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Mercy

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"And that was when I knew", she said, talking her sometimes friend and sometimes enemy, who was working on his history of the age. She saw it again, so clearly: the human, strung up like an animal, the triluminary glowing in her hand. She felt it again: the sensation of falling apart, and what a relief that had been. She had asked for a sign, any sign to stop the madness that had swept her and the others to this point, and here it was. They had committed the greatest crime, and there could be nothing but the greatest atonement. Delenn had done this, and she would be Delenn no more. She would offer everything she was to be remade in the image of this bleeding, tormented man.

"Not just that the war had to stop," she clarified. "We all knew that. I knew what I had to do."

"Forgive me my curiosity, Delenn," said her companion, the only one she had ever told the complete story to, "but what would you have done if it had not been Sinclair who was brought before you? Your charming little instrument seems to be somewhat selective; it might not have reacted to another human at all, particularly since this one was actually Valen in flesh, not just in spirit."

The question had been troubling her for years, and still she resented him for asking it. He had brought her here to talk about the past when she had expected to be questioned about the present. At first, she had been relieved, but now she wondered whether this was not the harder path. However, she knew this man as well as he knew her, and so she struck back.

"What would you have done if it had not been G'Kar who was brought before you in the days of Cartagia, but another Narn?"

He raised his cup and saluted her with a smile that did not reach his eyes, but then, nothing these days did. They looked at each other, and she knew that the murder of the entire human race would have been on her hands, as the blood of generations of enslaved Narn would have been on his.

"Sometimes," she said carefully, "the universe is merciful."

She was his prisoner and might never see her son again; he was imprisoned by a horror greater than any she had known, and had been for many years. Still, there was nothing but utter sincerity in his voice when he replied:

"Sometimes, it is."