Location: Diplomatic Offices, Starbase 414
Berdas rubbed his eyes. Even with the doctor's hangover cure, it seemed like he had sand in there. It was mid-morning and it had already been long. It seemed that diplomatic personnel moved with shocking regularity. He had just gone through a list of seven transfer requests, and he was just barely getting to the list of new assignments. Nimitz was the first ship with new diplomatic crew being assigned. He opened the file.
And closed it again. He pulled his uniform jacket from the back of his chair and put it on hurriedly before rushing out the door. "If anyone asks for me, I'm on my way to the Nimitz." He zipped the jacket quickly. Although he really didn't have the authority to block an assignment, he was going to try his hardest to convince Nimitz' new Commanding Officer to find someone else.
Unfortunately, he hadn't gotten far enough into the file to notice that Captain Moreno had personally requested the new diplomat. He rushed to the nearest lift and boarded. "USS Nimitz," he said quickly. As the lift whirred through the labyrinthine tubes that ran throughout the station, the Bolian straightened his jacket and ensured that his communicator was on straight. It never hurt to make a good impression on someone who held a higher rank than your own.
When the lift stopped he disembarked and walked directly to the enlisted security man standing at the massive double doors that would take visitors to the vessel. "Commander Chance Berdas to see Captain Moreno." He presented his thumbprint for verification and the doors opened. There were perks to being a senior official aboard the sector hub.
"Commander Berdas to Captain Moreno," the blue man said after tapping the badge on his chest lightly. He was walking quickly toward the nearest turbolift.
There was no hiding the annoyance in the woman's voice. "Moreno. Who is this?" she demanded.
"I am the sector's senior diplomatic officer, and I have an urgent matter to discuss."
There was a pause before her response came back over the comm. "Fine. Wait in my Ready Room and I'll join you there." The channel closed abruptly and Daniela let out an audible sigh. She finished reading through the PADD in her hand and signed off on the work request by the engineering team. Without a Chief Engineer, her life had become an endless parade of reports and requests to read through and sign off on. Her new XO was still getting acquainted with his duties, so he was of little help at the moment and the list of engineers was daunting.
Once she was satisfied with the state of the requests, she stood and straightened her uniform and stepped out the door of her quarters. The ship-builders had used some common sense when they laid the ship out and her quarters were right across from a turbolift. A quick trip up a few decks and she was stepping onto the nearly vacant bridge. She nodded at the nearest junior officer who called out her arrival and shuffled across the bridge toward her Ready Room. She glanced at the nearest clock to see it'd been almost 20 minutes since her conversation with this Berdas diplomat, but she didn't care.
The doors parted and she immediately saw a flash of blue and purple jump up from the chair. She didn't acknowledge him until after she'd rounded the desk and dropped down into the chair. She looked up at him with the same annoyance that had been in her voice a few minutes earlier. "Sit, Commander, because if this isn't long enough to warrant your sitting, you're going to regret stepping foot on my ship."
Although Berdas had dealt with much more physically intimidating people before, and even a few who scared the crap of him, he sat without thinking about it. For the first time, he considered that this visit might be a bad idea.
"Captain, I have some concerns about a diplomat who is being assigned to your vessel, specifically your Chief Diplomat. Although I do have the authority to stall a transfer, I do not have the power to stop one. I think it would be in the best interests of your diplomatic department, and by extension the Nimitz, to find a different candidate."
Her response was immediate. "Do you have information I'm not privy to, Commander?"
Berdas shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "The officer you have been assigned is Lieutenant Ravi. My office has received more complaints from junior officers regarding her than I care to count."
A silence grew between the two of them as her cold gaze locked on him. "Are you going to make me guess, Commander, or are you going to tell me what these complaints are?"
The Bolian cleared his throat, "Mostly the complaints surround her rather confrontational attitude, Captain. The officers under her command request transfers at an alarming rate. They claim that she is argumentative, authoritarian, and some have even suggested that she would betray the Federation if it would benefit the Cardassian Union." The last complaint he rushed. He didn't like kicking someone under the bus like this, so to speak, but he didn't feel right just letting the captain get such a troublesome officer without a warning.
"Do you make it a habit of doing your job based purely on hearsay, Commander?" The confused look on the Bolian's face urged the woman on. "Everything you just mentioned is hearsay. Nothing that I heard is from your personal interaction with her. And accusing a Federation officer of being prone to an act of treason is a very serious crime, Commander. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you have it out for Lieutenant Ravi." She was pushing the man's buttons intentionally, a fact he was clearly not used to (or at the very least, out of practice feeling with Diaz around for so many years).
Berdas looked down briefly as he said, "You are, of course, correct that I have no first-hand experience with this officer." Just as suddenly, however, he gave her a direct stare. It was almost challenging, but only in the sense that he refused to be ignored. "However, classifying these reports as hearsay is patently false. The complaints I am bringing forward were submitted through fully documented channels."
He sat even straighter, "I cannot personally vouch for the accuracy of any claims for or against the Lieutenant, however, the fact that she has received several such complaints over the short time I have been in my current position indicates that she is at very least a difficult woman to work with. I would argue that a diplomat who, given this evidence, cannot be diplomatic with his or her own people has no business being the face of the United Federation of Planets or Starfleet."
"And what makes you think I want a puppet who won't step on anyone's toes, Commander?" she challenged immediately, almost as if she was ready for his response. She took note of his spine in standing toe-to-toe with her though. Daniela knew how intimidating she could be and for someone to not back down always caught her attention. The question remained if he'd maintain his position or slowly slink back.
"Stepping on toes rarely does any good, Captain." He was getting a better sense of how this woman operated. If he had had time to prepare, or taken the time to do so, he probably wouldn't have run into the same issues. Then again, he might have.
"Refusing to back down, respectfully, is a different story." He gave her a very direct look. "While I do not have any first-hand experience, I have come to you with the information I have at hand. I would not recommend approving her transfer to this vessel. That is, unless you somehow know something I do not." The Bolian didn't think it likely. After all, he had read the reports, it was his responsibility to know.
Daniela's expression softened ever so slightly. "When I was stationed on Bajor years ago, I had some leave and made the trip to DS9 for a few days. While I was there, I watched a Starfleet officer and Bajoran civilian get into it over something inconsequential, but they both seemed to take it pretty seriously. I watched Lieutenant Ravi step in and her solution was... unorthodox... but effective. I doubt that any other member of the Diplomatic Corps would've approached the solution the way she did. I want officers who will think outside the box when necessary, Commander."
Berdas nodded, "I see, Captain. I take it you requested the transfer then?"
"You are correct," she said with a nod. "Ravi is the kind of officer I want here right now. She may not be the right fit in the future, but for now, it's what this ship needs."
"I won't attempt to stall the transfer then. Lack of orthodoxy has its uses, Captain. I just hope you're not getting more of it than you wanted." He stood and looked directly at the woman across the desk from him. "Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I wish you well in your command of the Nimitz. She is a fine ship with a great history."
"Thank you, Commander," she said before turning her attention back to the reports she was wading through, leaving the Bolian to show himself out of the office.
The short man turned and walked out of the room. If she was going to request an officer who could be trouble, that was her own problem.