Taking that breath
E2 P1 Let's Take A Breath
Location: The Bar
Command red was a damned uncomfortable color. The Magellan was supposed to be a golden opportunity for Tim to further his career and build experience as a command officer, but he didn't expect to be shoehorned into a fast track to the center seat. Tim hadn't truthfully thought about becoming a Captain or much else beyond that station at the front of the bridge, but now he found himself lamenting the fact that he had accepted this promotion.
At least he wasn't being reassigned. He'd come to know the Magellan and its crew very well, and most of them seemed to find pleasure and solace in Tim with his new position. Tim supposed that having some constant in the midst of a changing climate wasn't all bad.
That did not stop Tim from leaving the mighty starship that evening. He'd kept himself busy with repairs and crew reassignments, but he needed a break. Starbase 249 had much to offer, including a bar in the recreational sector that much of the crew was raving about.
Tim entered to find the place nearly wild. Gaming stations were abuzz with cheers and mechanical sounds. Tables were filled with laughing crewmembers and civilians, all tossing back beverages of all colors and size. The bar itself was packed full of members and genders of many species, each looking to converse with one another or find a sleeping buddy. Tim was not looking for anything really, other than a drink and a chance to take his mind off things. Observing people, now that seemed to be satisfactory enough tonight for him.
The Commander navigated the room, finding a table on the upper level so he could look down on the people below. A waitress spotted him, took Tim's order, and disappeared into the throng. While he waited, Tim turned and looked down, focusing on the craps table below.
Toby threw the dice for a final time, the crowd around the table roared with joyous laughter as he lost for the final time that night causing Toby to smile. Just two hours earlier he had been drowning in more gold pressed latinium than he knew what to do with, not knowing what else to do he had given some away but had quickly stopped when he realised that people were wary of the man giving away free currency. Instead he had turned to the games to allow himself to loose his winnings as quickly as possible.
That task done he was once again comfortable with his place in life, his transfer to the Magellan had come at the best possible time for him getting him away from his previous posting and providing a promotion to Chief Medical Officer to boot.
He tilted his head back as he drained the dark liquid he was drinking above him he noticed the ships Executive Officer looking down.
Tobias waved and motioned for the XO to come join him by one of the tables.
Tim had noticed the ship's doctor only when those around the craps table had ridiculed the man for losing his wager. The expression he saw was a curious one, and Tim was led to think there was more to the situation than met the eye. For that reason, and having presented an opportunity to meet someone outside the confines of the Magellan, Tim accepted his Andorian ale from the returning waitress and returned to the main floor.
"Do you play often?" Tim asked as soon as he was close enough to speak without shouting.
"Hardly ever" Tobias shouted back as he gestured towards a quieter area of the bar further away from the gaming tables.
"However" He continued once the noise had subsided enough for him to stop shouting "after the last mission I felt the need to unwind a little - and games like these fit the bill. I've always had" He paused for a moment as if considering which word to use before completing his sentence "a knack for them".
He went to take another sip of his drink before remembering that he had finished his drink, waving at a passing waitress he indicated he would like another drink.
As he turned back to Tim he noticed the look on the XO's face.
"This knack has gotten me in to trouble, I have no problem winning and that tends to upset the owners of places like this"
"So I've learned not to push my luck."
"What brings you here XO?" Tobias asked as he began to look out for the return of the waitress with his drink.
They stopped at a high table, one that its occupants would normally need stools for. Those seats had been reallocated four tables to their left where a group of ensigns, likely recent graduates, were holding some sort of drinking contest. Tim didn't mind standing. After all, he'd been sitting most of the day, sorting through paperwork.
"Scuttlebutt claimed this was the place to be off-duty," Tim said before sipping his drink. "I had to confirm it one way or another."
Tobias laughed heartily.
"Yes, the place to be. That would be the wide array of very friendly waiters and waitresses, something to suite every taste I heard from some of the enlisted crew before disembarking."
The waitress found them again and handed Tobias another tall glass of some brown liquid he still wasn't wholy sure what it was but he knew he liked it enough to keep drinking, he also noticed that she had handed him a small piece of paper at the same time. Smiling as his eyes flicked over it he quickly placed it in his pocket and took a drink.
"Well, I think that given the fact we don't have to be back aboard the Magellan for several hours more that we could figure out how to confirm it, one way or another."
He leaned in toward the ships Executive Officer conspiratorially.
"So what is your poison here Commander? As the old saying goes what happens on shore leave stays on shore leave!"
Tim was not sure how to answer that. He mostly kept to himself when not on duty. Large groups like these were always intimidating, even when he had a longing to participate, like now. "Frankly, Doctor, I'm not too sure. Slow and steady, as they say." With that, he took a more generous sample of his drink than he did before. "Aside from the games, what is your poison here?'
Tobias looked at his drink and gave a small sigh as he mulled over what to answer, on his last posting he had kept himself tightly locked down whenever anyone asked anything personal. This time around he wasn't so sure that was the healthiest option for him he reached up and ran his hand through his hair as he resolved to be more open on the Magellan.
"Well Commander, the honest answer is anything I want in places like this. Specifically in this place I can do anything I want."
He paused and took another sip of his drink as he looked over the man in front of him, Tim looked very uncomfortable out of place almost. Tobias decided that tonight was going to be his first olive branch of this posting.
"Come on" He said picking up his drink and motioning for Tim to follow lets go and find somewhere a little more quiet. He waved down a passing waiter and whispered something in the mans ear. The man thought for a moment before answering Tobias and raising 3 fingers at the same time.
Turning back to Tim he pointed towards one of the doors in the far end of the bar.
"Come along Commander, let us go visit holosuite 3. I have something I want to show you."
The pair made their way through the throng of people as they approached the doorway to the holosuite the manager opened it for them.
"If you need anything at all, just ask!" He shouted happily as they walked inside.
"Computer" Tobias said a little more loudly than he intended the real alcohol in his drink was starting to affect him more than he had realised. "Start program Nutley Manor in the drawing room.
The walls around them changed to a rather posh looking stately home, on the wall were several paintings of well to do folk many of which bore more than a passing resemblance to Tobias.
He spread his arms wide and gestured around the room.
"Behold, everything I've tried to escape my whole life." He smiled as he spoke he pointed towards one of the paintings on the wall "Uncle Calamity Nutley owns a share in most of the off duty haunts you'll find in this area. He is a less than scrupulous man who is always willing to separate Starfleet Officers from their hard earned latinium."
"To answer your earlier question my poison is getting smashingly drunk and doing something that I know my family will disapprove of when they hear about it."
He flopped down in to one of the many comfy chairs that were in the room and gestured for Tim to join him.
Tim chuckled. He stood in front of that chair for a moment, still carrying his drink. His eyes drifted around the room, taking in the estate, as well as the portraits. "If your family is any bit as strong as your genetics, it amazes me that you've been able to keep your distance."
He took a sip of his drink and sat down in the wingback chair, its leather crinkling as he got comfortable. "Nutley..." he murmured, the name having some familiarity with him now. He could recall a few of Nutley's establishments he'd been in over the years, including one in particular near the Academy. "I don't suppose Nutley's Emporium in San Francisco is far from the family tree either."
Tobias sighed and didn't respond straight away, instead he held up his drink and almost stared through it.
Eventually he felt like replying.
"Not very far away at all no, and its not gone down well me galivanting off join Starfleet and heal people. When instead I could be fleecing them for the lively hoods."
He took another drink before continuing.
"This is rather odd though" He supped at his drink again "I've never in my life voluntarily told anyone about my family, I've got no idea why it seems such a good idea now."
Tim grunted. He took a healthy drink of his ale, and then chuckled. He leaned back into the chair and held the ale with two hands just above his lap. "I think there comes a point in every man's life where you decide to stop living the in shadow of your family. And, you also stop to care what they think because you already know exactly what they think."
The Commander took another drink before continuing. "Take me, for example. For three generations, the Parkers have held a dynasty, monopolizing the role as human Ambassadors to the Andorian people. I'm the youngest of my siblings, but it didn't matter to Father. The day I signed up for Starfleet, it was like I didn't exist."
"Gosh" Tobias almost grunted as he heard Tim speak "To be treated like that would be a blessing right now, but I can see how that would be as grating as being the proverbial black sheep of the family."
He took a drink again before quietly adding.
"Perhaps my soul just recognises a kindred spirit"
Tim could only chuckle. "Kindred indeed. At least you have family who remind you of their disappointment. I think the last time I spoke to a family member was... four years ago? Five?" His eyes looked upward as he tried to calculate the days. "No, it's four. My sister had just had a daughter. She probably doesn't even know I exist."
That hit Tobias in a place he hadn't expected he tried to play the emotion over in his brain to figure out why it was affecting him so but couldn't in the moment. Perhaps it was too much alcohol, perhaps too much stress or simply perhaps he just needed to process it at a later date.
"That sounds" He paused looking for the word finally he settled on one "hard."
"No wish to reach out?" He drained his drink as he asked.
"I've tried," Tim admitted. He looked down into his glass and gently sloshed the remaining liquid around in a circular fashion. "About every six months or so I send them all an update. It's pretty easy for me to keep tabs on them all, but there seems to be no desire from their end."
He sighed, lifting his glass for a generous drink. "But c'est la vie, right? No use worrying about the things we can't control."
Tobias let out a wry chuckle.
"Isn't that just so XO" he stretched his limbs feeling suddenly weary "Life aboard a starship gives you plenty of things to worry about that you can control, whether that be the crew or the ship itself."
Tobias' focus was suddenly brought back on to all of the things that he would need to do in the morning. Already the real alcohol he had consumed was doing a number on him. In for a penny he thought to himself.
"Another drink Commander?"
There wasn't much left of Tim's ale, which he quickly threw back to empty the glass. "Just one," he told the doctor. "I plan on going for a stroll in the arboretum later, hoping for a breath of fresh, uncirculated air."
Tobias tapped a command in to the console hidden in the arm of his chair, sadly it wasn't just an affectation for the holodeck he knew the original chair had it too - and a phase hidden in the other side of it.
Moments later drinks arrived. Tobias raised his glass towards Tim and smiled.