londo_mollari: (Londo)
[personal profile] londo_mollari
Letter, written in the third year of the reign of Mollari II

My dear Delenn,

it has been years since last we spoke; there is not a lot that the Emperor of the Centauri could say to the Head of the Rangers, or, for that matter, to the future President of the Alliance these days, yes? (If I were still who I used to be, and thus entitled to tease you, my dear, I should make some remarks about having introduced democracy to Centauri Prime a long time ago if I had known it consisted of the highest offices in the family, as this is what we have been doing here since the first days of the Republic.) But this letter, my dear friend, does not come from the Emperor, but from a ghost, and is addressed to a woman who asked me once to participate in a ceremony that dealt with the entrusting of secrets. It concerns another ghost, of course; otherwise I might not be at liberty to write it.

On that memorable occasion when I saw you last, I had not been aware that young Lennier had just left your side; I could not help but notice you were distressed, but did not learn the reason until very recently. How did I learn it? Because, Delenn, a visitor arrived on Centauri Prime, unbidden, uninvited, and very much in danger, his fighting prowess notwithstanding, especially as it seemed he did not wish to fight at all. There were those in my goverment who deemed him a spy for the Alliance, which shows you that the stupidity of officials is as universal and dominant as ever, even on my ruined planet which is still recovering from its wounds. "If the Alliance wished to spy on us," I said, "it would undoubtedly have used its considerable funds to support various members of this cabinet whom I see still maintaining the luxury of old. It would not have send a Minbari who stands out among Centauri as glaringly as evidence of intelligence does in this assembly."

Lennier, when he was brought in my presence, did have a tale to tell. It seems he wishes for atonment, and confuses this with following the late Marcus Cole's example in attempting suicidal gestures.

"Lennier," I said, "aside from an economized truth you were once kind enough to tell on behalf of an aging Centauri diplomat, I cannot imagine anything you should have to atone for."

Being a Minbari and your student, he thought otherwise, and told me of his moment of weakness. Ah, Delenn, now I understand your sorrow on that fateful day. Undoubtedly, you must have worried for him ever since.

"It seems clear to me," I told Lennier, "that you wish to die, but why do you choose the Centauri as your executioners?"

He then spoke of the investigation and his testimony which led the Alliance to believe in the guilt of the Centauri before Vir and the estimable Ms. Alexander could bring the proof that exculpated us, and of the bombardment that followed. That, he said, was why we were his choice.

"Life is more difficult than death, Lennier," I said. "I know this better than anyone, yes? If you truly wish to atone for your part in the fate of this planet, then, my good friend, you shall do so, but not through death. No. We need healers here, and I remember how you and Delenn chose to remain with the Markab in the hours of their agony. Well, our agony is more prolonged, but requires attendance nonetheless. Will you give the Centauri what you gave the Markab?"

This sounded punishing enough for him to agree, it seems. He made me promise not to tell you. But I still owe you one shared secret, Delenn, and it is this, for I know far too well what it is not to know the fate of the ones we love. Do not fret for Lennier. He will not stay in the capital; the air of the Royal Palace is, shall we say, too refined. He will be with the poor, those who lost everything due to the bombardment, and no shadow shall touch him there, not even a fragment of a shadow. And eventually, he will return to you.

Yours in the secrecy of friendship past,

Londo Mollari
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July 2010

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