SIM:JP - Ensign Karynn Ehlanii and Lieutenant Ethan Brice - Getting to Know You
While on shoreleave at DS17, Karynn meets Lt. Ethan Brice, the CEO on the USS Ronin, at Twilight's Edge. Following the spontaneous wedding of two of their shipmates, they slip away to get to know each other better.
:: He shrugged his shoulders exageratedly.:: Brice: Wherever our feet take us. I'd just like... ::he scratched the back of his neck:: ... to get to know you a little better. And escape that lot, obviously.
Ehlanii ::laughing:: yeah, they're a handful, aren't they?
Brice: ::smiles:: And you've only known them five minutes, You catch on fast.
Ehlanii: well, in the five minutes I was there I saw a woman on an anti-grav cart, a disturbed former security officer, and a surprise wedding. How long have you known them?
::Ethan laughed.:: Brice: Too long when you put it like that.
Ehlanii: Perhaps. ::smiling:: I'm serious, though. How long have you known this bunch?
::The engineer chewed the inside of his cheek.:: Brice: Ben and Ro since I started, they were budding Ensigns like myself When I came to the Independence, Idril was Chief of Engineering then I was transferred to Utopia Planitia Fleetyards... When I came back Jhen, Jackford and Addy were just graduating the Academy.
::Karynn had to think a moment, trying to process all the names with the faces. She was pretty proud of herself for being able to remember the crew profile pictures of most of the people he had just mentioned. She paused, not sure what to say next, and sneaked a glance at the Engineer next to her. The engineer towered above her, standing a full 9 inches taller than Karynn's petite frame. Afraid he'd catch her looking at her, she shifted her eyes back to their path.::
Brice: So, I've not had much time to deal with the rag tag bunch. With the Ronin needing a new overhaul of everything before the last mission, I haven't had much of a chance to be around them lately.
::He turned his ring around on his finger in his pocket.:: Brice: And apparantly your adventures as the Tactical Officer didn't go unnoticed.
Ehlanii: It was an adventure alright. Within moments of stepping onto the bridge I was told that I was going to be the counselor and then asked to take Tactical. I never even had a class in Tactical at the academy! ::Karynn paused, slightly embarrased to tell the story.:: One of your engineers actually helped.
::Ethan smiled.:: Brice: Always coming to the rescue. Jack, by any chance?
Ehlanii: ::Smiling wryly :: That would be the one. He sent me a schematic for the ship that had just fired on us... with handy little arrows saying shoot here. I felt a bit embarrased that my ineptitude was so... evident to everyone else.
::The comment made Ethan chuckle slightly. Coming up on the turbolift, the doors parted and they stepped inside.::
Brice: Well, we all have to start somewhere. For you, I guess, shooting things before counseling... not exactly the start I would've predicted.
Ehlanii: I wouldn't have either. I hadn't really expected to be posted to counseling so soon, what with not even having my full degree yet.
::Ethan looked over to the Counselor and lifted an eyebrow, a slight smile crossing his features.:: Brice: Pick a deck, any deck.
::Karynn smiled back. She had no clue where to go. She had only ever been on this deck of the station::
Ehlanii: Um... :: she shrugged her shoulders :: 18? Is there anything interesting there?
::The engineer laughed.:: Brice: Computer, Deck 232.
::The turbolift sprang to life and started it's descent. He leant against the wall.:: Brice: Did I put you on the spot there?
Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Well, I've only ever been on this deck and on the Ronin. Usually I just say "take me to such and such a place." I've never been able to figure out what decks are what... or even which deck I'm on.
::Karynn studied the inside of the turbolift, trying hard not to stare at her companion. Every once in a while she sneaked a glance. She was pretty sure not looking at him was as obvious as looking at him, but she really didn't know any other way to handle it. Soon the turbolift stopped and the doors swished open::
((Deck 232 - Nature Deck))
::Karynn gasped as the doors opened. The deck was full of life. Green leaves and brilliant colors danced in the misty light. She could hear the sound of birds and guessed there might even be a small critter or two running about somewhere.::
Ehlanii: Its beautiful! Not quite like home, but its still more plant life than I've seen in a long time.
::Karynn nearly bounced out of the turbolift, eyes wide, trying to take it all in. She'd been cooped up so much in the lab or studying in the Academy that she hadn't really checked out the nature decks on board much. And she'd been so busy on the Centris that she had never made it down to their arboretum. She paused and simply took in the sound. She had almost forgotten about the engineer with her when he startled her.::
::Walking up behind her, Ethan looked around him as much as he could. There was greenery he was sure hadn't been there the last time he'd gone for an adventure/walkabout. Most of the plants were grown in the Arboretum or from the Scientist's nurseries - whatever the reason, the deck was looking pretty darn good. Last time he'd seen it, England hadn't look this good. He looked towards her, at the Counselor, who looked more in her element then a catalyst.::
Brice: Like it? I've been meaning to come up here since we arrived I just haven't had the time until now.
Ehlanii: ::jumping slightly at the sound of his voice:: Like it? I love it. I didn't get around to visiting the Academy's version, and I don't think it was quite this nice. Plants are one of the things I miss the most from home.
::He smiled, a genuine smile and looked up. The ceiling had been holographically designed to represent a blue sky. He was sure at some point they'd program an accurate random weather system for the plant's to properly thrive in.::
Brice: And they're the one thing I don't get to see a lot. So, little moments like this, makes me appreciate the chances I do get a lot more.
Ehlanii: Sometimes I envy my sister. She spends most of her days right now in a jungle on Halii.
Brice: Now, that's gotta be interesting. All the wildlife, plantlife, makes you wish you weren't on a Starship day in, day out. :: he indicated to the pathway:: Shall we?
::Karynn nodded and began walking, with Ethan mostly beside her. Not content to merely use her eyes, she darted from one side of the path to the other, often touching the leaves so she could feel the smooth, waxy texture or the soft, velvety texture of another leaf. She nearly bounced from plant to plant, the excitement of the whole experience welling over.
::Starting to walk down the pebble pathway, new plants were coming into focus all the time. Lush greens and tropical colours mixed and swirled together, while exotic plants had been adapted to live in an area such at that. Ethan recognised some Vulcan plantlife among the shrubberies and trees. He didn't know a lot about plantlife or the science behind it, but he knew enough to appreciate it.::
::Karynn rambled on a little bit, pretty much exhausting her knowledge of botany as she described the habitat of a plant her or a plant there. She'd had a couple botany classes, but all of them had been on Halii, so she hadn't been exposed to very much plant life from around the galaxy. She recognized a few of the Vulcan plants from her study of Vulcan, and every once in a while she sneaked a glance at the scattered placards, to use information from them, hoping the engineer wouldn't notice or mind. Her speech ended abruptly when Karynn saw a big beautiful purple flower nearby. Hardly intent on containing her joy, she bounded over to it and cupped it gently in her hand to pull it toward her face so she could drink in its scent.::
Ehlanii: mmmm. Smell this. I think it might be from home. We used to get one or two of these for really special occasions when I was growing up.
::Ethan observed Karynn but then snapped his gaze away, not wanting to make it obvious that he was looking at her. He found other things to look at, the sky, the trees, even moderately small creatures that were roaming around and concerntrated most of his effort on what she was saying.::
Brice: I'd say that was more interesting then whipping out the toolkit in Junction 12 and replacing some gel packs. ::smiles:: Come on then, tell me about your family.
Ehlanii: Well, I have a younger sister and a younger brother. My sister is doing a research project on a tiny mammal in the jungle right now. She's 4 months into her 10 month field work assignment. Then she'll spend a few months back in civilization writing up her work.
::The Engineer's eyebrow lifted.:: Brice: Wow. 10 months in a jungle setting around real jungle-life. She's got a head on her shoulders. That's got to be an experience you can't buy.
Ehlanii: Yeah, she's loving it there. She has a research partner, and they're based in a little village there. Every month or so she checks back into real civilization. Sometimes I don't know how she does it.
::Karynn paused and thought a bit and then had an idea. She remembered a silly game she used to play with her siblings when they were younger. oO I wonder if he'd join in? Oo She reached out and tapped Brice's arm before skittering off between the plants. For a brief second during the touch she felt his happiness twinged with something else.::
Ehlanii: ::calling out as she scampered off:: Mitz!
::Her hand connected with his arm and made Ethan's arm push back. He watched her run off, considering for a second what the strange word could mean. If it was anything like... Tag! That was it! He started to run after her, doubting he could keep up with her nimble form. He stopped dead as he lost sight of her. Where'd she go? He looked around him, turning around on the spot before he briefly caught sight of something resembling her dress scooting behind a tree. Grinning, he darted after her, managing to catch her elbow.::
Brice: ::while running off:: Tag!
::Karynn laughed as he caught her elbow, both from her own excitement and the brief sensation of his happiness again. oO So he did catch on! Tag must be their equivalent of Mitz. Oo She turned and watched him run off in the opposite direction. With smaller legs, she knew she'd have to outsmart him rather than outrun him. She stopped and listened for a moment until she heard rustling in the bushes to her left. She tiptoed up to them and then darted around one side, catching Brice's arm again.::
Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Mitz!
::She started going off in a different direction again, and darted under some low-hanging branches.::
::The Engineer turned swiftly, trying to spot her again. No such luck. She was staying well hidden. He narrowed his eyes and moved quietly, trying to get the upper hand, if he could. It was worth a try. He couldn't hear anything. She wasn't making any noises that he could pick out from the rest of the deck. Then, as he ducked underneath a branch, moving it slightly with his hand he caught sight of her just behind the shrub, waiting for him to come the other way.::
::He tagged her shoulder and grinned before legging it out from behind the tree and back down the path they'd just came. He remembered that there were some large bushes there he could get behind.::
::Karynn was having fun. As Ethan tapped her again, she caught is grin and laughed. She tried to watch where he went, but he had longer legs and always managed to outpace her. Luckily for her, he wasn't nearly as quiet as she was. She heard some rustling that couldn't be a small animal and followed the sound, sneaking around from behind to surprise him. This time, though, after tagging him with her hand she just laughed.::
Ehlanii: You like it? Kole and Lynette and our friends used to play it all the time.
::Ethan turned around and smiled, scratching the back of his neck once more. As they walked out from behind the trees, Ethan touched a branch and ducked underneath it to get past.::
Brice: Yeah, it's a fun game. Definitely takes it out of you, though. I used to play it when I was a kid with Josh although... He was never any good at hiding.
Ehlanii: So was Josh a friend or a brother?
::They were getting back onto the pathway now.:: Brice: Brother, couple of years younger and a couple of decades smarter without a sense of humour. Sometimes I swear he's Vulcan.
Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Sounds like you two had an interesting relationship growing up.
::Karynn smiled inwardly as she noticed that the branches he had to duck under, she could walk under without a problem. As they neared the path, she wondered where their conversation might take them next.::
::Ethan chuckled lightly.:: Brice: Interesting describes it pretty well. Playing games of intense binary coding and colour coding everything in the house in accordance with it's geometric size just for the heck of it... yeah it was a laugh. :: he slipped his hands into his pockets again:: So, any parents to accompany their children?
Ehlanii: ::laughing at the mental image his statement had conjured up.:: Yeah, it sounds like you might get along grandly with my Dad. He's a structural engineer on Halii. My mom's a professional musician - she taught all three of us kids everything we know about music. So are there other habitats on this deck?
::The Engineer thought about it for a second.:: Brice: I don't think so, it's newly formed to house all this. The only other habitants on the Starbase are the bars. ::smiles:: But, I do have to thank you for coming with me, even if you didn't know where you were going in the first place.
Ehlanii: Not a problem. I've been enjoying this little adventure immensely.
::Karynn noticed a bench up ahead beside the path they were on and directed her movements toward it. She sat down and let out a sigh of contentment as she gazed at the ceiling.::
Ehlanii: Is it always blue? Or do they have a sunset programmed in?
::Ethan stayed stood and looked upward.:: Brice: I think they have sunrise, sunset and midnight programmed. It shifts moon phases as well, so I heard. A pretty nifty bit of technology.
Ehlanii: ::shifting her gaze from the ceiling to Ethan:: So what do you do for fun?
::He lifted an eyebrow.:: Brice: Oh, fun... Fun... I haven't heard that word in a long time. I err...
::As they spoke, the programme deemed it time for it's sunset watering. As the sky began to turn a musky shade of red and orange entwined together, the watering system kicked in, sending jets and sprinklers over the green areas. The bench was just in the right place, but Ethan was hit square in the back by a freezing jet of water.::
Ehlanii: ::Karynn laughed at the engineer's predicament.:: You going to join me on the bench? Or should we seek out civilization again?
::He couldn't help but laugh as the cold water set into his skin. Sitting down, the t-shirt stuck to his skin but the heat that had sunk into the bench was warming him up. He looked at the sunset, now changing slowly.:: Brice: I haven't seen one of these from this angle in a long time.
::Karynn was glad he sat down. She knew they had to leave the deck eventually, but for now she was enjoying herself too much. As he sat, she made sure they weren't touching. She didn't want to invade his emotions too much before letting him know she could feel them.::
Ehlanii: It definitely looks different this way. I used to watch it over the water every summer - although we had two suns to watch. Did you and Josh have parents?
::Ethan laughed.:: Brice: Still have, as a matter of fact. They're all the way back in England, thankfully. Dad's a Professor in Engineering at the Academy in France, Mum... well I was never quite sure what she does. Something to do with Architecture.
::Karynn mentally processed what she'd learned about the engineer's family so far. She tried to come up with something else to say, but ended up not saying anything at all. Instead, she sat twirling her hair and watching a small mammal stare at them from a tree across the path.::
::The sunset was an amazing array of colours, varying from colour's he'd seen to ones he'd never imagined. It seemed as though the Scientists on the Station had arranged the deck so that it represented different planets at the same time. He leant his elbows on the back of the bench and just took stock of the view that lay before them. He looked over to his bench companion and smiled, watching her playing with her hair. Looking back to the sunset, he kept the smile playing on his features and noticed a colour in the sunset that blended in with the red and orange of before. It looked strangely like the colour of Karynn's eyes. Weird, he didn't know he'd noticed the colour of her eyes.::
Brice: I'd love to see this from Earth again. I suppose these rare occasions are to be cherished, if I saw them all the time I doubt I'd sit back and just spectate the transformation.
Ehlanii: What's Earth like?
::As Brice started talking, Karynn took the time to look at his face, while also watching the sky change over his head. He looked like he might be about the same age as she was, although it seemed that he'd experienced more stress than she had.::
::Ethan blew a sigh.:: Brice: It's err.. all crusty with water. The place to go if all you want to look are humans. There are some parts that take a lot of time to appreciate. It's well, home I guess. What's about Halii?
Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Well, I suppose you could say the same about Halii, except you go there to find Haliians, not Humans. We don't get many alien species there. I loved it there though. My family used to go to a cottage by the sea for a week in the summer. I'd sleep in a sleeping bag on the beach when the weather was nice, just so I could watch the sunset and sunrise and let the sounds lull me to sleep. This ::indicating the sunset above them:: is nice, but compared to the two-sun-sunset over the ocean on Halii, its missing a bit. I've never seen a Holographic program quite like it.
::He nodded in agreement.:: Brice: Quite inspiring really.
::The wet patch on his back was now drying off, finally. He ran a hand over his head, his hair was getting too long for his own liking. He could feel it in between his fingers now.::
::Karynn sat quietly as the sky above them turned darker, becoming a rich dark blue. Slowly, pinpricks of light appeared above them and the temperature of the deck dropped a few degrees.::
Ehlanii: So how about that drink you promised me?
::He looked over to her and smiled. Ethan stood up and slipped one hand into his pocket. He held out his hand to her.::
Brice: All right, drink it is.
::Karynn contemplated his hand for a second. On the one hand, it was an entirely appropriate gesture for the moment. On the other hand, she hadn't figured out a way to tell him about her empathic sense. She gingerly took it and paused as she adjusted to the consistent feel of someone else's emotions. In this case, mostly contentment with elation. She wondered if he could feel what she felt but doubted it.::
Ehlanii: ::with a crooked grin:: so what do you know of Haliians?
::Karynn released his hand after standing from the bench, and they walked side by side through the plants back to the turbolift.::
::Ethan flexed the hand she'd just took hold of. For a split second, it felt like tingles were running through his palm then it was over. He fumbled around in his brain for an answer before nothing fell out.::
Brice: Nothing, apart from their humanoid form. That's all I know. Probably because I spent most of my xenobiology lessons doodling shuttlecraft...
Ehlanii: ::smiling:: Well, I suppose we are very similar. Although, besides these :: she pointed to the ridge that ran along her forehead:: we're a little different in one other way. When we touch people, we can sense their emotions.
::Karynn held her breath while she waited for his reaction. She'd obviously touched him a few times over the course of the evening, and she was worried he'd freak out about the invasion of privacy.::
::He felt his cheeks start to glow warmer and was sure a bit of the old blood was seeping into them rather quickly for his own liking. He reached up and scratched the back of his neck, laughing lightly in embarrassment.::
Brice: Well... it's different. I've never had someone touch-and-sense me before.
::The counselor was glad that he didn't seem to be scared off. She noticed the slight color change in his cheeks and felt her own cheeks start to warm up too.::
Ehlanii: I usually tell people first but I was having so much fun that I didn't even think about it until... ::her voice drifted off to nothing::
::He arched an eyebrow and half-smiled.::
Brice: Until some of my emotions leaked in with yours. The hand thing...
Ehlanii: ::Karynn's cheeks grew hotter.:: Yeah... although I felt a bit briefly when we were playing Mitz.
::As she finished her statement, they reached the turbolift and the doors slid open. The two stepped inside and the doors closed.::
::The Engineer smiled, hoping that whatever Karynn had felt, it hadn't made her run for the hills. A thought crossed his mind and he grinned mischeviously.::
Brice: Deck 227. ::he looked to her:: Does that mean if I... :: pokes her gently:: ...do that then it provokes the sense?
Ehlanii: ::giggling:: Yes, sir, it does. Its harder to read when the touch is brief, but for a moment :: she poked him back:: my emotions aren't entirely my own.
::The turbolift hummed to life::
::He feigned shock for a moment then smiled.:: Brice: Sir? Referring to me as sir, now are you? Well, Miss Ehalnii, I must admit I'm shocked by this revelation. Ethan will do just fine.
::The turbolift stopped at their deck and the doors slid back, revealing the promenade one deck below the one they had left previously. There were more customers now, Officer and Non-Coms walking around, picking what they needed before they were hauled back to duty.::
::At his comment, Karynn's cheeks turned bright red, a color which they began to loose as they stepped out of the turbolift and Karynn fought back her embarrassment::
Ehlanii: Ethan it is, then. You, of course, can call me Karynn. ::she smiled gently and glanced at him as they began strolling.::
::Reaching their destination, outside the Irish pub lovingly known as O'Malley's to the shore leavers, there were people coming in and going past all the time. Walking inside, the bar was full of customers all dying of the thirst.::
::Ethan stole a glance at Karynn, sort of deciding to himself whether he was now permitted to be looking at her without looking at her in that sort of way.::
Brice: Come on then, what are you having from the Irish bar this evening? I'm guessing you're not a beer drinker so...
::Karynn laughed.:: Ehlanii: How about something Irish. Irish cream perhaps? On the rocks.
::The Engineer cocked an eyebrow.:: Brice: We've made some pretty good advancements since having a drink with pebbles. How about Ice? Better? Okay... Barkeep!
::Ordering drinks wasn't nearly as hard as drinking them in a bar where the drinkers came. Over in the corner, he noticed the Ferengi from before playing Snap with another group of Officers. Whether they were from the Ronin or not, he didn't know. Grasping the pint of bitter, the cool feeling reminded him of the make-shift shower he'd been subjected to on the Nature Deck. He looked at the Irish cream and then up to the face that was drinking it. He was about to say something when a table knocked over in the background, causing the noise levels to elevate slightly.::
Brice: All right?
::Karynn sipped her drink and smiled.:: Ehlanii: It's quite good. Thanks for asking. How about yours?
::Ethan lifted the glass slightly.:: Brice: Quite big and cold.
::Karynn raised her glass back at Ethan:: Ehlanii: To new friends?
::He smiled and clinked her glass with his own.:: Brice: To new friends, with friends like these, who needs enemies?
|Ensign Karynn Ehlanii
USS Ronin NCC-34523
|Lieutenant Ethan Brice
USS Ronin NCC-34523