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Youth And Wisdom

Posted on Wed Nov 24th, 2021 @ 9:05am by Michael Taggart & Chloe de la Vega

1,378 words; about a 7 minute read

Mission: Episode 12 - Risin' To Risa
Location: White Stag Pub - Promenade - Empok Nor
Timeline: MD002 2100 hrs

Mickey had been at his post, where else would he be. Thus far it had been a slow night. Which had been odd to the Scot because the Pioneer had arrived the day before and he expected to see some of his old friends. However, they may have had better things to do. He bit into a scotched egg as he looked up and saw Chloe the Pioneer's barkeep striding in. Mick had not seen her since the station was taken back. His smile broadened. "Aren't ye a sight for sore eyes... Ye better git over ere an have a scotch or at the very least give an ole guy a hug."

"I think I can manage both." Chloe said with a grin as she rushed over to give the larger man a tight squeeze.

Barkeeps had an unwritten brotherhood, if you could call it that, so she always felt welcome and at home in the White Stag. She looked around and frowned a little. "You're not trying to force that Haggis stuff on people again, are you?" she asked rhetorically noticing the lack of clientele. "Look at what happened last time..."

"Ach haggis is delicious an ye know it. As for the lack of people. I think the rebuild has most of the folks busy. But it sure is great to see ye. Dinnae think the Pioneer would be getting back to these parts this soon." Mick poured two measures of his finest scotch. "Here's to you and here's to me; Best of friends may we ever be; But if perchance we disagree Then fuck you and here's to me." He laughed and clinked his glass after his toast.

Chloe downed the glass and pretended to look offended. "Mr Taggart, that kind of language in front of a lady. You know my delicate ears aren't used to such words." she said motioning for another shot. "But I think the Captain just wanted back for some leave, crew needed it... and what ever fresh blood they can provide me with to torture and teach bad habits too."

Mickey laughed as he poured another drink. "But more importantly is how are ye healing from your excursion on our fair station. I imagine that could not have been easy. But the way I hear it, if it weren't for you the mission would not have been so successful and I would not have a pub. So I guess I owe ye one."

"Oh I think you owe me a lot Mickey." she said with a cheeky wink and downed the next glass. "I'm alright now, still have little episodes where I'm stuck in a tube gasping for air... or being dragged down dark hallways by evil men." she trailed off and laughed nervously. "But, that is what whisky is for."

"Ach ye poor thing. Well take solace in the fact that whoever did it is getting their cummuffins. So is dat why ye came. Ta cash in one of da many favors dat I owe ye." Mickey eyed her with a knowing stare and took a bite of his scotched eggs.

"Could just believe that I missed your old face? That I could use the brain work in trying to figure out what you're saying to me half the time?" she asked in jest.

"Well dat will have ta do den. Like I said before ye are as close to a celebrity as this station is going to get right now. A lot of people in a lot places know what ye did to help get our homes back and I dunnae think they are fixin to forget. Oh that reminds me... Your shipment came in from Cardassia." Mick bent over to pick up the box of kanar that had been delivered the day before. "I was goin to forward it to the Pioneer but since ye are here ye can just take it."

"I did order that when the Cardassian sector was a place we were in more often." Chloe said forgetting she'd even organized its delivery. She had heard they were moving sector to be closer to the Romulan side of things. "Thanks Mickey, I'll store it on the ship when I get back."

"Well dat reminds me... What is the scuttlebutt are ye goin to be around these parts more often?" Taggart asked. He was interested in not only seeing Chloe but the rest of his friends aboard the Pioneer.

"I think so." Chloe shrugged. "I don't run the official things of the ship, just the seedy underbelly." she smiled. "I hope so, I mean this station holds such good memories for me." she joked.

"Am what is that seedy underbelly dealing with these days?" Mickey's eyes squinted. He ran an honest business and hoped that most did as well. However, he knew that there was sometimes need for a greyer approach to life. He knew it but that didn't mean that he liked it.

"Oh just the want for real alcohol, strange holo-programs and unusual requests for products that really people don't want others knowing." Chloe said as she twirled her hair a little. "I don't do anything illegal, sometimes people need a discreet method to relax out here."

"Ach fair enough. Well lassie you always have a weigh station here. Do ya need help with anything? It can get a little boring around these parts." Mickey smiled.

"Good to know Mickey." Chloe smiled and placed a hand over his. "I think I am fine though, as long as you don't stop pouring then it won't get boring." she said not meaning for it to rhyme.

Mickey set up another round of drinks. "Well lassie yer in the Stag now. So you want a round and round ye get. But they expect a toast, so show em what ya got."

"They always expect a toast." Chloe said rolling her eyes, picking up her drink and turning to the people. It seemed Mickey had already covertly managed to get them to focus on Chloe. She was always confident, but that had taken a knock recently as all eyes were now on her.

She raised her glass, "We have all seen devastation up close recently, some a little more than we'd like. We've seen loss, chaos and evil and to be honest I've seen all I want for a while. This station always comes back to life as quickly as it has dealt with those that would step on our free will with ease. We fight, we claw, and pull ourselves, each other, out from the dark. We lean on each other, places like this are a family and that's what we need right now. To be together, be there for each other as any brother or sister, father or mother, would be. This may not be my bar, but it is still my home filled with my dysfunctional family, that means you too Red." she said moving her glass towards a red skinned gentleman. A little roar of laughter came from the crowd as they slapped him on the back. "So, here's to us. Here's to family in all shapes and sizes." she raised her glass higher. "Salud!" she tossed the drink back.

"Well said" "Here's to you Chloe" and things of that nature could be heard from the crowd as they all raised their glasses in response. Mickey leaned over and spoke softly for the first time in ages. "Dat was a toast for the record books. Well said lassie, well said." He raised his drink to her and shot it back in a gulp.

Chloe simply smiled. She did not often speak from the heart but she did truly feel at home with her brothers and sisters of the brewing world, maybe Mickey was old enough to be the father but she'd never say that to him. It was a nice change of pace, change of scenery from After 11 but she would go home soon.

The Pioneer's walls beckoned.

A Joint Post BY

Chloe De La Vega
Owner/Bartender "After 11", USS Pioneer

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


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