Pren has never made a secret of despising her childhood. The stifling rules, the lack of respect, and constantly being spoken down to began grating on her at an early age.
“Know your place.” They’d chide, “A woman has no lobes for business.”
She was only ten when she snuck out for the first time, disguised as a boy of course, and made her first bets on the gree-worm races. It was a simple thing to her, logging onto the Ferengi Financial Data Net and accessing the worm race histories, information about different breeders and tip-offs. Before long she was making some slips, which became strips, which became bars, which became her freedom.
It was a furiously hot, muggy evening in the capital, just how Pren liked it. She was sixteen, dressed in a thin cloak that hung shapeless around her body, with the hood obscuring her tiny (for a Ferengi) ears. As she scurried to the North Gate, she carried with her a cloth sack containing everything she’d ever won on the worms.
“Do ya have it?” A croaky voice rose above the splatter of torrential rain.
Wordlessly, Pren reached out and deposited the sack into the Saurian’s outstretched claws. Two bars, eight strips and twenty-five slips of gold pressed latinum; the price of escaping this fetid, stinking swamp.
She remembered the shuttle shaking as it passed through Ferenginar’s atmosphere, then slowly gliding out of orbit. To Prenn it felt like a shuddering hand, finally releasing her from its grip. She hadn’t even given too much thought to her destination, or what the realities of making a new home would be.
Izar was uncomfortably dry and temperate for Pren. The shuttle had set her down in New Seattle, and she wandered the streets for days. She was astounded at first. Everyone just seemed so… Nice. It was weird. There was no fee to use the public replicators. People were eager to hear her story, and when she built up the courage to explain her situation to a colonial official she was listened to. She couldn’t believe it, she was even offered accommodation, which she accepted incredulously.
Within a month of landing on Izar, she was bored. How did anyone in the Federation have a satisfying life? Everything was free and provided for. Food, shelter, friends in abundance. It was sacrilege to her, and yet she was excited. She had what she had been looking for all along, and now she went looking for the next thing. It didn’t take Pren long to discover that there were in fact some things, even on Izar, that demanded a price.
It was another annoyingly cloudless day at Ascension Square, the market district of New Seattle. Pren perused the shop fronts, batting away trinkets that hung from hooks across the walkway. She had used some of her replicator quota for a new wardrobe, and the coloured shapes adorning the wide sleeves of her dress flapped in the breeze. At that moment, something caught her eye. It was strange to her, and something few on Ferenginar would have even glanced towards, let alone seen value in. Pren wasn’t even sure if she could have found interest in it herself, were it not for all she now had. To her, it represented all that was different in her new life. An expressionist piece, like Prenn it was bright and bold and full of colour. After purchasing it for all the remaining latinum she had, she would later learn it was a 2215 Ventaxian oil on canvas, “Eternal Summer” by Jeynn Strett, and worth a lot more than she had paid.
From here, Pren’s gallery grew. Soon she was chartering shuttles across the Federation for viewings and the occasional deal. She had all the Alpha Quadrant great artists memorised, and a great deal of Romulo-Vulcan sculptors too. Her name was out there, and before long she was requested to attend valuations. Great dinner parties on Betazed, Earth, Tellar and a whole host of Federation capital worlds. Starfleet itself even requested her services as a collection manager for interior art installations. Her palms were crossed with latinum, but more importantly now for Prenn, prestige and respect beyond her wildest dreams.
Every night back on Izar, she climbs into bed, and nearly every night she is exhausted. She has seen great chateaux, starbases, and forest temples, but none of this feels like home to her. To this day, she maintains that the only place she can ever get a good night’s sleep is the municipal quarters on Izar she returns to whenever she can. Sometimes, just after turning out the lights, that wry smile disappears. Her thoughts wander back to those other women on Ferenginar, unclothed, unvoiced. Either not willing or not able to leap as she had done, into the unknown.
Pren has long since left Ferenginar in the dust. Born into a wealthy, traditional family, she quickly grew to loathe the constraints of Ferengi society. As soon as she was old enough, still naked and voiceless, she devoted her every waking hour to escaping her patriarchal prison. Possessed of an intelligence, wit and industriousness far greater than any Ferengi male ever gave her credit for, Pren has found a new home in the Federation. This does not mean she has rejected all Ferengi sensibilities, however. A rapacious desire for profit still motivates her. She can nearly always be seen dressed in bold colours, flowers and patterned dresses. Her clothes, along with her wry smile, belie a certain sense of self satisfaction from having made her own vast fortune.