"Captain, there's a message coming in from Admiral Black," Hoshi Sato announced. 

"On screen," Captain Jonathan Archer said. 

"No, wait. Sir, the Admiral says it's private." 

"Oh. Well, in that case, I'll take it in my Ready Room. Thanks," Jonathan walked into his nearby little office. "Okay. Sir, what's the trouble?" he asked, once Admiral Black's familiar face appeared on the screen. 

"I'm afraid I've got some bad news, Jonathan." 


"Yes. It's about one of your youngest crew members. Crewman Shapiro's had a death in the family." 

"Oh, well, that's unfortunate, but I'm not following you." 

"You should tell him personally." 

"Can't his family?" Jonathan would do it but he didn't love such chores. 

"No, it has to be done as soon as possible, as this is a news story that's going to break, and soon. Better for Shapiro to hear about it from someone he trusts, than via the news wire," The Admiral said. 

"Well, uh, I guess so. But still, why can't his family tell him?" 

"It's Saturday afternoon on Earth. They won't use communications until sundown. Which is around six hours from now." 

"Oh. Huh, interesting." 

"The deceased's name was Rachel Orenstein. She was his great-aunt," The Admiral said. 

"News story, huh?" 

"Yes. She lived to one hundred and twenty-seven, breaking all previous records. Her death is a news story for sure." 

"Ah, now I see," Jonathan said, "I'll take care of it. Archer out." 

The line went dark. "Ensign Sato," he punched in another communication. "Get Crewman Shapiro in here, please." 

"Yes, sir."


Ethan Shapiro was nervous, and combed his thick black hair with his fingers a few times. "You, uh, wanted to see me, sir?" 

"Sit down. And, uh, you're not in trouble, Crewman." 

"Oh, whew. Thank you, sir." 

"Shapiro, I, I'm sorry to inform you, but your great-aunt has passed away." 

"Oh. Well, that wasn't exactly unexpected," Shapiro said, "I take it my folks didn't call because it's Shabbos?"

"Uh, I suppose so," Jonathan said, "Are you, we can drop you at a Starbase, you can be back for the funeral." 

"No, sir. I can't. We always have them in only a few days. So it'll most likely be tomorrow. But there's a, when the gravestone is carved, it's unveiled. And that's its own ceremony. It's in, uh, usually a few months after a death, maybe five or six months later. I'd like to be able to go to that ceremony, sir." 

"Yes, yes, of course. And, uh, Crewman, if you feel the need, take the rest of the day off. I'll inform Lieutenant Reed." 

"Thank you. Sir?" 

"Yes, Crewman?" 

"I'd like to, I feel I should say Kaddish. It's our mourning prayer. Is it possible to get in touch with Rabbi Benson?" 

"Yes, of course. I'll have Ensign Sato contact her." 

"Thank you."


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