The Old and the New
Characters: Dana Gentry
Anla’shok Dana Gentry sat at a lunch table with a couple of fellow ensigns she was acquainted with. Paul Gordon was British and in security; Mina Legayland was a French nurse. Her two new friends were raving about shore leave on Earth and how wonderful it had been to finally visit their family and friends. Dana tried to smile and encourage their talk. She knew it had been hard for some of her fellow Rangers to be separated from the planet of their births. Dana smiled as Mina described the shock her family had experienced when Mina told them the truth about the Shadow Wars.
“Dana? What about you? How was your shore leave?”
Dana blushed. “I… didn’t go to Earth. I stayed with the Phoenix. I wanted to familiarize myself with the ship as best I could before we get our next assignment and I wanted to help with the repairs.”
Mina and Paul both looked confused.
“You are from Earth, not one of the colonies, aren’t you?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m British, like you. From London.”
“Is everything okay, Dana?” Mina asked, noticing the blush that had not faded much from Dana’s cheeks.
“Sure. I just… haven’t spoken with my family in a long time. I never could really afford to call them from Minbar. They don’t even know I’ve joined the Rangers.”
Paul whistled, but Mina looked confused.
“So? They should be proud of you; you’ve joined a great team. The Rangers are heroes!”
“I’m not sure they’ll see it that way… they, well, they’re very conservative.”
“How conservative?” Paul said, softly, understanding.
Dana grinned, wryly. “My father’s a vicar.”
“I still don’t get it. The Rangers helped win the Shadow Wars! It’s not like you’ve done something shameful!”
“Oh, c’mon, Mina! After all the lies the government put out about the Rangers and the Shadows!? Most people believed every word. And the British have always been for god and country! No wonder you’re nervous, Dana!”
“Gee, thanks, Paul, I’m sure she feels a lot better now!” Mina scoffed.
Dana smiled. “Hey, guys, I’ll cope! Sooner or later, I’ll screw up the courage to contact my parents. Then, we’ll see how they react.”
“We’ll be here, Dana” Paul comforted, patting her hand.
“Yeah, let us now how it turns out.”
Dana promised to update them.
Alone in her quarters, Dana let guilt assail her. It had been far too long since she had any contact with her family. She couldn’t keep losing contact with them this way. She was nervous about their reactions to her being a Ranger. Paul’s empathy had been accurate. She still didn’t have the courage to face them directly. What if they didn’t want to see her? Well, there was always the mail. Sitting at her desk, Dana began to write a letter to her family.
Copyright © 1999 Brenda Jumper. All rights reserved.