Centauri – Fire – Londo Mollari – Season 3 episode 11 “Ceremonies of Light and Dark”
It was fire that powered the Centauri Empire. Fire that streamed behind the tails of their ships, which burned across battlefields, fire that drove the asteroids of the Mass Drivers down. Fire burned in their hearts, and spread from their fingers to consume everything it touched.
Once, that fire had almost gone out, as apathy and decadence set in amongst his people. He had watched as their greatness faded like a bonfire deprived of fuel, until only a few embers remained of what had been. He had watched their empire fade, and felt an echoing death in his hearts, until all that was the left was the cold of ash and bitterness.
But that had changed. Morden and his associates had seen to that when they launched their attacks, and so rekindled the glory of the Centauri. Once again his people blazed across the stars like a comet. Hot, and fast, with none to stand in their way. How long, he wondered, until they burned too hot and destroyed themselves?
Sooner rather than later, if this damned report is any indication, he thought with a grimace at the document in question, with its news regarding the opening of yet another front for their expanding “buffer zone”. Of course, the fool who had sent it had not used such diplomatic language, and the words “successful conquest” glared up at him. Idiots. Londo raised the offending document to eye level; the paper blackening and curling beneath his fingers and, with a flick of his wrist, reduced it to ash.
There was fire in his future, he knew, and it would take all of his skill and attention to keep it from destroying Centauri Prime as well. The last thing he needed was Refa bringing it down on them before its time. Steps must be taken, and Refa would learn that fire and Shadow were not the only weapons Londo wielded.
Minbari – Water – Delenn – Season 2 “Revelations”
Once, Delenn had flowed through the rituals of waterbending with consummate skill, her body free and her mind clear as she moved in perfect harmony with the steps and forms passed down by Valen a thousand years ago. Once, she had been considered the greatest waterbender of her caste, possibly of her generation. She had tried not to take notice of such things, as pride distracted the mind from its meditation and from the complex movements.
But secretly she had noticed, and she had been proud. Perhaps this was her punishment, she thought as she stared into the bowl of water before her. Though she still practiced daily meditation, she had not attempted to bend the elements in prayer since her transformation. In truth, she was afraid of what she might find. Humans could not bend water, only air. The water before her rippled with her breath and she closed her eyes, searching inside herself for the echoing tug that was once her birthright.
And found nothing.
Anguish welled up in her throat but she pushed her mind past it, along with the tears at the thought of losing what had once been the core of her. She inhaled, opening her eyes and raising a single palm, beckoning the water to rise to her command…
Narn – Earth & Metal –Season 1 “Midnight on the Firing Line”
There was no earth on Babylon 5, save that which the Narn brought with them. In truth, they did not need it except to feel more at home. The metal of the station, with its processed and refined fragments, was enough. They stood tall and proud, comforted by the wealth of materials that surrounded them.
Once, they had not known how to bend the earth after it had been forged into metal. It was a skill that came with the Centauri. They had been pushed into the mines, chained to one another and imprisoned inside the hulls of metal ships and dungeons. For a hundred years it was enough, and the Centauri with their machines and their fire-powered factories had devoured all that was good and green on Narn, until there was nothing left but the rock itself.
And so necessity had taught the Narn a more difficult art. They learned to reach inside the heart of the metal to find that which had once been the bones of their planet. Through that they gained the power to resist. Their attempts had been small at first, limited to sabotage. A weakened support here, a destroyed engine there. But they had learned, and they had grown, until they razed the Centauri factories with their bare hands, sheathed in armor torn from their enemy’s weapons and fortresses. They drove the Centauri from the planet, and then used their new-found metalbending skills to forge their own empire. Within a generation they had joined the other races among the stars, and still the Narn war machine marched on, growing in strength and power.
Ragesh III was only the first. It was not enough that they could defend themselves; they needed to grow, to assert their strength on the galactic stage.
Never again, they swore by the bones of Narn, as they forged the rocks and minerals into their own metal and machines. We will never be conquered again.
Humans – Air – Susan Ivanova – Season 2 episode 6 “Spider in the Web”
“The airbenders are blessed and cursed in ways that I can’t even imagine,” John said to her the day after the bender arm of the Corp had come and gone. Susan stared studiously into her breakfast, willing John to change topics, but he was caught up in his speech. “When I was a kid I would have given anything to be one, to know what it was like to fly. Wouldn’t that be something? Of course, that was before I understood the Corp. But I think its part of why I joined the military: to know what it was like to fly.”
Susan closed her eyes, tuning John out as he slipped into recollections of his early days with EarthForce. He was only trying to be friendly and didn’t know, couldn’t know, how her heart clenched at the mention of airbenders. The memory of her mother sending little swirls and eddies to tickle Susan’s face, the rustling curtains that seemed to follow her from room to room, as if the breeze itself was in love with her. And inevitably, the horrible stillness that came over the house when the Corp arrived, injecting her mother with chemicals that took the wind from her, and with it her soul and her life.
Susan had never had enough of the gift to show. Her sighs did not rattle the windows, and no zephyr magically swooped in to save her from harm. Only in dreams did her gift manifest.
Only in dreams could she fly.
“Susan? I’m sorry, I’m boring you, aren’t I?” John said. Susan’s eyes snapped open and she gave him a faint smile.
“Hmm? Oh, yes, you’re right. It would be something. To fly…”
Bonus: Earth & Fire – G’Kar & Londo Mollari – Season 3 episode 2 “Convictions” – The Elevator Scene
Londo touched the door and winced. It was blazing hot, probably thousands of degrees. If he had not been a Centauri it likely would have seared him to the bone at the slightest contact, but that was the only comfort his heritage provided. He was not strong enough to put out the fire through several feet of steel, even if it would do any good. Only a Narn with a talent for metalbending would be able to open this door before a team came. Fortunately, there was a Narn on hand with just that ability. Unfortunately, said Narn was showing an infuriating lack of interest in his own survival.
“I will remind you that you can rip this door apart with your bare hands!” G’Kar hooted with laughter but did not move. “And as I am Centauri, the heat will kill you long before it kills me.”
“No,” G’Kar chuckled.
“What do you mean “no”?”
“No! You seemed to think that just because we bend earth, we Narn do not share your resistance to heat, but we are made of stronger stuff. In any case, the smoke will probably kill us both before the heat anyway. Which means,” he chuckled, “I get to watch you die!”
Londo gaped as G’Kar’s laughter intensified and the horrible thought began to dawn that he was going to die in an elevator with an insane Narn.