Yoshino Marina sat at the main Ops console, studying several columns of numbers and the graphs that charted them. The data was intriguing enough that she could actually manage to forget that it was nearing the end of her shift — almost, anyway, she thought with a smile.
Looking again at the numbers, she thought she would have to talk to Jordan. The ship’s power consumption levels had spiked up just slightly, then dropped again, and none of the standard power draws — engines, life support, weapons and armoring systems — could account for it. There was, however, an event which seemed coincident….
Morgan stepped onto the bridge and approached Yoshino. She smiled faintly in greeting, and bowed Minbari-fashion. “I hope I am not interrupting anything.”
“Nothing that’s urgent,” Yoshino said as she returned the bow. “What can I do for you?”
“I thought this might be a good time to fill you in on arrival plans.”
Yoshino nodded, clearing her board’s screen with a wave of her hand, then murmuring a command to bring up a new screen of information. “It looks like our ETA to Rolui is less than twelve hours,” she said. “What do you have in mind?”
“I would rather not appear with a bang, so to speak. So no one on the planet should be able to see us.” Morgan indicated the largest moon.
“As far as I’m aware, our own jump engines are running at full efficiency,” Yoshino said. “Targeting a jump on the dark side should be no problem.”
She looked over the other reports about the system they were approaching. “It appears the Rolui have placed a few satellites in orbit of their homeworld, but none in orbit of the moon, so unless another ship happens to be out there at the very moment we arrive, we will draw no attention at all.”
Morgan nodded. “I think it is worth the risk, as it is a small one, given the benefits of going unnoticed.”
“Agreed. Do you need me to coordinate with our navigator, or will you be talking to him yourself?” Yoshino glanced over to that station; a Minbari named Rafell was there, monitoring the Phoenix’s progress. Yoshino hadn’t been told exactly what had happened to Carlacci, but the scuttlebutt was very interesting.
Morgan shook her head. “I trust you with the details. Is there anything I can help you with?”
Yoshino thought about it a moment, then focused her pale blue eyes on the Exec. “Have you heard from Nichols-san recently?”
“Just a quick note. Kim’s probably heard more. Why?”
“I’d like to enlist his help in looking out for someone who may be a threat to the Anla’shok — and someone else who might need our help.”
“I am sure he would be willing. If nothing else, he sounded as if he felt out of place there, and this is… ‘right up his alley’, as they say.”
“Good. I’ll talk to Tomas about it tonight.” She couldn’t help the wide smile that lit up her face at mention of the name.
There was no way Morgan could miss that. “So, things are still… progressing, I take it?”
Yoshino blushed, trying to hide her face and nod at the same time. “Yes, I think so,” she said. “We’ve been spending quite a few evenings in my quarters — going through my vid collection.”
She smiled. “Enjoy it, please. Tomas is a good man.”
“I am, and he is indeed.” Her smile turned wry for a moment. “I think at the moment, our biggest challenge is convincing ourselves we’re worthy of each other.”
“I do not think anyone is truly worthy of that, but who is worthy of a gift? Treat it as such.”
“Indeed,” Yoshino said with another nod. “And I owe you thanks for this too. If not for you, I don’t think I’d’ve had the courage to begin.”
Now it was Morgan’s turn to be embarrassed. “You have more than enough courage for whatever happens, I think.”
“I hope so.” Yoshino looked back down at her console, and the data there. “If you are not doing anything else this evening … perhaps we could have dinner, all three of us, and discuss the situation with my friend Kitsune? This is the same for which we may need Nichols-san’s help.”
“Only if I would not be intruding. When? I have to meet someone immediately after my shift.”
“No, I think this is important. 1900?”
“That should be fine.” With a faint smile, Morgan bowed again. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Yoshino said with a deep bow of her own. “See you then.”
Copyright (c) 2003 Jamie Lawson and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.