Her suit was old-fashioned, a brown tweed that brought out her eyes. She sat in the waiting area with others – Vulcans, mostly, and mostly female. It was tough to tell if she was older than all of them, or younger. Who knew? Bridie Kelly certainly didn’t.
She glanced up at a display on the wall. May eighteenth of 2172, it said. She absently scratched her elbow. It’s 2172 and there’s still no good cure for a little eczema! She kept that thought to herself and tried to remain calm.
This job is important, she thought to herself. I have to get this job.
Vulcans filed in and out of a doorway. No one seemed to stay long on the other side of it.
You know nothing about this fellow, she mused. The advertisement had just said – elderly gentleman needs companion and nurse. Nothing more.
You are competent, she thought, hell, more than competent! You’ve been doing this sort of thing for years! This elderly gentleman would be a fool not to hire you!
A fairly young Vulcan male approached. “You must be Miss Kelly,” he said.
“I must,” she said.
“What you will see and hear is strictly confidential. Follow me.”
They went through a doorway, where there was an ancient Vulcan man. And he was – what? He was, it seemed, he was actually angry.
“I don’t need a nurse!”
“Ambassador …,” began the Vulcan who had led her in.
“I don’t!” The ambassador turned and looked her in the eye. “Name.”
“I beg your pardon?” she was a bit peeved, and her brogue was thicker than usual. Getting your Irish up, they call it.
“What the ambassador means is …”
“I know damned well what I mean! And I don’t need a goddamned nurse!”
She glared back at him. “Brigid Kelly. And who might you be?”
The Ambassador raised an eyebrow at the younger man. “Sharik?”
“You do not know Ambassador Soval?”
“I know of him,” Bridie said, “but I ain’t never seen him. Until, I guess, now.”
“Can’t even speak her own language properly. Get the next one in here, Sharik.”
“Sir!” Brigid knew she’d better salvage the situation quickly. “I hardly think you’re givin’ me even half a proper species of a chance!”
“Miss, uh …”
“Kelly, sir,” Brigid reminded Soval.
“Kelly, Miss Kelly, I don’t have the time or the patience to spend time attempting to decipher your comments.”
“Beggin’ your pardon, sir, but isn’t impatience a human type of an emotion? And my understandin’ is that such things are abhorrent to ya.”
“Abhorrence is something of an emotion,” Sharik said.
“I don’t recall soliciting your opinion in this matter. Really, Sharik, can we get the next one in?”
“Sir!” Bridie fairly well shouted. “Don’t ya wanna at least interview me? Even a little bit?”
“And to what end?” Soval inquired, “So that you can confirm just how unsuitable you will be? Really, Sharik, send this human on her way.”