MOVING THROUGH MIRRORS (IV)

By Deborah Baudoin

 

 

 

   It was a long time before Delenn moved. When she did, her neck and shoulders were stiff from sitting so long at the computer. So much of what she had seen seemed unreal, impossible. But in her heart, she knew it to be true.

   She lifted her tea to her lips, blowing first to cool it. She needn't have bothered. In the time she had taken to review the records, it had grown cold and weak. She drank it anyway.

   Lennier's ship, the White Star, had seemed to her the answer to a prayer. It had only produced more questions.

   The records told of a great war, of the Army of Light, and of the remarkable cooperative effort between Minbari and human volunteers. Delenn replayed the image of the army's human leader, John Sheridan. The ship had provided translations into Adronato, but this time she listened to him untranslated, hoping to find something in his native tongue that was lost in the translation.

   'Captain's personal log. Shadow attacks in sector 14 have increased, probably due to the Vorlon offensive. I'm not sure where this is all going to end, but soon we're going to find ourselves right in the middle of it.

   'Delenn has taken White Star 14 to the Drazi homeworld. It was unnecessary, in my opinion, but she felt the situation required a certain degree of official flair. The Drazi are good fighters, but, like any race, they are concerned with their own safety. Delenn just wants to remind them who they're fighting for.'

   Sheridan smiled, an odd expression on a human face. In her limited dealings with the humans, Delenn had never seen one smile. To see the Starkiller smile, knowing what had happened when he was finally captured by the warrior caste, was positively unnerving.

   'I'm just glad she's on our side.'

   "Pause," she said. A human. Commanding Minbari religious caste in a war against the Ancients.

   It could not be. Earth, the homeworld of the humans, was still a smoking wasteland, fifteen years after the Holy War had ended. Earth, home of the Killers of Dukhat, would not be inhabitable for several centuries.

   Not that there were enough humans living to care.

   John Sheridan. Starkiller. The only human captain to survive battle with the Minbari. Delenn thought back to his eventual capture. The Minbari warrior caste take no prisoners, but in Sheridan's case, they made an exception.

   For Sheridan was an example, an example to all who would dare fight dishonorably. The war with the humans was the only thing in a thousand years upon which the clans agreed. For a brief moment, in the name of revenge and destruction, the clans put away their arguments and joined their forces.

   And now Sheridan, this Sheridan of the Vorlon ships and the war of the Ancients, was leading Minbari into battle.

   "How can this be?" she muttered to herself. With a sigh of frustration, she gave a command to the computer. "Search for any reference to..." She paused, unwilling to say the next word. "'Entil'zha.'"

   "Searching records for key phrase. Key phrase located. Fifty- three references. Please indicate parameters."

   "Search current parameters for entries by Satai Delenn."

   "Searching records for key phrase. There are no entries for phrase 'Satai Delenn.' Search records for key phrase 'satai' and key phrase 'Delenn.' There are no entries for phrase 'satai.' There are seventeen references in current parameters for key phrase 'Delenn.'"

   "Play back first reference."

   "Playing back first reference. Personal log entry, Ambassador Delenn."

   As the image flashed on to the computer screen, Delenn suddenly realized why Lennier had looked so shocked. She dropped the teacup to the ground, never hearing the shattering glass as it hit the floor.

 

*****

 

 

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