Babylon 5 Magazine Issue 23

"True Seeker" Review

"True Seeker" is Fiona Avery's first published short story. Avery wrote the Crusade episodes "The Well of Forever" and "Patterns of the Soul".

"True Seeker" focuses on two characters who made only brief appearances in Babylon 5.

Alisa Beldon is the young human telepath from the first season Babylon 5 episode "Legacies". When her latent telepathic abilities manifested themselves, she did not want to pursue one of the options available to humans: joining the Psi Corps or taking sleeper drugs. Na'Toth offered her sanctuary on Narn in exchange for periodic tissue samples, but in the end she accepted Minbari hospitality. She traveled to Minbar to learn the ways of Minbari telepaths who live lives of service. In the intervening years between "Legacies" and this short story, Alisa has completed her training and taken the Minbari Oath of a True Seeker.

The other character who is brought back for "True Seeker" is Na'Toth. She was the Narn Attaché on Babylon 5 during the first two seasons of the show. She later appeared in the fifth season episode "A Tragedy of Telepaths" when G'Kar and Londo rescue her from a Centauri prison. Now more than a decade later she is living on Narn and is apparently quite famous.

The character who brings these two together is Jerrica, a 16-year-old Narn girl who was evacuated during the Narn-Centauri War. She has been raised on Earth by adoptive parents. Alisa takes Jerrica back to Narn to find her real parents. When they run into trouble, Alisa turns to Na'Toth for help. However, Alisa doesn't agree with the sort of help Na'Toth decides to provide.

"True Seeker" is an excellent first outing for Fiona Avery. The story is well-paced and exciting. She explores the unique Narn culture and also fills in some gaps in the Babylon 5 universe. For example, out of a feeling of responsibility for not warning the Narn about the impending Centauri attack, Delenn and the Minbari have brought their advanced technology to help repair Narn's climate. We also get to see inside the Kha'Ri, the Narn ruling body.

Fans of Babylon 5 should also read this story for the surprise guest appearance at the end.

Hopefully we will see more Babylon 5 fiction from Fiona Avery in the future.