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Part of USS Olympic: In The Quiet Moments

ITQM 002 – Something Old, Something Borrowed

Starbase 72 - USS Olympic
5.25.2401
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“I miss the Mercy, Leo.”  Theodora Walker-Halsey sat next to her husband, Captain Leopold Halsey, as they waited for their assigned representative from the USS Olympic to arrive.  Their short stint at Starfleet Academy hadn’t been bad.  They hadn’t had any complaints, but something was missing from the experience.  They’d both seized on the opportunity when openings had been posted for the Olympic. 

He understood.  Two months on the USS Mercy had left an indelible impact on both of them that had been hard to shake all these months later.  “There will never be another crew like her.”  He glanced sideways, “But we can’t stay stuck in our old memories, Theo.  We’ve got to make a new path and a new home for our future.”  She sighed but nodded quietly.  Theodora was half Human and half Vulcan.  She had grown up in a human household with little awareness of her other side.  In the last few years, she had begun to study her people’s ways and practice the foundational methods.  It hadn’t been easy.

“Captain Leopold Halsey?”  The young woman stood before them, a PADD in hand.  “I’m Ensign Alanna Barker, Yeoman.  I’m here to escort you to Captains Crawford and Dread.”  The two stood and followed her as she continued, “Both will interview you in one of our briefing rooms.  Our two Deputy Chief Medical Officers will also be in attendance.”  They rounded a corner and continued down the expansive hallways of Starbase 72, “There’s been plenty of conversations about your experiences in your first mission on the Mercy, Captain Halsey.”

Leo flashed back to the station and the Borg drone that had mutated into something more terrifying and dangerous.  “It was something I hope to never repeat in my lifetime, Ensign Barker.  The mission files certainly make for…interesting reading to outsiders.”

Her smile faltered.  In her excitement, she had forgotten he and his former crew had lived those harrowing moments.  “I’m sorry, sir…I didn’t…”

He waved away her apology, “No need to apologize, Yeoman.  I know the Olympic has been on plenty of adventures that would look and feel the same to me.”

 

She led them into a large briefing room with a long wooden table in the middle surrounded by chairs and officers already seated.  “Captain Leopold Halsey and Theodora Walker-Halsey.”  They sat opposite Crawford and Dread as Barker placed waters before them and returned to her station by the door.

Crawford greeted them both and welcomed them aboard.  “This interview is required given the nature of the positions we’re looking to fill.  Dr. Halsey, we’ll start with your questions.”  He gave a nod, and Peter continued, “You’re applying for the position of Chief Medical Officer.  You’ve been the CO of an Olympic Class starship yourself…how will you separate the CO part of you while serving aboard this ship?”

Leopold drummed his fingers on the table, “I don’t want the center seat anymore, Captain Crawford.  I served two months on the Mercy…, which was some of the hardest work I’ve done. The decisions we had to make…the choices we had to balance…it’s something I am proud of…but I have no wish to carry the weight of that chair into the future.”

Pete pressed further, “It’s important that we clarify that statement fully, Doctor.  You have no desire to return to the command track?”

Halsey felt the eyes of the current XO and Chief Medical Officer staring at him from across the table.  He’d done his share of reading on Dr. Dread. He replied, “I have no desire to return to the command track.”

Crawford returned to the list of routine questions and went through each of them, pressing Halsey on each with gentle assertiveness.  Thirty minutes later, he thanked the former CO for his answers.  “Now, Doctor Walker-Halsey.” Theodora glanced up, her focus returning after listening absent-mindedly to her husband’s questioning.  She gave a nod.

It was Dread’s turn, “Doctor, you’ve applied to the Head of Civilian Science Operations.  You shifted to that role on the Mercy when Grace Pottinger arrived to direct the crew to assist in dealing with an issue with an observational post.  Why haven’t you chosen to return to Starfleet?”

“My passion for Starfleet Science operations isn’t what it used to be, Captain.  I’ve found the civilian world far more free and open to ideas and discussions.  Getting a taste of the differences is hard to ignore.  And before you ask – I have no intention or desire to return to Starfleet.”  She caught a small smile from Dread.

Helena continued by questioning her published works and ongoing projects from the Mercy that had come with her to Starfleet Academy.  “What can we expect in partnership with your team on the Olympic?

Theodora clasped her hands together as she answered, “Full and complete, Captain.  As much as I do not wish to be a Starfleet Science officer, I recognize the importance of working together.  We cannot allow a separation to occur – this opens us both up to risks from those seeking to harm or supplant us.”  She winced at the memories of Frontier Day, still very fresh in her mind.

 

“We need a consistent hand over sickbay, Dr. Halsey,” Dread was walking him through the main hospital sickbay, Reid and Clemente following behind.  “My ability to handle the role of Executive Officer has been strained as we’ve stepped into more and more action.  We decided we needed someone.”

Leopold stopped, “Who else are you looking at for the position?”  He turned to the two Deputy Chiefs and back to Dread, “I wouldn’t be here for the interview if I didn’t believe I was the best choice.”

She smiled broadly, “They told me you didn’t dance much, Captain Halsey.  Dr. Reid and Dr. Clemente were not interested in the position.  There have been a few other applications.  You are the last interview, to be clear.  You wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe you were a strong choice for the position.”

He realized this was his chance to land that impression that would last.  “I’m at home on an Olympic class, Captain Dread.  My wife and I want to make the universe a better place.  There’s no better ship than the one that started it all.  My record speaks for itself.  I don’t have a ladder to climb or an admiral to impress.  It’s just me and Theodora.”

Dread listened to him and nodded as he spoke.  He was a simple man, she decided.  She motioned to Jordan Reid and Samuel Clemente to join them, “What do you think?”  She turned to watch Halsey.

Jordan read from her notes, “He’s thoughtful, patient, and straightforward.  You don’t want someone who talks the air out of the room.”

Samuel tapped his PADD, “He’s someone I would want to work for, Captain.”

Helena scanned the reports they had just sent her.  There wasn’t much question between the two about if they should bring him on.  Dread still had concerns about him and the center chair.  She’d pulled the reviews from his former crew, and it had been hard to ignore the common threads in their statements.  “I’m going to offer you the position conditionally.  You’ll have a probationary period of three months, upon which Captain Crawford and I will review your performance and make a final determination.”  Halsey gave her a nod of acceptance.  She extended her hand to his, “Welcome aboard the Olympic, Captain Halsey.  Follow me, and I’ll show you your office.”