Characters: Cat Rosha, Brenda Mawarra, Elanor Parry
Cat was silent most of the trip back; forty-six hours was plenty of time to reflect on everything they had just experienced. She sat playing with the controls and staring out into the space ahead before the Ang’seilla raced through it. She was anxious to return with their new findings.
Reflecting on the discussions they had with the being from Eulinthis, she realized maybe the questions she had forgotten long ago were meant to be lost in time. Sometimes the answers to what we seek are lost in the stars for a reason, the being had said. Cat paused in thought for a second … maybe her purpose was to seek and never to find. Maybe she was the one who was supposed to always have hope, even when others had lost it.
The Ang’seillia emerged from the Minbar gate right on schedule. The Minbari homeworld hung in space before them, a brilliant glittering jewel in white, blue and pale green. As Cat sent the scout ship in a wide arc around the planet, heading for the landing field at Tuzanor, the comm spoke.
“Ang’seillia, welcome home. Please report to Nesaan immediately upon your arrival. We look forward to your report.”
Cat swiftly maneuvered the controls telling the thrusters what to do in order to land the ship. When the ship finally shook gently and landed with a thud she turned around to Elanor and Brenda. “Well that was an adventure!” She smiled. “Good to be home — let’s go show Nesaan what we have uncovered!”
Elanor and Brenda smiled, also glad to be home as they began packing up their belongings from the trip. Cat shut down the control system before heading for her already packed bag.
Elanor and Brenda had their hands full and were already walking off the ship before Cat reached her bag and found two more crates that needed to be taken off. One contained the jar of Quantium-40 they had been given by the Eulinthis alien — they hadn’t needed to use it all to fix the jumpgate — and the other held something even more precious: the cases of data crystals with all the Eulinthians’ technology detailed.
Cat took it all in her arms. With her first step off the vessel, she took a deep relaxing breath, feeling strangely renewed.
Stopping only long enough to drop personal belongings in their quarters, the three Rangers hurried to reach Nesaan’s office. The door opened the moment they touched the chime, and the Minbari bowed in greeting. “Welcome home,” she told them as she invited them to sit. “We were surprised to see you return as quickly as you have — we thought that perhaps something had gone wrong. But I see — by the containers that Anla’shok Rosha is carrying — that your journey was far from fruitless.
“Tell me, what did you find on Eulinthis? Were the descendants of the people from ancient Rolui still there?”
Cat took a deep breath, remembering the adventure the three of them had, trying to reproduce the memories again as vividly as she could in order to retell it. “We certainly had quite a time! The planet is inhabited by the descendants of the Rolui, but they have evolved to extraordinary levels. They have become one with the planet Eulinthis, creating a world that not only is well protected from races wanting them for negative means, but also a bond between them and nature that greatly exceeds our understanding. We encountered only one of the beings who willingly showed themselves to us, but they were able to give us unique information not many have been able to find. It was absolutely incredible, Nesaan.” Cat trailed off with a slight smile on her face.
“Incredible indeed,” the Minbari said, with a little smile. “We have long believed such an evolution was possible, but had yet to confirm an example — this side of the Rim, anyway.”
“The kind of control they have over their environment is amazing,” Brenda said. “The artifact which they used to become one with the planet — the Heart of Transcendence, they call it — the vegetation around it couldn’t be more groomed if they used a team of groundskeepers. And if the Eulinthians decide they don’t want you to be there, they’ll just wrap you up in vines and haul you away.”
Nesaan nodded. “We will expect a written report from each of you, at your earliest convenience,” she said. “Anla’shok Rosha, what is in the containers you have brought?”
Cat jumped, remembering the data crystals she had brought to the meeting. She took them out excitedly and handed one to Nesaan. “You hold in your hands just a piece of their documentation on their technological advancements. The being we came in contact with was very friendly and willing to share a lot on their culture. The possibilities with this information could be endless.”
Nesaan held the crystal up to the light, turning it back and forth between her fingers. “Astonishing,” she said. “Absolutely astonishing. That any species would be so willing to share millennia of its knowledge and technology, simply for the asking …” She shook her head gently, and smiled as she handed the crystal back to Cat. “Our scientists will be even more amazed than I, no doubt. All three of you are to be greatly commended for bringing this to us. It will be used to benefit the entire Alliance, that I can assure you.”
She accepted the cases of crystals from Cat, then said, “All three of you are deserving of a rest. Please consider yourselves at liberty for the next few days — you will be summoned if you are needed. Is there anything you need from me, or questions I can answer?”
Cat paused only for a second, looking at her two partners before looking back at Nesaan. “I think we are okay for now. Thank you, Nesaan.” She bowed.
The three of them said their goodbyes to Nesaan before exiting the room with a big sigh of relief. “Well that was quite an adventure.” She received nods from Brenda and Elanor as they walked down the long corridor towards the quarters. “Thank you both for everything, I’ll see you in a few hours. I think it’s time for some well deserved rest.” Cat waved goodnight to the both of them before entering her quarters.
She took a deep breath and smiled, thinking of the amazing experience they had just completed. She soon felt herself tired though. Turning on the lights to a dull glow, Cat sat on the couch, feeling her body unwilling to move any further. She stared forward, not seeing the wall in front of her. Her eyelids became heavy, and soon all of the thoughts in her head were locked in the cabinet hiding in the corner of her mind. The slowing sound of her breathing was all that was left as she felt reality slip away and peaceful darkness overtake her.