Characters: Terry Hale

Hale fingered the crisp, double folded sheet of paper Yoshino had handed her, and sank in to her seat on the bridge. The operations officer smiled and bowed in her fashion before turning to her station with Darion.

Within, the plans were, Hale had to admit, elegantly simple. Maybe it was the best thing that could be done. She cleared her throat and called out to the computer.

“Open a channel ship-wide, and record a copy for each comm access.”

Hale paused a moment, considering her words. “Your attention, please. This is Captain Hale.

“Two hours before the end of Shift Two, a Wake will begin, to celebrate the lives of those lost we have lost to this mission. It will continue until two hours after the beginning of Shift Three. From 2100 hours until 0100 hours in standard time, approximately. It is to be held in the Observation Deck and attached meditation rooms.

“There will be an open stage in the main Observation Dome, for those who wish to speak about friends lost, or who might desire to entertain with music or humor. Light food and beverages will also be available.”

Hale momentarily considered the report that there would be alcohol served in one of the ancillary rooms, but left that to be discovered by the guests as they arrived. Let those be drawn to the gathering for other reasons. She scrambled to find closing words.

“It is not required that you attend, but it is encouraged. I am certain that as we wish for those gone, to have found joy, they would wish the same for us. Enjoy yourselves. Hale, out.

“Close and send, computer,” Hale said, and folded the paper back down. It disappeared into her uniform and her gaze turned, not to the next report or duty, but to find the time. She was surprised to learn she would be counting the short hours until the Wake began.

Copyright (c) 1998 Alida Saxon. All rights reserved.

Have your say