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A Chance Meeting

Posted on Tue Jan 17th, 2023 @ 9:07am by Lieutenant Ayana Hillis & Commander Samantha Howard

Mission: Living History
Location: Earth, San Antonio

Ayana was amazed at the amount of products that were available in any one store at this mall. It was as if she had found herself in a Ferengi motivated facility, as anything you could possibly want was available, at a price. She had no idea at the level of consumerism that was apparently rampant in her own world's past. Not that she wasn't enjoying seeing all of the varieties of different products. In all honesty, she was enjoying browsing at all the things that the stores had to offer. In the Bath & Body Works store she has sent nearly half an hour viewing the various lotions and bath soaps and shampoos and other such things that seemed to come in more varieties than she could ever imagine. They were currently in a book store called Walden Books, a store that seemed to have a great deal to offer for such a small facility. She had overheard some of the locals compare it to another store someplace else in the mall called Barnes & Noble and had decided that was a place that needed to be visited as well. As it was, she was currently seeking out Sam to see what she might have found.

Sam was over by the 'Personal Development' section, her nose in a the delicious scent of printed paper, despite the absurdities that the book proclaimed. "Cure cancer with Rawism" The title proudly displayed along with a picture of raw vegetables and as Sam understood was a blender. Health care in this area was approaching in critical juncture where modern medicine was warring with traditional and nature remedies. Neither were perfect and both thought the other was entirely wrong yet only in the future would they learn to co-exist for the benefit of the patient. "This is so wild.... how can they spruke this stuff?" She murmured as she saw Ayana approaching.

Ayana approached Sam, "The social issues in this time period are far more strange than I remember studying. So many medical issues being addressed in strange ways, military matters escalating in bizarre ways, even the issues with the environment are being mishandled."

"It's a time of great change" Sam replied, earning a raised eyebrow from the woman standing on the other side of her with a copy of 'Heal your soul's in her hands. "People are so...self-centered and care only for the now and for themselves."

Ayana gave a menacing glance over at the would be eavesdropper which seemed to cause her to walk away. She looked back at Sam, "They seem a lot more like the Ferengi in some ways, so materialistic, and yet they have other attributes that remind me of Risians and even Klingons as well. It is amazing we survived this period of time. I took a look at some of the political material and it was appalling."

"Let me guess, conspiracy theories and biased biographies amongst other things?" Sam tossed a wry smile towards her companion. "It's a miracle these people survived the next world war at all. Now do you think there's somewhere around here we could get something to eat?"

"From the scents wafting around I would say yes" Ayana replied with a smile. She walked out of the store with Sam and they made their way towards the scent of the food, arriving at a food court. Ayana looked around at the options, unfamiliar with the restaurant names. She saw Noble Romans Pizza, Szechuan Palace, Chick-Fil-A, Subway, Taco Bell, and Whataburger. She looked at Sam, "It appears they have several options for food choice. The restaurant names in most cases tell you what they likely serve, though looking around at what some are eating, I wonder what this might be like if we try it."

Sam meandered around the food court, looking at the different option and trying to decide. "it looks like the food choices of this era are more driven by processing than nutrition" she commented before deciding that Subway was probably the least dietary offensive of the lot. She ordered a 6 inch salad wrap and a coffee. "What's your choice?" She asked Ayana as she picked up the meal on a tray.

Ayana meandered a bit before getting into line behind a male who was wrangling four kids. She wondered if this was a single father or if he had somebody else around to help him. The children looked to range in age from early teenage years to the youngest looking to be 7 or 8. As she began to look up at the menu the man turned around and she caught a glimpse of his face and she was shocked. She wondered if such a chance meeting could occur. She looked over at Sam and gestured to get her to look at the man. She wasn't sure if Sam would recognize him, but Ayana was certain this had to be a direct ancestor to Admiral Carroll. If she was encountering the admiral's ancestor, she wondered if she might encounter her own ancestors. After getting her order, a Whataburger with cheese, medium fries and medium sweet tea, she walked over to the table in the food court where Sam sat and kept her eyes on the man. He was sitting two tables away with the children. She lent over to speak in soft tones, "That man looks to be the exact clone of Admiral Carroll. I know the admiral's family has roots in Texas, but I never would expect to have a chance encounter."

"Beware the grandfather paradox" Sam said cautiously as she followed Ayana's eyeline and took in the family eating their meal. "The resemblance is uncanny. I could do a walk by DNA analysis to check if you like?"

"I understand" she said understandingly. She smiled, "I would much appreciate it for that scan. Something historical to hold on to."

Sam smiled wickedly and pulled out the tricorders that was masquerading as a mobile phone. She pressed a few buttons to set it to DNA scan then casually walked past the family, 'accidentally' dropping it as she went past. The father reached down and grabbed the now dark screened device "ma'am, you dropped this"

"How very clumsy of me, thank you very much" Sam retrieved the item and returned to Ayana to complete the scan with the new DNA.

"Very smooth" Ayana said with a smile. "You can tell you have been on a few covert ops. What does the scan tell you?"

Sam waited for a moment whilst the tricorder compared the reading to those in the significant database it carried. There was an almost inaudible beep as it found a distant match. There were distinct sequence matches that would show that this man was a long distant relative of Admiral Carroll. "You guessed right there Ayana, distant but direct relative"

Ayana smiled. "Deanna will be so jealous." She continued with her meal, finding that the food, while not nearly as nutritious as what she was used to, it was flavorful and strangely addictive. As she finished her meal and Sam did the same, she watched the man and his kids walk off to a place called Regal Theater which appeared to be a film location. She had heard them mention something about seeing something called Quantomania. Looking to Sam as she stood up and bused her tray at a local trash receptacle, "I'd like to check out a few more of these stores before we get back to the others. That Barnes & Noble store is just down the way, and I see two other smaller stores as well, called Spencer's Gifts and The GAP. Perhaps we'll find some interesting things there as well, in the name scientific curiosity of course" she said with a grin.

"Who am I to stand in the way of scientific curiosity?" Sam laughed, stashing her items back in the satchel. "Don't forget we have some currency if you want to purchase, I replicated one of these" she pulled out what looked like a credit card out of her pocket.

"I think we might be able to splurge a bit on a relic or two, in the name of science and history" Ayana replied with a smile as they headed off to the stores.


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