Title: Darkened Souls, Part 3: The Red Sands of Passage

Author: B5Crusader@geocities.com
Date: 01-23-98

Dedication/Notes: Well, here's part 3. Warning to all! My beta readers found this part to be "disturbing" (as one put it), despite my decision to not write what I had intended. When the one beta reader who did see my original write up couldn't get past the second paragraph, I decided to eliminate the gorier sections of the story. Looking back on it, I find it rather disgusting and too violently graphic myself. (I must have really been in a mood then...sheesh.)

Part III: The Red Sands of Passage

Councillor's Quarters, Syria Planum Dome, Mars 2250

Delenn merely stared at the screens in silence, ignoring the rushed and hectic activities of the Minbari around her. Ignored her aides entreaties to head for her awaiting flyer. She could feel the fear from her fellow Minbari. She could almost smell it in the air, taste it in the tea she had sipped.

She was not afraid. In fact she allowed herself a small smile of satisfaction. What she had been predicting since the end of the war had come to pass. The others had not believed. They had become arrogant. Complacent.

'And now the humans are striking back at us. Taking back what was never ours to take in the first place.'  Her smiled grew.

She looked at screens again seeing hundreds of humans rioting through out Syria Dome. It was a similar scene in all the domes. There were not enough Minbari Warriors to hold the domes. All the domes except Syria Dome. The humans were rioting despite being heavily outgunned.

She had ordered the Warriors in Syria Dome to withdraw. Most had complied, but several battalions had yet to acknowledge the order. They would die for such foolishness.

She could easily hold Syria Dome but there would be no point to it. The Earth Fleet was ripping through the few Minbari Cruisers still in the solar system. Earth itself was in total chaos as the humans seemed to go into a rage, killing and destroying everything not human. No, it was time to leave.

Prophecy would attend to itself.

She turned to her aide and smiled. "Go to my flyer and wait for me. I shall be there shortly." The aide bowed quickly and departed, as Delenn turned back to view the carnage from the screens.

Elsewhere, Syria Dome

Sinoval grinned maniacally as he fire his PPG blasting a spray of blood and brain tissue from the human before him. He turned to find his next target, but saw nothing but five of his own warriors. And the bodies.

Dozens of human bodies littered the floor of the shelter, most were old, sick or very young. Not that it mattered to Sinoval. He smiled in approval at his men, their uniforms and weapons spattered and streaked with human blood. His eyes gleamed with madness and perverted joy. A joyous insanity the five other Minbari shared with him. They were on a mission: to finish the holy war against these barbaric humans. To obliterate as many of their kind as they could. No pity, no remorse, no mercy.

An hour ago Sinoval had tortured every human he had come across to death. Unsatisfied with the progress he'd moved to beatings, then stabbing, and finally simply to shooting anything that moved that wasn't Minbari. As the process had started his battalion had rapidly diminished to a mere total of six, including himself.

'No matter. I'll take care of the rest later.' Sinoval thought gleefully through his blood fury. He stalked from the building back into the empty, burning streets of Syria Dome. He looked around and suddenly grinned at what caught his attention. A disaster shelter.

He and his warriors quickly breached the sealed door of the shelter to find some fifty humans, nearly all children. His rage grew as he recognized the patches in each of the children's sleeves.

"Filthy beasts!" One of his soldiers spat out in disgust.

Sinoval snarled in agreement. These were the children of an a special breeding plan approved by the Grey Council. A program designed to separate out those humans who carried Minbari souls from those who did not. These children were special because they possessed some unique ability such and abnormal intelligence or psi ability.

He raised his weapon to fire but stopped as he aimed at a fourteen year old girl holding a toddler that seemed familiar. He narrowed his eyes as he recognized the name patch sewn on the young childs clothes: J. Sinclair.

"Wait!" He ordered, his men giving him a surprised look. He grinned maliciously at the dark haired toddler and his teenage ward. "These ones must pay for stealing our souls. We shall release them from these filthy, impure bodies so they may return to our people."

Sinoval dropped his PPG, rather than try to reholster it. Hi left had was completely useless thanks to Delenn's pet human. He pulled out his three pronged fighting blade and smiled as he advanced on the two children. He would have his revenge. Oh, yes. A reminder for the human Sinclair of what he would do when they met again. He laughed, surprisingly gentle, as he lashed out.

Jeffrey Sinclair flung himself over the hood of the wrecked transport, his passage followed by a string of PPG fire. Another human popped up over the side of the vehicle and let loose with a long burst of PPG fire.

Apparently the fire drove off the Minbari warriors as the human jerked his head to indicate it was all clear. Jeff sighed and nodded his head. He scrambled to his feet and started running again. A small squad of seven humans followed him. Each were dressed in whatever clothes they possessed. The only indication of their affiliation was the Earth Alliance insignia hastily pinned to their clothing. Their weapons were varied, some carrying Narn, some Centauri, some Minbari. Even a few old Earth made slug throwers in the mix.

They were headed to the starport to seize control of it. Several groups had previously been dispatched but unable to dislodge the Minbari defenders. Jeff doubted his small squad would make much difference, but orders were orders. They turned the corner and as a group stopped suddenly at the carnage before them. Bodies lay every where. In the gutters of the street, the sidewalks, benches, everywhere. There was blood and gore every where. All of it human.

"My God." Jeff whispered in horror, involuntarily calling upon a greater power he was sure he did not believe in any more. The humans simply stared at the carnage for a few moments, too shocked by the brutality before them to even think.

"Let's get moving." Jeff finally ordered, trying his best to sound like a normal military commander, and not a human so sickened that he was about to tip over the edge of insanity. Mechanically he forced himself to move forward, trying to avoid stepping of the bodies and pieces of flesh about the empty street.

The smell was horrendous and sickening. Jeff ignored it as best he could, ignored the gags from his own squad as they continued. After turning the corner to see another street littered with bodies, Jeff glanced into several of the shops, seeing what he feared. More blood. More bodies. He steeled his resolve and continued on to the starport.

As his squad finally approached the outer perimeter of the starport, Jeff was surprised to see a five foot post i the middle of the road, with a crossbar at the top. Jeff shuddered in horror as he recognized it as a cross. And just like the the pictures of the crucified Jesus,  a body, or what was left of one, hung from it.

The humans approached it slowly and stopped. Jeff felt what little hope and humanity in his heart remained shrivel up and die as he read the message.

			I hope you enjoy my little independence gift.
		    	Next time it will be you. 

He looked up at the mutilated body and saw his two year old sons face frozen in a rictus of a scream. The boys blue eyes stared into nothingness. Without even realizing it, Jeff started screaming inarticulately and ran for the starport.

Starport, Syria Dome Mars 2250

Delenn stood at the entrance of her flyer looking back at who had called her name. She saw Sinoval running towards her. His uniform cut and disheveled, soaked in blood. She could see he had been injured and was terrified.

She looked back the way he had come from and saw another Minbari running. After a few steps a burst of weapons fire cut the warrior down, but  did not kill him. She could hear his screams as a group of three humans armed with what appeared to be knives, axes, and pipe swarmed him and started striking the wounded Minbari over and over.

"Delenn, please you must help me." Sinoval begged, fear in his every word and movement. Delenn looked back at the humans and saw a fourth human trotting towards Sinoval armed with nothing more than a blood stained hand axe.

She was about to gesture for Sinoval to join her when she suddenly recognized the human who had stopped a few meters away. His brown hair plastered askew with sweat and blood, face spattered with grime, and his clothes covered in blood she recognized not the face, not the fury filled eyes, but instead she recognized the soul.

"Jeff." She whispered, stunned at his condition. She looked over Sinoval's wounds and realized the axe Jeff wielded had done most of them.

Understanding dawned and her face darkened in rage. "What did you do Sinoval?"

"I freed our souls from these filthy humans. I freed the Chosen!" Sinoval laughed maniacally.

"You killed the Chosen!" Delenn gasped in shock. How dare he? In an instant she made her decision.

"Farewell, Sinoval. Better for you to die here than shame all our people with your action." Delenn turned, ignoring Sinoval's sudden screams of pain. She did not need to see to know Jeffrey Sinclair was delivering the only justice humanity had left to give.

She closed the flyers hatch to the sound of metal striking bone repeatedly and Sinoval screams. She nodded for the pilot to take off and looked out the flyers view port to see a blood red sky.

She saw much more. Perhaps some of the warriors were correct. Mars. A human god of war. Ruthless. Blood thirsty. Completely unpredictable. A force of pure destruction to be admired, remorseless and unrelenting in battle. She was certain the universe was going to be in for a very rude awakening soon.

She said a small prayer, not for the Minbari killed but instead for the humans. Prophecy was coming. And with it fire, death and destruction the likes of which the universe had not seen for a millenia.