After some thought, Cat Rosha realized that as Storm One, she would be the leader of the squadron. As such, it would be a good idea for her to meet as many of the other pilots as she could, before the Phoenix left Minbar. The middle of combat wasn’t the best time to try and make acquaintances.
She searched through the records and was able to locate the pilots assigned to Storm Three and Storm Four. Apparently the other fighters were still waiting to have pilots assigned. She still needed a co-pilot herself.
She contacted the pilots of Storm Three and Four, and set up a meeting with them in one of the Anla’shok base conference rooms.
When she arrived, there were four people waiting for her: two humans, a male and female; a Narn; and much to her surprise, a Markab. Cat remembered that over two years ago, a plague had killed all the Markab, on their homeworld and across the galaxy. She didn’t know that any had managed to survive.
She took a deep breath, trying to think of what to say to them all. God this is going to be hard, she thought. Then she gave it a try.
“Hi, I’m Cat Rosha, your new squadron leader,” she said. “I just wanted to get acquainted for when I got onboard.”
“Welcome,” piped up the red-haired human, fixing a bright grin on her for several seconds, until the woman sitting next to him jabbed him hard in the ribs. “Ow!” He glared at the woman who had jabbed him. “I didn’t mean anything, yeesh.”
She told Cat, “Pay no attention to him. He has no manners at all. Why I stay with him, I’ve got no clue.” Her voice had the broad tones that still indicated her Australian origins.
The Markab smiled with his thin, almost lipless mouth, and said, “Welcome, Anla’shok Rosha.”
“Thank you,” Cat replied quietly. “May I ask all of your names?” she asked.
“Sure,” the woman answered, flipping her long braid of tawny hair over one shoulder. “I’m Brenda Mawarra. Lead pilot for Storm Four.”
The red-haired man next to her grinned again and said, “Eddie. Eddie Kriechbaum. Storm Three.”
“Pleasure to meet you both,” Cat replied.
The Narn said, “I am D’Val, and I fly with Brenda on Storm Three.” He added the greeting of his people, bowing his head over the fists raised to his chest.
The Markab spoke last. “My name is Lazaret. I’m Eddie’s co-pilot.”
“Pleasure to meet all of you,” Cat said with a bow. “So tell me, how is it around here, hectic?”
“It’s been getting that way,” Brenda said. “They want to send the Phoenix out very quickly, within the next ten days or so, from what I hear. So everyone working on the repair and refitting’s been going a bit crazy.”
“Lucky for us, we only have to fly the ‘Furies,” Eddie added.
“Wow, I’m surprised. I did notice a few people running around, but not a lot. It didn’t seem too bad,” Cat smiled. “And the ‘Furies, how do they handle?”
“Very well,” Brenda said. “The Minbari aren’t always the best at working on them, since they’re human-made, but we have some really good human techs. Paul has been just great, working with us. We’ll have to introduce him to you soon.”
“I can’t wait to meet him,” Cat replied.
“I have a thought,” Eddie said. “He’s been stuck up on the Phoenix like a lot of the other techs, but we could always catch a shuttle up there tomorrow. Then you can get a look at the ship, too.”
“Great, I’ve wanted to see the ship for a while,” Cat said, then she gave a yawn.
“Long day?” Brenda asked.
“Yeah, it took a while to get here, from where I was stationed,” Cat said.
“Maybe we should let you get some rest then,” Brenda said. “One of us can contact you when we snag a shuttle tomorrow, and run up to the Phoenix.”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Cat replied.
“Great. We’ll see you tomorrow, then!” Eddie said with a grin.
“Bye for now,” Cat answered, then bowed and walked out of the room. She walked down the hall to her assigned quarters, fell down on her bed and whispered, “I hope that went well.” Then she drifted off to a light sleep.
Copyright (c) 2002 Catie Dwinal and Jamie Lawson. All rights reserved.