...IN VALEN'S NAME DELENN (I)

By Frieda W. Landau

 

 

 

Hi,

   This is Delenn's side of the story. I wrote it as a companion to Voices (which was John's side). I decided to write this in the form of letters from Delenn to various friends, including some dead ones. But Delenn explains that herself. I don't cover every episode, but only those that I think are significant to Delenn. And, as in real life, Delenn doesn't always write about something when it happens.

   I ran into the usual timeline problems in season 3. I placed Walkabout before War Without End, which is what JMS originally intended. The real time problem comes between the end of Point of No Return and Severed Dreams. There is no way Delenn could return to B5 at the end of PoNR and then go to Minbar to break the Council and then come back with the Minbari cruisers to save John's butt. The minimum time needed is 6 days. Minbar is three days away from B5 and there is no reason for the Grey Council ship to be anywhere other than in Minbari space. Similarly, even if Delenn summoned the cruisers before she broke the Council (which makes sense to me), it would still take them time to get to a rendezvous point to join Delenn. So, I have the wounded Minbari deliver the message to Delenn before the end of Point of No Return and Delenn leaves and doesn't return until she saves the day in Severed Dreams.

   The story ends during Shadow Dancing (as did the first three parts of Voices). I intend to carry on with seasons 4 and 5, but I thought I'd take a break and post the first three parts. I also intend to do season 5 of Voices. John keeps insisting. He wants to explain what he was doing instead of taking care of the teep situation. And Delenn has plenty to say about that too! :-)

   There's no sex as such in this part. But Delenn does talk about former lovers, one in particular.

   I'd like to thank my beta readers: Lynne, Gwyn, Penny, Chris, Debbie, Kim, Mary Lou, and Char, who catches all my typos. So you can blame her if there are any. Only kidding, Char!

   As always, all feedback - positive and negative - is welcome.

 

 

 

 

*****



...In Valen's Name, Delenn
Extracts from the Correspondence of Ambassador Delenn of the Minbari
During her Time on Babylon 5



   20 April 2258

   Mayan, old friend,

   I am fine, really, as you will see for yourself in a few weeks. The medical facilities on Babylon 5 are excellent and Doctor Franklin is well versed in Minbari physiology. I was not injured. I only lost a quantity of blood; a large quantity, to be sure, but that was easily replaced.

   The soul hunter was quite different from the ones in the stories that frightened us as children. He was not as dark, or as obviously evil. Only his size corresponded to the old stories, but I may be mistaken and only found him very tall in comparison to me. When I saw him lying in Med Lab, I became enraged. I did not know I was still capable of such fury. Perhaps, I remembered all the dead in the wall of bodies that finally thwarted their efforts to take Dukhat's soul. The humans, especially Doctor Franklin, do not believe the soul can be imprisoned, if, indeed, they believe in a soul at all. I tried to make them understand the horror of the soul hunters. Only Commander Sinclair, I think, understood. When it was all over, I released the captive souls. I cannot describe the joy I felt then, listening to their voices as they faded away until the time of their rebirth. You should have been there. I need your talent to speak about the whole experience.

   We have all been busy this week attending religious ceremonies. A human idea, of course. They want the members of the Babylon 5 Council to demonstrate the dominant beliefs of their worlds to foster better understanding. A noble idea, but a futile one, I fear. The animosities, especially between the Narn and the Centauri, are too great to overcome by symbolic gestures, however well-intentioned. Still, it has been an interesting week. The Gaim demonstration was totally incomprehensible, but very pretty to look at. The diversity of the humans is reflected in their religious beliefs. Commander Sinclair very cleverly showed this by introducing us to a seemingly endless line of representatives from all the religions on earth. The Narn did not participate. Those who follow G'Quon and those who follow G'Lan could not agree on a presentation.

   The Centauri gave a banquet yesterday in honor of their Feast of Life. Everything was done to excess: food, drink, revelry. You would have enjoyed it. The ambassador became very intoxicated, which is a good thing to do at these feasts, if I understand correctly. Londo attempted to explain the attributes of their various procreative deities. Then he told me I was cute - for a Minbari! You will be amused to know that I was actually pleased for a moment, much to my chagrin. I know you can hear our old housemaster at school saying I told you so. He always said I took a greater pleasure in my appearance than was strictly proper. Don't laugh, Mayan. You are not much better. Fortunately, Londo passed out before he noticed. He would never let me forget it otherwise.

   I conducted a nafak'cha for the other ambassadors. It wasn't a real rebirth ceremony, of course. No one was properly prepared, and none of the preliminary rituals were performed. It was only a demonstration, but I tried to perform all with reverence and respect. It went very well, I think. I even demonstrated part of the joining ceremony. I 'married' Commander Sinclair, but I don't think he noticed.

   Much of the credit for the success of the demonstration should go to my new aide, Lennier, of the third fane of Chudomo. He arrived a few days ago. He has never been offworld before. I don't think he has even been away from the temple where he was raised. He is scarcely as old as I was when Dukhat took me in hand. Was I ever that young and innocent? Was that how Dukhat saw me? I cannot remember. I want to train Lennier as Dukhat trained me. Lennier is very eager to serve, and he appears to be more obedient than I ever was. Nevertheless, it is a great responsibility, guiding the future of another. At least I have made a promising start. I told Lennier the first thing Dukhat told me when I became his aide, to look up or he would be forever walking into things.

   I count the hours until your visit. It will be good to see you. You will have to tell me all that you have been doing. Until then, my friend.

   In Valen's Name,

   Delenn

   

    ----------

   20 May 2258

   Mayan, my friend,

   I would not nag, as you say, if you used message crystals. I do not understand why you insist that letters must be written, on paper. No. I do understand, but I find it most inconvenient. I will accept, for now, your assurance that you are fully recovered and there are no lasting effects from your injuries. On my next visit home, I will see for myself, so do not make any plans to be offworld then.

   I hope your decision to keep the scar does not colour your view of humans. I am afraid every time you see or touch it, you will recall the worst of human behavior. They are not all like that, you know. During my time among them, I have come to appreciate their many qualities. They are fractious and contrary, compared to Minbari, but they are also kind and generous. The letter Commander Sinclair sent you is not part of his official duties. He is genuinely distressed that you were attacked.

   He is an interesting man, more complex than some. He is also restless and unsettled, as if he is searching for something. Something that will give meaning and purpose to his life beyond mere existence. We talk sometimes about these things. We are becoming good friends, much to his surprise. I don't think he ever expected to call a Minbari friend. I am teaching him Adronato, when we both have the time. He has a gift for languages. He learns faster than I can teach, or so it seems sometimes. Lately, we have been translating poetry together. It should please you to learn that he favours your work above other Minbari poets. He even has a vid of one of your performances. He has also tried his hand at translating English poetry into Adronato. He gets the meaning, but not the rhythms or colours of the words. The languages are too dissimilar, I think. His most successful effort so far is an old Earth poem about a hero in his middle years who compares his life as a ruler unfavourably with his role in old wars. Sinclair says this is his favourite poem. I think he feels it reflects his own life. Yet, the poem ends with a ray of hope as the hero finds a reason for continuing and doing the best he can. I hope Sinclair finds such a purpose. He is a good man who deserves better. He seems to sense that the universe has a plan for him, if only he can discover what it is. Until he does, I am afraid that he will risk his life needlessly, searching.

   I must stop now. Lennier is reminding me of several appointments I was hoping to forget. My young aide is learning fast. He has already taken over some of my routine tasks.

   For Valen's sake, Mayan, send me a message crystal or even a still, so I can see you have completely recovered. Sinclair would be pleased to see it also.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   25 May 2258

   Master,

   For so my heart still called you, even at the end, and even now. You were ever the teacher and I the student. That has not changed. Dukhat, I need your clarity of thought more than ever now. What must I do?

   Sinclair remembers. Not everything, not what we discovered, praise Valen. But enough to endanger my position and his life. The fault may be mine. The soul hunter told him my rank. When Sinclair saved me, I think I said something to reinforce his suspicions. I am sure he investigated, found the meaning of 'satai' and started to wonder.

   Now he knows I was there with the Council. I had to help. I could not stand by. I could not let him injure his own people, or let them hurt him. At that moment, he trusted only me. I could not betray that trust. I helped him and so confirmed his suspicions. It is only a matter of time before he learns the rest.

   I have failed. I was chosen to watch over him, to prevent what has happened. If he reveals his knowledge, if he makes public my true position, I will be forced to deal with questions I would rather avoid. There are those among Earth's government who would seize upon my deception as proof the Minbari have a sinister motive for supporting this station. And there are those among our own people who have never accepted our reasons for ending the war with the humans. If it becomes known that the Commander of Babylon 5 was with the Grey Council just before the surrender order, who knows what they will think or do. That is yet another reason to regret my words when I let my rage overcome my reason. I betrayed everything you stood for in that moment, and I have spent every day since trying to atone. Perhaps, I can hear you say, my moment of madness was necessary for us to learn the truth. If that is so, I wish the universe had chosen another way.

   I have failed, and now it is Sinclair who must pay the price of that failure. My orders are to eliminate him if he should learn the truth. How can I do that? How can I give the order for his death? He is my friend. But more than friendship stays my hand. My heart tells me, even more than the prophecies, that Sinclair has an important role to play against the coming darkness. His death would be a victory for the enemies of light.

   I see now, I think, my way more clearly. I must find a reason to justify my decision to spare his life. That should not be too difficult. You taught me well. If nothing else occurs, I can remind the Council that Minbari do not kill Minbari. He would appreciate the irony of that. As would you.

   As always, Dukhat, talking with you has shown me the truth. Perhaps, I should do so more often.

   I will close as I always did, when we talked in the evenings after dinner. Goodnight, Master. Sweet dreams.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   1 June 2258

   Mayan,

   I wrote a letter to Dukhat recently. You heard me correctly. No, I am not mad. I badly needed advice and guidance on a subject I could not discuss with anyone, not even you. Council business, of course, so you needn't wonder why. Strange, as I wrote, I began to feel as though Dukhat could actually hear me, and I could hear his reply. I felt I was back in the early years with him, when I would regularly bring my problems to him. He always listened gravely and gently guided me to finding my own solution. After a time, I brought only the most intractable problems to him. I could confidently handle the rest myself. Dukhat told me once, just before I joined the council, he came to miss hearing my complaints - until he remembered how trivial some of them were. I could never get a simple compliment from him.

   It has been more than fifteen cycles since his death, and yet, Mayan, I still keenly feel his absence. The rumours were never true: We were not lovers when I was his aide, as you well know. He thought it would be taking advantage of me, even though I told him otherwise. He said I knew too little of life, and of him, to be allowed to make such a decision. But I loved him dearly. It was enough just to be near him, and to know that he wanted me near him. We became lovers when I was appointed to the Council and so would be his equal, at least technically. No one could ever be his equal. He was the best of us. Our time together was so brief, a few short months I will always treasure.

   He was my friend and my lover. Above all, he was my teacher. I learned so much from him, about love, about life, about myself. If I can teach Lennier half as well as Dukhat taught me, I will consider myself a success.

   I have to prepare for a meeting with a trade delegation . I won't bore you with the details. Larron passed through here on his way to take up his post as our new ambassador to the Narn homeworld. He says you are looking well. So I forgive you for not letting me see for myself.

   IVN, Delenn

   

    ----------

   5 August 2258

   Master,

   They are here. I have started to build the device. The time is fast approaching when I must do what is necessary. I have worked and studied all my life for this, to be worthy of the honour. For honour it is. When it is finished, I hope to be the means through which our people can unite with the other half of our souls to defeat the darkness.

   I wish you could be here with me now. You gave me the courage to believe that I was chosen by prophecy when others scoffed. You always encouraged my interest in the humans, knowing, as I do, their importance to our future. You will not be disappointed in me, I promise.

   Good night, master. Sweet dreams, Dukhat.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   21 August 2258

   Hello Mayan,

   I took part in a human mourning ritual recently. Lt. Commander Ivanova's father passed beyond the veil a few months ago. It is the custom among her people for the immediate family to mourn for seven days. They sit in a room with windows and mirrors covered, wearing old clothes and going barefoot, their hair unbound. Friends and more distant family visit with gifts of food to talk about the dead. They tell such stories as best represent the life of the one who is gone. As I think about it, it was more a celebration of his life than anything else. I brought a human sweet called chocolate as my offering. Ivanova is particularly fond of it.

   She spoke of her father with affection. She grew up largely motherless, as we did, and grew close to him until the war, when they became estranged over her decision to follow her brother into EarthForce. She reconciled with her father just before his death.

   It is a familiar story, is it not? Except for the ending. I still see the sadness in my father's eyes when he looked at me during the long days of the war. He loved me still. I never doubted that. All my life I felt his love envelop me like a cloak, protecting me from the buffeting of the world. He hated the war, hated what was happening to the Minbari. Most of all, he hated the role I played. I knew I had disappointed him. After a time, I could not bear to spend more than a little time in his presence. His eyes seemed to reproach me. When he passed beyond the veil, I had not seen him for months.

   But I was telling you of Ivanova. She asked me to help her in a ceremonial lighting of candles that signify the end of the week. Such candles are customarily lit by the women of her people. Human mourning customs are as numerous and diverse as their religions, but those of Ivanova's people seem closest to our own. I felt very comfortable, which usually does not happen when I take part in human rituals.

   When we talked of our childhoods, she said she envied me because while growing up, I never knew my mother. What an odd thing to say. I would think that Ivanova would treasure the memory of the time she had with her mother. I do, even though I only saw my mother three times. Perhaps Ivanova meant the pain of losing her mother was too great. I did not press her for an explanation. Ivanova is now the last of her family. There will be no one to perform the mourning rituals for her. Like most humans, she has no clan. I find it very difficult to imagine being alone like that. She says it doesn't matter. She says EarthForce is her clan and it is enough. I do not know if I believe her.

   What a gloomy letter this has become. Perhaps I should stop now. Before I go, I would ask you to listen for word of a true seeker named Thomas. He is human. If he comes to Minbar, as is likely, for my sake, meet with him and aid him, if you can.

   IVN, Delenn

   

    ----------

   15 September 2258

   Mayan, old friend,

   Nantucket is, I believe, an old fishing village on the northeast coast of the western continent of Earth. I thought you would enjoy the verse Mr. Garibaldi taught me. He likes the similar Minbari ones I taught him. He is particularly fond of one of yours: the one about the crystal carver from Tuzenor. He wants to learn more.

   Mr. Garibaldi has taken it upon himself to teach me the more arcane aspects of human culture. I found this most disconcerting at first, but now I quite enjoy his lessons.

   I have even developed a taste for popcorn. We have nothing like it. The closest we come are those dried shells of the t'laht fruit, which are also eaten with salt. Lately, he has been showing me some of his favourite vids. They are copies of animations that are almost three hundred years old. They feature the adventures of an anthropomorphised water fowl. One which depicts the past's version of the future is particularly amusing. He wants to teach me something called strip poker next.

   When we have free time in the evenings, I sometimes meet him in the observation lounge to talk. He does not consume alcohol like most humans, so he often leaves the various social gatherings early. I think he has a metabolic problem with alcohol. He has said he doesn't want it to kill him as it did his old man. I think he means his father. I look forward to spending time with Mr. Garibaldi as I am generally always amused and enlightened.

   I will write more next time. I think you are on the right track with the new work, but you are not quite there yet. Keeping sending me the work in progress.

   IVN Delenn

   

    ----------

   5 October 2258

   Old friend,

   Draal sends his regards. He says that after hearing some of your recent work, he has come to the conclusion that, despite appearances to the contrary, you might have actually been paying attention in his class.

   Draal came to see me a few days ago to say goodbye. He has gone to the sea, Mayan. I was as shocked as you are when he told me. He has grown tired and sec'klee- se'kalh. I find it painful to think about him, about what he will find, what he will become. At school, his certainty and confidence, even his pomposity, was so reassuring.

   To see him now, unsure and searching for a purpose scared me.

   I fear his soul sickness is spreading among our people. I have been receiving disturbing reports of growing tensions, especially between the warrior and religious castes. Draal has only confirmed these reports. I do not like it, but I understand why Draal wants to go. It is the best thing he can do.

   When we said our final farewells, Draal tried to reassure me that he would be fine.

   He knows what he must do. I can only trust he is right; that the universe knows what is best for him. I do not think I will ever see him again.

   I wish...I don't know what I wish anymore. Seeing Draal again and then saying goodbye like that, I feel disconcerted, unsettled. I think I will contrive to have Mr. Garibaldi invite me to see some more of his animations. He seems despondent lately. An evening of popcorn and vids will be good for both of us.

   Take care, Mayan.

   IVN. Delenn

   

    ----------

   20 October 2258

   Mayan,

   I dreamed of Dukhat last night. I haven't done that in a long time. It was so real, Mayan. The way his beard tickled wherever he kissed me. The passage of his hands over my body, firm and gentle and urgent, all at once. The feel of his body on mine, in mine. The way he held me afterward and tucked me against him before we fell asleep. When I awoke, I expected to find him sleeping in his accustomed position, his body curled around mine. I didn't understand why he wasn't there. Until I remembered. I cried then, which I haven't done in a very long time either.

   I lost everyone I loved, Mayan: my father, Branmer, Dukhat. I do not think I will ever love again. Hold on to your love, Mayan. Cherish the time you have together. The moments are fleeting, but they are all we have.

   I do not know why I am writing like this. I have had the strangest thoughts lately. Perhaps it is living among strangers, largely isolated from my own people. I don't know. I don't think even Valen knows.

   IVN, Delenn

   

    ----------

   10 November 2258

   Dukhat,

   I cannot follow your path. You must understand that. Very soon now, I must take the final step. My heart tells me I belong on Babylon 5 with the humans. The Council has accepted that, but they think I am unwise, or my heart's calling is false. Even Gorenn, who has been my staunchest friend and ally, has doubts. When I left the Council Chambers for what I fear is the last time, Gorenn gave me a triluminary, the one piece that is necessary to activate the device. He said I would have more need of it than the Council. He cannot know what I plan. I take this as a sign that I am on the right path.

   And yet, a part of me wishes I could accept the leadership of the Council. There is so much I could do. We have need of strong leadership now. I can provide that. I am not boasting, as you know well. You were always pleased that a false modesty was not one of my vices.

   I had to choose how I could best serve our people. Or, perhaps I had no choice at all. Prophecy takes care of itself.

   In Valen's Name, Your Delenn

   

    ----------

   12 November 2258

   Mayan,

   I don't know what Neroon told you, but my actions were not motivated by a desire to embarrass or humiliate him. The fact that he would think so only confirms my opinion of him. I still do not understand your affection for him. He is attractive, I grant you, but that is his only redeeming feature. Never mind. You are well aware of the enmity between us. I will not waste my time speaking of him.

   I could not stand by and see Branmer's last wishes ignored, for the sake of the past, if for no other reason. He was my first love, my first lover. You know that after we parted we stayed friends. In some ways we became even closer, working in our own ways for the same goals. A few months before his death, Branmer confided that he was thinking of returning to the religious caste. He was weary of the warrior's life, weary of fighting against the worst aspects of that caste. He saw the same things Draal did. Neroon never understood. Perhaps, now that he is the head of the Star Riders, he will gain some wisdom. I doubt it.

   Mayan, before I close, I would ask a favour of you. There is a young human female, a telepath, who has come to live among us. Her name is Alisa Belden. Would you see her to let her know she is not friendless, that she is in my thoughts? But beware, my friend, or you will find her in your thoughts. Alisa is young and untrained, but her telepathic abilities are strong. Help her, as you can, for my sake.

   IVN, Delenn

   

    ----------

   21 November 2258

   Hello Mayan,

   I knew you would enjoy chocolate. I have developed a taste for it also. But you are going to have to get your own supply. I cannot spend all my time sending you packages. For one thing, Lennier wouldn't let me. He has become quite adept at keeping me to my schedule. He places a greater importance on my work than I do. He still finds trade negotiations exciting. But he is a quick study. I fully expect him to become as bored as I am with the routine. I am exaggerating, of course. Still, it is not far from the truth. Lately, it seems as though I am doing the same thing over and over again, with the same people.

   Lennier is the one bright spot. He is so eager to learn, it is a pleasure to teach him.

   He is experiencing so many things for the first time. Sometimes, the results are quite humourous, but I am careful not to laugh. I do not want to hurt his feelings. His most amusing experiences, at least I find them funny, occur when he attempts to better his understanding of humans. He is trying to learn more about them because he knows I am interested. Fortunately, his desire to learn and his eagerness to please is so transparent, he disarms even those he has offended, albeit in all innocence. Even Ivanova, who does not suffer fools gladly, is fond of him.

   His recent adventure with Mr. Garibaldi is a case in point. Lennier offered to help him build an antique human transport. It is called a motorcycle, I believe. Lennier decided to complete the project as a surprise for Mr. Garibaldi, not realising that for the human, the enjoyment was more in the process than the result. It ended happily though, at least for the two of them. I am still getting the occasional complaint about how my aide disturbed this ambassador, or frightened that one when Mr. Garibaldi and Lennier roared through the station on their new toy. It reminded me of the time we "borrowed" your father's new flyer. I did not ground Lennier afterward, though.

   Sometimes Lennier reminds me so much of myself when I first left the security of the temple, I ache for him. I want to do everything I can to protect him from disillusionment. I can hear your response. I know I cannot keep him innocent and naive forever. It would be unfair to him, at the least. But I hope he does not learn too soon of the darkness that exists in the universe.

   Like soul hunters? Yes, I can hear you asking. And you are right. I am still disturbed by my encounter with one. Mayan, I let my rage overcome my reason again, and again, I almost destroyed everything I have been trying to do. If Sinclair had not stopped me, I would either be dead or imprisoned. I think that disturbs me most of all, that I could so easily forget myself. That I could act again without thinking of the consequences. Have I learned nothing from the past? How can I continue to serve our people if I cannot be sure that I will not let the fury of the moment overcome my reason and my training? And if it happens again, I cannot count on anyone stopping me again.

   Valen help me, Delenn

   

    ----------

   30 November 2258

   Mayan,

   Perhaps you are right. Perhaps it was the ingrained horror of our people at the very idea of a soul hunter that caused my actions. I would like to think so. I would like to think I am through with death and destruction. But, as you say, no harm was done this time, and now I know that I must be more aware in the future. And you are also right in saying that I am dismayed because I do not like to think of myself as being able to lose control so easily. You know me so well.

   I must go now to insist my young aide have his black eye attended to in Med Lab. I am not joking. Lennier has gotten into some sort of mischief with Londo. I am sure it is all Londo's fault, but Lennier has taken the blame. I will not question him out of respect, but I would dearly love to know what happened. Until next time.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Lennier,

   In the short while you have been here, I have come to value you as my aide and, more importantly, as my friend. It is as my friend I wish to speak to you now. Do not grieve for me, Lennier. I do not intend to die. When the transformation is complete, I shall serve as a bridge to the humans, the other half of our souls. So prophecy says and so I believe. If I am wrong, if I do pass over the veil? What of it? I will die following my heart's calling. That is not such a terrible thing. And we will meet again where no shadows fall.

   I need you now, to carry out your duties and do all that must be done. I have left instructions and notes to help you act in my place for a little while. If you need advice, look to Rathenn in matters that are purely Minbari. In all other matters, Commander Sinclair can help you. Use what you have learned and your own innate abilities. I expect to hear glowing reports of the abilities and good sense of my young aide.

   Farewell for a little while, Lennier. Valen guide you.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Jeffrey,

   You are the first human I ever called friend. By now Lennier has told you what you want to know, about the last day of the war and the reason my people surrendered. Can you forgive me for what we did to you that day and after? We had to keep the secret, from my people as well as yours. But the time for such secrecy is past now. We both know a great darkness is coming and we must fight it together, Minbari and humans, or all will be lost.

   Both of us have changed since that day on the Line. We have learned to work together and to appreciate each other. Despite yourself, we became friends. That friendship has enriched us. Through you I have come to learn the best qualities of your people. When my change is completed, I hope that I can acquire some of those qualities.

   I do not know if you believe as we believe. Humans have so many notions about the soul. I would like to think you share our views. But it really doesn't matter whether you believe. Your soul is Minbari, and so you are a part of me. If I do not see you again, remember that.

   I wish you joy, my friend. May you find what you are seeking.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Rathenn,

   I have taken the last step to fulfill prophecy. I do not know what will happen to me. If all goes well, I will see you again soon. If not, we will meet again at the end of time. You have been a good friend to me ever since our time in temple together, when we were acolytes, fresh out of school. If I pass over, for the sake of that friendship, I ask that you seek out the human, Jeffrey Sinclair. He is important to the future, my heart tells me, although I do not know in what way. Help him as you can. Farewell for now, old friend.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Mayan, dearest of friends,

   When you read this, the Delenn you know will be gone. Who, or what, will take her place, I do not know. I only pray that whatever change occurs does not obscure my memories of our long friendship. The first moment I met you, the warrior's daughter with the heart of a poet, my soul reached out to yours. We were firm friends from that first day at school, and that friendship has endured through the years, even during the time we were estranged because of the war.

   You have been my friend, my ally, the sister I never had. You were at my side for all the milestones of my life: my passage from childhood; my dedication in the temple; the nafak'cha that marked my appointment to the Council. You helped me through my first love affair. You sustained and comforted me when my father passed beyond the veil. You have kept my secrets and given me advice and counsel when I was most in need. We have laughed together and cried together. Nothing, not even fulfillment of prophecy, is worth the loss of such a friendship.

   Mayan, I do not know what will happen. I cannot imagine my life without your friendship. Please, if the Delenn who emerges from the Chrysalis does not know you, befriend her again. Whatever happens, my soul will not change. It will still seek to touch yours.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Revered mother,

   I have followed the calling of my heart into the Chrysalis, as foretold by Valen's prophecies. Perhaps I have been presumptuous. If so, we will not meet again in this life.

   I do not know you, except through father's heart, but I believe your strength of will and devotion to your calling has sustained my own. I treasure the few times we spent together. When I emerge transformed, I would like to see you once more, to receive your blessing on the path I have chosen.

   Valen go with you, and Valeria sustain you.

   Your obedient daughter, Delenn

   

    ----------

   31 December 2258

   Dukhat,

   It is done. When I finish this letter, I shall enter the Chrysalis. I have spent my whole life preparing for this moment, to fulfill the prophecy of a thousand years. I thought, as the time drew closer, that I would enter eagerly, without hesitation. I was wrong. I am afraid. Afraid of what I will become, afraid of what I must do afterward. Afraid I will not have the strength to endure the future so changed from our people. I am Minbari to the depths of my soul. How will I manage afterward?

   There is no one I can speak with now, to ask for advice or to seek reassurance. So I turn to you, as I have so often in the past. I can only try to endure what I must and do what I am able. I must believe that the universe takes care of itself in ways we do not always understand. I must believe I am in the right place at the right time.

   You believed in me and that knowledge comforts me now. I will keep the image of your face and the sound of your voice foremost in my mind when I enter the Chrysalis.

   I will hold the memory of our love in my heart. It will be enough.

   In Valen's Name, Delenn

 

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