Title: "Searching for the Lost"

Episode: Soul Hunter

Rating: PG

Summary: A Soul Hunter seeks guidance from his "collection" in his search of the hunter who steals souls before their time.

Disclaimer: This all belongs to the brilliant mind of Mr. Straczynski. I'm only borrowing the characters for a bit. Many thanks to Hobsonphile for graciously beta reading this for me once more.

Searching For The Lost

Closing his eyes, he can hear the sound of impending deaths all around him; the sound of souls preparing themselves to leave their shells. One soul, its voice like a song of requiem, fills his thoughts. It is so sad and beautiful, but it is not the one he seeks, for it lacks the knowledge- the insight- needed to catch his attentions. Still, as a hunter, he is drawn to his prey. Even if they are not what he seeks, he can still feel them slipping past. They have such beauty that no one save his own people could witness. The other races dared to call his own the "thieves of souls" or Soul Hunters. What do they know? They've always passed judgment based on their belief systems, he thinks to himself as the soul he senses slips away.

But there is more on his mind then the views of the universe; a sensation that something is not right in the air. He knows what it is and the thought sends a chill down his spine. Turning his attentions to the small collection of glowing orange globes, he smiles gently before gingerly approaching the small but eloquent shrine they're kept on.

"My precious little ones, I am in need of your wisdom once more."

Slowly, the orange spheres begin to move from their shrine. Floating around him, they seem to study him calmly, his own eyes never once leaving their sight. He hears the soft whispers of their voices in his thoughts; their gentle songs moving him to close his eyes as he awaits their words of wisdom.

In the glowing spheres reside some of the greatest and wisest leaders of over a dozen different worlds. It is a small collection by his people's standards, but he is still young and so this is considered normal. As with any Soul Hunter, he seeks their guidance and wisdom, for they are his teachers and he, their pupil.

After a moment, the song fades as a gentle but firm voice of a Thrakallan fills his thoughts.

"Something troubles you."

Another voice, this time of a once well-known Narn asks him in quiet tones,

"What is it you wish to know?"

The Soul Hunter nods slightly as he sighs, knowing somehow that these small orange orbs of souls can sense his weary expression.

"He's escaped. Again."

For a moment he hears silence in his thoughts as they take in the weight of his words. Holding his breath, he awaits in silence as he hears their thoughts, their discussions. Permitting them access to his thoughts, they collect the memories of the one who robs the living of their souls before their time and concession.

The response is unanimous to the images that they see, a moment of silence followed by a requiem, the likes he's never heard before. It is as though a hundred angels were weeping at once. The music overwhelms him, bringing tears to his eyes as he clutches his hands into his lap, his form dropping slowly to the floor.

"He brings such shame to our people. But we have never taken the life of one of our own before. I'm unsure what to do. I'm sorry."

The orbs float around him slowly, their colors flickering from a dull orange to vibrant hues of gold. After what seems an eternity, he hears the soft whisper of a tinkling melodic voice.

"Go now."

Rising to his feet, he gently touches the sphere as he whispers softly. "Where do we go?"

The soft glow warms the tips of his fingers as he watches the others moving back onto the shrine that they came from. He doesn't really expect a response, at least not right away. He is used to waiting till they are ready to give him the answer he seeks and doesn't push the matter further. Yet to his surprise, a response comes to him quickly as the soft melodic voice fills his thoughts once more.

"To the nexus of the worlds"

His eyes flicker with understanding as he bows deeply to the orbs.

"Thank you."

As he leaves the shrine, another voice- this time Minbari- whispers in his thoughts. Though gentle, it bears the weight of authority.

"What has been taken against its will must be returned."

Bowing again, a grim smile crosses his features as he says gently. "yes."