|Meanwhile , Neroon arrives and meets with Shakiri, the warrior caste leader. Neroon is troubled by Shakiri's attitude towards the war and life itself. Shakiri is after practical gains and power only - he has little regard for what he tramples on to attain it. He believes that Delenn will surrender when she sees the rest of her caste dying. Delenn, meanwhile, asks Lennier to relay a message to the warrior caste - that the religious caste will surrender, where and when the warrior caste sees fit.|
|Neroon informs Shakiri of the surrender, and suggests that, to prove that the warrior caste will lead differently from the Grey Council, to accept the surrender on the planet. The venue will be the Temple of Varenni, where disputes were settled before Valen, and where new leaders were selected during times of war. Shakiri agrees, and Neroon asks what will happen to Delenn after the surrender. He replies that her ship will never reach Babylon 5.|
At the temple, the rite of surrender begins. Delenn says she speaks for the religious caste, and that they surrender. Shakiri triumphantly begins to talk about rebuilding their cities, and the Grey Council. Delenn continues though, saying that the religious caste does not give up their sovereign right to form a new government. Dukhat found no dishonour in surrender, and she recognoses the superior forces of the warrior caste, that the religious caste helped to arm and train - however, they may be stronger, but not necessarily wiser. She does not want to throw away all that they have done for the past one thousand years, and that the Temple was used to bring the reality of war to the leaders, and not just frontline troops.
Delenn makes a gesture, and a hole in the high ceiling opens; a bright fiery light now makes a circle on the floor. This is the Starfire Wheel. The leaders of the warring castes would each step into its light, and its fire would begin to destroy them. Whoever remained in the fire to sacrifice their life would represent the true caste that should lead the people. Shakiri vociferously objects to this, but Delenn enters the wheel and is prepared to endure it for the good of the people. "Valen said, 'Will you follow me into fire?'" she says. "Will you?". Shakiri does not move, and Delenn asks if he concedes leadership, since it is easier to send others to die for him than to die for his caste. The Wheel is opening ever wider. Shakiri maintains it is all madness and still refuses to enter, but Neroon asks that if as Shakiri himself said, a warrior does not fear death, then why is he afraid ? Shakiri enters the light, and tries to persuade Delenn to walk out with him, but she will not, telling him he should have considered other ways before he tore their society apart. He jumps out of the light, but Delenn does not leave as she had promised Neroon she would.
Neroon is horrified, and cries out "No!" as he rushes into the light and picks up Delenn, handing her to Lennier. He stands in the flame and it engulfs him, and his final words echo around the Temple :
"I was born Warrior Caste, but I see now... The calling of my heart... is Religious! The war is over! Listen to her! Listen!"
Seconds later the Wheel is fully open, and he is engulfed by the flame. Soon only the smoking circle remains where he once stood. Later, on the Grey Council ship, Delenn enters the chamber where the nine circles of light surround one in their centre, all empty. She announces that she is restoring the Grey Council, and calls forth new members - two each from the religious and warrior castes. This still leaves five vacancies, and these are to be filled from the worker caste. The workers are always caught in the middle of the other two, and from now on the religious and warrior castes will be in the service of the people, not the other way around. Delenn steps out of the centre circle, and explains that it shall be left empty in memory of Neroon, until the time that it will be occupied by the one who is to come.
In death, Neroon proved himself to be akin to his mentor Branmer, in that he had a religious heart although born warrior. Branmer was born religious, yet became warrior when he felt it was his duty. Neroon never shirked from his duty, and maintained his honour always, even into certain death. He put the people before his own needs and made the ultimate sacrifice. It was fitting and just that a place on the Grey Council be left empty in his memory. This shrine attempts to fulfil the same function, and maintain a place where his memory lives on.
Screen captures are now thumbnailed on the Moments of Transition screen captures page.
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