Klevetati swore mentally and kept on singing. It was the only way she knew to keep Kuri calm enough to be quiet and not claw her way out of her carrier. She’d had no time to soothe the cat before snatching her up and stuffing her into the small box, sticking katana and wakizashi into her belt, and running out to defend the escape route to the shuttle.
She glanced back and forth between the retreating rescue party and the katana in her right hand. The blood on the blade showed that she’d used it well–not that she was proud of the fact. She’d hoped, upon being accepted as a Ranger, that she’d never have to kill again. But that was a forlorn hope now.
Perhaps the kami of this blade is angry with me, she thought. It had enough right to be–she’d taken it many light-years from where it was forged. But angry or no, it would serve her. These people were her clan now, and she had to protect them.
She followed the Centauri woman trying to save the Minbari Ranger Gylenn, keeping close in case the remaining Warrior Caste Minbari attacked again. She could tell her singing was beginning to grate on the doctor’s nerves–a muscle in her face rippled from her cheekbone to the top of her head, where her one lock of hair was neatly confined. Klevetati admired the way the Centauri women wore their hair. It reminded her of the topknots the ancient samurai wore.
She was about to pause and explain to the doctor when the sounds of battle washed over them all. Then she saw the warriors, four of them, board the shuttle itself. Retightening her grip on the carrier, she sprinted for the entrance, Commander Shaver close behind. Before she could get there, another trio of Minbari blocked their path. Klevetati stopped, set the carrier down, and drew the wakizashi, drawing a deep breath to calm herself for battle. Two swords as one, she thought,remember the scrolls.
She brought the katana down in a quick sweep, right across the body of the first Warrior, who stumbled back with a scream. Bringing the shorter blade up, she tried to block a blow from the second, swearing when the force of the fighting pike broke her grip. She still wasn’t used to having only three fingers on her left hand.
Quickly, she shifted both hands to the katana, raising it up and over her shoulder as she and the Warrior circled one another, looking for advantage. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Shaver dealing with the last Warrior; a terrified yowl from Kuri rang in her ears. She hoped this would end quickly–but still she waited, letting the first move be her opponent’s.
They moved in the same instant.
The Warrior’s eyes went wide with shock as the blood poured from his neck where Klevetati’s sword bit deep into it. He stiffened and fell.
Klevetati didn’t waste any more time. Sheathing the katana, she snatched up carrier and wakizashi in her right hand, willing her left wrist to go numb. She caught up to Shaver and the doctor in the entrance to the shuttle, just in time to see a Narn pull her sword from the back of another Minbari. She licked the blade clean with a malevolent glance at the Centauri, and walked away holding a wounded arm.
Klevetati turned to Shaver. “I’ll ask what that was all about another time, Commander. For now, what can I do to help us get out of here?”