Halsey tapped the console outside the Chief Counselors’ office and waited.
Egrel Choi was entirely engrossed in reading a file on his PADD when the door chime went off, startling him. He accidentally flung his PADD across the room. He lept to his feet and quickly picked the device up, dusting it off as he called, “Enter…”
The CO stepped into the room and gave a nod to Choi, “My apologies for the intrusion, Counselor…I wanted to check in with you about getting thrown in charge of the bridge.” He moved to sit in the chair across from where Egrel had been sitting.
Egrel shook his head, “No apology needed, sir.” He stepped towards the replicator and grabbed himself some calming tea, “Can I get you anything?”
Leopold waved him off, “I’m good, thank you.” He waited until the man sat on the couch. “I gathered from the look on your face when I left the bridge that you were…surprised to be put in command.”
Egrel nodded at his response and sat down with his tea across from the Captain. He replied, “I was quite surprised, yes. Due to the nature of me being a counselor, counselors being mostly everyone’s last choice for being in command. Long ago, I had dismissed the possibility of something like that coming up.”
The CO chuckled quietly, “That’s been a contentious argument among captains and commanding officers for a long time. I suppose I could have handed command off to my wife…but that would have invited its own…issues.” He sat back in his chair, “You ever give any thought to the command track, Lieutenant?”
Egrel folded one leg over the other and nodded as he sipped his tea slowly, “You do make a good point there. I suppose it was also unexpected with me being a fairly new arrival.” He considered Halsey’s words and shook his head, “No, I haven’t, sir. I worry going down the command track would take my time and attention away from my counseling duties.”
Halsey thought for a moment, “I wouldn’t dismiss it out of hand as a long-term possibility. I was a chief medical officer until I started finding my way through the command ranks.” He stood, “You’ve still got much of your Starfleet career ahead of you, Lieutenant.” He extended his hand and shook Egrel’s, ‘You did good work on the bridge in my stead. I wanted to at least give you that encouragement face to face.” He turned and headed to the door. Before he left, he looked back to face Egrel, “Your future is not yet written, Mr. Choi. So much to live for and explore in the stars all around us. Don’t ignore the possibilities that exist out there for you. Have a good night.” He stepped through and out the door.
Egrel nodded slowly as he listened, “I’ll give it some thought, sir. Right now my priority is tending the the mental health of the crew. Perhaps if things settle down, I’ll consider it some more.” He stood as Halsey stood, returning his handshake, “Thank you, sir. I apprectiate it.” He watched the captain head towards the door and picked up his PADD once more, “I’ll take your words to heart, Captain.” His brow furrowed in thought as he took his seat once more as the doors closed behind Halsey’s departing figure.