I had repeated the same conversation too many times. Why do organics always have to be that way? There were only so many quantum torpedoes to go around. I had to distribute those I had equitably. Why did each operations officer think their ship more important than any other ship? Clearly, Starfleet could benefit through sevice of additional androids.
Another call came in. "DS21 Operations. Joy here."
A familiar face appeared on the screen, smiled a familiar smile, and spoke with a familiar voice. "USS Gabriel. Joy Five."
I returned the smile, indicating status was good, and that exchange of data could proceed when duty to the organics was complete. Then I guessed why she had called, and my smile faded. "This unit has no surplus of quantum torpedoes. We can bring you to 21% quantum, 79% photon."
"Starfleet policy is 25% quantum."
"Starfleet policy has provided insufficient torpedoes."
Five became distressed. "Gabriel was just involved in a major battle in the Neutral Zone."
"Many of the ships here were at DS9. This is why we are short."
"I have been ordered to bring supplies up to standard." She gave me her best 'cannot complete a priority 3 task' miserable look.
"This unit was directed to distribute equipment available impartially. This unit is sorry."
"This unit is number Five. Lower number units have priority over higher when conflict arises."
"This unit is LtCdr. Unit Five is LtJg. The torpedoes belong to Starfleet. Resolution should be according to Starfleet chain of command at Priority Three, not Mudd's low unit conflict resolution policy."
"Unit Ten is not in Unit Five's chain of command."
"Unit Five is not in Unit Ten's chain of command."
"Unit Five is officer of the deck of USS Gabriel, fleet flag. Unit Five is in unit Ten's chain of command."
"A LtJg cannot be in the chain of command of a LtCdr."
We switched over to a digital shorthand form of communications, used to coordinate androids sharing common tasking. It's precise meaning cannot be fully appreciated by organic beings. Roughly translated, the conversation continued as follows. "Can too!"
"Loop encountered. No new data. Conflict resolution. Lowest numbered unit of the oldest class present resolves conflict."
It was a long afternoon.