|Main character(s):||Bernice Summerfield|
|Printed in:||A Life Worth Living|
|Big Finish Bernice Summerfield series|
|Welcome to the Machine||Against Gardens|
The Braxiatel Collection is full of activity — making preparations for the First Annual Braxiatel Collection Archaeology Conference.
Benny finds a quiet place to look over her notes for her keynote address on Martian funeral rites. Hass approaches her and reluctantly informs her that her facts are incorrect, and she realises she has to rewrite the entire speech — in just two hours. She heads for her rooms.
The first interruption comes from Adrian and Peter, who want to wish her luck. When she isn't looking, Peter scribbles all over the notes Hass gave her. Adrian takes Peter away and they leave Benny in peace.
Next come Bev and Brax. They are here to check up on her, and Brax wonders why she isn't helping to greet the guests arriving on the Collection. She manages to get rid of them, and is down to ninety minutes.
Jason, approaching the door, notices that Joseph and Wolsey are at the door, trying to get in. He unlocks the door, and while Joseph and the cat scoot inside, Benny throws a book at Jason. She urges him to go, which he does after making some offhand comments. One of his comments, about building bridges, inspires Benny, and she starts over.
Jason having left the door open, two of Benny's students, Parasiel and Meredith, stop by to check on her. Parasiel chides her for waiting to do her paper at the last minute, but they finally leave.
Benny finishes and prints out her speech, with three minutes to spare, but she can't get to the stage on time. She dashes out the door. Jason is waiting outside, wanting to talk, but she grabs him and kisses him, thanking him for the "building bridges" remark, and heads off.
Four minutes late, she begins her speech. She admits to the audience that her original paper was wrong, then she begins to talk about building bridges.
Later, Bev tells Brax about Benny's speech, which he missed. She tells him that Benny was winging it with her speech and then opened the floor for questions. Brax is concerned that the academic environment is too stifling for Benny, but Bev assures him that her speech was brilliant. He replies that he "never expected anything less of her".
- Bernice Summerfield
- Irving Braxiatel
- Jason Kane
- Bev Tarrant
- Adrian Wall
- Peter Summerfield
- Benny's original paper was on Rablev's Monument.
- Peter draws on Hass's notes with green crayon.
- Adrian promises to take Peter to Cafe Vosta.
- Professor Blanc is also delivering a speech at the conference.
- Jason brings Benny some flowers.
to be added