Legions of Fire #1: The Long Night of Centauri Prime

Written by Peter David
Based on an original outline by J. Michael Straczynski
DelRey, December 1999

This novel begins from Londo's ascension to Emperor in late 2262 (The Fall of Centauri Prime), and continues through to 2267 (just prior to A Call to Arms).

Legions of Fire 1: The Long Night of Centauri Prime

Newly proclaimed Emperor Londo Mollari contemplates his position: a lifetime of subservience to his Keeper and Drakh watcher, Shiv'kala - or an easy escape through suicide.  It is the defiance of a young girl, Senna (Lord Refa's daughter), that inspires him to choose life and attempt to rebuild Centauri Prime after the Alliance attack; however, Shiv'kala demands that for Senna to live, Londo must appoint the ambitious Guard Captain Durla to Minister for Internal Security.

Vir visits Centauri Prime where Londo cryptically warns him that a man called Rem Lanas is going to assassinate President Sheridan, directed to do so by a Shadow Sleeper inside his body.  Returning to Babylon 5, Vir prevents this from happening, freeing Lanas of the Sleeper, and meets a Techno-mage initiate who gives his name only as "Kane".

Minister Durla is unaware that, with a Drakh dreamweaver, he is being instructed from behind the scenes to excavate a barren rimworld, K0643.  He recruits Londo's beautiful ex-wife, Mariel, into a new "Division of Public Works" for espionage assignments - which includes getting close with Vir on Babylon 5.

Kane reveals to Vir that Mariel is only using him for her own ends, and that he should also go to Centauri Prime and confront Londo about "Shiv'kala".  Londo's still current wife Timov also takes on residence in the palace.  When Vir does mention the name to Londo, Londo imprisons him before releasing him to return to Babylon 5 - perhaps never to meet again.  To spare the unsuspecting Timov the attentions of the Drakh, he also banishes her from the palace on falsified espionage charges.

Meanwhile, on K0643, the excavation site workers are slowly disappearing.  Something beneath the planet is awakening...

Notes: It is hinted that Earth's legends of Dracula originate from a Drakh living there to study humans (Drak'hul).  Londo confesses to Vir his lie about Emperor Turhan's last words, and also makes mention of his drink with G'Kar prior to the outbreak of the Narn-Centauri War (The Coming of Shadows).  As seen in War Without End, Part II and Objects at Rest, alcohol dulls the senses of Londo's keeper.  Londo's wives past and present - Daggair, Timov  and Mariel, first appeared in Soul Mates.  Mention is made of Lady Morella's prediction that Vir would succeed Londo as Emperor (Point of No Return).  The Techno-mages were first seen in The Geometry of Shadows (and also in Crusade).  The Drakh mention "Xha'dam" in reference to K0643, something that is explained in Armies of Light and Dark.

Recurring Characters: Londo Mollari; Vir Cotto.

Peter David scripted the TV episodes Soul Mates and There All the Honor Lies, novelized In the Beginning and Thirdspace, authored the three Legions of Fire novels, and is also the author of many Star Trek books, including the New Frontiers series.