What Makes a Good Sheriff
What Makes a Good Sheriff
Summary: Shem and Eli have a talk about her reaction to Farkas.
Date: 38 ACH
Related Logs: Hulk Smash series

Eli just lingers outside of the office with an unreadable expression on her face, eyes closing for a moment.

Shem billows out of Zaharis's office. He closes the door behind him. "Let's walk, sergeant," he growls, not bothering to conceal his displeasure.

Eli just falls into step beside Shem, opening her eyes and nodding firmly. "Yes sir."

"At what point is it appropriate, when in law gear, to strike somebody with a closed fist?" Shem asks, walking at a regular pace for the exit. He doesn't look at her.

Eli considers the question before replying. "When there is an emergency, sir." And she's following.

Shem says, "Let's be more precise, sergeant. Try again."

Eli closes her eyes before finally replying. "Sir…with all due respect. I punched the sergeant in the face. It was an emergency and I had to make a call. Emergencies include, someone's life being in danger, there being a physical danger, and…also things can be justified if one has reason to believe someone may become a physical threat due to insanity."

"No," Shem replies, letting the answer fly through him without consideration. "From now on, you will modify your answer to be, to prevent personal danger or to subdue an individual resisting arrest or detention. Are we understood?"

Eli just bows her head. "Yes sir."

Shem asks, "Were you in personal danger?"

"He just 'confessed' to committing a heinous crime against a female and enjoying it. I'm biologically female. So based on the evidence provided. Yes." Eli replies without hesitation.

"No," Shem replies. "You were not in physical danger. Nowhere close. Are we understood?"

Eli opens her mouth and shuts it before opening it again. "Yes sir. Do you want it to come across that I physically assaulted the sergeant in an inappropriate manner with no provocation or legitimate reason? If so, sir, you will according to the law be required to take me off duty, and open an investigation with the headline of police brutality, and I apologize."

Shem sighs. "You are just about the most unaware person I've met, sergeant." He continues walking. "I think you know damn well you weren't in physical danger. You're not stupid or coward enough to believe that. I think you let Farkas get under your skin, as he has a way of doing to people, and you're trying to backpedal your way out of it, whether you know it or not up here." He taps his temple. "I'm not your enemy, Browne, but you'd better get yourself squared away."

Eli blinks and opens her mouth and shuts it again as she just stares at Shem for a few moments and then looks away. "Of course sir. Yes sir."

Shem stops after the pair exit the sickbay. "You're an MP, Browne. Anything you do is very visible and is almost guaranteed to go beyond the marines. Now that Farkas is in sickbay, I'm gonna have to tell the doc that he claimed to have raped Eve when I'd bet my left testicle that he didn't. That sorta investigation is gonna embarrass everybody."

Eli is quiet for a few moments before she finally says. "I am." A pause. "There is…something else I think you can use, sir. One that won't effect anybody's reputation or integrity but my own." She looks rather resigned, yet serious.

Shem is taken unawares by the sudden change in topic. He puts a hand on his hip and uses the other to rub his forehead. Letting that hand drop, he says, "Go ahead."

"The Lieutenant has an important job, such an investigation as you have said will compromise her position and she has such an important position on this ship. To help not her, but many other people. Sergeant Farkas might be a frakkin' pain in the ass…however, he is still an experienced marine who may be experiencing medical…mental problems that our out of his control. I am young. I am healthy. I have a relatively normal military record, no ribbons and nothing impressive, so a strike on my record as being medically unfit might leave you without an MaA for now if need be but to say I was provoked due to comments and slurs on my gender, would be both justifiable and feasible and close this who situation up alot faster with less drama than anything pertaining to his insane confessions and as a person responsible for the security, safety, integrity and such of others on this ship, it is the least I can do sir." Eli bows her head, hands clasped behind her back and expression grim.

Shem eyes Eli for a moment. "You like what you're doing?" he asks, as a non sequitur.

"Yes sir. It is the only thing I've ever wanted to do in my life sir. To serve my colonies and bring honor to my family sir." Eli replies after a pause.

Shem starts back to walking. "But you could do that as an infantryman."

Eli continues to walk, speaking steadily. "Yes sir, I could. But the job I have is…more personal. Soldiers defend and protect. MPs assist, defend, protect and keep things so that those who are infantrymen, snipers, scouts, and even pilots can do their job without fear or threat of anarchy."

Shem considers her words for a few seconds. He then asks, bluntly, "What do you think Farkas meant when he said that you have delusions of being a man?"

Eli stops walking for a moment before continuing. "Permission to speak frankly sir…because this aspect of my life has been one I've attempted to keep separate from my military life…so that it didn't effect my work, or make it seem I am not capable."

Shem stops half a step in front of Eli and turns around. He arches an eyebrow. "Yes?"

"No. I don't have delusions of being a man. Delusions suggest somebody believes something that isn't true. While in the military, it doesn't matter. I'm not male or female, I'm a marine. But before I joined the military, I was pre-op. To help fix certain things. Does that answer your question, sir?" Eli explains matter of factly, shaking her head.

"What the hell do you mean, pre-op?" Shem asks.

Eli blinks and then looks taken aback as she opens her mouth and then shuts it and looks torn at explaining. "You don't know much about transgendered individuals do you sir?" She looks grim. "If so, we should probably forget this conversation ever happened."

Shem shakes his head and resumes walking. "Like hell," he answers. "If it makes you feel any better, explain it to me like I'm a moron."

Eli is walking along with Shem, looking very sober indeed as she tries to explain. "I was born biologically female. But everything about me has been…male even when I was very little, technically. I don't identify with the female gender. One would be a lesbian, or considered butch if it was simply a sexual thing. But it isn't. It also isn't considered normal. The discrimination and not understanding can get even worse when you are 'pre-op' which means you prepare to get things removed, and other things added. And you start hormone treatments. It is a…whole thing. Sir. Complicated, and something I couldn't deal with while serving in the military."

Shem takes the news in stride. He looks sidelong at Eli and asks, after a few seconds of thinking, "So you haven't gotten those hormone treatments, gotten things lopped off?"

Eli shakes her head. "No sir. The hormone treatments could affect things like emotions. And no, I haven't had any surgeries. I've been peeing standing up ever since I was potty trained, but that has nothing to do with surgery." She smirks gently before clearing her throat.

Shem asks, "And how did Farkas figure that out?"

"My military files, sir, I'm not sure if he has access to medical records as well. He endevored to prove a point the other day by continuing to call me 'Eliza' which is my birth name and say other such things, based on my files. To try to get under my skin, I assume, and inform me that I am a liability." Eli finally replies after a few moments of silence. "…but I don't think he knows about the peeing thing…"

That gets Shem's attention. "You didn't tell anybody about that?"

Eli quickly shakes her head. "No sir. I don't talk about things like that sir, it has little to do with my military duties."

Shem exhales. "Looks like Farkas made it a military issue." He shakes his head. "Look, I don't care what's going on in your personal life, but you should know, this organization isn't as progressive as others, and if news gets out you gotta tell me so I can head it off. This is something called a material detail that could very well screw with your effectiveness as a MP."

Eli just stares at Shem for a very very long time. "…Farkas made it a military issue." A pause. "Are you telling me…he has actually went to tell somebody about the fact that I prefer to go by Eli rather than Eliza?" She just sounds very very surprised here. "I…what the /frak/?"

Shem says simply, "If he's giving you a hard time while you're on duty and looking up your dossier with his access privileges, then it's a military issue. I don't know anything about how you prefer to be called." He continues walking. Clomp, clomp, clomp. "We got protections against bigotry, but you need to let me know. So be aware."

Eli just is quiet for a few moments. "I let my superior officers call me whatever the hell they want to call me. I go by Eli. I'm referred to as Sergeant Eliza Browne in some situations, until I legally get my name changed sir. I just…why the frak would something like that matter…" She just shakes her head slowly. "I'd prefer sir…that this isn't made an issue of, sir. It could seriously effect my military career if miscontrued. I've kept from any type of fraternization or any type of…personal relationships even off duty to avoid it becoming a military issue."

"Fine, that's your option," Shem answers. He stops by a nondescript hatch. "I'm looking for a Sheriff who has good instincts, good leadership skills, and good judgement. Punching somebody in the face, that wasn't master at arms material. You show me you have a good head on your shoulders, and you can be in contention. Got it?"

Eli freezes up as she listens to what is being said and she just stares at Shem for a few moments. Then she just bows her head quickly. "Of course sir." Everybody's lately…well except for the nice ones, questioning her competency, it tends to eventually get to a girl. She just nods again. "Thank you sir." Keeping her eyes lowered.

Shem nods. He watches Eli critically for a moment. "Good. Carry on, then."

Eli nods firmly and clears her throat, continuing on her way.

Shem watches Eli walk away for a few moments before disappearing through the hatch.

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