VOICES (I)

By Frieda W. Landau

 

 

 

Hi,

   After seeing "In the Beginning," I wondered if John ever found out that Delenn was the one who ordered his release when he was a captive on the Grey Council Ship during the Earth/Minbari War. I also wondered if John ever figured out when he fell in love with Delenn. Since I wanted to try my hand at a "John" story, this seemed like the right subject. The subject matter of the story pretty much determined the format. I wanted only John's point of view, and I really didn't feel like coping with the mechanics of dialogue.

   I've made two changes in the timeline. One, which does not affect the events very much, was to place "Walkabout" before "War Without End," which is what JMS intended. The other change was caused by the information deduced from other episodes that the trip to Minbar from Babylon Five takes at least three days. This means that Delenn could not have returned at the end of "Point of No Return" and then gone to Minbar and come back to to B5 with reinforcements in time to save the station and John. Even if you say she only went to the Grey Council Ship and not Minbar proper, there is still no reason for that Ship to be anywhere near B5 space, or for a Minbari fleet to be close. So, I have Delenn stay away until she brings the fleet and tells EarthForce to "be somewhere else."

   I guess you could call this a gap filler from the end of "A Race through Dark Places" to the middle of "Shadow Dancing."

   I hope you enjoy this story. As always, feedback of any kind is welcome.

 

 

 

 

*****



   Captain John Sheridan, Personal Log: 18 March 2259:

   Am I glad to be back in my own quarters tonight? Abso-fragging-lutely! I don't know if I would have survived another night in my office chair.

   I'm getting too old for that sort of thing. And Ivanova gets really testy when she doesn't get enough sleep. I wonder if the bean counters will even notice that the combat readiness budget increased by the same amount as the charge for senior officers quarters? Probably not. As long as their books balance, they don't care.

   But last night wasn't all bad. Dinner with Ambassador Delenn was a pleasant surprise. I admit I was taken aback when she suggested dinner as a way to learn more about humans. I wondered what she really wanted. Minbari have no love for Starkiller. So why would she want to spend time with me? I was still trying to figure it out when she walked into Fresh Aire. Wow! That's the second time the sight of her left me speechless. She was stunning. By the time she reached our table, I managed to pick my jaw up off the floor and even attempt a small - a very small - joke about her dress turning heads. I don't think she got it.

   It was kind of awkward at first. I guess I was a bit nervous and still wondering about her motives. I stopped thinking about her motives before we finished the first course. By the main course, we were talking like old friends. My dad told me that a diplomat has to listen to two voices at once - the one that's talking to him and the silent one that tells you what the other guy is really thinking. To these ears, both of Delenn's voices were saying the same thing. She really did just want to talk. I don't know if humans and Minbari have a lot in common or if it's just Delenn and me, since Delenn is definitely not your typical Minbari. But I do know I want to get to know her better. I enjoy her company, and I think the feeling is mutual.


   Captain's personal log: 5 May 2259:

   ...Met Delenn in the garden today again. We didn't plan it beforehand, but we both arrived within a few moments of each other. That's been happening a lot, especially in the late afternoon when I try to take a break. It's as if she knows I'll be there. Or is it the other way around? As usual, we talked about nothing and everything. She's a good listener, but I prefer listening to her. Other Minbari who speak English don't have t he same accent. Delenn's voice is unique. And yet, there is something familiar about it, like something you remember from a dream. Delenn would probably say I was recalling something from a previous incarnation.


   Captain's personal log: 5 June 2259:

   Next time I say, "It's just a routine flight, what can happen?" someone shoot me! At least then I'll be spared another lecture from Ivanova. She's right of course. I had no business going off like that. It was irresponsible. But sometimes I feel so claustrophobic with all the responsibilities of running the station that I have to get away for a while. But I promised Ivanova - under threat of grievous bodily harm if I didn't - that next time I'll play ball with Garibaldi or take a walk or something.

   Some routine flight! The doctors say I look worse than I am. The cuts and bruises should heal quickly. If it weren't for the Narn, we would have both been killed. It was his strength, really, that forced the door to our cell. His injuries were much worse than mine. The doctors say he'll recover eventually. I hope so. Ta'Lon is only the second Narn I've ever spent any time with. He's not at all like G'Kar. But why should I expect him to be? I'm not at all like Garibaldi or Franklin. I wonder if I'll ever see Ta'Lon again.

   I still don't understand about Kosh. How did I hear his voice on the Streib ship? And if his voice could reach me, why didn't he tell C&C where I was? Or didn't he know? The whole episode was very strange. But that's par for the course when a Vorlon is involved.

   I haven't thanked Delenn yet for coming to my rescue. Hearing her warning the Streib, even replayed on the ship's recorder, I'm not surprised they tried to run. All that strength and command in such a small, delicate body. She is one hell of a woman! I hope Delenn is all right. She looked so pale when we met in the docking bay. I should have thanked her then, but she left so quickly. I wonder if Minbari women like chocolate? Perhaps I should bring her a box when I thank her properly?

   I've recommended a commendation for the pilot who informed the station of my capture. I only wish it were not posthumously. Even after all this time, after a major war and countless missions in relative peace, I still cannot calmly accept the death of anyone under my command. I suppose that's a failing in a frontline, commanding officer.


   Captain's personal log, 8 June 2259:

   ...I have the feeling Delenn is avoiding me. She sent Lennier with a note to thank me for the chocolates and to tell me that she is too busy with her ambassadorial duties to see me.

   I was going to ask her to dinner. It's my turn now. But she hasn't returned my calls. I'm beginning to feel like that guy in those old commercials, "...maybe it's my breath!"


   Captain's personal log: 15 June 2259:

   I saw Delenn for the first time in a week. We met in the gardens. I tried to find out why she'd been avoiding me. I was very subtle about it, I thought. She laughed and said why didn't I just ask her outright. She told me she was very busy and didn't want to spoil our talks by cutting them short. But now she's caught up with her backlog from her trip home. I was glad to hear it. I didn't realize how much I look forward to talking to her whenever our schedules allow. Oh, yes, at least one Minbari woman likes chocolate. Next time we have dinner, I'll have to order Death by Chocolate for dessert...


   Captain's personal log: 18 June 2259:

   Delenn and I met with G'Kar to offer whatever aid we can to help his people. I have to be careful not to involve EarthGov or Earth Alliance forces officially, but I can call in some favors to set up a clandestine supply route. I wish I could do more. But at least I can offer sanctuary on-station to those Narn who request it.

   Delenn can do much more. Both as the Minbari ambassador and through her caste. I really don't understand how that works. The castes seem to have their own governments apart from the central government. How ever it works, Delenn can tap into various sources. I wonder what she meant by saying her position is not what it once was. I thought her political career was on the rise. Delenn also wishes that more could be done for the Narn. The sorrow and compassion in her voice when she talks about their plight could break your heart.


   Captain's personal log: 28 June 2259:

   The first shipment to Narn left yesterday. We expect it to arrive in a few days. I've alerted Medlab to stand by to receive wounded. Delenn and I have been meeting for lunch on a regular basis to coordinate our efforts.

   I feel a little guilty. These lunches don't seem like work at all. We spend about as much time just talking as we do on the Narn situation. I've always enjoyed talking with an intelligent woman, and Delenn is wiser than most.

   It's funny. We talk so freely, on just about every subject, but anyone listening would think we had just met. She always addresses me as Captain. I guess it's part of that Minbari reserve. The first time I dropped the "ambassador," I was a little worried that I was too informal, but she gave no indication it was improper. And since she hasn't said anything, I guess she doesn't mind if I call her Delenn. I wish I knew more about Minbari protocols.


   Captain's personal log: 10 July 2259:

   ...I dreamt about Delenn last night. Or at least I think I did. The figure in my dream sounded like Delenn, but I couldn't see her. It was too dark, or I was blindfolded. I should have been frightened, but I wasn't because Delenn kept telling me everything was okay. Perhaps I should tell Kosh about it. It sounds very Vorlon-like. But I'm sure Kosh's explanation would only confuse matters more.


   ...20 July 2259:

   ...I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and the nightmare will be over. There doesn't seem to be any other rational explanation. I killed that Minbari, yes. But I did not murder him. Why is the witness lying? And now EarthForce has sent me a lawyer. I don't need a lawyer, dammit! I need the truth!

   The worst of it is I can't talk to Delenn. I understand that as ambassador, she is responsible for the Minbari side of the investigation. But I wish I knew what she really thinks. I can't forget how distant and unyielding she looked when I accused the witness of lying. For the first time, she seemed truly alien. If I knew she believed me, it would be easier. But all our contacts have, by necessity, been formal and witnessed.


   ...22 July 2259:

   The lawyer finally left, insisting to the end that I should "reveal all" to the public, meaning ISN, for the good of EarthForce. Well, screw her!

   I did the right thing. Lennier and his clan shouldn't have to suffer for the actions of a few renegades. That's very unminbari of me, I know. But I'm glad I could find a way to preserve Lennier's honor without compromising my own. Not only for his sake, but for Delenn's.

   Perhaps by way of saying thank you, Lennier told me that Delenn said an act such as that supposed murder was not in my character. I wanted to hug him, but instead I thanked him most politely for the information.

   ...There was one strange thing about the whole incident, well stranger than everything else. I was waiting to meet with Delenn to find out if her investigation had uncovered anything. I heard an angry voice speaking rapidly in one of the Minbari languages. There was something familiar about it. When I tried to pin down the memory, I drew a blank. Just then Delenn came out, and I forgot about the voice. Later, when I asked her who was in the other room with her, she didn't know what I was talking about. I still can't place the voice, yet I know I've heard it somewhere, sometime before. I wish I could remember. It's starting to bother me.


   ...3 August 2259:

   I was thinking about Kosh's lesson in the midst of that Minbari trouble last month. There was one very disquieting aspect of that lesson. I gave the child my command bar without any hesitation. Of course I have more and can always get more. It's not as if they're unique. But the bar still has a symbolic significance. I should have felt a little reluctant to take it off. I'd like to think I was upset over the whole situation and angry at EarthForce. Yet I'm not sure. Since the President's assassination, I have been uneasy. What I have learned through General Hague's network, and my own observations, especially since the renewal of hostilities between the Narn and the Centauri, has increased that uneasiness. For the first time, I am beginning to wonder if I will have to choose between following orders and doing what is right. I hope I will never have to make that choice. But if I do, I hope I make the right choice.


   ...15 August 2259:

   I had a variation of that dream about Delenn last night. This time, I wasn't blindfolded, but I still couldn't see anything clearly. Delenn, or whoever, was shrouded all in grey. I still don't understand it.


   ...1 September 2259:

   While cleaning out some old files today, I came across some stills and vids of a female Minbari. She's very striking in a Minbari, alien sort of way. It took me a while to realize it was Delenn before her transformation. It's hard to believe this is the same woman who turned all those heads in Fresh Aire. Only the eyes are the same. Funny, the Delenn I know seems so much more vulnerable than that other Delenn. Perhaps it's because she looks so human now, so delicate and fragile....


   ...10 September:

   Something happened today that made me remember the first trip I took with Anna after we were married. I can still picture her clearly then. Yet, when I think about her the last time I saw her, I can't see her clearly. Her features seem to blur.


   ...16 September 2259:

   Damn ISN! I should have refused them access to the station. How dare that reporter hurt Delenn. Sure there are probably a lot of humans who are still angry over the war. And plenty of Minbari. But to take it out on Delenn... I remember what she said when I tried to tell her how isolated I felt last month. Delenn said being isolated in a crowd was even worse. Does she feel unwelcome here, among so many humans? God, I hope not. I don't think any of my people resent her. She would never complain to me, I know. I'm going to have to be more observant.

   I asked Garibaldi to keep an eye out for anyone whose resentment of Minbari might be inflamed by that damn reporter. He's agreed to increase security near Delenn's quarters. He and Delenn are friends, so she shouldn't be suspicious if Garibaldi spends a lot of time with her for the next few days. Fortunately, the nut cases usually have short attention spans. By next week, ISN will probably offer them another target. That's assuming I'm not just exercising my fears, and Delenn really is in danger.


   ...18 September 2259:

   Kosh and Delenn are right. I know that. Garibaldi was right too. But that doesn't make it any easier. My God, Anna! I don't even know if she was killed immediately or taken prisoner or what! All I know is that she's dead. And I can't do anything about it. I can't go after those who killed her. I can't even let anyone know her death wasn't an accident.

   When Liz showed me Anna's last message, I could take some comfort in knowing she died doing what she loved. I could accept her death as an accident. It was hard, but I could finally accept it. Especially here, on Babylon Five, where there are no memories of her. But now. How can I accept this? Yet I must. I'm going to hold Kosh to his promise to teach me to fight legends. And when I'm ready - and I will be ready - I will avenge her...


   ...19 September 2259:

   Michael stopped by last night, to give me his final report on Morden, he said. It wasn't necessary, but I understand and appreciate his motive.

   I took the opportunity to apologize for interfering with his investigation of Morden. I meant it. Michael very carefully didn't ask me if I was okay. I think I persuaded him I was, or at least he seemed to accept it.

   Delenn called after Michael left. She asked if I wanted to talk. I told her it was late, but she insisted. She said I was understandably upset and angry, and it was not good for me to pretend otherwise. I didn't even try with her. I told her I was not okay, but I would be. I just didn't want to talk about it now. She accepted that and said she was ready to listen whenever I was ready to talk. I can't talk with anyone now, especially not Delenn.


   ...20 September 2259:

   That damn dream again. Maybe I should talk to someone about it. There is something so familiar, just out of reach. I have the feeling it has something to do with war. Or am I projecting my own anger over Morden. I have to put aside that anger if I am to continue to run this station effectively. I can't let personal vendettas govern my actions. The time to strike back will come. I have to believe that. Delenn says the universe knows what it is doing. I hope she's right.

   Delenn invited me to a ceremonial meal in her quarters when I have the time. We agreed sometime next week would be convenient. I think I'm looking forward to it. Every time we've shared a meal, we've eaten human food, at Delenn's insistence. She's still eager to learn everything she can about humans. I admit her enthusiasm is sometimes catching. I don't remember ever having Minbari food. The military rations during the war don' t count. I'm sure those rations have the same relationship to real Minbari food as our rations have to Earth foods.


   ...25 September 2259:

   Now I know why there are no fat Minbari. I have no idea how long the ceremonial parts of the meal actually are, but the part I sat through seemed forever. I really did have to leave. I hope I haven't insulted Mr. Lennier after all his hard work in preparing the meal.

   I'll have to ask Delenn if I should apologize to him. I did like that green food, though. Flarn, I think she called it.

   The Markab situation is worsening. Every death leads to more fear and more fighting. Garibaldi says his people spend most of their time now rescuing Markab from various mobs. So far, no other race has succumbed to this plague. If it should cross species... I don't even want to think about that. Franklin is no nearer a cure. In fact, he's not even sure of the cause.

   The quarantine is causing a lot of grumbling and complaints, not only from those wanting to leave the station, but - incredibly - from those who want to dock. We've tried to make them understand, but some are so thick-headed. Ivanova's temper is hanging by the proverbial thread. I pity whoever is in range when that thread snaps.


   ...27 September 2259:

   ...I should never have let her go. If anything happens to Delenn... I know I had to let her. There was no way I could stop her, anyway. Her desire to help, no, her need to help, was so evident. She was radiant when she left my quarters, yet she knew she might be going to her death. Even if I believed in that place where no shadows fall the way she does, it is no consolation for the thought of losing her now. When she touched my face like that, I wanted to grab her, keep her from going. Damn it, Delenn! You've become my closest friend. And I've locked you in with the Markab plague and I can't let you out until we find a cure or know for certain Minbari are immune.


   ...29 September 2259:

   Delenn finally called me John. Under the circumstances, I would rather have waited a while longer. I will never forget opening that door, carrying life-giving medicine, and finding death had won. My heart stopped until I saw Delenn was okay. Then it ached for her pain. She was inconsolable. All I could do was hold her as she cried. I finally got her out of that chamber of death when she regained some composure. And then she apologized to me for getting my uniform wet with her tears! She is the most amazing woman I have ever known.

   I have to admit I feel a little guilty. While she was crying for the dead Markab children, I couldn't help thinking how natural, how comfortable, it felt to hold her like that. I pushed that thought away immediately. It means nothing; of course, we're just friends, nothing more. Yet, I can't deny that for one moment I wondered...


   ...30 September 2259:

   I met Delenn for lunch today. It was a little awkward at first between us. I think she regretted breaking down like that in front of me, but after a while, everything was back to normal. A few times she started to call me "captain," caught herself, and then called me John. By the time we returned to work, she was calling me John freely without prior thought.

   I don't know what to do with the Markab assets aboard the station. Interstellar law doesn't cover a situation like this. I pray the law will never have to deal with such a problem.


   Captain's personal log: 3 October 2259:

   Delenn has a real knack for cheering me up. I don't know if she does it deliberately, but however she does it, it works. When we met in the garden today, I was feeling miserable. But after that silly exchange about the meaning of but and butt - she really does have some amazing gaps in her English vocabulary - I felt more at peace with myself and the station. If we could bottle her ability, we'd cure the whole universe of depression.


   ...10 October 2259:

   Another appearance of that dream. I'm getting used to it now. There was a new element last night. I kept asking, "Where am I?" and the voice - Delenn's? - said, "It's a secret." Why can't I remember where I heard it before?


   ...15 October 2259:

   I'm still trying to assimilate the events of yesterday. The day began with low comedy and ended with a most extraordinary gift, the implications of which I'm not sure I have entirely grasped. By accepting Delenn's offer of command of the Rangers in this sector, I now have a force independent of EarthGov and an intelligence service that may be second to none. Delenn gave me reports of their most recent activities. I don't think EarthForce has any unit to match the Rangers. Until I learn more about their capabilities, and about the threats they and we face, I will leave their day-to-day activities to Delenn. Later, I may take a more hands-on role.

   I am a little chagrined that I did not discover the presence of the Rangers on station on my own. But their secrecy must work for me now. If anyone in EarthGov learns that I am now the commander of an alien force, trained by Minbari and headed by a suspect human, I could be charged with sedition at the least. I will have to be very careful. I also have to consider how much to reveal to the others.

   Delenn is meeting me later in the week to answer any questions I may have and to brief me in detail. I wonder what other power she wields that I have yet to discover. I am aware that she is more than just the Minbari Ambassador to Babylon Five. How much more, I do not know. That should bother me, yet, surprisingly, it doesn't. I have come to trust her absolutely.

   I am humbled by the confidence in me shown by Delenn and the Rangers.

   I cannot adequately describe my feelings when they pledged their lives to me. I only hope and pray I prove worthy of their pledge.


   ...2 November 2259:

   I finally got around to clearing all the excess out of my quarters. I don't know how I've accumulated so much stuff in such a short time. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic when I moved in. I'm still not used to all this space, especially after the many years living aboard ship. But even enthusiasm can't excuse that Centauri statue. I also caught up with the filing in my office.

   I decided to finish sorting and storing Anna's things. I should have done it long ago, but somehow I could never find the time, or, to be honest, muster the resolve. I thought that by making it part of a general cleaning, it might be easier. Perhaps it worked. I didn't dream about her the way I usually do when I've spent the evening thinking, remembering...


   ...2 November 2259:

   The Narn refugee problem is worsening every day. My resources will soon run out. Even Delenn is finding it difficult to provide the amount of aid required. We're going to have to find other means quickly if we're to help at all. Rangers have helped the Narn resistance smuggle out some of those most at risk from Centauri retribution. Perhaps we can establish a clandestine supply route the same way. I'll have to talk to Delenn about that. EarthGov has my reports. As usual, they haven't responded. They've been no help at all, which is about what I expected. ...Draal's records are going to be very useful.

   I have trouble sometimes taking Draal seriously. He seems such a caricature. Delenn says he has always been like that until you know him better and discover he is the most intelligent and kindest Minbari you will ever know. I'll take her word for now. Meanwhile, I still look both ways before stepping out of the shower.


   ...7 November 2259:

   ...Delenn tried out her new-found "colorful" vocabulary again.

   Someone - Susan? Michael? - has been teaching her a few choice EarthForce expressions. Listening to her imitation of a drill sergeant while looking at her sweetly smiling face is an adventure in surrealism. If she doesn't get over this latest enthusiasm soon, I'm going to have to talk to her.

   She uses the words correctly but not always appropriately. I keep expecting to hear that some race is going to war because the Minbari ambassador commented on the ancestry of their leader.

   That reminds me. I think I've finally pinned down something about that dream I keep having. It definitely takes place during a war, and I'm on some sort of alien ship. Now if I can only figure out what war and what ship.


   ...12 November 2259:

   Delenn is all right, at least physically. I insisted that she let Stephen check her out. The bruises are all superficial. Apparently Sebastian's pain givers hurt more than they damage. Stephen says the real danger is that the pain givers can induce cardiac arrest if applied too long and too often. That bastard, Sebastian! I can't believe I just let him walk away. I wanted to hurt him the way he hurt her. If Lennier hadn't called me... Stephen insisted she take the day off tomorrow and rest. Delenn didn't even protest, which shows how exhausted she really is. I don't know how she hung on so long.

   How could Kosh subject her to that sadistic, murdering madman? Did he really believe it was necessary? Or was it just a Vorlon whim? A lesson, perhaps, that got out of hand?

   They're supposed to be allies, for God's sake. If he doesn't trust her, why is he working with her? I'll never understand Vorlons. And after this, I'm not so sure I want to.

   She was magnificent. The way she stood up to Sebastian at the end. She was all fire and spirit and beauty. Even bruised and dirty and disheveled, she was beautiful... I was so afraid for her.

   After that bastard finally released us, all I wanted was to hold on to her, make sure she was all right. She kept asking me if I was hurt even though I was only in there for a very short time. When we walked out, I'm not sure who was supporting who.


   ...13 November 2259:

   Sebastian's question haunted me all night. "What is she to you?" I refused to answer yesterday. He had no right to know. But a voice inside me keeps taunting that I'm afraid of the answer. Maybe I am. When she put her head on my shoulder as we walked out of that chamber of horrors yesterday, when she put her arms around me and held me close... I didn't think I would ever have those feelings about a woman again. But what exactly does it mean? Danger can be very erotic, and I've been alone so long...

   No. I have to face the fact that for a while now, my feelings for her have been changing.

   She is no longer just my friend, the Minbari ambassador. I am more aware of her, her warmth, her softness, her beauty. I've begun to think about her all the time. I wonder what it would be like to hold her, to touch her, yes, to make love to her. I don't know what I feel or what I should feel. Am I just rationalizing physical desire, or is it something more?

   I don't know, and I don't even know if I want to know. Anyway, I don't have time for any sort of personal relationship with a woman, no matter how desirable she is...


   ...14 November 2259:

   Who am I kidding? Face it, Johnnie boy. You're falling for the Minbari ambassador. You're old enough to know the signs. Stop pretending.

   I didn't think I could have these feelings again for any woman. I didn' t want to have these feelings. That part of me died with Anna, almost three years ago. I've been content to let it stay dead. It's easier that way. I hurt so much when I lost Anna. We loved each other so much. I didn't think I could love again. Didn't want to love again.

   Delenn. Delenn. I'm falling in love with you!

   From the first moment I saw her, I felt something. A spark, a jolt.

   We became friends so easily. When did my feelings start to change. When she touched my face before I asked her to call me John? When I held her as she cried for the Markab? In the garden, when she put her hand on mine? What would have happened if my com link hadn't sounded?

   I don't know what to do. I have no idea how she feels. She cares for me as a friend. I know that much. Does she feel anything more? Would she even realize if she felt anything more? Delenn looks human, but she is still very much Minbari. I have no idea how Minbari fall in love, or if they fall in love. What if she can't love me? No. I don't believe that. I can't believe that my feelings for her could be so strong if there were no chance for us. I know that's not rational, but I don't feel very rational when I think about Delenn.

   I'm going to have to take things very slowly. I don't want to do or say anything wrong.

   I wish I knew more about Minbari ways. The databases aren't much help. And I can't very well ask Lennier. "Mr. Lennier. I want to make love to your ambassador. How do I go about it?" I don't even want to think about his reaction! No, I'll have to find my own way to her. If only I knew what she felt...


   ...1 December 2259:

   ...I just realized something about that dream on the ship where I can't tell what's happening. I'm not wearing a captain's uniform. I think those are lieutenant's bars. I don't know if it means anything, though. Service-related dreams tend to be like high school dreams. Just as you're always back in high school in your dreaming, no matter what your age, you're always a lieutenant - or worse, an ensign - in service dreams. Someday I'm going to ask Stephen if he knows why that is. Some psych student, somewhere, must have done a study.

   The Narn-Centauri situation is worsening. Security is reporting fights almost daily. G'Kar is doing a fairly good job keeping his people in line. If only Londo would do the same. Rangers are bringing in more Narn wounded. The guerrilla war is apparently very active. I'm also worried about EarthGov. Medlab expenses have tripled, and EarthDome is beginning to take notice. Still no reaction to any of my reports.


   ...15 December 2259:

   Delenn and I had dinner together at her insistence. She said I was working too hard and needed to relax. We went for pizza, or at least what passes for pizza on the station. It was Delenn's first experience with melted mozzarella. For a while there, I thought the cheese was going to win, but she hung on with that Minbari tenacity and finally subdued it. She laughed and said she was not used to food fighting back. Afterward, we walked in the gardens. A simple evening, and one I wouldn't trade for anything. I caught her looking at me when she thought I couldn't see her. There was something in her eyes, the way they turned tender and hungry and wistful, that made me think perhaps she sees me as more than a friend. Or is that just wishful thinking?

   It was the first time in a week we spent more than a few minutes with each other. We are both so busy with all that's been happening. It's a good thing I've decided to take things slow with Delenn. Otherwise, the situation would be very frustrating.


   ...24 December 2259:

   Be careful what you wish for! EarthDome has finally responded to my reports on the Narn-Centauri situation. As usual, the bean counters got it wrong. A non-aggression treaty with the Centauri is the last thing EarthGov needs. Centauri expansion has to be stopped, not encouraged. Mr. Lantz gave a very nice speech to the Council. It was - what was that phrase? - full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The League of Non-Aligned Worlds would have followed Earth's lead if the government had decided to take a stand against the Centauri. If Earth did what is right, and not what is expedient. Can't they see the Centauri pose a threat to all the worlds on their borders?

   I will have to follow orders, I suppose, and observe the treaty once it is signed. But I will not betray the Narn. I gave my word and the protection of Babylon Five to the Narn cruiser. I will not withdraw either. If the Centauri try to interfere, I will stop them.


   ...27 December 2259:

   Well, at least I didn't have to make that apology. I'm still a bit shaky. Whether from the blast, from the fall, or from being rescued by Kosh, I can't say. The year is ending on an ominous note. I am very uneasy about the way the Centauri achieved their final victory over the Narn. The Rangers tell of unrest everywhere. The Shadows are moving.

   I wish I could trust the Vorlons fully. Delenn is shocked at the idea of questioning Kosh's motives. She is so sure of their good intentions. I fear she will be disillusioned, and soon. What do the Vorlons really want?

   Delenn came to check on me, to make sure I was all right. She seemed a bit nervous at first, as though she were aware of being alone with me in my quarters. Dare I take that as a good sign? Is she becoming aware of me as a man and not just a friend? Or don't proper Minbari females visit the living quarters of unattached males? Whatever the reason, she did come. Which is as good an ending to the year as I could wish.

 

*****

 

 

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