A Chance Meeting
Shore Leave: Welcome to Drozana
Location: The Bazaar, Drozana Station
Miles was frustrated. They had been on Drozana for seven weeks now, and they were quickly running out of funds. Despite his talent and credentials as a pilot, and despite his sister's scientific gifts, the only offer for work had been to Mila, as a dancer in one of the shadier establishments on the platform, which she had refused quite forcefully. Their rent was due in a few days, and as it stood, it did not look as if they were going to be able to pay it. And he did not doubt that their landlord wouldn't hesitate to have them evicted within the day. He was, after all, a Ferengi, and they were far away from the laws of more civilised planets. On this station, your worth was determined by two things: how much latinum you had, and how quickly you could acquire more.
A tap on his shoulder made Miles look up from the PADD he was holding and pretending to read, while deep in thought. He looked up to find his sister, Mila, looking at him. "Any luck?", he signed, putting the PADD down on the table in front of him, next to the cup of Raktajino that had long gone cold. He had been sat outside this café for the past two hours, waiting for his sister to return from a job interview. Dejectedly, Mila shook her head. "They were only interested in me. When I finally got around to mentioning you, they pretty much immediately kicked me out." She plopped herself down on the chair opposite. "Only thing I got out of it was a massive headache. I hate these implants. What about you, found anything?"
Miles shrugged. "There's a freighter crew looking for people to do some heavy lifting, so definitely not us. Then there's this mercenary Raven, looking for crew, but do we really want to sign on with mercs?" Before Mila could respond, a fat Klingon male stepped up to their table, with a hungry look on his face. "Ay, gorgeous! How much for a little fun, eh?" His accent and tone were coarse, and it was immediately clear what he wanted from Mila, who just looked shocked. Her aural implants were still switched off, so she had not heard a word the man said. Miles jumped in instead. "Leave her alone!" Brashly, the Klingon pushed him off his chair. "Wasn't talking to you, twerp," he growled, before grabbing Mila's arm. "Now, you and I, we are going to go back to my place, and enjoy ourselves a bit. If you do it right, I might even pay you."
Ash was still search of weaponry for their mission and a decent body cam for Hatham at the Bazaar when she heard another ruckus. She grinned as she drew her weapon and headed towards the scuffle. Oh, a Klingon. Excellent.
"I don't think you can afford her, you p'tak..." Ash said as she aimed her weapon at him. "Let her go, and no one will get hurt. And by no one, I'm talking about you."
The Klingon turned, and, staring down the barrel of a weapon pointed at him, he quickly released his grip on the girl. Spouting a series of colourful curses in the newcomer's general direction, he walked off.
Meanwhile, Miles had picked himself up from the floor. "Thank you, lady. Don't know what I would have done of you hadn't showed up. Seems nobody else cared, anyway." He looked at his sister, who still seemed frozen in shock, and tapped her on the shoulder. "You okay?", he signed, and Mila finally seemed to wake up from her stupor. She nodded at her brother and touched the control behind her left ear, activating her aural implants. "Th- thank you," she said to Ash, in a quiet, unsteady voice. "I would offer to pay you, or some other reward, but my brother and I don't have anything to give you."
Ash looked at the two and realized they were twins. The sister had impaired hearing and the brother seems to have the self defense skills of Kaol. She extended a hand to the two of them, "I'm Ashley Rogers. If that asshole or any other asshole gives you any problems, come find me. I'll be on Drozana for a few more days." She hands the twins a small communications device, a calling card of sorts. "I do freelance... security... work." She takes a look at the two of them, "What are the two of you doing on Drozana anyways? This isn't exactly a place for everyone..."
Miles took the card, and smirked dejectedly. "Long story short, looking for work. But nobody wants a pair of handicapped teenagers, even if one of them is a genius scientist and the other a brilliant pilot. Miles Lynn, and this is my sister Mila," he added, having almost forgotten to introduce them. Quiet as ever, Mila chimed in. "I hate this place. But after we had to sell our shuttle, we haven't got anywhere else to go. My brother may be an ace pilot, but that is worthless without a ship to fly. And I don't have the right skills for this place, either. Nobody here needs a deaf physicist."
The young girl sighed and let her head hang, her bright turquoise hair falling like a curtain in front of her face, hiding the tears welling up in her eyes. This was not how it had been supposed to go. Not at all. Miles looked over at his sister and slowly shook his head. "We are stuck here, lady. We have five days until we need to pay our rent. We can't. We'll be thrown out, and who knows what will happen then."
Ash furrowed her brow, not expecting their sad story. A part of her would always be wary of anyone and everyone she encountered especially now that the Claw had plans to go after the Ourainavassa but something about the two kids in front of her made her feel something she wasn't accustomed to... compassion? She paused, stunned at herself. These "kids" could be anything. They could work for any number of unscrupulous organizations. But yet they couldn't defend themselves from a Klingon? Maybe this was a trap? But they couldn't have known she would be in the vicinity... or could they? After her latest scuffle, half of the Bazaar knew who she was. She could look into their story to see if they check out and talk to Raven about bringing on a pilot and a physicist... if they were who they said they were.
"Look, I work for a crew that might need a few extra hands. Tell me a little about yourselves. How'd you get here? Where are your parents?" Ash asked.
Miles hesitated, and a flurry of signing began between him and his sister, before Mila finally spoke. "We don't know where our parents are. For all we care, they might as well be dead. We ran away, three years ago. Since then, my brother and I have been all over the place. Miles is a great pilot, so he started entering races, and since I am good with numbers, I started playing the odds. We made good money, until it went wrong and we lost everything. Now we're here."
Her brother stared at her for a moment. He had not heard his sister speak so many words out loud in a long time. "As long as you don't need us doing anything physical, we'd be grateful for any work.
Ash listened to their story, noting the details to investigate before offering, "I'll talk to my commander and maybe we can work something out."
Mila nodded. "Thank you," she said, her voice almost reduced to a whisper. "Yes, thank you, a lot," Miles added. "What kind of crew are you with?"
Ash supposed it was her time to share, but definitely not too much. And definitely nothing about the Ourainavassa. She flashed her Centurion rank to the pair, "I'm with the Raven's Claw. We are a crew of freelancers like me trying to help the Romulans. I suppose if you want to call us mercenaries, you wouldn't be incorrect. Is that a problem?"
The twins looked at each other, and had signed back and forth, obviously discussing the proposal. Finally, they both nodded, and Miles spoke. "Can't be worse than being homeless on Drozana, that much is for sure. Okay, get us in touch with your boss, maybe we can be useful after all."
"Before I do, do you have any references or validation of your skills? Can't be too careful around here, you know," Ash said. She almost feels bad for asking them. But the Claw has a mission to accomplish, they're not an orphanage. "Or you can show me what you can do."
Miles looked at his sister, before picking up the PADD he was reading earlier, and brought up a few news articles. "You ever heard of asteroid dodging? It's a rather dangerous sport, a form of shuttle racing really, through an asteroid field. At about 25 per cent of light speed. Outlawed in the Federation because it's that ludicrously dangerous. I'm the youngest pilot to ever win three races in a row. Missed out on the championship by a single point." He handed her the PADD with his racing record to prove what he had just said.
Mila, meanwhile, had pulled out a PADD of her own, with some complicated calculations and diagrams on it, and handed it to Ash. "Mathematical proof that if time travel is possible, parallel universes must also exist. It's the only possible explanation for several paradoxes. Whenever there is a temporal disturbance, a new, parallel timeline is created." Her brother held up his hand, stopping her before she started on an hour-long diatribe about time travel and parallel universes - her favourite topic of research. "Sorry," she whispered, realising that she had started to lecture. "Basically, mathematical analysis is my thing."
Mila fell silent for a moment, before speaking again, even more quiet than before. "You say you are working with Romulans? You do know that their homeworld will be destroyed by a supernova in six months? And Remus will too. And many other planets around the core of their empire. I don't even want to calculate how many will die. But I am pretty sure that with enough data, I can tell you the exact date the star will blow."
Ash took both PADDs to show Raven later as she nodded at the twins, "Impressive. And yeah, we know. We're trying to help as many of them as possible. So unless you know how to stop a supernova too, we are working on borrowed time to help as many as we can. So where can we find you after I talk to the boss?"
"Red matter," Mila muttered, "but the Federation would be the only place to get that stuff." Her brother ignored her, and took out a little chip. "This has our communicator code on it. We have a room on sublevel 23, but you will usually find us somewhere around here."
Ash raises an eyebrow at Mila, she knows about Red Matter? Interesting. "Alright, I'll be in touch. Regardless, if you need anything until then, you get a hold of me okay?"