Vasilis smiled as the newest captain entered the room. That Galen was young, there was no doubt. Perhaps Adrien was right and he was too young to be a captain, but in their trying circumstances they couldn’t afford to pass over anyone with the needed skills.

So he smiled at the boy. While Adrien scowled almost menacingly; while Cleta looked on anxiously; while almost a dozen different, distressed looks crossed the faces of his colleagues, Vasilis smiled.

No doubt, his colleagues thought he was daft. He was forgetful, of that there was no doubt. If it weren’t for Kyriakos, he’d forget his captain’s cape at their barracks every day. He’d lose important documents or not fill them out in time. However, propriety and documents were of secondary importance to Vasilis and his lieutenant knew this. The most important thing to the often flaky captain was the happiness of those around him.

Galen looked so frightened, so lost that Vasilis knew that he needed a smile. “Welcome,” he said without hesitation. “I look forward to serving with you as a fellow captain.”

“Thank… thank you,” came the soft reply. It was followed by a hesitant smile. The boy would be fine, Vasilis was sure. He just needed to learn some things.