Jun. 5th, 2007

Do-over

Jun. 5th, 2007 09:20 pm
londo_mollari: (Londo)
TM 170 -- If you could completely start your life over from scratch, what would you do differently the second time around (if anything)? Why?

The other day, a human reporter demanded an interview. Now considering the experience we have had with human reporters so far, I declined, naturally. Then I was told that G'Kar had agreed to an interview, which was a blatant bit of manipulation a man of my experience naturally would not fall for. In any case, the reporter in question had the tenacity of the late Mr. Morden. She even went to the most radical of measures; she pursued me into the Dark Star, in disguise, or rather, in increasing lack of it. There I was, reminescing of happier times and my dearest Adira, and also of the considerable pleasure of punching the filth known as Drakhis, when a new dancer was announced. This turned out to be the reporter in question. She was, I had to admit, inventive. And not because she discarded more and more of her clothing on stage, no, because she actually could sing, and she asked her questions in the form of a song. The lyrics were mediocre, but her initiative could not fail to impress.

...right or wrong, would you do nothing, or would you to the same thing all along?


Now, obviously, I have made a great many choices that, had I known what was to follow, I would not have made, yes? Or so you would assume. But the truth, as a Centauri poet once said before the humans stole the saying from us and appropriated to one of their own writers, is rarely pure, and never simple. You see, if, for example, I had not turned my back on the first of my wives, that marriage most people do not know even existed, because it was so brief, I would have been a better man, but I would never have become the ambassador of the Great Centauri Republic on Babylon 5, and if I had not become the ambassador, I would never have encountered Vir, G'Kar, Mr. Garibaldi, young Lennier, Delenn and several other people whose company I cannot wish away from my life.

That better man I would have been would never have met Adira, or fallen in love with her.

Naturally, he would also not have made a deal with Mr. Morden, yes? And why not wish I had never told Mr. Morden what I wanted, hm? Well, for a very practical reason. I was not the only one who told Mr. Morden what I wanted that day, as I later found out. He had also approached G'Kar, and he had also gotten a reply from G'Kar. If I had rejected his approach, Mr. Morden wold, in all likelihood, made his alliance with G'Kar. And it would have been Centauri Prime that fell while mass drivers reigned from the sky.

Do not mistake me. I did not know that then; that was not why I made the choices I did in regards to the late Mr. Morden and his associates. But I know it now, and knowing it, I could not wish for an exchange, not if my homeworld and my people had to pay the price.

There are, however, three things I would undo, if I could.

When Adira contacted me to tell me she would return to me, she would come to Babylon 5, I would have told her to remain where she was. She would have refused, and perhaps it would have been necessary to lie to her, to be cruel and tell her I did not love her anymore. She would have been alive then; alive today, of no more interest to Mr. Morden than any other lovely young woman with a full life ahead of her, untainted by a connection to a man who had doomed himself.

When Refa returned to the station, I would have found another way to trick him. Somehow, I would have found it; it would not have involved Vir.

When Cartagia asked me what he should do about his displeasure at the way G'Kar looked at him, I would not have dodged the question. I would have found an answer to that, too, an answer that would have distracted Cartagia sufficiently so he would not have come up with the idea to take G'Kar's eye.

No, I did not say any of this to the admittedly delightful human reporter. What do you take me for, hm? Instead, I replied to her question in the spirit it was asked. I rose from my seat, raised my glass to her and sang to the tune she had used:

Whatever I'd do, I'd do it with style, with wine, and always with song!

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