“We don’t need any help,” she said. “Soon as we get our repairs finished, we’ll be on our way.”
“You’ll be dead long before that happens,” Ozzie said. “And you’ll take half the city with you.”
“Who are you supposed to be again?” the alien asked.
“I’m her,” Ozzie replied, nodding toward Angela. “Twenty-five years from now.”
The captain studied Ozzie closely for a long moment, her face expressionless.
“So… you traveled back in time to save your city?” she said finally. “Is that it?”
“No, I came back to save my girlfriend,” Ozzie said. “Then she insisted we save everyone else too.”
The captain smiled faintly.
“Come with me.”
The four humans followed the alien along the balcony. Angela stared down at the passengers. Many of them appeared to be children. A few glanced nervously up toward her and quickly looked away.
“We were passing through this system when a power surge threw us out of FTL,” the captain said. “We landed in the middle of an asteroid field. I managed to get us clear but we took some major damage in the process. So I hauled ass to the nearest habitable planet in case we lost life support.”
“And now you need to haul ass away,” Ozzie said.
“That’s easier said than done,” the captain replied. “It’s taking every bit of power we’ve got just to hold this position. We couldn’t move if we wanted to. My engineer keeps telling me he’s got everything under control, but I don’t pay him much for a reason.”
Angela turned to Ozzie.
“Hey, you’re a mechanic, right?” she said. “Why don’t you take a look?”
“I work on cars,” Ozzie said. “Closest I’ve gotten to something like this is….”
“What?” Angela asked.
“Show me the engines,” Ozzie said to the captain.