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Innocence Lost

Posted on Thu Dec 16th, 2021 @ 3:15am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Petty Officer 2nd Class Sofia Cipriani
Edited on on Thu Dec 16th, 2021 @ 3:16am

2,081 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: Captain's Ready Room - Deck 1 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD001 0930 hrs

Tyler left command of the Bridge in the capable hands of Larim. There was not much to worry about as the ship glided out of warp and into impulse power. He stopped and stood in the middle of his Ready Room. Tyler savored the subtle bang of the warp nacelles as they dropped into normal flight positions. They had just entered the Trivas System and Upper Pylon 7 awaited, leave was approved and all was right with the world. And yet something still felt odd to Tyler. It was the changes. Kat had said that he feared change and he refused to believe her. However, with everything that happened now he feared that she was right and he knew that he would never hear the end of it.

"You know you do that all the time." Sofia said with a quip from behind the large plant that sat beside his desk. She was on the slight upper platform sifting through requests and the like. Where as this was a challenging time for the Captain, with all the transfers and such, it wasn't a piece of cake for the woman who had to be everyone's first port of call before anything got to him. "There's an indent on the floor where your feet are, look." she pointed as she took a small pen-like stylus from her mouth.

"I'm that predictable am I... well why don't you tell me what is on my schedule before I go on leave. Well more accurately put before you go on leave." Sofia's presence startled him out of his thoughts and revelry. He sat behind his desk and made his usual French press coffee. "You know you need to stop that or one day you will give me a heart attack." Tyler referenced Sofia's ability to hide in plain sight in his office. He held up the French press to offer her a cup.

"Well if you are scared of that I can certainly ask one of the doctors to give you a full physical? Maybe you could do some more cardio?" she teased back. "Plus it helps that I am not that noticeable... easy to blend in." she said declining a cup of coffee. "You know coffee makes me bounce off these walls like a rubber tribble." she smiled and moved towards him with a mass of PADDS.

"You have a few appointments to meet some of your new staff, most notably Lieutenant Rowena McGowen, she is your new Second Officer and Chief of Intelligence. There is also a marine whom will be coming on board to be the Chief of the Boat and First Sergeant of The Cure, Master Sergeant Lachlan Barr. Those are the two most important so far. Also not to forget now Major Tremble... I am sure he'd like to see you. Not every day you get a marine as your right hand." she said feeling a bit overshadowed now. She was the quiet power behind the throne.

"Yeah all of the new crew, and the promotions of the old crew. So many things are changing. Always knew that things would change around these parts. Just did not think it would be so soon..." Tyler sighed and ran his hand through his hair. "...But that is enough of that. I shouldn't be pouring out my woes. Tell me how you fair."

"Sir, if you didn't tell me all that worries you I'm pretty sure you'd be divorced by now." Sofia laughed. "And not everything changes, I'm not going anywhere." She smiled as she heard him as how she was.

"I'm okay." she answered simply. "Tired I think... it's been a busy few months."

"Indeed... When you got to the Academy you hear about the missions of Captains Kirk, Picard, Janeway and others. But you never think that you will end up in scenarios like the ones that they were in. You never think that you will save the galaxy or some such. Then you get pushed into it and have to live with your decisions. We are all in this together and have gone through all of the same things together. So how are all these things effecting you? Really..." Tyler sipped his coffee. He had been Sofia in what felt like a past life. The fresh faced newcomer who has to deal with all the events going on around them.

"It's not what I expected. I spent years looking up at the stars back in Turin, wanting to see what it was like and it's been a bit different from what I expected... being shot at, explosions and then being trapped in a turbolift and almost dying. Having my heart broken, trying to pick up pieces from that and my father passing away and me not being able to be there." she said as a small tear formed in her eyes. "Sometimes I feel like someone else is writing my life and are trying to find ways to break me." she half laughed.

"Don't we all..." Tyler began. The death of a parent always hits hard. Memories of his mother began to flood into Tyler's mind. "We have to dwell on the good things as well. I mean we are exploring the undiscovered country. We are bound to hit some resistance..." His voice trailed off as the idea of losing a parent fully took hold of Tyler and he embraced the young woman. It was an embrace of brotherly caring and shared experience. "I know what it's like to not be there for a parent."

Sofia began to sniffle a little as the memory of her father surfaced. She had been so far away, unable to do anything but call her mother and brothers over the comms. It wasn't fair at all but she knew Tyler was right.

His hug was warm and tight, she had definitely gained another protector in her life, another brother figure that she guessed she had been missing out here. "Sorry..." she began rubbing his chest slightly. "I might have cried on you a little bit."

"What is a uniform for if not to absorb tears..." Tyler began with a smile. "...Now on to happier things. I have already signed the papers granting everyone shore leave at the location of their choice. When it says everyone, it does mean everyone. So tell me what do you have planned since you won't be managing my life for me?"

"I don't think that's what the uniforms are for..." Sofia said smiling back at him. "I hadn't really thought about leave... might stick my nose in a good book. There there is Ga--" she stopped mid sentence as Gaagii came to the forefront of her mind. "I don't know yet." she shrugged. "What about you?"

"Time with the missus. We will most likely stay local to the station... I am going to let you in on a secret. This is official business and you cannot breathe a word to anyone. Kat is pregnant... I found out right before I left to get Lyie." He beamed with pride and excitement. Tyler had not been this excited since he first boarded the Pioneer.

"You're pregnant?!" she exclaimed with a small squeal before reigning herself in. "Well, not you, obviously... but that's amazing! A little baby Captain." she grinned. "It's nice when old people have babies." She said innocently, everyone over 30 was old to people her age.

Tyler cocked an eyebrow and feigned insult. "Old people... now listen here young lady." He laughed boisterously, glad to see Sofia smile and laugh as well after all the hard times. "Yeah, I just hope that Cardassian teacher we took on is up to the task when the time comes. Because if this kid is anything like its old man we are in for a lot of trouble."

"I've seen some grey, Captain. Just saying." she joked with him pointing at his hair. "Plus I think you have a few years before your baby starts causing any real trouble. At least until he can walk."

"Ohhh that reminds me I am going to have to have Elen make sure that little fingers cannot access the computer. So much to do to baby proof a starship..." Tyler sighed as his thoughts turned to another matter. "You know that once the kiddo is here things will get a little more hectic for Auntie Sofia as well."

"Yes, launching all torpedoes on their first birthday would be quite the faux pas." Sofia said as she watched Tyler's mind spin. "Auntie who?" She asked. "I literally have no idea what to do with myself let alone a tiny Human..."

"Don't make me make it an order... Auntie Sofia will have to babysit from time to time and learn how to take care of a tiny human." Tyler laughed even harder. "Managing your duty and your family life is part of command and you are here to learn all there is about command. I can think of no better way to learn that lesson."

"Would be easier trying to manage my own life first before that of something with 10 tiny fingers and 10 tiny toes..." she said trying to justify her resistance to the idea. "But you are my Captain, who am I to say no to you?" she asked rhetorically.

"Well then that sounds like you are having some sort of issue. So out with it. Then I can give you advice to make it all better." Tyler laughed and sipped his coffee.

"I've been seeing a marine." Sofia said simply. It wasn't to catch him off guard or anything but there wasn't really an easier way to say it. "He's a bit older, he can be quite guarded but I think that's just his way. Just feel a little out of my depth."

"If you are interested in someone who is guarded I would say to take it at the pace that they dictate. Perhaps just be there to be a friend and see where it goes from there. Then there is the society we live in and the idea that different cultures look at coupling differently and the sort." Tyler was already mentally running through the faces in Tremble's unit. He wondered exactly who Sofia had set her eyes on.

"I have been, we have been. I'm not pushy, and I go at my own pace too." she smiled. "We met in After 11, talked a bit and spent some time on the holodeck but we've been busy since. He is quiet, unlike most marines, or the idea of marines I have in my mind. Maybe I read too much."

Tyler smirked as it sounded to him like two people who were hesitant on where or how to proceed. "I will tell you this. Marines have less time on their hands than we do. So if this guy chose to spend some of what he had with you, that means something. As for what to do next... Perhaps ask him out. Show him a little of your world, it is always great to see how the other side lives sort of speak."

"I can promise you that being your assistant leaves little time on my hands too sir." Sofia joked a little. "But I mean, I can show him Italy. I've been a little homesick and started creating my village on the holodeck. I don't know whether it helps or not though..." she shrugged. "Be nice to walk the streets with someone."

"Well there you have it. The holodeck awaits, and I will make sure that all of the approvals are pushed through. Don't make me make it an order..." Tyler joked. He could tell that with all they had been through Sofia has lost some of that innocence that she had when she arrived on the Pioneer. She had become seasoned, and Tyler wondered if it were for the better. He hoped that a date would help her gain some of that wonder back.

Sofia went to open her mouth but no sound came out. In truth she knew he was right, she probably should take some time and just relax. "Then I suppose I will see where my leave takes me." she smiled softly.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer Third Class Sofia Cipriani
Yeoman, USS Pioneer


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