Destroyers
Chapter 1

--- Preparations ---
Part 1 of 5

Written by Shaule Sachs

std_disclaimer.h:
Zaxxon Hunter and other original characters are copyrighted.
Destroyers (c) 1996, Shaule Sachs
Babylon5 and B5 characters are JMS's but we're just playing through.

std_setting.h:
[Author's Note:
This is my first Babylon 5 story I have written, so feedback is important.

Words between *'s are to be considered to be emphasis and bold.
Words between /'s are to be considered to be stressed and italics.
Words between 's are translations (since I'm not multilingual).
Words between /*'s are thoughts.
Words between ['s represent notes from the author, like this is.]

=====
[Minbar: Council Chambers;
1260's Terran Common Era (TCE)]

"We won the War," exclaimed Neron. As the youngest Minbari present,
the others looked on him with something akin to amusement. In addition to
Neron, there were ten other Minbari present along with a quiet Vorlon and
a stranger wear a black robe who could not be seen easily. The Vorlon's face
darkened at Neron's pronouncement and looked at the older Minbari whom the
others were looking at too.
"/We/ did *not* win a war, Neron, but merely a battle in a greater
struggle," came the voice from Black Robe. They called him "Black Robe"
since the very robes that he wore were as black as night.
"What? I don't understand Black Robe," Neron exclaimed as the Vorlon
shook it's head sadly. "We drove the Darkness away. The Shadows are gone,"
Neron continued.
"Gone yes, but not destroyed," Black Robe said gently. Neron's
young face had a hurt look to it. Neron knew that Black Robe knew more than
any of the others did, except possibly for the Vorlon. The two, the Vorlon
and Black Robe, seemed like opposites side of the same coin. Where the Vorlon
gave off a white light. In contrast, Black Robe seemed to be in a shadow
even though both the room lights and the Vorlon's bioluminescence made
the room appear as in the noon day light.
Neron had heard some stories about the mysterious Black Robe. Stories
that called the mysterious stranger by another name, Star Hand. /* One cannot
have a hand that looks like the night sky */, thought Neron. But the
important point that Neron remembered as he looked upon the trio standing
before him for Black Robe was a friend of older Minbari that had called
them here.
"And it is about the War and the future that I called you nine here,"
the Minbari's voice took on a very serious tone to it. The others in the room
had been watching the exchange between Black Robe and the young Neron
returned their attention to the old Minbari.
"We will hear Valen," Neron intoned formally, followed by the other
eight Minbari. "Why are we here, Valen?" demanded Dara of the Star Riders
feeling that her time would be better spent with her troops, not with the
others.
"My time here is growing to a close," informed Valen calmly. The
others gasped, some tried to deny Valen's words, but a look from Valen
silenced them so he could continue. "I have asked you here to prepare for
the Future of the Minbari race," he paused a moment. Pointing to each as
he called their names, "Neron, Raal, and Linon are of the Religious Caste,
Dara, Ruka, and Fira of the Warrior Caste, and Gira, Jino, and Delon of
the Workers Caste." In a formally voice that the others had not heard
Valen use often, "From each of the three castes, three people will
represent the Castes, together these nine will lead the People until my
return."
"What?" asked Linon startled.
"Where are you going?" asked Ruka.
"As I said, my time here is short. It is time for me to go on,"
Valen paused. "Remember the Words and Visions I told you. When the time
comes, I will return," So saying Valen walked out of the Chamber
followed by the stranger in the black robe and the Vorlon.
Neron tried to follow them but was stopped by a flash of light.
Neron turned to the others and in an awed whisper said, "Valeria has
taken Him /home/ . . . "

******************************

[Earth Orbit;
October 21, 2248 TCE]

"What if they don't take the bait?"
'That is one of the reasons we are here.'
"And the other? ..."
' Look past the Minbari, cub, what do you see?'
"Nothing but Mars . . . "
'Look not with your eyes but with your mind.'
"Oh. I see. . . . I . . . Old/Ancients!"
'Right. And /look/ behind Luna, what do you see?'
"I see Young/Ancients."
'Correct, cub. They are the other reason.'
"Oh?"
'The Balance.'
"Right."

******************************

[Babylon 5; Gardens
Mid morning, July 4, 2256 TCE]

The gardens of Babylon 5 had just been completed and
already they were being put to use. Various plants from Earth and other
Alliance colonies were on display. Although artificially constructed
inside a space station, the gardens had a natural look to them. Many
had come to think of the Gardens as metaphor for Babylon Five itself.
Where alien and human vegetation could co-exist maybe their animal
counterparts could too.
At various point throughtout the gardens tables had been set up.
On top of the tables were food items from various Alliance worlds with
other allied worlds as well. All the was ready, except for the people. They
would come later.
The station's lightning was set for low power since the station
was still on solar cell power, so Little Deer Thunderbird's eyes had
little light to see by, but she found her brother, Hawkeye Thunderbird,
easily with her shaman skills. As she approached her brother she thought,
/* Well you can certainly tell our heritage easily. */ Hawkeye
Thunderbird looked to his sister with a questioning glance. "Is everything
ready," she asked. Hawkeye nodded and still looked at his sister
questionly as if to say what else. "The Chief wants us," Little Deer said.
Hawkeye nodded again and thought, /* Yes, he is a war chief. */ Both
headed out the way Little Deer had came in.

"So the VIPs have arrived and the Minbari delagation will be
coming soon?" asked Commander Jeffery Sinclair. He asked like a man
who knew the answer to the question already but needed something to
occupy the time. So Zaxxon Hunter just nodded his head. Commander
Sinclair had always enjoyed Dr. Hunter's company. /* Just by looking at
him, you wouldn't know that Knight Enterprises was one of the largest
businesses in Earth Alliance space. Or that he was its owner, */
thought Sinclair. "So the station is complete?" Sinclair asked to
continue with the small talk.
"Yes, all the important sections are completed and secured,"
replied Zaxxon. They were both walking towards the Gardens. Upon arrival
they both noticed all the VIPs that were there. Representatives from Earth
Dome, Earth Force, and other distinguished guests. Zaxxon lead Sinclair
through the crowd of VIPs and stopped in front of two men who were talking.
The man on their right wearing a Knight Enterprise Security
uniform was Hawkeye, who's responsible for the station's security
through construction, and the man on the left wearing Earth Force
Security uniform was Chief Warrant Officer Michael Garibaldi. Both men
smiled at Zaxxon and Sinclair.
"Everything's in position Chief, and all we're waiting for is the
Minbari now," Hawkeye said to Zaxxon.
"And. . ." Zaxxon said.
"Taken care of," Hawkeye replied without prompting, "Lieutentant
Commander Laurel Takashima has Command and Control in hand, Sis is
overseeing the start up procedures for the reactor core, and Lex has the
docking bays secure for the Minbari arrival."
"So when do the Minbari arrive?" asked Garibaldi.
"At Eighteen Hundred Hours Michael," replied Sinclair with a
smile. "Impatient, or something?" asked Sinclair.
"Well, if you must know Jeff, the last time I waited on the
Minbari was during the War..." Garibaldi answered.
"But that was eight years ago," Sinclair answered back, "besides
the Minbari want to forget about the War as much as we do."
"If you'll excuse me, there are some people I *have* to see,"
Zaxxon said sourly. All three saw the various senators that headed in
their direction with their eyes locked on Zaxxon. Garibaldi sighed. "Don't
worry, I'll divert them," Zaxxon said like it was a military mission. So
saying he headed off, and began redirecting the herd of senators away from
the group.
"That was close," Garibaldi and Hawkeye replied at the same
time. Both men broke into a smile. "So when and where do the Minbari
come in?" asked Garibaldi.
"That depends on the size of the Minbari ship, which bay is
free, and how much assistance the Minbari need to dock," replied
Sinclair.
"Do we know who's coming," asked Hawkeye.
"No," Sinclair said sourly. "I hope it's the liason that was set
up with Earth Dome. She seemed to have a real interest in the station,"
Sinclair said in a more positive note.
"Does this liason have a name?" asked Garibaldi intriged.
"Delenn," Sinclair replied. "She has been polite in our
discussions. Although, what position in her
govornment she holds, or if she does have a position, I don't know."
"Oh, mysterious lady," Hawkeye joked.
"All woman, regardless of race, have secrets," Sinclair said
with a smile.
"And finding them out, is what makes them interesting,"
Garibaldi said, wisely trying to hide a laugh.
Hawkeye spotted his sister and waved her over. "How you doing
sis?" Hawkeye asked her once she joined the group.
"Fine," she replied. "All the switches are set to turn on the
main fusion reactor for the ceremony. So who is the Chief entertaining
over there?" she asked pointing to the group of poeple around Zaxxon.
"Those are the members of the Senates' oversight commitee
for the Babylon Project," replied Sinclair, "I hope there aren't any
problems at this point."
"Yeah, its t minus 1 hour and 58 minutes until the station is
officially on-line," Garibaldi stated.
"And about an hour until the Minbari are scheduled to
arrive," replied Little Deer.
"That gives the Minbari an hour to prepare if they need to,"
Sinclair replied.
"Who are they sending here?" Little Deer asked.
"Delenn doesn't know," answered Sinclair, "I get the impression
from her that they haven't decided the last time I spoke with her."
"And that was this morning right?" asked Garibaldi nerviously.
"Right," replied Sinclair.
"Oh boy," Garibaldi and Hawkeye said together and smiled.
"Well, we'll find out in an hour then," Sinclair said.

=== End Part 1 === [Why, why not?]