londo_mollari: (Londo)
Letter, written and destroyed in the first year of the reign of Mollari II



My dear Vir,

this is another letter that shall never reach you. I will make sure of this, and that is why I will be able to write it, and finish it.

I do not regret sending you away; it is not safe for you to be on Centauri Prime, not for a very long time, Vir. But it has occured to me that even when we do meet again, I will not be able to talk to you as we used to. Given that we spent the better part of five years in each other's company, you would think that all subjects that could possibly be raised were quite exhausted, yes? But this is not true, and it is not the music of Risepo, a most recent discovery of mine, that I do regret being unable to discuss with you. (I should send you some crystal recordings, though; I think they will let me do that.)

No, the subject I wish to speak about now, and which has remained silent between us ever since the event itself, is quite a different one. There are a great many things I regret, Vir, decision which I wish I had not made, and yet most of these, even now, seem to me to have been necessary ones. There are also things I wish had not happened to you, and yet I cannot wish them undone because they were needed for the good of the Republic. The death of Cartagia is such a thing. However... there is one deed of mine which I do wish undone, no matter the consequences. I should not have involved you in the removal of Refa, not in the way I did, and not in any other way. This has nothing to do with my later discovery that Refa did not, in fact, cause the death of Adira. Even if Mr. Morden had not deceived me into believing this, I would have had to deal with Refa at some point; our alliance had become rivalry many a month before Adira died. No, it is not Refa's death I regret, but those hours you spent believing you had to betray G'Kar or allow your family to suffer, and the hours afterwards when Refa's telepath interrogated you.

We made our peace afterwards, and never spoke of it again. Perhaps because too many other things happened in too short a time. But now I have more than enough time at my hand, and I ask myself: why did I never tell you that my revenge on Refa simply was not worth those hours of your pain? I should have done so. I told you a great many other things, after all, and some of these you never wished to hear. It seems to me that you might have wished to hear this.

Well, there it is, Vir. It is the mistake I should never have made. As you have taken it into your head to feel responsible for the entire galaxy, you would undoubtedly say that other decisions of mine had far graver consequences, and that is true, but I maintain this one was entirely personal, and most importantly, it was a breach of faith. In all other instances before and after, we kept faith with each other, did we not? We did not betray each other's trust. Save here. And for that, I am more sorry than I can ever tell you.

I think I shall send that recording to you, yes. Perhaps not just the recording; the performers would benefit from a tour to Babylon 5, and of course those barbarians who think Reebo and Zooty are entertainment would infinitely benefit from a presentation of the beauty that is Centauri music. I shall not mind if they stay on the station, Vir. For all its metallic dullness it is an... agreeable place, is it not?

I am getting old, Vir, so forgive me for an old man's foolishness. We Centauri believe that music speaks to the hearts in many tongues, and thus I shall imagine that you will listen to their performance of Risepo's last symphony, and will hear what I have never told you, and now never will.

Londo
londo_mollari: (Default)
Our good Captain Sheridan once accused me of being unable to spend five minutes without either yelling or laughing. (Of course, he never saw me attend a public function at the Emperor's court; believe me, I was quite capable of remaining entirely silent during those occasions, either due to blessed sleep - any member of a Noble House knows how to sleep standing, for how would we survive our Emperor's speeches, eh? - or for reasons of survival, as under the late Cartagia.) Now I will admit that I never saw any reason not to reveal to the universe at large when something annoyed me, yes. But there is a difference between this and the kind of fury I only felt twice in my life.

When I saw her poor, dead body covered by sheets, the flowers I had picked for her still in my hands, I fell silent. I did not yell, I did not curse, and I do not believe that there were words in my mind at all. Later, I held the broche I had given her in my hand, knew that she had loved me, truly, and that I might as well have signed her death warrant. The fury in me still was not loud, but it consumed me utterly. It was then that I discovered one could make very elaborate plans indeed in this state, yes? It was not divorced from calculation at all, which made it different from all my other occasions of anger. I came up with a scheme to destroy the man I believed responsible for her death, and it required patience, minute precision, and the deception and use of the one being who had never deserted me. I did not care, not then. All I cared about was my rage, and it demanded more than death. I could have poisoned Refa at any time. In fact, I had already done so; one more ingredient to make the dose lethal would have been easy to accomplish. But I wanted to see him humiliated first, I wanted him to die as slowly and painfully as possible - I wanted to destroy him.

A little less than six months later, I found out that Refa had not murdered Adira. Her killer had been Mr. Morden, and he had played me like a puppet. The rage came back, and again, it demanded far more than death. Though there was death that day, so much of it, and thankfully for far better reasons than one man's vengeance. Every one who stayed on the island of Celini did so for love of his people. They were the ones who saved Centauri Prime, and each of their names is burned in my memory.

But to return to Mr. Morden, who when he realized what was happening for the first time since I had the doubtful pleasure of meeting him lost his composure entirely and screamed at me: "You don't know what you've done, Londo!"

"What I have done," I repeated. "Oh, Mr. Morden, I have not even started with you yet."

Eventually, his head was put on a pike, as a gift for Vir. About the previous hours, I shall only say that he might have envied Refa, in the end. I am not proud of this. My father used to say that a man who does not offer his enemies a clean death does, in the end, become the dirt under their feet, and I believe this is true. But then, I do not believe I would act differently if I had the choice again but only the same information, except for one particular method in dealing with Refa, which I shall never stop to regret. At any event, what made that all consuming ice fill my veins after Adira had died was not rage at Refa, or Morden, oh no. They were guilty, but there was one far guiltier than they, the one who had made it possible for them to murder my beloved, and it was my utter loathing for him that made me conceive the deaths I did for Refa and Morden both.

Who makes me angriest? Why, myself.

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londo_mollari

July 2010

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