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Paint by Numbers

Posted on Sun Apr 25th, 2021 @ 6:53pm by Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Ensign Connor Carrick

Mission: A Dark Looking Glass
Location: USS Washington

Deanna strolled down the corridor towards her destination. It wasn't her job to do meet and greets, but with the captain off the ship and most of the senior officers busy with other duties, she felt it was something she ought to do in this instance. Besides, it was a rare thing for her to have a fellow scientist come aboard the ship, let alone one that could actually challenge her potentially.

Finally she arrived at her destination, just outside his quarters. She hit the door chime and awaited for an answer. She quickly refocused her mind to avoid picking up stray thoughts and emotions.

Connor was startled by the chime, certainly not expecting any visitors as of yet. He closed the journal article he was reading and walked over to the door. Pressing the button on the panel, the door slid open to reveal a stunningly beautiful Betazoid standing before him.

It took him a moment to gather his wits and to finally notice the rank pips on her uniform. He snapped to attention and greeted her with "Lieutenant."

Celes gave a small smile to the formality from the young ensign. It was obvious he was still fairly fresh from the Academy, and she could sense the nervousness. She didn't need to be a telepath to sense his emotions at this moment.

"At ease ensign. You aren't on duty right now. I'm lieutenant Celes. I thought it prudent to welcome you aboard the ship as the senior officers are all currently indisposed. Might I come in?"

"Of course. Please," he said. Connor motioned her through and then jogged over to remove a datapad from the lounge chair against the bulkhead. He gestured to the chair and gave what he thought was a polite smile. He hoped that was the right thing to do. He was completely lost in these types of situations.

Deanna could sense his uneasiness and wanted to try to put him at ease. As she sat down she made her first attempt, "Please relax ensign. Nothing to be uneasy about. I'm sure Estella, that is our ship's counselor, I'm sure she could give you some time to talk if you felt the need. You are qualified to be here, so don't put so much pressure on yourself." She hoped her words would relax him, but now she waited to gauge his reaction.

Connor averted his eyes as he felt his cheeks flush. She completely misunderstood him, as people always do. As usual, he had no idea why. Was it the smile? Did it come off as the look of a natural-born psychopath? Is what he said? Did he really blow three words?

He let out a sigh that was meant to be internal but wasn't. "I appreciate that vote of confidence. Estella sounds like someone I should introduce myself to. I just struggle with...I have a hard time saying...I'm not a great conversationalist."

He looked up at her half-hoping for rescue and also to stop talking before he made things far worse than he had already. She already thinks I'm doubting my abilities and god knows what else.

Celes was picking up the chaos of emotions both mentally and from his mannerisms. She attempted to lighten the mood and shift things into a more positive mindset. "I understand you were on an Oberth class vessel upon graduating the Academy. Very small compared to the Nova and Intrepid class science vessels, and they are considerably smaller than the Washington. Are you excited about the new opportunities you'll have here? Curious about anything?"

Connor gladly latched onto the lifeline. "The Washington is gigantic compared to the Biko. I'm sure it will take some getting used to." The chance to talk about work helped him calm down a bit. "I am very excited to check out the labs on the ship. I'm sure both the exploration range of the ship as well as its scientific facilities are an astrophysicist's dream."

He paused for a moment to think. "I guess for starters, I'd love to know where we are heading first."

Celes was happy to see him open up a bit. He posed a simple question to her, one she wanted to answer as honestly as possible. "Well, I'm not entirely certain to be honest. We are still under repair from our last mission, but that is due to be completed by 0800 tomorrow. I would think the captain may be finding that information out now, as he is meeting with Cmdr Kira on DS9 at the moment. My guess would be someplace on the frontier of Federation space as we seem to do a great amount of work there. You'll certainly be busy. I'd welcome a nice scientific jaunt after our last mission to be honest."

"That does sound wonderful. The further into the frontier we go, the more their is to discover. I'm looking forward to being able to see things others have never seen before, and then analyzing them in great detail." Connor was happy whenever conversations went into the realm of science. It is the one place he is as close to comfortable as he could get in a conversation with another person. His excitement was genuine as well. He could not wait to get to work in a lab. New people are so hard. New machines are the best thing in the universe. When people say 'find your happy place', a lab is definitely his.

Celes could tell he had found a nice groove at last and it pleased her. She could tell he would need time to open up and that was fine. Baby steps. "Well you certainly will have plenty to do aboard the Washington I can assure you. The sciences all rarely without something to work on. And I'm happy to have somebody to lean on regarding that." She smiled and took a quick scan of the area, spotting something else of interest. "Do you paint?" she inquired, seeing what looked to be painting equipment in the next room.

Connor brightened. "Oh yes. I love painting. I've been enthralled with it since I was 10. I have been studying the great masters from many species for quite a long time. I use it as a way to focus my mind as well. When I'm facing an unusually difficult puzzle, I find sitting in front of a blank canvas and painting the problem helps me find clarity, and often a solution."

"I enjoy painting as well. I have been studying some of the more famous Earth painters and their styles as they differ from Betazoid painting. I enjoy the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and the latest I have been studying is Ross. Do you have favorites?"

"I'm a big fan of your Kevrela Haad. She had a style that was emotionally very deep. The Human Rembrandt is a personal favorite. His exquisite study of light and shadow is amazing. Other personal favorites are the Vulcan masters, T'praissos and Stoss, The Romulan dissident Pandax was master with color. Let's not forget the Andorian Tyniahl Ch'rhaasross. He was a master with brush stroke pressure. Even the Klingon master W'jorda Trennech has techniques that are worth studying, though I can't say I like his work." Connor finally takes a breath.

"You have quite a varied pallet. I can really appreciate that. I have always enjoyed Rivas Bijo from my homeworld with his deeply colorful work that layered so much into a single canvas. Pandax was also an artist I have enjoyed. And D'Rex Kavok is a true Klingon master artist to me. I would say that if you appreciate science even a fraction as you do art you will find success here on the Washington." Celes smiled as the back and forth about art really took hold and opened up dialogue.

Suddenly her communicator chirped. =^= Lieutenant, we have a situation. =^= The red alert klaxons began to sound, unusual as they were docked at the station. =^= We need you on the bridge immediately. We are getting strange readings. =^=

She hit her comm badge, =^=On my way.=^= She looked to Connor, "duty calls, and it sounds like we may need you on the bridge as well." The two officers stood and exited, off to the bridge to find out what this was all about.


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