Listen To the Music

Characters: Yoshino Marina, Eddie Kriechbaum

Yoshino Marina was working her way through Storm Squadron’s docking bay, doing the maintenance checks. Normally one of her assistants would be doing this, but since the healing of a shattered collarbone kept her ship-bound, she’d taken over some routine jobs to free up the other Rangers for planetside duty.

The work was tedious at best, but she was nevertheless in a good mood. She hummed to herself, even began to sing, as she went over the Phoenix’s docking capture nets.

She was unaware of the audience she had in Eddie Kriechbaum, pilot of Storm Three. Eddie was doing his own maintenance checks on the Thunderbolt Starfury when his attention was riveted by the sound of a strong, clear female voice echoing across the bay.

 "Aishite tato dakeku ni wa 
 Amari ni toki wa sugi deshimata ..." 1

Peeking out of the Starfury’s cockpit, he saw the Phoenix’s Ops chief, one arm in a sling, making notes on a datapad tester with the other hand. No question but it was her singing. He couldn’t understand the language, but the music was beautiful.

 "Hitotsu no me de asuo mite 
 Hitotsu no me de kino o mitsumeteru ..." 2

He ducked back into the cockpit, bending low and speaking quietly as he activated his link. “Brenda, you there?”

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“I just found someone new for the band.”

“Don’t tell me you actually got Darquin for us?”

“No, not yet. But hey, I think I got us a new vocalist.”

There was a brief silence, then Brenda said, “You’re kidding. Who?”

“Ops — Yoshino.”

“Really? She barely talks, from what I’ve heard. I never knew she could sing.”

“Oh, she can,” Eddie said, with a relish that came through even in a whisper. “I’m gonna go talk to her now.”

“Get her to rehearsal tonight?”

“Sure as hell gonna try. See ya.” Eddie climbed out of the Starfury, moving casually toward Yoshino. “Hi, Chief,” he called.

She turned, a little startled to see someone in a bay she’d thought was empty. She bowed. “Mr. … Kriechbaum, isn’t it? Storm Three?”

“Exactly, but please call me Eddie.” He grinned, running a hand through his flaming red hair. “I hope you don’t mind, but I heard you singing and I was really impressed.”

She blushed, then offered a hesitant smile. “You really think so?”

“Oh yeah! In fact, I was wondering if you’d be willing to meet me and the rest of our band. We’re having a rehearsal tonight, and we really need a singer.”

Yoshino’s eyes widened as her blush deepened a shade. “A singer in a band? I don’t know if I could –”

“Sure you could! I do some vocals, but it would be really good to have some backing. And we’ve got a couple of numbers that would be so much better with a woman on the lead. Please come. I really think the others should hear you.”

She thought about it. She’d heard Kriechbaum and several other Rangers playing at the Phoenix’s relaunch party. They were good. Was she really good enough to join them?

Finally she said, “All right. I’ll do my best. Where and when do you meet?”


Copyright (c) 2001 Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.

1“The Real Folk Blues,” music by Yoko Kanno, lyrics by Yuho Iwasato. English translation (by Miyuki Takayama): “Too much time has passed/To lament that we were once in love.”

2As above. English translation: “Looking with one eye on the future/While keeping the other on the past…”