It only made sense to introduce myself to everyone I’d be spending the next chapter of my life with. Even if it was nothing more than exchanging names and pleasantries, I’m the first officer and it makes sense for everyone to be familiar with me. That said, I’m younger than quite a few members of the crew, so I do wonder how they feel about accepting orders from what in their eyes might be a ‘newbie’. No point in trying to explain myself to them – I’ll let my actions speak for themselves. Last time I poked my head through the doorway of the sickbay it was just an empty shell of a place. Approaching it now I hear boxes being opened and metal clattering on what sounded like shelves. The least I could do was go in and offer some help.

‘Who is it?’

The hooded figure doesn’t turn around to greet me, but I respond all the same.

‘I’m Simon, Simon Everett. I’ll be serving as the first officer for the duration of this mission… and you are?’

Either my name or my rank has piqued his interest, as he turns around to face me. I see a rather tall bearded man with an eye patch, and a rather oversized hood framing his head. The scar tissue around his eye patch is very well pronounced – and it only gets worse the closer you trace it back to the eye. He’s either been in one too many fights, or the war hit him hard.

‘Simon, ah! So you’re Nolan’s boy. Yes?’ ‘That’s me.’

I wonder if he’s forgotten whether I asked him the same question he asked me. I decide to repeat myself.

‘So who are you?’ ‘Rasheed. I’ll be serving as the physician on-board the ship. A pleasure to meet you, Nolan’s told me quite a bit about you.’ ‘Nothing bad I hope!’ ‘Does graduating from the Academy with full honours count as bad? If so I’d be quite interested to see what qualifies as ‘good’.’ We share a short chuckle, and Rasheed has an altogether more relaxed demeanour as a result, his nonchalant expression has turned into a wry smile, so I’ll take this as a sign that he’s warming to me.

<CHOICE: Ask about relationship with Nolan / Ask about Rasheed’s previous experience>

<Ask about relationship with Nolan> ‘Well, since you know so much about me – how do you know my Father?’ ‘Has he told you of his mission to Ortega III?’ ‘Something about a smugglers outpost? It’s been a long time since.’ ‘Well, on that mission I was also serving as the physician. After he’d dealt with the smugglers he came back with half an ear, and a broken ribcage. We bonded whilst I fixed him up, and since then he hasn’t been able to leave me alone!’ He laughs heartily, his one eye closed.It’s interesting to know how those that had met my father came to know him. Images pop up in my head of Rasheed and my father sharing tales of their youth whilst Rasheed patches him up.

<Ask about Rasheed’s previous experience> ‘Indulge me, how many missions have you served on as a physician?’ ‘Worried that something may arise that I am incapable to deal with? Don’t worry, Simon. I’ve seen more or less everything there is to see.’ ‘Such as?’ ‘I think it’s best we leave my war stories for a time where I’m not so busy, eh?’

<CHOICE: Press the point / Leave it alone>

<Press the point> ‘I’m interested, surely unpacking boxes can wait a couple of minutes?’ ‘I tell you what, you leave me to get this stuff sorted and checked, and I’ll come and find you later to bore you with my history.’

<Leave it alone> ‘Fair enough. Another day then?’ ‘Perhaps.’ <CHOICES END>

Noticing the boxes strewn across the room, I gesture toward them.

‘Need help with these?’ ‘I’d say yes but you’d likely put something in the wrong place, and I can be a bit of a maniac when things aren’t in their correct places. If you really want to help, find me the box labelled ‘antidotes’. The joker I asked to move the boxes in here probably left it behind, so feel free to bring it by if you happen to run into it.’ ‘I’ll let you know if I see it.’ ‘Good, good. For now, I’ll have to say we’ll talk later, I’ve got a lot of boxes to sort through and some research to do.’ ‘See you around, Rasheed.’ ‘Likewise.’

I walk out of the room, opting to leave the door open. Rasheed seems nice enough, I expected more of a cold, calculating person from the eye patch and the thick beard. Judging a book by its cover I guess.

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