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LCDR Aine Sherlock & LT Melvin Martinson - No Stew For Dinner

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((Jerrado Bistro, Deep Space 14))
Aine hadn't had a chance to get away from the ship since they'd arrived at New Bajor. There were new responsibilities and new officers. When Mel asked her what she wanted him to make for dinner she requested a night out, dealers choice...she was tired of making choices. He had selected a restaurant on Deep Space 14 that he'd heard some rumblings about. Supposedly a Terran/Bajoran fusion mix. Something familiar but just a bit different.
As they scanned the menu together, Mel could tell that Aine was feeling stressed about something. And that she probably didn't want to talk about it. But he also knew that she needed to. She'd always been a little more on the reserved side, and that was rarely healthy.
After placing their order they sat quietly. The dimly lit room was punctuated at the table by the small holo projector that displayed the menus but was now emitting a soft amber glow.
Martinson: You want to talk about it?
Martinson/Sherlock: No
He grinned after he mockingly answered at the same moment she did. She returned the grin adding in a shake of her head at his ridiculousness.
Sherlock: We're working through this personnel issue. And it's become a disaster.
Martinson: How so? Conflict of interest?
Sherlock: You could say that. There's some ::beat:: personal issues possibly.
Martinson: As the Vulcans would say ::beat:: intriguing.
Aine silently laughed for a second. She remembered a couple Vulcan friends she'd had and how they would say exactly that. Everything to them was either "fascinating" or "intriguing." It was as if Vulcans and Terrans had only just met after all this time.
Sherlock: Michele voiced her disapproval. And I mean really voiced it.
Martinson: And where do you sit?
Sherlock: Her concerns are valid.
The way Aine had said it, very officially, Mel could tell there was a "but" coming.
Sherlock: But, I feel the way she went about it was wrong.
Martinson: Emotions can be telling, in more ways than one.
Sherlock: Right, exactly. On one hand, I feel she's letting her emotions guide her. On the other, she could be having those emotions because she's right.
Aine sat back and crossed her arms while Mel gave her a second to reflect on what she was thinking.
Sherlock: I just ::long pause:: never thought she'd act like that.
Martinson: Why? You've acted out before.
Sherlock: When!?
Martinson: Deep Space Two-Two-Four.
He raised his eyebrows at her.
Sherlock: You deserved that.
Martinson: I'm not saying I didn't. I'm just saying, that sometimes, emotions prevail.
She knew he was right on that account. She sighed heavily as she went over the events of the day in her head. There was more she wanted to tell him about it, but couldn't. One thing she began to consider was changes in herself. And she worried that maybe she was losing that flexibility of the rules she coveted. In the past she was never afraid to question policies and procedures, even directly to HQ. And now, she was worried about how another officer acted as if she were nitpicking the policies.
Sherlock: Do you think there's ever times when we need to question the rules? Of Starfleet, of the Federation?
Martinson: Yes.
She stared him in the eyes from across the table. Her face blank, but her eyes asking for more.
Martinson: I think it's the job of the Admiralty to keep everyone on their toes with the rules. But I think it's the job of those out in the fleet to question them. I think that's built into the very core of what we do. If you had a hard and fast rule for all situations, you wouldn't be able to do anything out here. The very nature of what we do, what Starfleet does, is based on improvisation and flexibility.
As if he could read her mind, he said the word. But it didn't give her an answer to the current situation. The server appeared with their meals and Aine sat up and the conversation paused. When the server left she leaned forward onto the table.
Sherlock: So, what do you think should happen?
Martinson: I think you should eat your bat...bird...things...and curry. You guys will figure it out.
She picked up a piece of bat bird meat with her fingers and slowly but angrily took a bite as she eyed Mel. Like everything else, she was left with more questions than answers.
LCDR Aine Sherlock
Chief of Security
U.S.S. Octavia E. Butler
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