To Serve the Gods, Part 7 — Epilogue

Characters: Yoshino Marina, Sinthann, Daanike, Manaar Rashid, Paul Maxwell

“But — ” Max looked again into Yoshino’s face and the protest died on his lips. He nodded to Rashid, who vaulted onto the ramp, slipped past Sinthann and into the shuttle. By the time Rashid had started bringing the survivors out, the Minbari chaplain had regained his composure and quickly moved to help her lead the four Minbari back out, lining them up at the foot of the ramp. A puzzled Daanike stood in the hatchway, looking on.

Yoshino walked up to the remaining four Minbari scientists. One after the other, she slapped them with all the strength she had left, enough to turn their heads sharply. Daanike and Sinthann opened their mouths in shock, but said nothing, nor made any move to interfere.

“Look at what you made us do!” Yoshino yelled at the Minbari, throwing her arm out in a wide arc to take in the field of Tycholan bodies. “You didn’t just observe their madness. You nurtured it! We had to slaughter them all, because of you! Your worthless bones ought to lie with theirs –” She tried to catch her breath. Turning toward Sinthann, she said, “Get them onto the shuttle and keep them out of my sight until we get back to Minbar.” She turned her back on the Minbari scientists and walked back toward the shuttle, muttering to herself in Japanese.

Sinthann looked at the scientists. “Let’s go,” he said quietly, adding, “If you would seek reprisal for Anla’shok Yoshino’s action, I strongly advise against it. You are in enough peril already.”

Yoshino was coldly silent for the entire trip back to Minbar; she spent most of the time writing out her report of the mission, and the rest staring out the window. The other Rangers threw quick glances in her direction, but none of them spoke to her or tried to break the silence that reigned aboard the shuttle.

When the Nuthorm landed on the field at Tuzanor, Yoshino silently ushered the Rangers and their passengers off, then headed toward her quarters — walking as fast as decorum would permit. The tears were already welling up in her eyes as she reached the dormitories.
Inside her own quarters, she set the swords on the floor, threw herself across the bed, and wept.