Mission: Little Things
It was still rather early in the day when the XO could be found storming into the Security quarters. Perhaps not exactly storming. But a very brisque pace in any case. She glanced around and pounced the first yellow shirt she could get her hands on. "Where the hell is your Chief right this very minute?"
"Uh - in her office, Commander," the security officer on duty offered, motioning towards aforementioned office.
Otherwise ignoring the man, Bente headed straight over. The door was open, so she didn't waste time walking in after rapping the door frame. "Commander," she spoke with a deceptive polite nod.
Dina looked ahead - sitting down at her oversized desk she was about eye height with most regular humanoid officers - and flicked an ear. "Commander," she mused, sniffing the air quickly. "You seem agitated. There a problem?"
Bente glared at the wolf for a moment, considering whether she was being mocked or not. She concluded that she wasn't, at least not intentionally, but that did little to improve her mood. "How can you be in your office when we have a ship filled with running disasters?"
"There's paperwork needs doing. And I'm the only one with the experience, authority and skill in my department to do it," Dina flicked an ear. "Besides, it's a big ship. I sincerely doubt that my presence on deck is going to significantly affect the ship-wide situation. That said, I'll be back out there once this paperwork is done," beat "Or if there's a specific situation that requires my interference, of course."
"When's the last time you've been.. out there?" Bente asked while mulling over the answer in her head. Paperwork didn't make sense to enter this equation.
"About half an hour ago," Dina replied, flicking an ear, her expression going from friendly to cautious. "Is there anything specific on your mind, Commander?" or are you just here to question my work she thought.
Bente considered that for a moment. No, she didn't have anything specific in mind rather than find a victim to vent about the kids. She'd found that in the Chief of Security, and she did feel better to have it off her chest. "I want these kids gone," she replied through gritted teeth, sounding like a petulant child herself.
"Understandable," Dina agreed. "I love kids, but so many of them and everywhere is a bit much, even for me. To be honest I'm glad for the moment of peace," she held up the PADD she was working on for a moment. "Don't know how much longer they'll be on the ship though. Maybe the Captain knows?"
She hadn't meant to say it outloud, she really hadn't. Bente waved her hand. "I'll talk to the Captain if I can ever find her somewhere. When she's not scaring everybody everywhere. Do me a favor though? Up the amount of standard patrols. I don't trust these kids to not be stupid."
"My team's already pulling forty percent overtime. I'm understaffed Commander, by a considerable margin. The marine team is already supporting my people," Dina flicked an ear. "Pushing my people any further would be detrimental to their health, both physical and mental. I'll do it if you insist, but under protest."
Bente didn't like the threat that was hanging over her head, but she also did understand the Commander. "How much of a rate difference is there in the number of interventions compared to when there are no kids aboard?"
"Interventions are up seven hundred percent," Dina spoke matter-of-factly, "but they're all very minor incidents, barely worth writing up. Serious interventions are down ninety percent," she explained. "To be honest, I'm not sure what I prefer. A ton of small things or a small number of incidents but they're all more serious ones."
The XO didn't know herself what she preferred. Minor incidents seemed easier to deal with than serious ones. But still. "Yeah, fair enough. Keep patrols at the current intervals."
Dina smiled. "Not a fan of kids, are you. Don't have any of your own?" she mused, rising to her feet, ears brushing against the ceiling, as she made her way to the replicator. Two mugs ordered of a drink Bente didn't recognize the name for. One mug set down in front of the Command, the other kept for herself as Dina sat back down again, taking a sip, closing her eyes as she reveled in the taste. "G'on, drink. It's a Sirran comfort drink."
Bente smelled the drink she'd been handed warily. She didn't recognize it, but the smell wasn't too bad. Taking a careful sip, she decided to hold out judgement on whether or not she liked it. "No, I don't have any kids of my own. Nor will I ever, if I can help it," she shrugged. "What about you?"
"Had one. A little girl," Dina admitted quietly. "Lost her to illness," The massive Sirran heaved a deep sigh, contemplating her own drink for a moment before taking a swig, eliminating half the beverage as she did. "Doctors couldn't do a thing, but I made damn sure she was as happy and comfortable as she could be during her time in this 'verse."
"I'm sorry to hear that," Bente replied uncomfortably. This wasn't her area of expertise, not an area where she wanted to be. Uncertain of what to say next, she took another sip of her drink. The silence stretched and drove her nuts, so she looked up at the Sirran. "Aren't you uncomfortable to see all these kids running around here then?"
"Don't worry 'bout it," Dina shrugged a bit non-comittedly "It was twentyfive of your years ago. I was a different person then, not even fifty," she added, taking another sip of her drink. "Uncomfortable? No. Family's very important to Sirran, so seeing all these kids, the new generation, it's heartwarming. Also considering we've lost the war and are looking for a new home, these kids are going to be the first generation that settles, builds a new life. It's - ... Comforting."
Bente realized her drink was all but empty. It couldn't have been that bad then, and it was a good way to put her head into the sand and ignore most of the conversation she felt uncomfortable with. "I should leave you to it, Commander," she paused, considering the polite way to communicate her thoughts. "I'm glad we had our little chat."
"Discussion turning uncomfortable, Commander?" Dina smiled, leaning back in her chair. "I get it, it's not an easy subject. It's alright. I hope I managed to provide the distraction and moment of calm you needed, you're always welcome here," she concluded with a nod.
Putting her mug down on the other woman's desk, Bente nodded. "Until next time, Commander."
"I'm easy enough to find, Commander," Dina smiled, turning her attention back to her paperwork.