigerator and pantry." He waved at the small kitchenette with little more than a small fridge, some counter space, a few cabinets and a gas stove and oven. "You're American, I take it?" Hermann responded, settling once more at the table as Newt threw his satchel on the ground next to the door.

"Yeah. MIT, dude. How 'bout you? You from around here?" Newt asked, collapsing onto a chair. Hermann attempted not to wince as he saw his favorite armchair bounce in complaint to its mistreatment.

"I study here, yes, but I'm from a small village near the Austrian border, southwest of Munich." Hermann looked back down at his textbook, trying to return to his transforms.

"Right, cool. I was born in Berlin. I've been there for a few like, holidays and shit. Awesome."

Hermann glanced back up at the young man. "Sprechen sie Deutsch?"

"Ja, ein bisschen aber nicht genug für ein Gespräch führen," Newt responded, head lolling back against the arm of the chair while his legs dangled over the other side.

"I could tell, your accent was terrible. Do you mind?" Hermann commented dismissively, looking rather intently at the feet dangling off the chair.

"Oh, right. Sorry, dude. Lemmi just…" Newt swung his legs to the front and reoriented himself, sure to maintain the most relaxed position possible. Hermann's spine ached just seeing the torsion placed upon the other man's lower back. "Erm… What are you studying?"

"Fourier Transforms," Hermann responded, glancing up just long enough to note the confusion on the other man's face. "The concept that any wave can be expressed as a function of different degrees of sine and cosine functions. It's relatively simple to understand, but the practice can be rather...challenging."

"Riiiiiight. Math and shit. Not really my thing, actually… I'm a biologist."

Hermann looked up once more, a puzzled expression spreading over his face. "Really? I had assumed you were a physicist or engineer based upon your shirt."

Newt stared at Hermann for a few seconds. He obviously didn't understand the other man's intent until he actually remembered what he was wearing, and promptly erupted into apoplectic laughter. "N- no, man. D- dark s-side of the m-moon… it's freakin' Pink Floyd."

Hermann blinked owlishly at Newt at first, watching the amusement in the biologist's face. He ducked his head down into the textbook and waited out the waves of laughter as he felt his face growing redder. Finally, as Newt appeared once more in control of himself, Hermann muttered, barely loud enough for the biologist to distinguish, "I believe I've missed a reference. Is that a movie? A band?"

"It's a band, Hermann. It's... fine, you're fine man. You don't seem the type to listen to Pink Floyd anyways." Newt seemed slightly conciliatory, though the image was mostly ruined by the tears still coming from his previous cachinnation.

"I will admit, I don't believe I've heard of them. I've found that I tend to miss most references. Perhaps I'm too young to know of them?" Hermann suggested, resolutely staring down a formula within the text.

"I guess… I mean… we were both born after their time. I just had an uncle who was really into old rock." Newt settled back into his spine-bending position, clearly relaxed.

"Ah. Then I suppose I can only apologize." Hermann gathered his text and papers to a bundle in his arms. "Excuse me." Hermann took long, quick strides to the door of the flat's bedroom, clearly fleeing the conversation.

Newt sat up once more at the sudden movement. "You alright, man?"

"Everything's fine, Newt. Just fine."