the pearl

One Moment Of Perfect Beauty

The woman held up her arms. "Remember my children," she said in a strong voice. "Greater than the loss of life is the loss of hope, the loss of dreams. Frederic may be dead to us in flesh, but his hope, his dreams live on in us. We are the universe trying to explain itself." She clasped her hands together. "Let us pray."

The audience bowed their heads and they began to chant a nearly dead language. The woman standing led them, her voice deep and strong, her face calm and radiant. When the chanting finished, she opened her eyes and smiled beautifully. "G'Quan guide you, my children," she said.

The worshipers filed out of the room. The woman began to pack up, still peacefully smiling. Suddenly, she looked up and grinned even wider. "David!" she said happily, walking towards him.

The man standing in the back grinned. "Hi Sunita," he said.

"Oh David!" she said again, hugging him tightly. "I haven't seen you since you left for Minbar! How is everything?"

David shrugged. "Busy. We finally got the Grey Council started again, so we're just having a little trouble getting everything all worked out."

Sunita nodded, then grew serious for a second. "I heard about your mother," she said quietly.

David nodded. "I thought as much." He paused for a second. "Sunita, she went peacefully, knowing that she was going to see my father again did she put it? 'A place where no shadows hide'." He paused for another second, then smiled lightly. "I noticed you started including some Minbari religion into your sermons."

Sunita chuckled. "Since I've heard of your mother's death, I've been looking into her religion. And a lot of it fits in with the book of G'Quan and G'Kar." She hugged David one more time. "By G'Quan, it's good to see you again." She backed away for a second. "Hey, did you eat yet?"

David frowned and shook his head. Sunita grinned. "Great, because preaching always gets me hungry. C'Mon...there's this great little place nearby you'll love."

David started laughing. Sunita stared at him. "What?" she said, his eyes narrowing.

David continued to chuckle. "Every time you said that when we were little, we'd get into so much trouble!"

Sunita started laughing. The two best friends hugged each other again, and made their way to the resturant.


David picked at his food. Sunita looked up from her Swedish Meatballs and frowned. "David?" she said concernedly. "What's wrong?"

David sighed. "I don't know...I guess coming back to the station just brought back a lot of old memories."

Sunita nodded. "I can bet." Her face grew serious. " you ever regret...staying on board the station after your father's death?"

David frowned. "I used to. I mean, after all, Mom went to Minbar, and I stayed. Your father was nice enough to let me live with you, but it didn't get rid of the memories..." He paused for a second. "Or the resentment."

Sunita closed her eyes, remembering the hateful looks David would get from complete strangers, and from people he cared for. "Oh David..." she said soothingly. "It would have happened no matter how your father died. The people wanted their messiah."

He sighed and looked down at his lunch. "You're right, Sunita...I just...I just wish it had been different. I wish my father had lived."

Sunita nodded. "I know, David. I know." She pushed aside her plate. "Are you done?" she asked.

David looked up and nodded. Sunita stood. "Well, then, there's something I want to show you."

David rose slowly. "What?"

Sunita shook her head. "I can't tell you. I have to show you." She took his hand. "Come on..."

David looked at her suspiciously, then broke out into a dopey grin, much like the one his father often gave. "'re doing it again."

Sunita narrowed her eyes at him. "Come on, David. We're going to be late..." She grabbed his hand and led him out of the resturant.


Sunita led David through the station. "Sunita, where are we going?" he asked, a little frustrated.

Sunita laughed. "You'll see..." she said sweetly.

David shook his head. It was just like when they were children.

Sunita finally lead him to a doorway. She put in her identicard, and the door opened. She led him inside.

It was a small room, with simple decor. There were a number of candles and religious objects from different cultures. David frowned. "Where are we?" he asked.

Sunita chuckled. "My quarters," she said, her voice low.

David's eyes widened. "They're so small, Sunita...Surely you can afford more space..."

Sunita nodded. "But I prefer this," she said quietly.

David frowned. "Why? I mean, you're in Brown Sector, in this little hole in the wall..."

Sunita put her finger over his lips. "Shhh....Listen. It's starting."

David was about to protest when he heard something. It was faint at first, but then grew louder. It was...he turned to Sunita. "Chanting?" he said, his voice barely above a whisper.

Sunita nodded and put her finger to his lips again. "Listen," she said, her voice low.

David stood there, his mouth open. The chanting was so beautiful, a harmony of voices he could have only imagined before. And it was in a language he knew, but could not place.

The chanting continued for a few minutes, then slowly faded again. Once it was silent again, David turned to Sunita. "What..." he said, trying to make his thoughts coherent. "What was that?"

Sunita looked at him, her face radiating serenity. "Every day at this time, a group of believers walk through this section. They chant as they walk, chanting a particular passage from the Book of G'Kar."

David nodded as he realized that the chanters had been speaking Narn, a language rarely heard nowadays. "Which passage?" he finally asked.

Sunita looked into his eyes, her eyes shining. "The tale of how your father went to Z'ha'dum and returned. The story of death and resurrection."

David's mouth opened again. Sunita nodded. "They pass by here because they know that I am one of the few people left who knew him. They walk by Aunt Susan's too..." She paused for a second. "'ve been living with the guilt of your father's death for the past ten years. You have to let go."

David turned to her, his eyes filled with tears. "Damnit, Sunita!" he yelled. "I can't just give it up like that!"

Sunita nodded. "Yes, you CAN." She held open her arms. "David," she said quietly. "You have to. If you are going to survive, you have to."

David collapsed into her arms, sobbing lightly. She held him and stroked his hair, making sure not to touch his crest. "I know, David," she said quietly. "I know."

David's sobs soon subsided and he looked around the room. Things finally began to click. The extra shoes, the men's clothing. He looked at Sunita. "Sunita...who lives here with you?"

Sunita's face grew mournful. "Lived here, David," she said quietly, then was silent.

David frowned, then realization crept over his face. "Sunita," he said, his voice just as quiet. "Who was Frederick?"

Sunita sat down in a nearby chair. "Frederick...was a ranger," she finally said. "He died in a shuttle accident a few days ago."

David sat down across from her. "Sunita...I'm sorry," he finally said.

Sunita looked away from him, trying to hold back her tears. "All my life, I've had people leave me. My mother, G'Kar, your parents, my father, Frederick, you..." her voice broke off for a second. "I've had to survive, David. And I won't let you fall apart on me now."

David wrapped his arms around the woman who was still his best friend. "Oh Sunita..." he said, his voice soothing.

Sunita wrapped her arms around him, hugged him tightly, then moved back for a second. She put a hand on his face, tracing the lines and shapes, then leaned forward and kissed him.

David was momentarily surprised, but soon realized that this was what he had really returned to Babylon 5 for. One moment of perfect beauty.

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