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Part of Endeavour: Through The Thick & Thin

A New Number One

Endeavour NX-06
Monday, 21st March 2157
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After briefing Doctor Wishmore on the change in the command staff going ahead as well as saying final goodbyes to those who were leaving, Campbell had the job of welcoming his new first officer on board. Without a doubt she had more of an illustrious Starfleet career in comparison to his. Though she had been in the service longer than he, the only one thing they had in common was their past positions as a pilot. Campbell had wondered if that would be some sort of common ground the two could build a relationship on. He was still bitter about having to lose his friend and current executive officer, but it was all for the greater good of the war effort. Patel had joked with Campbell that they should have started a tally in the ready room for every time a superior had used that phrase. The captain was now considering the idea. 

Campbell was grateful though that his doctor and second officer agreed to be with him to meet Commander Leonov. Deciding the right place to do it was the captain’s ready room, Wishmore had left his duties in sickbay behind and was now sitting in the arm chair in the corner of the room while Campbell was at his desk. The two men waited for her arrival. 

Strumming his fingertips on the top of his desk, Campbell looked at Wishmore and sarcastically added one more comment from their earlier conversation about the amount of staff changes they had endured in just a year alone. “If Starfleet tries to remove you from the ship, do me a favour and resign your commission? I can then make you a civilian consultant in the role of chief medical officer.”

“If I resign my commission,” Wishmore spoke dryly, a smirk fixed upon his lips, “I’ll be turning to a life of piracy.”

Smirking in response, Campbell didn’t have the chance to say anything else before the door chime went off. Taking a breath, he sat up straight in his chair, pushed his mug of tea behind a photo of him and Fynn before replying. “Come in.”

Walking in first was his yeoman, who had met and escorted the woman to his office. “Sir, this is Commander Katya Leonov,” Knight said, beginning the introductions and then looking at the commander behind him, presenting his commanding officer to her. “Ma’am, this is Captain Oliver Campbell, commanding officer of the Endeavour N-X-Oh-Six.”

“Thank you Romeo, dismissed.” Campbell said as he looked up at her and decided he would stand to welcome her. Extending his hand out towards her after Knight had squeezed past her, Campbell shook her hand. “Welcome aboard the Endeavour, commander.”

Leonov’s handshake was brisk, and while there was nothing discourteous in her gaze and manner, there was little warmth as she took in the sight of the ready room and the two men. “Thank you, Captain. I appreciate you not making me wait; I’ve little fondness for settling in slowly.”

After letting go of her grip, Campbell turned to Wishmore. “Commander Leonov, this is Commander Jacob Wishmore, our second officer and chief medical officer.”

Wishmore received an arch, assessing look from Leonov before she extended a hand. “A pleasure. Do you prefer ‘Commander‘ to ‘Doctor‘?”

Smiling as courteously as he could manage toward Endeavour‘s new XO as he accepted the handshake, Wishmore shrugged slightly, “Actually that’s something I’m still trying to decide on.”

“Please take a seat.” Campbell offered to the spare armchair that sat on the other side of his desk. “Do you have your transfer papers for me, commander?”

Without thinking or looking down, Leonov unzipped one of her uniform pockets and pulled out the tablet. “Board the Poseidon NP-01 for transit and report to Endeavour NX-06 for reassignment as Executive Officer and Chief Science Officer,” she recited dryly, and handed it over. “With the delighted signature and compliments of Captain Sharpe of the Buran.”

“Thank you.” Campbell remarked as he took the data tablet out of her hands, quickly glanced down at them and placed them on his desk, knowing full well that he would approve it later and get Knight to finish off the paperwork. “I’ve been told your move over to us was quite sudden, I hope it wasn’t too much of a stress. I’m keen for us to make this a smooth transition as possible and Doctor Wishmore will be available to assist you with that.”

She glanced to Wishmore only for a moment before her eyes returned to Campbell. “How difficult that is really depends on what you want from an XO. I’ve no concerns about getting up to speed on maintaining the duty roster and shift schedules. Being your go-between to the crew is the sort of relationship that takes time.” But Leonov shrugged. “Though I assume in a time of war, nobody will expect their XO to tend to their scraped knees and hurt feelings.”

Somewhat taking back with her almost brisk response, Campbell sat up in his chair and on some level was pleased she understood some of the expectations he would have of her as his new right-hand woman. “Leave the scraped knees to Jacob, but I do expect you to keep on top of the crew’s mental wellbeing,” He paused as he cleared his throat, “even in a time of war.”

“A crew with a crushed morale will hardly be effective under stress, quite,” Leonov mused. “As I understand it, the Endeavour has been through quite a lot in a particularly short space of time, especially considering most of the crew’s experience?”

“We do have a somewhat young and inexperienced crew. Though we retained a good number prior to Endeavour’s refit, those who joined afterwards are almost fresh out of Starfleet Training Command and most of them have only done a few months of enlisted drills.” Campbell shared. “So I am expecting you to work with Jacob and our chief of the boat to stay on top of everyone to ensure we don’t have any slip through the net in not giving us their best.”

“I’m sure we can work on something.” It was hard, without having a strong read on Leonov, to tell if her brusqueness was dismissive or matter-of-fact. “But I find that nothing instills confidence more than being successful in the first place. Results beget further results. It seems they should have a little confidence under their belt by now.”

Endeavour has earned itself a reputation since its launch over a year ago that rivals that of other ships like Enterprise and Challenger. Buran is now on that list, so I don’t expect us to drop our standards. I expect my command staff,” Campbell noted in his thick Scottish accent, glancing at Wishmore and back to Leonav, “to maintain a high standard, especially with the fact Starfleet is keeping a close eye on us since the refit.” Campbell paused in his speech, he wanted to make sure she understood his vision from the get go. “I see from your service record that you previously served as a pilot before entering the science division.” Campbell commented, indicating towards his computer screen that had her biography scrolling slowly on it, including her performance reviews and the awards she had received. “It’d be nice to have someone else on the senior staff who I can share ideas on manoeuvres when we find ourselves going into battle.”  

“I was a test pilot. I’ve not been a helm officer since before the war,” Leonov said with a shrug, then a certain light sparked in her eye. “But I’m curious to see the flight capabilities of the refit under adverse conditions. I look forward to this planning, as well as the results.”

“Indeed.” Campbell remarked back with. “Well, if there’s nothing else for us to discuss at this point, I’m happy to let you settle in and sort out your belongings into your new quarters. Though later on, we are holding a sort of informal gathering for the new crew members joining us, I’d expect to see you there at twenty-hundred hours in the mess hall, deck five.”  

Leonov nodded. “Of course.”

“Doctor, do you mind showing the good commander to her cabin please?” Campbell requested. He wanted to give them a chance to speak privately without him around. They would be becoming his close circle of trust now, so he knew he needed to give them the chance to build a rapport. 

“It would be my pleasure, Captain,” Turning to Lenov, Jacob offered another friendly smile, “Whenever you’re ready, Ma’am.”

She pushed to her feet. “Lead on, Doctor.”

Before they left, Campbell called after Lenov. “Commander, one final thing.” He stopped her in her tracks. “Like Commodore Paulsen and some other skippers in the fleet, I like referring to my Executive Officers as Number One, is that going to be an issue?”

She stopped in the doorway, one eyebrow arching. “I don’t -” Care sounded like the word that did not escape her lips, the thoughtless sentence grabbed before it could finish spilling out. Leonov shut her mouth and stood a little straighter before she inclined her head. “No issue, Captain.”

Smirking to himself, Campbell watched as the pair of officers left his office and sat back to consider what his newest Number One was going to be like.