NEVER COMPLETELY WON (II)
By Lara Nicosia
Jaylen's thrashing was enough to slow down her would-be kidnapper, so Susan and Zack could catch up. Susan made a flying leap, managing to grab the man's legs, which brought him down. He dropped Jaylen, who instinctively curled up and rolled when she hit the ground. Zack helped her up as Susan finished with the Centauri.
When they doubled back to the ambush site, John, Delenn and David were nowhere to be found. Then again, neither were the three bounty hunters that Jaylen, Susan and Zack had taken out.
"Let's get to the shuttle," Susan whispered, glancing around nervously. There were three Centauri lying prone in the side alleyway, but those other buggers could be anywhere. "That's probably where they're heading."
The men pursuing John, Delenn and David were obviously not going to let them get away if they could help it. They chased them through crowded alleys and streets. Every time they thought maybe they had gotten away, the bounty hunters would appear again.
Finally, after they turned a corner, John pushed Delenn and David toward a nearby building. "Go! Hide in there! I'm going to draw them off. When we're gone, get to the shuttle!"
Delenn didn't want to leave her husband alone to face those bounty hunters. "No, John, I won't-!"
"Go, Delenn! Please! Make sure the kids are safe! I'll get back to the shuttle, I promise! Just go!"
Delenn relented, following David into the building. As the door closed behind them, John turned to see the three Centauri turning onto the street, so he immediately took off the other direction.
Cracking open the building door, Delenn peaked out to see their pursuers run by, pushing through groups of people after her husband. "David, go to the shuttle," she instructed as they came out of the building. She began running in the direction the others had just gone.
David followed her. "But what are you-?"
"I'm going after your father. He cannot take on three Centauri alone."
"Then I'm going with-."
"No!" Delenn stopped and took her son's shoulder. "David, it doesn't matter what happens to me or your father. You and Jaylen are what's important. Go to the shuttle and protect your sister."
"Jaylen can take care of herself. She's been able to since she was little. I want to go with you."
"David, please. You *must* get to safety!"
"All right," he finally relented, seeing the pleading look in her eyes. "Valen walk with you, Mother. We'll be waiting for you both."
John, in the meantime, was beginning to realize he wasn't as young as he used to be. Which was not really the revelation he wanted to be making at that point in time. The bounty hunters were catching up although it really didn't matter what happened to him at this point in his life - as long as Delenn and the kids could get to safety. That was all he cared about.
Ducking down yet another alleyway, he found that he had come full circle - back to the place where they had originally been ambushed. Two of the three Centauri that he, his wife and son had taken out were still lying on the ground.
As he ran past them, a hand snaked out from behind the nearby building's incinerator, catching his ankle, causing him to trip. Dropping his ppg, which skittered away, and throwing his arms forward to break the fall, John landed on the ground, then rolled over, bringing his leg up to kick the Centauri away. His attacker fell back as he scrambled to his feet, crouching in an attack position. The Centauri, who was bleeding from a blow to the temple, went to pull a blade out of his boot, but John saw this and was faster, knocking him down again, the blade clattering to the ground. As he held the Centauri down, he reached for the knife, not aware of the footsteps behind him until a foot came down on his outstretched hand. The next thing he knew, both his arms were grabbed by two of the Centauri who had been following him, and he was being hauled roughly to his feet. The one he had been fighting got up, wiping a trail of blood from his nose as he walked around John then hit him square in the back. John's knees buckled beneath him, but the two Centauri holding him didn't let him fall. Instead, he stayed suspended between them. Clenching his teeth against the pain, he tried to regain his footing. As soon as he did, the Centauri kicked the back of his knees, but this time, the other two didn't hold him up. John tumbled to the ground, unprepared and unable to catch himself.
When the shock of the fall wore off, John immediately twisted around, bringing his arms up to fend off the next attack. As he did, he spotted his ppg lying not very far away. He dove to grab it, only to have one of the Centauri kick it away.
The last thing he remembered was the toe of a black boot coming toward his head.
Delenn found herself following her husband and his pursuers back to the alley where this had all started. Ducking behind a stack of crates, she saw two of the Centauri pick John up and hold him between them as the third hit him from behind. She immediately pulled her collapsed fighting pike from her robe and was starting to rise when she suddenly realized something was wrong. The Centauri hitting her husband was not one of the three who had been chasing them through the streets. He was the one she herself had dealt with right after the bounty hunters had ambushed them.
That meant that another Centauri was still lurking around. And he was probably . . .
Opening her pike, she swung around, hitting him across the chest as he tried to sneak up on her from behind. As he went down, he kicked out with his legs, grazing her knee. She scooted back, bringing the pike up and then down in one smooth motion. Reaching up and grabbing it, he tried to pull it to flip her over. But Delenn's stance was too solid, and she refused to give up her ground. Instead, she pulled back on the pike herself, creating a tug-of-war situation.
Suddenly, she eased up on the pike, which momentarily created a surprise distraction for the Centauri, who hesitated and loosened his grip. This gave her the opening she was looking for. With a savage yank, she pulled the pike back, then pushed forward, hitting him squarely in the stomach area. Curling into a ball on the ground, he wheezed for air while holding his gut.
With her assailant taken care of, Delenn turned to see what was going on with her husband. He was being picked up off the ground, swung over the shoulder of the biggest Centauri. She was glancing back to make sure that her attacker was still out before she took off after them when he kicked out, sweeping her legs out from under her. Delenn landed on the ground. As she tried to get to her feet, a wave of pain coursed through her, causing her to double over. Gasping, she dropped her pike. This spell was worse than the one she had had on the transport ship. The Centauri saw this and took advantage of the situation. Grabbing her pike and holding it across her back to keep her down on her knees, he called to the other Centauri down the alleyway. Delenn knelt on the ground, trembling. The pain had dissipated, but she couldn't get up yet. One of the others came over and picked Delenn up, following after the man carrying John over his shoulder.
~I'm sorry, John,~ she cried silently.
Jaylen paced back and forth in the cabin of the shuttle, wondering what had happened to her parents and brother. Where were they? Had they been caught by the Centauri? She wanted to go back out and search for them, but Susan wouldn't let her. The older woman was standing by the shuttle hatchway, making sure that Jaylen stay put as much as she was looking out. Outside, Zack kept a lookout for the others as well as the Centauri bounty hunters.
"I'm sure they're fine," Susan said, trying to calm the teenager's agitation. "Your parents are the most resourceful people I've ever known. They'll get back here."
Jaylen nodded, but Susan could see that she was still worried. She was also, to tell the truth. She didn't know how much longer they could afford to wait for them.
"Jay, do me a favor. Go monitor the com channels; see if you hear anything."
It would give her something to do while they sat around waiting, so Jaylen disappeared into the shuttle cockpit. A few moments later, Susan heard Zack powering up his ppg outside.
"Don't shoot, Mr. Allan!" David's voice drifted up from the hatchway. Susan ran down the gangplank in time to see Zack lowering his weapon as David stepped out from behind some cargo containers.
"David!" she sighed in relief. "Where are your parents?"
"We got separated. The three guys you all took out recovered and chased us through the streets. Dad had us hide while he drew them off, but Mother went after them. She told me to come back here. They haven't returned yet?"
"No, we don't kn-."
"Susan!" Jaylen called from inside the shuttle, her voice shaking almost uncontrollably. "Come here! Quick!"
She ran back inside the shuttle with David close at her heels. Up in the cockpit, Jaylen was sitting in the copilot's seat, staring at the com console in horror. It was set to a frequency Susan recognized as being one of the encoded Centauri channels the Rangers routinely monitored with an automatic encryption key. Not much usually came on it - the frequency was normally reserved for private transportation com traffic. However, a voice was coming through loud and clear right then. A blinking light next to the frequency dial indicated that Jaylen had hit the record button. The teenager looked up with tears in her eyes as they entered. When she saw her older brother, she practically ran Susan over to get to him.
"David, they have Mother and Dad!" she cried, hugging him tight.
Susan dropped down into the seat Jaylen had just vacated, turning up the volume to better hear the message, which was being automatically translated.
"-peat. We have captured Sheridan and Delenn," one voice reported.
"What about the children?" a slightly higher-pitched voice demanded.
"The children are still unaccounted for. They escaped in the ambush."
"How could you let two *children* escape? There were seven of you! You should have easily been able to capture four people!"
"There weren't just four of them. Two unfamiliar humans were with them at the time - a male and a female wearing Ranger pins. They must have learned about the warrant and been there to warn them."
"Do you believe the children are with them?"
"They must be . . . There's no one else they could be with."
"All right. Bring the two prisoners back up to the ship. We'll take them to Centauri Prime and figure out what to do about the children and their protectors later if necessary."
Jaylen's fingers dug into David's arm as they listened. He could see her shaking, trying to keep from crying. They had been through a lot in their life, but never before had they been faced with their parents being captured. Remembering his last promise to his mother, he put his arm protectively around his sister.
"Understood," the low-pitched voice acknowledged, then the channel broke off into static.
"Zack-," Susan started to yell.
"I heard!" came his voice from behind Jaylen and David. "The hatch is closed. Let's get back to the White Star."
John woke up with a groan, his hand immediately going up to his temple where the bounty hunter's boot had connected. It throbbed painfully, and moving his head only served to acerbate the pounding. Instead, he concentrated on lying perfectly still, staring up at the ceiling of the darkened room while he tried to put his thoughts in order, to remember what happened. Getting caught in the ambush. Tackling the bounty hunter. Telling Delenn to make sure the kids were safe . . .
*Delenn and the kids!*
John bolted upright, not caring about the screams of protest in his upper body. What had happened to them? Jaylen . . . she had to be with Susan and Zack. He trusted his daughter's safety in their hands. But Delenn and David. He prayed they made it back to the shuttle. They had to. Delenn couldn't . . .
Had she been captured? He didn't know; however, he had a sinking suspicion - a terrible, horrendous, nauseating feeling - that she had. His memories of being unstuck in time had not changed. They had faded slightly as the years had past, and some parts of it were like a dream, but seeing Delenn standing in that darkened Centauri cell, telling him about their son, had been inexorably etched into his mind.
Even though he had never understood time travel and what made it possible, he had always believed he could change what he had seen - even if what he remembered never did.
So now he prayed that Delenn had indeed escaped the fate that he had seen so many years ago. But the ache in his heart wouldn't go away. Deep down, he knew something was very wrong. His hand went absently to his white-gold wedding band, twisting it around his finger.
The door to the cell opened, a bright light falling across John and causing him to squint in pain. The shadow of a Centauri filled the doorway.
"Welcome to my ship, John Sheridan. You and I are going to be *great* friends."
Delenn sat up against the wall in her darkened cell, her knees drawn up to her chin. Her arms were wrapped around them as she twisted her wedding and engagement rings around her finger. Where was John? Was he all right? He had been unconscious when she had last seen him in that alley. Had the Centauri merely knocked him out, or was he . . .
No, no. She knew he had to be all right. Besides, they would be no use to Londo dead. He would want them alive, so he could exact punishment for whatever crime he had seen fit to find them guilty of. That meant that her husband had to be somewhere on the ship. They were keeping them separated to what ends, though?
Her answer came a moment later when the door to the cell slid open. The bright light that spilled in from the corridor caused her to cringe slightly as she blinked her eyes. When they became accustomed to the change, she found herself looking at a Centauri form silhouetted in the doorway.
"Delenn of Minbar, welcome. I think we have a lot to talk about."
John stared up at the Centauri in disbelief, thinking that if he hadn't felt like something the gok dragged in, he would have knocked this man down for his unbelievable gall. "Friends?" he finally managed to spit out. "Friends? My family was *attacked*, and you have the nerve to say that we'll be friends?" He shook his head. "As my grandfather used to say, 'Bull.' Why don't you just cut the crap and get to the point of why you're really here."
The Centauri wagged his finger condescendingly. "I would watch it, Sheridan. You're in no position to be telling me what to do. I can always tell Emperor Mollari that you met with an unfortunate accident during our trip to the homeworld."
John just watched the man with guarded eyes, refusing to say anything more. The Centauri snapped his fingers, and immediately, the lights in the cell turned on. He walked into the room, allowing the door to slide close behind him.
"Now, let's start again. My name is Araul of the house Trimeri, and I'm the captain of this vessel. You will be considered my guest as long as you cooperate with me."
Taking in his surroundings, John snorted, "If this is how you treat your guests, I'd hate to see how you treat your prisoners."
"Then you'll want to cooperate with me, won't you?" Araul walked over to the wall, pressing a button that caused a platform to slide out from a wall recess. Flipping his jacket out with a flourish, he sat down on it with all the pomposity of an emperor - John was sure that was what he aspired to. That was why he had come after John's family. He wanted to ingratiate himself to Emperor Mollari, do something that would convince His Majesty to make him a member of the royal court. What better way than to present him with the man who had been declared a traitor of Centauri. While making a bit of money on the side from the reward. Araul regarded him with dark eyes as John rose from the floor, refusing to let the Centauri intimidate him by sitting over him. "Ah, I see the art of body language and nonverbal communication is not lost on you, Sheridan. Something maybe you learned from your wife?"
At the mention of Delenn, John felt a prickly sensation run along the back of his neck. He didn't like the way Araul referred to her.
"Ah, yes, Delenn," Araul began, picking up on the human's sudden edginess. There was more than one way to gain a mental advantage over someone, and obviously, this man's weakness was his beloved wife. Oh, if only they had also gotten their hands on their two children. But perhaps that too could still be used to his advantage. "Delenn. She is quite a woman. According to my men, she put up quite a fight down on the planet before we . . . well, that's not important, is it?"
John bristled as the possibilities flashed through his mind. "Before . . . you . . . did . . . what? Where is my wife? If you've harmed her in any way, I'm going to-."
"Do what? As I've pointed out, you're hardly in any position to be making threats." Araul watched with satisfaction as John made an obvious effort to reign in his emotions. Good. Good. "But do not worry, Sheridan. Delenn is perfectly safe . . . for now. How long she remains that way shall be utterly up to you."
Delenn immediately rose to her feet as the Centauri entered her cell. Eyeing him wearily, she moved her hand down to where she normally carried her Minbari fighting pike - only to recall that it wasn't there because she had dropped it right before she had been captured. Instead, her hands curled into fists, and she took a defensive position, ready to defend herself against whatever he tried.
The Centauri smiled when he saw her. So this woman was a fighter in addition to her highly heralded skill as a politician and diplomat. And here she was, a prisoner in a Centauri cell.
It was almost ironic.
/"Lights,"\ he called in Centauri. The lighting came up, causing Delenn to blink quickly as her eyes adjusted to the harsh light. She half-expected him to try something in that split second when she was vulnerable, but he remained where he was, smiling a smile that reminded her of Morden. She had the same feeling with this Centauri that she had gotten around that Shadow servant. This man had been touched by the Shadows - maybe not by them personally but at least by their minions, the races who continued to spread evil across the galaxy.
The Centauri's smile fell away, leaving them to stare at each other for a few moments. Finally, Delenn broke the silence, "Why are you here?"
"'Why are you here'? Not 'What do you want'?"
"That question is dangerous - and I will not ask it. Why are you here?" Delenn knew she was probably walking a fine line, as her husband put it, with her brusque tone and demanding manner, but her safety wasn't foremost on her mind. She wanted to know what was going on, what had happened to John. If he was going to try to question her - which she was sure he would - she wanted answers, too. "Where is my husband?"
"Oh, do not worry; no harm has befallen the illustrious John Sheridan . . . at least not yet. His fate depends solely on whether or not he cooperates. As does yours. So I suggest you do so if you ever want to see your husband or children again."
Delenn's eyes narrowed at the mention of her children. She tried to remain calm though inside she was screaming with fear for David and Jaylen. Clenching her almost-shaking fists to her, she kept her gaze carefully focused on him.
He saw the whiteness of her hands as she held them by her side. She was guarding her emotions, trying not to let him see that he had a leg up of her, as the curious human expression went. "Now, then. My name is Demund, and here are the rules. I will ask you a question, which you will answer without hesitation. If you do not do so to my satisfaction, then I will be forced to exact punishment."
"Is that understood?" Araul asked, not really waiting for John to answer. "Now, I expect answers to the questions I am about to ask, or I will have to punish you."
John tried to appear unconcerned. "There's nothing you can do to me that could possibly be worse than what I've already been through."
Araul choose to ignore the real meaning of what John was saying and focused on his last words. "Ah, yes. What you've been through before. That is exactly what I'm interested in. For years, I've heard of the Great John Sheridan, who returned from death at Z'Ha'Dum. The man who united the races of the galaxy against the 'darkness'." He regarded him a moment. "The man who is now standing in my cell, my prisoner. I've done what others have been unable to do."
"Don't flatter yourself. You have no idea what others have done to me. Believe me, you're nothing special." John took an almost perverse pleasure in seeing Araul's face at that remark. The Centauri had a highly inflated opinion of himself and didn't take too well to being knocked down a few pegs. However, John knew he'd better not push him too far. He could see the darkness within him, and even if he wasn't allied with the Shadows, who had gone beyond the Rim with Lorien and the Vorlons, he had obviously allied himself with the Shadow minions who had been left behind. Which meant he probably wouldn't hesitate to cause that "accident" he had mentioned earlier. John just had to push back hard enough to keep him off balance, to maintain some sort of edge.
The look on Araul's face disappeared as quickly as it had come, replaced by one of stone. No emotions, no lines. Nothing to indicate what he was thinking or feeling. His way of maintaining the upper edge.
The two of them knew this had turned into a game - one of balance and control. And the prize . . . the prize was the fate of John and his family.
Araul decided to play the opening gambit. "Tell me, Sheridan, what do you know about the Shadows and their allies?"
"There is nothing you can do to me that hasn't already been done. I have endured far more than you can possibly imagine," Delenn told her interrogator.
Demund paced slowly around the Minbari who now stood in the middle of the cell, her posture one of defiance. She followed him with her eyes, turning her head as he walked around behind her. "That's quite an assertion. But despite your nice words, you didn't answer my question. Consider this your warning. The next time you do not answer my question exactly, I *will* punish you. Now, do you understand me this time?"
Slowly nodding, she decided that she would pick and choose her battles with the Centauri. She had wanted to test him some, see how far he could be pushed, get a feel for his personality. As an ambassador, she had used different tactics to gauge how far someone was willing to go in a treaty or another other deal. Now she drew on those skills and her training in Minbari relaxation techniques to serve her as she faced Demund.
He came back around in front of her and leaned against the wall. "So, Delenn, tell me . . . what do you know about the Shadows and their allies?"
"Would you like the long version or the short version?" John asked.
"Don't try me, Sheridan," Araul answered curtly.
"I know what most people know. That the Shadows were once one of the oldest races in the galaxy. They were defeated one-thousand years before the last war and holed up on Z'Ha'Dum before they awoke again and were once again defeated. As for their allies . . . their allies are nothing more than mindless, power-hungry minions who never seemed to realize the war is over."
Araul ignored John's pointed barb. "Oh, come, come, Sheridan. You went to Z'Ha'Dum. And you returned - something no one had ever done before. You must have learned *something* that hasn't been told to you by the Vorlons or the Minbari."
John smiled smugly. "I learned that they were with the same group that was responsible for deciding my work day would be nine to five instead of eleven to four. Different department, though."
Rising to his feet, Araul took a step closer. "Sheridan, I'm warning you-"
"You want to know what I learned? I learned that the Shadows were a controlling, manipulative race who didn't know when it was time to bow out gracefully! To stand aside and let the younger races find their way! Instead, they were acting out a tug-of-war with the Vorlons! And we were dragged into it. You want to know what the Shadows were? That's what they were!"
Araul seemed genuinely taken aback by the ferocity of his statement. For a moment, he appeared at a loss, which inwardly gave John a sense of triumph. Mark one for him. But the Centauri quickly recovered. "So . . . it appears your journey to Z'Ha'Dum was quite an event. Tell me, what exactly happened to you there?"
"I thought everyone knew. I died there."
"But you're standing before me. Alive and well. People don't come back from the dead."
"Really? I'd hate to be in need of Centauri medical services then. People are brought back to life all the time after having 'died'." John folded his arms and waited. Araul didn't like that one either. He wasn't a very good interrogator. What was his reason for doing this? More to give to Emperor Mollari, perhaps? Did he want to be able to arrive at court and say that not only had he captured John Sheridan, but also he had pried into his psyche, learned his secrets? If so, he was asking about the wrong things.
Araul, for his part, felt a headache coming on. This human was utterly, entirely, unrelentingly frustrating, and he had only been in the same room with him for fifteen minutes! Threatening his wife and children should have made him more pliable, not flippant. He needed time to consider this, decide on another tact to take. But he had to save face on this.
Slowly, he walked forward. John regarded him silently but wasn't ready for the blow Araul backhanded him with. A moment later, he kicked his legs out from under him. As John tried to raise himself up, Araul stepped on his left arm, then leaned over and slid John's wedding ring off his finger. He examined it for a moment before walking forward, leaving John to clutch his arm as he struggled to his feet. No way in hell was he going to let Araul take the ring Delenn had given him!
Araul tapped his comlink on his wrist, and before John could get enough leverage to go after him, two guards rushed into the cell and grabbed him. They held him tight while Araul stood in the doorway, tossing the ring up and catching it.
"I told you, Sheridan, that I would punish you if you didn't cooperate to my satisfaction. Now you can consider your precious wedding ring forfeit." He stopped playing catch with the ring long enough to look at the inscription within, "John and Delenn, 2261. Old Souls." "Strange custom, this exchanging of rings. Humans are too sentimental if you ask me. And by the way, I am not a mindless minion."
With a curt jerk of his head, the two guards roughly pushed John to the floor. Then they followed Araul out the door. Once it slid securely closed, the lights dimmed.
"I know there were beings in our universe billions of years older than your race or mine," Delenn stated. "And that once, long ago, they walked among the stars like giants. Vast. Timeless. They taught the younger races, explored the rift, created great empires--"
"Now," Demund interrupted, "why don't you tell me something you have not learned by rote. Tell me what you really know."
"I know the Shadows were one of those races. But instead of teaching us, they chose to manipulate us, use us to prove that their ideas about the universe were right. And their minions were - and *are* - nothing more than their puppets, acting the way they were taught to act. Doing only that which the Shadows said was right. And not caring what their actions did to others."
Demund shook his head. "You should know better than to insult your host."
"You asked a question, so I answered it. I was just telling the truth."
"But you of all people should know that truth is a matter perspective. What you see as hurtful, we see as helpful. As the way the universe works."
"That doesn't make it right."
"Again, that's a matter of opinion. But I didn't come here to debate morality with you. I want answers to my questions. Not insults, not speeches."
"Well, as you said, everything is a matter of perspective. Your insult is my truth. And that's what you're going to get. My truth. So I have a feeling you're going to spend most of this interrogation insulted."
Demund's face twisted into an awful sneer. This . . . this woman was making him crazy! Fury boiled within him. Maybe he would have to take a different tact. Araul would be furious if he touched her in any way, but what could he do . . . ? His eyes drifted down to her hands, which had clasped in front of her as she twisted two rings around the index finger of her left hand. What were the significance of those? Oh, yes, he remembered. Wedding rings - an old-fashioned human custom. How ridiculously sentimental. He couldn't understand how anyone could view marriage the way humans did. It was a business arrangement, nothing more. This emotional attachment was . . . nauseating to Demund.
~But,~ he thought as he watched her continue her nervous gesture, ~it might prove useful.~
Delenn didn't like the way Demund was staring at her. Thanks to the years she had spent dealing with Londo Mollari and Vir Cotto on Babylon 5, she was pretty good at reading Centauri expressions. But this man . . . this man she suddenly couldn't read. His sneer had fallen away to the most neutral stare she had ever seen. Her instincts told her this wasn't good, but there was nowhere she could go. At least she could fight if it became necessary.
Slowly, Demund advanced toward her, causing her to back up until he had her cornered against the wall. When he reached up toward her face, she lashed out, kicking and hitting with all her might. Demund was momentarily caught off guard - he hadn't expected her to act so quickly. No wonder she had given their men such a problem when they captured her. Wheezing because she had caught him in the stomach with her fist, he pulled back slightly to make it seem like he was giving up. This didn't fool her at all, so he lunged toward her. As her arm came up to block him, he grabbed and twisted it, forcing Delenn down on her knees. Leaning down, he put his mouth next to ear and whispered, "Forfeit," as he pulled the rings off her finger. She tried to wrench her arm away while reaching around to grab his arm with her free hand. He wasn't going to take her rings if she could help it. But her position was awkward; she couldn't get a good aim. Instead, Demund grabbed her hair and pulled it back until she was looking up at the ceiling. It hurt, but she grit her teeth against it. Finally, he loosened his grip and pushed her to the floor. Unable to bring her arm back around, she crashed, taking the brunt of it with her shoulder. Pain shot up her arm, causing her to cradle it as she struggled to get up.
Demund walked over to the door, clicking the rings together in his hand. Silently, the door to the cell slid open. /"Kill lights,"\ he instructed in Centauri. "I'll be back later . . . and I expect you to be more cooperative. Otherwise, you'll lose much more than just your wedding rings."
With a final click, he was gone. The cell plunged into total darkness, leaving Delenn with nothing but her thoughts.
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