SIM:Lieutenant Commander Karynn Ehlanii - Fish Faces

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One of the biggest days of Karynn's life begins with a mission briefing. Author's note: for the sake of brevity, part of the original SIM has been edited out.

((Briefing Room, USS Independence-A))

::The pre-briefing conversation continued as the First Officer entered. Karynn glanced around looking for Captain Mar, but didn't see the redheaded Trill yet. Commander Cody approached the chair at the head of the table, and Karynn noticed that he ran his hand over it. It struck her as odd, but before she could really register why, he began speaking.::

Cody: Good afternoon. To bring everyone up to speed, Captain Mar has taken an emergency leave of absence on a family related matter. As per StarFleet orders, I have been placed in command as of stardate 238609.29. If there are any questions, please feel free to see me after the briefing. Let’s get down to business. Lights.

::The lights dimmed. The news wasn't particularly surprising to Karynn as she remembered the communication she had received from the woman just before they arrived at the station. She had asked for a rain check on their lunch date. Internally, the Haliian shrugged. She hoped the woman would be back soon, but had confidence in the man the Trill Captain had named as her first officer.::

::As a fiery star appeared on the holographic display in the center of the table. Around it revolved seven planets arranged in a solar system. As the planets moved slowly, Karynn felt Ethan's hand brush her own, and then his fingers intertwine themselves into hers. She suppressed a smile - not sure if he had ever done something like that at a briefing before. Often they didn't even sit near each other.::

::The pleasant feeling of his hand in hers, however, was overriden by his overwhelming concern. Concern for what? A puzzled look crossed her face, which really wasn't visible to anyone else in the room, considering the dim lighting. Soon it hit her - Danny was his friend... Captain Mar was Danny's wife. Therefore, he could interpret a family emergency as having to do with him... She wished she could remember if the Trill had mentioned anything specific...::

::Before she could think about it further, the FO... CO... continued...::

Cody: The administrator of Wheeler Colony, Tully Andromeda, forwarded this to our attention. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Desperatos System, a couple systems away from the Deadwood System. Nearly all of these planets have some factor that makes them uninhabitable. Nevertheless, it is the second planet here, Desperot, we are interested in.

::As the display zoomed in on the second planet, Karynn pondered his words. She had met Andromeda once - the day the Independence, the Ronin, and the Ursa Major got sucked away to ... somewhere. She never was quite sure where that had been. She brushed the thought from her mind. It didn't matter anyway. They were interested in an entirely different system. She stared at the holographic image, mesmerized by the storms.::

Cody: For background, Wheeler Colony in the Deadwood System was founded in 2330 by the Sooners. It was a mining camp, as the Pearson Corporation discovered. They sponsored over 150,000 prospectors and settlers on the planet. In two years, in 2332, Wheeler Colony's rare mineral soils were mined out. Several hundreds left Wheeler Colony looking for richer prospects. Only last week did the former Administrator, Tully Andromeda find survey reports for a planet in the Desperatos System where many of those miners went, as when the Pearson Corporation wrote the entire enterprise off back in 2333.

::Karynn listened, trying to take mental notes. Miners from Wheeler relocating to Desperot after Wheeler was depleted and Pearson corporation left.::

Cody: As you'll note, that is some kind of storm. And somewhere on the planet below is a domed mining colony camp settlement. Lights.

::The lights came on and the holographic image disappeared. Finally, the new commanding officer sat down in the chair that was his, at least at this moment, and folded his hands.::

Cody: Naturally, StarFleet would like us to investigate, and determine Desperot's domed mining settlement with the intention of re-engaging contact. No one had heard from these miners since 2332, and all communications to the planet have been met with silence.

::Next came the usual "handing out of assignments." Internally Karynn smiled at the familiarity of it all while she listened for her name. Ethan and Ralik would be investigating domed colony cities so they could repair this one if it was necessary. Lieutenant JG Breeman would be familiarizing himself with mining operations and the conditions of the planet.::

Cody: Lt. Cmdr. Rogers, Ensign Kobylarz, familiarize yourselves with Desperatos System for any potential problems, threats, or conditions which would adversely affect the ship, transporters and shuttles. Investigate the remaining planets of the Desperatos System as well. Let's see what else is here.

Rogers: Yes Sir.

::Then, he addressed Sarion and asked her to work on pre-flight simulations. She was also tasked with investigating the culture and society of the colony. When he reached the Haliian, Karynn looked up in time to catch a twinkle in his eye.::

Cody: LtCmr Ehlanii, please find out why we haven't sent a ship in there in over fifty years. Additionally, please have Medical assemble a portable triage and familiarize themselves with medical-related conditions the colony and our away team might be facing. Remember smallpox. Lastly, I would like you to begin assembling an Away Team. Forward me your list.

::Karynn ticked off the tasks in her head. Find out why there's been no supply ship. Talk to medical. Assemble an away team.... wait... what? Away team? Her?? As the Commander asked for questions, Karynn's brow furrowed. She was going to lead an away team. Why her? A counselor. Maybe because she was a science officer? She glanced around. She didn't feel very experienced...::

::The questions were batted around the table, but Karynn couldn't concentrate on them. She was still a junior officer... wasn't she? Her hand drifted up to feel her pips. No... there were three there: two full and one half. But it seemed like only yesterday that she was a green ensign.::

::Trying to snap out of it, she forced herself to focus on the discussion that was raging full-force across the table.::

Breeman: ... would it be possible that the Wheeler Colony didn't want anyone to know about the new settlement unless something really bad happened?

Ehlanii: That seems reasonable.

Rogers: It’s a possibility. We would need to understand the Politics of the Wheeler Colony to know if that was something that was likely.

Kobylarz: Economics of the planet also maybe.

Brice: More like they might not be the only ones that settled. We could be facing any number of settlers from different cultures, but then again Wheeler Colony would've heard of them.

Kobylarz: You could settle on a planetoid like this just miles from an existing settlement and they wouldn't know you're there with a few precautions.

Brice: We can research what kind of technology Wheeler Colony has gone through for the past fifty years, but considering we don't know what we're jumping head first into… Prepare for the unexpected, I'm assuming.

Cody: That is an accurate assessment, Commander.

Ehlanii: I know its all sort of part of our task, but what do we know of what happened to the colonists? Anything?

Kobylarz: It doesn't sound like Starfleet knows much of their affairs.

Cody: The fact of the matter is we don't know what to expect. This settlement might be long-gone for all we know. Or, it might be thriving... it could be something interfered, or their communications no longer function. That's what we need to find out.

::The Haliian shrugged internally. It was really the kind of answer she had expected.::

::The blue-eyed terran stood, opening a small cherrywood box. Its significance wasn't lost on the Haliian. This would be the part of the meeting where promotions would be handed out. He smiled crookedly, and Karynn couldn't help but be happy to see that smile again - especially after the state he had been in Twilight's Edge.::

Cody: Before we go any further, we have a couple of important matters to attend to. Mr. Luciano, front and center, please.

Nickels: Right as rain, sir. How c'n I help ya?

::The Iotian stood and made his way to the front of the room. As he reached it, the Commander stepped toward him and attached an open pip to the younger officer's collar. Karynn smiled, knowing that the Security Officer deserved the promotion.::

Cody: By order of StarFleet Command, you are hereby promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, junior grade, with all the rights and privileges thereof. Congratulations, Mr. Luciano.

Nickels: Thank ya, sir. It's an honor, an' a privilege - an' if I may, it's pretty friggin' neat to be the first guy in my family to be promoted to somethin' other than button man.

::The Iotian returned to his seat, while the First ... Commanding Officer clasped his hands behind his back and turned to address the crew. She watched him look at each person in turn. Finally, he began in on the last familiar part of a standard briefing - duty posts.::

Cody: The last matter to attend to are your duty assignments, as we must make some changes.

::Karynn listened. Not particularly intently, but she listened. Ethan would continue to be CEO, with Ensign Ralik as his assistant. Lieutenant Breeman taking over Science was a bit of a surprise, but as Karynn thought about it, she realized he would do well. At least she wasn't going to be ACSO any more... she could go back to Counseling...::

::Then, Lt. Cmdr. Rogers was given a combined department: Tactical and Security. Karynn liked the idea. The newly promoted jaygee would be his assistant in one of the departments. He would be second officer too... he deserved it. Good guy... And then she heard her name and looked up to see him wink...::

Cody: LtCmdr Ehlanii...

Ehlanii: oOYou'll return to the position of Counselor.Oo

Cody:...welcome to the position of First Officer.

::The universe screeched to a halt. What did he say? That didn't sound like Counselor... She replayed it in her head. "Welcome to the position of First Officer." What?? First Officer? Since when? Her brow furrowed. Away team... first officer... This was weird.::

::She looked at him and went to say something, but nothing came. Her mouth opened and closed a few times, as she tried to keep her jaw from falling to the floor. She must have looked like a fish. Her fingers found Ethan's, still resting on her leg, and she wondered whether he could feel her astonishment, surprise... Finally, something came out.::

Ehlanii: Aye... Thank you, Sir.

::She glanced around the table, trying to come up with an excuse - any excuse - for why she couldn't be First Officer. She was young, she was inexeperienced... she liked Counseling too much... But really, nothing she came up with stuck. He had chosen her, and... if she had confidence in Captain Mar's decisions, she should really show some trust in his.::

Lt. Cmdr. Karynn Ehlanii
First Officer
USS Independence-A

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Lt. Commander Karynn Ehlanii
First Officer
USS Independence NCC-1776-A
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