"A Beginning"

Author: Lieutenant Commander Karissa Bentara
Date: April 10, 2384
Location: DS11

Karissa and the Captain had been the holodeck for the last 30 minutes playing racketball. It had been an intense but very close game. Captain Evans winning only by a single point. Karissa knew that strong physical attivity was good for negative emotions, and even without reading his mind, she knew that he was struggling with something. Body language also spoke volumes, if you knew how to read it.

"Good game," he replied, shaking her hand. "Where did you learn how to play?"

"Starfleet Academy," she replied. "I had several friends who enjoyed playing. They taught me . . . and they taught me well," she smirked, catching her breath just a bit.

He nodded and wiped his wet brow and tried to steady his breath from the exhurtion. "They did," he agreed, "I haven't had such strong competion in a long time."

"Maybe we'll have to play again another day," she replied.

"Maybe . . ."

Suddenly, she spoke out. "Computer, end program and start program Karissa 521."

The racketball court instantly melted away, quickly to be replaced by a woodsy setting. Just three feet away were a couple of benches surrounded by trees. Farther away, were hills. Karissa went to a bench and sat down.

"I hope you don't mind. I wanted to relax for a moment," she said.

"How did this program get here?" he asked with skepticism, curious if she had set him up with her telepathic abilities.

"I was here last night," she replied. "This is my favorite program. You see those hills over there? I use them for Rock Climbing . . . But sometimes, I just want a place to sit and relax. I just find this setting very soothing."

Gauging her reply and deciding that she wasn't lying, he also took a seat. "So do you use the holodecks often?"

She thought for a moment. "It varies from time to time . . . But I would have to say I do. Its always good to have a place to come where you feel safe, and can sooth your emotions, or just get away from it all . . . You know, Captain, I'm not here to make your life more difficult. But since you seem uncomfortable with the idea of my being a counselor, how about we just work on being friends." Playfully, she extended her hand. "Karissa Bentara. Its nice to meet you!"

Ryan smirked and then laughed, taking her hand, "Ryan Evans," he replied, "Good to meet you too."