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Over the last year, did things go pretty much as you'd expected or planned, or did your life take a significant, unexpected turn? Overall, was it a good year or one that you want to put behind you as fast as you can? (canon or fanon)

From the chronicles of Londo Mollari, excerpt:

Yesterday, the human year 2262 has ended. This is of no consequence to anyone else on Centauri Prime, and would not be even if we were not currently busy mourning our dead and rebuilding our devastated planet. We have our own years, and the current one is still in progress.

And yet, I noticed the date. In the middle of breathing in the air still filled with ashes and death, and ordering yet another window to be closed, I remembered. I had lived more than five years on that station, after all, and some years before that on Earth as a part of the Centauri Liason. Sinclair, and after him Sheridan, always pretended they felt overwhelmed by hosting what someone called "the galaxy's biggest new year's eve party" on the station, and undoubtedly Captain Lochley will follow suit, but I happen to know they usually enjoyed it. Well. There were exceptions. The New Year's eve on which Mr. Garibaldi nearly died comes to mind, though I believe before that unhappy event, Commander Sinclair was quite happy, getting engaged to Ms. Sakai, who at the time was the lady of his heart.

On that day, four years ago, I had asked, and received, for a favour from Mr. Morden for the first time. Within a few hours, I went from feeling humiliated and betrayed by the orders from homeworld to make yet another concession to the Narn to feeling triumphant and for the first time in eons, full of hope for Centauri Prime, if disturbed at the unexpected price. Four years ago. When I set in motion the events that brought what I most loved to ruin.

I suppose I always knew destiny would catch up with me one day, and yet only one year ago, I did not think it would happen so soon. One year ago, the impossible seemed to have been accomplished. The humans had ended their civil war with Sheridan victorious; he and Delenn had married, and of course he promptly decided to become President of our new founded Alliance, thereby honoring the tradition of a married man trying to escape his fate by offering himself as a target to an assassin. G'Kar and myself had worked together, not just for a dire alliance of necessity formed of blood and tears as it had been the case in the circumstances leading to the demise of the previous emperor and our withdrawal from Narn. No, we had, dare I say it, been vital in bringing the Alliance together.

(The Alliance whose bombs have destroyed your world, the thing ruling me whispers.)

Indeed, G'Kar had gone from declaring that I did not exist in his universe to sharing brivari and conversation (and some advice he direly needed, yes?), not to mention that little recording his artificial eye had made of our illustrious couple. If that was possible, I thought, anything was.

Naturally, the universe with its sense of bitter humour on my expense went on to show me that everything was, indeed, possible. The past year held many moments for me when I was happier than I had any right to be. Adira came back for one precious night; death had surrendered her for these few hours. I saw Vir finding peace after his losses in the last year, and was prouder than any father could have been when he showed those who thought he was still easy prey for ridicule what metal he was made of. And that confounded Narn who was, is and shall always be my destiny personified found new and interesting ways to follow up Delenn's suggestion to become my bodyguard.

I should have known it would not last. But even my considerable imagination could not have come up with the horror that was to follow.

When I had no power, I told him him, that last time we spoke together, I had all the choices; now I have power, and no choice. None at all. For what choice is there between the lives of your people and your own? None.

Vir called, just a few moments ago. He, too, remembered the date. Of course he did; he is still living with the humans, after all, and shall do so for a long time to come if I have my way, far, far away from Centauri Prime. They regard him as one of the hostages I have given to fortune, as well they might.

"Why should I care about that pathetic imitation of a true holiday?" I demanded, when he called.

"You do, Londo, I know you do," Vir replied with his saddest expression. "You always enjoyed it to much."


I should have ended the conversation there. And yet I could not resist adding: "I suppose G'Kar is still busy pontificating on the spiritual meaning of yearly changes for the younger races, yes?"

G'Kar, he told me, had gone on a journey, with Lyta Alexander, after her banishment from the station. Nobody knew of their destination. I found this simultanously reassuring and unsettling news. Reassuring, for G'Kar would not bring Ms Alexander here, and he, too, needs to be far away from this planet as long as they rule it from the shadows; if they are travelling together, it means he will not return for a long while.

And yet, as foolish as this ease, I cannot help but hope he will return before the first and last of my dreams comes true. I would not wish this to be our only remaining encounter. Besides, Ms Alexander has been growing in powers ever since returning from Vorlon space, and the eternal fool in me, for a few heartbeats, entertained the hope that she would be able to discern what no one else has realized so far and defeat them without causing more of my people to die. But then I tell myself she is a Vorlon creature, and just as likely not to care how many of my people end up dead if that means the last remains of the Shadows are destroyed. No, she must never come here. G'Kar must not come here.

And thus I think of the past year and what it brought, and for the first time in many years do not drink to the new one. There is a certain discovery I have made; what that gift of the gods, the bottle, accomplishes must be treasured and used rarely, or it will soon lose its power, as any overused weapon loses its edge. I would say that watever the future brings cannot be worse than the present or last month, but I have seen too much to make such a prediction again. Undoubtedly, the universe would find a way to prove me wrong otherwise.

But I do know that whatever the future brings cannot be as good, as joyful and happy, as what has happened this last year as well. I have heard the chimes of midnight, as the human bard once said. And oh, the days that I have seen.


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July 2010

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