Become Acquainted With the Arts

Characters: Klevetati Yoshino

With Kuri on her leash bounding several steps ahead, Yoshino walked briskly into the office of the Phoenix’s quartermaster, Anla’shok Arven’dra. It was far from her first visit; her position as chief of Operations dictated that she work practically hand in glove with the supply department.

When she arrived, he was standing at his tall desk, working back and forth between a pair of portable computers there. She bowed in Minbari fashion, fingertips together. “Good day, Quartermaster Arven’dra.”

He looked up from his work, a sudden grin coming to his lips. “Anla’shok Yoshino, welcome!” He stuck his stylus unto a notch in his bone crest just above his ear. “And welcome to you, little fur-child,” he added, bending over and holding out one hand to Kuri. The cat sniffed, then purred as he stroked her sleek fur. Kuri was as welcome a visitor as her mistress was.

After a moment, he stood, leaving Kuri to wind her way back and forth around his feet, claiming him as her own. “What brings you here, Yoshino?”

“By now you’ll have heard about the party.”

“Party?” He looked puzzled. “Politics, here?”

Yoshino grinned. “No, I mean a celebration. A gathering of people strictly for fun.”

“Which politics definitely isn’t,” he said, laughing. “Your language is as strange as ours, sometimes.”

“I wouldn’t even try to dispute that,” Yoshino said. “In any event, I’m speaking of the festivity the Captain requested and Doctor Trassano is organizing.”

“Oh yes. I had to convince our head of maintenance that it was a perfectly acceptable idea. Some people have no sense of humor….. especially after having lost a battle of wits with a well-armed Centauri.

“So, what do you need from me?”

Yoshino pulled a data crystal from her pocket. “This is what the doctor and I came up with. Can I have your review, to make sure we haven’t missed anything?”

Arven’dra took it, dropped it into the port on one computer, pulled the stylus out of his crest and began making notations, speaking half to himself as he did so. “Rooms–the observation deck and out into the meditation rooms on either side, yes… Food….yes. Drink. Alcohol? Is that wise?”

“I tried to convince Doctor Trassano to avoid it, but she was insistent. I was able at least to make sure that the alcohol will be available only in a separate room. Otherwise, it would be too easy for one of your people to accidentally get the wrong thing.”

“From what I hear, the effects on you humans are hardly salutary either….I believe you and the doctor have overlooked something, however, something most important.”

Yoshino paused, surprised. “What?”

“Entertainment. Music to make us relax, or a jester to make us laugh, or dancers and actors to turn our minds away from ourselves.”

“Oh of course. How could we have missed that? But … where will we find entertainers?”

“Within ourselves, at the risk of sounding like a religious caste.” He looked at Yoshino, who nodded at him to explain. “When I served on battleships, we would often entertain ourselves — there was always someone who could sing, or dance, or play an instrument, or tell jokes. I was regarded as a rather good humorist myself, come to that.

“Now, this ship isn’t as big as a Minbari battleship, but the Anla’shok here, I think we’d have better luck than among half the fleet of the warrior caste. Most of them have no sense of fun at all.”

Yoshino smiled. “I’ll include that in our announcement to the crew…if all else fails, I’ll borrow a few of Anla’shok Darquin’s data crystals.” She scooped Kuri off the floor, before she could get too engrossed in nibbling the hem of Arven’dra’s long jacket. “I’d better take her back to my quarters and get to the bridge. Thank you, Arven’dra.”

“Anytime, Yoshino. This is going to be fun.”

Copyright (c) 1998 Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.

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