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Wild Horses

Posted on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 @ 3:52am by Michael Taggart & Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax & Skye Malbrooke
Edited on on Tue Sep 21st, 2021 @ 4:06am

2,291 words; about a 11 minute read

Mission: The Ties That Bind - Empok Nor Episode 2
Location: Upper Docking Pylon 1 & Various
Timeline: MD005 1300 hrs

Skye had been travelling for what seemed like weeks now. In all honesty she had lost track a little.

She'd told her father after their latest blowout that she was staying at a friends for a while, she'd swing by to pick up clothes when he was teaching so they wouldn't end up in another battle for who was the loudest and she'd end up being home soon like she always was.

Truth be told she was missing him a little. She loved the man but they were so alike in personality it hurt, and if he mentioned she looked like her mother one more time there would be blood spilled. He always used that as his final cutting blow in an argument and she would storm off slamming doors.

He even removed her bedroom door once for slamming it... that went down as well as one can imagine.

Dara had somehow managed to give herself a shift on passenger receiving. She did not quite figure out how but she was standing on the edge of the docking pad listing names off as they came off.

"Charlotte Masters." she said out loud as a young woman exited.

This was Skye's fake ID name, otherwise she'd not have been allowed to travel alone at 15.

Dara's PADD flagged a possible ID theft, or forgery and she looked at Skye as she left the docking bay.

"What?" Skye asked.

"You look a little young for 18 Miss Masters..." Dara commented. "Where are you coming from?" she asked.

"Well Earth obviously, stop over at Starbase 362 for refuelling, resupply at Locan and now I am here." Skye said confidently. She was not a stupid girl by all means.

"Yes, well according to this your ID was stolen a couple of weeks ago..." Dara replied carefully.

"Yeah I know... so stupid. I was out and thought I'd lost it at The Firefly back on Earth. You know what happens when you get too drunk and people don't believe you're old enough. I must have thought I'd dropped it but it turned out it was at the bottom of my bag. I put through a cancel request to the local police department. Their systems are pretty old so it must not have cleared yet." Skye replied.

"Answer for everything so far." Dara muttered quietly under her breath, still not convinced.

"What was that, ma'am?" she asked trying to play the charm offensive.

"Nothing." Dara replied. "As with new arrivals that have no residence listed, or housing arranged we are placing you in the White Stag bar at the moment until we can find you suitable accomodation. Does that suit?" she asked.

"Sure. Would kill for a wine." Skye said enthusiastically.

Dara smirked and let Skye to the bar and spoke to Mickey quietly at one end after placing Skye at the other. She expressed her disbelief about the ID, the story Skye had spun and that Mickey was to keep her there until she found out more.

Dara walked back over. "Just explaining to the staff what's going on. He'll be with you shortly and then I'll be back soon Ms Masters."

"Take your time." Skye smiled somewhat nervously this time as she sat on the bar stool and watched the woman walk away. It was then she began to play with her hair and look around at all the species that now lit this bar up, she'd never seen so many. The noises, the smells, oh god the smells as an older Orion looking man moved closer to her and gave her a sly wink. "hey there little bird." he said noticing the small bird tattoo on her hip that even her father did not know about.

Mickey listened to all Dara had to say and told the Ops Chief he would get to the bottom of it all and report back. It was the least he could do since Starfleet risked so much to get his bar and home back. Just as Dara left and Orion who cruised the pubs for clients, and employees approached the newcomer. "Oy! Ye keep yer grubby hands off her..." He shouted over the general din of his pub. With a wink and a motion of his hand Mickey waived the girl over. "I'm Michael Taggart, and this be me pub. But ye can call me Mickey. What can git ya?" His Scottish lilted voice sounded genial but a small amount of bass told that he would take no nonsense.

The Orion just simply shrugged and moved on to his next place to try and rustle up some work.

"Thanks, I'm Charlotte." she said acting the part. "I'll just have a water though if that's okay? Dad says I shouldn't drink, not that it stops him." She added not thinking much of the comment. "Are you Irish? You sound funny..." she asked.

Mick poured a glass of water, and looked a little appalled at the Irish comment. "Nah, lass I am Scottish. The larger better island" He laughed. "Yer paw is right, ye shouldn't drink at yer age...." He raised his hand before she could speak. "Listen ye can pull the wool over the Fleet's eyes. But not ole Mick. I have been eyeing lads and lasses since before you were in diapers. I can tell and age by lookin at someone. What are ye 15 perhaps 16?"

"Yeah but Scotland isn't an island... it's attached to other land." she said not to make fun but her youthful speak first think later attitude shining through. She began to drink some of the water when he mentioned her deception, like he saw right through her and she spat some of her water on the back of a large man as he passed. Pushing her glasses up her nose she apologized profusely to the man who ended up moving. "Eh no... I'm 18, I've always looked really young for my age. I mean I'm like really flattered you think I'm younger. Guess I have good genes." she laughed a little to cover her nerves.

Mickey smirked and poured himself a cider. He also took the liberty of ordering the young woman a burger and scotch eggs. "Actually Scotland is attached to England and forming one large island. I am implying that England is also Scotland, because if it is not Scottish its crap." He sipped his cider. "As to yer age, there is no sense in hiding it. Ye are not 18, I am not sure why ye are trying to cover yer age, or why ye are here. I can tell anyone's age, hell I can get a Vulcan's age within five years. Although those dammed El Aurians always get the best of me. I will tell ye this, if help is what ye need, then help is what ye will get on Empok Nor. But lying to Ole Jax ain't the way to get the help."

Skye spun to face him. She had so many questions from that last deluge of information. She began to eat the burger and thought for a moment that changing the subject might be a bit wiser. "What's an El Aurian? Sounds like a preppy European band that no-one has heard... and if Jax is that woman that brought me here she can't be that old. Unless you call everyone 'Ole'." she said trying to copy how he said it.

"Ye haven't been off Earth for too long have ye. El Aurians are an ancient race. Their planet was destroyed by the Borg countless years ago and they roam the galaxy to this day. No one knows fer sure exactly how long they live. But there are a number of them serving in Starfleet. As to Dara Jax, if you count the age of Jax she is 231 years old. You see she is a Trill and is in fact two beings in one. That of Dara a 36 year old woman, and that of Jax a 195 year old symbiote. Together they are Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax." Mick said with a broader smirk and drank more cider. Her questions confirmed her age to him. There is no way an 18 year old would not know about Trill.

He thought he would ask again. "So why ye here alone at yer age?"

"Felt like I've been alone most of my life." Skye said without thinking. "Don't think Daddy wanted baby number 3." she joked. "Already happy with perfect daughter 1 and impressive son 2." she said fiddling with her glass. "The bold Captain son and smart JAG woman. Ohhh they make me proud and don't remind me of your mother so much." she said in a huffy American drawl making fun of her dads accent.

There ye go lassie... Now to keep her talkin and perhaps I can figure this whole mess out. Mickey thought. "Right so ye ran away from home. Ye have a brother and sister both serving in the fleet or so it seems. But why have ye come ere to Empok Nor. I mean dis is the literal end o the galaxy. Care to tell me yer real name?" He ventured to ask and then regretted asking the question. Mick felt like it may cause her to stop talking. "Even if ye don wanna tell me. I will tell ye this. You have an Uncle Mick here. The Orions and Cardassians would love to get there hands on a young lady like yerself. So I will keep an eye on ya..." He had no idea why but Mickey simply felt he had to, he would let Dara know everything as well. Perhaps she could help trace the family.

"Eh I never said I ran away, maybe I'm on holiday and thought this was the further place away from where I'd meet anyone I knew." she defended her thought process.

Empok Nor had been mentioned a few times in passing but consciously she never realized it was where people actually KNEW her brother. It made no sense to deny her brother and sister were fleeters, at this point she'd said it loud and clear and to take it back would look much worse. "Skye... my name is Skye." she admitted with a sigh as she now became quite alert to more green men and Cardassians around the room. Why would they want to get their hands on her, that was creepy as hell.

"Tis a fine beautiful name Skye. I knew ye ran away based on the comments about ye paw. Ye got a last name, or is the name jus Skye?" Taggart had known many Starfleet Officers in his day, and at this point he wondered if he knew her family.

"Thank you." she blushed a little, it was unusual for people to compliment her. To her she was totally miss-able in any crowd, or room. "My mum wanted me to be called that. She got quite sick just after I was born so I don't know much about her." Skye said with sadness.

"But yeah I do have a last name but if I tell you then you'd run off any tell on me." she said knowing that this was not all an innocent 'let me help you' routine. "And my dad thinks I'm staying at a friends so... probably still has no idea I'm even gone. My last name would make it easy for you to call him, wouldn't it?" she said being a bit of a smartass.

"I tell ye what... Ye give me yer last name and I will see if I can find yer family. If I find em I will tell ye an no one else. As fer ye paw I won't call him unless ye be in trouble. In return for dis you are gon work here where I can keep an eye on you. Whaddya say?" Mickey smiled and spat in his hand and then held it out to be shook.

Skye looked at the mans hand and for a moment got lost in the sheer shock of what he'd just done. "I can promise you I am not touching that..." she said passing him a napkin that was on the bar. Then there was a reluctant handshake, "Malbrooke. My last name is Malbrooke."

As Mickey pulled his hand back he realized the ramifications of what he had just done. He just made a deal with the sister of Captain Tyler Malbrooke one of his dearest friends. To make matters worse he gave his word that he would not share this information. He hoped the shock did not show on his face. "Well den we have an accord. Now enjoy yer food and some drink and the rest of the day. You start workin on the morrow."

Skye saw a little reaction at the mention of her surname. She wasn't so naïve to assume that her brother wouldn't be known by some people, it wasn't a very common name. "I might need a place to stay..." she said taking a bite of her food.

"I think we could scare up some quarters for you. I will have a chat with Commander Jax and get you a quarters assignment. I will tell her that I hired you and she should stop worrying about yer age or anything else." Mick smiled. "In da meantime try not to git into any trouble."

A Joint Post By

Lieutenant Commander Dara Jax
Chief Operations Officer, Second Officer, Empok Nor

Michael Taggart
Owner/Bartender "White Stag Pub", Empok Nor

Skye Malbrooke
Civilian, Empok Nor


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