Shore Leave: Welcome to Drozana
Location: The Raven's Claw
Packing up their meagre possessions had not taken the twins long. Everything they owned comfortably fit into two large and one small suitcase. They had few things that had any real value to them, except maybe for the one racing trophy Miles had won, and Mila's small collection of science books. The landlord didn't seem very interested in their departure, and since they had never interacted with any of their neighbours, moving out was done very quickly.
Making their way across to the Raven's Claw's dock had not taken them very long, either, and finally, they laid eyes on the ship that would be their new home. "Looks old", Mila signed to Miles, who nodded. "Well maintained, though. Guess we should wait for Ash here?"
Ash had left the Lynn twins to pack their belongings to move on board the Raven's Claw and spent the next two hours making sure everything was set up for them. Something about Miles and Mila just made her want to make sure they were okay. Yeah, the fact that they were prodigies in their respective skills made them special and they were people she would rather have on her side than have to deal with later... but dare she say she actually cared about their well being? It wasn't like Ash could relate to them... it wasn't like her family abandoned her, rather it was the other way around. She grew up in a loving household and was given all of the opportunities to succeed. She had a career... almost a wife... she shook her head from those thoughts... Yet here she is now... on Drozana just like Miles and Mila.
She saw the twins as she was approaching the airlock. Mila almost looked a little disappointed looking at the ship. Wait until after this next mission, kid. "Welcome to the Raven's Claw . She's not much to look at, but she's home for now. So is that all you have? Or should I coordinate transporting anything else?"
Miles shrugged.. "We never stayed in any one place long enough to get much stuff. Makes life easier." He looked at the ship again. "T'Varo-class? I've never seen one of these outside a history holo, aren't they a few hundred years old?" He was starting to be impressed.
"Well, guess that makes moving in a bit easier. You'll be sharing quarters, they're not the biggest, but there's more than enough space," Ash said. "And yes, this old bird is a T'Varo class vessel and she is definitely a few hundred years old. We've made some improvements but..." Ash whispered conspiratorially, "I still don't quite trust the replicators. So where to first? Tour of the ship? Settle in your quarters?"
Mila looked at their luggage. "I think quarters would be best," she said to Ash. "And maybe we could get something to eat then?" Miles looked at her and nodded vehemently. "Oh yes, please. Anything with flavour, I am tired of nutrition bars. They were all we had for the last two months."
Ash smiled at the two, the couldn't help but feel for them. She paused at the thought... some heartless assassin she was. Ash picked up two of the heaviest looking pieces of luggage and started walking, "Sounds like a plan. We'll drop this off, get you settled in, and we'll go get some food... I think Raven hired a new chef a couple of days ago. We can see if she's any good. If not, we can come back to Drozana and find something to eat. Regardless, anything you want, it'll be my treat. A welcome aboard present, if you will. I know the feeling of just eating nutrition bars and rations..." As much as she mocked Rehana for the replicators, it was still head and shoulders over what passed for sustenance when she was a prisoner of war. She had just enough to eat to keep her alive, served with a healthy side of beatings. And it was only moderately better when she was in a Federation prison and only because the beatings stopped. "Literally anything is better. So, what do you want your first real meal in a while to be?"
Miles looked at his sister, who shrugged. "To be honest," she said to Ash, "we don't really mind. Let's see what that chef has to offer?" With that, she picked up the small case, and Miles took the handle of the remaining large one. "Lead the way."
"Chef's surprise it is. But if you think of anything, all you have to do is ask. Today's your day," Ash knew better than to push the conversation. She remembered coming back to "normal" life. A universe of options and possibilities was overwhelming after years of waking up every morning not knowing if you would be allowed to live another day. Even so, she found conversing with the twins more enjoyable than the last time she escorted a new crewmember to their quarters.
She opted to do the talking, if they had anything they wanted to share, it would be their choice. "It's a lot, isn't it? I can empathize, I led an... interesting life... when I was rescued from a prisoner of war camp, I still remember being asked what I wanted to eat. I'd almost forgotten that there was more options than basic rations. More flavors than the spectrum between bland and disgusting. My first meal was a pizza. With pineapple on it... and mushrooms... and anchovies. Granted some people found that combination disgusting. But it was the most delicious thing I had ever tasted. After that, I probably ate entirely more than I should have... had to spend a lot of time in the gym so they wouldn't have to roll me down the corridors," Ash joked, hoping to maybe make the two crack a smile.
Mila smirked. "I don't know, but that pizza sounds good to me." "Sometimes I wonder how we can be so closely related," Miles retorted, with a laugh. "But then you always have had weird tastes." They had both looked at Ash with some surprise when she had mentioned her time in a prison camp, but they knew better than to ask more. "So, how did you end up on this ship then?"
Oh good, the twins are willing to open up, Ash thought. "I'm glad we're about to get food... its a bit of a long story. I used to be a Starfleet officer... and also a Section 31," Ash paused, telling two teenagers she was an assassin was probably not the best way to start a conversation, "operative. Long story short, the Section screwed me over. I was working as a double agent during the war... they not only framed me for the destruction of my ship but then they betrayed me, which led to me spending time as a POW and then when I was rescued, I was court-martialed and thrown into a Federation prison."
Hmmm, this probably wasn't endearing herself to the two teenagers. "I was given a second chance... and uh... I managed to salvage my career, but ultimately, I... uh... decided that I needed to be out here. I didn't really belong with Starfleet. And the Section and I have a love-hate relationship.... Geez, I must sound like a terrible person, don't I?" She wasn't wrong. Ashley Rogers specializes in making people dead. There's really no way to sugar coat that. Hey kids, my career in Starfleet could never work out because assassinations are pretty frowned upon.... but sometimes some people just really need to not be alive for the greater good. And my family and ex-fiance also really frowns upon me killing people. So that's why I'm here, is definitely not what she needs to say.
"I'm here to make a difference in this crazy messed up galaxy," was what she settled upon. "And the pay is good." Way to go Rogers... you probably scared them.
The twins listened to Ash telling her life story with a keen interest. When she had finished, Miles was first to respond. "I don't think it matters much where you come from. You are trying to make a difference in the galaxy, that is what matters." Mila nodded her agreement. "You don't seem like a bad person. I mean, you saved me from that Klingon. A bad person would have just ignored him."
Ash furrowed her brow, trying to avoid looking at the two, "To be honest, you're probably among the very few that don't think I'm a bad person. Some days I'm not so sure myself. I've done a lot of bad things in my life." She sighed, "Sorry, I'm sure that's the last thing you wanted to hear from someone that just recruited you to work with her. But I figure its better you hear it from me than from anyone else... or before you do a computer search on me..."
Changing the subject, "But you know what? I would have saved you from a hundred Klingons. If that makes me not a bad person, then...." She stopped and just looked at the two teenagers, "I just hope I don't disappoint you." Ash paused and wondered where that sentiment even came from... well she knew where it came from, but she had no idea why she said it to the twins.
Mila put a hand on Ashley's arm. "You may not believe it yourself, but you are a good person. Just because you have done bad things in your life does not mean that you are automatically a bad person. You saved me. Saved us both. Made sure we got this opportunity, this new home. We will never be able to thank you enough."
Ash put her hand on Mila's hand and smiled, "Thank you for kind words." She can't help but just feel in the pit of her stomach that one day she will disappoint Mila and Miles. She has done that to everyone that has ever believed in her. You'd think Ash would learn from her past and not make the same mistakes, but the only mistake made is that people keep wanting to believe there is good in her. That's why she's out here... to avoid hurting those she cared about. And now she's got two teenagers that seem to think Ash is someone worth believing in... great.
"Enough about me, kiddos, I want to get to know you guys too. What do you want to be when you grow up? If you had all the resources and opportunities?" Ash had to change the focus of the conversation.
Miles shrugged. "Honestly, I never really thought that far ahead. Since we left our parents, it's always just been about staying safe and feeding ourselves, really." Mila punched him in the arm, and started fervently signing at him. "Oh, of course," he finally added, translating for his sister. "Mila is really into temporal dynamics and time travel, stuff like that. So I guess she wants to work in that field?" He sighed. "And anyway, Mila, you can talk for yourself."
His sister chuckled. "Yes, but I like winding you up. And hey, it's not as if you never thought about becoming a racing pilot properly!"
The assassin watched the two siblings bicker,. They reminded her of her own sister even though Ash was much older than her and their dynamic was a little different. But she could relate to Miles being protective. "Hopefully with the experience you get on board the Claw you can be a racing pilot and we can get you working with scientists and temporal physicists. I know Starfleet wasn't for me, but have you thought of joining up with them?"
Mila looked at her brother for reassurance, before replying. "No. I don't think they would want us anyway. They don't really like people like us. Engineered people."
Ash grumbled at the synth ban.... Mars... dammit. She looked up and was glad they had arrived at the twins' quarters so she could let this line of conversation drop. Although she was now curious about how the two were engineered... a conversation for later, perhaps. Maybe she will take them to Nancy for a physical, who knows when the last time the two saw a proper doctor was. "Welcome to your new home," she said as she opened the door and dropped off the luggage she was carrying. Do you want some time to settle in before we go eat or do you want to head out now?"
The twins stepped into the room. It was almost the same size as the room they had rented from the Ferengi on Drozana - more than enough room. Mila looked at her brother, and then turned to Ash. "I think before we do anything, I need a shower. And a change of clothes." Miles nodded. "Same here. Shall we say, eat in an hour?"
"Sounds good to me. I'll be by in an hour," Ash said. "If you need anything, don't hesitate to call." She left the twins to their own devices as she headed back to her quarters, reflecting on what she's gotten herself into this time.