Location: In orbit of Jutus
Speed: Standard Orbit
Shields: Nominal
Hull: Nominal
Systems: All Systems Nominal

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Home Is Where Your Family Is

Posted on Wed Sep 23rd, 2020 @ 4:38am by Captain Tyler Malbrooke & Michael Taggart
Edited on on Thu Sep 24th, 2020 @ 8:09am

Mission: Episode 10 - New Home, Same Pioneers
Location: Ready Room - Deck 1 - USS Pioneer
Timeline: MD011 1000 hrs
2176 words - 4 OF Standard Post Measure

With everything that had been going on Tyler found himself in his Ready Room reminiscing about his time on Empok Nor. His memory of his first meeting with Mickey Taggart came to mind. As did the sights and sounds of the White Stag Pub. That is perhaps the single thing that Tyler would miss about Empok Nor the most. After 11 was great, but there was a strange mystique about that Scottish pub, and it was something that Tyler often craved.

Early evening found Tyler wondering Empok Nor and getting to know his knew home. Determined to make the most of the brief stopover and fully acquaint himself with its character and charm, including its night life. He strolled along leisurely, pausing at the door of a number of places, but passing on until He found himself outside a more traditional place. 'White Stag.' This had to be someone from earth, quite possibly a Scot, he'd spent a weekend or two in Scotland during a six month spell on Earth.

Making his way inside he glanced around and smiled, cozy, and homely, slowly threading his way through the front tables he made his way to the heavy set wooden bar which had a fair few people at it already, sliding into the bar he waited his turn for serving.

Just another evenin at home as Mickey put it was getting underway. The crews of Empok Nor were letting their hair down. Mickey wore an ear to ear grin as he looked around at his family enjoying themselves in his home. It warmed the Scot's heart.

He noticed a new comer but he looked vaguely familiar. Someone from his past but he wasn't sure. The man walked in and took a seat at the bar. "Evenin to ya laddy. Welcome ta da White Stag. What be yer poison?" He smiled broadly he loved welcoming new people to his pub. Somewhere in the back of his mind Michael Taggart knew he was living the dream.

"A single malt, something smokey, if you would." Tyler asked with a smile at the genuine and quite strong accent that both confirmed his initial impressions and perfectly fit the atmosphere and look of the place.

"Ach a lad after me own heart. Dis ere is Scotch da real stuff I get it from the motherland." Mickey laughed as he poured one for Tyler and one for himself. "Dis ere scotch is old enough ta buy it's own scotch. Da names Michael Taggart but ere I'm jus Mickey."

"Good to meet you Mickey. Tyler Malbrooke, one of the many Starfleet types." He responded to Mickey’s introduction with his own, not drinking just yet, but keeping a hand on the glass while moving it in small but slow circles on the bar top.

"Das one half of me customers, the other tis Cardassians. They seem fascinated with the culture of Earth. One o dem even asked me about a kilt. But I am glad to meet you Tyler, there are only two rules here. Da first no ranks, no command. Da second make yerself at hame." He took a swig of the whiskey and smiled. "So did you just blow in on da Juno did ya?"

"I think I can cope with both of those rules." Tyler responded carefully before finally taking a little of the drink in his glass. He savored the smokey, peaty flavor. There was nothing quite like the real thing. "Now that's how I remember the stuff." Glass down on the bartop he shook his head. "Not the Juno, I'm on the Pioneer, on the Pioneer I am in command of the darned thing." Putting his drink down for a moment and proving himself up on one arm he asked. "So tell me Mickey, you seem vaguely familiar, are you a Highland scot or a Lowland scot or one of the Isles?"

"You know yer accents lad. I am a Highland Scot, I was born in Inverness. How did you guess?" Mickey chuckled "In truth yer face seems vaguely familiar and I usually pride myself on never forgetting a face. Did ya spend time in Scotland?"

A flicker of guilt or remorse behind the smile and pleasent expression he attempted to keep up at the mention of particular city in Scotland, he gave a truthful if initially vague answer. "I spent a couple of weekends in those parts, I hit three places, Stirling, Aberdeen, and Inverness, I preferred it the further north, although I didn't get to see all of the cities charms for reasons."

"Ah well den ye be needen to come back an visit when ye can." Mickey smiled broadly as he rang a small bell that was behind the bar. As the bell rang the crowd in the bar quieted down. "Tis tradition ere to welcome new people home in fine Scottish fashion. Dere come occassions fer toasts and dis be one o dem. So get yer glasses up." Mickey raised his glass and when the bar quieted down he spoke again. "Slàinte mhòr agus a h-uile beannachd duibh." (Great health and every good blessing to you.) Those present responded with here here and alright Mick, welcome home sir etc...

Although the gesture was a welcoming one and as warm and honest as he remembered, there was a part of him that felt unusually self-conscious at the moment, he half turned on the stool and raised his glass along with everyone else, turning back to face Mickey, Tyler started into what felt like a confession. "As warm as ever, but I you may want to hold off, I hadn't seen all of what the city's had to offer cos I had to high tale out, I wasn't exactly the best of young men, fighting and easy morals let's say. Anyways given you lived and worked in Inverness, I probably caused you a bit of grief so I'm sorry."

"Ach don be sorry for livin lad. Everyone takes a path in this life some more rocky than others. Funny how our paths seem to have crossed a second time. Tis a very rare thing dat. There is always a reason for it when it happens." Michael replied and sipped his drink again. The Stag was packed but he was intrigued by this man. Somethin about him and he couldn't put his finger on it.

The understanding words and tone brought back the brightness that Tyler usually carried himself with, although experience had taught him wariness, he was drawn to the nonjudgmental and accepting person. Added to the fact that as Mickey pointed out that they were crossing paths again was something intriguing. "Your a kind man Mickey, as odd as it maybe to cross your path again, at let's face the opposite end of the Quadrant. What made you decide to set up on this station anyways?"

"I've always wanted to own a pub. Dere were a lot o dem back home. So I decided to bring it to the people and here I am. Besides it always fun to introduce Scotland to those that have never seen it. The Cardassians are as far from Scotland as you can get." He laughed, "Pardon me a moment." Mickey scurried away for a moment to pour a few customers some drinks and share some laughs with them. He rushed back to his conversation companion. "This is my own little slice of Earth here in Cardassian space."

"A decent slice it is as well.” Tyler commented when Mickey returned having finished his drink in the mean time. "Although I have to be honest, I often prefer to be anywhere but at home on Earth."

"Well den let this be yer slice of Earth as well. Perhaps it will get ya reacquainted with yer home. Why do ya prefer to stay away?" Mickey replied as he began to clean some glasses.

"Family issues mainly. I did not go into the family business and neither did my sister. My parents did not seem to be to happy about that. In truth my mother, rest her, wanted me to go into Starfleet although he would never admit it to dad. That is the other reason I hate going back. I miss my mother and Earth has nothing but reminders of her." He answered. "I'll have another, something from the Isle this time I think." Tapping the rim of his glass gently.

Mickey poured the Captain another drink and then returned to cleaning. "How often do ya make it make home? I mean ta Earth."

"Earth, last time would be the aforementioned six months, that would be four years ago." He answered quickly. “Although now the Pioneer is my home, it comes with the territory when they put you in command of a Starship.” Tyler sipped the new drink. He had really come to think about himself as a man in between worlds.

"You listen here laddy! You make sure to get yourself home once in a while. There is nothing more important than yer family. Take from someone who knows." Mickey replied flatly, in truth he should take his own advice once in a while.

The importance Mickey attached to family reminded Tyler of a number of persons from years gone by, all seasoned veterans of fleet service. "I know they are important, and Starfleet doesn't lock you in to much, if I needed to go I could. But." He paused and took a small sip from the glass. "It's so easy to get caught up with missions, assignments, and just being out here."

"Quite so, quite so. Dat is why I made you folks me family and dis me home." Mickey raised his glass for another toast and almost on cue other patrons in the pub did the same. "Here's to you, here's to me... friends for life we'll always be... but, if we find that we disagree... SCREW YOU HERE'S TO ME!!!!" He broke out in boisterous laughter as did many patrons of the bar. "I'll tell ye wha laddy if yer ever feelin homesick ye jus call on me. You got dat?"

Caught in the spirit of things Tyler raised his glass along with everyone else, spinning on his stool slightly so the rest of the bar was now side on to him. He broke out into boisterous laughter, for the second time since coming to Empok Nor Tyler felt clear to be himself. No pretence, he downed the remaining contents of the glass before turning back to the bar in time to here Mickey honest appeal. "You just made my very short list of comfortable places and persons. I'll remember for sure. But for now one more, your choice."

Mickey smiled. He first produced a bottle of Kanar, then his usual bottle of Scotch, and finally he took a crystal decanter from the back shelf. The decanter contained a blue viscous liquid. He poured an equal measure of each into a glass with some ice. "I call dis da Empok Nor. Equal parts Kanar, fine aged Scotch, and even older Romulan Ale. Careful lad tis strong." He handed Tyler the glass and made one for himself. "Well Captain Tyler Malbrooke I am pleased to make yer acquaintance again." He raised his glass again "This drink is to the defense of Cardassia. To Empok Nor, to da Pioneer, and to Port Royale. Long may they serve." Then he lowered his voice "...And here is to you lad welcome hame..." He clinked Tyler’s glass and took a sip.

Tyler smiled as he watched the ingredients being used and described, as well as the significance of what they could represent. He took up the glass swirled the liquid around a little before clinking glasses and then taking a sip. "That's unique. Not half bad." He responded taking instantly to the warming, and bear clash of flavors that made it quite so inviting. "Thanks Mickey."

"No worries lad..." Mickey replied. "Whelp, we have a kitchen should ye be hungry. We serve the finest in Scottish cuisine cooked fresh. No replicated mush... If ye be hungry then simply give a shout." Mickey took a look around and smiled broadly. Then hurried off to welcome a new member of the family.

Tyler came back from his journey into his own memory. He found himself sitting on the couch in his Ready Room. “Soon Mickey, the Pioneer will be back and home soon…” He said to the empty room with a broad smile. Tyler could not help but find a kindred spirit in Michael Taggart. They both chose to create their home away from home, and their own families. For Tyler that home was the Pioneer and now with the baby on the way that family is a reality.

A Joint Post By

Captain Tyler Malbrooke
Commanding Officer, USS Pioneer

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


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