Characters: Dr. Hellecat Brannon
If the frigid air hadn’t already stolen her breath, then the sight of the Great Temple certainly would have. A shimmering vision of purity — incongruously dumped in the midst of hell.. Yet, somehow, a tangible air of serenity and permanence still cloaked the compound, unchallenged by the surrounding insanity.
Inside the Temple that presence was even stronger, but here it was overlaid with the taint of the occupants’ fear. Echoing high above their heads and vibrating though the building’s very foundations, the battle continued around them, unabated and seemingly unchecked, but somehow it failed to truly sully the inner peace of the Temple.
Helle watched, feeling almost detached from the situation as the Captain spoke to the frightened group of priests and acolytes. At the sound of “Anla’shok” rising to the rafters, her eye happened to fall on the pin on his chest. Unconsciously her fingers moved to touch the identical one on her uniform, feeling the sharp edges of the Human/Minbari figure and the smooth, cold stone Isil’Zha… two halves joined to battle a common enemy…
Suddenly her training flooded back — direction, determination, patience, strength. THIS is what it was all about! When Tylo nodded in her direction, Helle felt a strange calm descend over her, very different to the numbing sensation of before. Purposeful. Capable.
Quickly she helped assemble the evacuees, noting how their ages ranged from the very elderly to the very young, but all had a look of bewilderment and yet certainty at the same time — almost as if they were the keepers of some great, comforting secret. I guess it’s too late for me to start praying and learn the secret within the next five seconds!
Then they were outside and running for the beckoning shuttle, whilst all around them chaos broke out. In her peripheral vision she saw the Captain sprint towards the advancing enemy lines and at the same time felt the older Minbari beside her, who had first recognised Tylo, falter in his steps.
Grasping at his arm, Helle hauled the man back onto his feet and with a gentle shove, directed him towards the shuttle. “Please,” she panted, “go quickly!”
The shattering scream of painful death throes clawed its way down her spine and she involuntarily tuned towards the sound. Horrifyingly, the sight that met her eyes was by far worse than the sound that had reached her ears. Nearby, a Minbari soldier stood before one of the young acolytes, fighting pike raised, poised to smash it down on the motionless, unresisting boy’s skull.
…two halves joined to battle a common enemy…
As if under the influence of a Keeper, Helle felt rather than consciously forced her hand grasp the PPG at her side, aim and fire it, sending a blue dart of fire smashing into the man’s body.
Reaching the still motionless boy she grabbed his arm, preparing to haul him to the shuttle when she caught the look on his face. Utter revulsion. With a physical kick her stomach rolled as he turned his eyes to her. The shattering of innocence. She had just witnessed it. She had just caused it.
Involuntarily biting down on her lip, she could detect the coppery taste of blood in her mouth. Resolutely she took his hand and more or less dragged him to the waiting Striker. Buckling him into a seat and without meeting his eyes, she mumbled “I’m sorry,” before turning away to the door. A quick glance showed her that not only were all of her charges aboard, but that the fighting was almost over.
Grasping her pin so tightly that its edges cut deep into her palm, Helle briefly drew strength from it before turning her attention to the others awaiting her care.