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A White Knight Needs His Fiery Steed

Posted on 04 Jan 2019 @ 1:05am by Lieutenant JG Ian Beckett

Mission: The Kalisa Conundrum
Location: Holodeck
Timeline: MD 1 || 1600 hours

When Ian was thirteen years old, his parents bought him a horse. The young man had expressed an interest in and desire to learn horseback riding. At first, Liam and Sophia had their doubts. They suspected that he was just having a ‘middle child’ reaction and wanted attention. Ian, however, began his own research and reading into horses and how to ride them. After six months of seeing equestrian books lying around the house and hints strategically placed, they relented just to get placate him. And Ian Beckett became the proud semi-owner of an Arabian horse.

Niran, as he was named, was a fiery red chestnut stallion at just over fourteen and half hands. Before he was purchased, the family was told that he wasn’t as young as he used to be. The average age of Arabian horses was between twenty-five and thirty years. Niran was nineteen years old. On the plus side, he’d trained many beginner riders and wasn’t as high strung as his younger counterparts. Liam decided he would be perfect Ian.

Niran was moved and stabled at a farm not too far from the University where Liam worked and was well cared for. Ian felt an almost immediate attachment to beast and was at Niran’s stable every day after school. Being of the stock of one of the more intelligent horse breeds, Niran adapted to Ian and his riding very well. The next five years that Ian spent with Niran were exceptional. The pair had even won some awards. Then it came time for him to leave for Starfleet.

One and half years into his first assignment, Ian got an unexpected call from his parents. Niran had suddenly died. The young Ensign was devastated. He was looking forward to spending his first shore leave at the farm with Niran. And now that wouldn’t happen. Ever. Sophia went on to explain that Niran’s heart gave out and he suffered from cardiac arrest. A younger stallion in the pasture challenged him and he accepted. It was too much for him and his heart failed.

Ian gathered all of his holo-photos and videos of Niran after he’d spent several weeks grieving. Niran was more than just a pet to him. He was his friend. Ian remembered all the times he’d spent talking to Niran, telling him things that he’d told no one else. He remembered his particular neighs and whinnies. How he used to paw the ground with his hoof for ‘no’ and raise his head for ‘yes.’ Then the young Operations officer had an idea. He took all that he had for Niran and created a holodeck version of his horse. If he was going to continue horseback riding on a ship, he would do it with one well-known to him.

Lieutenant Beckett took a deep breath as he input the program and parameters into the holodeck’s control panel. This was the first time he’d used the program on the new Century class and as a result, had to make a few changes to the program. This was the test. He tapped the last button and waited.

“Program initiated. Enter when ready,” spoke the computer.

Ian, dressed in casual clothes, walked in and saw a lush green meadow spreading out for kilometers. A dusty and gravel ridden road cut the left portion of the meadow and a forest bordered the right. The doors closed and disappeared him. He put his fingers to mouth and let out a loud, shrill whistle. From around the far edge of the forest, galloped Niran. Ian smiled as the magnificent beast quickly made his way towards him.

He walked up the horse once he’d come to a stop and rubbed his neck. “Missed you old pal,” he said. “But I’m back and now we can have some fun. What do you say to huntsman adventure? I’ve had that one running lately.”

Niran pawed at the ground and shook his mane.

“Alright then, how about the assassin?”asked Ian. “You haven’t had a daring thriller like that one in a long time.” He watched at the horse pawed at the ground again. “You know,” he said as he moved closer to Niran’s head, “you are certainly particular today. Maybe you’d just like a nice relaxing time.”

Niran gently nodded his head next to Ian’s chest.

“Okay, computer, give us an English country estate on Earth, circa nineteen thirteen and tack to match the era. I’ll also need a changing room and period clothing to fit a Marquess who is out for a quiet ride over the estate. Oh and a manor house befitting the title.” The computer beeped and chirped as the surroundings only slightly changed to add the fitting country manor house in the distance. The requested garments appeared on the door of a changing room and the tack on a wooden stand. Ian changed and then outfitted Niran. “Well old man, this seems like a relaxing way to spend the evening after all. Computer begin program.”

A slight breeze picked up from over the left of the meadow and carried with it the smells of the English country. Ian prodded Niran into a canter towards the bend in the forest from where he’d come. As he approached, a Shire horse bolted around and came to a quick stop. The beast was well under the control of a slightly pudgy man who sat high in the saddle.

“I’ve found him!” he called out with an period accent to match that of the gentry. “He’s over here!” He quickly rode up to Ian and took position alongside him. “Your Lordship, it would not be recommended to go off like that again.”

“I’ll take your recommendation into consideration,” said Ian. “As for ‘going off like that,’ I am Lord Ian Beckett, Seventh Marquess of Trembath. I shall do as I please on my own estate. You would do well to remember that.”

“Of course, Mi’Lord,” said the pudgy man.

Ian, Niran, and the others continued their peaceful ride on the estate before heading back to the house for dinner.


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