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The XO is a former Counselor?? (Backpost)

Posted on Wed Jun 26th, 2024 @ 7:20pm by Commander Eila Juutilainen 'Illu'

827 words; about a 4 minute read

Mission: The Search

Eila had received word that a new Chief Counselor had been assigned to Ermiana, and had requested to meet with Lieutenant Matthews at the new counselor's earliest convenience. Eila, with her background in Counseling before she went into Command, was very much looking forward to having a counselor around to bounce ideas off of, and she hoped that the new counselor would appreciate having a rather unusual sounding board.

Harper had been busy getting the counselling department back into some order after her quick promotion to acting department head. It was never nice to gain a position as a result of someone passing but she understood the need for stability, especially in the role she played on board.

A notification on her screen told her of an impending visit from the XO, a former counsellor. Harper had spoken to her in passing since joining the ship but this would be a more structured, somewhat formal conversation... or maybe she just wanted a chat.

When Eila had received a response from Harper on when she was available, the first officer made her way down to the counselor's office and pressed the chime, waiting to be let in.

A small light flashed indicating someone was at the door. Oddly Harper felt like it was going to be the XO and let the doors open to reveal a rather short woman in red.

The doors swooshed open, and in strode Eila. Though she wore a command red uniform and had three pips on her collar, the first officer had a rather relaxed energy. Though, stepping into the chief counselor's office caused a wave of nostalgia to wash over Eila, knowing that this had only recently been where she was in her career. However, she didn't allow it to show as she strode up to Lieutenant Matthews.

"Lieutenant Matthews." She greeted, extending a hand for the counselor. "I'm Commander Juutilainen; first officer." In a way, it still felt weird for her to say that: "How are you finding your new office?"

Harper smiled. "Hi Commander, it is nice to meet you in our own little world." she said taking the woman's hand and with a firm grip gave it a shake as she looked around the office. "It still feels like Commander Maxwell's if I am honest ma'am." she said quite solemnly. "I'm trying to make it mine but I still feel he's looking over my shoulder."

"I understand completely." Eila said, looking around. "You know, not too long ago, this space would have been my office: But, I traded this in for the chair on the bridge next to the captain."

"Oh I don't envy you that chair." Harper chuckled. "I'm quite happy on the other side when the Captain needs me, but come in, please." she guided the woman in further. "Have a seat, would you like a drink? I always keep a pot of tea warm." Harper's smile warm, and one that would light up any room.

"I'm more of a coffee gal, but if tea's what's available, I'll drink that." Eila responded.

Harper poured a cup of tea. "I try and steer away from caffeine in here." she chuckled softly. "A stimulant can be the least helpful thing when someone's emotions are fluctuating." she placed a cup and saucer in front of the XO. "How are you finding being first officer?" she asked.

"It's still a bit surreal, if I'm being honest." Eila admitted. "I mean, up until recently, I was content with being where you are currently, and I've certainly had to reconsider my priorities..."

Harper nodded. "I guess when you look at it your job hasn't changed. In a sense you're still a counsellor but instead of the mental health of the people that come to see you, you're now looking after their whole safety and wellbeing of the entire crew without them having to bend your ear or pay you a visit. Although, you wouldn't be there as first officer if you didn't merit it and worked hard to get there."

"I suppose when you put it that way, it makes a bit more sense." Eila agreed. "But still, you'd think Counseling would be down on the list of departments to promote Command officers from: You have Security, Engineering, Science even, it seems like Commanders who come up through Medical or Counseling are a lot rarer."

=A="Ops to Juutilainen:"=A= Eila's combadge suddenly chirped. =A="We have a situation in cargo bay 7 that needs your immediate attention:"=A=

Eila tapped her combadge.

=A="Understood. I'm on my way."=A= She responded before turning back to Harper. "Well, it looks like duty calls. But I'll be around if you need any assistance getting situated or guidance as a counselor."

With a wink, Eila then pivoted on one heel and made her way out of the Chief Counselor's office.

Posting by

Commander Eila Juutilainen
Executive Officer

Lieutenant Harper Matthews
Chief Counselor


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