Starbase One was busy.
As the war had entered something of a lull, the opportunity had been taken to reorganize and restructure the fleet – many of Starfleet’s now most experienced bodies had been shuffled around to spread their wealth of knowledge with their previous positions being replaced by in most cases younger and less experienced heads. It had also allowed many of Starfleet’s most important pieces some proper downtime and so with both Endeavour and Poseidon periodically coming alongside came not only a plethora of Earth’s smaller vessels to provide security and replacements to take up the respective duties the two major Starfleet assets wouldn’t be fufilling for a time but also a never ending caravan of supply and transport vessels carrying well needed materials and replacement personnel as the seemingly never ending wheel of reassignments continued to turn.
For Ensign Bethany Lewis, Petty Officer Kentaro Uchida and the handful of Endeavour medical personnel that had been requested to expand Doctor Wishmore’s team, very little of that would be at the forefront of their respective minds as they took their first steps aboard the quite impressive Starbase One. The Corridors swarming with a seemingly impossible number of people aboard a single installation, it was beyond anything the Tennessee born nurse had expected to see so far from home, “This way, I think” she called to the small gathering of equally lost Endeavour personnel behind her as they continued to push through the crowds.
For Petty Officer Uchida however, the scene was one is was far more familiar with than most of the fresh faced recent academy graduates or training passouts he had undertaken the journey from Earth with. Despite still being relatively young, his years of services extended beyond those with Starfleet to a time spent in far more cramped conditions than any starship that Earth had managed to put into space. His time serving his home nation navigating the homeworld’s oceans had prepared him well and while he had served in a similar capacity to the one he now fufilled for Starfleet, quite fortunately for his new colleagues, he had also been a reasonable navigator on the few occasions that had required it from him, “Ensign Lewis,” He called after the young nurse, “Might it be this way, Ma’am?” He gestured toward a corridor they had all but missed that would lead them to the final leg of the journey toward Endeavour.
“Oh,” Beth responded, visibly a little flustered as the crowds started to get to her and her normally well hidden native southern drawl exposted it’s self, “Yes, I think it might actually. Thank you Kentaro.”
“You’re most welcome, Ma’am.” The Kyoto native responded with a smile that Ensign Lewis found oddly calming, “May I?” He asked, gently gesturing to one of the many bags she was carrying in an offer of help. If there was one thing he had learned from his naval service – and there were far more than one – it was how to pack light and so he had been left with plenty of limb space on which to hang other people’s luggage although probably somewhat telling, it was only Ensign Lewis out of the group that had really over packed.
“Oh. Thank you,” Beth accepted the offer of help, passing one of her medium sized items to the Petty Officer to carry, “I’m sorry,” She spoke shyly, “This is all so new…”
“I understand, Ma’am,” Uchida said, a reassuring warmness to his voice, “We shall learn and adjust together.”
Nodding as a broad smile – the kind that only a truly happy person could manage – overcame her, Lewis agreed, “I can’t wait!”
So many at home had heard stories of the wartime exploits of Endeavour, her sister ships and those that manned her. Such stories had done well in restoring faith and moral that had waned at points during the conflict and had inspired many to join the fight in their own right and whilst it was reasonable to say that both Ensign Lewis and Petty Officer Uchida could be counted among those people, neither of them had actually believed they would one day be standing aboard the now Colombia class starship.
And yet, there they were. Clearing the security process to be granted access only took a moment and once aboard they were provided with detailed directions to their own quarters where most of the small group opted for some rest. Their journey had been long and less comfortable than anybody would have liked and despite the fact that the entire group would be sharing quarters, aboard Endeavour that would still provide more space per person than any of the transport ships that were being used to ferry Starfleet personnel between assignments did.
Neither Beth or Kentaro however had any desire to yet retire to their respective quarters for rest and so after dropping their belongings off, they headed deeper into their new home to find their primary place of work.
“What do you suppose Doctor Wishmore is really like?” Ensign Lewis asked in a far more hushed tone than any she’d used since being introduced to her new colleagues, pausing for a moment as a pair of red uniformed crewmembers passed in the opposite direction, “I read some things about him before we left Earth – about his Dad and that election he lost. It sounded like they’ve had a hard time lately.”
“The hardest decision one makes is to leave family at home to put onces self at harm,” Kentaro said in a matter of fact tone, “The doctor did not have to be here and yet here he is. I believe him to be a good man based on this.”
“That’s very true,” Beth replied with a smile as the two continued.
It surprised even Ensign Lewis the mix of emotion she felt as they finally came to the large frosted glass sliding doors that indicated that they were finally standing outside of Endeavour’s sickbay. She had seen photos many times but standing outside of them was something else. It was like she had finally come home to the place she was meant to be.
“I hope they like us.” She whispered to her new japanese friend
“Come,” Kentaro chuckled, taking a step toward sickbay before gesturing once more for Ensign Lewis to take the first steps through the door. He could see in her body language what the moment was going to mean to her and wanted to allow her to take the first step through the door.
“No!” She cried out with a broad smile as she took hold of his hand, “Together!”
Sickbay, Endeavour NX-06
Taking advantage of the peace and quiet as most of the crew took advantage of a much deserved period of respite to squeeze in some R&R, Doctor Wishmore had decided to take up residence in sickbay whilst seeing to some long overdue paperwork that he’d allowed to pile up over the course of their convoy duties. It was – as it was for most senior officers – by far his least favourite part of the job but something that Endeavour’s second officer appreciated as necessary regardless.
Nursing his third cup of coffee as he placed another item on his finished pile, Jacob was somewhat taken aback as the doors to his temporary office parted. Rising from his chair, he stared at the two figures standing in the doorway with a mild bafflement, a look one could easily confuse with annoyance to the unacquainted.
“Oh. We uh…” Ensign Lewis stared at the man she easily recognised as the ship’s Chief Medical officer among other things, a feeling of dread overcoming her as her stomach flipped.
Processing exactly what he was looking at, the confused expression quickly gave way to a broad and welcoming smile. Whilst his new staff might well have looked into their new boss, he had done the same and was far more familiar with the new faces joining him than he probably had any right to be, “Ensign Bethany Lewis, Nurse.” He beamed at the young woman as he approached and extended a hand that was quickly accepted for a gentle handshake, “And Petty Officer Kentaro Uchida,” Another hand extentsion and a firmer shake this time, “Welcome! Please come in, it’s wonderful to finally meet you both.”
“Thank you, Doctor,” Lewis responded shyly as she and Kentaro followed Wishmore into the room.
“I suppose the others wanted to have a rest. I can’t really say i blame them, it’s not the most pleasant journey as I recall,” The doctor spoke at a million miles an hour, a clear symptom of too much caffein.
“Oh it wasn’t all bad,” Bethany replied, a smile far meeker than any Kentaro had seen from her during the trip coming out.
“Would you like some coffee?” Wishmore enquired, turning back to face his two newest team members, gesturing toward the half empty coffee pot he’d set up by his work station before seeing to finding some seating for the nurse and medic, “You know, i’ve heard some quite wonderful things about both of you. I’m very glad you were both available to join us here!”
“Thank you, Doctor” Ensign Lewis responded for a second time, shooting Kentaro an excited grin as she did.