Chapter 25: Homecoming

She walked limping off the Lumati ship, the Ambassador Correlilmurzon stepping off the ship beside her. She was grateful to be off the ship; if for no other reason than to escape having to continuously fight off the Lumati's advances. He had even tried getting her in her sleep. Sure, she may have problems walking and all that, but she still had to soldier's instinct of immediate awareness. She was a deep sleeper, but could still snap awake at being touched.

Standing on the platform was Mr. Welles and his aide. As she lived and breathed, which caught in her throat at seeing him, there stood Malcolm Biggs. Right after the fall of Earth, she had been on a star-liner bound for Epsilon 3 and had been sitting side by side with this gentleman from the former Great Britain. They had hit it off almost immediately, and had broken it off eight years before.

But...that didn't stop her from still being a little flummoxed by seeing him.

"Welcome to New Geneva," Mr. Welles said, "I am Henry Welles and this is my associate and head of the Homeguard Division, Malcolm Biggs. Thank you for bringing our officer home."

"It was no trouble," Correlilmurzon said, "She was a delightful passenger. She tells me you are having troubles with a race called Minbari?"

Welles nodded, trying to keep his cool and pleasant smile intact despite the mentioning of those Minbari. "Even now they move against us," he said, "Any help your people can do for us will be appreciated."

"I am sure we can work something formal out," the Lumati rubbed his hands together, "We will need to of course write out the legal documents and all those other trappings of political and military alliances."

"Of course," Welles said, and holding out his hand said, "I am sure the trip was long. Malcolm here will escort Commander Ivanova from here."

Correlilmurzon bent low in a bow before Ivanova and standing up slowly looked in her eyes and said, "It was a pleasure to meet all...three of you."

"Likewise," she said, "Please give my best to Taq. He was so delightful."

Correlilmurzon stood and walked off with Welles towards an awaiting taxi. Ivanova however stayed with Malcolm, who was looked appraisingly at her.

"Well Susan," he smiled, "Long time no see."

"Yes..." she said, smiling back, "Long time."

"You can stay with me and my sister if you'd like," he offered, holding out his arms to her which she took, helping support her as they walked, "Or, I am sure we can work out something over at the Red Planet. I hear the service there is not too bad."

"You mind if we stop off at someplace to eat?" she asked, her stomach rumbling in agreement, "I haven't eaten anything descent in weeks."

"Didn't the Lumati feed you?" he asked, raising an eyebrow.

"I was too afraid that he'd rip off my pants while I was eating," she muttered.

She could feel his questioning look. She looked at him and rolled her eyes.

"It's a long story," she replied.

"I look forward to hearing it over lunch," he replied, "There's a new place, Mcbari's that just opened up. Golden headbones. I think you'll enjoy it."

"Well Commander," Captain Elizabeth Lochley said, "I was wondering when you'd decide to grace me with your presence."

"Sorry, Captain," the Commander replied, standing in her doorway to her quarters, "But, I haven't been on Babylon 1 for a while. Got kind of turned around."

"Could have asked Security," she said, placing her fists firmly on her hips. "Or you could have called me."

"It wouldn't have been that much of a surprise now would it?" he replied with a smile.

"Oh come in and sit down," she said, and threw David Corwin a big hug, "Missed you, David."

"I missed you too, Elizabeth," Corwin said, "And luckily, with the Agamemnon out of commission probably permanently, I'll be able to spend some time with you. I did get some quarters down in Yellow Sector."

"Good idea," she smiled, walking him over to the couch hand in hand, "I need to be able to get some sleep. And what about Sheridan? Won't he need you around?"

"He's off with his family," Corwin shook his head, "I don't think he'd want me around. Besides, he's got Lennier."

"Who?" she asked, sitting down and he moving in beside her.

Corwin ran his hand along the side of his face. "Oh..." he said a little exasperatedly, "A Minbari that has pledged to be Sheridan's bodyguard. It's a long story, Elizabeth."

Sheridan had been gone when his father had passed away. But, he was home in time to attend the funeral. Anna stood next to him in the front row of people, dressed in a short skirted black dress and holding his hand. She had never seen John cry before in his life. But, now she saw the tears trickling down his face. Lizzy stood next to her husband, sobbing furiously, her children also shedding tears.

The Minister stood there and spoke his words. His words of hope in the resurrection. He spoke of God's love. That Heaven was set aside for men like David Sheridan that had spent his life trying to improve the lives of others by doing his best to heal the wounds of nations and businesses.

But Sheridan heard none of it. His mind was clouded over in dark thoughts. Why, if there was a God, did he allow Earth to fall? Why would he make it impossible to make drugs to keep his father alive? Why? So many unanswered questions like these played out in his mind.

As everyone left the funeral, sooner or later only Sheridan and his wife stood over the grave. And eventually even Anna left, claiming to be getting sick. And still he remained. Alone, to his thoughts.

"Humans are so depressing in the matters of death," Lennier's voice spoke, and he dropped out of the tree in the cemetery.

"Death is depressing," Sheridan responded, his voice dead even in his own ears.

"When Minbari pass," Lennier said, "The body is placed in a crystal coffin. Our graveyards are rows and rows of crystal coffins that are set out so all can see. The bodies are preserved for a hundred years that way. There is cremations yes...but, the dead are remembered with honor. For we know that all are reborn into the next generation."

"Reborn," Sheridan chuckled humorlessly, "Resurrection. They're only myths and legends meant to soothe the gullible."

"You do not believe that," Lennier replied.

"Oh?" Sheridan raised his eyes to Lennier, "What makes you say that?"

"You are touched by faith," the Minbari said, "That's why."