"Computer, I wish to contact Malcolm Sinclair, Australian continent, Earth, access code on file."
Again, the short time to process, again refusal.
He couldn't get through to his superiors or his family on Earth, and couldn't reach his friends on Babylon 5. There had to be a reason, but what was it? Who didn't want him making contact with anyone outside of Minbar? The Minbari? His own government?
One last shot. And a long shot at best.
"Computer, I wish to contact Universal Terraform headquarters, Hong Kong, Earth. Standard search for the access number."
The system processed the request far too quickly.
"Sorry, but communication with that link cannot be established at this time. Please try later."
Angry and frustrated, Sinclair pushed away from his desk and stood, accidentally tipping his chair over and to the floor with a clatter. Venak hurried in to see what was wrong. The startled look on the Minbari as he hurriedly backed out of the room, cooled Sinclair's anger considerably. He couldn't allow himself to get that angry. It was a luxury he could not afford right now. But he vowed that Rathenn would get him a link to Earth or to Babylon 5 by the next day at the latest, or he would damn well know the reason why.
* * *
When Sinclair got back to his quarters that evening, he was exhausted. The arriving passenger ship had brought twelve Humans from its run through the outer colony worlds. Though most would not be staying on Minbar for long, Rathenn had pushed Sinclair to see as many of them that day as he could, giving him no time to pause.
His three Minbari house helpers were setting out his dinner. Sinclair carefully enunciated his request in the Minbari religious dialect that they leave his bed from now on in a horizontal