Dances With Dolphins

Summary:
November 11 2014: Rowan arranges for Babs to come with him to work

SS Profundus, Atlantic Ocean

The middle of the Atlantic Ocean


Characters

NPCs

  • Linda McKay

Mood Music:
[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]


It'd been a couple of days but Rowan did manage to come through on his promise. He showed up at the Clocktower a couple of days ago smiling and asking if Babs would like to take a trip out to sea in the next couple of days. He'd arranged things with the larger of the two research firms he works with to take her out with them, give her a chance to look at some of the deep sea tech and… maybe have a bit of fun too.

Two days later he'd brought her down to the docks where a large catamaran was being loaded up. The SS Profundus was a state of the art research ship, with satellite uplinks, remote minisubs and, importantly, Rowan. The Captain and Lead Researcher were a husband and wife time (Johnathan and Linda McKay) and were quite welcome to Babs, happily giving her a tour of the ship (which was both large and comfortable especially for a research ship) and letting her at the tech if she so desired. Evidently Rowan had talked her up.

-

Of course Rowan doesn't know what Babs has to do to arrange the time out, but the offer really is too good to resist. She's spent the last few days making sure her remote connections to Oracles network not only work but are stable as well. So here she is, on the SS Profundus (who names these ships) in one of her smaller chairs being given the grand tour. The tech of course has her interest."So what type of research are you involved in here?" Babs has pulled her hair back into a pony tail, in an effort to keep it out of her face. It's succeeded for the most part. Additionally, she's made sure to dress warmly and is wearing an extra woolly jumper.

-

"Our specialty is in underwater tectonics." Linda informs Babs as they enter a room full of very sensitive instruments for measuring just that. "But we're also equipped for search and recovery, zoological research, we do our fair share of tagging and tracking. And we're in the middle of a long term project to understand the relationship between oceanic currents and long term climate change. Rowan's been a big help. Helps us place instruments and finds things for us in hours that it'd take weeks for us to find otherwise. If we found them at all."

Rowan can't help but preen a little at the compliment. It's nice to feel useful. He has to be careful not to give away the location of any atleantean settlements but generally the things oceanographers look for aren't anywhere near those to begin with.

"Today we're going to be doing a bit of marine mammal research and dropping some instruments into one of the thermohaline layers near the subduction line."

-

Babs smiles as Rowan obviously looks pleased with the conversation. "So multipurpose research really. Are you looking for any particular marine mammal, or are you looking for what is in the area your monitoring?" Babs is listening to the conversation but it should be obvious that she's really interested the various instrumentation that being used.

-

"Oh dolphins and porpouises today." Linda says, keying up the sound tracking and locations system they use to find pods of the same. "Would you like to listen and get a feel for the tracker. The interface is a bit arcane but I'll bet you can figure it out."

Rowan grins. He bets she can.

-

"An arcane interface…" Babs wonders if they mean 'different' or if they mean 'magical'… the joys of the english language. "I'd love to…" glancing at Rowan, she cants her head and looks at him questioningly "What are you smiling at?"

"Nothing." Rowan grins. "Just glad they have the same confidence that I do."

They did indeed mean different. Scientific programs never seem to be quite optimized for user efficiency but once Babs figures out how it works she finds herself in command of one of several arrays of sensitive directional hydrophones. And, as it turns out, there's a pod of cetaceans not that far away…

-

At the sound emanating from the speakers, Babs looks delighted and her eyes crinkle. "You said Dolphins and Porpoises, is that right?" and she turns her attention to the sound. "Are they coming closer, it would seem so" Babs murmurs…

-

Rowan smiles. "So they are."

Linda leans over to get a bearing from Babs' screen and calls it up to the Captain. Shortly thereafter the Profundus is turning. It'll take about twenty minutes to intercept the pod and in the mean time it's important that someone, to wit Babs, monitor them to make sure that they don't change direction or otherwise do something unexpected.

-

Doesn't Babs look at home, in her wheelchair, monitoring a screen and relaying details and instructions? You'd think shes done this before… It's really not a tough task and, there's only one objective here. So Babs is happy to sit, watch and relay. Glancing briefly at Rowan, she smiles brightly again…

-

The ship seems to slow. "On the port side." One of the researchers calls out. The dolphins are running along side the ship, playfully, leaping out of the water to watch.

-

"Alright Rowan, it's time. Get ready. We'll get Babs changed. Go on." Rowan nods. "See you on deck Babs."

-

Once the Blue leaves Linda smiles. "So Babs, how would you like to help us tag them?"

-

Babs listens and watches and a wary look crosses her face "What… in the water with them?" Rowan /had/ remembered. "It's not too cold? Um, I mean I would love to."

-

"We have a wetsuit ready for you. I'll help you change if you like. If it's not comfortable for you, you can observe from the deck but Rowan seemed to think you might like it." Linda smiles encouragingly.

-

"Well…. yes, I would like to. Let's do it… I ahem just don't have any swimmers." Babs looks mildly embarrassed "I can work around that though. What do I do then?"

-

"Well let's get you changed first." Linda leads Babs back to a room used for just that and starts helping her into the wetsuit. "We'll get you all set up here, neutral bouyancy and get a breathing apparatus on you. I think you'll like some of the new stuff. Experimental Stark Tech that yanks oxygen right out of the water. Then Rowan'll help you get around while you tag the dolphins. For some reason they're usually pretty friendly with him about. Well, friendlier than usual."

-

Babs is not really used to having someone assist her, but she accepts the help as Linda talks. "I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this and the tech, it sounds amazing."

-

Once Babs is changed and Linda has gone over with her how the tags work (smart, little micro GPS chips with a minimally invasive auto injector. She's promised to hook Babs up with the tracking interface later) she's brought up to the deck where Rowan is waiting. His adaptive clothing has reverted to it's usual form, to wit, a tight shirt and shorts. Looks like an underarmor shirt and bike shorts, frankly. He's barefoot and unadorned save for his gear and a waterproof earpiece. "Ready Babs? That breathing mask has a transmitter so you can talk to me. Would you like to be lowered in or… I could just pick you up and jump in?"

-

Babs smiles widely as she looks at Rowan. "Sure. Um we can jump if you like…" There's a level of uncertainty in her voice, but she's up for it. "Is there anything else I should now before we do this?"

-

"Mmmmmm. Not that comes to mind. I may change a little once we get down there." Rowan notes. "Your suit is neutrally bouyant so you don't need to worry about sinking and I won't let you get left behind. Are you ready?" Rowan leans down and rather effortlessly picks Babs up out of her chair. Seriously, he doesn't even have to strain. One gets the impression he could have done it one handed.

"Here we go!" And with that he jumps in.

-

Jumping into the water, from a catamaran, in the arms of a man… that goes down in the 'new experiences' column. The water is… freezing… but it doesn't take long once she starts moving and taking in what they're about to do, before the cold is forgotten.

-

Somehow he simply takes the water in with no issues, looks at Babs and grins. "They're right over there. "Come on…" The Blue shifts slightly, growing a finned tail and scales and webbed hands. He wraps one arm around Babs and propells them both toward the dolphin pod. In no time they're in the midst, the cetaceans not seeming in the least bothered by either of them. Soon the pod heads up and breaches the surface again.

-

Dolphins! Babs is swimming with Dolphins… and Rowan. Most people get to swim with Dolphins at Animal Parks, or at the sea edge, only few get to do it in the middle of the ocean! Speaking through the respiratory takes some getting used to "Alright, so what are we doing, and will they play?"

-

"They do seem to be in a mood for it." Rowan grins, his voice a bit distorted by the water and the change of the shape of his mouth. "You're gonna help inject them with the GPS trackers. I will too. They wont' really feel it, don't worry. They spent a long time developing that thing so it wasn't painful. Now…" Rowan edges up to one of the dolphins just gliding along the surface. "Go on, hang onto his fin. Might be fun for you both."

-

Babs looks a little unsure as Rowan suggests she grab the Dolphins fin, but she does. And she holds on tight… the Dolphin tows her along through the water….

The dolphin dives down about forty feet and then comes back up, breaking through the water in a little leap. Around her the other dolphins leap in and out of the water chattering playfully as Rowan swims along side a couple of them to inject them.

-

Babs is having a wonderful time as he assists Rowan do the tagging. OK he does most of it, she just plays with the Dolphins. It's a good thing she works out too, holding on to a creature that moves that fast and goes that deep, requires a fair bit of energy and strength.

-

Rowan does get a few of the dolphins close enough for Babs to tag. And when it finally looks like she's tiring out he swims close to take her again, letting her rest her arms as he keeps up with the pod. Now instead of 'riding' a dolphin it's rather like she's being carried by one as they swim deep to flow around rock formations and through schools of fish and then back up to perform acrobatics on the surface just for fun.

-

Babs laughs "I'm not sure who's enjoying this more, you or I, Rowan. I'm having a marvelous time." OK this speaking underwater is pretty cool stuff. As they swim through the schools of fish, Babs reaches out to try and touch them, she doesn't but it's still magical stuff.

-

Rowan grins. "The waters are clearer and there's more scenery down in the Carribean and out near Australia. Maybe we'll have the chance to go there someday. I'm glad you're enjoying this though." They remain down there for a while, but after a time the pod moves on and Babs tech, will tankless, does have to be powered. So Rowan swims them back to the ship. The staff clearly had a fun time watching them and Linda is grinning when Rowan climbs back up with Babs.

"Have a good time?"

-

"You know I did" Babs laughs. She wet and now starting to get cold, her cheeks are pink with exertion and delight…. "Thank you so much for arranging it Rowan, and so much for letting it happen Linda… this is something I'll never forget."

-

"Rowan tells me you're a busy woman, but I saw you working that hydrophone." Linda waggles her finger playfully. 'If you ever find yourself with spare time and inclination you'd be welcome back. Now come on. We'll take you to the showers and let you clean up and dry off."

-

Smiling at Linda as they make their way, Babs responds "Yes, I am. Days like these are pretty difficult to organise actually… but" and she casts a look back at Rowan as they move "They seem to be happening a little bit more often." Showered and changed, Babs decides to leave her hair down so it dries properly. "Where to?" she asks Linda

-

Linda smiles. "Well we had lunch while you were out but Rowans in the mess eating. Are you hungry? I think there's still some chili left. And bread and a few other things." She nods down the corridor. "Just that way."

-

Following Linda, Babs is still smiling. "Starving actually. That was quite a work out…" Of course, Babs is used to the type of workouts that often hit you back and leave bruises, so this was a nice change. "Chili did you say. Sounds like just the thing."

-

Linda leads Babs down to the mess, which is a bit small though still bigger than on many ships. Rowan is indeed indulging in chili and corn bread. And it seems he anticipated Babs being hungry because there's a bowl and plate for her as well. He looks up and smiles as the door is opened for her.

-

Seeing the bowl and plate already there for her, Babs smile gets even bigger (if that's possible) and her green eyes sparkle. Manouevring her chair into place, she looks at Rowan "This has been just amazing… I've really enjoyed myself and…. oh just Thank you Rowan… thank you." Babs looks at the bowl and picking up the spoon that's on the table, starts eating the Chili "I'm so hungry now… you gave me a real work out"

-

Rowan grins broadly and swallows the chili in his mouth. It's good, spicy, meaty, chunky chili. "I'm glad you did Babs." He says softly. "The work I do is fun sometimes and it's very nice to be able to share it with you."

-

Babs is pretty involved with the food at the moment, you can't blame a girl for being hungry, but at Rowans words she puts her spoon down and focusses her full attention on him. It takes her a few minutes to remember that his tone is usually quiet… Tilting her head slightly Babs says softly herself, "It was nice of you to offer… to share it with me Rowan. It's something, another good memory to keep hold off. I'm really touched you remembered that I said I wanted to do this."

-

Rowan chuckles, setting his own spoon down. "I promised I would, did I not? I couldn't break my promise. Not to you." Well not in general but especially not to Babs. She's been very, very nice to him, he enjoys her company and she seemed to really want this.

-

"You did promise Rowan, but you delivered on it so quickly. It's possibly the nicest thing anyone has done for me" except maybe Wayne Foundation funding her Oracle project… but that's very different. "You're fairly unique you know. There aren't many men who could get me soaking wet and cold and have me babbling for more." It's hard for Babs to be demonstrative… but she raises a hand and touches Rowans arm "I'm serious, this is something that I'm going to remember forever… thank you."

-

Rowan brings his other hand up and sets it on hers, smiling and nodding. "You're quite welcome Babs. Honestly. It's nice to see you so happy." Not that he hasn't seen her pleased or content before, to be sure. But this is quite different."

-

As Rowan covers her hand with his, there's that split second where she hesitates but then it's gone. "For the first time in a very long time Rowan, you've allowed me to just ''be'' and enjoy the moment. It's nice." Babs' tone is low and soft. How do you explain the responsibility that she carries… Oracle, Information Goddess of Gotham…

-

Rowan watches her expression and her tone and smiles just a little bit. "It's difficult, what you do, isn't it?" He doesn't know what she does other than what she's told him but he imagines that living more or less alone up in the tower cannot be an easy life. "I'm glad, then that you were able to relax."

-

The smile doesn't fade, but Babs becomes thoughtful "Not difficult, just there's a lot of responsibility associated with it. It can be wearing, and there isn't a lot of thanks for what I do." Babs smile twists to one side "What you did today, allowed me to get away from that, to just be me… Don't get me wrong, I love what I do but wearing, is wearing… Today just reminds me that life is really worth living."

-

"It really is. And it's a shame when things happen that prevent people from simply living it." Things like world and generation spanning wars for example. Rowan was happy to help Babs do this because in doing so it reminded him how very worth it it all is. "Linda seems taken with you. I think you'll be welcome on the ship any time."

-

Impulsively Babs places a peck on the Blue Warriors cheek before turning back to her cooling food. Picking up her spoon, she digs in to finish it. "I like Linda and it could be nice to arrange some time out with them. It's certainly eye opening…" and often, seeing how different industries use the same type of technology allows a developer to adapt things. "So this is some of the work you do, Rowan?" Babs assumes that at some point, the Profoundus will be returning to dock.

-

The Profundus will indeed, and is already on the way back. "Some of it yes. Sometimes I go down deep to place or find things. It depends on what they're working on." Rowan's intelligent but he doesn't understand half of what they do in truth. Still they seem to mean well and he's willing to help.

-

Finally finishing her chili, Babs wipes her mouth and hands with the serviettes before turning her full attention to Rowan. Turning her chair so is facing him directly, "I love that you've given me a view into that, Rowan. And what you're doing…" Babs does mostly keep up with the goings on "it's important. Shall we go up on deck and see landfall?"


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