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Part of USS Mercy: Mission 1 – “Life as a House”

One More Into the Mix

USS Mercy - Ready Room - 1255
August 10th, 2400
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A late application had crossed his desk for Chief Counselor, and Halsey was curious.  He had sent the lieutenant a message requesting an interview, and he was now waiting in his ready room for the latest addition to the USS Mercy.

Egrel strode briskly towards Captain Halsey’s ready room, where he had been summoned. He smoothed down his uniform once before pressing the door chime to request permission to enter.

The door chime sounded, and Halsey spoke up, “Come on in.”

Egrel strode in. He wore his hair in a tight, neat bun and his uniform was pristine, wishing to make a good impression, “You requested an interview, sir?”

Captain Halsey stood and shook hands with the officer, “I did.  Decisions are often made without putting a face to a name…I’m old school when it comes to matters of command, I suppose.  Drink?”  He gestured to the replicator.

Egrel smiled and shook his hand before stepping back, “Ah, can never go wrong with a coffee, thank you. Nothing wrong with being more old school, sir.” 

Leopold sat down and offered the seat across the table to the lieutenant.  “Welcome to the USS Mercy, Mr. Choi.  Your application came a bit out of the blue early this morning.”  He took a sip of his chilled tea, “What has you interested in joining the crew of an Olympic Class starship?”

Egrel took the replicated mug of coffee and took a seat. He lifted the mug to his lips and took a sip before he clasped it between his hands. He glanced into his mug momentarily as if it held all the answers. He replied, “I feel like my skillset could be more utilized here. I have a handful of years in first responder counseling and medical psychology, sir.”

Halsey reviewed the man’s file, which was halfway complete owing to the CO’s ongoing file access problems, “You worked on Betazed for most of your life.” He glanced up, “I’ve heard it’s a great place to live.  It’s a different world out here in the blackness of space.”  He held his PADD, “I’ve had a helluva time getting access to my crew’s files today, and yours appears to be one of the many.  So I have to ask rudimentary questions.  What ships or stations have you served before the Mercy?

Egrel offered a small smile, “I do not mind, sir. There is something to be said about hearing it spoken over reading a file.” He nodded and clasped his hands in his lap, “It was nice. I have only had one other posting. I’ve served on the Cavalier under Captain Thevius before.” He hesitated momentarily, then added quickly,  “Part of my transfer off was an ethics issue. He was a great Captain, I merely did not get the support I needed there, and there was an ethical problem.”

Halsey raised one eyebrow and leaned back in his chair, grabbing a pull of his drink.  “Ethics is a pretty big word in Starfleet and the Federation, Lieutenant.”  He contemplated his next words, “I have always held myself and those in my command to a high standard – it generally doesn’t work out too well when ethics fall by the wayside.”  He thought for a moment longer, “You used that word intentionally, I suspect.  What was the ethical problem?”

Egrel hesitated, falling quiet for a moment and mulling over his next words before he spoke, “Very intentional, sir. It is not exactly my place to get into the details, I am sure. Another officer was abducted under his command off a base.” He sipped his coffee slowly and frowned, “It upset me how it was handled and the whole affair in general.”

The CO raised the other eyebrow, “That certainly fits within the definition of the word.   I’m sorry that happened to you.”  He thought for a moment longer, “As Chief Counselor, you’ll be asked to comment and discuss ethical actions as we work through our various missions.  I hope you’ll feel supported enough on the Mercy to not hold back in your concerns.”

Egrel nodded slowly, “It was rather unpleasant. I’m sure Command is sorting with it.” He emitted a small sigh and sat up straighter, offering Halsey a faint smile, “Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. I will not hesitate to be open and clear about any concerns I have, sir.”

Halsey stood and shook the man’s hand, “I’ll hold you to that.  You’ll do well here, I think.  Welcome aboard the USS Mercy, Chief Counselor.  Your quarters are ready and waiting for you.”  

Egrel smiled and stood up, shaking Halsey’s hand, “Thank you, sir. It is a pleasure to serve. I will go and get settled now.” He gave a brief bow of his head and turned to depart.

The CO watched as Egrel walked out of the ready room, leaving him to wonder what kind of ethical madman Egrel’s previous commander had been.