As I look at it now, I’m not sure about using the dotted-line balloon for Ril’s whispering, especially coupled with regular-sized text. I wonder if it would work better as just smaller text in a normal balloon.
I like that this page introduces the dynamic that they all haven’t been working together for that long. So instead of readers coming into a situation where everyone’s already buddy-buddy and totally comfortable with each other, there’s some slight tension between some of the characters, and that makes the group dynamic a bit more interesting to me.
An fascinating thing I read a long time ago was that the writers on Star Trek: The Next Generation had a horrible time writing for the main characters. Since Roddenberry’s concept was for a future where everyone in Starfleet had the same agenda and didn’t have petty differences, the writers had a hard time making the character interactions interesting because they ALL got along! Thus, there was no internal conflict among the crew to mine.
I believe Ensign Ro was eventually added to spice things up by having someone who didn’t have the same agenda and attitude as everyone else. And then with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (one of my all-time favorite TV shows and a big influence on RUNNERS), they went and made a LOT of the characters varied in their differences, and I think that made the cast much more interesting to watch interact.