with his own reflection in a narrow strip of mirror on one wall. He still found it disconcerting to see himself in civilian clothes rather than an Earthforce uniform. He recalled Catherine saying something similar to him back on Babylon 5. Only she hadn't meant it quite the same way. An old argument over his devotion to duty always taking precedence over his personal life.
A quick movement in the mirrored surface told Sinclair there was someone behind him. He turned to find a worker-caste Minbari standing there, holding a welding torch and mask, his head tilted down in the familiar pose of courtesy. But unlike most of the Minbari workers and acolytes he encountered, this Minbari's eyes continually darted up to look at him.
Sinclair searched for the proper phrase in the worker dialect, of which he knew even less than the religious dialect. It wasn't necessary, he knew. All Minbari could understand the dialects of all three castes, at least in their pure, official form untainted by regional differences. In spite of all the differences in syntax and word use, they were essentially the same language. Indeed, members of the worker caste had to be absolutely fluent in both religious and warrior-caste dialects, since the members of those castes would never speak worker dialect, even to a worker. But Sinclair, out of courtesy, wanted to give it a try.
"Am I keeping you from your work?" he said, or at least hoped he said, in the worker dialect.
The Minbari did a most unexpected thing: he tilted his head up and looked Sinclair in the eyes. And smiled.
"I am happy to wait until you are ready to go, Ambassador," he said in flawless English. "I didn't mean to disturb you. We worker caste are usually invisible to members of the other castes."
"You know who I am?" Sinclair