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11.06.2012 , 12:23 PM | #42
Chapter 17. Tatooine: Personnel Division

The only spoilers are for Dorne's Act 1 personal quest conversations.

"Excuse me, sir. May I have a moment of your time?"

I stopped what I was doing. Sergeant Dorne and I hadn't said a whole lot to each other since dealing with her brother on Nar Shaddaa, an incident where I mostly stood there waiting to shoot any Imp who put a toe out of line and she talked her Imp brother and his disavowed-by-the-Empire squad into coming over to our side. That was just about the least pleasant noncombat experience of my life, but Kirsk's presence had kept me in line and Dorne had had the sense not to try to get cozy over it. "All right," I said.

Dorne nodded thanks. "As a condition of my service in the Republic military, Personnel Division requires that I report regularly on my activities."

Really? So there is somebody else in the service who worries.

"However, my Havoc Squad missions are classified and cannot be shared with Personnel Division." More and more concern crept into her voice with every word. "I'd like to ask if you would vouch for me when I report in."

I wasn't afraid to speak directly to her experience with me. "Sure. I can do that."

She avoided eye contact as we made for the holocom and she placed a secure call. "Captain Kalor?" she opened. "Elara Dorne, personnel number 22-795, reporting as per regulation 449."

"Please, Elara," said the balding Mirialan, "you don't have to give me the full rundown every time. I know who you are. How are things?"

She had a friend. Interesting.

"Well enough, sir," she said cautiously. "Allow me to introduce you to the commander of Havoc Squad my CO. Sir, this is Captain Kalor, Army Personnel Divison."

I nodded. "Good to see you're on top of things, sir."

"Perfectly normal process, Lieutenant. Thanks for your time." He turned his attention to Dorne. "Tell me about being in the top squad in the Republic, Elara. You must be keeping very busy."

"I'm sorry, Captain," she said in her best rules-stickler voice, "but you aren't authorized to know the details of Havoc Squad's activities. My CO will have to vouch for me from now on." Again with the dread.

"What?" The Mirialan scowled. "Elara, I don't want to be a hard case, but rules are rules this 'top secret' junk won't fly."

Oh, that wouldn't do. "Top secret is a rule, too, Captain," I said, "and it's one neither the sergeant nor I can break. All Havoc Squad operations are classified, but I can tell you Sergeant Dorne has been well behaved." Well behaved enough that even I couldn't fault her for anything she'd done so far. I wasn't sure what else to do with this process, but the personnel guy clearly wasn't satisfied. "I'm sorry for the inconvenience," I added.

"Heh. Inconvenience." His manner was rapidly dropping into angry territory. "Just carry on, Elara. We'll talk about this later, after I've had a word with my superiors. Kalor out." The holo turned off.

Dorne looked a little green. "I wasn't expecting him to react so strongly. Surely he didn't expect me to report on classified information?"

"He's probably not used to keeping tabs on Spec Forces. Not too many defectors end up there. But I'm guessing regulations are on your side."

"Yes, sir. I'm just surprised the captain didn't agree."

"He questions you like that, he's questioning Havoc Squad. That won't fly."

She nodded, but she didn't seem very reassured. "In any case, thank you for your time."

"You let me know when he calls back." I didn't want to be surprised by any explosion that came of this. Plus, that captain was challenging my role as well as hers. If he wanted to pick on her he'd better pick on her on her own merits, not some trumped-up excuse involving Havoc Squad.

"I will," she said. "Thank you."

That had turned from a routine job detail into a favor pretty quickly. Not something I wanted to make a habit of. But things were settled for now. So I moved on.
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