londo_mollari: (Londo)
ooc: written before "Day of the Dead" takes place, as this obviously will settle the question for Londo

It might have been Commander Ivanova or another of the intrepid band of officers defending this station, once said to me: "You must have a lot of ghosts following you, Ambassador."

Now, I am reasonably familiar with Earth folklore, but I do believe she was not referring to entitities who specialize in dressing themselves in white sheets or black cloaks. (Or do the black cloaks belong to werewolves? I may be confusing human legends here.) Of course I knew hat she meant even while I pretended to take her at her word, demanding that if she knew of anyone stalking me, no matter of which race, she should provide me with better security.

Personally, I always thought that once the universe had its mad and occasionally merry way with us, we are done with it and either dissolve into various stages of rotting matter, or, if the Minbari are right, enjoy the dubious pleasures of childhood and adolescence again through a rebirth. In either case, I do not think a stage as something a technomage might conjure up is on the schedule, yes?

Besides, I dare say any function a ghost might have is already provided by the living. Even, or especially, when the people in question were assumed to be dead. I shall never forget my first encounter with Mr. Morden in the Royal Palace, after certain events on Z'ha'dum. He was almost in pieces, and I am not using a metaphor; sadly, instead of of falling apart entirely, he was in the process of being put together again. During our entire conversation he plucked of bits of his skin, and when he left, they were still on the floor, proving that he was emphatically not a ghost. I can assure you no supernatural entity would have as been as devastating a sight, and sound, for what he told me was all too true: Cartagia was my responsibility. I looked at the man I had known for more than two years at that point, and yet I think that during all our previous encounters, I had not seen him as clearly, or myself.

There was another time I met someone in the Royal Palace who was assumed to have died. I was not alone then; G'Kar was with me. Now understand that his aide, Na'Toth, had been someone I had neither had great dislike or sympathy for while knowing her on Babylon 5. She was a Narn, and thus we were enemies, but she was not G'Kar, and there was nothing personal in the animosity I had felt. Still, I knew her to be a strong and clever woman, and even a resourceful one, considering that she once managed to break into my quarters on G'Kar's orders. In fact, I would go as far as to say Na'Toth had a somewhat deserved reputation as an intimidating harridan.

There was almost nothing left of the woman I had known when we encountered her in that cell. She shrank away from the light. She did not growl or yell; she whispered. There were even tears in her eyes when she talked to G'Kar. Watching them, I felt - well. Perhaps the best way to express what I felt is to say this: when I think of the Narn now, and of our second occupation on Narn, that occupation which would not have started without me, I think of Na'Toth. It is her face I see. Her living face. It would not been as eternal to me if we had found her corpse.

Somewhat later, she told me she still wanted to kill me. I told her, to use a human expression, to "get in line". In truth, I was immensely relieved, for this proved that the Na'Toth of old was still there, somewhere. I belive this is one of the quintessential elements of a haunting, yes? For the dead to return?

But they do not. For that, you need the living. And when they do, it is more devastating than anything.


londo_mollari: (Default)

July 2010

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