I was there in the Beginning.
In the Earth year 1999
The year the humans fulfilled their duty to joy.
Yes, and I was there at the end. At 4 am. When the Klingon became one with his inner self. My very overpaid sources tell me I was there for the rest of it but, well, you know how it is. The more one gains influence the more one seems to lose all concept of time. (This is late. I apologize). And so, my dear good human friends. And the other races. Attend. It is an imposition on my busy schedule, but I will keep my promise. I will take you with me. And I will show you the Redemption I knew.
Preliminaries concluded, I attended to the human who was loitering, rather obviously, a few feet to my right. Not, as I thought, a tourist desirous of a souvenir from the Centauri theme park, but a politician desirous to offer his services in my campaign. Since I had never fought an election before, (I work behind the scenes), I was most interested to hear his advice. We repaired to our quarters, Vir augmenting the pleasantly dark furnishings with purple hangings and a small shrine to our household gods, and settled down to our most important duty. The human, whose name was Mark Ruddling, was still lucid after a full glass of Jala, and was thus appointed Campaign Manager. Vir began positioning election posters, and I made a stately progress round the Zocalo in search of my victem, my followers. I was delighted to encounter my dear good friend and duelling companion, Urza Jaddo, exiled to earth as part of my cunning plan to 'kill' him and save his House from disgrace. Urza was considerably homesick, yearning for swordplay, Brivari, and Centauri style. I handed him my Coutari, though he barely had time to draw it before we were flanked by two Rangers. My immediate thought was that we had offended them and that it might be advisable to book beds in Medlab, but they merely requested the loan of our swords, bowed politely, as is their custom, and engaged one another in a display of considerable skill.
Being required to help the humans in matters of security, I arrived at the first stewards meeting to find the officials friendly, the duties hardly a burden - and the scheduling most un-fortunate. I was required to be in two places at once (splendid, now they think I'm a Vorlon) and Vir was on duty during my room festival. Worse, my first assignment was almost my last. I was lured away by Hi Tecs, attractive black clad females who expressed an interest in Centauri biology and was looking forward to several hours of more detailed discussion, when Mark hurried up and whispered in my ear. At which point I offered them my apologies and the coordinates of a small planet in Quadrant 37. Where they would find ample provision for their needs. (As,of course, will the Nakalin feeders. And if you ask me, they deserve one another)
When I finally judged it safe to come out of my quarters, I fetched Urza and we paraded up the hotels central staircase, almost colliding with our mad Emperor. Languid, decadent, dressed in outrageously ostentatious robes, Cartagia extended one beringed hand for my kiss of allegiance. I refused (I would rather kiss a Narn's backside) and warned him, coldly, that I would never let Homeworld fall to his insane plans. Not so long as I, Londo Mollari, still lived and breathed. "Oh Mollari, Mollari" he pouted, flicking his ridiculous white handkerchief in my face, "No sacrifice is too great". Urza would have taken him literally, and run him through there and then, but the Lady Judith intervened. Earthers, un-fortunately, do not approve of the ways of the old Republic. Their politics are limited to discussing local geography and, resigning, pointedly, at the slightest stain on their honor. I mourn for their loss..
On to the opening ceremony, where I was required to present a short synopsis of my election speech. Of course, it would have been politic of the humans to inform me of this fact in advance, but since I followed his Majesty I was able to tell the assembled masses exactly what would be left of their galaxy if he won. Namely nothing. As an opener, I think that went down rather well. I also met the Sandmann, with whom my people have a rather dubious relationship, and a small creature called Decima, who campaigned tirelessly on my behalf. Steve Rogerson launched the Drazi war, publically berating the green team for cheating (the swine!) and deducting them 50 points. Green Drazi leader was Mr Bester, a worthy opponent. Since I had already collected considerable points from my loyal supporters, we were now in the lead. Back to the Bar, where the Lady Servalan was hosting a quiz. Fine figure of a woman - reminds me of my ex-wife, Dagair. Being the gentleman that I am, I fetched her a drink despite her persistent mispronounciation of my name and her reference to me as "Ambassador Hairdo". (A mild insult compared to the damn Klingon who kept mistaking me for Vir). I was honoured to be on the team of an esteemed human expert on galactic affairs, Jane Killick, and we came close to winning, being overtaken by only a few points. I waved at several small humans, who waved back. The Rangers returned, prompting a lesson in the Minbari pike; a rematch with Urza ( he won) and a long session on Brivari. Numerous humans sampled our Centauri drinks, and quite a few pledged their vote. Finally caught up with Vir, took one look at his face, and ordered him to our quarters. He'd only had two drinks, but you know how he is. Protocol demanded that I remain, at least until his Majesty retired.
Returning to my quarters, I felt an unaccountable urge to sleep. Perhaps a Narn agent had slipped something in my breakfast Jala?. Some swine had certainly stolen my stewarding schedule, which was nowhere in evidence. A most cunning plan. First, ruin my credibility by ensuring I am unconscious (and improperly attired) when I should be on duty. Second, assault the Chief of Security and force him to broadcast, on open channel, a most embarassing message. Ambassador Mollari. Has been knocked up. And is currently getting dressed.
Faugh! 'Narns' Being forbidden, for the duration of the convention, to assassinate any of my enemies, I was now forced to content myself with rehearsing. Cartagia paced the corridors, expounding on his ascension to godhood, and I followed, brandishing a plastic dagger. Each time, I would just get within striking distance when his Majesty flung out his arms in a dramatic gesture and sent the "weapon" spiralling to the floor. Then a human appeared carrying a vaccum cleaner and fell in step behind us. Unperturbed by the drama unfolding in front of him, he continued cleaning until Cartagia lashed out and I bent down, hurriedly, to retrieve the dagger from the floor. Whereupon it was nowhere to be found. Our dutiful friend had assumed we had no further use for the item, tidied it away - and dropped it in the trash. Humour, (as his Majesty is fond of saying), is a most subjective matter. As is diplomacy. Major incident was avoided at the Klingon party by Urza, who engaged a marauding tribble, speared it on his coutari and presented it to the Klingon Commander. A much more pleasant spectacle than a Centauri Ambassador on the verge of regurgitating the Klingon national drink. Traditionally, I believe, this is acceptable behavior. But not after one sip.
Evening brought an entertainment laid on by the humans. I found it most impressive, especially the songs. And the Centauri dancer. This stomach dance of the humans is simply an imitation of our fine tradition. And was she not perfection?. I would have liked to get to know her better, but I understand she had a transport to catch. I ruined my assassination attempt again, ending with Cartagia's boot planted in my plump Centauri rear, although the humans seemed to like this. The room festival, held while most of the humans were dancing, was one of my best. No duels. No dubious artefacts. And no Narns in boots. Simply dear good friends enjoying our Centauri culture and hospitality. His Majesty - and consort - graced us with their presence, (fortunately after I had climbed on the bed and addressed the assembled company as "cute"), as did the enigmatic Mr Bester (cute, in an annoying sort of way) and, eventually, Vir.
Actually, this last was a fabrication. I had no suitable poisons on me (an oversight) and concerned that he or his associates might scan me, I decided to raise the stakes. An order went up, in the Zocalo, countersigned by Cartagia and authorizing the immediate attack on the fifteen Drazi colonies on the borders of Centauri space. Though not before I had found several green Drazi who had promised to vote for me, and hinted that their relatives might want to take a vacation. Fast. This seemed to work, and the Drazi informant who told me Mr Thomas's location, just as the latter was being carried past, was commiserated with, and bought a (small) drink. Checking the scoreboard I found we were ahead by several hundred points. Points that secured our victory. Which shows, doesn't it, what you get for cheating.
|Speaking of which, I would like to say the Election was a fair fight. I would like to say the Lady Servalan beat me fair and square. But - she didn't. She beat me, Centauri style. And a finer trick I have never seen. And so, my dear good friends, I did the only thing I could. I married her. As for this Avon, I'll deal with him when he turns up. If he turns up. Should have taken the chance when he had it. Oh, and I would point out to you. Black coat. Silver flashes. Dubious smile. Yes? As for that swine Orac, let's just say I've had enough holodemons to last me a lifetime. Just let him trifle with a Centauri.||
Larger Wedding Photo (48K)
Closing ceremony and elections over, and time for a proper celebration, I seized the only two bottles of Earth red wine at the stewards party and declared them Centauri territory. The rest is a little blurred, but I think there are some humans out there who should be applying for passports. (The fee is five ducats. Plus VAT). Also I remember having G'kar's head in my hands, or maybe it was my head in his. On my shoulder On a spike. Apologies - not sure that actually made sense.
Well, I think that is all. Oh yes - the taxi. Humans simply cannot pay attention. My instructions to the driver were quite clear. "This - is my dear good friend. This is his inner self. This is his hair. Which he must not lose. Or there will be considerable trouble.And now he must go back to his homeworld. You understand me, yes? By the way, he is dressed as a character from science fiction, but, well, that is no concern of yours. And I would pay you, but I seem to have left my credit chip in my quarters."
And finally. One last thing - All this speculation about my gender. And my frequenting certain "places" where I was not expected. Nonsense, of course. But if you must have an answer, consider our goddess of passion. And the following. From my purple files. Dated 25/2/99..
Ambassador Kosh says - YES
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