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Title: In the Light of Two Moons
Author: Shakatany
Series: Babylon 5
Pairing: Neroon/Catherine Sakai
Rating: FRT
Chapters:
Disclaimer: These stories are not meant to infringe upon the copyrights held by J. Michael Straczynski, Kathryn M. Drennan, Babylonian Inc. or Time Warner Productions. I'm merely playing with what they've apparently abandoned, adding my own take on that universe. It's not my fault...my muse is forcing me to do it.
Summary: After "Objects at Rest" John and Delenn find that once again the dead do not stay dead.
Note: This fic is dedicated to John Vickery who has been described as having a voice that could melt the underwear off a cloistered nun at 50 paces. So very true.

In the light of two moons
crystal mountains gleam
within their hearts
no shadows fall.
--Shaal Mayan

Chapter 9

"I win," Neroon said as he placed his piece upon the Go board and leaned back to look expectantly at Dancer. His words brought her back from her reverie. He hadn't really won; not until she looked over the board to see if there were any moves left to her but he was right - there weren't. She looked at him and said "I pass" with a soft sigh, acknowledging his win.

"I would be more pleased with my accomplishment if I thought my opponent's mind was on the game," he commented, tilting his head as he looked at her. "I have won more times these past few days than the entire year before."

It was true; experience usually trumped innate warrior strategy. He'd had a nodding acquaintance with chess but Dancer had to teach him the rules of Go. At first he'd deemed it too simple for a grown warrior to play consisting as it did of black and white pebbles placed on a board with a grid of 361 intersections. She'd persuaded him to try it by explaining that in its country of origin it was a favorite exercise for warriors and, once they'd actually started playing, had soon shown him the error of his assumption. As he kept losing she told him that it was said that Go took ten minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. Dancer knew that as Go players went she wasn't very good but had the advantage of having played it since she was a little girl. She dimly recalled her Aunt Mari patiently teaching the game to her and probably letting her win a few times in order to keep her interest. She'd played it often until the second or third year at Earthforce Academy when Jeff came into her life and introduced her to other interests. In the years since she never had the opportunity to play it until Limbo gave her the time and lack of other distractions to pick it up again.

They sat in the dim candlelight that emphasized Neroon's alien appearance. In the time since he'd arrived on Limbo he'd become familiar to her and she often forgot that once she hated him enough to want to kill him; now he was part of this odd little non-family. Her real family lay sleeping in their bedroom still blissfully unaware of anxiety of the adults as they waited for a signal. Nearby other members of the non-family were playing tilik and mancala, another game she introduced to the survivors.

She brushed her sweat-dampened bangs out of her eyes reminding herself that she should cut it soon... in the heat the less hair the better. The temperature in the dwelling was far warmer now with the coolers turned off. It would become almost unbearable when the hot dry season returned... if they were still here. The Unicom 97 had been up and running for over a week now, transmitting a wide-field tachyon distress signal. Since they had no idea of their location or how far Limbo was from habitable space they had no idea when, or even if, anyone would receive it. Ni'Dayr practically lived near the machine which had been set up in the hanger next to the generator.

The outside door opened and Tr'gan entered having taken Ni'Dayr his evening meal. She tossed the empty containers into the recycle bin which was amusing in a sad way. They all came from planets that recycled carefully but here there was no need to; the bins were there to satisfy their yearning for normality. She then came to sit down beside them and glanced at the board. "Neroon won again? If you are losing so consistently perhaps I should play once more. I might even win for a change," she teased gently.

"You probably would," Dancer acknowledged. "Anything happening with the transmitter?"

"Ni'Dayr is hovering over it as if it was his pouchling, constantly reading its tech manual and worrying if there is something he's overlooked but all there is is silence."

"Perhaps that is best. We know," Grefna said from nearby, glancing at Neroon, "that some of the Shadows' followers are intent on carrying on their work." Dancer looked at his face. The problem with the Drazi, she thought, was that their physiognomy gave them the appearance of being perpetually grumpy like on Earth the dolphins always appeared to be smiling. Unfortunately this was a time when appearance matched mood.

"So we're either invaded or we starve to death? Is that your thinking?" Tr'gan retorted. Grefna looked a bit abashed and mumbled something about it being time for bed yet he remained seated, absentmindedly playing with a game piece. There was still work to be done in the Pit; they'd found the hidden rations from the Aelita were still edible and there were other useful items in the wreck but in regards to food they were in a race against time and had to carry on as before, as if the transmitter was still undiscovered.

He could very well be right Dancer acknowledged; however she had seen no other choice then to send out the distress signal. So much rested on getting a reply and from the right party she acknowledged, though she was constantly second guessing her decision. Dancer used to say Jeff worried too much and he'd reply that she didn't worry enough; since Jade was born she'd done nothing but worry since she now had to act as both mother and father.

Tr'Gan turned from looking at Grefna and considered the two by the Go board. "I prefer to believe that we will be rescued, though only G'Quan knows when, and I will see a Narn once more free of the Centauri."

"It will not be pretty," Neroon warned. "The mass drivers thoroughly bombarded the surface of Narn. I'm told the massive amounts of particulate matter thrown into the upper atmosphere radically altered the climate, resulting in a partial nuclear winter effect. It will not be the planet you remember."

"No but it will be free and we will rebuild as we did when we last threw off the yoke of Centauri tyranny a century ago. I will be prepared to find my home in ruins and my family killed but while I still live I will help in the reconstruction; no more spacefaring for me." She looked at Dancer. "What will you do?"

Dancer's options were technically limitless yet few when she considered what was best for Jade. "I think my best plan is to go to Earth, to Hong Kong where my Aunt Mari resides. I'll take refuge with her for a time while I get my affairs in order and decide what I should do next."

"You have no other kin?"

"My parents are dead; I haven't been home in years and I've lost touch with old friends I'm afraid." she replied glumly looking at the semi-open door to her room where Jade slept. It had been hard getting her to go to sleep in the heat and the lack of ventilation. They'd had to rely on the cisterns for water and had created a field latrine near the buildings. Conditions were deteriorating and tempers were quick to flare as Grefna had demonstrated.

"And what of Jade's father?" Tr'Gan asked. "Shouldn't he know of her existence?"

Dancer's gaze flew to Neroon who was looking at her with what appeared to be compassion as he waited to hear what she would say. "Jade's father is dead," Dancer replied slowly. "He has a brother somewhere in Australia the last I heard but I don't know how to contact him."

"What a pity. The little one should be surrounded by family and clan." Tr'Gan said.

Dancer laughed. "Most of us are not much on clans these days I'm afraid." Still it would've been nice if there had been a large family waiting to surround Jade with love and security. The population on Earth was such that two children constituted a large family.

"Were you ever?" Neroon asked curiously.

"Oh yes, centuries ago but not nowadays, not like the Narns or the Minbari."

"And you, Warrior, what will you do when you return to your home?" Tr'gan queried.

"I will bring turmoil, I'm afraid. My people think me dead; before what I thought would be my death, I proclaimed I was no longer warrior but religious. My clan will not be happy to see me I'm afraid," he said ruefully.

"And now you can add worker to the mix too," Dancer added, a hint of mischief in her voice.

Startled, he looked at her for a moment then nodded ruefully. "You are right. I now have walked in the paths of the three castes which is rare on Minbar. Entil'Zha Sinclair would find that most ironic."

"Because he'd been a worker, a warrior and a religious? That's often the way it is on Earth." she replied.

"And you? Have you walked the three paths?"

"Well I was in Earthforce, I worked as a planetary surveyor and I'm a Buddhist so yes I've walked the three paths as you say but on Earth the three positions aren't mutually exclusive but far more fluid."

"Enough!" Grefna shouted while banging his fist on the table. "Sitting here making plans for the future while a fleet of ships could be on its way here to finish what the Shadows started and it will by your fault." Glaring at her he rose to his feet and stomped to the sleep chamber slamming the door behind him.

From the bedroom came the sound of Jade's cries as she was startled awake by the sudden noise. As Dancer rushed to her she knew that deep inside she feared Grefna was right. Once in the bedroom she picked up her child and began to croon soft words to her while hugging and rocking her.

"Dursty," complained Jade, so with a sigh she sat down on her pallet and tugged the neckline of her caftan down allowing her daughter access to her breast, wincing as Jade's sharp teeth clamped down on the nipple. There wasn't much for her but it was enough to send her back to sleep. Dancer brushed her daughter's dampened hair and placed her back on her small pallet, tucking Gemma in beside her once again.

She rose and stretched turning to find Neroon in the doorway. "She is all right?" he asked.

"For now," Dancer replied wearily. "She needs better nutrition than I can give her and I fear she's beginning to pick up the tension."

"It is like the uncertainty before battle when we don't know whether we will win or lose but we are committed."

"Committed, yes," she gave a harsh laugh, "and perhaps I should've been committed before I gave Ni'Dayr the go ahead. This may all end badly."

'Yes, well, that lies with the future to judge. We..."

Neroon was cut off by the sound of the door opening and N"Dayr rushing in shouting something in Narn. As Dancer and Neroon went to him, she shut the bedroom door behind her hoping the noise wouldn't awaken her daughter again. Others came out of their chambers to see what was the matter.

Ni'dayr was talking excitedly to Tr'gan who turned to the gathered. "Contact has been made."

They all began to speak at once until Neroon shouted, "Enough. Let Ni'Dayr speak."

"I received an answer from our distress signal." The Narn was practically dancing with excitement.

"Who answered?" several beings asked including Dancer.

"I don't know - they wouldn't say," he replied sheepishly not looking at any of them, "but they'll be here in 2 days."

Two days! Two days to know whether we live or die, whether Jade lives or dies, Dancer thought wearily. How well did I cast that damned die?


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