By Lyned




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   Standard Disclaimers, This has some spoilers from the prequel movie, "In the Beginning". So if you don't want to be spoiled or pulled into my timeline, don't go any further.

   Welcome and enjoy.






   Delenn remembered walking to her quarters in such a state of emotional turmoil only once before.

   She had just left the new commander of Babylon 5 standing there in the Council Chambers - speechless. She too was without words but for totally different reasons. Here she was only two days out of the Chrysalis, and coming face to face with her past. Lennier had told her that Commander Sinclair had been recalled to Earth and that Captain Sheridan had replaced him, but it didn't really register with her who he was. Oh, she knew his reputation among the Minbari, Starkiller, but that wasn't what she was thinking when she saw his face again. His face, it had aged, showed the burden of command, and worry lines formed around his eyes. His eyes. When she raised her head and met those eyes they seem to pull at her just as they had then, in the past. She felt an energy course through her body, riding along with her blood. It was exciting but terrifying. She had never felt this way before. She thought maybe it was an electrical charge due to her change, but as she looked once more into his face, it surged again. How could looking into the face of one person cause her heart to lurch so?

   He smiled at her, as he hadn't then. He bowed to her, as he hadn't then. Did he remember? Had he seen her behind her hood? Would he remember? She had her orders concerning Sinclair, would they be any different for Sheridan? Could she kill him, knowing what she knew now? More of the prophecy was unveiling itself to her. Great changes had come and even greater changes were ahead. She knew she and Sinclair were part of Valen's prophecies, but did those prophecies now include John Sheridan. After exposing Sinclair's soul to the Grey Council she knew he would be an integral part of what was to come. But now, with the arrival of Sheridan, her world was again in turmoil.

   In the protection of her room, she recalled the first time she'd ever met John Sheridan.



   She had just finished saying goodbye to Lennon, her friend, someone else she had cared about. All of them dying. Dukhat, Merlenn, Shre'an, and now Lennon. How could she stop this insanity without his help, without his courage? Lost in thought, she only barely heard Sonovar calling her, saying something about the humans, about execution. She nodded. She felt dead inside, she felt... 'Dukhat' had she heard correctly, 'did that human use the name of Dukhat?' How did they know about him? What form of trickery was this to use his name, her mentor? She saw Sonovar reach out and strike the human, but it did not stop him from crying out his pronouncement, again and again. And Delenn was curious. Of course her curiosity had gotten her into trouble, before, but like Lennon, she knew the peace had to be made. A line had to be drawn and someone had to stop this insanity, and maybe this human yelling Dukhat's name could be the key.

   She commanded them to stop, and before the words left the room, every Minbari in the hallway froze in place. Even the prisoners stood ramrod stiff. Her voice, though not loud, was commanding, and everyone in the room waited for her next edict. Slowly she approached the prisoner, staying just far enough out of reach but close enough to see him and to hear what he had to say. She needed to know what this human new about Dukhat's secret place. She thought maybe her ears were playing tricks on her. In her grief, could she have been mistaken about what he had said.

   Through her sorrow she spoke in the Human's language, "What is in Dukhat's secret place?"

   "Isil'Zha," he said. It was a plea. It was a hope. It was the truth.

   She was momentarily stunned. How did he know? What did he know? Regaining her composure, she looked around to judge the reactions of the others gathered in the hallway. She had heard correctly, and this human did know what was in Dukhat's secret place. But did the others understand his meaning? She glanced from face to face, trying to see if they understood. But no one could comprehend the meaning of his answer. Yes, they knew what the word meant, but only she understood the question, and therefore the answer. And it shook her to her very foundation.

   Lennon must have told him. But why? Why would he do so? What purpose would it serve? What it meant as a sign for her to trust them? Could she trust them? She didn't know. All she knew was that Lennon was dead, the Vorlons weren't saying anything. She was already so full of self-doubt and self- recriminations that she no longer trusted her own judgements about anything. She looked at the human again, and something lurched inside her. Her heart and soul pulled at her. He was dirty and bloodied, and so alien, yet something in his eyes called to her to trust him. She looked at the other human and the Narn, then back to the one who tugged at her conscience. What was she to do with them?

   "Let them go," was all she said.

   Sonovar, whose hands were still around the human, was stunned. These humans had just killed Entil'Zha, there was no way he was going to let them just go, even if it meant defying Delenn, the de facto leader of the Grey Council, the head of the whole Minbari government, he just couldn't do it. He called after her for confirmation of the incredible, "Satai..."

   "I said let them go!" Delenn said, her voice raised. "There has been enough death today."

   She couldn't tolerate their open-mouthed gaping. She had to get away from their eyes, from the questioning looks, and away from him. It unnerved her to be so out of control of her feelings, and she was feeling everything all at once. Anger, hurt, betrayal, apprehension, empathy, uncertainty. She moved toward her quarters but stopped after a short distance to take another look at what had called to her soul. She turned and took in his form, his bearing, his demeanor... he was tall, intelligent looking, handsome. She shook her head, it was the last thought that worried her the most; what did it mean?

   Her heart was nearly beating out of her chest as she moved to her rooms. Her sanctum. The last half hour played over and over in her head. "Isil'Zha." He'd said it. Everyone heard it. They were just as shocked as she. But she was Satai. Chosen of Dukhat. She had to stand for reason in this time of uncertainty. So she did the only thing she could. She let them go, and so she made for her rooms, to meditate and reflect on this latest turn.

   But no matter how hard she tried, she couldn't get the sound of his voice out of her head. It was only one word, but it shook her to her core. And then there was his eyes, how they seemed to penetrate her very soul. What was it about him that made her want to trust him, what was it that she felt in the presence of this alien, this human. Rising, she called out, "Computer. Show me the prisoners as they boarded, the events in the hallway and their departure." An array of images flashed across the screen. She watched it once taking in all the events, then watched it again to see the reaction of the other human and the Narn, and then for a third time she watched only him. She watched for his reactions to all of it. She wanted to know if he knew what he said, if he knew what it meant. She wanted to know his reaction to her letting them go. Wanted to know if he had seen her. But most importantly she wanted to know what it was about him that spoke to her.

   In the darkness of her quarters she watched him. She froze the image of his face on the screen as if by looking at a close-up of it she would be able to divine the reason for the ache in her soul. And as she watched, she found herself smiling. She moved her hand to the monitor and started to reach out to touch his face, but she pulled back abruptly. What was it about this human? He was taller than most. The whiskers on his face had started to grow, but only around his mouth. He had soft eyes. Dukhat. Was that it? Was that what she was drawn to, that he reminded her of Dukhat. She shook her head again, the second time in as many hours, to separate her emotions from her intellect. It was more than just the similarities between this man and the man she revered most of her life. Dukhat's soul had never called to hers as this humans had done. What was it about his soul that drew her?

   She had read all of Valen's prophecies. She had been the only expert on Humans before the war. Now the only other experts were the warriors. But their knowledge was based on how to kill them; those who will be so important to us in the war that is to come. How could she stop this slaughter before it was too late?

   She was desperate, almost as desperate as the humans to stop this war, almost as desperate as Lennon and he sacrificed his life for what he believed in, could she be that strong, could she do any less? But she was one voice against a world gone mad, but something had to be done. Putting her tea cup down she walked over to the monitor one last time and reached out to touch the face of the enemy.



   So here she was sitting in the dark watching the monitor in her room, watching the events of that day on the cruiser, when she had first met him. And she played the council meetings she had missed, watching the new commander. He had matured, but it was still the same face she had many years ago. She watched his expression as the monitor played the events of the last hour. Lennier had presented her, and as she saw herself walk in, she closely watched him. As the figure on the screen removed the hood, she saw his face light up as no one's had ever done before in her presence. She found herself smiling back at it, at him. She could still feel the tug at her soul though he was not in the room.

   This feeling would require much meditation and examination. But she knew that whatever would come, she knew she had found a soulmate.





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