Location: Starbase 414
"Get your head out of your ass you moron!"
A loose braid swung as a pair of pale hands gestured wildly. There was a small crowd of onlookers peeking around a corner at the pair of women bellowing in the corridor. The heated argument had been going on for nearly five minutes. It was shocking that neither of them had lost their voices yet.
"What do you know?" demanded a dark-skinned woman wearing a uniform with a red collar. "You're not even from a Federation world! What right do you have?"
Daniela Moreno's presence alone served to break up the crowds that had gathered on the aft side of the argument. Like Moses walking through the Red Sea, the collection of people parted and then dispersed moments later. On the opposite side, officers caught sight of the CO and scampered away like cockroaches exposed by the light. It wasn't just the fact that she was a commanding officer, but the look on her face bordered between annoyance and pure anger. Without breaking stride, the woman stepped into the argument and firmly clutched the upper arm of the Cardassian woman, dragging her away from the scene.
The other woman tried to say something, but the captain response was crisp and firm. "Walk away, Commander," Moreno said over her shoulder to the Lieutenant Commander in red. Nothing else needed to be said.
The Cardassian struggled against the woman until they'd ducked into a nearby corridor that was away from the prying eyes of the larger, open space of one of the station's promenades. She was finally able to rip her arm free of Daniela's talons, but Moreno spoke first. "Maybe you should heed your own advice and get your head out of your ass, Lieutenant."
Ravi smiled. "You didn't even hear the argument," she paused for a few moments before adding, "sir." It wasn't forgetful, it was an intentional prod. "And beside that, Captain, it was merely a friendly conversation. Cardassian style." The smile never faded.
"Do you think I give a shit what the argument was about?" Moreno snapped back. "I stuck my neck way out for you and you haven't even been here a full day and you're already making me regret that decision."
The smile faded a bit. There was still a fraction of a smirk, but it was wry as opposed to amused. "That's unfortunate, Captain. But when you requested me, you must have known that I don't pull punches. With anyone. It gets me in trouble, but it's also what makes me different. And effective."
"The woman I recruited was shrewd and smart, not loud and stupid. There's a difference between not pulling punches and being a moron, Lieutenant. I suggest you learn the difference. Quickly."
"Captain, do you mind if we step into this room?" The room she mentioned was an empty lab.
Daniela paused for a moment, trying to decide whether she wanted to tangle with someone who clearly couldn't keep her emotions in check. She relented and motioned for the Cardassian to lead the way.
"Just so you understand how I work, Captain, I'm not going to apologize for arguing at volume." She looked directly into her superior officer's eyes. "I am sorry, however, for doing so in public. It was unprofessional. I learn, sir. If you don't want me here, say so. But I'm damn near the best you can get." Her voice conveyed absolute sincerity, but also a fair bit of challenge.
"You and I seem to be the only ones who think that, Lieutenant," she said, leaning up against a nearby lab table. "But a diplomat, of all people, should understand how actions reflect on the people they represent. In this case, you represent me in everything you do, whether it's here on the station, on another planet or around the Nimitz. I give my officers a lot of latitude to do their jobs, especially if they're effective, but I do not tolerate being misrepresented."
"Understood." The Cardassian took that opportunity to lean back onto another lab table. "So, you requested the tranfer?" She had thought it was just a routine move.
Moreno nodded once. "It seems that everyone in the Diplomatic Corps thinks I need some soft-spoken pushover to handle diplomacy for me. From what I've seen and read, you're more my style. Took some skull-bashing, but I got my way. I usually do."
Ravi smiled, the amusement was back. "Fair enough. If it's not too much trouble, whose skulls did you have to bash?"
"Some fat little Bolian who huffed and puffed onto the Nimitz to tell me that it was a mistake that he would be correcting immediately. His head just about exploded when I told him I requested the transfer," Daniela said with a smirk.
"Wait," the diplomat scoffed, "you went toe-to-toe with Commander Berdas?" Ravi hadn't ever met the man, but his name was one most people in the diplomatic corps had heard about at one time or another. He had been Starfleet's pinch-hitter for some of the biggest SNAFUs since the Dominion War.
"Damn. I heard that guy could negotiate the spots off of a Trill. Did you make him quake in his boots?"
"I wouldn't say quake, but he certainly won't come knocking on my door anytime soon." Daniela shifted and moved toward the door. "Remember what I said, Lieutenant, or you'll be at the mercy of the DC and from the sounds of it, you don't have very many options there."
Ravi nodded. "Got it." After the Captain had left, the young Cardassian followed her. What she hadn't mentioned was the meeting she had scheduled with the sector's lead diplomat.