Pauline's idea of a good conversation starts with avoiding eye contact and ends with her left eyelid flickering out binary transforms of π. The Hive leaves talking to Molly, for good reason.
But genehack dogs can't emote with human precision, so for the times the Hive needs to emote with human subtlety, Pauline's there for backup. They'd make a great team and be joined at the hip, if they weren't already joined at the mind.
Translating the math that Pauline does is hard. Baseline human minds can barely encompass half of it, and if a Nobel prize for Mathematics could be given to a Hive, Pauline's idle daydreams would have earned them twice over.
Throw in a little quantum mechanics, and sometimes even the best explanation Molly can offer is: "It's deep dark voodoo math. Let's move on."
Born powerfully hyper-savant, prior to Integration with the Hive, Pauline's life was a nightmare of seizures and misery. Despite the best care the 29th century can offer her, the only thing medicine could offer her was to be thrown to the Hive.
Call it a mercy killing.
But if her life alone before was hell, this amalgamated life after death is her idea of heaven. With her physical control offloaded to other brains on the hive, her brain is freed to devote every neuron it can to math. Her facility at Fourier Transforms for signal processing means the difference between you being found in trans-Neptunian flight, or being lost until the heat death of the universe.
Things move fast in space, Doppler's a bastard, and there's nothing more sadistic than physics. Chances are good your distress call is being drowned out by the shouts of planets, and the screams of stars. With Pauline on your side, the Hive's got a chance of finding you before whatever's lurking past the Oort does.
Pauline's the "left hand" of the Hive, and the mathematical specialist. She's the reason the Hive can beat the station computer on fourier transforms and complex orbital mechanics. Forget faster and better at math than humans; she can beat most Hives.
She's humanity's most powerful mathematical mind in a century. And she's on your side.
So what's humanity's best hyper-savant doing out here in deep space? Jupiter's Lagrange Point 4 is a busy, scary place, with about 298 quadrillion tonnes of asteroids bouncing around on any given day. Sure, they're mostly well behaved, but at the speeds those rocks are travelling, it doesn't take much to ruin your day.
Any computer asked to model that much complex orbital mechanics would die shrieking. For Pauline, mapping and tracking the Trojan asteroids sharing Lagrange space with Padua Station is just a side-project, a yawner.
Tough to yawn when a rock the size of a golf ball would cripple Padua station, and there's a hundred million rocks a kilometer wide just waiting for the chance to say hello. You don't just trust a computer to do that.
Keeping a Hive happy can be hard, especially in deep space. Just because you were engineered to be an intellectual force of nature, doesn't mean you don't want to feel pretty now and then.
There's not many visitors to dress up for, but if the Hive's going to dress anyone up, it'll be Pauline. With sweaters being necessary to soothe Pauline's neurological tics, that left glasses as the fashion outlet for what little vanity the Hive preserves.
There's no shopping on Padua Station. But a full-size fabber that can make anything from nanochips to a new body for Hereford works as a substitute. Pauline fabs a new pair of glasses every day, and keeps about 50 'favorites' in her bunk.
It's a little extravagant, but the United Navy doesn't mind. The last Hive they let get bored took up sculpting Ceres via megaton nuclear charges. They won't make that mistake again.
Humans and dogs evolved together, and Integration has brought them even closer than before. When a Hive-mind strives for harmony, it would be hard-pressed to do better than pairing human and dog.
It makes the baseline humans a little less nervous when they can pretend as if humanity is still in control. Some of them like to imagine Pauline's the anchor that keeps the Hive sane, by human standards. As if throwing a human mind into a blender with four more individuals across three species would make the Hive sane in the first place.
But failing to keep humanity happy would mean extinction, for a Hive. So never mind the flickering eyelids and too-deliberate motions. Don't ask who's the marionette, and who's pulling the strings.
They find your ass in deep space, and save your life. Isn't that enough, that you're not a meat popsicle anymore?