|Between the Darkness and the Light
Author: WanderingStarmaster PM
The Earth-Minbari War has ended...in a way that could not be forseen by anyone.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - & Delenn - Words: 880 - Reviews: 14 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 8 - Published: 05-03-10 - id: 5943275
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Small story. Trying to decide what to do with it.
Satai Delenn was uncomfortable as she stood with the other members of the Grey Council. In her mind she kept replaying events, wondering how things could have turned out this way. She had walked this mental path countless times before, travelling in a circle before arriving, once again, at her inevitable conclusion: it was her fault. She was responsible.
One moment of rage.
Never in a thousand years could she have conceived that one such moment could end with this. Despite all her efforts to undo what she had done, events had progressed as though with a will of their own, and she had been helpless to stop it. For a while, she had had the counsel of the two Vorlons, but recently they had stopped appearing as well, and she had been left to her own abilities.
Then everything had changed. In a flash the war that had raged for nearly two years was over, ended in the most unexpected of ways.
The Minbari Federation, whom not even the Centauri at their most expansionist had dared challenge, had been conquered, by humans!
It was utterly unprecedented in her world's long history. Never had an unwelcome outsider been able to set foot on Minbar's blessed soil. But history would read differently from this time forth.
Delenn glanced over at the figure in the grey uniform standing nearby, the commanding officer, apparently. This was one of the conquerors.
These strange humans, who had suddenly appeared in their dagger-like ships, with their seemingly unlimited numbers of white-armored soldiers, had utterly decimated the ranks of the Minbari fleet. Their enormous starships had proven to be more than a match for her people's great warcruisers, destroying them in ship-to-ship combat, as swarms of their ungainly looking fighters had swept across Minbari systems like a plague of insects.
And now they were here, laying claim to the world of her birth as though it was theirs by right. Anger suddenly coursed through her, though she was unsure whether it was aimed at herself or this arrogant…wait, he did not seem so arrogant at the moment.
As she looked more carefully, she noted that he seemed quite nervous, and wondered why. They had received word that an envoy would be arriving today to accept Minbar's unconditional surrender, which was why they had assembled here in Yedor, but why would that cause such anxiety?
Continued watching showed that while he waited he would shift his feet, clench and unclench his hands behind his back, and was swallowing a lot. No, he was not nervous, he was frightened. His fear began to reflect in her soul, and as the expected transport appeared and began to descend toward them, it escalated into dread.
It was white, unsurprising, and flew with large fins arranged in a triangular pattern. The irony was not lost on her; the Universe must have been feeling whimsical for some reason. At any rate, it soon landed, its lower wings swinging up, nearly resting against its dorsal fin.
A few moments later, there was a hissing sound, and a ramp descended from the front of it, almost like a mouth, while smoke and steam filled the air. Another hissing sound was heard, this time from within the craft. At first she thought it was another part of the ship, but realized that it was coming from something else.
No, someone else.
A figure strode down the ramp, tall, dark, and imposing. In Valen's name! The being that stood before them was completely clad in black, face hidden behind a hideous mask and helmet, with a long cape swirling in his wake, and a loud hissing sound marking each breath.
Delenn's thoughts immediately turned to the Shadows, but she quickly dismissed them. Members of the Grey Council were granted abilities to sense the Dark Ones and their servants, and this one did not raise such alarm. A quick glance at the others showed that they did not react in such a way either, other than general distaste for its appearance behind carefully neutral faces. No, whatever this creature was, it did not come from Z'Ha'Dum.
The human in grey hurried over to the figure and spoke with it in their language, and then they both approached the gathered council.
"Minbari leaders," the human spoke through a translator, "Lord Vader has come to personally accept your surrender on behalf of the Emperor!"
Vader? Delenn looked at the black figure again. So this was Darth Vader. She had overheard some of the occupying humans mention the name on a number of occasions, usually in hushed or awed tones, the name clearly carrying some significance among them. Now she could see why, his appearance was alarming enough, but now she felt something else, something oppressive about his very presence.
Vader stepped forward. "What is your message for the Emperor?" he spoke is a deep, growling voice.
Coplann, the voice of the Council stepped forward. "The people of Minbar…and the Minbari Federation offer their complete and unconditional…" he paused, closed his eyes, and took a deep, pained breath then continued, "…surrender."
There you go. Any criticisms appreciated.