Sep. 30th, 2006 02:45 pm
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Excerpt from the journals of Mollari II, written five years after his ascension to the throne

It is five years, today. Five years since fire and destruction came over Centauri Prime. I did the appropriate thing; I held the speech they wanted; they even allowed me to do some of the things I actually wanted to do, such as hear the petition of those survivors who are still in misery, declarations about our recovery notwithstanding. They think this will only benefit their goals, as it is bound to enhance the public anger, especially since the reception of such petitioners takes place in one of the Royal Palace's most ostentatious rooms, which makes the contrast between the poor and the nobility, especially myself, more glaring than ever.

To me, the ceremony is, among other things, a way to remind myself of just whose fault all of this is, which makes the other anniversary more bearable. Today, five years ago, after I saw my beautiful city in flames and heard the cries of my people, I lost the freedom I did not until that day realize I had, and became a slave. Hearing about lost fathers and sisters crippled for life demonstrates quite clearly that it is nothing less than what I deserve.

Bah. I sound like an old drunkard, stopping to sip the best brivari as if it were dishwater only to take great swallows of that even more addictive fluid, self-pity.

Mollari, I can hear G'Kar tell me, you are an old drunkard, and self-pity was always...

Ah, I miss G'Kar.

Still. Since I am a man who has taken a great deal of trouble to keep a great many secrets, it never stops to amaze me that they manage to remain hidden, just like the creature they bound me with does. When I am sitting on my throne, and petitioner after petitioner approaches me while the entire court watches, I want to yell at them: "Don't you see? It is right there, on my shoulder! Don't you hear my voice changing mid-sentence when it gives its orders? Do you not realize what you are looking at? This is not Londo Mollari, you fools, this is a husk, a puppet moved by other hands."

Now we Centauri are trained not to notice inappropriate behaviour in our superiors - or else my late predecessor, Cartagia, would have been locked up as soon as he made his first proclamation after his ascension, yes? - , but I remember, all too clearly, my visit to Minbar. The visit Vir always told me I should make, and which I made too late. Sheridan and Delenn had just arrived there, and they ordered me to go so I might hand over their poisonous gift. They both appeared to be somewhat distracted at first, but then we had dinner together. Delenn, surely one of the most clear-sighed women who ever lived and no-one's fool, looked at me and talked to me, and I felt the malignant creature at my throat stare back at her, its eye pulsating. It was directly in front of her, and yet she did not notice. Nor did she hear anything out of the ordinary in my voice, or if she did, she did not speak of it.

Vir used to hate the burden of my secrets, though he bore them for me. Little did we know then that apparantly the easiest method to keep something hidden, so deeply hidden that no one suspects, is to present it in plain sight.


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