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[Round 8] Beneath the Surface


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JP - Lieutenants J.G. Valis and Karynn Ehlanii - "Beneath the Surface"

((Counseling Office, USS Ronin))

::Karynn was working at her desk when a notification came in on her console, reminding her of her appointment with the Vulcan science officer. She pressed a comm panel.::

Ehlanii: =/\= Yeoman Benson. Please show Lt. Valis in. =/\=

::As she waited for the Vulcan jaygee to enter her office, she pulled a rather uncomfortable looking chair away from the wall to a location close to her own more comfortable chair in the "sitting area" of the office. It was hard and very straight-backed, a perfect match for the request the officer had made the last time she had visited.::

Valis: Greetings.

Ehlanii: Welcome, Lieutenant. ::she indicated the chair:: I found a chair that I believe fulfills your requirements.

::Valis bowed slightly in order to silently offer her thanks for procuring the non-comfy "Vulcan" chair and then seated herself in it.::

::After the other woman sat, Karynn seated herself.::

Valis: Are you still studying Vulcan Psychology? I thought perhaps you would like more practical experience before taking your final, but I was not sure whether it was too late to help you in that regard.

Ehlanii: You aren't too late. I was going to take it at DS17 but since we have such a short stop here and we're going back to Earth, I've made arrangements to take the test at the Academy in San Fransisco.

Valis: Excellent. How would you like to proceed?

Ehlanii: You could tell me how things are going between you and Lt. Thelev.

Valis: Ah yes. I took your advice and attempted to interact with the Lieutenant socially, however he did not express any interest in doing so.

Ehlanii: Last time we talked you were experiencing disturbing images during your meditation. Have these continued?

::That question made Valis somewhat uncomfortable, but she refused to show it. She focused her gaze on the Counselor's hair and followed it from beneath one side of her face up over the top and down the other side as she spoke, imagining it as a duo of peacefull waterfalls. If only peace were that omnipresent. ..::

Valis: They have... diminished, but my meditations are still unsatisfactory.

::She considered telling the Counselor of the resurfacing of Lt. Kolk's dream in her latest meditation, but decided that it was, first of all, not a product of her own mind, and, second, a possible violation of the Engineer's privacy to discuss it.::

Ehlanii: And have you noticed any other symptoms related to your interaction with the Chief of Ops?

Valis: I... oO Sarion was correct. I must address it. Oo

Ehlanii: Anything you think of is potentially relevant.

::The Counselor of course confirmed her own logic, but that did not make speaking of it any less difficult.::

Valis: After attempting to speak to him in the Double Shot yesterday, I... I left the lounge and found myself staring blankly down the corridor, unable to function.

Ehlanii: I can imagine that something like that would be disconcerting.

Valis: Indeed. I do not believe I have ever... frozen like that before. Since you brought it up, I wonder if you might be able to help pinpoint the cause.

::Karynn surpressed the urge to smile. Working with Vulcans required a very round-about way of counseling compared to other species.::

Ehlanii: I would be happy to attempt to help. Why do you think Lt. Thelev plays such a central role in this ongoing problem?

::The green-blooded one tried to think backward from her most recent encounter with the blue-skinned man all the way to their first encounter and her subsequent meditation when she had decided to pursue reconciliation with him after the argument they'd had in the computer core. She looked at the floor then back at the Counselor, moving her head in an almost android manerism.::

Valis: He threatens my pursuit of IDIC.

Ehlanii: Why do you think that?

Valis: ::raising an eye-brow in disbelief:: Is it not obvious? He refuses to participate in IDIC. There can be no combined diversity if the diverse resist combination.

Ehlanii: Combinations do not have to be amicable. The two of you exist in combination whether you are friendly or not.

::The Vulcan's raised eyebrow fell and turned into a furrowed pair of brows.::

Valis: I had not considered that.

Ehlanii: I know that IDIC is very important, but isn't it illogical to assume that every combination of people will always get along? Even the closest couples have rough moments.

Valis: ::nodding slowly, reluctantly: : That is true. However, I had hoped that I could... "get along" with him.

Ehlanii: Are you and Lt. Thelev able to interact professionally when it is required?

Valis: Yes.

Ehlanii: Then perhaps that in itself satisfies IDIC.

::Curious, Valis ventured to ask a question of the Counselor. She just hoped the answer would not suggest the presence of something... beyond logic in her motives.::

Valis: What do you suppose it means that I desire he be amicable with me?

::Karynn paused to consider her answer.::

Ehlanii: Do you mind if I'm blunt with you?

Valis: Not at all.

Ehlanii: Admittedly, I don't work with many Vulcans... or really any Vulcans, so I'm not sure what the "Vulcan" explanation would be. If you were any other more... emotional species, I might suggest that you have a crush on our Chief of Ops.

Valis: A... "crush"? As is infatuation?

Ehlanii: ::nodding slowly:: That would be a synonym.

Valis: That would be highly illogical. Emotional entanglements distract one from the importance of day-to-day activities, such as one's duties aboard a starship. I have no desire to hinder my efficiency in that manner.

Ehlanii: I agree that emotional entanglements can be a distraction, however, many don't have very much control over their infatuations.

Valis: Vulcans are known for--

Ehlanii: ::holding up her hand:: I know you have more control than the average species. And I also know that you can't admit to having an emotion. But Vulcan's aren't emotionless - they simply suppress or control them. It's possible that there is an infatuation buried so deep in your subconscious that even you don't recognize it.

Valis: I have never heard of another Vulcan having a... crush, subconscious or not. oO But she has a point. It is obviously not my conscious mind that is causing these difficulties. Oo But if such an irregularity could evade conscious recognition and control, what might one do?

::Despite the reasonable nature of the discussion, Valis continued to strive to keep it as theoretical as possible. She was beginning to see the necessity of admitting her emotional difficulties within herself, but she still felt that it would be distasteful to admit it to anyone else.::

Ehlanii: Well if that were the case, acknowledging that it exists would be the first step in dealing with it. Otherwise, like a sliver, it will fester until it impairs function.

Valis: oO ...As it has begun to do. Oo ::and then the shocking realization: : oO Perhaps I do... Oo And... what would be the next step? ... Supposing that the infatuation were unwanted and ...unrequited.

Ehlani: Acknowledging it to yourself may be one of the only things you need to do. Knowing the cause of the disturbances in your thought patterns or behavior may help you bypass them. Many are able to carry on perfectly normal or professional relationships with the objects of their crushes until the infatuation goes away on its own.

::The Vulcan woman excitedly cut in before she realized she was doing it.::

Valis: So it will go away? ... That is, it would, if I were to have one?

::Clearly, she had let the "theoretical" cloak of the discussion fall away with that outburst, but she tried (somewhat futilly) to assure herself that it didn't matter because Lt. Ehlanii was far too intelligent to be fooled by such an obvious pretense. That logic might have been correct, but it did not change the fact that her culturally established need for deniability had been shattered.::

Ehlanii: Well, I would recommend that you not dwell on those... ::she paused before saying "feelings":: thought patterns. Simply acknowledge their existence and then think of something else. If you recognize they exist, they should stop fighting for your attention. But yes, in most cases it does diminish over time.

::If Valis were anything but Vulcan she would have been smiling in ecstacy at that revelation.: :

Valis: oO Excellent. Oo Fascinating. Thank you, Lt. If you require any more practice, please let me know. However, I believe you are more than prepared for your test.

Ehlanii: ::with a slight smile and a gentle nod of acceptance:: Thank you, Lieutenant. ::She stood.:: And if you wish to surprise me with a "pop quiz" at any point in the future, to keep me in practice, that would also be acceptable.

Valis: I will keep that in mind. Now, is there anything more you would like me to contribute to your theatre project?

Ehlanii: I don't remember if I asked you already, but we're in need of an Assistant Stage Manager. I think that you would fill that role admirably.

Valis: Indeed. I would be honored.

Ehlanii: There is one minor caveat. Lt. Thelev has agreed to be Stage Manager. You would have to work in a subordinate capacity to him. Do you think that will pose a problem?

::Again, Valis might've smiled if she weren't Vulcan. She had learned what her difficulty was and been told that overcoming it was simply a matter of using her mind and her willpower. To a Vulcan, that was childsplay.: :

Valis: None at all. I have done so before.

Ehlanii: Good. We won't need you for auditions, but we'll be starting rehearsals soon and we'll need you to be at those. I'll let you know when they are and see you then.

Valis: I shall endeavor to be available. ::raising her hand in the Vulcan salute:: Live long and prosper, Counselor.

Ehlanii: ::raising her hand in a mirror salute:: Peace and long life.

::Karynn smiled as she watched the science officer leave. Counseling a Vulcan was definitely a tricky exercise in choosing the right words and dancing around deeper issues. She had a feeling that this wouldn't be the last time her knowledge from her recent class would be tapped for this particular individual. As the door slid shut she glanced at her chronometer, grabbed a PADD, and headed off to yet another group session.::


Lieutenant J.G. Karynn Ehlanii

Ship's Counselor

USS Ronin


Lieutenant J.G. Valis

Science Officer

USS Ronin

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if there are any layout problems with the post above then that's down to me - cut & paste having issues and stuck it in as one big block of text but i think i've seperated it all.

anyway, another long but strong post. Jack is spot on with his simming of the Vulcan Valis and, as always, Karynn makes an excellent counselor - gentle and unobtrusive but still offering insight into other characters.

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