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their time between the stars on a huge Minbari war cruiser, rarely leaving the ship, even to come to Minbar.

Delenn, who Sinclair had come to think of as a friend, had been the one exception to this, assigned to Babylon 5 as the Minbari ambassador even as she retained her Grey Council membership. But Sinclair knew that had been an unusual case, and he had gradually discovered that he had been one of the main reasons for it. The Minbari had insisted on Sinclair's assignment to Babylon 5 and had then sent Delenn as their ambassador for the purpose of observing him. The Minbari religious caste were guided to an obsessive degree by prophecy and notions of destiny and predetermination. They had decided, as Delenn had told him, that he had a "great destiny" and they were determined that he fulfill it.

And now here was Rathenn, like Delenn, behaving in a way totally atypical for a member of the Grey Council. Indeed, he insisted that Sinclair not use his honorific title of Satai.

Rathenn shadowed Sinclair throughout the day, always with great politeness, seemingly at his beck and call, as if trying to anticipate his every need and giving the impression that he would move heaven and earth to do whatever Sinclair asked.

But like his attentive Minbari residential "staff," Rathenn rarely actually did anything Sinclair asked him to do, usually proclaiming the request, amid great apologies, to be "impossible to do at this time."

They walked silently for a moment under a low canopy of trees, whose branches and leaves looked exactly like delicate icicles. The triple spires of the government palace were just visible ahead.

"Has the Ambassador reconsidered my suggestion that he allow our best tailors to create for him a Minbari wardrobe more suitable to our climate and to
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