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Commander Ash MacKenna - The Twisted Spiral of Social Interaction

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I desperately want to give @Kali Nicholotti's Ash MacKenna a hug and tell her it'll be okay.


((Operations Center, Deep Space Thirty Three))
Ash had just finished offering her thoughts and observations to a very irate station commander, and while the pieces didn't exactly connect - yet - it seemed like her thoughts had finally gotten through. Despite the most unpleasant interaction, the redheaded intelligence officer could at least return to her travels knowing that the station was a bit safer than it had been. At the very least, maybe no one else would go wandering into areas that apparently until recently needed eva suits to be in.

Stergis: Your insights are noted, Commander.  
Progress was progress, and that was plenty enough of it for one day. She wanted nothing more than to return to the Arrow and decompress for the next six months. Or perhaps longer. 

MacKenna: Am I free to go, or do you need to call Captain Shayne?
The woman in front of her seemed even angry at that. Ash made a mental note to make it a point not to run into her again if at all possible.
Stergis: That'll be more than enough, Commander but you can be certain your CO will be hearing from me shortly.
Raising an eyebrow, Ash's mind was racing to put together all of the parts of the conversation, trying to figure out what had gone left when it should have gone right. Her eyes found anything but the woman who was very visibly upset. Feeling trapped, Ash wanted out.
MacKenna: Alright.
She wasn't about to ask the woman for anything else, not an explanation, more information, or anything. And she definitely was not going to offer more observations.
Stergis:  I wasn't quite done.  Until further notice, you are barred from this facility.  Now, get the hell back to wherever it is you came from and stay there, you are no longer welcome on this station.  
At that, Ash's jaw dropped. The shift in her visage was only there a moment before the masks went back up. She couldn't manage words at that point; the flight instinct had fully taken over and all she could do was offer a bit of a nod before making her way as quickly as reasonable to the lift, without looking like she was running. As the doors closed, she didn't even bother to turn around. No, she wasn't about to chance seeing the woman looking back at her again. It was only as the lift started moving that she turned and let out a breath.
((Short Timeskip - Intelligence Suite, USS Arrow))
The darkness was always where she returned to when her social batteries had run out of charge and she'd managed to royally screw up whatever interactions she'd just had. As a child, she'd run to her horse and take off into the nearby woods, escaping both the sun and any signs of civilization as it was known. Now, with her horse and her home gone, the darkness she found in her home for the moment aboard the Arrow was the next best thing.
Curled up into a ball, arms wrapped around her knees, and only her toes and back touching the chair in front of the console, the long red hair fell around her face and blocked the view to the screen. All she had to look at was the endless replaying of the conversation from earlier. Key words and phrases started to pop out. Perhaps the strongest of all was the notion she'd somehow publicly insulted the station crew.
Now it was up to her many memorized social puzzle pieces to put together a path to that sentiment, from what she had said. 
Humans, as had always been, did little digging into intent, often characterizing what one person said through their own perceptual lenses. It was a process built into their brain, having been at one point something that helped them survive. Now, as the future loomed, it remained the task of those who lacked such built in ability to ensure the message was received as intended. In this case, it was now painfully obvious that it had not been.
What's worse, she had been banned and created more trouble for the captain and crew of the Arrow. She shook her head.
This was why she didn't share her observations unless asked. This was why she remained so quiet. It was safer that way. Safer, and easier for everyone. And while that would be a path to look at moving forward, Ash still had to figure out what to do about the here and now.
Commander Ash MacKenna
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Arrow
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