MD 5, 1453 hours
Authors: Lt. (JR) Amata Zan (featuring Lt. (JR) Grel and CPO Syalla Coren)
Escorting her department’s new second out of courtesy, Chief Coren exited the turbolift onto deck five, followed by a towering, quiet Bajoran male, it was mostly a formality, but besides his short trip on the Toronto to DS9, Amata hadn't been on a Miranda since about Stardate 53866 and he preferred not to get lost on his way to meet his new SO. The Chief spoke, “Sir, have you ever met a Tellarite?”
Continuing down the corridor after the Portland’s Master-at-Arms, passed the crew quarters, Amata pre-empted the expected warning, “Several.”
“Then you know how they like to be argumentative just for the sake of being argumentative and, too put it bluntly, overly emotional.”
Amata purposely stopped to face the female, taking in the detail of her Wadi facial markings, “True, though your phrasing could be taken as prejudiced.”
For a moment, female looked defiant, like she was about to put him in his place, Amata didn’t blame her. Though they appeared to be close in age, Coren was a Chief and he was just a junior officer, if their ranks were reversed the Bajoran probably wouldn’t have shown as much restraint as the Wadi. By the time she spoke, her tone was purely professional, drained of any emotion, “I was just trying to warn you, Lieutenant.”
“It’s appreciated, Chief.”
A moment of awkward silence passed between the two security personnel before they began to once again make their way down the corridor towards the Security offices. Rather quickly, the pair arrived outside of Lieutenant Grel’s office, the Terran writing on the sliding door marking it so. Chief Coren spoke to Amata once more, “Here we are Lieutenant, I’ll be returning to the Armoury now.”
“My thanks, Chief,” Amata bowed his head slightly as he spoke.
The Master-at-Arms began on her way back to the turbolift, but stopped after only a few steps and looked back, “Remember, Sir, I warned you.” There was no levity in her voice.
With a muffled Tellarite swear at the interruption, Lt. Grel, who had been comfortably sitting with a PADD in hand, his duty jacket draped over the back of his chair and his feet on his desk, took a second collect himself and put his feet on the deck before answering the ring of his office door in a most unwelcoming tone, “Enter.”
Crossing the threshold, the Bajoran stopped in front of the desk and stood at attention, towering over the seated Tellarite far more so than he had the Wadi Chief, “Lieutenant junior grade Amata Zan, at your service.”
Caught off guard, Amata stole a glance at the chronometer on the wall, and in a far less dutiful tone, defended himself, “I’m early.”
Without permission, Amata stood at ease, and then changed his posture to be more natural, and honestly, more threatening, “You want to spar, we do it off duty. Playing words won’t be much fun for you if I have to respect the chain of command.”
At this, Grel just stared up at his new subordinate, most of his porcine features covered in a thick, course, dirty blonde beard; out of a purely biological reaction, Amata’s body began to prepare for a fight. But suddenly, like a binary system switched, the Tellarite laughed, a loud, powerful snort.
Grel now appeared as amused as he had been irritated. He stood from his chair and offered a Terran handshake; the Bajoran was more than a head taller than him, “You know I might not be happy you’re here, but that doesn’t mean I can’t like you, Amata. Lieutenant junior grade Grel. Now sit, we’ll make this quick so you can finishes getting settled in and I can get back to finishing this,” the Tellarite held up a PADD, “And to be fair, we are off duty.”
Shooting a look that suggested that he still didn’t want to argue, Amata sat across from his new supervisor, who offered him a different PADD than the one he had just gestured with, he took it. Displayed on it was all the expected data, including his upcoming duty shifts, “Gamma?”
Still just as amused, if not even more so, Grel adjusted himself in his chair and gave another snort, looking rather proud of himself, as far as Amata could tell, “Well, I prefer to have at least one experienced Security Officer on duty at all times, obviously, just makes sense. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to rely on any of the Ensigns, so I have Chief Coren co-supervise Alpha. I prefer Beta Shift and she has a son to spend her evenings with, works out great for everyone.”
Amata stared at the Tellarite harder than was appropriate considering their positions, but couldn’t think of any reasoning beyond personal preference to base a protest on, “So the new officer gets the cemetery shift.”
“You mean graveyard shift, but yes. A Terran idiom, quite a strange people, they fear death as much as the next culture, yet they apparently save related work for the darkness of night. Will this be a problem?”
“Excellent!” Grel clapped his hands together to emphasize, “I need a team minded officer right now; it’s been a ------- week.”
“I’m sorry…,” Amata paused for a moment to determine the proper way to address the Tellarite, holding the same rank as him, “… Grel, the adjective before week didn’t translate,” the Bajoran pointed to his commbadge.
“Aww, you’d think these ------- things would be able to translate a simple ------ curse word.”
“Actually, few curses can be translated literally, even between related terrestrial...” Amata caught himself, “Go on.”
His broad, gold clad shoulders instantly filled with tension, “For starters, our department’s being evaluated by some ----- female animal jarhead with no related experience, I’d bet a month’s leave that she’s only here cause she came out the same ----- ----- as our XO!” It took Amata a second to realize what the translator had done, he would have been amused by the device had Grel’s mood not switched once again from one extreme to another. If the Lieutenant was any other species, Amata would have been concerned that the other male had a severe chemical imbalance, but by Tellarite standards, as far as the Bajoran understood them, Grel was just being melodramatic.
“Should we worry?” his tone failing to match Grel’s in anyway.
“Usually, no, but Coren’s little bastard had to try and impress some little ---- by attempting to access Computer Core,” Grel’s eyes lit up like a child the morning of a festival, “You want Alpha shift, I'll switch her to Gamma.”
“No, I’m fine with Gamma,” Amata began to realize what the Chief had been trying warning him about, “How did they gain access to the Core in the first place?”
Grel stared at him, but unlike before, Amata knew the Tellarite’s mood, neither male looked away. When the silence was finally broken, Grel tone was subdued, “He created a profile of a false security crewman.”
Amata was impressed, “How did he discover the exploit?”
“Apparently, a few of my crewman couldn't keep their mouths shut in the gymnasium, boy overhead them talking.”
Now Amata was appalled, “They were aware of the flaw and didn’t report it?” Grel said nothing in response, but the taller male had his answer, “You knew.”
“It wasn’t a priority; beside it’s not as if someone could discov…”
The Tellarite stood and slammed his meaty fists on his desk, once again expressing extreme emotion like any other member of his proud race, the same anger he had expressed days before when he discovered he was going to evaluated, “I've six years Security experience!”
Amata remained sitting and became coldly calm, “I have eighteen.” Once again the two stared at each other, “We done, Lieutenant?”
“We’re done; Lieutenant.”
Pushing back his chair and rising without taking his eyes off Grel, Amata grabbed his PADD and made his way to the door, pausing briefly in the door way to glance back at the Tellarite, “Before, you said weren't happy I was here, explain.”
For once, Grel’s voice lacked emotion, “We’re the same rank, and like you said, you've served longer than me.”
“So, either I’m about to get a well-deserved promotion to full Lieutenant, or you’re here to replace me.”
Amata decided that he would have to make a point of apologizing to Chief Coren.