Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

The Search Part IV
Episode 11 - Family Matters
Stardate 73834.3
MD004 2200 hrs

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Starfleet Stands On Ceremony...

Posted on Fri Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 8:00pm by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Commander Katherine Malbrooke & Lieutenant Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD & Lieutenant Commander Larim Myles & Lieutenant Commander Vaebn tr'Hwersuil & Lieutenant Amelia Zano Psy.D. & Lieutenant Commander Hermia O'Rourke MD & Lieutenant Elloma Essu & Captain Cornelius Tremble & Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster & Lieutenant Lwaxana Myles & Lieutenant Junior Grade Clarissa Rockwell & Chloe de la Vega
Edited on on Fri Jun 22nd, 2018 @ 8:27pm

Mission: Episode 3 - Weary Travellers
Location: After 11 - USS Pioneer Deck 11
Timeline: MD002 2030 hrs
3371 words - 7 OF Standard Post Measure

Last Time On the USS Pioneer:
The crew was being dismissed for a brief shore leave at Empok Nor. However, before the leave could begin Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster visits the ship for an inspection. The Pioneer rolls out the red carpet for him complete with a dinner and party at "After 11".
And Now The Conclusion

Darf always struggled with the fit of most clothing. Even though the replicators could make stuff in custom dimensions they never fit well. This was especially true with his dress uniform. It was stiff and just unpleasant to wear. On top of that Darf was not one to enjoy pomp and circumstance so tonight was a whole mess of suck for him as he mingled around like a bull in a china shop.

Rissie remembered her Starfleet instructor saying that parties were a daily part of life, and tonight really felt like one of those nights. She was at another party again. It seemed to be the favorite past time of the USS Pioneer. She liked partying, but not typically with the brass, she wanted to unwind and be free, however she had to be all proper and sip on drinks, and be all respectable.

Rissie hated the idea of the party, but it did not stop her from attending. Starfleet stood on principles, and she was no different. If there was a formal party, or a social interaction she was expected to go to. She would be there.

"Hello Commander, do not believe we have had the pleasure of meeting. I am Ensign Clarissa Rockwell, one of the engineers on this fine vessel." She said, reaching out to shake Darf's hand. She made sure she gave a firm handshake.

Her smaller hand fit in Darfs' as they greeted. "Pleasure to meet you. I am Darf Krachden, Executive Officer. You clean up well." He paid the compliment.

"Why thank you sir." She simply said with a grin on her face. "Glad we finally have a first officer aboard, Captain Malbrooke is great, but it has been a little while since we had a first officer. Glad you took the position sir." Said Rissie, as she let go of his hand.

Elloma made her way into After 11 Lounge. She walked in quietly, this time wearing her dress uniform, since Admiral Lancaster was aboard the ship. She noticed Rissie talking with the first officer, so she decided to leave her alone, and walked over to the window in the room. She took one of the hors d'oeuvres, and took a small bite from it.

Taking the bite, flashed her thoughts back. She remembered being a little girl, thinking back to the time when she was a child growing up, and being at one of the socialite parties. She hated them. A bunch of egomaniacs pretending to be nice to each other, and stabbing each other in the back with their vicious words.

Richard smiled as he made his way towards the beverage table. He drew in a deep breath as he absently adjusted the tunic of his dress uniform. He felt out of place and certainly not at home among the upper echelon of Starfleet. He shook his head and chuckled. Even meeting the Azzian Emperor hadn't been quite so nerve-racking as dining with an Admiral.

Chloe had been refilling the drinks table as a handsome gentleman in fancy blue Starfleet attire approached. He looked slightly as if he felt out of place and she walked over, her red lacey dress fluttering by her thighs. "Penny for your thoughts?" She asked with a warm smile.

Richard offered the woman a broad smile, "not too comfortable at these things." "Now that they let me come I don't know what to do with myself."

"Just look pretty and supply them with alcohol. That's what I do!" she laughed. "Although I bet you have a great position on the ship, you carry yourself as someone who is at least comfortable on what you do."

"I'm the Chief Medical Officer." Richard smiled at the woman and shook his head, "looking pretty should be easy enough for you."

"Oh Doctor you make a girl blush." Chloe replied pretending to can herself. "But I thought as much, you have nice hands... it was either a doctor or a dentist or something." She added.

Richard chuckled, "so it's the hands that give it away?" He shook his head, "I'll have to try and not be so predictable."

"Maybe gloves?" she joked. "But I wouldn't say that gives you away... I can see good souls in people, too many times have I seen that bad." she turned away and then back with a smile.

The man chuckled and gave her a nod, "I suppose I should give this mingling thing another shot." "You never know, I might actually get good at it."

Chloe laughed softly in return. "Si, go mingle. Best get your practice in for next time. She mused. It was a nice little chat but she had to go refill peoples glasses and make sure the function was still running as planned.

Hermia made her way to the main area of After 11, the tables and chairs had been moved to the sides of the room and a podium in front of the main windows.

The Medical officer wasn't one for formal functions, she was just a country doctor and more at ease in Sickbay or a battlefield. Polite small talk wasn't something she was trained for.

Vaebn paused outside the doors to After 11, brushed off the shoulders of his dress uniform and ran his hand briefly across a number of gold and silver honors that adorned the deep green and gold sash that he wore over the uniform. It was rare that he wore his Starfleet dress uniform, and felt it only appropriate that he should add his Romulan honors tonight. As the Commander received his promotion, he should be shown the full quality of his command staff. Maybe it was a bit vain, but Vaebn didn't care. He served his time twice over; and just this once, he would indulge himself and let his past mingle with the present. Before stepping through the doors, he straightened the sash and took a deep breath, and stepped into the room.

The doors slid open to reveal the event in full swing and rather lively, but it seemed that he hadn't yet missed the main event. His stoicism would be at its greatest test tonight, but, as his adopted home was known to say, 'The night is still young.' He scanned the room, as he entered, and saw some familiar faces, and many others who were unknown. Vaebn slid effortlessly through the crowd to the bar in hopes of finding something to take the edge off of the night, as a young crewman stepped up to the podium.

As everyone mingled and enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres, drinks and general bond that came with serving together, time flew by. At the appointed time a crewman in command red stood next to a podium and sounded a bosun's whistle in order to get everyone's attention. The image was at least to Tyler's eyes something from a story. The lone crewman stood next to a podium with his back to the windows. The architecture of the Cardassian station, and the USS Juno docked in the opposite pylon beyond. This is the business we've chosen. Tyler thought as the whistle sounded.

"Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster the USS Pioneer welcomes you." The young crewman bellowed while he stood next to a podium.

"Thank you." Oliver said as he stepped onto the podium, tugging his tunic down slightly "I'm a man of very few words."

He stood there for a moment, waiting for the quip to sink in. He waited. And waited. Finally, he spoke again.

"I'm sorry, did I leave that too long?" He asked "I can never tell with that joke. Too short and it's pointless, too long and it's just awkward and I'm rambling. Sorry about that.".

Tyler smiled "My apologies sir, occasionally sarcasm is lost on this lot. Well everyone except Chloe." There was a rumble of chuckles from the crowd after the comment.

Heidy smiled and broke into a small chuckle, at least this Flag Officer wasn't quite so dry and dull as some she'd had to endure, maybe the speeches will also be short and the awards and or promotions.

Elloma looked over at Heidy and wondered why she had a slight chuckle. She was a very curious person."What's amusing, Petty Officer?" Asked Elloma, not understanding human emotions, as well as she probably should.

"Does it really matter Elle, the petty officer found something amusing. No reason to ask about it." Suggested Rissie, trying to save her friend from an awkward encounter. Rissie noticed that she was still bailing out Elle from awkward situations.

Heidy turned a little and stepped to them, to keep her voice just above a whisper and still be heard. "The Brass tried a play on words, sort of, the Boss tried to bail him when it didn't quite work, which gave them a double act quality, a bad one but at least they were trying. This run of speeches might not be as dry as some we've had to put up with." She finished with a shrug and a tentative glance around.

"I see, but he is the Admiral, on my planet most leaders only care about their own ego's and political movement. We learn long ago as kids, to take things at face value, try not to look to closely. It will only hurt our brains." She suggested. "I prefer direct orders, and clear messages myself." She finished her train of thought.

"That's a fair viewpoint, and to be fair if Mister Brass gave you or any of us an order it would be very clear." Heidy responded with a slight shrug to begin with. "It goes back to the starfleet value of diversity and acceptance, to some officers the way they lead is as important as the leadership position itself."

"Humans, typically care how most of us perceive them. Our cultural claims to be above it, but deep down it's true. We care more about the perception of ourselves, then the reality of who we are." Suggested Rissie, realizing they were going to have this conversation.

"Exactly some appear to feel that if they are seen as approachable and one of us, when it comes time for decisive action and orders, we'll more readily follow." A quick glance towards the podium. "That said as approachable as he may seem, we'd better pick this up later, he won't like us talking under his speech."

"Thank you for the clarification." Said Elloma, finding it insightful to get a small glimpse into way the way humans think. There was still a lot she was trying to learn.

Rissie noticed grabbed Elloma, and the two walked off. Rissie was trying to do her best, to keep Elloma and the captain apart. She could sense the strong attraction that her friend had for the captain.

Standing off to one side, doing his imitation of a wall flower, Neil finally was able to put a finger on why he was feeling awkward. This was a ceremonial occasion wrapped into a party and in his ordered mind, the two didn't mesh. It was hard, at least for him to push away rank. Especially now that he was wearing the dreaded butter bar. Fleet types seemed able to overlook or disregard rank as it amused them. Sighing, the marine finished the glass in his hand and went looking for a refill.

"Now, let me continue." Oliver said "When I first got offered a promotion to Admiral... Well, actually, it was meant to keep me out of trouble. I've got a knack for getting into that, you see. Those amongst you who eventually pursue your own commands will quickly realise it's unavoidable. However, one of the great things about being an Admiral, one of the really great things about it, I mean, is that I get to do really cool stuff like this. It is with great pride that I hereby award Commander Tyler Malbrooke, for his exemplary service in the role of Commanding Officer, with a promotion to the rank of Captain, with all the rights and privileges of that rank. May whatever god you may believe in have mercy on your soul, Captain Malbrooke. And on these poor people for having to deal with you!"

Tyler was surprised, he truly had not suspected to receive a promotion during the Admiral's visit. He strode up to the podium and shook the Admiral's hand as he took the wooden box containing that fourth pip. "Thank you Admiral. This is without a doubt a surprise and an honor. As to this motley crew this pip will indeed be the heaviest one."

Not being really involved in the conversation was somewhat freeing, yet typical for Joran Thal. He sat at the opposite end of the table from the brass and listened politely. As the captain was awarded his promotion, Joran reached into his pocket and pulled out a smoke, placing it gently in his mouth before lighting it up. He had seen plenty of promotions and this one seemed to be going just as expected. More rank meant more responsibilities but also more power and influence. Hopefully that would serve the ship well in future endeavors. He took a long drag and let the harmless vapor escape into the room.

As Tyler stood there letting the applause die down he looked around the room at all the faces. He was happy to see that his Intel Chief had come. Tyler gave him a nod acknowledging his presence. He knew in that moment as he looked around that these people, these smiling faces were his to keep safe. They were his family now. He also wondered how many of them would be disappearing over the next years. When the applause died down fully he began to speak again. "I want to thank each and every one of you, for every Captain is only as good as those who willingly serve under him. Admiral I thank you for the faith and trust and perhaps most of all the guidance. I will not let you down."

"My pleasure." Oliver said with a smile "Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be over by the whiskey. It's not often I can actually let loose at a party!"

Richard nodded his consent and drew in a deep breath. He knew that practice was the only thing that was going to make a difference in his social skills but where to start, who should he speak to? taking in another deep breath he shook his head, "practice."

Tyler took the wooden box from the podium and stepped into the crowd. He felt it was time to mingle for a bit. But first he went over to the bar and handed his wife the new pip. "Care to do the honors?"

Kat took a sip of her drink and turned to her husband smiling. "It is the reason that I helped you pass those courses in the Academy all those years ago." She laughed as she affixed the pip to Tyler's collar. She then planted a big kiss on him. "Congratulations, sir."

Larim applauded. His Captain was now actually a Captain. "Its about time." he said to no one in particular. Lax leaned in close to him.

"It'll be you someday." She pecked him on the cheek. Larim blushed. Lax giggled. She knew how to push his buttons. "What do you say we pay our respects." she said.

"Excellent idea Mrs Myles." he smiled. And with that the couple walked over just as Kat had finished. "Congratulations, sir." Larim said

Vaebn ordered a drink from the closest bartender; a full-bodied spirit from Andoria, and savored his first sip. Again straightening his uniform and shoulder plait, he walked over to where a small crowd was gathering around the Captain, to give his congratulations. As he approached, the crowd shifted slightly allowing his just enough space to slip in behind the Captain and his wife.

"Excuse me sir." he said with a very formal tone.

"Thanks Larim but I meant what I said one could only get as far as his crew would let him." Tyler heard the voice of his science officer behind him and turned to greet him. "Vaebn glad to see you could join us." He said smiling, for moment Tyler thought to clap the man on his shoulder but remembered the Romulan distaste for being touched.

Vaebn held out his hand, "Congratulations sir. I believe you have more than earned this." Malbrooke grasped his hand and shook. Vaebn released the gesture and held up his glass to the surrounding group. "A toast, to our continued journey, with a solid Captain at our head."

"Thank you Vaebn. You have been an invaluable addition to this crew." Tyler said with a smile as he raised his glass to the sounds of "Here, Here" and "Three cheers for the Captain" which rose from various points in the room.

Vaebn raised his glass slightly at the compliment and inclined his head in respect at the Captain. He raised the glass again, this time to his lips and drained it. "If you will excuse me Captain, I believe I may need to refill this. As you say, the night is young."

Tyler laughed "Quite young Vaebn, and I believe Chloe has a bottle of the good stuff from your home." He said showing the blue liquid in his glass.

After all that the Pioneer had been through, Tyler thought that it was nice to see the crew enjoying themselves. This is what fleet life was about. He smiled as he headed for the bar with Vaebn. Now was the perfect time to get to know the Romulan. The music cued up as did the laughter, the Pioneer was going to rock tonight.

A Joint Post By

Rear Admiral Oliver Lancaster
Commanding Officer, TF 47 Obsidian Fleet

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Darf Krakden
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Richard Ballston M.D. PsyD
Chief Medical Officer/Second Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Katherine Malbrooke
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer, Empok Nor
PNPC Malbrooke

Lieutenant Hermia O'Rourke
Assistant Chief Medical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Larim Myles
Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Lwaxana Myles
Engineering Officer, Empok Nor
PNPC Myles

Lieutenant Vaebn tr'Hwersuil
Chief Science Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Amelia Zano PsyD
Chief Counselor, USS Pioneer

Ensign Elloma Essu
Assistant Chief Security/Tactical Officer, USS Pioneer

Ensign Clarissa Rockwell
Engineering Officer, USS Pioneer

Second Lieutenant Cornelius Tremble
Marine Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Warrant Officer Joran Thal
Chief Intelligence Officer, USS Pioneer

Petty Officer Second Class Heidy Dilucca
Brig Officer, USS Pioneer

Chloe de la Vega
Owner "After 11", USS Pioneer


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