Just Left of Center Pt 3
Mission: No Quarter
" "So?" Brenan replied, arching an eyebrow.
"Do I need to escort this ne'er do well to a cell, Captain?" Daniels said, officially.
"Can it Daniels," Brenan grumbled.
Ro shot a warning look at the two men. "This doesn't leave this room. There'll be no kicking when they're down regardless of who it is. I want honest observations free of snark and angles of approach. Someone hand me a PaDD so I can bring up his file."
Brenan snatched a PaDD that had been left on the conference table and slid it over to Ro so she could use it, "You want honest observation? He's off his nut, ma'am. I don't know who cleared him for duty, but he's going to be a problem on this ship behaving the way he is with the type of people we're having to deal with. I'm all for letter of the law and all, but he's taking it too far," Brenan explained.
"I agree, ma'am. He wasn't listening to reason or hearing me out when I was trying to explain things, or even you. It just wasn't something that seemed to make sense in his head," Daniels agreed, nodding. "The men won't pass his inspection, and they won't follow him. No matter how hard we try to make them. I'm not being difficult there or trying to work against him or anything, but the first time he goes off like that and won't listen to reason, that's it. He'll lose the department," Daniels explained.
"He's not off his nut, but there is some kind of block. I want to know what it is and find out what to do about it. The man was assigned here even with his issues, meaning that someone somewhere knows something that we don't yet. Something hasn't been touched upon or there something that we're missing. Starfleet loves their under dogs, but not enough to sabotage a ship. There's something redeemable in this. So we find it." Ro fussed as she brought up Stone's records.
"Where, ma'am?" Brenan asked, seriously, leaning forward to look at Ro. "Look, I'm not trying to be a jerk here, ma'am, but if he goes into handling things like that with some of the more questionable inhabitants of this ship, it's going to get someone hurt or worse," He said, seriously. "I'm all for helping people find their missing parts and such - you don't work as an academy instructor without a strong taste for personal growth, but... I'm not seeing how this ends well," He insisted.
Daniels shook his head, but remained silent.
"It's more than that. this in an investigation half finished. You wouldn't see a criminal investigation halfway through and drop it, would you?" Ro asked looking directly at Daniels. "A victim, a scene. Motive unknown. Just wrap it because it was inconvenient to follow through? That's part of what this is. I'm just not sure whether it's connected to what happened to him or Starfleet for being inept. So we're going to find out. Between the various medical practitioners and tech on board- tech that can build hearts and visors and cybernetic legs- I'll be damned if we can't figure out something to help this guy. But seriously.. I want to know why he's here. Are we to hide him or him to sink us. Look for clues. Dig. Meanwhile, the rest of us will find work arounds and figure out how he ticks."
"I'm doing my best on that score," Tate offered, up to now silent on the issue. Everyone had made good points so far, and truthfully, after her first interaction with Stone, her opinions had remained mostly unchanged, although she recognized things weren't quite as black-and-white as she had first thought. "Frankly, it doesn't take a deep investigation to start raising questions about Lieutenant Stone. Just looking at his publicly accessible file, there doesn't appear to be a single duty posting where he didn't have problems. On that fact alone, I'm having trouble understanding how he was continuously given a security assignment, let alone a Chief slot because his duty experience since his injury seems to be quite limited. I don't believe in judging people before they've had a chance to prove themselves here, something I've told Lieutenant Stone directly, but I also told him as a condition of his service, I would expect him to participate regularly in therapy. Even so, I agree with what has been offered already. I have serious reservations about his ability to serve in a supervisory capacity right off the bat, and I'm loathe to see him do so without constant supervision. In my one and only interaction with him so far, I found him to be far too quick to make assumptions about the intentions of other people as well as far too quick to assume he is being slighted. He comes across as superior and resistant to hearing other points of view, which is essential for any position, let alone in security, and let alone in a supervisory capacity. I realize Starfleet has a history of making accommodations for people who show promise in an effort to promote diversity and to see the benefits of members whom at first don't fit the mold, but I also can't entirely ignore the fact that Starfleet is meant to be selective. The brass turn down applicants all the time with far less baggage than Stone and they wouldn't think about giving him half as many chances as he's gotten."
Sullivan paused, then offered, "On the other hand, there's no denying his issues are service related, and has already been shared, we don't just toss out people when they suffer the consequences of what our representatives asked them to do. I'm still in the process of figuring out how much of his irritability and the speed with which he assumes he is being slighted is related to his medical condition and how much of it is related to trauma. If it's primarily trauma induced, there's the potential for it to be addressed. From what I understand, even with extensive counseling, he has yet to fully voice the details of the traumatic events that resulted in his injuries." Sullivan shook her head. "Apparently, he has developed a close relationship with a particular therapist who went so far as to pose as his partner in security at one point. I can understand why Starfleet would go to such lengths, but apparently, this therapist saw no cause for him to be removed from duty despite his continued issues. I've taken the long way around to simply say this: I will support whatever duty modifications everyone feels they need to make to protect the crew, including removing him from a supervisory capacity for now, but I would like to see how far I can get with him in treatment before we decide he is completely unfit."
Ro looked up from her reading to glance between Sullivan and Souda. "Questions for you docs. Why hide that his dog is a service dog from him? Why lie and place a counselor as his partner? These things seem like they'd be counterproductive to him healing. What is his condition exactly?"
El shrugged her shoulders at the question. "Honestly, I don't know, either. Physically he's fit as can be. He seems to be aware of the fact that he has a condition."
"The medical team can speak more specifically as to the nature of his medical condition, but my understanding is, after spending time in captivity with the Cardassians, he suffered some sort of brain damage that affects his short-term memory and his ability to correctly read and respond to social and emotional cues," Tate offered. "He's not an unintelligent man, but when it comes to interacting in social situations, he relies on PADDS to help him remember and then carry out what he thinks is an appropriate emotional or social response. When it comes to social and emotional reasoning, he seems to be somewhat of a concrete thinker, taking things literally and thinking in black-and-white terms. He doesn't appear to understand the nuances associated with interaction. As to why someone would choose to hide the fact his dog is a service dog and to place a therapist as his partner, I can only surmise whomever authorized such an action believed it was the only way to get him to cooperate, and they saw something in him they believed was worth preserving and nurturing for the benefit of Starfleet. I can tell you I would never make such a decision, as a therapeutic relationship should be based on honesty and trust at all times, and such deception just delays the inevitable sense of betrayal. As a sentient being, Jeremy Stone does not deserve to be tossed aside, and I agree, he deserves all of the support we can give him, but as I said, I have yet to see what it is specifically about him that requires him to remain in Starfleet and for people to go to these lengths just to keep him in service."
"Then I guess we're at the digging stage. You," Ro said as she pointed towards Souda, "-Figure out what we can do about the brain damage. Sullivan, I need a plan of action to teach for lack of a better term interaction, levity, that the universe isn't ran on black and white judgments. Brenan, you're on digging in his history. Maybe learn something about him. Daniels, I'm putting him provisionally under your watch. I know he'll fuss about it- I would, too- but he needs a second set of eyes helping him to see what he's missing. That's you. I'm going to nose around the higher-ups and see what I can find out from them."
"Yes, ma'am," Daniels replied. "I don't doubt he'll be miffed too, but we'll be buddies by the end of it, don't worry," He said, grinning.
"I'll let you know what I find, bosslady," Brenan replied, nodding.
"I'll do my best," Tate replied. "In the meantime, I'd like to request that any information you find about his past be presented to me first, before you consider confronting him about events or his condition with any frankness. I was able to get him to open up about his captivity a little bit, and I'm afraid if he knew several people were investigating him and the incident, and were confronting him from all angles, he might shut down completely. I think if we are going to continue to address him directly, we need to work together to offer a unifying message." Sullivan was still in the process of understanding exactly how emotionally fragile Stone was, and she didn't want to take any chances if they could be avoided.
Ro nodded emphatically. "Agreed, and good point. Thank you everyone. Let's get to work."