SIM:Lieutenant Karynn Ehlanii - Interpersonal Aftermath

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The beginning of Karynn's friendship with David Cody. This takes place after the Award Ceremony in Lieutenant Karynn Ehlanii - More Honor than I Deserve.
((Author's Note: This is actually a complillation of 3 SIMs (Collision Course, I've got a Friend in High Places, and Power Under Control) with additions of lines from Commander Cody's own work. I wanted to show the complete interaction, since its really the beginning of the friendship between Karynn and Cody, so I've put it up as a unified whole.))

((Corridor, USS Independence-A))

::Karynn was deep in thought, studying the PADD in her hand, while walking down the corridor. She was trying to formulate ideas and opinions to give to her team leader.::

Ehlanii: oOThe scientists had all been in relative isolation for several years on this station. It was something they took on willingly, signed up for it even. I doubt the isolation in itself would cause much psychological stress. An emergency situation, however... Most of the scientists are Terrans. Their reactions could be variable, although the psychological reports on them show them to be fairly stable. The pair of bynar are a question mark, although, unless one of them were dead, it was unlikely that either of them would be too worked up. The comfort of having the other there will probably be enough. We should be prepared for one of them to be injured or dead though, just in case. The one arbazan might also have some interesting reactions to an emergency situation. And the benzite might also...Oo

::She was so lost in her musings that she didn't see the black and red uniform until she had bumped into it... rather hard. Looking up, she saw two and a half pips. oOUh oh.Oo Looking up farther, to his face, she saw that it was the First Officer.::

Ehlanii: Oh... Commander Cody... I'm so so sorry!

::She was thankful, and slightly relieved, that she hadn't accidentally read him. The brief contact, coupled with the fact that both uniforms were between them, had dampened the connection to the point that she really hadn't felt any leakage.::

Cody: I'm suddenly extremely glad I didn't beam out a glass of champagne like I was just thinking about. :: chuckling ::I might be wearing it.

Ehlanii: Yes sir. I ah... I was reading and thinking and.... I'm so sorry.... I should have been watching where I was going!

Cody: No worries, Lt. Ehlanii. I think the last time we met was on the Phoenix, while you were assigned to the Ronin? Or was it rock climbing on the holodeck? :: making a face :: Occasionally my mind hiccups once in a while. How are things settling?

Ehlanii: ::a sad smile crossed her face.:: I'm fitting in ok, I suppose. Having other Ronin alumni here helps. At least they learned to trust that I don't try to .... what is the Terran phrase?... minimize everyone I meet?

Cody: :: grinning :: Really? They had to break me from, how shall we say, psycho-analyzing everything, when I first joined the Independence crew.

Ehlanii: ::laughing:: Right. "Shrink". It's good to see you sir. And congratulations on being appointed First Officer.

::She thought about extending her hand in a handshake. After all, that would be the appropriate Terran gesture but... did he know? Better not.... at least until she had the chance to tell him. She sighed internally. Telling people about her gift always came out a bit... awkward...::

Cody: Tell me something. You've helped when others are facing an internal crisis, been a mentor and guide.

::Tipping her head to the side slightly, she thought about it for a moment.::

Ehlanii: I try. I don't know if I always succeed at being helpful, but it is one of my goals. Why?

Cody: :: chuckling :: I don't know. thought I might ask. Helping others I think qualifies you to be a commander or captain in your own right.

::The Haliian felt a bit of color rising to her cheeks. Commander or Captain? Both of those seemed a long, long way off for her. She certainly hadn't expected... She stuttered out a response.::

Ehlanii: Um... thank you Commander.

Cody: Well, the door's always open if you ever need anything, Karynn. Maybe that works both ways, huh? :: glancing around the corridor :: Often times officers and crewmen aren't as forthcoming about what's bothering them when they really should talk to someone.

::Before she could answer something like "thank you" or invite him to her own office sometime, ... or even register that he used her given name... the brown-haired terran offered his hand for a handshake. Karynn studied his face briefly, trying to discern whether he understood what would happen if she made contact. Would she... could she shake it? Not without making sure he knew. She paused, took a deep breath in and then looked up slightly to his blue eyes.::

Ehlanii: Sir... are you aware that I'm touch empathic?

::He looked deep into her eyes before flashing a crooked grin. His smile disarmed her, and she found herself smiling back.::

Cody: And if I was?

Ehlanii: I just... I try to not make physical contact with people unless they know. It just doesn't seem right otherwise.

Cody: :: assessing :: I can appreciate your situation, and your candor. Would it bother you if some didn't, or couldn't know, if you were put in a situation where physical contact was unavoidable?

Ehlanii: ::shaking her head slightly:: I don't mind if they don't. Usually I can exercise enough control to keep my emotions and theirs separate. But I would feel guilty if, for example, I touched you and you didn't know. It's too much like invading your privacy.

Cody: That is what makes all the difference, Lieutenant.

::He reached out and shook her hand. As their skin touched, she began to feel waves of emotions. She could feel that something deep drove him, there was a sense of moving forward, of pursuit deep within his psyche. She barely had time to wonder what it was for or about before she felt something else. There was a sadness about him. As if he had lost someone... or several someones. And yet, at the same time, there was a profound current of joy and vibrant life. And fear... although she didn't know what it was of. It was slightly dizzying to encounter someone who could feel all of that at once. And yet... somehow... there was also a strong sense of focus. As if, through all that, he could be single minded.::

::Karynn realized that for a moment she had closed her eyes, as her mind worked to sort out everything that she was feeling. Slowly she reopened them and looked at the man in front of her, in time to see him nod. Like he understood what she had just felt somehow.::

Cody: The greatest fear an empath, or telepath, faces is when it comes in multitudes. I don't know if I did you any favors there, if I understand how your ability works. With Deborah, because she was a pure telepath, it's like feeling your mind ripped, over and over, and trying to ride a Martian sandstorm with a single goal, reminding her she was never alone, and no matter what happened, I would be right there to see her through it.

Ehlanii: It's more like riding an ocean of waves for me. I can't feel specifics, but I can feel the currents of your emotions and sometimes I even feel pummeled by the sheer power and force of change, like the ebb and flow of the tides.

::As Karynn spoke, she noticed that he hadn't let go of her hand. In fact, he had turned it over, palms facing him and was studying it. Slowly she realized that even through the connection, she was getting used to riding the currents of emotions that he was feeling. She could almost expect the pattern of ups and downs. She watched him, a slight look of curiosity on her face.::

Cody: These are caused by a music instrument, my guess is string. They are hard, yet soft. Like books, but not afraid to get her hands dirty. I can tell there was an accident once, the scar isn't quite healed. The pattern lines over your hands are well defined. Very confident of who you are, if not a tad bit scared at times if someone gets too close.

::Some of the details were a bit off... but in general, in the big things, he was right. And that in itself surprised her. Intrigued, she tipped her head slightly to the side, a questioning look in her eye, and a slight smile on her face.::

Ehlanii: How do you know?

Cody: :: chuckling :: You can tell a lot about someone by their hands, and their eyes. It speaks volumes of their character, their person, and nature. :: letting go of Ehlanii's hand :: So what did you think?

Ehlanii: Overall, you're pretty good. I think in all the big things you got it right. ::Her eyes glinted teasingly as she smiled gently.:: You're just off in a few insignificant details.

Cody: :: feigning a fake groan :: Ah, nuts. I'm just rusty. :: chuckling :: Do you still play?

Ehlanii: ::shrugging:: I haven't played a string instrument since I left Halii. And even then it wasn't often. But I am a musician. Keyboard instruments like the terran piano and quite a few flute-like instruments are my favorites to play. ::smiling slightly:: And I certainly do throw myself into my jobs, even if it requires getting my hands dirty.

::She paused, bringing her hand up slightly so she could gaze at her palm. The scar there was barely visible, but it brought back a flood of memories. A sad smile crossed her face. oO Jaryl Oo It hadn't turned out the way she had hoped for, or expected, at the time, but life had gone on and she had found happiness again.::

Cody: Mind if I ask what happened?

Ehlanii: A run-in with a vase. I used to let my temper out on a much longer leash. Sometimes it even took over. The scar, and its memories, remind me why I need to stay in control.

Cody: :: nodding :: Understandable, as long as we do address it at some point.

Ehlanii: Terran ranchers have a term that I find to be quite appropriate. I've been "meeked". It's the term they use for breaking in a young, firey horse that won't let anyone near it. They train it, leaving the passion there but in a form that's usable, under control, helpful for both the horse and its master.

Cody: Passion is one thing. It's another to keep a short reign on emotions when its gives them a chance to sit and fester, or worse, bury them completely for sake of the job. Eventually they come out, which is why we have qualified candidates such as yourself for us to approach and deal with them.

::Glancing down, she remembered the PADD in her other hand. She had a job to get to... and he probably did too. Here she was wasting the First Officer's time. No doubt he had better things to do.::

Ehlanii: I suppose I should let you get back to your other duties, Sir.

Cody: :: understanding :: I won't keep you. The door is always open if you ever need to talk, Counselor.

Ehlanii: Thank you for your offer, Commander. And... if you'd ever like, my door is always open too. ::a grin spread over her face:: And I promise, unless you're there for an official session, I'll do my best to not ... psychoanalyze you. I don't usually analyze people anyway, so it shouldn't be too hard.

Cody: :: a crooked smile and a wink :: Somehow I think I'd get way too comfortable on that couch and fall asleep before that session started. Feel free to stop by if you ever need a friendly ear or second thoughts on something.

Ehlanii: ::with a slight smile:: I ... think I'll have plenty of need for advice from a more experienced officer. Have a good evening, Sir.

Cody: :: with a two finger salute :: By your leave, Lieutenant Ehlanii.

::With a slight smile on her face, the Haliian continued down the hall. Knowing that she had someone on the command staff she could really talk to, perhaps even an ally, made her feel slightly more at ease.::

::Soon, however, her thoughts were back on the scientists.::

Lt. Karynn Ehlanii
Ship's Counselor
USS Independence-A

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Lieutenant Karynn Ehlanii
USS Independence NCC-1776-A
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