The door slid open and Izi stepped into the room.
“Computer, lights.” As the darkness melted away, Izi looked at Ashley who was standing nervously in the corridor. “It's okay. Come inside.”
Sighing, Ashley joined Izi, the door closing behind her.
“It's not much, but you'll be safe here,” said Izi. “It's not the top-of-the-line section of the civilian quarter, but you'll be comfortable.”
Ashley looked around, a furtive expression on her face.
“You have a replicator and a sonic shower. There's enough credits to eat modestly, so don't have a feast.” Izi chuckled. “I put everything on my account, so no one knows you're here. When I finish my shift, I'll be back with some new clothes.”
Ashley still hadn't said anything.
“Don't worry about those merchants. Doctor Longfellow paid for what you took and I made sure there won't be charges filed.”
Several long seconds passed.
“Thank you,” said Ashley.
“You're welcome.” Izi smiled. “Don't open the door for anyone until I come back. No sense in taking any chances. I promise I'll do everything I can to help.”
“Do you have the information I requested?”
“You know, Iziraa, if I'm going to be the one doing your job for you, I should be wearing those pips,” said Gren.
“Then I don't need to pay you.”
“Never mind.” Gren scowled.
“Well?” Izi's antennae leaned slightly towards the Ferengi.
“You're kidding, right?” said Gren. “You've seen how busy it's been here. ”You can't expect me to find out who that woman is in just a few hours. These things take time."
Izi knew Gren was right, but she needed to know Ashley's story as soon as possible. If she was on the run or someone was trying to harm her, Izi had to help.
“Why can't you find her in some Federation database?” said Gren.
“I don't know her full name or if the name she gave me was real. Besides, if her prints or DNA aren't on file or she's not from a Federation world, she wouldn't register. I'm doing what I can from my end, but I could still use your resources.”
“It's always a pleasure to take your money, er, be of help.” Gren bowed.
Don't know what I'd do without you," said Izi, “Though sometimes I'd like to try.”
“You wouldn't know what to do with yourself,” said Gren.
Izi genuinely liked Gren, and their verbal repartee was often one of the best parts of the day, but she knew she could trust him only so far. There were rumors of a gang called Friends of Ferenginar and it was likely Gren was part of it. He was a valuable commodity, but she had to be careful.
“I need to get going,” said Izi. “If I spend too much time here, people will talk.”
“How do you know they don't already?” said Gren with a sly smile.
“What?” Izi's antennae stood erect, like a letter V. “Gren, I swear, if you're telling people something is happening between us, I'll cut off your ears.” She was steaming.
“Oh, relax. It's so easy to mess with you.” Gren chuckled. “Stop being so serious all the time.”
“Get me that information!” In a huff, Izi stormed off.