Storm Warning
Storm Warning
Summary: McKenzie calls Maerker on the carpet about regs again, to little effect.
Date: 156 ACH
Related Logs: Rumblings and Warning Given

The LSO's makeshift office was VERY makeshift, but it did the trick… Desk, chairs, and that's really it. Behind the desk is the LSO as he reviews a set of well-worn schematics.

It is getting on toward evening and much of the day to day work is either finished or winding down. Shuttles going to other ships or coming from them land and take off in regular patterns. One such arrives from the Hera and McKenzie steps off of it. This time, she does not pause before heading to find the LSO. Either she already asked or knows now where the man's office is. Reaching it, she raps sharply on the hatch.

Maerker was deep in thought, looking at the antique schematics laying before him as the rap on the door is heard, startling him from his trance. The past few days have been like that, so the interruption wasn't at all suprising. Sighing and rolling his neck to work the kink out, he responds. "Come!"

The hatch opens and McKenzie steps in. She looks livid, eyes flashing and bearing absolutely straight. She is holding a piece of paper that might look familiar. Lifting it, she walks to your desk, sets it down, and speaks in a controlled tone, "What's this?" It is, clearly, the transfer paperwork for Adelaide.

Maerker takes the memo from her hand and looks it over. "Adelaide's approval for a transfer. I knew it would get shot down after our talk last night… I did that as a favor asked of me by Adelaide. That was before I even knew about the extent of her and Ensign Rhodes. If I knew about what you had told me beforehand, I would have shot her request down." Handing it back to McKenzie, he waves her to a seat. "I suppose this is where you read me the riot act? Captain, lets get something straight… I'm not particularly big on protocol. Never have been, but I can usually get my point across. In this case, what I did was done without knowledge of the incident you had briefed me on, therefore… What?"

McKenzie takes the paper back and slowly crumples it into a ball, "Aye, fine. Y'don't gotta go by protocol in yer own office if y' don't want." She does not sit just yet, but tosses the crumpled paper into the wastebin, "But… Like't or not all transfers've gotta be approved by Altair. So, yeah. 'T'was a nice thin' y' did f'r th' lass. Next time? Follow th' frakin' protocol an' send 't up th' chain. A'ter y' finish yer investigation." She pauses, crossing her arms beneath her chest, "Or… Didja get t' th' bottom'f thin's a'ready?"

"As a matter of fact, I did… Her and Phelan was engaged. They called it off over some issues they had, of which I didn't ask," Maerker says, matter-of-factually. "Before you say anything else, let me reiterate what I said last night… We're less than 25000 people, and while I am perfectly comfortable with following the regs as well as the CFCMJ, I'm not sure that it's in the best interests of the very survival of the human race to adhere to it, letter by letter. Yes, we're the guardians of the fleet, and yes, we're all that's left between our own survival and death by the hands of the Cylons. That mantle we're sitting on is very small, and it's cracking with each and every day the longer we sit here debating the letter of the law. I'm not a Law Major, but I think here that we need to look more at the spirit of the law than the letter of it. Once again, I'll gladly turn myself in to the MP's if this gets me in trouble."

McKenzie nods, "A'right. I'm fine with callin' th' investigation closed if th' Commander an' th' CAG are. Ain't my problem." She listens and just stifles rolling her eyes, "Fine. You run yer deck th' way y' like. I'll run my crew my way. But, y' don't get t' pick an' choose, Maerker. Either yer a soldier, proud'f th' life y' live or y' ain't. If y' ain't, r'sign. B'fore yer crappy ass lax attitude ruins someone's life." Turning, she pauses and looks over her shoulder, "If folk're okay with yer findin's an' all? Resubmit th' transfer r'quest. But, this time? Pass't through channels. Savvy?"

Maerker remains cool as he speaks on. McKenzie's words were that of a soldier, no doubt there, but the regs and rules were all that she seemed to have. It was the same for him… Before the attack. Now? Maybe he was a bit lax, but what was left to defend? The Colonies? Gone… The Colonial Fleet? Save for three combat ships, gone… "Captain, let's get something abundantly clear… I'm not lax when it comes to my deck. I demand results from my people and of the pilots who land on it. They don't like it, they're free to go, but not before I chew their asses every way I can. I'm proud of the fact I serve, don't even begin to question that, but before you go off to polish your Captain's Diamonds on your collar, look in the mirror one night and ask yourself… Are we worthy of service to the 20-some-odd thousand civvies on those ships if we can't learn to adapt? They had no choice in the matter. We do, and for that reason, we keep serving, without thanks or fanfare. I'm proud of my service, and I'm proud of the uniform, and my "crappy ass lax attitude" will remain in service for as long as I'm able to. I'll resend the request, Captain, and it'll go through channels, as procedures dictate."

McKenzie lifts a brow slightly as she listens. Nodding once, she turns to fully face him. "A'right. But, th' first time someone dies 'cause'f emotional bullshit that y' coulda stopped? It's on yer head, Captain. An' you c'n be frakin' sure it'll come back t' rest where't b'longs. Th' service ain't like civilian life. Like't or not, th' regs're more important now'n ever. We can't afford anyone even thinkin' that we're coverin' f'r some enlisted just 'cause they're a nice piece'f ass. Can't let anyone think someone's bein' given special treatment." She pauses a moment, then adds, "Folk'n love do stupid shit, Maerker. What happens'f some poor lovelorn pilot stays out too long lookin' f'r th' love'v their life? Or, someone gets lost an' we're forced t' choose b'tween losin' one're losin' more cause some fraktard can't keep 't straight? Can't afford it. Especially now when we're so frakin' few an' th' Cylons're out there. We've got t' be r'sponsible. Honorable. Trustworthy an' all them other nice words we all heard'n boot camp. Why? B'cause th' twenty some-odd thousand civies have got t' believe that th' myth's real. Or, we'll have frakin' chaos on our hands an' we won't have t' wait on a toaster's bomb cause we'll kill ourselves for 'em."

"Captain, if someone dies because they can't focus on the job, then that's their own frakkin fault. You're right, emotions can be dangerous out here right now… We have… What… About 5000 or so military personnel? They all lost friends and loved ones back home. I know I did, as I'm sure you have as well. We're /all/ dealing with the emotional baggage, but we do our jobs, still. I don't know if you've seen my records, but in the time after the attack, I haven't lost a single person in my Division, nor has a pilot lost their life on my deck. They're all dealing with the emotional baggage… If they can deal with that and still do their jobs that they've done day after day… Well, figure that part out for yourself, McKenzie. We'll do our jobs, and we'll keep losing loved ones. In the end, we'll still be on that deck and in that CIC, fighting for who is left and for maybe no other reason than revenge."

You say, "I know th' drill. But, I also know folk gen'rally speakin'. I know th' military mind. If you pr'sent th' idea that what happens outta yer line o' sight don't matter, folk un'er yer command'll go with that. They'll think that it's okay t' bend 'n break th' regs out there. They'll slip up. Start bringin' it ont' th' deck. Sooner 'r later, some fraked up jack 'r jill 'll start a fight 'cause they're 'n lust with th' same piece'f tail. Someone'll die, Maerker. An' it'll be yer fault." She shakes her head, "On that day? Folk won't be doin' their jobs. They'll be wonderin' how thin's got so frakin' outta hand. They'll be lookin' t' you."

Maerker says, "Captain, if we've done our jobs flawlessly for the past 5 months, then I don't think you or Command has anything to worry about. In case you don't know it, I know of quite a few relationships that can be construed as fraternization, and some of them are well known throughout the Military Portions of the fleet. Will they be held the the same standard? I can only hope they are, because if they aren't, then the CFCMJ isn't worth the paper it's printed on," Maerker says quietly to McKenzie. "Captain, the frat issue isn't just on my deck, it's all over the ship and in the fleet."

McKenzie shrugs, "If y'd've done yer entire job's flawlessly as th' part where machines're concerned, this wouldn't be an issue." A brow lifts and she inhales, holds it, then exhales, "If y' truly know'f r'lationships that break regs, do yer duty an' deal with 'em. As I have. I ain't done this on account've it's 'fun'." She lifts her fingers to make quotes around that final word, "It ain't. But, it is m'duty." Nodding her head, she turns to head for the hatch. One hand lifts to rest on the doorjam and she looks back, "An' yours."

Maerker looks McKenzie directly into her eyes. "Captain, I won't be the one who comments on a superior officer's relationship with someone else. That's their business, and in poor taste for me to comment on any more than I have. The fact is that it's happening, and while it might be my duty to address it, it's protocol and etiquette that prevents it from being discussed… Are there any further questions?"

McKenzie lifts a brow, then shakes her head, "Yer wrong. If someone's breakin' regs, it's e'eryone's duty t' see it taken care of. Otherwise, we're run by base impulses 'stead'f intelligence." Shaking her head, she moves to step out the hatch, "Catch y' on th' flipside, Maerker." Walking across the floor, she angles for the shuttles.

Maerker stands up, his palms planted firmly on the desk as McKenzie leaves… As she leaves, he shakes his head and sighs. "We're the fleets future, but what future do we have if we're not allowed to feel?"

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