Kordieh followed Morgan as she led the way to the mess hall. He couldn’t help feeling nervous. What had G’fen done? Morgan had said, more than once, that she had a temper, but Kordieh had never seen it, never seen the effect of it, until now.
Morgan didn’t say anything until after claiming a hot cup of tea. She propped her wrist on the table with a sigh. “I haven’t been that angry for a long time.”
“What on earth did he say? I mean, I know G’fen hates the Centauri, he’s never hidden that, but –”
“He’s glad the bombing is happening. In spite of our commandment to revere life, and that there are Rangers on the planet. And Citizen G’kar.”
Kordieh paled. “Mon Dieu,” he said again. “He must be — how could anyone hate so much?”
Morgan shook her head. “I do not know. He just… laughed. Nothing seemed to get through to him.”
“I don’t know if I can either … how often I’ve tried, but once he’s made his mind up, I don’t know.” Kordieh shook his head, disconsolate. “I thought he was my friend. But anyone who hates so much … I am not sure if such a one is safe for me.”
“I am sorry. I had hoped, with him completing his training…”
“And if not that … surely, Ayeshalan’s gift. Especially when she gave her life for him out there.”
“Ie.” She paused, stirring her tea. “I certainly did not help. I grabbed him and.. said something I should not have.”
Kordieh glanced down at her splinted hand, comprehending now the injury. Looking back up, he asked, “What?”
Morgan would not look at him, instead worried at her splint with her other hand. “I said that… if something happened to Peter Carlacci there, G’fen could tell Peter’s daughter.”
“I don’t see what was so wrong about that.”
“Perhaps it would teach him something. But what would it do to Peter’s daughter, to hear it like that?”
He nodded. “I met her once … she’s a good child, she deserves better than that.” His fingers drummed on the table, at the moment the only sign of his inner turmoil. “But you’re right about one thing. Hate has a price. And I’m going to see that he pays it.” He chuckled. “Although I might be flattering myself to think it’ll be much of a price at all.”
She looked at him oddly. “Do you have something in mind? I just… wanted to shake the wrong ideas from him.”
“Nothing all that elaborate. I’d like to find out why he hates so much. And… if he cannot let that go, that we cannot be friends.”
Nodding, she accepted that. “I have carried hate with me before. But against individuals, for their own crimes. But never a whole race, a whole planet.”
“Nor I … despite how it might have looked,” he agreed, shifting in his chair uneasily.
“Please, Dunstan,” she scolded him. “You were not well. Even if no one else will, I forgive you for it.”
“I know, and thank you,” he said quickly. “I … I just try not to take it for granted.”
“Ie, you cannot do that.” Now that her tea was cold, she finally took a sip. “G’fen also threatened Yoshino, for her reaction.”
Kordieh shook his head. “I have to talk to him. Where is he?”
“Confined to quarters, by Chief Darquin. Whose tirade produced more reaction than mine did.”
“Would I be permitted to see him?”
She considered. “If there is a problem, come see me. If any of us can help G’fen, I think you have the best chance of it.”
“Only be careful. I do not know how his mood may turn. Mine is certainly unstable, suddenly.”
He nodded. “I will.”
“Thank you for listening, Dunstan.” She attempted a faint smile.
He smiled back. “You’ve done the same for me, often enough.”
“I have tried. I could not leave you friendless, after meeting you again.”
He nodded, a faint blush coming to his cheeks. “Do you need to go back to the bridge?”
“In a few minutes. I am allowed a break during the day.” One corner of her mouth tugged slightly upwards, as she teased herself.
“Then you should take it,” he said. “I think I’d better go now, before I either get too worked up, or lose my nerve. Will you tell Chief Darquin what I’m doing?”
“Ie, of course.” She hesitated. “Would you consider meeting me here later, to tell me how it turned out?”
“By all means. I’ll be here at 1800 for dinner — assuming I don’t end up in Medlab, as a patient.”
“I will listen to the appropriate channel, to make sure not.”
“Good.” He rose, and hesitated, before offering her a short bow in the Minbari fashion and quickly departing.
Morgan remained behind, nursing her tea and her thoughts.
Copyright (c) 2003 Jamie Lawson and Leslie McBride. All rights reserved.