the pearl

Moving Day

David sighed as he pushed the box onto the loading platform. "That's the last of it," he said, out of breath.

Susan Ivanova looked down at the group of boxes. "This is all yours?" she said in surprise.

David nodded. "Yeah. Mom said to take everything. She didn't want any trace of me on this station."

Susan sighed. "I knew we shouldn't have bought you all those toys," she said under her breath. She looked around. "Where's Sunita?"

David shrugged. "I dunno. I think she's talking to Ambassador G'Kar."

Susan raised an eyebrow. "Well, I hope she hurries. You have the leave the station soon, or else Draal is going to turn back on the defenses."

David stared down at his feet. "Aunt Susan?" he said quietly. "Why are we going down to the planet?"

She looked at him with a tinge of regret. "Your father and mother don't think the station is safe enough for you now. The Centauri are trying to get at us again, and your parents would feel a lot better if you were somewhere safe." She paused for a second. "And it's not going to be that bad. Sunita's going to be there, Sofie and Jeff are going to be there, and Draal liked you the first time you visited."

David nodded, but still looked down at his feet. "I guess," he said quietly.

Susan was going to say more, but she heard footsteps approaching. Sunita walked into the hangar, her father and Ambassador G'Kar with her. Sunita held a sheath of unbound papers in her arms, clenched tightly to her chest.

"Susan, David," Doctor Franklin said. "Everything ready to go?"

"Almost," Susan said. "All we're waiting for is Sunita."

Sunita turned towards her father. "Take care of yourself, Dad."

He nodded. "You too, Sunita." He hugged her tightly.

Sunita then turned to G'Kar. She spoke to him softly in Narn, and he responded back in Narn. He handed her a thick, old book, that appeared to be handwritten.

Sunita looked at him with tears in her eyes. "May G'Quan guide you," she said.

"And you," G'Kar replied. "Sunita," he said, his voice thick with emotion. "Remember, 'Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams.'"

Sunita nodded. "Goodbye, G'Kar." She walked onto the shuttle.

Susan looked at G'Kar. She swore she could see tears. She shrugged it off and boarded the shuttle.


David and Sunita made their way through the wonders of the Great Machine without even noticing. Susan saw how they were feeling and stopped them. "David, Sunita," she said. "Want to talk about it?"

Sunita shook her head. "No, Aunt Susan. We're okay," she said, her voice low.

Susan looked at the two of them, worried. "C'mon, guys," she said quietly. "It's Aunt Susan you're talking to. What's wrong? Are you upset about leaving B5?"

Sunita looked at the ground. David shook his head, then said, "It's not that, Aunt Susan. We..." His voice broke off.

"We know that the Centauri are coming after David's parents and that G'Kar is going to go with them," said Sunita dully.

Susan stepped back in shock. "What?" she said incredulously. "Where did you hear that?"

David looked at Sunita, who held on to her books tighter. "I just know, okay?"

Susan stared at Sunita, her eyes wide. It was possible she did know. Sunita hadn't been quite the same since Franklin allowed G'Kar to teach her the Narn way. Susan placed a hand on Sunita's shoulder. "It's okay, Sunita." She paused for a second, taking a deep breath. "Well then," she said, her voice happier. "Draal mustn't be kept waiting."

The children and Susan made their way deeper and deeper into the planet.


"You'll be okay, right? I won't have to worry about you?"

Sunita smiled and nodded. "Aunt Susan, we'll be fine here," she said, pushing Susan back towards the shuttle. "You have to get back to the station now, though."

"Well, you know I worry. You'll be fine?"

Draal laughed. "Commander, they'll be fine." He suddenly straightened up. "You're needed at the station, Commander."

Susan sighed. "I guess." She turned towards her daughter. "Give Mom a hug before she leaves?" she asked Sofie.

Sofie ran into her mother's arms. "Bye, Mom," she said. "I'll miss you."

"I'll miss you too, baby." Susan then turned to her son. "Do I get a hug too?" she asked.

"No. Girls' stuff," Jeff said, wrinkling his nose.

Susan grinned and gave him a hug anyway. "I'll miss you, Jeff." She straightened and looked at all the children. "Now, listen to Sunita and Draal, and I'll be back for you as soon as I can. Okay?"

"Okay, Mom," Sofie said, waving. "Bye!"

Jeff scowled, but waved. "Bye Mommy!"

David waved. "Bye Aunt Susan."

Susan turned to Sunita. "You'll be fine?"

Sunita laughed. "We'll be fine. Go on."

Susan left the children and got onto the shuttle. The children and Draal watched her leave. As soon as they could no longer see her shuttle, Draal clapped his hands together. "Okay. Who wants to see their rooms?"

"Me!" piped up Sofie and Jeff together.

Draal led the younger children out. Sunita stayed where she was, looking up.

David tugged on her shirt. "C'mon, Sunita," he said. "We're going to get lost." He looked at his best friend. "Sunita..." he said, his voice low. "Are you sure about what you heard?"

She shrugged, still looking up. "I don't know, David," she said, her voice calm. "I don't know what will happen." She stood there for a second longer, then shook herself. "C'mon," she said, her voice much happier. "Let's go see where we're sleeping."


The younger children sat near Sunita. "Tell us a story, Sunita," said Jeff.

Sunita frowned. "What do you want to hear?"

"Something different!" shouted Sofie. "I don't wanna hear about the Narns joining the war again!"

"I do!" Jeff shouted. They started arguing again.

"All right! All right!" yelled Sunita over the noise. "I've got one. Have I told you about why the Narns joined the Army of Light?"

Jeff and Sofie sat down. "No," said Jeff. "Why?"

Sunita smiled. "One day, G'Kar bought some Dust. That's a drug that causes telepathy. Well, he tried it out, and then he decided to go find Londo Mollari..."

Sofie frowned. "The Centauri Emperor?"

Sunita nodded. "He was just the ambassador then. Anyways, G'Kar was probing into Mollari's mind, finding out about the race we call the Shadows, seeing what Mollari had done. Just when he was about to kill him, G'Kar had a vision."

"What kind of vision?" asked Jeff.

"A true vision," Sunita said, her voice tinged with what could only be called worship. "He saw his father, hanging from the tree where he died. Then, he saw G'Lan."

"Who's G'Lan?" Jeff asked.

"He was a religious leader, who lived in the same time as G'Quan. G'Lan also fought the Shadows, but took a different path afterwards. G'Lan stood there in front of G'Kar and told him that both the Narn and the Centauri were destined to die. 'Would it not be wise,' said G'Lan, 'to die fighting on the side of light?'

"G'Kar took those words to heart. While imprisoned for injuring Mollari, he began writing." She held up the sheath of papers that she kept with her. "This is the book of G'Kar, the book he wrote after his vision."

Sofie held out her hand. "Can I see it?" she asked.

Sunita shook her head. "No. Only believers can touch it, and you have not been properly instructed. It would be sacrilege."

Sofie pouted for a second, then asked another question. "Sunita? How come you have the book and not G'Kar?"

Sunita sat there for a second, just looking at Sofie. "I...I..." she said, unable to finish the sentence. "He gave it to me," she finally said.

"Why?" asked Jeff, a curious look on his face.

Sunita looked at him, tears in her eyes. Before she could answer, Draal appeared before them. "Sunita, go to the heart of the Great Machine and hurry." Draal disappeared as quickly as he appeared.

Sunita stood up. "Don't worry, I'll be back. Until then, Sofie, you're in charge."

Sofie grinned. "All right!" She looked at her brother with an evil look in her eyes. "Don't worry about us, Sunita."


Sunita made her way through the maze of underground tunnels. She eventually reached the heart of the Great Machine. There stood Draal's body, plugged into the Machine.

The hologram of Draal appeared before her. "Sunita," he said grimly. "I have asked you here because I saw something you need to see."

Sunita frowned. "What is it?" she asked, her brow wrinkling.

Draal vanished.. Inside the Great Machine, Draal's body opened it eyes and sighed. "Well, then, step into here."

Sunita looked at the machine for a second, then climbed in. "Relax, Sunita. Let your mind wander. Follow the path I have set for you."

Sunita relaxed. All around her she saw stars. In the middle was a glowing path. She flew down it. "Is this what it's like to be a ship?" she asked Draal. Before Draal could answer, she reached her destination. "This looks like —"

"Centauri Prime, yes. Watch."

Sunita watched. She heard everything, she saw everything. "Welcome back from the abyss, Sheridan..." "It cannot hold its liquor..." " old friend..."

She screamed. "No! It can't happen this way!" she yelled. She broke contact with the Machine and ran past Draal. "No! " she ran down the hall.

"Sunita!" Draal yelled. "Sunita!"


David found her, hours later, sitting in a small room, carved out of the planet itself. She sat there with a candle, looking into the flame, softly whispering prayers in Narn, barely loud enough to be heard even in the stillness of the room.

"Sunita?" he said, his voice low.

She stopped praying, and turned towards him. "David...come...sit..." She patted the ground next to her.

David shrugged and sat on the ground. "Sunita, I —"

She put a finger to her lips. "Shhh... Now is not the time for words."

David frowned. "What?"


They sat there, in the dimness, silent for a minute, then Sunita began praying again. David listened, hypnotized by the soft tonal sounds of the prayer.

Sunita stopped suddenly. "May G'Quan guide you beyond the darkness, G'Kar," she said quietly. She blew out the candle.

David felt a bit uneasy in the darkness. "Sunita?" he asked. "Can we have the lights on?"

She chuckled. "Still afraid of the dark, David?" There was a flash, then the soft glow of candle light. David noticed that it wasn't the same candle.

"Sunita..." he said, his voice cautious. "What happened?"

Sunita looked down at the candle, playing with the loose wax. "The Centauri captured your parents. G'Kar went with them."

David gasped. "How do you know?" he said, his voice breaking.

"Draal showed me on the Machine. I saw it as it happened." She paused for a second, staring into the candle's flame. "They escaped, David," she said. "Your parents escaped."

David let out a sigh of relief. "Thank Valen," he said under his breath. Then, he noticed Sunita trying to hold back tears. "Sunita? What happened?"

She raised her heads, matching her eyes with his. "G'Kar died, David," she said, her voice oddly calm.

David closed his eyes. "Great Maker," he said. "How?"

Sunita looked back down at the candle. "He died with his hands around Emperor Mollari's neck and Mollari's hands around his." She looked up at David again. "He died a worthy death, David. And I honor him now."

David wrapped his arms around his best friend. "Oh Sunita..." he said. "I'm sorry."

Sunita hugged him tightly. "Thanks, David," she said softly.

They sat there for a few minutes, then Sunita stood up. "Come on," she said. "Aunt Susan's probably going to come for us soon."

David nodded and followed his best friend. "Sunita?" he said, his voice soft. "Does this mean the end of the Narns?"

Sunita didn't look back at David. "G'Quan once said, 'Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams.' G'Kar may be dead, but as long as I live, I swear to all the Gods, I will not let Narn die."

David nodded. "I know, Sunita," he said softly, a hint of admiration in his voice. "I know."

The two friends made their way back to their rooms.

This Babylon 5 story was written by Kate Bolin. If you liked it, there's plenty more at And you can feedback her at