A Dinner With Lena
Characters: Yuval Kirovski
There was no electricity in the long abandoned apartment, deep within the dark reaches of this old part of Haifa. Long ago this place was considered a rich one, but the 2071 religion war have driven the rich inhabitants away. 191 years later, only extremely poor people still lived there.
Yuval Kirovski stepped into the apartment and saw nothing; the place was too dark for his eyes to see. Seconds passed before Lena found a candle and lit it, filling the room with some light and casting many shadows along the wars. Yuval thought about Minbar; Candles always reminded him of it.
The room was quite empty, with only three chairs, an old cupboard, a table and a bed being in it. Sitting down, Lena motioned her friend to take a seat. “So, this is where you live?” Yuval asked her.
“There is where I live since 2256. The damn Earth Alliance decided to ‘rebuild’ the area where my old place was.”
“Well, I brought you a few things from the orbital starbase, maybe they’ll help you to live here.”
“What do you have in mind?”
“Well…” Yuval said and opened his bag “I got a few sheets, a solar-rechargeable lamp and a few things we can eat for dinner.”
“Well, thank you. I never thought of even having such things… and hey, you got Narn whine and a few cans of preserved altarian Flarn!”
“I knew that this is your favorite.” Yuval said and smiled.
“You know, I can get PPGs, I can get ammunition, I can get grenades, I can even get high explosives, but none of my… err… ‘contacts’ cannot bring me some Altarian flarn.”
“So let’s enjoy this night, since tommorow I’ll have to take a shuttle to a WhiteStar-class ship and I’ll be gone for a few years.”
“Let me light some fire and cook something for us…”
“And tell me of home, I was among the stars for too long.”
“If you want to, but be warned that I have no pleasant stories to tell, just stories of poverty, crime and civil war.”
“So tell me, for I’ve seen more darkness than you can possibly imagine.”
“You know that I can imagine quite a lot.”
“Yes, I know.”
On a small, improvised fireplace, Lena began to cook the flarn and a few vegetables, preparing a dinner for the too of them. “So, where do you want me to start?”
“What happened to you during the civil war? I know that you never stay away from the darkness.”
“Well, you know me quite well. At first this whole martial law thing was quite profitable. Martial law requires bureaucracy, and bureaucracy needs papers and papers can be forged. And people who can create fake identification papers need someone who can sell them safely, and that means me. I know most people on the black market, so I got a few credits from the process… later, one of guys next door, an old man and a father of 6 children almost got arrested. You know, they even beat the hell out of him in front of his children, damn Nightwatch. I heard the screams and got down there to see what’s happening.”
“And you found yourself killing the NightWatch guys.”
“Exactly. I grabbed my PPG and killed them all. Of course, this thing brought me into great trouble, and I had to hide… and after a few days I found myself in the Resistance, planting bombs in several governmental installations and dreaming of a better future.”
“well, you’re always the freedom fighter, the one who lives in the shadows and fights against impossible odds. i like it.” Yuval said and smiled, remembering the old days.
“Well, you will like me anyway. Talking about you, what is this uniform that you are wearing and what’s that expensive-looking pin on it?”
“I’m a member of the Anla’Shok.”
“Yuval Kirovski got to be a cop? I’ve never imagined this.”
“We’re not police, actually we were created to fight darkness.”
“So you’re in this… Anla’shok business. Running after hostile aliens and kicking ass all over the galaxy. What’s the point in all of this?”
“Well, they saved my ass from some really big and hostile aliens.”
“It’s better than what I got, since the resistance is no longer needed and the black market is no longer profitable.”
“You can always come with me, to the stars…”
“These dreams of yours again… I’ve never even entered a starship.”
“You can help with the security.”
“And I’ll have to do everything by the rules.”
“Still, you can join, at least you’ll have electricity and almost any kind of food you’ll want.”
Lena laughed and looked at Yuval, considering the offer yet fearing it’s consequences. “Anla’Shok training will require me to go to Minbar. I’ll have to learn completely new things and leave all the things I know. This offer… somehow seems tempting to me. But I’ll consider it later, now we got some Flarn to eat.”
(C) 1999 Omer Joel. All rights reserved.