“She didn’t say much.” The Mackenzie’s assistant chief medical officer leaned on a biobed while his charge nurse, Hiro stood beside him, reading through her PADD on the senior staff changes. Most of the Mackenzie crew had put in for transfers. Hiro listened to her sensei’s response to her query about their former chief, Jordan Reid.
“It says here she has resigned her position and rank…and does not intend to return, Doctor Longfellow.” Asato Hiro wasn’t sure what was happening. The loss of their captain was a shared grief, and others carried the burden harder than others. She had rarely met him and found herself exceedingly distant from the senior staff. Her sensei’s attitude since coming aboard hadn’t helped matters. They were tied together by history. She was one of the few friends he had left in the universe. The truth was she believed her destiny was tied to him, and since stepping aboard Mackenzie with him, she had been convinced further. She wasn’t sure what that destiny was in the end or how long or short her life would be in the company of Henry Longfellow. All she knew was their bond had grown stronger. She wasn’t going to be letting go of him anytime soon.
Henry examined the ceiling, a myriad of feelings battling around inside him. Whoever they found to replace Doctor Reid would require time to get used to – almost a shakedown cruise of sickbay was just over the horizon. He wasn’t looking forward to any of it. “At least they’re letting us stay here. I didn’t want to become the stray doctor that wandered from place to place.” Hiro moved to respond but turned as the main door to sickbay slid open, and an energetic middle-aged woman in captain pips strode in, searching the room and settling on the two of them.
She made her way over and extended her hand to each, “Captain Wren Walton, new CO of the Mackenzie.” Longfellow returned the favor, and Hiro did the same as they shook her hand. “Neither of you put in for a transfer.” She eyed them both, dispensing with subtly.
Hiro answered, “We…did not know Captain Harris very well, and our arrival onboard was late.”
Wren looked to Longfellow, who gave a resigned nod. “Doctor Reid recruited us.”
“And she’s resigned her position and rank, leaving you….”
Henry sighed and finished the thought, “Wondering who they were going to find to replace her.”
The new captain grinned wide, “Well, never you mind that, Doctor Longfellow. I wandered on down here to offer you the gig. You’ve been a chief before and figured you’d fit in those boots again.”
Hiro turned, a small smile on her lips, and she frowned at her mentor’s reaction. He did not appear thrilled. “You read my file? You sure this is the best thing?”
Wren regarded him silently for a moment, almost taking him in for the second time since she’d walked into the room. “Doctor Reid chose you for a reason, Lieutenant. Reading her files, her logs, and everything she left behind – she was intentional in many of the things she did around here. Getting you in the door was a big part of her priority list. You’re supposed to be here, Doctor Longfellow. I’m confident you’re the man for the job.” She leaned over to Hiro, “You two were a package deal. She left instructions not to break you two apart. I need a sickbay I can trust and lean on when the time comes. It’s your house now, Doctor. Make it your own.”
She left sickbay, and Hiro turned to her sensei, who wasn’t sure what to say about what Captain Walton had said. Were they right? Did he belong here? Was this his new home? He pushed off the biobed, “Well, let’s get to work.”