Note: this log takes place somewhat prior to “Millennium Blues”.
Terry Hale was working her way through a stack of reports. Her people had begun what could only be described as a major offensive against the criminal syndicate that oppressed the Abbai, and seemed to be making swift progress. The chime from her door interrupted her thought. She looked up from studying a datapad — one of several on the desk — and called, “Come in.”
Peter Carlacci entered, offering a smile and nod. “Morning, Captain. Do you have a few minutes to spare?”
“I think so.” Hale put down the datapad and waved Carlacci into a seat. “What can I do for you?”
“You may be aware that we had been holding an Abbai citizen — her name is Reeakiss — in protective custody aboard the Phoenix. She’s been very helpful, giving us information that’s leading us to a group of drug dealers that have killed quite a few Abbai.”
Hale nodded. “I’d just been reading the latest reports.”
“She would now like to travel with us to Minbari space, and join the Rangers.”
“Really?” Hale wasn’t especially surprised, but doubtful at first. “I take it you’ve interviewed her about it. How do you feel about her decision?”
“I think she’s serious. She was in pretty bad shape when we found her, and helping us seems like it’s really given her a purpose. And I think a little inspiration from family helped too.” He added, “When I told her we would have to get permission from you, she offered to speak to you directly, if you wanted to ask her anything.”
“I’d be willing to speak to her, though already I don’t see why we couldn’t bring her to Minbar with us. Even if she doesn’t become a Ranger, I think it would be of benefit to her.”
“I agree, Captain. I told her I’d talk to you first, since she’s only just beginning to pick up English and Interlac. She’ll be very happy to hear it.”
“Once I’ve finished here, I can visit her. Has she been released from Medlab?”
“Mira — Dr. Trassano — says she could be, any time. We wanted to get your okay before offering her guest quarters.”
“Go ahead and do that then, and I’ll see her once she has settled.”
“Great.” He grinned. “I’ll get right on it, and keep you posted. Thanks again.”
Hale offered a smile. “Not a problem. Good work.”
“A pleasure, getting someone on the right track,” he said, nodding and turning to leave — and almost colliding with Yoshino on the way through the door. With a murmured exchange of apologies, he went on his way, leaving her in the doorway.
“Captain? May I speak with you?” she asked.
“I think I should leave the door open before it’s overworked,” Hale commented with amusement. “Of course, come in.”
The Ops chief’s arm was still bound in a sling, but she bowed fluidly. “Requesting permission to return to duty,” she said.
Hale studied her a moment. “Granted, in moderation.”
Yoshino nodded. “I had no intention of going planetside for a while, but there is much I can do here, even one-handed.” She smiled.
“I don’t doubt it. Is there anything else I can do?”
“There are two matters I needed to inform you about. First, I wish to change my name, as it is recorded here and with the Anla’shok on Minbar.”
“Change your name…. why?”
“Yoshino Klevetati is not the name I was born with. I changed it when I fled the Yakuza on Earth. But something that happened a few days ago has convinced me to take my own name back. My given name, at least. I will remain Yoshino, to protect my family.”
“I see. Well.” The only thing Hale could do was accept it gracefully. She reached over and activated her computer. “What is your given name?”
“Marina.” Yoshino smiled. It felt good to say.
Hale typed it in, and verified its spelling aloud. “I’ll see the proper documents are updated. Now, what is the second matter you wanted to talk about?”
“I have learned that there is a Yakuza clan still pursuing me. Or to be more precise, something I have in my possession.”
“What is it they want?”
Yoshino half turned, showing a long, narrow bundle wrapped in cloth and strapped to her back. “My swords,” she explained. “I have learned they are … incredibly valuable.”
“Enough that they would pursue you even here?”
“It has been confirmed the swords are a thousand years old,” Yoshino said after a moment’s hesitation. “I believe the leader of the Yakuza clan in question is already waiting on Babylon 5 … though the news he was waiting for will now be much longer in coming.”
Several questions arose at that, and for a lack of a good place to start, Hale said, “I think you’d best explain it all.”
Yoshino nodded, and sat down. Doing her best to be concise without leaving out anything important, she told Hale the story of her artist’s gift, the violence which drove her out of the Yakuza, and her flight which had ended with joining the Rangers. Then she explained her Day of the Dead revelation, the weaponsmith Tanaka’s confirmation of the swords’ age, and his news that the Yakuza were still in pursuit of the blades.
“I had no idea of the truth about the swords, or that I was still being pursued,” Yoshino said when she’d finished the tale. “But I cannot keep it a secret when it might put everyone here at risk.”
Hale was quiet through much of the explanation, stunned to silence after a while. She nodded at that last comment. “Yes. Knowing the danger, we can avoid it together.”
“I’ll also tell Chief Darquin, of course … but I wanted to wait until he had been released from Medlab.”
“Good thought,” Hale said with a sigh.
Yoshino bowed from the waist, almost putting her face in her lap. “I am sorry for bringing this trouble to you,” she said.
“No,” Hale said immediately. “We all bring our own difficulties. Yours just happens to be a group of people. I think it’s something we can deal with. I’m relieved you aren’t dealing with it alone.”
“As am I. I am honored to be a part of this family, of the Anla’shok. And grateful to you all. I will keep you informed of anything I learn.”
“I should be getting to my duties, then,” Yoshino said, rising somewhat awkwardly out of her chair. “Thank you again, Captain.”
“You’re welcome. Come any time, if you need to speak.”
“I will.” She bowed again and departed.
Copyright (c) 2001 Jamie Lawson and Alida Saxon. All rights reserved.