Disclaimer: I do not own Babylon 5 or it's characters, although I wish I did.
AU: Marcus is still a Ranger, however once the Grey Council disbanded Neroon became Shai Alit instead of Shakiri. Neroon was detained on Minbar when Delenn was named Entil'Zha so the Denn'sha never took place. If you have any questions about the plot ask. This may be a tad confusing for the first few chapters or so. Written in Marcus' point of view.
I walked the shadows of Babylon 5 silently. No one was aware as I walked the passages of Down Below on my way back from a particularly informative 'discussion' with a weapons smuggler. I held in my hand a disk containing data regarding a potentially crippling strike against the human Anla'shok planned for a month hence. My face was composed and my step sure as I went to give a report of my findings to Delenn, but inside I was shocked at the intended brutality. True there had been small attacks before, but they had been mostly disorganized and no deaths had occurred. With the threat from the Shadows looming ever closer, quite frankly a few angry Minbari warriors were the least of Delenn's concerns, especially since the new Shai Alit had ignored all of her attempts at communication. This was soon to change however.
Delenn read through the compiled data silently, her face white with shock. Her hand shook slightly as she placed the hand-held reading terminal down on the side table. I had never seen her look so defeated and was tempted to hug her to me and offer what comfort I was able. The fleeting thought passed unacted upon as she took a fortifying breath and lifted her head to face me. I nearly gasped when I saw the utter despair lining her every feature. It was the determination underneath that however that gave me a sense of foreboding.
"I had hoped that the attacks were merely a trickling down of Neroon's feelings about humans. It seems I was wrong." Delenn told me, looking thoughtful for a few moments before she continued, speaking carefully. "The only ones aware of the gathering planned were all high-ranking officials of the Warrior Caste. There are at most six Minbari privy to the information. I wanted to give Neroon the benefit of the doubt, but this along with an intercepted communiqué originating from his compound in Yedor confirms his involvement in the attack. It this strike were to take place it would kill over half of the Anla'shok at one time. Without even considering the tragic loss of life, the after affect could begin another war or at least cause the humans to leave the Anla'shok. Now is not the time for division, for if we are at war with each other what hope have we against the might of the Shadows?"
"I agree with you Delenn." I assured her fervently. "I am well acquainted with the Shadows."
"I have to hope that the attackers are simply following orders since these events began after Neroon became Shai Alit."
"Are you sure it is the Shai Alit?" I asked her pensively. "I read his file when he became head of the Warrior Caste. I thought he might have been a problem at one time. He is purported to be an honorable man however."
Delenn's face twisted with disdain momentarily before she got a hold of herself.
"Neroon and I have never seen eye to eye, but he has his own brand of honor." She answered reluctantly.
"How does that reconcile with his actions?" I asked. "He must have his reasons."
"It matters not why Neroon has done what he has done, merely that he is stopped before tragedy befalls us all." I nodded silently although I wasn't sure I fully agreed with her. "Under any other circumstances I would never even suggest such a thing, but these are hardly ordinary times. Marcus with your stealth and Covert Ops training you are the best chance we have of… removing Neroon from power."
I stared at her in disbelief hardly believing she would ever condone the execution of anyone, let alone a fellow Minbari. The situation was dire of course, but I couldn't help but mourn that small bit of light that her order had robbed her of. As for myself, I wasn't altogether sure that I could kill someone so cold-bloodedly. Although I was a soldier in the Earth-Minbari War, so while I have killed before in battle, I have never killed indiscriminately. I was bitter that Delenn could order me to kill someone, but could not even dirty her hands by using the proper word for it. We both knew that this was as good as a suicidal mission, for even if I did manage to kill the Shai Alit I would hardly be able to walk away unnoticed.
"Your latent telepathic ability will serve you well if you are captured." I hid my surprise at Delenn's ability to gather covert intelligence and merely nodded slightly in agreement. "Most importantly of all, you must not be tied back to me and the Rangers. It would start a civil war. Do whatever you need to do to accomplish this."
"Very well then. Good luck Marcus."
I acknowledged the dismissal as it was meant, bowing low before exiting Delenn's quarters.
"I'm bloody well going to need it." I cursed softly, taking a fortifying breath to calm myself, before heading my quarters to prepare.