Timeline: Right after the meeting
After the meeting when everyone was dispersed, Hel sought out Ro. "Got a moment for me, Cap'n?" she simply asked.
"I was wondering which of you were gonna grab me first. Yeah, let's dish a little once we're out of the hallway.." the lanky redhead responded. "There's a little observation pocket tucked in a few halls down. That'd be a quiet spot."
"I'll be brief and direct." Hel offered, walking with Ro. "If that XO of yours doesn't develop some people skills in a right hurry, I can't guarantee that he won't wake up one morning and find his food replicator programmed to dispense only dog food."
"... The squishy, gooey kind." the pale woman made sure to add. "I'm not completely heartless."
"He'll develop people skills with time and with understanding," Ro took a seat on the bench that was the sole occupant of the narrow pocket lounge. "We don't know his story or his reason for being stiff and proper any more than I understand your tendency to buck towards stiff authority figures. Both have meaning and merit to yourselves, but to each other.. we don't know yet. And you-" she said cocking a finger at the engineer, "-haven't asked. Only challenged. Could be trying to impress. Could think I don't run a tight enough ship. Could be nerves and just trying desperately to make things work. Could be 2 hours sleep and missing family halfway across the galaxy. The root that matters is that we can still work together as an effective team. You don't have to make out: but it would be nice if you got to know who he is and why he acts, yes?"
"Least he could do is show some faith in his officers." Hel harumphed, sitting down as well, folding her arms over eachother and pouting. "One would think that the work my team has delivered over these past few days has shown that we know our stuff. I've personally put in about twice the normal duty hours just to get the ship to where it is now. It's not that he's stiff and proper that vexes me, it's his condescending tone and need to tell me how to do my job."
"Yes, but- what if this isn't about you? And yes, I'm playing Devils Advocate here because it's sort of what I do when faced with diversity or controversy," At least more recently, Ro thought, once she'd finally learned to take herself out of the equation. "Let's break it down. Without opinion- just facts- what is he doing wrong right now?"
"Opinion is at the heart of the matter though." Hel yawned and streeEEeetched. "During the meeting. He said three things that just annoyed the crap out of me. First, when I said that I would have the bulkheads and forcefields ready and checked on time, he felt it necessary to warn me to keep the forcefields for last, and inform me that he felt I should ensure they work properly, with all the hiccups we had on the ship." Hel shot Rohana a glance. "If there's anyone on this tub who knows all about that, it would be me."
"Then there's that self-righteous 'make sure that we are' - " Samedi mimicked an exaggerated Kheylen-voice " - when I reassured you that we would be ready."
A slight pause. "Okay. So. Two things. Instead of three. Gah, I must be tired."
Ro leaned back as they spoke, mostly because the bench was horribly uncomfortable, and pulled her legs up under her to sit indian-style. "So, to take the opinion out of it, whether or not you properly finished repairs was questioned and the XO was condescending. Is that more to the point of your issues?"
"Yeah, more or less." Hel muttered. "Am I just being a sensitive little bitch, here?"
"No, but I'm taking the heat out of it for you," the redhead smiled, resisting the urge to pat Hel on the head and utter 'bitch sprinkles' irreverently. "Sometimes that helps get down to the real issue- which is a personality clash. Yes, his brusque nature could be a problem in the long run for morale. We have the power to influence that, though and it does not currently affect your or my ability to do our jobs, yes?"
"Well, no. Those bulkheads and force fields will be ready." Then a soft chuckle. "It's those food replicators that I'm worried about. Tricksy devices. We hates them, precious."
"Do your best with the replicators, Hel. Inner strength.. Inner strength.." Ro gripped the other woman's shoulders lightly and gave a little shake. "In the mean time I'll try to get to know our XO a little more and make sure to give you plenty of chances to get to know him, too. I was thinking that we need a senior staff dinner- especially since we have diplomats on board. It could be fun."
Hel made a face at the mention of a senior staff dinner, though she also - perhaps in a small token of friendship or affection, she didn't quite know - rested her head on Ro's hand for a fleeting moment. The combination of those two expressions was quite a thing to behold. "I don't do well in official gatherings." she muttered. "Though I guess it couldn't hurt."
"You won't be alone and it won't be frumpy. Promise. Now.. Before you get back to the pit, I'd suggest you grab a cookie or a brownie or something and a big glass of milk. Enjoy a few moments of chill, then get to your engineeringly duties. Who knows when you'll get the chance to do it again over the next few weeks." Ro said.
"Yeah yeah, I promise, I'll be on my best behavior." Hel dramatically rolled her eyes before rising from the bench again, rolling her shoulders a bit. "And I'll go grab something nice to eat. Some chocolate maybe. Mmmm. Milk chocolate. With whole hazelnuts. Yumm."
"Sounds like a plan." Ro thought about chocolate herself, but figured that'd be best left off until after she spoke with Kheylen. "I'm going to resume my captainly duties and see if the XO needs to bend my ear as well. I fully expect that we all at some point have troubles with one another- you don't put people in a giant tin can and not have a few issues. I'm happy enough to help sort out those problems when they arise. If you need me, just let me know, okay?"
"Yep. I will. Thanks, Ro." Hel smiled, heading off.