Like an addled Stone
Shoreleave One: SB109
Location: Starbase 109
It was a relief to be off ship, if even only for a short time. The busy but stable constant flow of the station seemed almost soothing compared to the controlled chaos of the Langport, if not a bit dull. Still, the woman was there on a mission and there wasn't time to dawdle amongst the little cafes or enjoy the relative lack of yelling. She made a beeline for the security department on Deck 22 and a list of questions in her thoughts.
Upon arrival, she met the man at the front desk with a cautious smile and rested her elbows on the desktop to lean. "My name is Captain Rohana O'Touvelli," she began tentatively. "I received word from your superiors that I could find my security chief here- not in jail- but as a surprise addendum to the department that I'd better come get quickly or else. His name is Lieutenant Jeremy Stone. Is he around by chance?"
PO1 Wright looked up as the woman entered, came to the desk and - he would describe it in a report as 'flopped' - onto the desk. But all of the was put out of his mind as his entire being was flooded with relief. "Captain, if you're here to take him away, I'd search the bowels of this station for you." He said, with a sigh of relief. "He's over there," he said, pointing directly at the large brown and black German shepherd.
Ro looked from the dog to the man and raised an eyebrow. "I run a ship, not an ark, dear."
"What?" PO1 Wright asked as he looked over his shoulder. "Lieutenant Stone is right over there, ma'am, the large, sour-faced man next to the dog. He can stay as long as he likes, Lieutenant Stone, however, needs to go." Wright leaned closer, afraid Stone would hear him. "He just stands there waiting to be 'helpful' but he's not even assigned to this station."
"Oh boy.." the redhead whispered back. Leaning back, Ro took in the much taller man for a moment in search of answers. He was tidy and fit: inspection neat expect for this subliminal air that was somehow left of center. "Lieutenant Stone?" Ro called out to the man. "Time to pack it up. Your ship's in."
Stone frowned as he looked over to the reception desk, more specifically at the woman yelling at him. He immediately took in the appearance and captain pips on the uniform. With a slight and almost unconscious hand gesture, he motioned to Sidi they were moving as he crossed the space.
"Captain O'Touvelli?" he asked, the frown turning to a scowl, when he'd stopped a regulation perfect distance from her. Close enough to hear normal conversation, but no so close as to be in violation of any personal boundaries. Sidi sat neatly next to him, his large brown eyes looking the captain over as well. "You are in charge of the Langport?" He refrained from declaring she was under arrest at this point because...his frown deepened as he tried to work out the reason.
Ro straightened up as he approached, her dark eyes shining with amusement. "That would be me. And it would be the Langport that arrived in slip this morning at 0930 hrs. Have you many personal belongings to gather or are they in storage and ready for transfer?"
Jeremy stiffened at hearing his ship was in and that he was being 'collected' by the Captain. To the point where he scanned through the PaDD docked on his wrist to check for missed messages. Shaking his head while sighing. "My travel bag is already stowed and waiting for transfer when my assignment came in," Jeremy said, looking but up and over her shoulder. "Sidi's kennel and gear is also stored and waiting. Except for those things I carry on my person for his use." Jeremy continued looking her shoulder, but dropped his tone to a whisper. "His species does not normally wear standard uniforms, so he does not have pockets of his own to utilize. This is acceptable within regulations due to species cultural variances."
PO1st rolled his eyes at Ro as if to say "see what I mean!?"
Ro glanced at the dog again, who seemed like a standard Earth canine as far as she could tell, then glanced back at Stone. So he was crazy. Most of the staff was, it seemed. If she ever got her hands on the personnel officer responsible for crewing the Langport, she was going to kill him. "I don't have a file on your companion. If he's a standard Terran canine, he's not required to wear a uniform or manage a combadge. Phasers, either, really. It's the lack of thumbs."
Stone stiffened as his face went from a frown to a deep scowl. "With respect, Captain," he said, his tone going harsh and cold. "He's not required to wear a uniform due to species cultural differences, which are allowed through regulatory variances. Otherwise he does and will conform to all other applicable Starfleet regulations officers are bound by. Further," Stone said, continuing in his cold tone but still not looking directly at the captain in front of him, "there is no reason why you should have his file considering that he is a member of my department and therefore subject to my immediate command rather than yours."
Jeremy stopped, his body still tense and gaze still just slightly to the right of her ear. Sidi, however stood and was staring up at Stone, his tongue lolling.
Only the right side of O'Touvelli's lips quirked up. "Mr. Stone, before command, I spent many a years in security. I'm well aware or the protocol and regulations. Now if you'd see to you and your companion's things, we'll get you back to ship. We'll get right on making sure that your various evaluations are peachy before settling you to your office. You'll have an awful lot to do and not a great deal of time to settle."
"My evaluations, ma'am?" Jeremy asked as he seemed to go from tense to somewhat defeated. His face went neutral as his gaze point dropped. "They are not peach colored, Captain. They are...they..." he sighed as his right hand began tapping his thigh. He preferred, then, they do his evaluation review on the station to save time before she rejected him. "My evaluations require explanations," he finished after a pause.
"Then let's take a little walk and you can explain it to me as we go. I could use a good cup of something cold and fruity that doesn't taste vaguely of burnt circuitry. My replicator's been on the fritz for a week." She nodded to the door as she spoke, meeting his crestfallen expression with with the kind of patience that only stemmed from years of psychiatric training or parenthood.
"Yes, Captain," Stone said as he and Sidi proceeded for the door and into the hall beyond. It wasn't until they were past the doors that he spoke again, his eyes forward and with just a hint of sad resignation in his voice. "I have a...condition. Because of it, I have difficulty remembering or understanding social interactions. I often get things...wrong." Stone sighed. "Previous command officers have used it as an excuse to label me ineffective and difficult."
Ro's slight smirk disappeared at his words. Captains were meant to inspire and evoke confidence and unity on ship. Yes, there were moments when harshness was needed, but that typically fell to the XO. There was a reason that COs were the good guys: it was paramount to maintaining the mental state of life in a tin can. "If you were ineffective, you wouldn't have passed the Academy, would you?"
Jeremy shook his head, but his hand started tapping his thigh as he walked. "No...I...the...incident happened after the Academy. I was..." he slowed as he shook his head. He raised his arm to check the PaDD but then lowered it quickly again. "I...something happened after the Academy. I was fine until then. Normal, I'm told."
The tapping didn't go unnoticed either, though Ro said nothing of it. "Tell me about it then. There's not a lot that I can work with based on supposition alone."
Jeremy stopped suddenly as he turned to her, then took a step back when he realized how close he was. "Tell you about what, Captain?" he asked, his face mostly blank with slightly furrowed brows. His tapping increased however. "Did I tell you I have a condition," he asked as he raised his wrist, transferring Sidi's lead to his tapping hand. Sidi came to that side and set himself right up against Jeremy's leg. The amount of dog hair indicated this might be a frequent action. Speaking again, rote as if reading, "I have a condition that inhibits my ability to recall memory as well as understand many social cues and necessary interactions."
That was going to be a problem. One that hopefully could be worked around, but presented a vulnerability that immediately worried Ro about how susceptible he'd be when dealing with any vestigial criminal element lingering onboard the Langport. "You did. What kind of medical procedures or work-arounds have been offered?" It was a trick question, first to see if the condition affected the short term or long term memory- or both- and secondly, because she needed to know how much more digging into his personal files would be required for a larger picture.
Jeremy paused for a few moments. To the best of his knowledge, most people don't ask that question. They bark orders, tell him to do things he's already done. "I keep notes on my PaDD that help me to understand things, like how Terrans like handshakes and other useless physical contact. How Bolians are 'jovial' and often what they say is opposite of the words they used because they are 'joking'." He shook his head. "And other things, like my schedule which I follow to ensure I complete what needs to be completed.
"When it comes to work, I know defense counsel likes to attack me rather than deal with the crimes their clients commit, so I make sure my investigations and evidence are thorough." And for the first time since meeting her, Stone looked directly at O'Touvelli with his eyes narrowed. "My investigations are very thorough."
"I don't doubt it. If you're used to your person being called into question you cover your bases." No doubt the courts had a heyday with trying to tear down an impaired officer. Starfleet was the land of opportunity if you could think outside of the box, but it wouldn't save you from the damnation of seeking fault in imperfection the moment things went wrong. Her marriage was a case in point of blame and finger pointing the moment that Garrett's career started to falter. "Let me be thorough in my questioning then. Is this condition the byproduct of an ailment or injury? Is there a treatment regiment suggested to stimulate your short term memory? Has anyone provided you a playback system beyond your notes to give you quick affirmation of your actions or the actions of those around you? Conditioning training to engage the ship's computer for embedding files on voice cues to help your recollection? Any of that?"
"I was...injured..." Stone said, slowly, looking away again. "Captain, with respect, it doesn't seem as if you understand PaDDs. As a security officer, I have access to almost all areas of the security feed at any time. As the chief of security, I have access to all video feed from all areas of the ship at a moment's notice. In fact, I can actually run not just my entire department, but the entire ship, from a mini PaDD. My wrist docked PaDD is a full PaDD with built in technology allowing it to be resized to fit in the wrist dock I wear, then it projects a holoadaptive display that I can use in this configuration. As PaDDs contain terraquads of memory, I have not had to worry about filling the memory capacity of this PaDD since obtaining it a few years ago. Aside from that I have access to nearly limitless data storage within the ship's central computer core and, beyond that, the central Federation servers. All of which any security officer, or Chief of Security, has access too...it just..." Here he finally faltered, his words trailing off. He sighed. "It's just that I need it more."
Wrist-docked PaDDs with holographic playback? That sure as hell wasn't available when she had been in security. "So you need it. If it works, you have a system. That's what's important. If you're telling me that you can handle the level of activity required of you on a ship as backwards as the Langport- and my doctor, counselor, and XO agree that you pass muster- then by all means, you do what works how it works for you."
Jeremy frowned. "Provided I don't arrest one or all of you prior to obtaining that approval," he said as he continued walking toward the docking port.
"For now, your ours. So tie a ribbon around your pinky or something to give you pause. We'll brainstorm other ways to help you.." Ro patted him on the arm lightly. "And I'm sure you'll arrest Brenan at least three times just for being Brenan."
Once again Stone stopped dead and turned to face her as he began patting at his pockets, pulling things out which were generally of the order of a toy for Sidi, small bag of treats, presumably also for Sidi, and a small palm phaser. But he also spoke as he did this. "I'm sorry, Captain, but I am not aware of any Federation law, Starfleet regulation nor anything listed in the SUCMJ whereby it is an arrestable, chargeable or even minor offense to be 'Brenan'. I will, of course, double check at my first opportunity." He continued checking his pockets, then began double checking. "However, if you are going to tell me this is a standing order of yours, I must inform you I am not the type who will enforce orders that are illegal, immoral or, I am told, 'fattening'. As I do not see where the harm will come in a person being 'Brenan' then I do not see how ordering me to arrest a person based on such standing order would be found to be legal by a competent court authority, thereby subjecting myself to liability for a false arrest based on what I should reasonably know to be an illegal or immoral order."
He paused for a moment. "I do not see how it can be fattening."
He paused longer, finally done checking his pocket. "As for your other order, I appear to be out of ribbon to tie around my pinkie. If it is sufficient we can stop by a replicator where I can obtain some ribbon - and you can give further clarification as to the size, shape, color and fabric of said ribbon I am to tie around my pinkie."
Ro's bit the sides of her cheeks hard to stop from saying the first fifty things that came to mind. "Oh, honey.. Oh, don't worry about anything.Let's just get your belongings and get you on ship."
"Yes, Captain," Stone said, following her as he tapped out a note obtain ribbon and tie around pinky.