Which is better- democracy or monarchy?

Our work depends less on the structure of government adopted by the worlds under our control and more on the frustrated ambition, the desperation, the love and the self-deception of individuals. No race- no government- is immune to influence as long as one knows what and who to exploit. I have closed my hands around the throats of democrats, oligarchs, dictators and kings.

The Centauri speak of their ancient emperors with the naïve reverence of a people long shielded from their history. In their texts, their early kings are heroic figures empowered by the gods themselves to defend and unify the people, forging them into a mighty and glorious race. The narrative is a delusion.

The progenitor of my clan served the Shadows on this world centuries ago when the Xon were in ascendance and the Centauri were a beaten people. Daily, the air reeked of fire and blood. Nightly, it echoed with cries of grief. The Centauri were ragged, fragmented and weak. The Shadows made them strong. The Shadows provided them with the means to obliterate their enemies once and for all. The Shadows taught them of evolution- of desire- and they learned.

In time, the Centauri forgot the identity and origins of their saviors. And the servants of those gods disappeared into legend and folktale. Yet the Shadows’ legacy remained. Emperor Mollari- and the monarchy over which he only symbolically presides- is the embodiment of that legacy. And it is true that our burden is eased by this memory of Shadows that has whispered through the halls of the palace for millennia and still now, through force of monarchial tradition, continues to do so.

But there is an equally useful, though different, vulnerability to the Humans and their democracy. Their style of governance often fosters idealism and complacency- a creeping fog of security that obscures the enemy and robs those in its thrall of their ability to fight. Decades ago, I bore witness to the final words and the death rattle of a human who called himself Frederick Lantz. Architect of the non-aggression treaty signed by the Earth Alliance and the Centauri Republic, he died in ignominy in a cell, a prisoner of the Clark regime. To his last breath, he expressed only dismay that his efforts had not brought the peace he had so confidently promised. He was democracy’s fool, accustomed to a universe in which discussion and civility and rationality reigned, and he was instrumental in our work.
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The emperor cannot understand how generous I have been. He cannot know how many decisions I have made that have accommodated him against the instincts of the Entire. He does not appreciate how fortunate he is that I am trusted and honored for my accomplishments. They would have me depend upon the punishment above all else. But, though it is effective, the punishment is a crude and unsophisticated instrument with which to bend the will of another. Mollari’s mind is richer- more fertile- than that. He can be shaped by other means.

Mollari is a fascinating creature. His desires, his desperate passion, his curious sexual longings, his foolish affections, his impotent attempts at defiance, his tears of pain and anguish- they are all beautiful in their way. I confess that at times I watch him from the shadows- the darkened corners of the royal palace- and feel a twinge of paternal feeling for him. He is ignorant, lost, rudderless- a child in the great scheme of the Universe. But the great shadow, the darkness, lies inside him. He needs our guidance to realize the full extent of his potential.

So I have made certain allowances.

The Entire is disturbed that I have allowed the Narn to live in the palace. And it is indeed a risk, for there are precious few beings- perhaps none- who possess so singular a position in the architecture of Mollari’s psyche. This was seen in the joining. The Narn is a constant presence in his memories, his fantasies and his apprehension of his future. So often did Citizen G’Kar appear in the avalanche of his thoughts, in fact, that it approached the level of obsession. It is right to be concerned over the strength of this association. Mollari believes he will one day die by this Narn’s hand. And perhaps, in inviting G’Kar to stay, he is seeking more than simple gratification and amusement.

I did not need to be reminded of the danger and the chastisement I endured from the Entire was an irritation. But my self-possession remained in tact as I urged my brothers to recall the others: the girl Senna, for whose protection Mollari has often come to heel; the pathetic Vir Cotto, whom Mollari once drove away when it was demanded despite the profound, ridiculous affection they share between them; and the Empress Timov, whom Mollari forcibly exiled despite the obvious strength of his sexual desire.

“In every case, he has taken the proper path. He has, in all cases, kept in mind our goals,” I said. “It is his love, my brothers- his desire to shield those he cares for- that has been, is and will be our most effective tool of persuasion. There is no reason to believe that Citizen G’Kar cannot be used to similar ends.”

We are still wary, they replied. But we will trust in your wisdom, Shiv’kala.

And so the Narn remains. Mollari will have his companionship for a time. But we will watch. We will always watch.
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The pre-introduction post (OOC. Obviously.)

After a few months as vir_cotto_tm, who is the sweetest li'l pup in the universe, and timov_of_algul, who is delightfully blunt and fun to play, I've decided to adopt my third and final muse: Shiv'kala. I have succumbed to the dark side. Muahaha.

Shiv'kala's first post will go up in the next few days. But before he makes his appearance, I have to clarify teh rulez. Or, rather, the one rule: Shiv'kala will not be roleplaying with B5 muses, with the exception of mr_morden and bugsndaffy. This is to preserve londo_mollari's timeline. ;)

Okay. Now that that is clarified, let the darkfic fun begin!
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