The Stuff that Dreams are Made On
gapfiller, S2, A Distant Star
Standard disclaimer applies; not my characters or settings or backgrounds. But they are my words.
Lennier sat patiently in Delenn's quarters. She had asked him to meet her there one standard hour previously, but when he had arrived, she was not there. The news that the Cortez had been rescued, albeit at the cost of two Earth pilots' lives, had quickly raced through the station. When he had called Delenn to update her on the Explorer Class ship's status, she had told him to send official condolences to Captain Sheridan through channels. Then she had added she might try to find the Captain herself, and extend her sympathies directly.
She had set a time for him to meet her in her quarters, to go over the week's work. The number of requests for her intervention in Minbari affairs on station had dropped off since her emergence from the chrysalis. Some of their people were turning to him to solve small problems, as if they felt that petty affairs were beneath her somehow. Others plainly no longer wanted her input. That attitude he found increasingly alarming. Her transformation had been shocking, even though he had known it was coming, if not exactly what it would entail. But it was plain to those with eyes and mind that she had not changed where it mattered; that hers was still a Minbari soul. In fact, he found the symmetry almost pleasing. If Minbari souls were being born in human bodies, she now stood as exemplar of that idea, and of the obvious conclusion that the trappings of flesh were secondary to what lay within.
The door opened with a swoosh, and the chill air of the station's corridors entered along with her. A smile hung on her lips, and her face held a light that pierced through him. These last weeks had been difficult for her, and it pleased him to see her happy.
"Lennier?" She smiled at him and bowed her head very slightly in recognition of his presence. "Was there something I can do for you...something that needs my attention?"
For a moment, he felt a pang of some fleeting emotion he could not quite identify. "You requested my presence, and here I am." He gestured to the pile of documents on the table in front of him. "I have brought this week's reports."
Her eyes clouded for a moment, and her voice was tight as she replied. "I remember now. Forgive me for keeping you waiting. But I do not imagine there is much for me to examine."
Lennier looked down at the stack on the table. "Not a great deal, that is true." He looked up at her now shuttered expression, so different from the glow her face had held a moment earlier. "They will adjust. It is difficult for those who do not understand."
"Understanding is not required," she shot back. Then her voice softened, "But you are correct. It is... difficult." Then she smiled warmly at him. "I am afraid this transition has increased your workload, adding to your normal tasks."
"It is an honor to be of assistance." He hesitated, as she sat down opposite him and began to look through the pile of paper and transparencies, then asked, "May I inquire if you were able to locate Captain Sheridan?"
Her cheeks alternately flushed and paled again as she picked up a flimsy and examined it closely. "I did. He is naturally concerned with the loss of two crewmen under his care. I took the opportunity to introduce him to the concept of Te'mirk a'Fi. He was appreciative." Putting down the transparent film, and picking up a stylus laying on the table, she marked it carefully at one section with three Minbari symbols. "This needs to be expedited. The supplies on this ship are needed on Trok'nar urgently, before the season of storms begins."
"I will see to it at once," replied Lennier, taking the film from her and placing it in an open file-holder in front of him on the table. "The Te'mirka a'Fi? The 'meditation on the stars' is not well known outside the religious caste." His curiosity aroused, he had to remind himself that it was not his place to question one of Delenn's stature. "I hope the concepts were of help to him at this difficult time."
"I believe they were," Delenn was rapidly progressing through the papers now, marking some, carefully placing them in separate piles. She looked up for a moment, her eyes unfocused, as if trying to decide on some important matter in front of her. "He is not at all what I expected."
Lennier craned his head to read the paper on which her hand rested, "Lashon?" he inquired, reading the name on the petition on top of the pile.
"Not Lashon, Captain Sheridan," replied Delenn. Only momentarily flustered by Lennier's question, she marked the unlucky Lashon's petition 'Not Approved' and placed in on the furthest pile from her. "He was sincerely interested in our discussion. It bodes well for this station's mission that its new commander is open to other cultures, even those with which he has an unfortunate personal history."
Lennier merely bowed his head in agreement. Inwardly, he wondered if she was being a trifle optimistic. It was her nature to see the best in everyone. Sometimes he thought it was not always in her best interests to do so. Still, he was here to protect those interests, where he could identify them. As they bent to their task, he noted her comments and concerns, but also considered the Te'mirka a'Fi, the idea that we are all made of the same matter as the stars, as the Universe itself. Minbari, humans, the station, the planet below, the stars that immolated themselves to give light and life; they were all the same according this philosophy. He looked upon Delenn, the intensity that burned within her; and felt the pull of the rac'ine te'a fi, the star-dream, that touch of greatness or madness. It made one want to follow; wherever one was led, whatever the cause or the destination. For just a moment, it seemed she was more than just Delenn; that she was the stuff such dreams are made on.
Then he shook his head, as if to clear it of such distracting and unsuitable thoughts, and returned his mind to his work.