Characters: Katia Santiago
Katia smiled softly to herself as she walked the halls of the Phoenix, checking on the repairs in progress. So far, all was working smoothly. The modifications Dana had performed on the self-repair systems and the replacement of a few conduits had made it possible to keep the Phoenix going on her own power source during the repairs. It had been rough going, gathering all those assigned to the Phoenix for repairs and guiding them and setting the repair schedules, but now all seemed to be working out.
Walking into the Main Engineering and turning to enter her office for a bit of rest, though, suddenly sobered her as she realized she would be spending another quiet night without anyone. Her emotions were settling down slowly from the uproar of the past few months, but still her mind would wander to her daughters if left to itself for any length of time. The other topic that kept resurfacing in her mind was Dunstan. He had been down on the planet for a while now, and she had not heard from him. That could be a good thing, or a bad one. She knew he was probably being worked very hard down there, partially due to the fact that a lot needed to be done, and partially due to his punishment. She worried for him, probably unnecessarily, but he had been through so much, she didn’t want to see him left alone out there.
She walked over and sat down on her bunk, her daughters entering her mind yet again. Who were they? What were they doing in their life? What kind of children had they become…and did they know about her? She was constantly going over those questions in her mind. What could she have done so many years ago to make things turn out different? She wanted to raise her daughters, to show them life, to help them experience everything without the taint of darkness that always followed Nathan and the Corps.
Finally, she lay down on her bunk. The need to talk to someone overwhelming her. The only one she could turn to was down on Minbar a couple planets away. She sat up again. “Computer, open message to Dunstan Kordieh on Minbar.”
She waited until she heard the familiar click as the computer began recording, “Dunstan, my friend. I hope this finds you well. I have been wondering how life down there is going for you, and worried about how you are coping with all the changes that have come about in the past few weeks. I am sure you are more then busy with everything, so I won’t trouble you for longer then a few minutes with this message.
“The repairs are going well and we have more then enough people to effectively get the refit done in about three months. We even have a new engineer stationed on thePhoenix, who I feel will work wonderfully with everyone. She is young, and a bit naive…I honestly hope anything she may encounter while on the Phoenix doesn’t change that. Being a bit innocent is a nice thing sometimes. Full blown knowledge of the universe can sometimes corrupt us and create a very cynical, bitter individual.”
The sound of dark chuckling could be heard as the recording continued, “And, yes, I suppose I am talking about myself in many respects when I say that. Then again, we all have our own personal burdens to bear in this life. Some more then others. But, you understand that more then anyone at this point, I am sure.
“I have so far been avoiding returning to Minbar … to look upon the city that once stood proud and beautiful in the night during my training. I saw enough when we were down there several months ago rescuing as many as we could, and I am almost afraid to see how she has been demolished since. But, I also long to see you and talk to you. It is something I, myself, do not fully understand at this point either. You are perhaps one of the few people I fully trust in my life at the moment. Especially with the trying times I have ahead of me within the next few months.
“I almost wish you could go wi… ” a pause in the words indicated Katia had changed her mind about what she had intended to say. She continued, “Well, we won’t get into that. It isn’t as important as may I sometimes make it. And, besides, it is a moot point, because you are unable to leave Minbar, possibly for many years yet to come.
“Oh, but I do wish you could see the new schematics and changes we have planned for the ship. I feel we will be able to boost many of the systems by as much at 15 – 30 percent. She will run like a dream once we are done with her. I would love to show them to you and get your opinion.
“Maybe I will come down there soon. I need to get away from here for my own sanity. I have been cooped up in this tiny office, trying to actually sleep and work in this one tiny area, and I think soon I will be seeing little pink elephants flying by and dancing if I don’t see something different then this ship. So, be looking for me. Soon.
“I need to get going and maybe catch a few hours of sleep before getting back to work. I hope everything is going all right for you down there. Please, take care of yourself.”
“Computer End recording and send to Dunstan Kordieh, Down on Minbar, in Tuzanor.”
As she said that, she lay back down on her cot, and stared at that ceiling, the light from Engineering seeping under the door to cast an eerie shadow.
“Kira, Kayla….what am I going to do? Mars is so far…and dangerous for me right now…but, I can’t just leave you there…” she murmured to herself as she began instantly drifting off to sleep.
It was then, unbeknownst to the Chief Engineer that the computer finally caught up with her commands, ending the transmission and sending the letter down to Minbar.