Disclaimer: I wrote the words, but I was playing in someone else's sandbox. Babylon 5 and the characters of Valen and Lennier are property of JMS/Warner Brothers. I'm just borrowing them. But the words are mine.
Author's Note: This little piece stems from the observation that Delenn greeted Sheridan - whom she had to have known as the Starkiller - a lot nicer than she might have, and with quite a lot of vigor, and the idea that there was a reason for that. Delenn knew the prophecies; perhaps Sheridan was in them. This story is complete as it stands, probably, though if the mood strikes and I become inspired to write more like Valen, I might expand it. Maybe.
As Was Prophesied
I say to you who will follow, you who will doubt, that the Anla'shok must remain just as I have created them – let them not fall to waste, and do not turn a deaf ear to them. They are watchers, and ever patient they must wait, for the dark enemy will come again, though it take a thousand years.
Valen paused for thought, lifting his pen from the parchment. There was so much he wanted to say, so many warnings he wanted to give, but in his heart, he knew it was impossible. He could not change anything. The future must go as it always had.
At that hour, it will come to pass that One not born of Minbari who had been until now a black mark upon our people will rise up and prove himself strong of body and pure of heart, and he will lead the Army of Light. When he emerges, those who have doubted must resolve to set aside their anger, for without him the galaxy will surely fall, and darkness will reign forever. Listen when I say to you! Liken him unto me, not born of Minbari, nor does he carry the soul of a Minbari, but when he arrives to his station, do not protest! Be patient, and wait, and watch. I say again, when the time is right, he will step forward to lead, and the Army must follow.
Even so, the darkness will invade his homeworld, and at that time, there will be those among you who will not heed this warning. As Earth falls, as the One not born of Minbari takes a stand against the darkness, so the Nine shall be divided, and the Grey Council too shall fall. Here too, the Shadows are close at hand. Be watchful, for they are surely watching you, and they are surely watching him.
"It's late." Her voice pulled him from his thoughts. "Come to bed."
Valen smiled softly in the candlelit room. His writing lamp was failing slowly; he would need to either turn in soon or go for more oil, but he could feel it in his bones – he had precious little time to finish what he had started – and it needed to be finished. The future would depend on it to a degree he couldn't bear to think too much about. "My days draw short," he responded. "It is imperative that this be finished."
There was a sadness to her tone. "In the time you have left, I would like to see more of you."
A glint in his eye now as he studied her, a sparkle of something much older and wiser than he had ever been. "We are old souls," he said at last. "We have found each other across a dozen lifetimes, and you know that when we pass beyond the veil, it will be just a few moments until we are born to find each other once again."
"You have always been this way, Jeff. A warrior, a poet… stubborn."
"And you," he said with a sigh, "Have always been beautiful." He reached out a hand and she came to him, just close enough to slide into the embrace of the one outstretched arm. "Just a little more. The fate of so many depends on what I write here."
"Most of them will do what they have always done, regardless of your prose."
"Most," he nodded in agreement. "But not all. I write for those who will believe; who will be lost for a purpose without what I give them."
"An eloquent speaker, as always." Her arms came around his neck, feeling at the wrinkles, then traced up to his bone crest. "I love you."
"Always," he responded, and turned up to kiss her, just a peck. "Go on to bed. I won't be long."
She offered a polite nod of her head before departing, and he returned his attention to the page before him. A few shakes of his pen and the words and memories began to flow again, a tapestry of past and present.
Soon after he arrives, and before he learns his destiny, at his side will be a female. She will teach him all he needs to know, and he will teach her as well, and together they will lead the Anla'shok and the Army of Light. Do not forget that she is One born of Minbari, and her soul is Minbari, and her heart is Minbari always. But for the sake of all she will set aside her heritage, build the Triluminary and after a long sleep she will be born anew, a bridge to unite with the other half of ourselves, the other half of our souls, that we may never know war between us again.
And he born not of Minbari, and she born of Minbari but bold to choose a path alone will cleave unto one another, the warrior and the priestess. He has lost his world and she her people, but against a backdrop of darkness they will shine one light, and each will give selflessly unto the other, a true union of our souls at last. No evil will stand against them, though here it is of utmost import that the Anla'shok be assembled, and be ready, with ships and weapons and allies. Be watchful, I say, and let this be a sign to you. As the Shadows move, do not turn a blind eye – for it will be as it has always been. The warrior and the priestess will choose their path, the Shadows will begin to move, and this is the time when the war will come again. Unite, I implore you! Do not live in exile! Reach out to those who have stood with us before, keep close to the Vorlons, and build new alliances. For when the Shadows come again, the galaxy will crumble around you and you must not find yourselves in a world apart. This is, I assure you, your last, best hope for peace.
In the dying light, Valen pulled back his pen and read what he had written. It was vague; that was on purpose. He thought – an illustration, perhaps? – but he had never been an artist, not even in his younger days, and the faces of his old friends had faded quite substantially from his mind's eye. He rubbed his eyes and set aside his pen, running his hand over the last page of his writing reverently. "See you soon, my old friends," he whispered with a bit of a gasp for breath from his aging lungs. "See you soon."
Sheridan. John Sheridan. Captain John Sheridan, formerly Commander – the Starkiller. Lennier seethed at this information. When Delenn emerged from the chrysalis, she would be just as angry, perhaps even moreso as she had been there, been part of the Grey Council when this coward had slaughtered their people. She would demand him removed at once. She had the power to do such things; she would make it right.
New commander of Babylon 5.
Certainly he would not share with this man – if he could be called a man at all – the information Delenn had asked him to impart to Commander Sinclair.
He stormed down the corridor, back to Delenn's quarters, this information running circles in his mind. John Sheridan. The Starkiller. The Black Star. The one black mark—
Lennier stopped - froze, eyes wide, just outside Delenn's quarters. Then he hit the access panel and rushed inside, crossing the room to her computer in three quick strides.
At that hour, it will come to pass that One not born of Minbari who had been until now a black mark upon our people will rise up and prove himself strong of body and pure of heart, and he will lead the Army of Light.
The words stared back at him and Lennier shook his head, refusing to believe. But there they were, just the same – the prophecies of Valen. The prophecies he had nearly committed to memory; words and passages he had studied all his life. "A black mark upon our people… One not born of Minbari," he murmured, glancing toward Delenn's cocoon. "And when he arrives to his station… I must not protest." It was clear, suddenly; not station as he had always read it, a position, a post – but this station. Babylon 5. The last, best hope for peace. "In Valen's name, Delenn. The prophecy… has begun."