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We Need A Month, But Only Have Days

Posted on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 @ 2:24am by Commodore Tyler Malbrooke & Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin
Edited on on Tue Jul 21st, 2020 @ 2:33am

2,051 words; about a 10 minute read

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: CO Ready Room - Deck 1 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD006 1400 hrs

Quinn was still feeling the down pour of requests, that were hitting his office. Seemed like more personal, had personal grievances to file, and emotional scars to address. For the staff, and the crew, this must have felt like R&R. For Quinn it felt like administrative work. Part of the ugliness to his job, was all the administrative side to his work.

Quinn had prepared all the reports, from the previous few days, and had them ready to discuss in a data pad with Tyler. They had agreed to meet in his office, and go over some notes. In reality he would have preferred to take the next few days off. He would prefer to next the month off, but all he was going to get, was a few days.

Quinn tapped on the intercom button, to Tyler's office. He was not certain, but he swore, he could hear country music, pouring out of the walls, from Tyler's ready room. He could not really make out the lyrics, but he swore, it was country music, he was listening too.

Tyler had sent the crew on leave and the ship seemed to be quiet for the most part. In fact it seemed that the only the Command Team was working. As he waited for Quinn to arrive so they can finish the last of the crew requests, Tyler listened to Garth Brooks. To Malbrooke the singer seemed like an old friend as this was the music that he grew up on. When the door chime went off it caught Tyler off guard. "Computer lower music by half." The sounds of 'Callin Baton Rouge' dimmed. "Come on in Quinn."

The Pioneer's XO, and Tyler's friend came in and looked a little ragged for all of the work that had to be done. "You look how I feel..." Tyler smiled and motioned toward the couch. "Can I get you anything?"

Quinn knew Tyler's comment was justified. He did feel tired, and a little worn down. He heard the question, and the first thing that popped into his head was, "Yes, some George Straight would be great." Quinn said, with a big grin on his face. As he walked over to the table.

"Computer... You heard the man..." The music changed to Troubadour by George Strait. Tyler freshened up his sarsaparilla. "You want one, or a birch beer. It might help you get your mind off this new normal that we live in. Either way take a load off and fill me in on what is going on with the crew. You always have your finger on their pulse as it were."

"I prefer Dr Pepper myself." Quinn said, as he took a seat down on the sofa. It had been a trying couple of days, but it was nice just to sit down, and down a cool beverage of Dr. Pepper. Quinn waited for the drink, while he did, he allowed the music to hit his soul.

Tyler had the replicator make the Dr Pepper and set it down next to his XO. "You know I never made you for a ancient soda kind of guy, and yet here we are." He said with a smile. He sat back down and let the music ebb and sooth both of their stresses. Tyler enjoyed the company even if they were not speaking. "So, how is Enya taking all of these changes?"

"She is adapting pretty well, she does wish there was more children on board, but she is excited to be living on a Starship, and getting a chance to explore the universe." Quinn said, being honest, and selling the point, that Enya loves it on the USS Pioneer.

"I have received word that a teacher is being assigned to us. A Cardassian by the name of Alket Marec. He is to board at Starbase Sirius. His record says that he is an exemplary teacher. Just not sure if it is right assigning a Cardassian here after all that has happened. However, the fleet civilian resource will not give us another without trying him first. As for more children... Kat and I have decided to have a baby." Tyler smiled and sipped his drink.

"A Cardassian Teacher? Teaching Federation citizen's? About Federation ideals?" Quinn asked a little skeptical. He was not apposed to an alien teaching children. From what he knew about Cardassians, they love to chat, they love to play mind manipulation games. They do have other loves like music and art work.

Cardassia was strill trying to rebuild from the Dominion War. They needed good teacher, good leaders. So he instantly wonderd, why was the Cardassian turning his back on his people's needs, to help a bunch of aliens, and teach those aliens, their own cultural affairs. Something was not adding up here.

"I am a bit skeptical myself but we have to give it a try. I am sure that we will know right away if he is a good fit or not. Your daughter is a really good judge of character." Tyler paused as he selected his next words carefully. "How do you do it? Balance the job and the home life I mean. That is something that I am worried about when I become a father."

"One day at a time. If you look at the overall picture, its to much to handle. But if you look at it from a day to day thing, it's a lot easier. Once you get that down, then you can for the big picture." Quinn said, hoping that resolved the captain's question. He still did not feel comfortable with this idea, but Tyler was right. They had to give this guy a chance. "Seems odd though, to have a teacher for one student." Quinn followed up his counter argument with.

"Normally I would agree, however, it seems that Fleet Services agrees with you. They want to see the Pioneer become more family friendly. So with the addition of a teacher I think they believe we will become more appealing to families. I find myself secretly hoping that it is not going to be just one student for much longer." Tyler replied and sipped his drink. "You know Quinn, I may be Captain but I have a lot to learn from you. I guess you are right one should look at it one day at a time. Right now I know that Kat is talking with Dr Ballston about conception etc..."

"Are you ready to be a father?" Quinn asked, he could here by the tone of Tyler, that he had something on his mind. He wondered, if Tyler would share it. Quinn always believed that every starship in the fleet, should allow families. They are not a military organization, and was it really fair, to be asking families to be apart for five plus years really in the best interests of Starfleet. How are they suppose to be promote the fleet as one big happy utopia, if they segregate families from their members?

"I think I am. I mean there is the adage that no one is really ready to be a parent. I typically stowed the idea away in favor of my career, of becoming Captain. So long as Kat felt the same way everything seemed right with the world. However, things have now changed. Ever since things became unstable at Empok Nor Kat has been more and more about a family. Then when our reassignment came, and I managed to get her assigned to the ship she wanted a family more and more. Kat is even considering a leave from Starfleet so that I can remain Captain and she can be a mother." Tyler confided in Quinn, He always had the idea that Captains had little friends on their ships. However, Tyler knew that he had a friend in Quinn. He smiled at other man. "You I think it could be your Ameri rubbing off on her. The more her and I talk about it the more I find myself wanting the family. I just have to learn how to balance the ship and my family there, with my future children. Not a small undertaking I can tell you."

"No, the biological clock of a lady, is probably one of the great last unknown mysteries of our time my friend." Quinn said, trying to get Tyler to understand, that Kat was reacting to her own biological needs. Everyone was different. Tyler had a minor point, mentioning that seeing Ameri being a Mom, could have helped. But if she did, t was very small, almost measurable.

"You have never been more right. You and Ameri ever think of having another one? A brother or a sister for Enya?" Tyler asked with a smirk.

"We had discussed it in the past, but never followed through on it. Ameri just got back to work with Starfleet. I think that might the way it is for now. But who knows, what tomorrow might bring." Quinn said with a big grin on his face. Even though they were not trying yet, they where not closed to the idea.

"I am finally seeing that you cannot let the fleet dictate your life. Kat has been chatting my ear off about a child, and I think the time is finally right. Our next mission is to be more of an exploratory and diplomatic one. However, you never know with the Romulans. Either way though I think it is time for the Pioneer to have little feet running around." Tyler grinned he was excited to be a father and to start this new chapter in his life. What was more was that he owed it to his friend and XO.

"First they have to crawl, by the time they can run. Then the real fun begins." Quinn suggested with a big barrel laugh to his tone. He knew how much fun it was raising Enya, and how he would not change that for anything. He could not wait for Tyler to experience, what he did.

"Too right you are..." Tyler said as he raised his cup of coffee in a toast. For the first time in a long time he felt like he and Quinn were talking as people, as friends and not as officers. The problems of the fleet were way behind them now and all that lay ahead were the tribulations of fatherhood. It felt good to exchange a hearty laugh with his friend.

Tyler walked over to his desk and removed an old strategy game called Stratego. "Let's have a couple of fun games and you can teach me all about fatherhood." He said with a belly laugh of his own.

"I can try, but the first thing about fatherhood you need to learn is, there is no book and every kid is different. What works for one child, may not work for the other child." Quinn pointed out to him. He had taken several classes, and consulted several experts in the holodeck.

Tyler set the game out on the table and began to place the pieces. "I guess the big question is; how do you know that you are ready? I mean is anyone truly ready to be a father?"

"Honestly no, you just make the most of it. Do not look at the overall picture. Look at the daily picture. Work day to day, to become a better father. If you look at the big picture, you will get overwhelmed. And the goals are to long term. Work on manageable goals to be a good father." Quinn suggested, hoping that made sense to Tyler.

Tyler nodded and smiled. He realized that the man who sat across from him was wise well beyond his years. "How about we finish this chat over a nice game of Stratego? Heck we have all day and not much else to do."

"Alright." Quinn said, as he nodded his head in agreement. The scene starts to fade away with the two men talking.

A joint post by;

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

Commander Quinn Ó Flannagáin
Executive Officer, USS Pioneer


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