Neshaal’s voice was soft as she spoke to her commanding officer. In her case it was not only in show of respect, but simply that while she had taken her place in the Warrior Caste as her mother before her, the female was soft spoken. At least until battle came and she found it necessary to bark orders. When speaking with someone privately, she saw no reason to change her voice. She held the same soft note that her father held from the Religious Caste. It had bothered Neroon for a while, as no Star Rider should sound so like one of the Religious Caste. Though he had come to trust her implicitly, naming her his second the moment that Shai Alyt Bramner had passed, leaving the Ingata to Neroon’s command.
Turning to the slight woman, Neroon was somewhat surprised that she had come to find him. Normally he was simply called to the bridge if there was a problem. And as they were still orbiting Babylon 5, he didn’t see what issue there might be that required his attention.
“Speak.” The single gruff word was all he gave her, eyes focused intently upon her.
“Permission to speak my mind, Alyt?”
That simple question worried Neroon more than the possibility of something going wrong with the ship or Babylon 5 having contacted the Ingata with some sort of demand. Though he would not show such weakness to anyone; which left him simply dipping his head ever so faintly to his second in command.
“I worry that there is more to us not leaving Babylon 5 than you wishing for a full system check to be run.” Hands clasped before her, Neshaal watched her Caste-mate, as if she might be able to read something in the lack of expression on his face. Not that she expected as such truly, Neroon had perfected giving away nothing likely before she was first allowed to hold a denn’bok.
“And what do you think is keeping us here?”
“I heard of the Anla’shok that you should have killed. I believe you hold a worry for his well-being, though I do not know why. Is he not just a human?”
Moments like this, Neroon could see the influence her father held on her. To begin with it had annoyed him, caused him a slight distrust in her loyalty to the Warrior Caste, but now he had come to realize that it was simply a part of who she was. She was loyal to him, would never betray her Caste. And that was enough for him.
“I cannot agree with you. He is not simply a human.” Neroon didn’t have a fondness for what he had seen in the Anla’shok as they fought. But he knew that it was the only thing that could explain why he had not completed the Denn’shah. Even if he really wasn’t sure how they all knew of it having been a Denn’shah and not a basic fight. “He has a familiar soul.”
“That is why you did not finish the Denn’Shah?” Her voice held a faint note of disbelief as her eyes widened ever so slightly.
“No.” The tip of Neshaal’s head asked for him to continue though she did not voice such a thought. “I spared his life for I saw more than a familiar soul in him. I saw a reflection of my own.”
“You believe a human to be your Ah'Zha?” Her shock softened her voice to nearly a whisper.
“If I could deny it, I would. But I cannot deny what I saw. I need to know that I have not lead to the death of my...Ah'Zha.” The last word was formed without emotion behind it, even though Neroon was torn between accepting that he may have finally found his mate and hating that it was a human.
“You did not kill him, Alyt.”
“No, but Humans are...fragile. We killed so many of them during the war because they were so easy to kill. It took so little effort to damage them enough to simply keep going, for they were to die anyways. There was rarely need to land a final blow to ensure their death.” Which meant that Neroon feared his strikes being slightly too hard, driving the broken ribs into the human’s lungs or other internal organs that might lead to his death.
“Then I shall make sure that our maintenance lasts long enough for you to speak with the doctor on Babylon 5 again. When you know your Ah'Zha is safe, I will give the order to head into hyperspace.” With a slight bow, Neshaal left Neroon’s quarters.
Stopping to make a quick call in her quarters, Neshaal made her way to the command room. Monitoring the incoming lines of communication, the second in command waited only moments after they registered the end of communication between the space station and the Ingata before giving the order to jump. If there had been an issue, she would have heard from her commander immediately. Of that she was sure.
It was nearly three Standard hours before Neshaal heard a word from Neroon. And that came in a call to the command room, asking for their heading. He always had been well aware of their ship and made sure he knew all that was happening regarding it.
“The Grey Council has summoned our presence.”
Short, succinct. But the narrowing of Neroon’s eyes told her that he knew of her message to the Council. She knew that he might have seen it as a bit of a betrayal, but it was the only way she knew to help him not only keep his honor, but to perhaps find his Ah'Zha after nearly a hundred and thirty cycles. If she could offer him that, then she had given the greatest gift to the best warrior she knew. Only with the Council’s permission could he return to the side of his Ah'Zha to attempt to claim the Human. And that could only be done by facing their ruling body’s disapproval of his breaking of the Denn’shah. It may have been intended to be to the death, but if there was one thing no Minbari could ever do purposely, that was kill one’s Ah'Zha. No matter how the Universe chose to form them in this life.
“I will be in the training halls. Tell me before we make the jump to normal space.”
She knew that her commander was unhappy with her, but she had made her decisions and would suffer the consequences when they came. For now she simply nodded easily to Neroon; far from surprised by the way the video cut the moment she agreed to alert him in time for him to dress appropriately to meet the Grey Council.