The Promise

By

Dana Bell

Earthdate December 24, 2365 Long Tail, Third Feline of the Oldest House Tenth Generation since the Great Crossing

Captain Sheridan appeared at the very end of the Midnight Mass Brother Theo was conducting. The CO's appearance was haggard (I know he has not slept well during the past week) dark circles under his blue eyes, his brown hair in disarray, and his normally immaculate uniform crumbled. My delicate nose picked up a faint odor. Phew!!! He needs to bathe!

He paused in the doorway ( It takes humans longer to adjust to dim light.) before he settled in a back pew and rested his tired face in his hands.

Brother Theo noticed but pretended not to. He finished his message and all the voices joined in final triumphant song.

I glanced around the candle lit room. (I still wonder how the brothers managed it. Candles are rare and expensive.) Proudly displayed at the front of the chapel is a tree. Its quite alive. Its borrowed from the garden. They have to return and replant it. Its a young tree. Not more than about five meters.

The decoration is quite clever. Wooden crosses, fruit, beads, flowers...not like the pictures I've been looking at , filled with flashy lights and shiny tinsel, but pretty. Unique, I would say. Shows the determination of human spirit. They were going to celebrate this holiday...Christmas, they call it...one way or another.

The various beings who attended file out. I scuttled out from my place of honor under the tree. I walked under the various chairs and pews until I reached Sheridan. I don't like his scent, my people are meticulously clean, but I know when a human needs comfort.

Gently I nudged his hand with my cold pink nose. He ignored me. Well! That just won't do! I pushed more insistently, rubbing against his leg with my soft creme fur.

" Long Tail is trying to get your attention." Brother Theo's quiet voice stated.

The monk rubbed my head. I rewarded him with a purr.

"I shouldn't be here." Sheridan started to rise.

Brother Theo placeed a hand on his shoulder. "This is God's house..."

"God!" Sheridan glared at the monk. "And just where the hell has God been these last few weeks!"

The monk retreated a step. "My son,"

Page 2

"Does He know how many have died!" There are tears in the Captain's eyes. "My god, we've lost six rangers, an entire fighting wing of Immortals, two Minbari cruisers..." His body begun shake.

I saw her then. She stoods in radiant light. She had long brown hair, gentle amber eyes and a smile that warmed the coldest night. Her floor length gown was a brilliant white.

I looked at the two humans. They don't see her.

Brother Theo is trying to decide how best to proceed. "We don't always understand God's ways."

"Same mumbo jumbo I've heard since I was child. You never have the answers. That's why I gave up on God. Decided to depend on myself. He doesn't care."

"You may have given up on God, but He hasn't given up on you." The woman spoke then. She has a beautiful voice. And an odd accent. But her tone is warm and loving.

"My name is Monica. I'm an Angel sent by God."

Brother Theo sat down with a thud.

"An angel?" Sheridan laughed. Disbelief written all over his tired face.

"I have a message for you." She looked at me for a moment, then turned her full gaze on the Captain. "God loves you. He cares for you. He has looked after you in your darkest hours and on your brightest days. He knows your pain. If you let Him, He'll wrap you in His arms and comfort your heart."

"I don't want Him."

Stupid human.

She smiled again at the Captain. "God knows your days ahead will not be easy. He will be there to help you through these difficult times." She paused. I know there's more. "He promises there will be one who comes to help. An ancient one."

"Who?" He demanded.

She shook her head. "I don't know." She stepped forward and placed a gentle hand on Sheridan's arm. Her whole presence pure light. "Merry Christmas." Then she was gone.

I looked curiously at Babylon 5's CO. I wonder what his reaction will be to this heavenly visitor.

His gaze temporary rested where the angel had been and then back to Brother Theo. "Is this a sign?"

I heard the skepticism in his voice even as faint light of hope dawned in his eyes.





Page 3



I spoke then. I don't often. My people never do unless it is important. 'Its a Christmas present and a promise. Nothing is impossible for God.'

Sheridan looked at me in surprise. I don't think he ever really believed my people were intelligent.

I walked out of the chapel, leaving the humans to their business. I sensed the Captain's eyes on me. I know he is full of questions. But I've said enough for now.

I stroll down the corridor and hopped down a convenient air duct. Marcus Cole has promised me a treat for Christmas. I wonder what it is?

Record End

Story originally published in The Yuletide 2. Posted by author with editorial changes. Felcats are an original universe created by the writer and are copyrighted. May not be used without written permission. Story is the third of the Felcat series.