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Special Exhibit

Posted on 11 Dec 2017 @ 6:16am by Lieutenant Commander Jayla Kij & Captain Harvey Geisler & Lieutenant Gemma Alexander & Lieutenant Danyl Adan & Lieutenant Sterek & Lieutenant JG Jace Crystan & Lieutenant Jarith Roshe

Mission: Crossing Over
Location: Performance Hall
Timeline: MD2

Jayla wrung her hands nervously as she glanced around at her own paintings. Just seeing them hanging there where anyone could look at them made her completely nervous. She'd never showed her work on this scale before. She'd only ever allowed a few people to actually see them. Her sister had, of course, been privy. She had also allowed her parents to see them from time to time. Harvey had seen a few of them, but he wasn't aware of it. And of course, recently, she'd allowed Cal to see everything she'd done.

Cal! Oh, what she wouldn't give to have him here! She'd feel better if only someone she knew enjoyed her work was here. For now, though, the few people who had stopped by seemed to admire her work.

She smoothed her long, gold dress nervously and flashed a winning smile at a couple of ensigns who walked through the door.

"Wow," Cal said, as he and Gemma entered. He walked up to Jayla and kissed her on the cheek. "You look fantastic! Oh. I don't know if you two have met, but, in case you haven't, Doctor Jayla Kij, allow me to introduce Lieutenant Gemma Alexander. Gemma, this is Jayla."

"I don't believe I've had the pleasure," replied Jayla, smiling cheerfully at the other woman. "It's nice to meet you."

Gemma grinned, "Fortunately we've not had cause to, just lucky I guess. These paintings are amazing." She said honestly. She liked to draw but worked mainly in pencil, just a preference. It was highly portable and she could do it anywhere with a pencil and a pad of paper, she also liked the look. She appreciated art in all it's forms though and was glad the doc had decided to hold this open house.

"Thank you," Jayla replied, feeling oddly humbled by the compliment. "It's a bit nerve wracking putting them on display like this."

Gemma's smile was gentle, "I mean look at this one..." She pointed to a nearby one of a winter scene with a bridge and horse drawn cart. "Yes it's simple but it has all the elements, one could almost feel the cold. It reminds me a lot of visiting family in the country back home..." She smiled at the memory, "At winter holiday we would actually bust out horse drawn carts and travel about. I'd swear I'd seen that bridge..." She shook herself out of the memory and looked back at Jayla, "You've a talent to painting places of unique vision, emotion and memory." She gestured to the other paintings, "I don't think you've much to worry about....". She gave a broad grin and two thumbs up briefly to illustrate support.

Jayla beamed at the painting. "During my first year at the Academy, there were a bunch of humans celebrating Christmas," she explained. "I didn't understand anything about it, so one of them gave me a book to read. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. I decided it warranted a painting."

Cal grinned.

"See," Cal said. "I told you you'd get your ego stroked if you showed your work!"

She grinned back. "I didn't expect it to be quite this humbling, though," she replied. "I mean, all these people admiring my work," she added, gesturing around at everyone milling about, "you would think I'd be proud and inflated, but somehow, it makes me feel smaller. I can't quite explain it."

"Well, I'm proud of you," Callam said. "I know how nervous you were about showing your work, but you didn't it anyway, and that's very brave in my book."

"It's still pretty terrifying, but I think I'll be glad I did it in the end," Jayla replied. "Everyone seems really positive so far."

I can't argue with her there. I rarely engage in such activity, and then only if my partner suggests it, but I've found that I'm usually glad after I've done it in the end...wait...that's not what she's talking about...

"I think you will, too," Callam said. "You already look...happier? Relieved? Less like you're carrying the weight of the galaxy on your shoulders."

"I think I'm remembering that my friends can help me carry my universe," she said. "If I try to do it on my own, it gets too heavy."

Cal smiled.

"Now you're learning, Spots," he said. "Now you're learning. I'm happy for you. I really am."

Jayla beamed back at him. She was starting to enjoy this a bit now. Perhaps it really had been a good idea. "Well, you two have a look around and let me know what you think at the end, okay?" she said. "Tell me if the others are as good as the first few you've seen."

"Sure thing," Callam said. He turned to Gemma and held out his arm. "Shall we?"

Gemma rolled her eyes good naturedly and took his arm, "As usual he's a smooth one but it doesn't make it less true. You are talented, we are your friends and if you ever want sell this piece..." She gestured at the winter scene, "Let me know."

"I don't think I can part with that one, quite yet, but I'll keep it in mind," Jayla promised.

Gemma smiled and let it go, even if Jayla never parted with it. It never hurt to let someone know how much their work is appreciated. "Looks like you're popular..." She pointed to others who were coming in, "Everyone will want to talk to he woman of the hour." She grinned.

"Let's do as she says and have a look around at her other paintings," Cal said. "And leave Spots here some time to schmooze with more of her adoring fans."

Gemma smiled at the doctor and another painting caught her eye, muttered an "excuse me" before going to look it over.

Meanwhile, Jayla was accosted almost immediately by a very energetic engineer who raved about every painting in great detail. She decided to just grin and let him carry on. It was a boost to her ego, just like Cal had said.

Jace entered the performance hall dressed in an all black suit and tie. Everything was in its proper place and it made him feel like the top of the heap. He didn't often wear anything other than his uniform or casual clothes, but every now and again, he liked to spruce the old body up and contribute to whatever collection of eye candy he could mingle himself into. And failing that, he was certainly not above a little narcissism when looking in the mirror. After all, he knew he looked good tonight.

Of course, Jace came for reasons not including himself and scanned the hall for the artist of the hour. She was in conversation with some others so he started perusing the paintings while he waited his turn. He didn't really have a lot of experience with this style of artwork, and would be a bit of an amateur if he would ever try to describe it. He did come across one he liked on the first side he looked over.

Once the young, energetic engineer to whom she had been speaking moved back to look at the paintings, Jayla scanned the room. A man in a very dapper black suit. It took her a moment to recognize him as Jace. She grinned and headed over. "Jace!" she exclaimed. "I'm so glad you could make it. You look fantastic! Better than me, I think."

"I wouldn't go that far," Jace said, admiring Jayla's entire look. "Seems to me there's a lot going on in this room. But," he nodded towards her, "I think there is more than one way to define an artistic masterpiece." He smiled, very possibly a little cocky for his own good.

It took her a moment to understand what he meant and when she finally did, she rewarded him with a huge, twinkling grin. "Smooth talker," she accused, but her tone indicated that she wouldn't complain if he continued. "I'll be sure to let my parents know you approve of their work."

Jace held both his hands up to chest height, paused for dramatic effect, before saying, "That's all I ask," and smiling again. He looked back at the painting. It appeared to be a landscape of hills, but if one cocked their head to the side and squinted, it looked like a flock of birds flying in front of a sunset. He decided that he'd save more lines for later and said, "All of that said, you've got some real talent for painting. This one caught my eye."

"It was an experiment," she explained. "The hills are meant to be the first thing you see, but then you start to notice that the hills are actually made up of thousands of birds. You have no idea how long it took to paint that many birds. I'm never doing it again." She shook her head, indicating how difficult and time consuming it had been.

Jace chuckled, but in amazement. "I can see how that would take forever. Props to you for keeping that up." He looked around the room. "Good turnout. Has it been like this all day?"

"Well, since it opened, anyway," she replied. "How long as it been? A couple hours, I think. It seems like the whole ship has turned out!"

"What do you expect? People flock to beauty!" he said grinning. "And of course, the art is good too. Well done on these."

The flirting made her grin, of course. What girl wouldn't grin at that? "Thanks," she said. "I'm gaining confidence with every person I talk to. I guess this really was a good idea."

Jace nodded. "And with that said, more admirers approach," he said, nodding towards more guests. Jayla was a hit, and he wasn't about to keep her all to himself. Yet... "Come find me later. I'll be around." He smiled at her.

"I will," she promised. "Thanks for coming!"

The doors to the Performance Hall opened yet again, this time granting entrance to the ship's Captain. He'd planned to attend this the moment it had been scheduled, and he had hoped that there would be a solid turnout. Harvey was immediately pleased with the number of people in the room, and thankfully it hadn't felt too crowded.

He spotted the good doctor across the hall, talking to a familiar face. Harvey would greet her when a moment presented itself. For now, he'd let her relish the attention from the crew. In the meantime, the still-uniformed Captain began to browse her displayed works. He was surprised and amazed at the doctor's hidden talent, though he knew firsthand how skilled she was with her hands. Still, something about a couple of these works were oddly familiar, like he'd seen them before.

As soon as Jayla extricated herself from one conversation, another crewmate would approach and she'd brace for more comments. She needn't have worried so much, though; everyone seemed to be enjoying her work.

She spotted Harvey come in, but had been speaking to Jace at the time. Once she's finished with him, she headed over. "Hi, sir," she said cheerfully. "Thanks for coming!"

Harvey looked beside him to see that the resident artist had joined him. He gave her a smile, saying, "You're welcome, Jayla. I wouldn't have missed it." Pointing back to the painting that he'd been staring at for the last few minutes. "This piece is interesting," he commented. "It reminds me, somewhat, of our night on Yolvanda II."

"It does a bit, doesn't it?" she replied, remembering the spectacular mating dance of those luminescent birds. It had been beautiful. "It's actually fireflies. I tried to imagine what a timed exposure photograph would look like. That's why it's such a mess. I tried to use Stary Night as inspiration."

"Ah," Harvey said, seeing the fireflies now. "Well, I'm certain Van Gogh would have been honored, you using a classical Terran work to blend two cultures. Not to mention, temporal alterations of two-dimensional photography. It's a very well done, piece."

"That's far more thought than I put into it," she laughed. "But thank you. It's good to know my technique is solid even if I don't actually understand it."

He chuckled just a bit, keeping his volume low as to not disturb the others. "Some of the best pieces of art don't have the best skills or talents behind them, just the artist's soul looking for an outlet." Looking to her, he added, "And it's good to see that your soul is still alive and well."

"I guess I just had to find it," she agreed. "I'm getting there. Slowly, but surely. I just have to remember that I've got friends and they care about me. And I can't do anything about it," she added with a cheeky grin.

Harvey nodded in confirmation and provided a smile as well. "As long as you're on the way back to us, that's all I care about."

She gave him a thankful grin. "I think I'm gonna make it," she replied. "Between my friends and some rather unconventional methods, I'll get there. Come to think of it, I've always required unconventional methods."

The Captain smirked, unable to argue with that. "Well, I'm sure you have many more to greet and thank for coming. And I've got quite a selection to look at."

"Just about the entire ship," she agreed, glancing around at all the people. "I think I'll have my yearly quota of schmoozing in by the end of the night."

Lieutenant Jarith Roshe strolled into the room, casually dressed, his curly hair perfectly in place. His Betazoid pupils were dilated more than usual, something being in a room full of people did to him. He saw Jayla talking to the Captain, so he viewed several pieces, but one in particular caught his eye. It was one of a nude Vulcan male sprawled in the grass. It made Jarith smile a little.

Spotting Roshe, Jayla hurried over to greet him. "Hi!" she said cheerfully. "I'm so glad you came. What do you think so far?"

Jarith offered Jayla a small peck on the cheek. "Interesting," he said. "You definitely have a talent for the arts. I'm particularly interested in this piece," he said, trying not to chuckle. "It reminds me of someone, but I can't for the life of me figure out who."

“It's not anybody in particular,” answered Jayla, grinning at the picture. “In my third year at the academy, several of us had the chance to study for a month on Yegorah. While we were there, we decided to visit a beach. Well, the Telino have no swimming costumes; they swim in the nude. So, we thought, when on Ferenginar.... I didn't expect the Vulcans to be so at ease about the whole thing. There were two Vulcans and neither of them seemed to really notice any difference from any other beach. Seeing them be so comfortable in their own skin inspired me and I had to try to capture that mood.”

Roshe smiled at her. "That you did," said he.

As if fate had somehow chosen the most amusing possible time for this, Sterek appeared at their side, head tilted as he examined the nude study. He'd worn a grey robe for the occasion, simple but elegant, his clothing and posture a stark contrast - if you'll pardon the phrase - to the painting's subject.

Jarith said, "I'd like to purchase the piece. I think I know someone who might appreciate it as much as I mother. She is an artist herself. A well-known sculptor and painter, in fact."

"I might be persuaded to part with it," she mused, thinking ig over.

"A fascinating piece, Doctor," Sterek said. "Your grasp of his anatomy is highly competent." (A non-Vulcan might have had the urge to add some innuendo about anatomy and the grasping thereof, but Sterek was far too much of a Vulcan and a gentleman to even consider the idea.)

Roshe nodded. "It is subtle yet brilliant. Would you bid on it, Lieutenant?"

"I would not wish to deprive either you or your mother of the opportunity to possess it," replied Sterek evenly.

"I was hesitant to put it on display," Jayla admitted. "A lot of humanoids tend to be a bit prudish about nudity. But, ultimately, I decided the meaning behind it was pure and so nobody could possibly object."

"My people tend not to be affected by such considerations. In fact I even engaged in similar sittings for an associate of mine, Sivar - a sculptor currently exhibiting on Bajor." Jarith's gaze found the eyes of the Vulcan in the painting, and he tilted his head to the other side, as if scrutinizing some hidden detail. "Her style differs from yours, of course, but I understand it is not an uncommon choice of subject for artists in general."

"It's not," she agreed. "I'm not really sure why as it's much more difficult to paint someone fully clothed than to paint someone naked; there's far more shading involved."

"You avoided my question, Lieutenant Sterek," noted Jarith.

"Did I, Counselor? My apologies." He turned toward the Betazoid slightly. "If I were in the habit of collecting art, I would, but I do not intend to now. It is not a reflection on the quality of the piece; I merely prefer to keep my personal possessions to a minimum." A short pause. "Besides, it might alarm my cat."

Jayla giggled; she recognized a Vulcan joke when she heard one. A lot of people thought that Vulcans were incapable of humor, but having spent so much time with one in the academy, she knew better. "It seems you're the only taker, Mister Roshe," she said.

"I find that hard to believe," responded Jarith, a grin plastered on his face. "I will, however, take it. It will be prominently displayed with my mother's other art collection. She'll love it!"

"I'm glad it's going to such a good home, then," she replied. "I have no idea what it's worth. Make me an offer? How many credits can you part with?"

Jarith placed his hand on his chin and rubbed it thoughtfully. "How does 20 credits sound to part with this magnificent piece? It's definitely worth more, but I might find another one among your beautiful artwork that I'll want to purchase."

"Twenty credits for a true art lover sounds fair enough," she replied. "That and I've enver sold a piece before, so I have no idea what I should ask."

"Consider it sold!" said Jarith with excitement. "I'm glad I could be the one to purchase your first piece of art."

Sterek moved a little further away, assessing the next painting with interest - a seascape in dark and moody colours, with a shadowed figure standing on a cliff in the foreground. "I would be intrigued to learn more about your choice of subject for this one."

"Belar Kij," answered Jayla, a twinge of sadness touching her voice. "After his mate Liara passed away. He adored her and when she was gone.... well, he was in a very dark place for a long time. He always felt like there was a storm brewing or a dark figure waiting for him. I sort of combined the two. I think I connected with Belar the best because when I was first joined, I had my own dark place. I didn't handle it well because I was too young," she explained. "Long story."

"I understand." Though emotionless, Sterek's voice was quiet; it wasn't unlike him to modify his tone according to the situation, in order to convey sympathy or respect. It certainly helped with some patients. "A highly evocative piece. You convey his grief well."

"Kij believes he would love it," she replied. "Jayla is not so sure. But, thank you. It is incredibly difficult to convey pain accurately."

Sterek's gaze stayed on the painting. "There are a number of writers who claim such is impossible without telepathy, or at least in a manner that others will understand. I am still uncertain. Vulcans tend to focus on not conveying it at all."

"I try to focus on happier things," Jayla agreed. "The way I see it, people have enough of their own pain; they don't need mind, too."

Sterek looked thoughtful. Well, Vulcans didn't tend to look much else. "Not always a constructive position to take. Most species benefit psychologically from discussing their problems."

"True story," she agreed. "I suppose the problem is convincing myself of that."

Sterek's eyebrow quirked slightly, as if his thoughts went elsewhere for a second. "A more common obstacle than one might assume."

"So it seems," she agreed, seeing a rush of people entering the hall. "Oh, dear, I'd better go say hello. Thank you for coming," she added to Sterek, and she hurried off to greet the new comers.

Lieutenant Danyl Adan arrived a little late. He hoped the exhibit wasn't closing soon. Spotting Kij with a Vulcan, he waited. He spotted a painting that was a splash of red on the right, green on the left and a streak of gray down the middle. He reflected what this one might represent in the cosmos of Kij/Jayla.

Once Jayla found herself free again, she glanced around to see who else had wandered in. She spotted Adan nearby examining one of her abstracts and headed over to say hello. "I see you've found my foray into abstract painting," she said by way of greeting. "What do you think?"

Adan smiled at Kij warmly. "It's fascinating," he said not trying to sound Vulcan and failing miserably. "I was wondering what something like this might represent?"

"It was meant to be an attempt at reconciling the symbiont and the host," she replied. "I'm not sure if I managed it all that well, but it took a long time. The splashes look random, but if you look closely, you'll see that it is exactly symmetrical along the horizontal plane."

Danyl looked at the painting to see if he could see what Kij was talking about. He couldn't. "I see what you mean," he lied. "Is there a piece here you like best of all?"

Somehow, Jayla got the feeling that he didn't see it at all, but that didn't matter, really. "That's a tough call," she replied. "There are so many I love for different reasons. If I had to pick one..." she mused, tapping one finger against her lips as she turned to gaze at all the paintings. Her eyes fell on one of a freckle-faced red-haired boy, grinning widely as he climbed a ladder to a treehouse. "This one," she declared, going to it. "It's my nephew. I did it from memory and I'm really happy with how it turned out."

"It's beautiful," Said Danyl. "Is he all grown up now?"

"Nah, he's nine," she replied. "This is a very recent memory. He's a great kid..."


Several hours later, as the exhibit was winding down, Jayla was feeling far more confident, and not just about her art. Her friends had come out to support her and made her realize that she really could depend on them.

She glanced around at the paintings on the walls and realized that she was going to be all right.


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