No Beast so Fierce Chapter 6 by Verbosity

Disclaimer: See first chapter.

Sorry, this one is a little short. I'll try to make up for it in the next chapter.


Kosh's grasp on the alien broke as it suddenly moved away at supraluminal velocities.

He hadn't been able to observe much from the beings mind, just some impressions, fragments really. He noted the ship's direction of travel. His people would find them again. The appearance of this vessel indicated a fundamental change. A dangerous change.

* * *


Delenn's emphatic question echoed through the council chamber. "Why are the First Ones involving themselves in this conflict." She turned to Morrann. "We know they do not concern themselves with the doings of the younger races. So why are they taking action to preserve the humans?"

"You have said yourself that their minds are unknowable." The speaker's voice verged on sneering; the members of his caste were still smarting from being ordered to with draw from battle with the First One's vessel. "So what does their motive matter?"

Delenn stared at him, her expression calling into doubt his sanity for asking such a question. " The First Ones are wise beyond our understanding Copelann. If they have such a reason as to cause them to act to save the humans, in defiance to everything we know of their behavior, it must be a motive of surpassing urgency! We must know why these First Ones do not wish the humans destroyed."

"Delenn speaks wisely," Hadronn said. "We must pull back on our war efforts while we attempt to ascertain the answer to this question." The other members of the worker and religious castes on the council nodded in agreement.

There were protests from the three warrior caste members of the council.

"I understand your desire not to stop the war effort. You forget that Dukaht was my mentor." Delenn said, speaking to the three. "But if we continue, we risk angering the First Ones. Such a choice would end not in the human's destruction, but ours."

* * *

The record finished playing back with the closing of the jump point behind Dauntless as it escaped into hyperspace, and Commander John Sheridan could feel the air in the room vibrate with a mix of curiosity, awe, excitement, and something he had not felt from his fellow officers in the last few months: hope.

The silence broke into a general babble.

"What the hell kind of weapons were those?"

"Did you see..."

"Who were they?"

"Do you think..."

Sheridan remained silent, standing beside his captain, going over the engagement in his head.

General Lefcourt stood on the platform and raised his hands for silence. "As of yet we know little more than we've just shown you. An unknown alien vessel appeared in defense of the retreat at Draconis, successfully engaging five Sharlin cruisers. Destroying two and disabling an additional one, all apparently without taking damage. Who these beings are, we don't know. We don't know where they come from or why they have helped us. None of the other races we have contacted were able to identify the ship or suggest what race it might belong to. At this point we have only one possibility, offered by the Markab ambassador." The General paused for a moment, letting anticipation build before continuing. "He referred to a group of races to which he gave the appellation "First Ones" he said that only a race from this group could have done what that ship did. The First Ones are supposedly those few races that have survived from earlier epochs, races that are quite literally billions of years older than humanity."

There was a moment of contemplative silence then a voice drifted up from the mass of officers about the floor, "No wonder the Minbari were getting their asses kicked!"

There was a spate of laughter from around and the general cracked a smile. After a moment he held his hand up for silence.

"The Minbari have gone quiet. They are no longer advancing on any of our colonies, but neither are they retreating. They are holding position, possibly waiting for something. The only reason we have for this behavior is the intervention of the ship at Draconis. We are making every effort to contact the Minbari, but as of yet they have not responded."

He surveyed the assemblage and then continued, "We are very eager to make contact with the race that has assisted us. The Markab ambassador seems to think it unlikely that they will make contact. He says that the First Ones have generally ignored the younger races, and he does not know why one of their number might be stepping in on our side. Irregardless of this, it is now a standing order that you treat any contact with these vessels..." a picture of the alien ship was displayed upon the screen. "With the utmost delicacy, treat them with all possible goodwill and courtesy." He paused and then said, "What that means, is give them anything reasonable they ask for, invite them back to Earth, and for God's sake don't piss them off."

"What do you think John?"

John looked to his Captain at the question, his mind still mulling over the behavior of the unknown ship. "I'm not sure what to think yet, Sir. We don't know enough about the unknown ship to draw much in the way of concrete conclusions." He shrugged. "Whoever they are they're powerful, but as to whether they're actually on our side or not..."

His Captain looked from John to the screen and said, "I hope to God they are, John. Because anyone that take on the Minbari at five to one like that, would roll over us without even noticing."

* * *

Delenn stepped through the doors into Dhukat's sanctuary. She prayed the Vorlons would have answers for her.

In the middle she turned, looking around the room. It seemed empty so she spoke. "Are you here?"

A sound like soft chimes mixed with a hundred instruments whispered though the room. Within the sound a voice said, "I have always been here."

Whirling she found the Vorlon behind her, where she had looked and seen nothing only a moment earlier.

Only one Vorlon, not the two she had been expecting.

She asked, "You know what has happened?"


"What should we do?"

"What you must."

Delenn digested that answer, turning it over in her mind. "I don't understand, do you mean to say that we must do as these other First Ones direct? Or-"

"The circle is broken, yet the truth still points to itself."

Delenn was silent. Circle? What did that mean? Then she said, "I don't understand."

"Examine those whom you kill, and you will. We will attend to the circle."

* * *

Lenonn asked, "The Vorlon would answer nothing further?"

"No," Delenn said. "And I do not understand what answers it did give."

The old Ranger leaned on the table where he sat, across from Delenn. "Rarely do children understand all that adults say, yet they must act as their understanding allows. Adults know this. Act upon what you do understand, Delenn. Trust that the Vorlon knows your limits. It will be enough."

"I wish I had your certainty, my friend."

Lenonn gave a little laugh. "Certainty? Call it faith, rather." He paused, seeming to gather his thoughts. "You believe the Volon referred to the humans?"

"I see no others it could be. "Those whom you kill," he said."

Nodding, Lenonn said, "Then we must examine them as he has instructed. Perhaps, then, we will understand more."

* * *

Kosh exited the dimensional fracture. Moving in one moment, from the sanctuary onboard the Valen'na to his ship, which paced the Minbari vessels from within it's fold in space.

He shed his encounter suit, at home in the native environment maintained by his ship. The suit was truly unnecessary for Vorlon's to survive outside their native environment; they had long ago evolved past the point where the conditions about them could possibly be a hindrance. However, it was a useful tool in their interactions with younger races.

He flowed through the drifting vapors, causing the organic compounds within to fluoresce, illuminating the chamber in an eerie, shifting glow. After a moment His physical form settled into immobility in a hollow that the interior surface of the ship obligingly created.

One part of Kosh's mind kept watch on the debate raging within the Vorlon people. Billions of minds, touching, intermingling, consulting. Sooner or later a majority would agree upon the matter of the unknown ship, and action would be taken.

The other parts of his mind reviewed, once again, the information gathered about the vessel.

His own ship hadn't been in a position to take a reading of the unknown, so he, and the rest of the Vorlon's, were limited to the information from the Minbari sensors.

Frustrating, but unavoidable at the the moment.

The information was puzzling. The energy signature of the beam weapons were unusual, and yet familiar to the Vorons. They had seen it before, long ago.

The method of faster than light travel the ship had employed was also familiar. The Vorlons had used it once themselves. When they had first reached out among the stars. Eons ago.

The weapon that had caused the destruction of two Minbari cruisers had caused it a moment of bafflement, before it had realized it was a matter- energy transporter. Matter was disassembled, sent to a specific set of coordinates in a quantumly phased matter stream, and reassembled. It was an odd and cumbersome process for something that could be accomplished simply by avoiding the space in-between. Even young races such as the Streib and Vree had figured that out.

The conclusion that had been reached was that, in spite of the Minbari's conclusions, the ship was not a product of any of the First Ones. The technologies, even if esoteric, were simply too primitive.

Of far more concern to the Vorlons than the people originating the ship was where it had come from. It should not have been possible for the circle to have been broken. Paradox had taken place, a far more difficult thing than the younger races truly understood.

Kosh could still taste the mind he had touched upon the ship. The rigidly ordered thought patterns that constrained the fierce passions underneath reminded him of the youth of his own people.

And the humans. Once again the humans were the anomaly. They-

Kosh's thoughts were disturbed by his ship requesting his attention.

He split off another fragment of his mind to attend to it while he continued to reflect upon the puzzle of the human's presence.

There. Molecules left behind from the unknown ship's hull. Just a few molecules. Too few to be picked up by anything but an intensive close range scan by the Minbari. Obvious as a nova to Vorlon sensors.

Kosh directed the ship closer, bringing the traces of matter within the space fold that hid his ship. He couldn't conduct an active scan outside it without the Minbari noticing.

Part of Kosh's mind fused with the ship's own and he examined the few stray atoms. Some common elements and one that was rather rare. Nothing unusual. The ionization indicated that they had been knocked loose by the Minbari weapons fire. The quantum signatu-

The mental fragment of the Vorlon that was examining the atoms rippled violently as he realized what he was seeing. Suddenly those few atoms had his whole attention; every piece of his multifaceted mind focused, hoping he had been mistaken.

He hadn't.

Kosh turned his mind to the great debate raging among the others. Grimly he interjected his finding.

The quantum signature did not match this universe.

Shock, consternation, traces of fear, a rippling anger. They all reverberated though the link.

It had happened once, a million years ago, and it had nearly destroyed the Vorlon people.

Now, their universe had been invaded again.

The unknown ship must be found immediately. The breach in the universe sealed.

Among the billions of minds there was no dissent. They remembered what had happened long ago. The danger was clear.

The circle no longer mattered.

Thought was action and, as one, the Vorlon Empire began to move.

The ship would be found.

By any force, any means necessary.