Chapter 5

Chapter 5 – “High tide”

Luxuriating in the bath Janelle did not at first hear the communication system beep.  “Janelle, this is Manasi and I need to get into my stateroom, are you close to being done, or should I just come later?” Manasi asked.

Janelle looked at the wall time clock, “Two hours…wow…I’m sorry I did not think it was so long… ok. “She replied “give me a minute and I will clear out.”

“No problem” said Manasi.

Manasi descended from the flight bridge, having left Jeff in charge with Marisa peppering him with questions.  Marisa was certainly cute, pretty, and very attentive to Jeff, and he smiled at the thought of the Chief Engineer staying with Marisa, they would be good together he thought.

His coms channel opened, “Cap, Scorpion de-cloaking and hailing twenty kilometers off the Paye gate sir.”
“Roger that I’ll take it in my quarters, fifteen seconds.”

He opened the door to his quarters and shot a look at the bathroom area, “Sorry Janelle, but I must take a communication message…”

She turned around to face him almost completely naked…Manasi gaped for a second, then two more seconds…whew what stunning woman indeed, not to mention that he could see where the knives were hidden along with some another smaller knife along her inner thigh.  She was about five feet tall, auburn haired, she had a full length body tatoo in a very light blue from her right knee, up her leg to her belly button and ending near her left breast. Good lord, he loved the look of this woman.

“Apologies ma’am” he replieddropping his head and heading towards his desk, “I am being hailed by a Scorpion Battleship and I cannot keep him waiting, if you want to close the door that’s fine, you’re welcome to listen in at any rate if you prefer.”

She blushed when she saw him gaping at her…and scolded herself…how childish she thought.  “Well of course, Manasi you said a minute, and it has been almost two minutes now, and I was just being slow, I could not figure out how to get the water to drain.”

“Oops…” he replied over his shoulder,” That was what I needed to tell you…sorry about that, but I forgot while I was on the bridge.”

The com channel opened at his desk and he made a motion so that she would know to be quiet.

“Pilot, this is Captain Smedley, with the 5th Caldari Wing command, here on orders from the Amarr Security Council…” he replied, in the Caldari custom of a very businesslike manner “ is Janelle Myscascki,  from the Tash-Murkon clone facility, head of clone genetics with you sir?”

“Yes, she is aboard this vessel under my protection, what of it?” he asked cautiously.

Janelle pulled a white silk, almost see through shawl, over one shoulder, and walked up next to him.

“Sir there have been reports that Gallente recon ships looking to harm you and your passengers, are you fitted for engagement or would you like some cover?” Captain Smedley replied, “I know you’re a Caldari missile boat, but a bit has changed especially with Gallente Recons in the last three years sir.”  I also know your Chief Engineer as well, so I asked to be able to come and warn you.”

Manasi breathed deeply, “Cover form a Scorpion, by all means… can you cloak?  If so, why don’t you shadow our route?  If we run into trouble you are there, and if we don’t, no one will be the wiser except for the Amarr Security Council and the two of us…”

“We are equipped to cloak, but cannot warp so, to accompany you there is a Falcon under my command who will warp ahead of you and provide you cover.” The Captain replied.
Manasi’s eyebrow arched, really “a ‘falcon’ eh?…I’d be happy for the company as long as I can buy the pilot a drink…afterwards of course, is that acceptable Captain Smedley?”

A female voice chimed in, “Manasi, I am Lt Commander, Ireneva Smedley; we will provide cover and jamming should that be needed.  If needed, we will also provide Cynosural field support for Capital  jump support if it gets that heavy.  If you want to buy me a drink I’d be happy to as long as you buy one for the captain when he gets there too.”

“Roger that Lt. Commander Smedley, thanks for the assist Captain, I will make sure that you’re…”

“Daughter” replied the Captain, ” Ireneva is my youngest daughter.”

“I will make sure your daughter, the falcon and the crew comes home safely sir.   Safe Jumping, and good hunting Sir.” Said Manasi, and he closed communications with the Scorpion and the Falcon.

“Bridge, make contact with that Falcon and coordinate our route back through Tash-Murkon, to…he paused and looked at Janelle…”

She said,” The Citadel, Jita, 4-4, Caldari Navy Shipyard please…” Manasi asked the bridge officer “did you get that bridge?”

Jeff replied back, “Set, and locked, and coordinating now, we will proceed at normal pace unless we get jumped.”

“Captain out” Said Manasi.

He turned around and Janelle was about three feet away.  She explained to him that she did not really know what was going on, or why a Caldari Navy vessel had found them, or why a Gallente Recon might come looking for her.  They talked for a bit and yet Manasi’s eyes betrayed him he was staring at her tatoo and they were vibrant colors, blue, green, red and yellow.  “The tattoo is  really wonderful” said Manasi. He felt like a 10 year old boy again for a second.

“What do the colors mean?” he asked in a low voice.

“Well…” she paused, and then she blushed a deep scarlet red.  The tatoo glowed with were even more vibrant colors now.

Manasi let out a good laugh, “Don’t worry” he said, “you’re ’secret’ is safe with me”, then he winked at her.
“Let me leave so that you can continue to get dressed.” He said in a low voice.

Quickly, he walked over to the hidden bath, and motioned so that a control panel opened up, there had been a small wire loose, which he reconnected.  The tub drained, and then slid away on the floor in a split second.  She had draped the shal over he sort of covering her form, and he could not help but admire her.

Manasi handed her a pass card, “here is a coded card for my cabin, if you want to come in please feel free.  I am sorry that I barged in I did not mean to embarrass you. There are no other cards so please be careful with it.  If I am sleeping or in the shower it will pause for four seconds to let me know.” His eyes twinkled and he smiled kindly at her.

She straightened up, and looked him square in the eye and thought he was going to get stabbed for a split second.  She reached up and touched his cheek.  “Anytime you want to do more than look, all you have to do is ask.” She whispered and kissed him lightly on the cheek. She then walked out towards her room without even putting her clothes on…god he hoped the crew wouldn’t see that, and he blushed when she looked over her shoulder, and winked back at him from down the hall.  Then the cabin door closed.

Dear god thought Manasi, what have I gotten myself into now?

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