Title: In the Light of Two Moons
Series: Babylon 5
Pairing: Neroon/Catherine Sakai
Disclaimer: These stories are not meant to infringe upon the copyrights held by J. Michael Straczynski, Kathryn M. Drennan, Babylonian Inc. or Time Warner Productions. I'm merely playing with what they've apparently abandoned, adding my own take on that universe. It's not my fault...my muse is forcing me to do it.
Summary: After "Objects at Rest" John and Delenn find that once again the dead do not stay dead.
Note: This fic is dedicated to John Vickery who has been described as having a voice that could melt the underwear off a cloistered nun at 50 paces. So very true.
In the light of two moons
crystal mountains gleam
within their hearts
no shadows fall.
Neroon waited in what they called the main office, ruminating that it was far easier to send humans into death than into life. He was, he acknowledged, never very good at waiting as had been remarked countless times by many of his teachers.
By the time they had arrived back at the encampment most of the others had already left for the Pit leaving only Anyani and a late departing Tr'Gan who was complaining bitterly that Anyani was delaying her... that is until she saw Dancer.
Tr'Gan tried to get her to the infirmary but Dancer wouldn't hear of it, claiming it would bring back memories of the Shadows and her interrogations and that she didn't want her child to enter the world there. Tr'Gan shrugged and with the help of Anyani took Dancer to their dorm. She firmly closed the door on Neroon; he was clearly unwanted.
Bored, he looked about the building but there wasn't much to see. What the Shadows had used it for no one knew. They were gone, gone beyond the Rim, leaving the survivors all over this part of the galaxy attempting to undo the damage their rampage had caused. At the end even the Vorlons, the longtime allies of his people had, in their fury, joined in the destruction. In this, the Warrior Caste had been proven right as they had never given up their suspicions about those enigmatic aliens.
The building contained only a few rooms: the large main office, the slightly smaller room used by the males, a restroom, the room where the females slept and what appeared to be a large supply closet that someone was making alterations to. In the main office was a selection of items scavenged from the downed ships including cushions and pillows in many hues and patterns, small decorative items and a number of AV crystals and readers. He picked up a few but they were either Narn or Drazi. There were also a number of gameboards on a low table. He recognized the Narn game of tilik but the others were unknown. One was an oblong board with 2 large indentations at either end and a 12 smaller holes in pairs along the middle containing small stones. Nearby lay a large gridded square set with a number of black and white pieces scattered on it.
He was amusing himself by arranging the small stones in patterns when Tr'gan opened the door and rushed out of the building heading towards the infirmary. Neroon followed only to be halted by the full heat of the day. Minbari did not do well in great heat.
Tr'gan soon returned with a carryall. He began to ask her what was happening as she rushed by him but she paused only long enough to say, "She is in what the humans call labor; I am not trained in human biology having dealt only with the birth of pouchlings. Anyani's species is far closer to Dancer's and she is doing what she can. We are all doing what we can." She pointed to some large cabinets. "There is food and liquid stored in there. As your healer I suggest you eat, then rest," she said as she closed the door to the other room.
Neroon searched through the supplies finally settling on a mealbar and filling a glass with water using the sink in the restroom. It did not take long to eat it and left him totally unsatisfied. This was what they were surviving on? Incredible. He threw the wrapper into the recycle bin and, seating himself on the low table, took out the denn'bok, examining it closely. Yes it was as he told Dancer; there was Baruval's mark and hidden in the pattern was the crest of the Star Riders. It felt good in his hands; he missed his own but he had left it in his quarters back on Minbar before he went to Temple and was now who knows how many light years away.
Holding Khered's fighting pike soothed him; it was familiar, an anchor in this strange situation he found himself in. Was it only yesterday he had awoken to find himself not-dead and immersed in some strange liquid with the blurry face of the Narn above him? He stared at his face in the mirror on the nearby wall seeing the faint scars and
admitting that it was well he had the help the others hadn't. He vowed that somehow all the Minbari hidden in the sands would someday be treated
be with the full honor they deserved but at the moment their field burials would have to suffice.
He began to idly flick the fighting pike on and off while thinking about the past few days. So much had changed in his life since he was on the Takari conspiring with Delenn to end the civil war; when his view of things had been changed forever upon learning how wrong he had been. He wondered what was going on back home, if Delenn had finally been able to end the war. He hoped their actions had halted the Shai Alyt's grab for power forever and that his sacrifice wasn't in vain. Shakiri had always been power hungry, resentful that the Warrior Caste had chosen Branmer to be the Shai Alyt all those years ago. He'd nursed his ambitions and when he had the opportunity he chose to take it and, in doing so, broke Valen's most sacred law, kept for almost a thousand years: Minbari do not kill Minbari
Limbo - what a name for a planet... and his state of mind. He had shared the others' amusement with the name of the planet when they explained it to him last night; neither Minbari nor Narn nor Drazi had such a concept in their beliefs. He was nowhere and now neither one thing nor another; neither warrior nor truly religious. He'd realized, as he stepped into the circle, replacing Delenn, that such a proclamation would further unite the castes and undo some of the damage. He had been fully prepared to die and, having been an aide to Branmer for so long, he'd had some doubts of his own deep inside but had never admitted them to himself or anyone until his moment of declaration.
The irony, of course, was that he wasn't dead - unless this was some bizarre afterlife never mentioned in the sacred texts - but had been transported to this planet by some sort of matter transmitter built, if the Centauri was correct, by some unknown elder race. The same race that built the first jumpgates? No, that made no sense; why travel in ships when one could walk from world to world? He'd heard the scientists back on Minbar claim such transport was impossible yet here he was and the means had been right there for millennia.
He had never felt like this, bereft as he was by duty to his family, his clan, his caste. Ever since he could remember his life had been highly regulated, where things were constantly expected of him as he served his people. But here, wherever here was, he was free of such obligations and had lost his role in life and his sense of self. No longer was he Alyt of the Star Riders or even Satai in the Gray Council - he was simply Neroon amidst the oddest group of beings he could ever imagine.
He longed to follow Tr'gan's advice and sleep as he'd been unable to fully rest the previous night on the horizontal pallet assigned to him; later he would try to angle his bed in the proper manner but for now it was too hot so here he sat while he waited for a human woman to give birth to the child of Sinclair, the human he had most hated for so long.
There was something nagging at him. He recalled hearing about the loss of Sinclair's fiancee late in the Earth year 2259; those who were close to him said he was never the same afterward. Neroon regretted that he'd felt a certain amount of satisfaction hearing about the loss. Sinclair himself had vanished a short time after the midyear point of 2260 and here it was May of 2261. He recalled hearing somewhere that a human pregnancy was just a bit longer than a Minbari gestation so had Dancer encountered Sinclair once again before he disappeared; was the child truly Sinclair's? He had to know.
How long did the birth process take among humans, not that he was aware how long it took among his own people for he had been far away on duty when his two children were born? Suddenly he heard a loud cry. Dancer? It was followed by a thin wail that quickly stopped. The sudden silence worried him. He slipped the denn'bok back into his pocket and tried to hear what was going on in the next room cursing the fact that of all the Minbari senses their sense of hearing was the weakest.
Eventually the door opened and Tr'Gan beckoned him into the room. Dancer lay on a pallet bolstered by many pillows, her face flushed and in her arms lay a tiny human child seemingly asleep. Beside her Anyani sat patting the small head covered with dark hair.
"She dreams...the dreams of the newborn are of what was or what will be," Anyani whispered.
"What does she dream of?" Dancer asked sleepily.
"She dreams of crystal that sings and sighs."
"A dream of the past or the future?"
"I don't know. Sometimes the past is the future and the future the past." Neroon was startled by that for it echoed a saying of his people, that what is past, is also sometimes the future
"Like usual you are clear as mud." Dancer smiled down at the child in her arms. The baby began to stir, flailing her small arms about.
"It is enough that she is here. It is so much easier with pouchlings," Tr'gan grumbled as she gathered bloody cloths and dumped them in the carryall then turned to look at the trio. "Now that she is here, does she have a name? Our pouchlings are given an interim name at birth. When they are old enough, they choose their own names based upon the faith or occupation they will follow."
"Jade. Her name, now and forever, is Jade."
"Is that a good name?" Tr'Gan asked.
"Jade is a precious ornamental stone highly prized by my ancestors. That is one of the reasons I chose it." Dancer placed the baby into the small makeshift bassinet beside her then slid down on her bed shoving most of the pillows to the floor.
"Then it is well. Anyani, come we still have work to do and they must rest." Tr'Gan hefted the carryall and left the room.
The seer slowly rose to her feet and advanced toward Neroon causing him to move backward, his last glimpse of Dancer as he stepped out of the room, was of her laying on her pallet with her hand on the bassinet. He was followed by Anyani who closed the door firmly behind her, saying, "There will be time for more questions later...we have nothing but time here." As she walked out of the building trailing Tr'Gan, she turned back to Neroon. "Isn't time an interesting concept," she said enigmatically as she shut the outer door, leaving Neroon to face his boredom and frustration once again.
I made the icon which will suffice until I can find someone who can make a nicer one - hint, hint