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Hope And Fear Cannot Occupy The Same Space

Posted on Thu Jun 11th, 2020 @ 12:06am by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Petty Officer 3rd Class Sofia Cipriani
Edited on on Thu Jun 11th, 2020 @ 1:06am

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Captain's Ready Room - Deck 1 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD003 1230 hrs

The service of Wakefield had ended but it was still fresh in the minds of the crew. She had stood by the Captain's side, or off to the side, during the service and had noticed his demeanor throughout. Naturally, it was a sad occasion so it was obvious he was hurting from the loss as many others would have been that knew her well.

Now he sat on the couches by the window in his ready room, staring out into the void as the stars streaked by. Bringing him a cup of coffee, always something that cheered him up, she sat next to him softly and smiled. "Here you go sir. You look like you need it."

Sofia had formed a connection with the Captain, he insisted on Tyler but she had not the courage to do so yet, and he felt like a father to her in many ways. She was without a father of her own and now latched onto him a little more for advice and things like that but their bond was doing nothing but strengthening.

Tyler was lost in thought. Lost in a sea of thought would be more accurate. He stared out at the stars and wondered where he went wrong with Dana. Was he really worthy of the rank Captain? What of the Pioneer? A family? Those and so many other questions were awash in his head. However, the sound of Sofia's voice brought him to the here and now. He smiled a bit weakly at her as he took the coffee. "Is it that obvious? Thanks Sof..."

His voice trailed off as Tyler turned to a new thought. His Yeoman, Sofia was the daughter he had not had yet. He knew that her injury had hit her hard and the recovery was a bit strenuous. "How is the wound healing?"

"Only to me sir." Sofia said softly when he asked about how he appeared to the outside world. The question about her injury made her smile a little, she knew he cared but still it was nice that he asked.

"Almost there Captain, thank you." She replied. "Physically I am still a bit sensitive around where I was injured but it is more mentally that I need to recover." Sofia turned and sat on the edge of the sofa, for a moment she went back to the turbolift… somewhere she struggles to use now.

"You know I had a chat with Makeba about what happened. Moreover, it is not often when a hardened Maquis compliments a fresh faced crewman. She said that you were exemplary. Of course, I am not surprised by that in the slightest. However, I wanted to make sure that you were okay mentally. Not still shaken up are you?" Tyler was glad for the company; it seemed that lately things had grown distant between the crew and himself. Tallida told him that it was the crew coming to terms with all that has happened.

Quickly she snapped back at the mention of Makeba. "She is a scary woman." Sofia admitted. "But I am glad we both made it out. I don't know if I would have if I had been in there myself." she once again thought of that enclosed space, the dark, the feelings of life draining... and she hated small spaces anyway. Her hand began to tremble but she noticed quickly and cupped it in the other to stop it. "I will get there." she gave a small smile. "But you know you can talk to me sir. I see things behind your eyes that trouble you... and you've developed a new worry line that is very unbecoming of a wonderful, confident Captain such as yourself." she tried to make him feel better. This was all true; at least she believed it and that made it so.

Tyler exhaled heavily. "You know I am trying to wrestle with the why. Why are we being flung halfway across the galaxy now? Why is Starfleet pulling its assets closer to home? It is almost as if they completely gave up on exploration. To make matters worse I wrestle with the idea of the Pioneer being a familial home. Is it the right place to raise a family...?” His voice trailed off as he realized that he unloaded on the poor girl. Tyler really did not know why he let loose, he usually only spoke this way to his wife. Yet here Sofia was just listening. "...Is this really the fleet that I want to be in?"

Sofia blinked at him for a moment, unsure as to how long she may actually have stared at him after the verbal barrage that had just occurred. She crinkled her nose a little before looking at him a little softer. "The Pioneer will always be a familial ship sir, in some way even if children aren't on board. You make us feel like family and we fight for each other as if we were brother/sister, father/daughter." she paused for a moment but then continued. "We cannot disregard an order given, but I know you know that. So instead of thinking that Starfleet has given up on physical exploration maybe think of it as a different type. Sometimes someone, or an entity like Starfleet, needs time to sit back and explore itself. Things haven't been the same since Mars attacks, the failed Romulan evacuation but I am still a believer in the ideals of what we are, what we do. I have to be or this means nothing." she said as she wobbled her combadge at him.

Tyler's visage softened, she spoke well, with the innocence of youth perhaps, but well. There was one specific reason that Tyler chose Sofia Cipriani above all the other applicants as his Yeoman, that reason was her ideals. She was an idealist, like he was, as Kat was and like he hoped his crew was. "Perhaps you are right, although something in the pit of my stomach tells me that there is something else going on here. In regards to the family you are right, we are family, and we are Pioneers." He smiled she had genuinely cheered him up somewhat.

Sofia smiled at his response. "Well you are more 'experienced' in life than myself sir." She grinned helplessly. She liked to tease him about his age, he usually responded well to it and she thought it had become a thing with them behind closed doors. She would never do it in front of company. "I still believe in my heart that Starfleet is about hope, sometimes you need to discover the hope you might have lost. Sometimes we lose some ground to make up more in the longer run." She paused for a moment. "With you here sir, I know we are in the best hands possible."

He looked her with a smirk. “I am not that old, more experienced yes but never old.” Tyler appreciated the vote of confidence, and he wondered if she were just telling him what he wanted to hear. "Tell me Sof all ranks aside. What do you hope for? What do you want out of this life we call Starfleet?"

"I think just what you said sir. Hope." Sofia replied. She knew she sounded cliché, or corny, or whatever terminology you wanted to use.

"What I want out of life is to give people that don't have hope the hope that we have and see in each other. I want worlds to look at us as a shining light in the sky that helps those in need. In a galaxy that is shrouded in darkness, full of secrets and dangers we are those that stand with the light, the way forward and the hope that we can make a difference in even the smallest corner. I hope for family, friends and the love of those I care for. Hope is the easiest thing to have when you dream for better. It can be the easiest thing to lose when you feel there is nothing left. I want to be that hope for people, the one that picks them up and shows them life can be better, we can be better but only if we choose the right path. The path of Hope sir. That's what I want."

"It's a tall order to fill, but it is one that I think we can handle. You know it is I who should be giving you the pep talk." Tyler said with a broad smile. He knew that she was right. They had to be the light in the darkest of places. "You keep talking like that and we may have to send you back to the Academy. The fleet could use some good officers like you."

Sofia smiled; it was nice to hear such admiration from Tyler. "I appreciate the sentiment sir, but there is no chance you'll send me anywhere. We both know that." She finished with a small laugh. "Now look over these requisitions."

As he took, the PADDs from her Tyler thought about something his mother once told him. "Always look to the women around you with hope, for they above all will show it to you." He always thought it was something cryptic that she said. Nevertheless, now with Sofia and Kat at his side Tyler realized what his mother meant all those years ago. He gave Sofia a mock salute. "Yes ma'am..."

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Crewman Sofia Cipriani
Yeoman, USS Pioneer


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