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A Western Welcome

Posted on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 @ 2:25am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Lieutenant Commander Katherine Malbrooke
Edited on on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 @ 2:42am

1,659 words; about a 8 minute read

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Holodeck 2 - Deck 5 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD005 1400 hrs

Nazia had managed to get her brother back to their quarters with plans to shake him off her trail.; she wanted to explore on her own for a time. She'd heard about a holodeck program which was running for the crew which involved some human town environment from the past. After doing a bit of research, she decided it sounded like a fun thing to do. She replicated a frilly white blouse and a flowing black skirt and slipped them on over her fit frame. She'd never worn anything quite like it and she stared in the mirror for a while trying to determine if it looked the way it should.She put on long black boots and crept out of her quarters unnoticed to made her way to the holodeck.

She passed through the portal onto a dusty road. Immediately, she was shocked by how dry the air was. Looking left and right, her blue eyes fell on old wooden buildings and people milling about looking much like herself. Giving a very slight smile, she moved in the direction of what seemed like the hub of activity, a building with swinging doors and a series a big white letters on it which read "Saloon".

Tyler finally had some time away from the bridge. The ship was at warp and the crew was allowed to relax and enjoy the ship. It was business as usual. So Tyler decided to take advantage of the time by entering the old west program that Larim designed. This time he took Kat with him. The two were in costume and leaning up against the bar at the saloon. The hat that belonged to Tyler's Dad sat on the bar. The music played and all seemed right for a change. "You little missy are a sight for sore eyes. A guy can get used to this."

Kat grinned. "Flattery like that will turn a girl's head, Cowboy."

"Care to hit the trail little filly." Tyler replied as he pulled her onto his lap and sat on a bar stool. With his free hand he took a shot of whiskey.

Kat just laughed. She liked Tyler in this mood. To be honest, she liked him in any mood, but her cowboy was one of her favorites.

Nazia entered through the flapping doors, her eyes lingering on the as she walked through. She remarked within herself about how strange it seemed, and then turned her eyes to the inhabitants of the rustic room. She had no real hope she would see anyone she recognized, but decided it was a good idea anyway. After a cursory glance, she saw no one she knew; she didn't even notice the Captain and the woman he was standing near.

She walked over to the bar, her black skirt moving along the floor behind her and billowing out with her legs. Looking up at the bartender, she parted her lips.

"Could I have a glass of water, please?"

The barkeep cocked an eyebrow at the request. "I am sorry miss but if you want water you have to go out to the trough, or the well. I have a weak whiskey I can offer you, but that is about it." He tilted his head as he waited for her answer.

Tyler noticed Nazia walk in and decided he would see how the Trill woman took toward the western town. With a nudge he indicated her presence to his wife.

Kat nodded and turned to the woman, smiling. "If you don't want alcohol, they have a nice sarsaparilla. It's a carbonated beverage. I'm Kat, by the way. Hi."

"A sarsapawhat?" Tam asked once she realized she was being talked to. She noticed the Captain but had no idea about the woman beside him. She respond with some small amount of surprise."Captain Malbrooke. I didn't expect to see you here. I mean, I know this is a public program, but..Hi"

She stumbled through the greeting awkwardly, though she looked less uncomfortable than she sounded.

"I'm Nazia Tam." she said, trying to clear up any indication she might have given that she wasn't perfectly sociable, capable, or intelligent. She was speaking to Kat.

"Hi, Nazia. I'm Katherine Malbrooke, or just plain Kat. A sarsaparilla is an old-fashioned soft drink," she said, smiling to put the other woman more at ease. "It's much like a terran drink called root beer. Other than that, there are a variety of alcoholic beverages."

Tyler walked over to his new helmsman. "In here you can call me Tyler or Ty if you wish. Nazia welcome to the Pioneer. I am guessing that you have settled in well enough. What do you think of the ship? Of Starbase Sirius?"

"Ty." Nazia responded with a smile. She liked the way it sounded, and she was more comfortable calling the Captain by his first name than she might have expected. Turning back to the bar, she offered an innocent smile. "Let's make that a sarsaparilla. "

Turning back to the Captain and his wife, she tried to answer his question. "It's an incredible honor to serve on the Pioneer. I've got some friends from the academy that are pretty jealous about my good fortune. I was lucky the job opened up."

She demurred a bit, offering a polite face to what she had gathered was a sensitive topic. She hadn't met her predecessor, but she heard the parting was unexpected.

Kat smiled. "I agree that anyone who gets to serve with Ty is lucky."

Tyler blushed for a fleeting moment at the compliment from his wife, then he chuckled as he spoke. "Well you are a little jaded on the subject. The jury is still out on what everyone else thinks."

Nazia focused on the older woman for a split second, taking some time to size her up in a less-than obvious way.

"It has to be pretty rare for a married couple to be able to serve together on a senior staff together in Starfleet." She mused, thinking about what it must be like. "Have you always been stationed together? "

"No. Until recently, I was the Assistant Chief Engineer on Empok Nor," Kat said. "We only saw each other when the Pioneer docked at the station." She smiled at Tyler for a moment. "We recently decided it was time I came here on a permanent basis."

"That must have been sad." Nazia said, trying to put herself in the woman's shoes. "My second host, Denila Tam, hated being away from her husband when she was on assignment with the Symbiosis Commission. They had seven children together, and they loved each other so much. Tam has never experienced anything else liked it. Rezi, Tarkon, and Perin never found anyone to spend their lives with...and Gozan found three."

For a moment, the blonde Trill allowed herself to be lost in the memories her statements brought into her mind. 300 years of experience went bouncing through her mind, and she fell silent. After several seconds, she spoke again.

"You two are fortunate to have each other." she said, bringing the bottle of sarsaparilla to her lips and sipping. Immediately, she winced. "Yuck!"

Kat chuckled. "I'm sorry. I didn't think to warn you. Some cultures think it tastes like medicine, but I rather like it." And right now she was avoiding alcohol, so it was a natural choice.

"Indeed it is an acquired taste but I think in time you may get used to it..." Tyler found the woman speaking about her past hosts to be fascinating. The symbiotic culture of the Trill always fascinated him. One of the previous pilots of the Pioneer was a Trill, but she was not forthcoming with information. "...Nazia if I may ask you a somewhat personal question. How is it living with the memories of the previous hosts? Do you find yourself wanting to chime in and share that knowledge despite the fact that in this life it may not be your place." Tyler sipped his drink he was intensely curious.

"It's strange; sometimes I have a hard time remembering that their memories aren't mine, to be honest. My first host, Gozan, was a famous musician on Trill. I can play just about any instrument I come across, but I sound like a dying animal when I sing. He had the most beautiful voice; it's strange not being able to do what I remember doing so well."

She paused and tried the drink again. Finally accepting that she didn't like it, she placed it on the bar.

"I would talk about it more, but I'm not sure how much people care about my stories."

"Well I for one find them fascinating and welcome them anytime you would like to tell them. In fact if Tam's knowledge would ever help the ship you consider permission granted to speak up. Ya hear!" Tyler said with a smile as he sipped the whiskey and sarsaparilla mix. His Oklahoma was showing at the moment and he did not seem to care.

Kat nodded in agreement and smiled at the pilot. First-hand experience and accounts of past events were always welcome.

After hearing the comments Tam seemed to be a bit more relaxed. She took a seat with the Malbrookes and the three began to chat of the lives of Tam. For the first time in quite some time Tyler seemed to be genuinely relaxed and interested in the stories that he was being told. The hours poured on as did the whiskey as the three talked.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Commander Katherine Malbrooke
Operational Advisor, USS Pioneer

Lieutenant Junior Grade Nazia Tam
Chief Flight Control Officer, USS Pioneer


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