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29 September 2012 @ 11:51 am
Fic: No Shadows Fall  
Babylon 5 fic
Gen, Garibaldi, Delenn, etc.

Summary: Sometimes goodbyes are not when and where you expect.

Note: After yesterday's sad news about the death of Michael O'Hare I wanted to post something Sinclair-related. I have all these B5 drafts still in a folder, and this one was easy to fix up and seemed the most fitting, as if it was waiting for this occasion. :(




Elsewhen


“I will go back.”

That is not wise.

“I will go back. They will not know, but I... I need to see them one more time. It is my last request. For all that I have done, you owe me this one thing.”

...

“You have the power. I have the knowledge. It can be done, and I will do it.”

...

As you wish.




Babylon 5
Early 2261

No one was in Bay 13 to greet the Vorlon ship as it docked. The bay was dim, with most of the light coming from the skin of the ship itself.

A ramp formed and a figure in an encounter suit glided gracefully down it. When it reached the bay floor and started toward the door, the ship chimed once.

The figure turned, read the characters which formed in the skin of the side of the ship, and nodded once.




Michael Garibaldi, not yet officially fit for duty, and Zack Allan sat at a table in the Zocalo, wearing civvies and drinking. Of course, they were also keeping an eye on the booth across the way, in an unsubtle reminder to the owner that he was on probation and better keep his nose clean.

“Hey Chief,” Allan touched his arm. “Look.”

“Don’t tell me Vizino’s dumb enough to make contact with us sitting here.” Garibaldi didn’t turn, figuring that if the petty crooks were going to be that stupid, he didn’t want to scare them off.

“No. It’s not that. Look.”

Garibaldi turned to follow Zack’s insistent finger. The Vorlon Ambassador was walking-- gliding-- down the aisle, coming their way. Kosh was rarely in the Zocalo, and he was attracting no little attention.

Garibaldi frowned, suddenly unsure. Vorlon ambassador? It was a Vorlon, but the encounter suit was different from the ones either Kosh had worn. The drapes were gold streaked with dark green and the harder armor was a light brown. The shoulder and headpieces were smooth and graceful, not spiky and unpleasant like the new Kosh’s.

The Vorlon paid no attention to the stares, but his headpiece moved slightly side-to-side, as if... gawking. Garibaldi had to smile at the thought. This new Vorlon was definitely taking in the sights as he strolled through.

He drew even with Garibaldi’s table and Garibaldi saw something glittering on his cloak. The chief had to look again to believe it. Attached to the encounter suit, just below the shoulder, was a large, oval green stone.

The Vorlon continued past and Garibaldi turned in his chair to watch. He wondered if anyone up in C-and-C knew they had a new Vorlon visitor aboard. With any luck this one would replace the new Kosh, whom Garibaldi didn’t like at all.

The Vorlon stopped abruptly and soundlessly turned around, until he seemed to be looking directly at Garibaldi. He approached and Garibaldi forced himself to his feet. He couldn’t come up with anything intelligent to say while under the weight of that regard. Why was it, you couldn’t see any eyes, but you could feel them?

Michael.

Garibaldi started at the sound of his name coming through the translator device. A chill slid down his spine. He didn’t like to think why this new Vorlon knew his name.

The Vorlon spoke again. Find the truth.

The Vorlon could have been speaking of criminal justice in general, but Garibaldi knew he meant those missing days at the first of the year. How could the Vorlon possibly know that he didn’t remember what had happened?

Garibaldi managed to ask, “You’re not Kosh, are you?”

He was half-expecting the other Vorlon’s non-answer, “We are all Kosh”, but this Vorlon answered simply: No.

"Who are you?”

For a long moment, Garibaldi didn’t think the Vorlon would answer. He continued to look at Garibaldi. Then he said, A friend.

Figuring the Vorlon was in a chatty mood so he had nothing to lose, Garibaldi asked, “Why are you here?”

The Vorlon considered his answer. Then, so abruptly that Garibaldi took a step back, he turned around and looked down the aisle.

There was another Vorlon coming their way. And this one was definitely the new Kosh-- spiky shoulder pieces and attitude intact. The gawkers in the aisle melted a path for him. There was something menacing about him that warned them not to get in his way. But they didn't leave; the sight of two Vorlons in the Zocalo was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and everyone stared avidly. It felt like a fight, even though Kosh stopped a little ways down the corridor.

The two Vorlons seemed to stare at each other, standing absolutely still and silent. The hair on the back of Garibaldi’s neck bristled-- the tension was a current in the air, like a storm about to break. It was a contest of two powerful wills that no lesser being dared interrupt.

Zack rose to his feet, his hand on his PPG, though what he could do was an open question.

The tension broke when Kosh seemed to give in. His headpiece inclined once to his counterpart and he left. The new Vorlon faced Garibaldi again, without speaking.

Michael asked, not expecting an answer, “What was that about?”

Division, the Vorlon answered bluntly. Then, more ominously, he moved forward and his eyepiece cycled wide open. Beware. Old ties come undone, and this age passes.

He towered over Garibaldi, way too close for Garibaldi’s comfort, as if trying to impress the importance of his words on the chief’s mind.

The Vorlon hesitated another moment, in which Garibaldi could have sworn the Vorlon intended to say more, but instead he moved away.

When he was out of sight, Garibaldi heaved a sigh. “God save me from Vorlons.”

“I dunno,” Allan said, and collapsed back into his chair. “You were doing pretty good, Chief.”

“I wonder what he meant by “division”,” Garibaldi mused.

“Factions?” Allan guessed. “Political parties, maybe? Who the hell knows?”

“We’ve got to tell the council,” Garibaldi decided. “I don’t think any of them knows we’ve got two Vorlons on board.”



The rest of the council was already gathered when Garibaldi entered.

“What is it, Mr. Garibaldi?” Sheridan asked. The creepy Lorien stood behind him, and Michael forced himself to look only at the captain.

“Zack and I were down in the Zocalo, when I was approached by a Vorlon, who was not our new ambassador. Then the new Kosh came barreling in, and there was this bizarre quiet--”

“I think they were fighting telepathically,” Zack interjected.

“Yeah,” Michael agreed, “You could cut the tension with a knife. Then Kosh backed down and left. Then the new Vorlon said, when I asked what had happened, and I quote: “Division. Beware. Old ties come undone and this age passes.” Whatever that means. I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t like the idea of Vorlon arguments very much.”

“Impossible,” Lorien was the first to speak.

Garibaldi stiffened in outrage. “Look, friend. I was there. They were arguing, or challenging, or fighting, or doing something else unfriendly.”

Lorien held up a hand. “No, Mr. Garibaldi. What is impossible that there are two Vorlons on this space station.”

Michael would have stood if Ivanova’s hand hadn’t been on his arm, but he snarled, “It sure looked like a Vorlon.”

“And you would know what a Vorlon looks like?” Lorien asked pointedly. “What you saw was someone in a Vorlon encounter suit. I would know if there were two Vorlons here, and I sense only one.”

“It sure acted like a Vorlon,” Zack said in Garibaldi’s defense.

Ivanova added, “A Vorlon transport docked in bay 13 about an hour ago.”

Garibaldi ignored them both and stared at Lorien, “If he wasn’t a Vorlon, what was he?” he challenged. “Would Kosh back off for anyone or anything less?”

Delenn intervened. “Whether Mr. Garibaldi saw a Vorlon is not ultimately important. The Vorlons have their servants, also. But we should concern ourselves with the implication that the Vorlons are less unified than we have previously believed. We have all experienced the new Kosh’s somewhat... contemptuous manner toward younger races. That another from the Vorlons warned Mr. Garibaldi about his own kind disturbs me greatly.”

“Oh.” Garibaldi snapped his fingers. “I forgot to mention what the Vorlon” he glared at Lorien, “was wearing. A Ranger brooch. Or at least the stone. I don’t think it had the silver figures, but it was definitely the same rock.”

Delenn’s gaze whipped to meet his. “You are certain?”

“Yes.”

“I saw it, too,” Zack confirmed.

Delenn closed her eyes and inhaled a deep breath.

“Delenn?” Sheridan asked in concern.

“I understand,” she said after a moment. Her eyes opened and looked to each member of the table one by one, noting sorrowfully that G’Kar’s place remained empty. ““Old ties come undone”-- those were his words. He means the covenant. He must. A thousand years ago, Valen and the Vorlons made an agreement to be allies against the Shadows. The agreement was that the Vorlons agreed to be led by the alliance and would take no independent action of their own. This was so the alliance would follow a single strategy.”

Sheridan leaned forward and gripped the edge of the table. “If Kosh represents a faction of the Vorlons opposed to the covenant, then they could take their fleet out on their own, couldn’t they? But why now? Is it because I went to Z’Ha’Dum? Or is it becaue the first Kosh died?”

Delenn shook her head. “I do not know. The new Kosh doesn’t speak to me. Perhaps both. And perhaps the Vorlons no longer feel bound by the covenant now that Jeffrey has... departed from this time.” She shot a glance at Garibaldi.

Garibaldi met her glance calmly. He’d had time enough to get used to the idea. But the reminder of Sinclair brought another memory to mind. For more than ten years Sinclair hadn’t remembered the last day of the Battle of the Line. The hole in his memory had constantly bothered him, and it had turned out to be of great significance. Perhaps the Vorlon was right; maybe he should find out what he was missing rather than try to pretend it never happened.

Delenn rose to her feet abruptly. “I must speak to this other Vorlon.” She rushed up the steps and out the door.



After inquiring through the station’s Minbari residents and among the Rangers, Delenn finally tracked down the other Vorlon to the Zen garden.

He stood beside the bench, looking out at the carefully raked sand and the rocks. He must have heard the door, but didn’t turn around.

“Excuse me,” she said softly and came to its side. “I would like to speak to you.”

He turned sharply, as if startled, and faced her. As Garibaldi had said, he wore the isil stone on his encounter suit.

Delenn. There seemed to be an odd note to his voice, even through the translator device, that made her frown momentarily. He added, Entil’zha.

“And you are?”

A friend.

“But you are not Kosh? Have you a name?”

Many.

"You're not a Vorlon," she observed. His head piece turned sharply toward her and she knew he was surprised. "Why pretend to be one?"

There was a long moment of silence, and she feared he wouldn't answer at all. Then he asked, Why do Vorlons hide?

She answered promptly, "Because they would be recognized."

His headpiece inclined toward her once, formally, and he began to move backward, away from her.

Her thoughts churned. He wasn't a Vorlon, but he wore an encounter suit. He had arrived on a Vorlon ship, and he feared being recognized.

The realization struck her like an electric shock, and her lips parted with a gasp.

He was at the door when she raised her head and called, "Jeffrey!"

He stopped, and for a moment neither of them moved. Then, very slowly he glided back to her. The lights on the front of his suit went out and the suit began to crack open. Pure crystalline white light poured out as the suit parted, flowing across her face.

She heard the voice-- more mature in timbre, but one she recognized nonetheless-- come from the light. "Delenn."

Tears slid from her eyes, as she saw the slim, tall robed figure inside the suit. He reached out and gently brushed her tears away.

She reached up and took hold of the hand to cradle it in hers as he stepped out of the encounter suit. Being Minbari suited him, she thought. His bonecrest was towering and craggy with age and his face had settled into creases, but his eyes were the same deep amber they had always been. No, not the same, she decided, looking up at him through her tears: wiser, more compassionate. He was Valen.

"It's been a long time," he murmured.

"You won," she said. "The Shadows are gone."

"Everything is done. But I had to return here, one last time." He lifted his eyes to the garden. "I remember when you and I sat here, Delenn. During the war, whenever everything grew too dark, I would remember this garden and this little corner of peace."

"One last time?" she asked softly.

"I am old, Delenn," he freed his hand and brought it down her cheek as lightly as a breeze, "and my time has long since passed. I've lived more fully than anyone could imagine, and I have no regrets. Don't grieve for me. Not again."

He stepped back, his eyes fixed on her as if memorizing her face. "I'm glad I could see you, Delenn." Then as he had when she'd thought he was leaving forever on Babylon 4, he put one hand on his heart, and held out the other to her. But this time, it was more a gesture of blessing than farewell. He smiled gently. "I will see you again. This I promise."

"In a place where no shadows fall," she murmured, and he nodded. She returned his gesture and held it as the encounter suit closed around him again.

Tears welling in her eyes again, she watched him glide out the door and vanish. when the doors whispered shut behind him, she whispered, "Goodbye, old friend."




Soon after, the Vorlon ship departed Babylon 5 for an unknown destination, carrying a single passenger.

Straight on 'til morning.


fin.
 
 
 
Psychotic Writing Muses: B5 - To dream in the city of sorrowshearts_blood on September 29th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
Crying forever.

Thank you for this. ♥
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on October 1st, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
*cries with you*

<3
Rosierosiethehobbit on September 29th, 2012 08:28 pm (UTC)
Beautiful.
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on October 1st, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
Thank you!

(now with better formatting heh)

Edited at 2012-10-01 12:34 am (UTC)
rococorococoms on September 29th, 2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
This was just lovely.
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on October 1st, 2012 12:35 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Nenya Kanadka: [fandom] B5 Tuzanor City of Sorrowsnenya_kanadka on September 30th, 2012 01:06 am (UTC)
Yes. This needed to be written. Thank you.

lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on October 1st, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
Another sad time for b5 fans, and especially we Sinclair fans. :(

*hugs*
Nenya Kanadka: [fandom] B5 Sinclair smilenenya_kanadka on October 1st, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
The only thing that would make it better would be if Michael did get to see Jeff again like Delenn did. The poor guy must miss him so much.

It helps a little that it's shared sadness. *squeezes everyone tight*
mrsdrjackson: Faith manages - Delen - B5mrsdrjackson on September 30th, 2012 07:57 pm (UTC)
As I said at AO3

MY HEART.

:(
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on October 1st, 2012 12:39 am (UTC)
it's such sad news. :(

Thanks.